Want to bake the best gluten free Christmas cookies? You’ve come to the right place! Here are all my tips, tricks, and recipes for making wonderful gluten free Christmas cookies this season.
The Best Gluten Free Christmas Cookies
December is a time for baking, and you’ve probably landed here because you’re ready to fire up the oven and bake some gluten free holiday cookies! I got you. I love this time of year because it gives me an excuse to try some new recipes as well as use my old reliables. I know that gluten-free baking can sometimes be a little bit daunting but don’t worry – we can do this! Whether you’re gluten-free or are baking for those who are, my gluten free Christmas cookies will make everyone happy.
From oat flour sugar cookies to gluten free chocolate chip cookies to gluten free peanut butter blossoms and gluten free chewy molasses cookies you’re sure to find the right cookie for the right occasion. (You can even tuck in little pieces of gluten free gingerbread or almond flour brownies if you like!) Bake cookies ahead of time and bring them to a holiday cookie swap, or package them up and give DIY Christmas presents to friends and neighbors. Of course, you’ll want to save a few for yourself too! Read on for how to make the most of (gluten-free) cookie-baking season.
Tips for Making Gluten Free Christmas Cookies
When you’re ready to get baking, follow these tips to ensure your gluten free Christmas cookies turn out perfectly every time (and are vworthy of that holiday cookie swap!):
- Use fresh baking powder and baking soda. First things first! Check the expiration dates on your boxes of baking powder and baking soda. If they’ve expired, or are close to expiring, toss them and buy new boxes. You may want to buy new boxes anyway, just to make sure.
- Use nice butter. Always use good butter, especially in recipes like sugar cookies or butter cookies where butter is a backbone ingredient. You’ll be able to taste the difference!
- And unsalted butter. I always use unsalted butter in my baking so that it doesn’t overpower the other flavors.
- Or, go dairy-free. If you need to go dairy-free, you can typically substitute refined or unrefined coconut oil for the butter in recipes. Or, use your favorite (decent-quality) dairy-free butter.
- Use good chocolate. If you can, use good quality chocolate like Guittard or Ghiradelli. While these brands are a little more pricey, they’ll help your gf Christmas cookies taste even better.
- Think about the flour. I’ve outlined the best gluten-free flours to use in baking gf Christmas cookies lower down. You can use my recipe suggestions, which all include just one or a very simple blend of unique gluten-free flours. If you prefer to use a 1:1 gluten-free baking flour, choose one you are comfortable with so you’ll be confident in your baking endeavors. King Arthur Flour or Bob’s Red Mill (the blue bag) 1:1 flours are good options.
- Cream the butter properly. Make sure to cream your butter for about 2-3 minutes so it’s light and fluffy, This will help bring better texture and rise to your gf Christmas cookies during baking.
- Rest the dough before baking. I always suggest resting gluten free batter or dough before baking it to help the gluten-free flour/s hydrate. And with cookies in particular a bonus is better flavor the longer the dough rests. So try to plan to allow your cookie dough to rest for at least 1 hour in the fridge, and longer if possible.
Best Gluten Free Flours for Making Christmas Cookies
I’ve detailed some of my favorite flours for making gluten free Christmas cookies below:
- Oat flour – This is my favorite baking flour and my gold standard! Oat flour performs beautifully in most baking recipes and is naturally gluten-free. If you wish, you can substitute oat flour by weight for all-purpose flour in many traditional cookie recipes with amazing results.
- Sorghum flour – Sorghum flour is another wonderful whole grain gluten-free flour that can be swapped for oat flour if you can’t have oats, with similar results.
- Sweet white rice flour – Sweet white rice flour gives gluten-free baked goods a bit of bounciness and texture and helps hold the batter together.
- Tapioca flour – I love balancing a whole grain gluten-free flour with a little tapioca flour for lightness and binding.
- Teff flour – Teff flour gives a wonderful caramelly undernote to baked goods, and is especially nice when paired with chocolate.
- Buckwheat flour – Despite its name, buckwheat is gluten-free! Also lovely with chocolate, buckwheat flour has a unique flavor all its own that can be blended with other gluten-free flours if you like.
- Gluten-free flour blends – As noted, you can use a 1:1 gluten-free all-purpose flour in my and other recipes. These flours have been specifically developed to substitute interchangeably with all-purpose flour. In my opinion, while they do work, the finished cookies will not taste the same as when they’re made with all-purpose flour! I prefer to tailor my gluten-free flours to each recipe, but I know it’s often easier to grab a bag of mix at the store. I prefer Bob’s Red Mill brand and King Arthur Cup for Cup brand if I use a gluten-free flour mix.
Can I Make Gluten Free Christmas Cookies in Advance?
Yes! Like most “regular cookies”, gf Christmas cookies are fine to bake in advance. You can prepare many of the cookie doughs and store them in the fridge in airtight containers for up to 3 days. To freeze cookies, you can place them in airtight, freezer-safe containers or bags and keep them in the freezer for up to 3 months until you’re ready for them.
Cookie dough also freezes well – for log cookies, you’ll roll the log in plastic wrap and then foil and stash it in the freezer. For other cookie dough, you can store the dough pressed into flat discs and wrapped in plastic wrap or freezer-safe, sealable bags in the freezer. More details on how to store gluten-free cookie dough are below.
Can You Freeze Gluten Free Christmas Cookies?
You can definitely freeze gluten-free Christmas cookies and bring them out when you need them. Here’s how to do it:
- Freeze cookies – Cool the cookies thoroughly and place them in an airtight, freezer-safe container in a single layer, then place a piece of parchment on top of the cookies and add another layer (the parchment will keep the cookies from sticking together). Store the cookies in the freezer for up to 3 months. Make sure to thaw the cookies in the fridge completely before serving them.
- Freeze dough – You can also freeze cookie dough. Place the prepared dough in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag, press the dough to flatten it, and place it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost the cookie dough in the fridge before baking the cookies.
- To serve – Defrost cookies in the fridge thoroughly before serving them.
How to Store GF Christmas Cookies
We’ve already covered making cookies in advance and how to freeze cookies. But how about once you’ve made them? Should they be stored in the fridge or on the counter? In a tin or a box? Here’s what to do with your delicious gluten free Christmas cookies:
- Store on the counter: Keep gf Christmas cookies on the counter for 5-7 days depending on what kind of cookie you have. Most cookies will keep fine at room temperature. If you have frosted cookies, however, it’s better to keep them in the fridge.
- Keep in the fridge: Frosted cookies should be kept in the fridge, especially if they are frosted with buttercream or cream cheese frosting. You can bring them out of the fridge to warm up to room temperature a bit before serving them. It’s also fine to store other cookies in the fridge in airtight containers – they’ll last a bit longer, up to 7 days. I recommend storing different types of cookies separately so that the flavors don’t blend into each other.
- What kind of container? An airtight container is always best to preserve the freshness of cookies (or any baked goods). But, I also have success keeping my cookies in a tin on the counter for up to 5 days, or tightly covered with foil on a plate for up to 5 days.
12 Great Gluten Free Christmas Cookie Recipes
Choose one – or many! – of my favorite gluten free Christmas cookie recipes below!