There is nothing cozier than enjoying warm gluten-free Christmas cookies during the holiday season. Throw on the fireplace (if you have one), play some holiday music, and the whole scene is like a dream of comfort.
Growing up, my mom didn’t like to bake. She said it was too messy and I never understood what she meant until I became an adult and realized… oh yeah it’s super messy.
And as avoidant as I am to making a mess, baking GF Christmas cookies is the best kind of messy. (I mean have you seen people’s holiday cards where they’re throwing flow at each other?)
So if you’re like me and you want to welcome the holiday vibes this season, here are 15 gluten-free Xmas cookies to make for the holiday season.
This blog post was drafted by dietetic intern, Dani Gutenplan.
But before we dive into the gluten-free Christmas cookie recipes, let’s talk about gluten in cookies. One of the main ingredients in cookies is flour. Flour often comes from wheat which is a source of gluten.
Also, cookies can be made with other gluten-containing flours like barley or rye. Alternatively, they commonly can contain unsafe oats (which oats can be gluten-free and celiac-safe but not always).
Additionally, depending on how the GF Xmas cookies were made, they might also have come into cross-contact with gluten. So for example a friend made them from you in their home and didn’t take cross-contact precautions, then the cookies might be gluten-free by ingredient but not by means of cross-contact.
(P.s. If you want your friends to be able to bake gluten-free holiday cookies for you that are free from cross-contact, I have an entire module, video, and handout in the Celiac Crash Course dedicated to cross-contact cooking demos (including one with GF cookies) that you can send to your friend to help teach them.)
Not only that but depending on how you flavor or what you mix into the cookie dough, that can make a Christmas cookie no longer gluten-free as well.
Now that we’re all on the same page on what contains gluten in Xmas cookies, let’s make some gluten-free Christmas cookies! Below are 15 recipes for you to try.
These Gluten-free Snickerdoodles make for the perfect gluten-free Xmas cookie to serve during the holidays. They are soft and chewy, which is quite the feature for gluten-free cookies. Plus, the cinnamon-sugar coating really drives home the Christmas spirit.
This is a simple GF Christmas cookie recipe. To make the dough, you simply mix the dry ingredients in one bowl, the wet ingredients in another, and then slowly combine the dry ingredients with the wet until a delicious dough is formed. Then you roll the dough into balls, roll it into cinnamon sugar, and bake until light brown.
If you love the flavors of cinnamon during the holidays, this quick and simple recipe is perfect to try.
When you think about Christmas cookies, the first thing that will come to mind is probably the sweet smell of fresh gingerbread cookies.
This delicious gluten-free Christmas cookie recipe is the perfect Xmas cookie for the holidays. It only takes 15 minutes to prepare and 8 minutes to bake.
To make the cookies, mix the dry ingredients until fully mixed, and then add the wet ingredients. Next, you scoop the cookies onto a pan, bake, and then cool! So simple, easy, and delicious! A fun treat if you’ve got kiddos who love to decorate too!
Another gluten-free Christmas cookie to make that the kids will love to decorate are sugar cookies! Sugar cookies are the perfect holiday treat, especially Christmas sugar cookies.
For this delicious GF sugar cookie recipe, you’ll cream sugar and butter together and add in the wet ingredients. Then you’ll slowly add the dry ingredients to form a dough. Once formed, you’ll chill the dough in the fridge until firm. Finally, you’ll portion out 1 tbsp on a baking tray, bake and enjoy.
My favorite thing about this recipe is that it requires minimal ingredients but is so delicious. I use namaste gluten-free flour when making it.
These flourless chocolate cookies make for a decadent gluten-free Xmas cookie. And they’re not just gluten-free, they’re also vegan and nut-free. Perfect for mixed dietary needs during the Christmas holiday season.
With only 6 ingredients and 39 minutes to prep and cook, enjoy these chewy gooey flourless chocolate cookies that are perfect with a warm cup of milk for dunking.
To make the cookies, mix sugar, cocoa, and salt in a bowl. Next, add in the eggs and vanilla until the batter forms. Lastly, add the chocolate chips, scoop the batter out, and bake! It’s that simple and almost everyone will be able to enjoy it.
Gluten-free chocolate cookies with mint chips are the perfect Christmas holiday treat. The rich chocolate and the cool mint flavors are perfect in the winter. To really drive the mint chip flavor home, serve with a side of mint chip gluten-free ice cream.
To make the cookies, mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and the wet ingredients in a mixer. Slowly beat the wet ingredients together and then when combined, add the dry ingredients. When the dough is made, let it cool in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Once cooled, bake and enjoy!
Like oatmeal cookies? These oatmeal butterscotch cookies make for great gluten-free holiday cookies. They’re crunchy and easy to make. Just make sure you’re using celiac-safe gluten-free oats.
To make the cookies, mix the dry and wet ingredients in separate bowls. With a mixer, mix the dry and wet ingredients until combined. Scoop the dough on the baking tray and let it bake in the oven. Once they’re ready, let them cool down and enjoy!
Peanut butter and chocolate is the best cookie combination, especially during Christmas time. The sweet and salty combination baked in a cookie is just perfect. This is the best GF Peanut Butter Hershey Kiss Cookie recipe! Bonus? these cookies only take 28 minutes to make!
After preheating the oven, beat all the ingredients in a bowl. Next, scoop out each cookie on a lined baking tray. Once baked, press a hole in the center of the cookie and add a Hershey kiss. Once the cookies cool, enjoy!
Almond cookies are so simple and perfect to be made gluten-free for Xmas. The light almond flavor is so delicious PLUS a lot of almond desserts are made with almond flour which is perfect because it’s naturally gluten-free!
To make these cookies all you’ll have to do is mix all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Next, roll the cookies into the almond flakes. Pop them in the oven for about 12-15 minutes and then enjoy!
The smell of pumpkin reminds me of the cold holiday season just around Christmas time. These spicy and sweet, gluten-free cookies are just perfect for the holidays. I can already smell the spice and feel the chewy delicious cookies.
To make these cookies, mix the dry ingredients and set them aside. Next, mix the butter and sugar. Then add the rest of the wet ingredients to this mixture. Once that’s combined, add the dry ingredients slowly.
Then, if desired, add the mix-ins- chocolate chips and walnuts. Once the dough is formed, scoop each cookie onto a lined pan and bake. Once the cookies are out of the oven and cooled, Stir together the sugar, milk, and vanilla to form a glaze. Lastly, drizzle the glaze over the cookies to form the perfect sweet and spicy dessert.
These gluten-free Snowball Cookies make for a great Xmas cookie as they are shaped like little snowballs. These cookies are also known as Mexican Wedding Cookies.
With a rich history in both Mexico and Europe, these are fun holiday cookies to enjoy. Just make sure the flour you use includes xanthan gum for the perfect texture.
To make these cookies all you do is add all the ingredients to a bowl. Then you mix them until a dough forms. Next, you roll the dough into small balls (like little snowballs) and let them bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the bottom starts to brown.
Once baked, you’ll allow the cookies to cool completely. Then you’ll roll them into powdered sugar to create the snowball effect and enjoy!
Another amazing gluten-free Christmas cookie to make are these Linzer Cookies. Linzer cookies are cookies that are sandwiched with jelly in the middle. These jelly-filled cookies are the perfect mix of the sweet jelly jam flavor and crunchy cookie. These cookies are a little more time-intensive but so worth it.
When making GF Linzer cookies, it’s important to make the dough first. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. In a mixing bowl, add the wet ingredients and then slowly add the flour combination into the wet until combined.
Once the dough is made, place it in the fridge for at least 3 hours. Once the dough is cooled, roll the dough onto a lined baking pan and cut out cookies into holiday shapes. On half of the cookies, use a smaller cookie cutter to cut a hole in the middle of the dough.
Once the cookies are cut, place them in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes. Once the cookies are out, cover them with powdered sugar and let them set until cooled. Lastly, spread your jelly on the full cookies and place the other half on top to make the sandwich.
Similar to Linzer cookies, Stained glass cookies are a beautiful gluten-free Xmas cookie to make. They also make for a great decoration on the tree or even holiday gifts!
To make the cookies, mix the wet and dry ingredients separately and then combine them until a dough forms. Roll out the dough and cut them into your desired shape. On all of the cookies, cut a hole or shape in the center and fill each hole with the candy.
Once this is done, place in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes. Let the cookies sit until cool and let the candy center settle. Then enjoy these beautiful and delicious gluten-free treats.
These M&M GF Xmas Cookies are a must-try. The buttery and M&M flavor combination remind me of the warm fireplace during Christmas time.
These might be my favorite cookies on the planet but are perfect for Xmas when decorated with green and red chocolate. They’re so delicious with the crunchy chocolate and soft cookie and it’s the perfect simple gluten-free cookie.
First, mix the dough and combine the wet ingredients first on low speed so it doesn’t whip. Next, slowly add the dry ingredients into the mixture until the dough forms. Next, add the M&Ms to the dough.
Chill the dough for about 20 minutes and then scoop the cookies onto a lined baking pan and bake. Once the cookies are out of the oven, let sit until cool and enjoy.
What screams Christmas more than candy canes? Candy cane gluten-free cookies! This recipe is an easy-to-make candy cane-shaped cookie perfect for Xmas, and gluten-free!
To make the cookies, mix dry ingredients in a bowl and then add the wet ingredients and combine until the dough is formed. Once the dough is together, place half of the dough mixture aside while the other mixture is colored.
To color the dough, knead it with red food coloring until it’s perfectly uniform. Once the dough is colored, take a teaspoon of each dough and roll each out like a snake.
When shaping the cookies to look like candy canes, you will need one white piece and one red piece. Take each snake-like piece and twist them.
Once twisted, shape like a candy cane and curve the top. Repeat until all the dough is in a candy cane. Next, bake the cookies, cool, and enjoy!
Biscotti cookies are perfect for the gluten-free holiday cookie, especially with a hot cup of tea, coffee, or even hot chocolate. This classic Italian dessert is a crunchy, light treat that goes perfect with anything.
Biscotti cookies are typically made with almond flour, which is naturally gluten-free. Though, many processed biscotti cookies also have other gluten-containing flours in them too, so don’t be fooled.
This recipe is near and dear to my heart because my best friend Autumn made them for me. When I tell you these are delicious, I mean it. Well worth the effort.
Gluten-free Christmas Cookie recipes out of the way, let’s talk about bakeware that will simplify the baking process! When baking the cookies, make sure to use the proper baking equipment making baking them easier and safe.
Cross-contact wise, kitchenware made from stainless steel, iron, metal, glass, or aluminum pan are all safe for baking as long as they’ve been washed with soap and water. If bakeware looks questionably clean or safe, use parchment paper or foil to create a barrier to prevent cross-contact.
The general rule of thumb when sharing kitchenware and preventing cross-contact with gluten is if it’s hard for you to clean then it should be dedicated gluten-free. I’ll let you be the best judge of that.
Gluten-free Christmas Cookies are great until they are not. Baking while gluten-free can be complex. From getting cookies that are too crumbly to too soft, there are a lot of problems that can arise when baking gluten-free. So here are common gluten-free cookie mistakes and how to fix them.
When it comes to gluten-free holiday cookies, they may not stay together as easily as gluten-containing cookies. The protein in gluten-containing flour helps “regular” cookies stay together.
Without this protein in gluten-free cookies, it is important to add xanthan gum. Xanthan gum will help gluten-free cookies stay together.
Many gluten-free flour companies add xanthan gum into their flour but feel free to add a bit more to keep your cookies from crumbling apart (and yes, xanthan gum is safe).
Additionally, make sure to bake your cookies at the correct temperature. If your cookies are baked at a temperature that’s too high or low, the texture and thickness will change.
If not properly put together, gluten-free Xmas cookies can turn out gummy. This can happen because different types of flour have different stomach contents.
Light flour, for example, rice four, might need to be mixed with a heavier flour, for example, millet, to create a less gummy dough. Sometimes, you may have to mix different types of flour to get the right consistency of the cookie.
Also, your cookies may be gummy because you’re not baking them long enough. You can try to put them back in the oven for a few more minutes to add some crunch.
Gluten-free Christmas cookies are prone to crumbling due to the absence of gluten proteins which bind the cookie and keep them together. One tip to keep gluten-free cookies from crumbling is to bake smaller-sized cookies so that they hold better. When there’s less surface area, the more they will bind together.
Gluten-free batters and doughs are less thick than gluten-containing cookies because of the flour. This leads to gluten-free cookies being drier than “regular” cookies.
Again, adding xanthan gum to the gluten-free flour or extra egg yolk to the mixture will increase moisture and create a better consistency for the cookies.
Also, baking them at a lower temperature and for longer in the oven will help the cookies retain some of their moisture.
Want more help with baking gluten-free and preventing cross-contact? This is one of many topics I cover in the Celiac Crash Course. Learn more about the course here.