Sugar Cookies – Cut Out

My old sugar cookie recipe works well, but there’s one problem with it. It uses potato flour, which can be difficult to find. Potato flour is very different from potato starch. Potato flour is yellowish in color (the starch is white), it is grainy, and it is heavy.

So this year I was determined to adapt that recipe to use more traditional flours. I think the potato flour results in a dough that is a little easier to work with, but these cookies are lighter and better for eating.

Working with any cookie dough, gluten free or not, can be a bit tricky when it comes to rolling, cutting, and transferring to the baking sheet. The key is to keep the dough cold. Any time it starts to get too sticky, chill it.

I also found that using a silicone baking mat on the bottom and plastic wrap on top worked better than parchment or wax paper when rolling the dough.


I know that some of you are thinking exactly what I was thinking when I decorated those cookies—that’s a lot of artificial food coloring! I haven’t bought colored icing in a long time, but I did it for a special event for one of my kids. For me, Christmas is a time for breaking the food rules a little.

Of course, these cookies could be left plain or sprinkled with a little sugar, or decorated however you choose! Just remember to read the labels on any decorative icing or sprinkles to be sure they are gluten free.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
Recipe type: Dessert
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter (or substitute, try shortening and coconut oil)
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1¼ cups rice flour
  • ½ cup potato starch
  • ¼ cup tapioca starch
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light in color.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, baking powder, and xanthan gum. Gradually add to the mixing bowl with the mixer on low.
  5. Increase the mixer speed and beat until it starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
  6. Wrap the dough in wax paper or plastic wrap and flatten it out some. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  7. Working with half of the dough at a time, place the chilled dough on a silicone mat. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and roll to ¼ inch thick.
  8. Remove the plastic wrap and use cookie cutters to cut shapes from the dough. Carefully transfer with a spatula to a lined baking sheet.
  9. Gather the scraps and reroll. If dough has warmed too much and become too soft and sticky to handle, return to the refrigerator to cool.
  10. Bake one cookie sheet at a time for about 10 minutes or until the edges are just starting to brown. Remove from oven and cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire cooling rack.


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  1. Karen McCambridge says

    I am fairly new to gluten free baking. My daughter allergy to wheat is low so we are staying away from wheat and corn.which brings me to my question of xantham gum. Can guar gum be substituted for xantham gum?

    • says

      I thought the latest thing I read was that xanthan gum is not corn derived. You may want to look into that more. I really don’t know in a recipe like this whether guar gum will work. It’s worth a try. If the dough doesn’t roll out well you could always make round cookies by forming balls and flattening them.

  2. Lisa Varela says

    Love this. I just started a gluten free diet and totally lost at cooking. Any suggestions would be great!!

  3. says

    We make gingerbread people and animals on Christmas Eve. I’ve never gotten up the courage to try sugar cookies. Might have to try your recipe.

  4. says

    Those look really wonderful, Linda! A lot of folks rave over the India Tree natural food colors. Pricey, but they’d last a long time and then you wouldn’t have concerns on the dyes. I’m going to make my homemade butter cookies for the very first time gluten free tomorrow. 10 years later and I’m finally getting around to “converting” the recipe. 😉


  5. says

    Hi Linda,
    Your sugar cookies are beautiful! I haven’t tried anything with potato flour before, mostly because it is hard to find. I have saved a lot of recipes over time with intentions to try “someday” when I have some of whatever unusual (for me) ingredient is in them — but it is nice to have a recipe with ingredients that are easier to find. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    Hugs and Merry Christmas!

  6. Denise says

    Can you give me some suggestions on what to use instead of the potato starch? Just recently found out that I am allergic to wheat, white potatoes, dairy products, oats, nuts, and cocoa. I am having a hard time finding dessert recipes to make that I can also enjoy. (I am always the one asked to furnish dessert at family gatherings.)

  7. Pam says

    I am looking for someone to give me an idea of how long gluten free cookies and brownies will keep. Is it the same as regular? Should I refrigerate them?

    Thanks, Pam

  8. Joan says

    Hands down best gf cut out cookies I’ve had since going gf years ago!!!!! Thank you s
    For sharing!!!!

  9. Shauna says

    I just made this recipe today – substituting all of the flours for an equivalent amount of “Cup4Cup” all purpose gf flour (which has xanthan gum). They are perfect!! Held together, not crumbly, easy to roll (with parchment paper) and baked up beautifully.
    Thank you!

  10. Margie says

    Thanks Shauna!! Planning to make these with cup4cup but I was worried. Pleased to read about your success!!

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