These grain-free “sugar” cookies are the perfect base for all of your holiday frosting, sprinkles and shapes! Sweetened with maple syrup and made with almond flour, these vegan, gluten-free sugar cookies are soft in the center and just a little crispy on the edges.
Cookie decorating party? Your vegan and gluten-free guests will enjoy these almond flour sugar cookies!
Sugar cookies are basic. They are easy to make and bake into a blank canvas for any way you want to celebrate the holidays.
Almond flour versus almond meal
But before you think up your best designs, let’s go through how to make these grain-free cookies. Be sure to use blanched almond flour – not almond meal, which has a more coarse texture.
Blanched (or fine) almond flour has a lovely soft texture that’s similar to flour. The nut flour is high in fat which helps produce a tender and moist cookie that’s also flavorful.
How to make sugar cookies using almond flour
I got this idea from blogger, Feasting on Fruit and made a few tweaks and left off the icing. You’ll need a few ingredients to make these cookies. Almond flour, applesauce, maple syrup, baking powder, a pinch of salt and vanilla extract.
Yes. You read that right. These are sweetened with maple syrup, not sugar. So yeah. I’m cheating on the name a bit.
They roll out just like regular cookies. The dough will be a little sticky though. So instead of adding flour or a dusting of almond flour, use wax paper to roll the dough to about 1/4 inch thick.
The wax paper does double duty. You can easily place the dough in the fridge to chill. The wax paper will hold it in class and keep it from drying out in the refrigerator.
Peel the wax paper back to reveal perfectly smooth cookie dough.
Use cookie cutters to make your favorite shapes. You can use whatever you’d like but if you make larger cookies, you might need to adjust the baking time up a bit.
Place the cookie dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet. These cookies won’t spread much but leave at least an inch between them so the cookies have room to breathe and get crispy edges.
You’ll get about 12 cookies from the dough depending on the shape and size of your cookie cutters.
Once done, let the cookies cool completely on a wire rack. When the cookies are completely cool, it’s time to decorate!
I kept these simple with a sprinkle of powdered sugar. If you do this, make sure the cookies are completely cool before you dust them with sugar.
How will you decorate your cookies?
Add candy and color. You can add crushed peppermint candies or sprinkles. For these, add the candies as soon as the cookies come out of the oven so they will stick.
Frost for fun. Once the cookies cool, spread on your favorite frosting. You can even add edible sparkles to really make a statement.
Draw on your faves. Use a tube of icing with a pointed tip to draw faces or star designs on these cookies.
Get my almond flour sugar cookies recipe below and more festive and delicious sweetest season cookie recipes on Erin’s blog.
For more healthy and healthy-ish cookies:
And pair any of these with a cold glass of your favorite milk or a warm matcha latte!
Almond Flour Sugar Cookies
- 2 ½ cups blanched almond flour
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Optional: powdered sugar
- Combine all ingredients except the powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Mix until a dough (a bit stickier than Play-Doh) forms. Mound the dough into a ball and chill for 10 minutes.
- Place the dough on a hard surface covered with parchment or wax paper (better). Cover with a second piece of wax paper and roll the dough to about ¼-inch thick. Chill for 1 hour up to 1 day (covered with plastic wrap or wax paper to prevent drying) in the refrigerator.
- Once chilled, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat. With the cookies on a pastry board or counter, use your favorite cookie cutters to cut the dough into shapes. Transfer cut cookies onto the prepared baking sheet using a spatula.
- Bake about 12 minutes until very lightly golden on top and around the edges. Don't overbake these. As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, top with sprinkles, orange zest, or crushed peppermint. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. If desired, dust with powdered sugar once cool.
Tips for this recipe:
- This is a sticky dough. Use the wax paper to avoid a mess.
- Give the cookies plenty of time to chill.
- Don't overbake the cookies. They will dry out.
- These cookies keep well for a few days at room temperature.