Allergy Free Rolled Sugar Cookies for Valentine’s Day


I’m posting this recipe for dairy-free, egg-free sugar cookies well before Valentine’s Day so you have a couple weeks to play with rolling and cutting them out with your kids. They are also gluten-free, and nut-free too, which means they’re a great all-purpose recipe for folks trying to come up with safe, allergy-free treats for school Valentine’s Day parties!

Sugar cookies are a particular favorite of mine, so I jumped at the opportunity to come up with a new recipe. In the past, I’ve made recipes for Rolled Maple Sugar Cookies, rolled brown sugar cookies, and plain old sugar cookies made with granulated sugar. I wanted something more tender this time around, so I opted for confectioners’ sugar, which gives these cookies that sought-after melt-in-your mouth feel.

Palm oil shortening stands in for butter, my go-to superfine brown rice flour mix replaces wheat flour, and Ener-G replaces the egg.

To be sure they are truly kid-friendly, I gave the cookies a test run at my son’s play date with Oliver, who has no food allergies. I served the boys the cookies, without revealing they were special. Oliver ate four, and then asked if he could bring two home: one for him, one for his sister. Success!

Melt-in-Your-Mouth Allergy-Free Sugar Cookies

Makes 24

A family favorite, these beautiful cookies are “buttery” and tender. Plus, they’re vegan, so you can have a taste as you mix. Bake them unadorned, dress them up with sanding sugar, or go all out and decorate them with icing for a truly festive treat!


1. Combine confectioners’ sugar and vegetable shortening in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat on medium speed, until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.

2. Add egg replacer and vanilla extract. Mix well.

3. Measure flour, using a large spoon to scoop flour into the measuring cup, then level it off with the back of a knife. Whisk with the xanthan gum, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt.

4. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture, beating on medium-low speed, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary, until thoroughly combined. The dough will begin to ball in the center.

5. Lay out two sheets of parchment paper. Divide the dough evenly between the two sheets of parchment, using a rubber spatula to get it all out of the mixer bowl. Mold dough into two disks. Cover with a second sheet of parchment, and roll out to 1/4-inch thickness. Put rolled dough on baking trays or cutting boards and chill 1 1/2 hours in the fridge; don’t chill much longer or it will become brittle.

6. Preheat oven to 350°F.

7. Remove dough from fridge and let rest 5 minutes. Remove top sheet of parchment and cut out cookies into shapes with your favorite cookie cutters. Transfer to parchment-lined baking trays.

8. Gather up remaining scraps of dough and mold into a disk. (You may need to work it a bit with your hands to make it pliable again.) Roll to 1/4-inch thick between two sheets of parchment. Roll and cut until you’ve used it all. Bake unadorned or sprinkle with decorating sugar.

10. Bake cookies in center of oven for 10 minutes. Let cool on baking tray for 10 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.Let cool completely before icing.

White Icing

Frosts about two dozen cookies

  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 Tbsp rice milk (add more as necessary, until smooth enough to spread easily)
  • Decorating sugar (India Tree makes all-natural dye-free sugars)

1. Combine confectioners’ sugar and rice milk and mix until smooth. Ice cookies, then sprinkle immediately with decorating sugar. Let rest a couple hours until icing sets.

2. Store in an airtight container. These also freeze well.

Melt-in-Your-Mouth Allergy-Free Sugar Cookies

© 2011 by Cybele Pascal

(Please note that all my recipes are completely free of all top allergens (wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, fish, shellfish, and gluten), so as many people as possible can enjoy them. Additionally, all the ingredients are available at Whole Foods, and online at If you have trouble finding something, let me know and I’ll help you find it.)

SAFETY NOTE: Because each person’s food sensitivity and reaction is unique, ranging from mild intolerance to life-threatening and severe food allergies, it is up to the consumer to monitor ingredients and manufacturing conditions. If manufacturing conditions, potential cross contact between foods, and ingredient derivatives pose a risk for you, please re-read all food labels and call the manufacturer to confirm potential allergen concerns beforeconsumption. Ingredients and manufacturing practices can change overnight and without warning.

43 Responses

  1. Emily says:

    Thank you so much for posting this recipe…it looks delicious! I know you test over and over with specific ingredients (thank you for that!) and how annoying it must be to get these replacement questions. I am not egg-free…can I use eggs (and almond milk in place of the rice milk)?

  2. Tricia says:

    Emily, 11/2 tsp ener-g and the rice milk is the equivalent of one egg. So if you can do egg you could try one egg. A box of enerG goes a long way and works great! It’s great to have on hand when you are out of eggs

  3. Jenine says:

    I have to make heart sugar cookies for my daughter preschool class to ice and decorate for her Valentine’s Party. Which of your sugar cookie recipes do you think would hold up best for this?
    Thank you!

  4. Cybele says:


    No worries, I don’t mind answering questions. Yes, you can use eggs and almond milk. This recipe would call for 1 egg. Thanks! And enjoy!


  5. Cybele says:

    Tricia, thanks for answering that. I agree, egg replacer is great to have on hand. It lasts forever!


  6. Cybele says:

    Jenine: I would do this recipe. Enjoy!

    • Jenine says:

      THANK YOU! These came out beautifully AND were delicious! They will hold up nicely to the preschoolers icing and decorating! The flavor/texture is the closest thing I have found yet to “Smiley Face” cookies that I remember getting at Eat N Park in Pittsburgh when I was a kid! Thank you for your continued work in making “safe” recipes….my kids thank you too!

  7. AmyE says:

    If I use all-purpose wheat flour, would I use the same measurement of flour(and of course exclude the xantham gum)?

  8. Hi Amy E, yes, use all purpose flour one for one. Hope you like them!


  9. Danielle says:

    These are beautiful!!

  10. Cybele says:

    Thank you, Danielle! Happy Valentine’s Day.

  11. Amie says:

    I’m making cutout cookies for my daughter’s kindergarten class for Valentine’s Day next week and wanted to try this recipe. But I live in a small town and cannot find any parchment paper. Can I just use wax paper to roll out the dough and chill them? I know not to use wax paper in the oven though; would I be able to just put them on nonstick cookie sheets then?

  12. Lucie says:

    I love your recipes, and we’ve tried the Rolled Brown Sugar Cookies, the Sunbutter cupcakes, both types of Chocolate cupcakes in your book, Gluten-Free Beer Bread, chocolate chip cookies, etc. All of those were really easy to make and very forgiving (of my inartful measuring)!

    For some reason, I couldn’t get the texture on this recipe right – it was really crumbly. My son can’t handle corn, so we use powdered sugar made with tapioca starch, instead of cornstarch. Was that the problem? We followed the directions and did not overchill.

    They did taste good, we just couldn’t cut them out with cookie cutters.

    • Hi Lucie:

      Did you change any of the ingredients? Did you use Authentic Foods flours? Please let me know everything you used.



      • Lucie says:

        I didn’t change any of the ingredients (other than the vegan powdered sugar I described) – that was what was so strange. I might have tried the “new!” butter-flavored Spectrum shortening, but I honestly can’t recall…

  13. Susan says:

    Cybele, I thought cream of tartar has corn as an ingredient. Like Xanthan Gum (by Authentic Foods), I wonder if cream of tartar is made without corn by anyone?
    Sincerely, Susan

  14. Sona says:

    I don’t have a stand mixer. Will a hand mixer work? And can you substitute earths balance spread for the shortening? Can’t wait to try this recipe for my daughters birthday party. Thank you!

  15. Jill says:


    I want to make this recipe, but everywhere you used any sort of symbol, only a tiny ? shows. So… is it 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 1/2 tsp egg replacer, 2 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 tsp xanthan gum.. 1/2″ thick???, 1 1/2 hours in fridge?

    Or are some of those 1/2’s maybe 1/4ths? Or something else?


    • cybele says:

      Hi, Jill:

      I need to fix this. I was hacked in September and am still picking up pieces. Thanks for letting me know!


      • Jill says:

        Do you mind telling me how much sugar, flour & xantham gum I need asap? Think I can figure out the rest.

        • cybele says:

          Hi Jill:

          I just fixed it. Enjoyl


          • Jill says:

            Thank you!!!! Just in time for me to take to Grandma’s for Thanksgiving… and to send back to my son’s dorm for Xmas. This is our first allergy free holiday season, so we are all learning. I appreciate your prompt responses. Can’t wait to taste!

  16. […] Allergy Free Rolled Sugar Cookies – from Cybele Pascal (DF, EF) […]

  17. Sarah says:

    Hello! My son can’t eat rice…any other flours I can use? I notice that your baking mix and Authentic Foods both use rice flour…

    I’m on the hunt for the perfect cut-out cookie so my son can enjoy decorating and eating Christmas cookies and I was hoping this was it!

    • cybele says:

      Hi Sarah:

      I’m going to give you an alternate flour mix that I came up with for those avoiding potato and rice, that I think your son can tolerate. It works very well in my recipes, and is a good all-purpose gf flour mix.

      1 1/2 cups Garfava Flour (garbanzo fava bean flour mix)
      1/2 cup Sorghum Flour
      2 cups Tapioca Starch
      2 cups Arrowroot Starch

      Hope that helps!

      Kind regards,


  18. Jen says:

    Hi…can I substitute canola oil for the shortening? Or a mixture of canola oil and applesauce? My husband can’t have any of the allergens you are avoiding as well as palm oil which is what is in the Spectrum Organic Vegetable Shortening. Trying to find a way to make sugar cookies, this is our first allergen free Christmas and I’m trying to keep the some of the same food traditions we always had!

    • cybele says:

      Hi Jen:

      No you need a solid shortening. Is solid coconut oil out too? If not, use the Earth Balance Coconut Oil that comes in the section with other spreads.


      Happy Holidays!


      • Jen says:

        Hi Cybele,
        Thanks for your quick reply! Yes, unfortunately coconut oil is out too. It is actually worse for him than the palm oil. We are without corn, palm, coconut, soy, gluten/wheat, dairy including egg and quite a few preservatives & food coloring. I have been able to make banana bread with canola oil but wasn’t sure how cookies would work, especially rolled cookies!

        Thanks again,

  19. Christine says:

    Hi Cybele,
    great recipe!! But when I made it I used King Arthur Gluten free flour, but I noticed the dough wouldn’t stick, I added an extra fake egg and it stuck and I was able to make cut outs, but after I took them out of the oven, the cookies expanded a lot out of shape…any suggestions if using King Arthur flour?

    • cybele says:

      Hi Chritine:

      You should add a little more flour mix, 1 tablespoon at a time. THe KA is not as fine a mesh, and less absorbent, so you need more of it. I’d try between 2-4 extra TBS of flour mix.

      Hope that helps.

      Happy Holidays!


  20. Christine says:

    Hi Cybele,
    I just got your recipes for Christmas, because my daughter just developed multiple food allergies (I’m nursing her so now I’m eating allergen free as well) and my husband developed a gluten intolerance. I had a complete meltdown with tears today because I was trying to make cutout Christmas cookies with my son and they turned out….like expanded greasy rocks. As far as I know I followed the recipe exactly except for this: I used Arrowhead Mills brown rice flour- is that why they were ruined? All I have access to for this Christmas week is that or maybe I can go buy some Bob’s Red Mill brown rice flour. 🙁 I also have King Arthur’s cookie mix and multi-purpose flour mix… I would love to fix this somehow before tomorrow afternoon when we were supposed to decorate them. He doesn’t know they were ruined. Help!

    • cybele says:

      Hi Christine:

      I’m so sorry that happened! Yes, Arrowhead Mills brown rice flour is the culprit. It is not superfine, and has almost no absorbency. If you can find the Bob’s Red Mill brown rice flour, I’d try making them again with that, and add 2 to 4 Tablespoons more than the recipe calls for. Maybe just go for the 4 Tablespoons extra to be safe.

      I hope it helps!

      all best,


      • Christine says:

        Thank you!! I will look for Bob’s Red Mill tomorrow after church, make them after 3 year old’s nap, and hopefully decorate tomorrow night or Monday. 🙂 The cookies are just for my husband, myself, and my son. Looking ahead to my daughter’s 1st birthday a week from Friday though… I’m trying to figure out how to make her first little cupcake nut free. In your cookbook you write that Authentic Food’s superfine brown rice flour isn’t made in a nut free facility…but their website says it is nut free? Is this a new development? Hopefully if I order soon it will arrive in time to make her cupcakes. If not, will the Ener-g flour work as well, or should I add more flour? If you can’t tell, this all happened to us very suddenly and I’m scrambling to catch up. Thank you so much for replying…

  21. Christine says:

    I should say, I was trying to make the brown sugar cookies in the cookbook. I’m sorry!

  22. Monica says:

    Tried these as well as the brown sugar roll outs for my nephews and every time they expand, get really flat and crumbly and not a solid cookie texture. I am able to roll them out for the most part but must work really fast or chill again before getting through all the dough. I used your mix using Bob’s Brown Rice Flour. Applesauce in place of Ener G and guar gum in place of Xantham for allergy reasons. Any suggestions?

    • cybele says:

      Hi Monica:

      So sorry to hear of your problems with the dough. Because these cookies are allergen-free, the chemistry of the recipe is very specific. These were developed using Ener G, which is an emulsifier, binder, and leavening. Changing that ingredient to apple sauce can certainly throw off the whole recipe. Guar gum shouldn’t make a difference. Bob’s flour is a little less fine, so I find when using my blend made with Bob’s I sometimes have to add anywhere from 2 to 4 Tablespoons extra flour mix to the recipe to get the cookies to keep their shape. If you try it again, please try adding more flour mix, 1 tablespoon at at time till dough is firm.

      all best,


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