Jack-o-lanterns, bats, and colored sprinkles – oh my! Soft, cake-like gluten-free Halloween sugar cookies make the perfect Halloween treat. Wouldn’t you agree?
This recipe was featured in the 2017 September/October issue of Gluten Free & More magazine.
Not only are these gluten-free Halloween sugar cookies a spook-tacular edible table decoration, they’re a fun activity to do with your little ones. These are gluten-free, dairy-free, and loaded with deliciousness.
These gluten-free Halloween sugar cookies were originally published in my cookbook, published as frosted sugar cookies. They’ve been a favorite of ours for many years. Gluten-free frosted sugar cookies are my husbands favorite dessert and I’ve been baking them for him since we met.
There are so many types of gluten-free sugar cookies out there. When choosing a recipe, look for one that matches the description of what you are expecting. If you want a crunchy sugar cookie, this gluten-free Halloween sugar cookie recipe isn’t for you.
These are soft, like the soft frosted sugar cookies you find at a bakery or in the grocery store.
There’s a trick to getting them this soft, though. When they first come out of the oven they are initially soft, but they firm up a bit when they cool because some of the moisture is released into the air during the cooling process. It’s after you frost them that they become perfectly soft. The frosting adds moisture back into the cookie.
I like to frost these cookies and let them sit overnight before I serve them. It gives it the perfect amount of time to soften.
How to decorate sugar cookies?
I’m no cookie artist but I’d say these cookies look pretty darn cute, wouldn’t you? I made a batch of frosting and dyed it orange. Before frosting the cookies with my homemade frosting I used pre-made colored decorators frosting and outlined the faces.
Anytime I messed up a cookie I covered it in sprinkles (I’m such a cheater when it comes to decorating cookies). I also used the leftover dough, or any dough I didn’t want to cut into shapes, and made round cookies which are super easy to decorate.
You don’t have to cut your cookies into shapes if you don’t want to – you can make round cookies. To make round cookies simply scoop dough, roll it into a ball and press it flat onto the cookie sheet. After they bake and cool, frost and decorate. Easy, right?
Where did you get your decorations?
I’ve had a few people reach out to me after the magazine published these photos and ask me where I got my Halloween decorations. I purchased some of them from the dollar store! They often have cute and unique decorations at super low prices (a dollar).
The other decorations came from a few years ago when a friend of mine decorated my cubical office at work. It was Harry Potter themed, and the cutest office decorations I had seen. Naturally I had to save them for food photography.
Don’t be intimidated to make your own gluten-free frosted sugar cookies for Halloween. They are super simple to make, and you can decorate them any way that you like. You could even just use colored frosting. I recommend orange and black for gluten-free Halloween sugar cookies.
Looking for more cookie recipes? You might like my Gluten-Free White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies, or my Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies. If you want to stick with Halloween themed cookies then check out these Gluten Free Mummy Cookies from What the Fork Food Blog.
If you make these gluten-free Halloween sugar cookies please stop back by and let me know what you thought!
- 2/3 cup vegetable shortening
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 4 teaspoons dairy-free milk
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose gluten-free flour blend
- 1 1/2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1/2 cup dairy-free butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2-4 tablespoons dairy-free milk
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line two cookies sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, cream shortening, sugar, vanilla, and egg. Stir in milk.
3. In a separate bowl, mix rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum.
4. Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing until combined. Using hands, roll dough into one big ball and place between two large pieces of parchment paper.
5. Using a rolling pin, roll dough out until ½ inch in thickness.
6. Using cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Gently remove the extra dough around the cookies, and transfer the cookies to a parchment lined baking sheet.
7. Gather remaining dough into a ball, and repeat until all dough is used.
8. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the centers are set.
9. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack until completely cool.
10. To make frosting, in a medium mixing bowl, cream butter and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar. Alternate one cup of powdered sugar with one tablespoon dairy-free milk until all ingredients are combined. Beat in additional dairy-free milk if needed to obtain desired consistency.
11. If desired, divide frosting into bowls and add food coloring.
12. Frost and decorate cookies.
13. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.