Frosted Sugar Cookies

by Maggie on February 11, 2011

We made sugar cookies this week and it was oh so fun.

I love baking with my kids and sugar cookies are perfect because the kids can get so involved: mixing, measuring, pouring, rolling out the dough, playing with cookie cutters, and then decorating. It’s the perfect afternoon activity. And then we get a sweet reward at the end!

We used this recipe as our base, I made a few modifications (outlined in the updated recipe below) so I could make them egg-free and refined sugar-free. I don’t use vegan butter as I much prefer using coconut oil.

Once Callum and I mastered the sugar cookie dough, I had to figure out what we were going to use to ice these cute little hearts.


I am trying really hard to avoid icing sugar. It’s just so white and so refined. But Callum loves cookies with cute and colourful frosting. I’ve finally got a winner, he loves them and so do I! It may seem like a bit of a production, but trust me when I say this frosting is worth it.

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free Sugar Cookies

These truly are a delicious sugar cookie.  We loved them and I’m sure you will too, especially once topped with the frosting.

  • 1 ½ cups sorghum flour
  • ½ cup arrowroot flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp plus 1/2 tsp ground chia mixed with ¼ cup warm water (1/2 tsp replaces xanthan gum or guar gum)
  • ½ cup coconut oil, liquefied
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup or agave
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a cookie tray with parchment or a silpat.
2. Sift sorghum flour, arrowroot flour, baking soda, baking powder, and sea salt in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
3. Combine ground chia with water in a large bowl. Let sit 5 minutes.
4. Add coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla.
5. Add dry ingredients to wet and stir until well combined.  Shape dough into a ball, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
6. Cut the dough in half and return half of it to the fridge.  Roll half of the dough onto floured surface (the thicker the better, probably about ¼ inch thickness).
7. Cut into shapes using floured cookie cutters.  Repeat the process with remaining half of dough.
8. Bake cookies for 8-10 min at 375 degrees.
9. Let the cookies cool to touch on the tray and then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Let cool completely before frosting, you might even want to chill cookies prior to frosting so it doesn’t melt on contact.
Decorate them as your little heart desires. We decorated ours with the frosting recipe below. Keep refrigerated once frosted.

Yield: 20-24 cookies

Refined Sugar-Free Frosting Recipe

This frosting is awesome.  It works on cupcakes too!

  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • ½ cup coconut oil, liquefied
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 4 tbsp full fat coconut milk (canned)
  • Pinch of sea salt

1. Use an immersion blender to combine all of the ingredients.
2. Refrigerate to harden, remove after 15 minutes – you want the coconut oil to harden just a little bit, too much and you’ll have to warm it up again!
3. Blend very well and spread approximately 1 tsp on each cookie.
4. Refrigerate to harden.  It will set at room temperature, but it’s best to put the frosted cookies in the fridge.

We used India Tree Natural Decorating Colours to make our frosting a perfect pink colour!

Want more icing-sugar-free frosting recipes? Check out Ricki’s or Elana’s.

And if you’re new to the wonderful world of chia (other than chi-chi-chi-chia pets), you have to check out Lexie’s Kitchen and Gluten-Free Girl. These two wonderful women are changing the gluten-free world we live in, one recipe at a time!

This post is linked to:
Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays
Full Plate Thursday
Baked Bree’s Valentine Linky Party


{ 69 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristin @ Peace, Love and Muesli February 11, 2011 at 8:16 am

So excited! I’m going to try it this weekend.

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Maggie February 11, 2011 at 8:27 am

Woo hoo! Let me know how she goes – cookies or frosting? Or both?!

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Ricki February 11, 2011 at 9:38 am

Those cookies are so pretty! Thanks for the link to my frosting, too. :) I have a sugar-free sugar cookie recipe on my blog that is so similar (I used spelt flour back then) and it is one of my all-time favorite recipes. I am going to have to try this GF version–and love that you can color your frosting such a lovely pink. :)

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Maggie February 11, 2011 at 11:39 am

Thanks Ricki! Great minds think alike on the need for refined sugar-free frosting! We used India Tree natural food dye to colour our icing – Callum LOVES the mixing part.

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Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) February 11, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Love the cookies! They are super cute. My kids love doing sugar cookies with me too. I need to make some soon.

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Maggie February 11, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Thanks Sarena! Hope you guys have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Yael February 11, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Are there any flours I could use in place of the sorghum? I don’t mind experimenting with taste, but I’m not up to speed on which flours are close to the…hm…”weight” (?) of others. Also, w/r/t to the chia–is there any way to use ground flaxseed instead?

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Maggie February 11, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Hi Yael – You could use brown rice flour – it’s often a sub for sorghum. You could try quinoa too – though it will change the taste. Definitely try ground flax for the egg replacer (use 2 1/2 tbsp of ground flax combined with 3 tbsp of water). And then just use 1/2 tsp guar or xanthan gum. Let me know how they turn out!

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Charu November 1, 2013 at 5:04 pm

Thanks for the tip, Maggie. I tried the flax and xanthan gum substitute for this recipe and it worked out great! My 4 year old with multiple food allergies loved making them in animal shapes.

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Maggie November 2, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Yay! That’s so great, I love it when kiddies are happy. Thanks for letting me know!
Maggie

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Teresa Ingley February 11, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Thank you for this recipe! I have been looking for a long time for sugar cookies without the refined sugar. If I was to use eggs, would I use one and also add some xanthum gum?
Thank you!

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Maggie February 11, 2011 at 12:25 pm

You’re welcome Teresa! Yep, try one egg and xanthan gum (I’ve never made them this way, but the original recipe called for 1 egg). Let me know how they turn out – and you MUST try the frosting!

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Christine February 11, 2011 at 12:47 pm

I’m always so excited to find refined sugar free versions of icings – I have definitely bookmarked this for future use!

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Maggie February 11, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Hi Christine – I am always on the lookout for refined sugar-free icings too! Hope you like this one. It’s good because it hardens so it’s great for cookies!

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Andrea (Andreas Kitchen) February 11, 2011 at 1:08 pm

I am so excited about this recipe! I haven’t converted my old sugar cookie recipe to GF yet, but this will be fun to test these at the same time. My intention is to convert my old recipes and make them perfect, then I can work on making them healthier from there. It is boggling how much information and how many choices there are for ingredients in our allergy free baking world! We are all just mad baking scientists conducting experiments!
Have a great weekend!

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Maggie February 11, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Hi Andrea – It’s fun to convert recipes, isn’t it? It’s the challenge! And I like being called a mad baking scientist – I never thought I’d be considered a scientist though :)

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Zoe February 11, 2011 at 2:08 pm

I’m amazed! That frosting looks fantastic and it looks SO easy, too! One other thing that didn’t make me keen about sugar-laden icings was the seemingly copious amount of sugar required, so yours is awesome. :) I’ll need to keep an eye out for that company you use now so that I can make some coloured frostings, etc…red velvet cake?

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Maggie February 11, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Thanks Zoe! I bought mine through Amazon, but you can also get it through Golda’s Kitchen. I think it’s in Mississauga. Yes! Red velvet cake, or cupcakes!

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Beth February 11, 2011 at 2:36 pm

These look so, so wonderful and perfect for V-day! I can’t wait to try your glaze/frosting recipe : )

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Maggie February 11, 2011 at 3:10 pm

Thanks Beth. They are a pretty cute Valentine’s Day treat! I think the frosting would go well with your brownies too!

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Susan February 11, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Maggie! I have been dying for a refined sugar free sugar cookie recipe with RS free frosting too! I tried the Baby cakes one, and it tasted like straight coconut instead of vanilla. How did yours taste? Can you taste a ton of coconut, or does it taste more like vanilla?

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Maggie February 11, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Hi Susan! I’ve tried the Babycakes one too and it was okay. This one is slightly coconutty, more so than vanilla-y. Though I should tell you that I am not a fan of coconut flavor. I’ll take a strawberry daquiri over a pina colada any day. Does that help?

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Miz Helen February 11, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Hi Maggie,
I am so excited to see you here today and you brought these wonderful Frosted Sugar Cookies. They look so pretty, and I would just love to have one that has that great frosting all over it. Thank you so much for bringing them to Full Plate Thursday and please come back!

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Maggie February 12, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Thanks Miz Helen!

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Alisa Cooks February 11, 2011 at 7:51 pm

These look simply amazing Maggie, and I love the frosting recipe!

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Maggie February 12, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Thanks Alisa! I was super excited when the frosting recipe turned out so well!

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Iris February 11, 2011 at 10:58 pm

Those look wonderful, Maggie! I’ve really been wanting a sugar cookie lately, what with all the heart-shaped cookies at the grocery store…

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Maggie February 12, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Hi Iris – I know! That’s why I was so happy to come up with something – Callum always asks for sugar cookies when he sees them in the store or at a cafe. It kills me to say no so often! Now I can make him some at home.

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The Teenie Foodie February 12, 2011 at 2:00 am

These looks absolutely gorgeous! They remind me of the cookies I made when I was little with sprinkles and icing. This icing recipe looks perfect, Im still on the hunt for an easy one and this sounds great! Thanks :-)

Teenie Foodie

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Susan February 12, 2011 at 11:08 am

It does help. :) I don’t mind coconut flavor, but not when I want vanilla, you know? Hmm. It’s worth a try! They look great! :) Thanks again, Maggie. As always, you are super rad.

P.S. I got my book last week. Thank you again!

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Andrea February 12, 2011 at 11:58 am

Wow! That icing…sound so good. I might have to go out and buy the ingredients before the 14th. :)

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Kim - Cook It Allergy Free February 13, 2011 at 9:51 pm

Happy Valentine’s Day, Maggie girl!! You and Callum definitely came up with the perfect treat!! I love these! And I am totally trying out that icing recipe. It looks so good and so easy too! You are such a sweet mama and it sounds like you guys had a blast with these!
xo
kim

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Maggie February 14, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Thanks Kim! Happy Valentine’s Day to you too :) We used the recipe today for cupcakes. Oh my, they were delightful! xo

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Susan February 14, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Hey Maggie! I just used this frosting recipe and it was so tasty! You were right, not too much coconut flavor. My consistency was not like yours. It was a little flakier, but delicious! Thank you for such an easy recipe!

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Maggie February 14, 2011 at 7:37 pm

Yay Susan! Thank you so much for telling me! I wonder why it was a little flakier? Maybe yours cooled faster? Play around with it and I think you’ll find the perfect consistency. Hope everyone loved it!

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Valerie @ City|Life|Eats February 14, 2011 at 5:40 pm

THank you for stopping by. The chocolate curry bites are unusual. Part of me thinks that they might be better with more sweetener, but I happen to like really intense dark chocolate, so they work for me. :) They are super easy to make too!

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Susan February 14, 2011 at 10:30 pm

I think I kept it in the fridge too long and I didn’t use coconut milk.i think that was the real reason. I used cashew milk instead, and I think that was what caused it. Still tasty though.

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Maggie February 16, 2011 at 6:41 pm

Ah yes, the timing is everything! If it happens again, try adding a bit more liquefied coconut oil. I think the creaminess of coconut milk is key too. I’ve never used cashew milk so I’m not sure what it’s like. Thanks for sharing Susan!

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Kirsten February 16, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Hey Maggie! It’s been ages since I’ve been by- probably because we changed our computer and have yet to refresh the rss feeds. Anyways I’ve totally been missing out and I’m so glad I popped by. Thanks for the recipe- I’ll be sure to try it this weekend with the kids!
Take care and all the best, Kirsten (a.k.a. Miss Dropsie). :)

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Maggie February 19, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Hey Kirsten! So glad you’re back. Hope you had fun getting caught up on everything you missed :)

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Miz Helen February 16, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Congratulations Maggie, you are featured on Full Plate Thursday this week 2-17-11. Please stop by and pick up your Red Plate…hope to see you soon.

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Maggie February 19, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Hi Helen – Thank you so much!

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Gigi February 23, 2011 at 9:36 am

Maggie,
I LOVE this recipe – so pretty in pink on those cookies!! I need to get on board with the coconut oil thing…must buy some.

~Gigi :)

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Maggie February 23, 2011 at 5:14 pm

Hi Gigi – Thanks! I know, isn’t the color adorable? I was thrilled. You definitely need to hop on the coconut oil train. I am addicted to it. Get organic if you can, definitely worth it.

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Alta March 4, 2011 at 10:07 pm

Sugar free frosting? These look great! Yum.

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Wendy Plache June 6, 2011 at 8:27 am

So how did the cupcake frosting go? And how would you make this into a chocolate frosting??? ;-)

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Maggie June 6, 2011 at 10:04 am

Hey Wendy, thanks for reminding me to update the post! It worked fine on cupcakes. It’s not your traditional cupcake frosting obviously but it was still delicious. Just be sure to keep the frosted cupcakes chilled until 30 minutes before you’re ready to serve (depending on how warm your house is or the weather is). To make it chocolate you’ll just have to play with it. I haven’t yet so you’re guess is as good as mine. I would play with both cocoa powder and melted chocolate (since it hardens back up). Hope you enjoy it. Let us know if you give it a go!

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wendy plache May 15, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Thanks, Maggie. I did play w/it, and decided to try melted chocolate, since I had some already. Actually, what I had was a coconut milk chocolate ganache. It worked wonderfully!!! Thanks!

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Ari December 7, 2011 at 2:20 am

I loved these cookies! Best GF sugar cookies I’ve tried. They tasted (and the texture reminded me of) grahmn crackers. :) Mmm…:) The frosting didn’t work for me though-I followed it except used agave…could that be the problem? I wanted more of neutral vs. maple flavor I’m guessing that’s what happened? Or maybe I left it in the fridge to long? I blended it up with my mixer and it just became globs of “butter”–tiny ones…and then if you warm it at all or let it sit–you get lots of liquid pulling away from that. :( Any ideas…?

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Maggie December 7, 2011 at 8:25 am

Hi Ari – I’m so happy you love the cookies, what a compliment :) I’ve tried to make the icing in my mixer too and I just find it works better with an immersion blender. I had the same problem last week when I tried to make it for our gingerbread cookies. Our immersion blender broke in the Summer so I had to use my mixer (though I couldn’t find my whip attachment, maybe that would do the trick). It might work better in a blender. I think it really needs to be emulsified. Sorry it didn’t work out for you, I hope it still tasted good and you were able to use it somehow instead of throw it out. Do you have an immersion blender?

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glutenfreeforgood February 13, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Wow, those are beautiful cookies. Perfect hearts! Did they all come out that way? =) Beet juice makes for good red food color. And chlorophyll makes good green (come St. Patrick’s day). I’ll be looking for some healthy clover cookies here next month!
Melissa

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Maggie February 13, 2012 at 7:49 pm

Why thank you Melissa! Of course they all came out that way :) I’m afraid to use spirulina, won’t the icing taste like it? I’ll get to work on the clover cookies!

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Kaitlin March 23, 2012 at 1:05 pm

In the frosting can you replace the coconut milk for almond milk?

I was just wondering because we don’t have any coconut milk in the house. we normally have almond milk!

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Maggie March 24, 2012 at 11:08 am

Hi Kaitlin – I think you could use almond milk, perhaps just a little less since it’s not nearly as thick as coconut milk. Let us know how it goes!

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Sarah August 18, 2012 at 7:12 pm

oooooh I’m going to have to try these! The frosting sounds heavenly!

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Sophia September 26, 2012 at 8:21 pm

Yum! :) I am going to try these gluten free cookies out. Im new to gluten free and read here http://www.xanthangumsubstitute.com that I could use Guar Gum instead of Xanthan gum. I have some left over guar gum so Im going to use this recipe as a base and see how it goes. Thanks for the great info Maggie!

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Maggie October 1, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Hi Sophia! I’m sure your cookies turned out great – I often use xanthan gum and guar gum interchangeably. Let me know how they turned out!

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AJ December 7, 2012 at 11:17 am

Hi Maggie! I just mixed these and popped them in the fridge for making with my little one tonite! The resting turned out great. The cookie dough appears to be quite loose, however. I doubled the recipe and used two T of chia with 1/2 cup water. Should i have just used the 1/4 cup with the called for chis? Maybe it just needs to set up in the fridge a bit? Or maybe more sorghum flour?

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AJ December 7, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Goodness…pardon my above spelling errors! I’m always typing quickly w a little one at my feet. Anyway, they set up! I will be baking these a little later. Thanks again for the fun recipe!

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Maggie December 9, 2012 at 6:50 pm

Yay AJ! Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner. I hope you and your babe had fun with these. Thanks for following up!

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harpchick December 26, 2012 at 5:16 pm

Thanks so much for this recipe! I used an egg instead of the chia – and the original 1/2 tsp of xanthan gum too. They were a little hard to roll out when the dough was cold but once the dough warmed it was easier. They were such a lovely delicate texture and the frosting melts in your mouth!

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Maggie January 2, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Thanks for sharing! I’m so glad you enjoyed the cookies.
Happy New Year,
Maggie

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Frances February 5, 2013 at 6:22 pm

can’t wait to make these for my daughter to decorate/eat this year at preschool so she doesn’t feel left out from all the Valentine’s party fun! Just wondering when you say “coconut milk” for your recipe if you’re referring to the coconut milk beverage (eg tetra pack stuff I put on my cereal) or the canned coconut milk (eg Red Rooster stuff I put on my thai curry)? I have both, just checking which you’re referring to. Also, if I make the icing ahead and give it to the teachers for my daughter to use to decorate her cookies (while the rest of the class uses traditional/refined sugar icing), how far ahead should they pull it out of the fridge to warm it up? Any other special tips for getting the consistency right if the icing is refrigerated for a few days ahead of time? Thanks!

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Maggie February 6, 2013 at 10:46 am

Hi Frances – I mean the canned coconut, thanks for the question. I’ll fix the recipe to clarify. If you’re giving it to them on the day the icing will be used, I would consider just leaving it out of the fridge in a room temperature spot. Otherwise, they might want to take it out half an hour before. Sounds like she’s in a great school!
Have a great day,
Maggie

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AJ February 11, 2013 at 8:21 pm

These were delicious! I’m making them again, Maggie;). I have a hard time finding arrowroot – I’ve found one local health food store that carries it. I think I’m going to start ordering it online…I seem to go through it quickly…your chocolate chip cookies with a twist cause me to run out of it often!;). I know it isn’t as healthy, but would cornstarch work as a sub for these sugar cookies? I’m not so sure tapioca or potato starch would suffice?

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Maggie February 12, 2013 at 8:56 am

Thanks AJ! I think cornstarch would work too. I haven’t used it, but it’s quite baking friendly :) Let us know how it goes!

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AJ February 12, 2013 at 9:16 am

Ok, thanks,Maggie! I will. I actually just ordered some arrowroot on amazon but need it before the 14th;). Anyway, I continue to enjoy your recipes! I think I’ve mentioned before that even if my daughter grows out of her allergies, I’m not going back to dairy or gluten!!

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Barbara February 14, 2013 at 3:40 pm

I made these for my Callum’s (!) safe Valentine’s treat for school today and they turned out great! I used flax, but otherwise followed the recipe. These taste a little like graham cracker cookies, as someone mentioned,, rather than traditional sugar cookies, but in a good way! They are by far the best GF/vegan cookie we’ve tried for using with cookie cutters. They held their shape perfectly! Thank you!

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Maggie February 15, 2013 at 10:24 am

Hi Barbara! Thanks so much for letting me know! What a lovely name your son has :) I need to try these as graham crackers. My kids would LOVE some smores!
Thanks so much for your positivity!
Have a great weekend,
Maggie

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