Gluten-Free Holiday Cookies — From Classics to New Favorites!

Raising a little one again after so many years has put me right back in the thick of school parties, bake sales, and parent-teacher meetings. And I am struck by how many people — both big and little — are dealing with food allergies. My son has a peanut allergy, which, while we are always mindful of and on-alert for, has not really affected how I bake.

But those with a gluten intolerance? Now there’s a challenge. There is hardly ever a recipe in my collection that doesn’t call for some version of flour. And I’ve learned — the hard way — that you can’t “just” swap out flour for a gluten-free version and expect stellar results. Nope. There are tricks and tips to be learned, and I am super impressed with the level of ingenuity out there in creating truly delicious — and completely gluten-free — versions of mostly every traditional cake and cookie out there.

With the holidays officially upon us I’ve rounded up a whole bunch of classic holiday treats — along with some “new” favorites — that are gluten-free and totally delicious!

  • Gluten-Free Holiday Cookies! 1 of 23
    Gluten-free Holiday Cookies

    From gingerbread men to peanut butter cookies (fork marks and all!), you'll find a gluten-free version of every classic holiday cookie imaginable. And maybe even one or two new favorites to try!

  • Jam "Thumbprints" 2 of 23
    babble-Gluten-Free-Jam-Thumbprint-Cookies

    "Thumbprint" cookies get their name from the indent made in each cookie, which holds the filling. In this case it's either jam or crushed peppermint candies!

    Read how on Babble

  • Mexican Wedding Cakes 3 of 23
    babble-Gluten-Free-Mexican-Wedding-Cookies

    Buttery, sugary, sandy Mexican Wedding cookies are super-flaky, disappearing the moment they hit the tongue. This gluten-free version cuts no corners, resulting in a lightly sweet cookie you're sure to love!

    Read how on Babble

  • Shortbread 4 of 23
    babble-Gluten-Free-Shortbread

    I love the simplicity of shortbread — just a few ingredients and no fancy techniques, perfect with a cup of tea and sturdy enough to ship to far away friends. 

    Read how on Babble

  • PB and Nutella "Thumbprints" 5 of 23
    babble-Peanut-Butter-and-Nutella-Thumbprint-Cookies

    This gluten-free thumbprint cookie tastes like a peanut butter cup, filled with a rich dollop of Nutella in the center. Yes, please!

    Read how on Babble

  • 3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies 6 of 23
    Back-For-Seconds-3-Ingredient-Chewy-Peanut-Butter-Cookies

    Only three ingredients — peanut butter, brown sugar and an egg — get you to the finish line quickly for these classic cookies. Need more? Give 'em a dip in chocolate and some festive sprinkles for holiday cheer!

    Image and recipe courtesy of Back For Seconds

  • Coconut Cream Bars 7 of 23
    back-for-seconds-4-Ingredient-Coconut-Cream-Bars

    Got a Mounds lover on your list? She will love this gluten-free version, and so will you! No-bake and only four ingredients means you can make these on short notice and keep in the freezer so you're at the ready!

    Image and recipe courtesy of Back For Seconds

  • Peppermint Patties 8 of 23
    Back-For-Seconds-Peppermint-Patties

    Peppermint and chocolate are a classic combination — especially around the holidays! Another easy, no-bake recipe that is super easy to execute, with only a few ingredients!

    Image and recipe courtesy of Back For Seconds

  • Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies 9 of 23
    cafe-johnsonia-Chewy-Chocolate-Gingerbread-Cookies

    The traditional gingerbread cookie gets an upgrade here, with the addition of chocolate chips! This recipe is also vegan, and contains some great tips on how to bake successfully when going gluten-free.

    Image and recipe courtesy of Cafe Johnsonia

  • Chewy Spice Cookies 10 of 23
    Cafe-Johnsonia-Chewy-Spice-Cookies

    Another classic holiday treat — chewy spice cookies — go gluten-free AND vegan. Chopped candied ginger and a roll in some turbinado sugar add a pleasing heat and crunch. Go grab a cup of tea!

    Image and recipe courtesy of Cafe Johnsonia

  • Linzer Cookies 11 of 23
    cafe-johnsonia-Gluten-Free-Vegan-Linzer-Cookies

    I couldn't imagine a holiday dessert table without linzer cookies. Ground hazelnuts, warm spices and that jam filling? Holiday heaven.....

    Image and recipe courtesy of Cafe Johnsonia

  • "Almond Joy" Macaroons 12 of 23
    cupcakes-and-kale-chips-Almond-Joy-Macaroons

    These macaroons have it all - coconut, dark chocolate and almonds — proving that "gluten-free" doesn't mean sacrificing flavor or texture.

    Image and recipe courtesy of Cupcakes and Kale Chips

  • Fluffernutter "Thumbprints" 13 of 23
    cupcakes-and-kale-chips-Flourless-Fluffernutter-Thumbprint-Cookies

    Everyone's favorite childhood sandwich gets turned into a cookie in these charming — and flourless — treats!

    Image and recipe courtesy of Cupcakes and Kale Chips

  • Raspberry Almond Bars 14 of 23
    Jeanettes-Healthy-Living-Raspberry-Almond-Bars

    I love the ease and simplicity of bar cookies and always include one or two in my holiday baking line-up. These crumbly, jam-filled bars are made even easier thanks to gluten-free cookie mix!

    Image and recipe courtesy of Jeanette's Healthy Living

  • Bethmannchen Cookies 15 of 23
    masala-herb-Bethmännchen-Cookies

    Don't let the name scare you away! These traditional German holiday cookies are so easy to make, with only four ingredients —marzipan, honey, egg yolks and slivered almonds. These adorable treats would be perfect to make with your little helpers, who will love forming the cone-like shapes and adding the almond pieces.

    Image and recipe courtesy of Masala Herb

  • Almond Chocolate "Thumbprints" 16 of 23
    running-to-the-kitchen-Almond-chocolate-thumbprint-cookies

    Another "thumbprint" — this time, full of rich almond flavor and filled with a dollop of melted chocolate.

    Image and recipe courtesy of Running To The Kitchen

  • Chocolate Cashew Cookies 17 of 23
    Running-to-the-Kitchen-Chocolate-Cashew-Cookies

    These slice and bake cookies are part brownie, part sugar cookie, all good. Keep the unbaked "log" of dough in the freezer and just slice off what you need!

    Image and recipe courtesy of Running To the Kitchen

  • Caramel Oat Cookies 18 of 23
    shockingly-delicious-Flourless-Caramel-Oat-Cookies

    Rolled oats are the clever substitution for flour in these simple yet rich cookies, filled with the flavors of caramel and butterscotch.

    Image and recipe courtesy of Shockingly Delicious

  • Apricot Rosemary "Jewels" 19 of 23
    spa-bettie-Apricot-Rosemary-Cookies

    Woodsy rosemary lends an unexpected flavor to these buttery thumbprints. A sprinkling of colored sugar dresses them up for even the fanciest holiday party!

    Image and recipe courtesy of Spa Bettie

  • Gingerbread Men 20 of 23
    Texanerin-Baking-Soft-and-Chewy-Grain-free-Gingerbread-Men

    I don't know about you, but gingerbread men are a must-have for me at the holidays! This gluten-free version is filled with all of the flavors you'd expect, and a piping of melted white chocolate for good measure.

    Image and recipe courtesy of Texan Erin Baking

  • Chocolate Crackles 21 of 23
    babble-Gluten-Free-Chocolate-Crackles

    These easy-to-make cookies are perfect for kids to help with. They will love rolling the dough into balls and coating with powdered sugar. They would be perfect for a school party or holiday bake sale!

    Read how on Babble

  • Cake Pops 22 of 23
    babble-Gluten-Free-Cake-Pops

    How cute are these reindeer cake pops? A gluten-free cake is used to make the pops, followed by marzipan for the reindeer "parts"! 

    Read how on Babble

  • Chocolate Pretzel Treats 23 of 23
    babble-Gluten-Free-Chocolate-Pretzel-Holiday-Treats

    Another great party idea! All you need are gluten-free pretzels, white chocolate and crushed candy canes! Perfect for a goody bag or party favor too!

    Read how on Babble

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