Best Gluten-Free Christmas Cookie Recipes

These cookies omit the gluten, but keep the spirit of the season

Eating gluten-free doesn't mean you need to give up the holiday tradition of baking Christmas cookies — if anything, most people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity bake more often around the holidays than they once did, since it's tough to find store-bought gluten-free treats specifically created for the season.

Fortunately, excellent gluten-free Christmas cookie recipes abound online. Here's my roundup of some of the best ones I've found.


Gluten-Free Almond Biscotti

almond biscotti and wine
Dorling Kindersley / Getty Images

You can make both a plain almond version of these biscotti, plus one with chocolate chips. Either way, they're perfectly suited for dunking in eggnog, coffee, or gluten-free hot chocolate on a winter's evening. And the best part is, they only contain 73 calories each, so you don't have to worry about indulging. 


Gluten-Free Gingerbread House

Getty Images/Dimitri Vervitsiotis

Feeling more adventurous than mere cookies can accommodate? You may be ready for a major construction project: a gluten-free gingerbread house. You can bake one from scratch using a gluten-free gingerbread recipe (this recipe from King Arthur Flour makes dough that's sturdy enough to build a house), or use a mix (here's one good option). Top it off with gluten-free candy and you could have a prizewinner (if it lasts that long!).


Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies

holiday sugar cookies
Lew Robertson / Getty Images

The holidays wouldn't be the same without sugar cookies cut out in the shape of reindeer, snowflakes and Santa Claus. This recipe from Betty Crocker (using that brand's gluten-free flour mix) easily adapts our favorite cookies for the gluten-free diet. For decoration, use a combination of gluten-free candy and gluten-free sprinkles (Let's Do Organic offers gluten-free "sprinkelz").


Low-Carb, Sugar-Free Cranberry Walnut Cookies

low-carb cranberry walnut cookies
© Judy Barnes Baker

You'd never know these cookies are low in carbs and sugar-free, they're so delicious. They're sweetened with stevia and use almond flour, which pairs nicely with the cranberries. Make certain to use a gluten-free protein powder with this recipe.


Gluten-Free Girl's Honey Spice Madeleines

Iliana Mestari / Getty Images

Madeleines are a type of French cookie, and one I particularly enjoyed in my pre-gluten-free days. Shauna James Ahern, the author of the "Gluten Free Girl" blog and co-author (with her husband) of Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef, created these amazing-looking madeleines by adapting them from a French cookbook. With ginger, cloves, and honey, they should make a delicious holiday treat.


12 Days of Gluten-Free Christmas Cookie Recipes

Getty Images/Annabelle Breakey

Over at the gluten-free blog She Let Them Eat Cake, Maggie has posted 12 days of gluten-free Christmas cookie recipes. The chocolate peppermint wafer cookies look the best to me (although the pistachio cranberry biscotti run a close second). Readers also have contributed some recipes, providing some interesting new options for holiday baking.


Pecan Cranberry Bars from Elana's Pantry

I love cranberries and eat very few grains, and so these grain-free, agave-sweetened treats with orange zest from definitely appeal to me. Instead of a grain-based cookie base, the bars use a mixture of dates and pecans combined in a food processor with grape seed oil and sea salt.


Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

These peanut butter cookies aren't just for Christmas, but your family and friends will enjoy them anyway if you include them on your holiday cookie plate. Make sure to use a high-quality, gluten-free peanut butter, since the peanut butter is literally the star of this show. I like Justin's Nut Butter (which is certified gluten-free).


Gluten-Free Lemon Bars

Tart lemon bars (which these are) can serve as a counterpoint to sugar cookies or other very sweet treats on your holiday cookie platter. These take some prep time, since you have to bake the almond flour crust, blend the filling and then bake the bars again, but they're worth it.

A Word from Verywell

Holidays can be tough emotionally when you follow the gluten-free diet, since you won't be able to enjoy most of the treats served by others. But having your own gluten-free cookies can help, especially if they're varieties that you particularly like.

You may even find that your family and friends enjoy them too... and you don't even need to tell them the cookies are gluten-free.

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