Gluten-Free Brown Butter Sugar Cookies Recipe

Elevating the traditional holiday favorite, gluten-free browned butter sugar cookies redefine indulgence while continuing to act as the perfect cookie to decorate. More nuanced than the simple sugar cookie, these boast a more layered flavor profile, achieved through browning butter to perfection before adding it to the mix. The result is a sophisticated blend of nuttiness and caramelization and a harmonious balance between a crisp outer crust and a tender interior. Best for the holidays, these gluten-free cookies serve as a versatile canvas for creative shapes, making them the epitome of holiday decadence for every cookie lover.

5 from 2 votes

Gluten-Free Brown Butter Sugar Cookies

Introducing the cookie dough that has it all—good looks, superb flavor and texture, and the flexibility to become your holiday baking BFF. Roll it out and cut it, press it into shapes, or create your own incarnations. However you slice it, this sweet brown-buttery sensation by The San Francisco Ritz-Carlton pastry chef Cindy Falatic McIntosh is a sure thing. 

This recipe makes a small mountain of delicious, perfectly textured cookies with flavor hints of brown butter. But you can halve it or store unused cookie dough, wrapped in parchment paper then aluminum foil in a ziplock plastic bag, in the freezer for 3 months and pull it out anytime you want instant homemade-cookie gratification. We recommend using a light-colored saucepan when browning the butter because it’s easier to see how dark the butter is getting.

Servings 144 (2 1/2-INCH ROUND) COOKIES
Calories 44 kcal


  • 1 1/3 cups unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 3/4 cup white rice flour
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 ounces cream cheese softened and cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste or gluten-free pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Your favorite Royal Icing recipe optional


  1. Place 1/3 cup of the butter on a plate to soften. Cube the remaining 1 cup butter into 16 even pieces and transfer them to a light-colored saucepan over medium heat. Stir the butter with a rubber spatula, scraping the bottom of the pan as it melts. Once it starts foaming, stir until the foam subsides and the butter begins to turn light brown. Continue to cook until it starts to smell nutty and takes on a slightly darker color, 1 to 2 minutes. Watch to ensure the butter doesn’t get too dark. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately pour the butter into a heatproof container. Cool in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, until solid. 

  2. In a bowl, sift together the flours, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Reserve. 

  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or by hand, cream both of the reserved butters and the sugar until smooth. Mix in the eggs, scraping down the sides of the bowl, then mix in the cream cheese. Mix in the vanilla and lemon zest and scrape down the bowl again. Add the sifted ingredients and mix to combine. Scrape the batter into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 90 minutes or until the dough is firm enough to handle. 

  4. Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper and roll 1/4 inch thick. Cut cookies using a cookie cutter dipped in a neutral GF flour before each cut. Bake until the cookies are just start to color on top and are golden brown underneath, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool completely and decorate with royal icing. 

Nutrition Facts
Gluten-Free Brown Butter Sugar Cookies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 44 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Trans Fat 0.1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 8mg3%
Sodium 24mg1%
Potassium 18mg1%
Carbohydrates 6g2%
Fiber 0.2g1%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 72IU1%
Vitamin C 0.01mg0%
Calcium 4mg0%
Iron 0.1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Photography Chelsea McNamara / Styling Victoria Granof 

14 Comments on “Gluten-Free Brown Butter Sugar Cookies Recipe”

  1. Avatar for Jacqui Stockings

    Do you have a good substitute for oat flour? It’s not advised in Australia for coeliacs.

  2. Avatar for Erika

    Ah. Perhaps give rice flour a try. I haven’t tested it yet, so if you’re game, please let me know if it’s to your liking.

  3. Avatar for Anita

    The recipe comes up to print with it set to make 144 cookies. Is that correct? I adjusted it to 36 (3 doz) and the recipe portions became very small and troublesome to realistically measure. Is this meant to be a large batch recipe?

  4. Avatar for Erika

    These are small cookies. Half the recipe if you like or you can make fewer bigger cookies or easily freeze some of the dough!

  5. Avatar for Katja

    Hi! I don’t have (or want to use) xanthan gum. What would be the best substitute and how much? Thanks!

  6. Avatar for Elaine

    Your recipe scaler changes the values for VOLUME, but doesn’t change the values for WEIGHT of the ingredients.
    For example, the weight of brown rice flour stays at 150g even if you halve or double the recipe.

  7. Avatar for Erika

    There may be some texture difference; we haven’t tried it. But I’m betting it will be fine!

  8. Avatar for Barb

    I believe the photo accompanying this recipe is actually a photo of Linzer Cookies. It looks like they are decorated with powdered sugar. Is there a photo of the sugar cookies decorated with royal icing? Thank you!

  9. Avatar for Erika

    Hello! Sadly, we do not have an image to share right now. But this cookie can be used in any number of ways, including with royal icing or as a linzer!

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