Sugar Cookies That Work

Returning readers will know that sugar cookies have been my nemesis thus far. With a small kid in the house, this staple of childhood baking was sorely missing from our lives, and I was worried we’d hit Christmas without having cracked it. Lots of recipes promise rice flour-only short breads and sugar cookies that melt like butter and ice easily… don’t you believe it! We’ve gone through six or seven of the most popular search results and every one produced this crazy, sticky dough which wouldn’t form and when baked turned somehow both hard AND dusty. Not good!
We finally mastered it by mixing the nightshade free flour blend from with the beloved Beckie Excell’s sugar cookie recipe and then adapting it further. The resultant cookies are flavourful, crunchy in the right way, sturdy enough for little hands to grip without them crumbling to ash and definitely open to being iced. They have been so popular I’ve had to hide them and only take them out after meal times – you may want to do the same…

Sugar Cookies That Work

Recipe by The Limited Baker


Prep time


Cooking time






  • Dry ingredients
  • 200g rice flour (I use a brown/white rice mix, but you can do 100g of each)

  • 34g tapioca starch

  • 66g arrowroot starch

  • 100g caster sugar

  • 1/2 tsp xantham gum

  • Wet Ingredients
  • 100g hard baking margarine (I use Stork brand)

  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • 1.5tsp vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 375f/190c/170c with fan. Line two baking trays with non-stick baking parchment, or a silicone liner if you have one.
  • Cream the sugar and hard margarine together until it’s light and fluffy. If you have a small child, try to make sure they don’t eat it all… leave some for the cookies!
  • Add the beaten egg and vanilla extract slowly, mixing it in as you go
  • Add the flour and xantham gum, and mix until it becomes a dough you can pick up in a ball. If yours is still too sticky to handle easily, feel free to add a little more rice flour
  • Flour your work surface and rolling pin. Put the dough on your surface, and flour the top of the dough too. Roll it out to about 1cm thickness
  • Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes from the dough, and transfer cookies to baking parchment as you go.
  • When the tray is full, bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are starting to brown slightly
  • Et voila! Now the only hard part is waiting until they cool a little before eating…

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