Whole Living Daily

Allergen-Free Sugar Cookies for Valentine's Day

Posted by

This recipe is for Harriet, who asked for dairy-free, egg-free sugar cookies she could roll and cut out with her kids, and Nancy, who requested a corn-free recipe last May (!). I’ve also made it gluten-free, for those avoiding gluten. And of course, it’s nut-free too! Which means, it’s a great all-purpose recipe for folks trying to come up with safe, allergen-free treats for school Valentine's Day parties!

Sugar cookies are a particular favorite of mine, so I jumped at the opportunity to come up with a new recipe. In the past, I’ve made recipes for Rolled Maple Sugar Cookies, rolled brown sugar cookies, and plain old sugar cookies made with granulated sugar. I wanted something more tender this time around, so I opted for confectioners’ sugar, which gives these cookies that sought-after melt-in-your mouth feel.

Palm oil shortening stands in for butter, my go-to superfine brown rice flour mix replaces wheat flour, and Ener-G replaces the egg.

To be sure they are truly kid-friendly, I gave the cookies a test run yesterday at my son’s play date with Oliver, who has no food allergies. I served the boys the cookies, without revealing they were special. Oliver ate four, and then asked if he could bring two home: one for him, one for his sister. Success!

What recipe would you like made allergy-free? Leave me a comment below. And please note, that this blog is now bi-monthly. See you in two weeks!

1 of 6

1 Cut out the dough with festive heart-shaped cutters.

2 Place them on parchment-lined baking sheets.

3 If using decorating sugars, this is time to sprinkle them

4 Baked! Now's the time to let them cool

5 If decorating with icing, let them rest a couple hours to fully dry

6 A tasty, allergen-free treat for Valentine's Day

Melt-in-Your-Mouth Allergy-Free Sugar Cookies

Makes 24

A family favorite, these beautiful cookies are “buttery” and tender. Plus, they’re vegan, so you can have a taste as you mix. Bake them unadorned, dress them up with sanding sugar, or go all out and decorate them with icing for a truly festive treat!


1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar (Wholesome Sweeteners makes a corn-free variety)

1 cup Spectrum Organic Vegetable Shortening

1 ½ tsp Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 2 Tbsp rice milk

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 ¼ cups Authentic Foods GF Classical Blend or my Basic Gluten-Free Flour Mix

½ tsp xanthan gum (Authentic Foods makes a corn-free variety)

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cream of tartar

1/8 tsp salt

White Icing, optional (recipe follows)

Decorating sugar, optional (India Tree makes all-natural dye-free sugars)

1.      Combine confectioners’ sugar and vegetable shortening in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat on medium speed, until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.

2.      Add egg replacer and vanilla extract. Mix well.

3.      Measure flour, using a large spoon to scoop flour into the measuring cup, then level it off with the back of a knife. Whisk with the xanthan gum, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt.

4.      Add flour mixture to sugar mixture, beating on medium-low speed, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary, until thoroughly combined. The dough will begin to ball in the center.

5.      Lay out two sheets of parchment paper. Divide the dough evenly between the two sheets of parchment, using a rubber spatula to get it all out of the mixer bowl. Mold dough into two disks. Cover with a second sheet of parchment, and roll out to ¼-inch thickness. Put rolled dough on baking trays or cutting boards and chill 1 ½ hours in the fridge; don’t chill much longer or it will become brittle.

6.      Preheat oven to 350°F.

7.      Remove dough from fridge and let rest 5 minutes. Remove top sheet of parchment and cut out cookies into shapes with your favorite cookie cutters. Transfer to parchment-lined baking trays. Gather up remaining scraps of dough and mold into a disk. (You may need to work it a bit with your hands to make it pliable again.) Roll to 1/4-inch thick between two sheets of parchment. Roll and cut until you’ve used it all. Bake unadorned or sprinkle with decorating sugar.

8.      Bake cookies in center of oven for 10 minutes. Let cool on baking tray for 10 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. Let cool completely before icing.

White Icing:

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

4 Tbsp rice milk (add more as necessary, until smooth enough to spread easily)

Decorating sugar (India Tree makes all-natural dye-free sugars)

1.    Combine confectioners’ sugar and rice milk and mix until smooth. Ice cookies, then sprinkle immediately with decorating sugar. Let rest a couple hours until icing sets.

2.   Store in an airtight container. These also freeze well.

Melt-in-Your-Mouth Allergy-Free Sugar Cookies

© 2011 by Cybele Pascal

(Please note that all my recipes are completely free of all top allergens (wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, fish, shellfish, and gluten), so as many people as possible can enjoy them. Additionally, all the ingredients are available at Whole Foods, and online at Amazon.com. If you have trouble finding something, let me know and I’ll help you find it.)

SAFETY NOTE: Because each person's food sensitivity and reaction is unique, ranging from mild intolerance to life-threatening and severe food allergies, it is up to the consumer to monitor ingredients and manufacturing conditions. If manufacturing conditions, potential cross contact between foods, and ingredient derivatives pose a risk for you, please re-read all food labels and call the manufacturer to confirm potential allergen concerns beforeconsumption. Ingredients and manufacturing practices can change overnight and without warning.

Cybele Pascal is the award-winning author of "The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook" and the "Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook." She lives in Los Angeles with her food-allergic family: husband Adam, sons Lennon and Monte, and their dogs, Izzie and Carly (who also has food allergies). Please visit her website at CybelePascal.com.

Related Posts:

Comments (22)

  • I've made your cupcakes for a friend of my son's birthday party a couple times. They turned out great!

  • Thanks Jerri! Always great to hear feedback on my recipes.

    Kindest regards,


  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Cybele Pascal, Whole Living. Whole Living said: New Blog Post: Allergen-Free Sugar Cookies for Valentine's Day http://ow.ly/1b8hMs [...]

  • [...] Allergen-Free Sugar Cookies for Valentine's Day - Whole Living ... This recipe is for Harriet, who asked for dairy-free, egg-free sugar cookies she could roll and cut out with her kids, and Nancy, who requested a corn-free recipe last May (!). I've also made it gluten-free, for those avoiding gluten [...]

  • Thanks Cybele I'll try it!
    my husband has to follow a strict hypo allergenic diet for a few weeks all the allergens you leave out in your book plus yeast, potato and corn!:(
    I'd like to find a pancake recipe .. Not sure what to use instead of potato starch in your flour blend? Thank you I soo appreciate your help!

  • [...] a new “step” like rolling out the dough he was game to help. I used a just recently posted recipe from allergy-free cooking guru, Cybele Pascal where she writes a regular column for M... If you didn’t know this quick tip; Martha is VERY allergy friendly. She has “allergy [...]

  • Regarding the basic muffin recipe I requested, I just wanted to give you some feedback from the trenches. I told you I thought the Gingerbread muffins to be a bit too apple-y, but my kids don't agree. I've been making those, leaving out the ginger, and substituting chocolate chips for the raisins. For blueberry, my kids don't seem to like the texture of the millet, and they've requested that I make blueberry using the same recipe as the "chocolate chip" muffins. So....our Basic Muffin Mix is the Gingerbread Muffins minus the ginger. Subbing in what ever for the raisins. Thanks!

  • I would love an idea for something sweet for valentine's day that doesn't have too many random (i.e. not cheap or easily accessible) ingredients. I am currently on a hypo-allergenic diet and cannot have dairy, gluten, citrus, and a few other things including sugar (though I can have stevia and molasses). Any suggestions for cookies, brownies, or something sweet I could make?

  • Hi,

    I am gluten-intolerant, but can have eggs, dairy etc. I don't care for egg replacer, so I was wondering if you think I can replace it with 2 eggs and still have a good result? I assume replacing shortening with butter will make the cookies too runny, though.

  • Hi Cybelle--

    Your Allergen-Free Bakers Handbook has saved my life! I am able to make treats for my allergic daughter that everyone can enjoy - it makes her so happy that others like to share her treats!

    I was hoping you could develop a recipe for Pizzelle cookies. I can't seem to figure out a way to replace all those eggs!


  • Hi Cybele--

    Your Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook has saved my life! I am able to bake treats for my allergic daughter that everyone enjoys! It makes her so happy to share her treats with others!

    I was hoping you could develop a recipe for Pizzelle cookies. My italian grandmother always made them and would love to be able to make them for my daughter.

  • Dear MB:

    JUst use one egg! And you are correct about the butter sub.



  • Dear Johanna:

    Thanks for your request!! I've put it into the pool. Will hope to get to it soon.



  • Dear Jody:

    Can you have maple syrup? If so, I have a couple great gf/cf and sugar-free recipes in my cookbook The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook. 30 percent of the recipes are refined sugar-free.

    Hope that helps!


  • Hi, Cybele:

    Thanks for a great blog! My seven-year-old daughter is allergic to tree nuts, peanuts, egg, dairy products, sesame, and buckwheat...and she'd love chocolate mousse! Any ideas for a recipe?

    Thanks and best,


  • Hi Cybele,

    Your valentine's sugar cookies look fantastic! My daughter has a peanut allergy and intolerances to wheat, dairy and fructose. The wheat and the dairy I'm using various substitutes but am struggling with a good natural sugar/fructose replacement. I don't want to use Stevia because of potential long term health affects. Do you have any suggestions and a recipe I could use for good sugar cookies. Does your cookbook have fructose free recipes?

    Best Regards,

  • Thanks!
    We made it with one egg for our son, whose class is decorating sugar cookies together tomorrow. He avoids wheat, gluten, and dairy. We also limit corn too.
    Cybele, I appreciate all that you do for folks with multiple food allergies. This is a very good recipe to work with.
    Thanks again.

  • These cookies are DELICIOUS! I made them for my family for valentines....I'm the only one with no allergies, and I can't keep my hands out of them! Or the dough! YUM!

  • I made these for my stepson on Valentines day & they are great! We all enjoyed them (though the icing was a bit sweet for my tastes)They rolled out beautifully, and stored well.
    I had hoped to sandwich them with jam & a cutout center in the top cookie but found that they spread too much to look good. Many Thanks!

  • My family designated me to bring the sugar cut-out cookies for Christmas Eve party. Tried out the recipe tonight, and they're delicious!! My multi-allergic son(wheat, eggs, dairy, peanuts & more) got to help me make SUGAR COOKIES for the first time!! Thank you so much!!

  • We just found out our 14 year old has many food allergies....egg, peanuts, soybean, wheat and CANE SUGAR....I have found many recipes and have used Ener-G egg replacer, gluten free baking flour but am having a hard time replacing the Cane Sugar....I have used Maple Sugar but he loves Sugar Cookies and with the Maple sugar it just doesn't taste the same to him. Has anyone used Beet Sugar?? I did just purchase Cybele's cookbook but the Cane Sugar is my biggest challenge. Any help would be so much appreciated. It's hard to change a 14 year old's diet especially when cane sugar is in virtually everything......
    Julie Cowles

  • Xanthan is a polysaccharide, similar to glucose line which formed by fermentation from corn, and microorganisms, regularly in food primarily 1~5 put to use to alter diet texture.

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.