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Gluten-Free Maple Spice Cookies

Gluten-Free Maple Spice Cookies: Perfect for Holiday Baking

My family has arrived for the Holidays in full force. We have a house full of mouths to feed and I am loving every minute of it.

We are spending a lot of time baking right now and there have been many batches of these Maple Spice Cookies made so far.  These are one of my family’s favorite cookies. They definitely disappear quickly around here.

Even though I shared a version of these with you last year at this time, I thought I would re-visit them and share the version I am making this year with you. If you want your home filled with amazing holiday smells, then I suggest you get a batch of these going in your oven about now. They will make you happy.

These cookies are perfectly chewy and cake-like (as long as you do not overcook them). They puff up so beautifully while they are baking and are an amazing combination of holiday flavors. They keep very well and make a wonderful homemade gift.

Gluten-Free Maple Spice Cookies

Gluten- Free Maple-Spice Cookies

(Easily Adaptable to be Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, and Nut-Free)

Makes about 24 cookies


  • 1 cup White Rice Flour
  • 2/3 cup Almond Flour (For Nut Free: use certified Gluten-Free Oat Flour)
  • 2/3 cup Potato Starch
  • ¾ teaspoon Xanthan Gum
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Soda
  • ½ teaspoon Sea Salt, fine
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon Ground Cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon Ground Ginger (optional)
  • 12 Tablespoons Butter, unsalted – softened at room temperature (For Dairy Free: use 6 Tbsp Spectrum Organic Shortening with 6 Tbsp Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Stick, room temperature)
  • ¾ cup **Organic Maple Sugar, OR Brown Sugar, packed, OR Organic Palm or coconut sugar
  • 1 Large Egg (For Egg Free: use 2 tablespoons water + 1 tablespoon oil + 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, beaten together until smooth)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ cup Grade B Maple Syrup (preferably organic)
  • 1 Tablespoon Unsulphured Molasses

For Rolling Cookies In (Mix Following Together in small bowl):

  • 2 Tablespoons Maple, Brown, or Palm Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon


1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2.  In medium bowl, whisk together white rice flour, almond (or oat) flour, potato starch, xanthan gum, baking soda, sea salt, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, and ground ginger (if using) until well-blended and mixture feels light.

3.  In large bowl of electric mixer, cream together room temperature butter (or Dairy-Free replacement) and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes with mixer at medium speed), scraping sides of bowl with rubber spatula once or twice.

4.  Add egg (or Egg –Free replacement), vanilla extract, and Maple Syrup, and Molasses.  Mix until combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl.

5.  Add dry ingredients slowly while mixer is on LOW speed. Mix until just combined, about 30 seconds, stopping to scrape bowl once.

6.  Roll dough into 1 ¾ inch balls (about the size of a ping-pong ball) then roll each ball in the sugar cinnamon mixture before placing on baking sheet.

7.  Place cookie balls (rolled in sugar mixture) 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. DO NOT USE A SILPAT MAT OR PARCHMENT for these. These cookies will puff up much higher directly on sheet. Important: Place cookie sheet in refrigerator for 20 minutes prior to baking to chill dough.  Repeat with remaining dough (do not put raw dough on hot cookie sheets-cool cookie sheets first or cookies will spread).

8.  Bake for 11-13 minutes.  These cookies are incredibly soft and chewy. Do not overcook them (they will not look totally done when you pull them out, but will firm up as cooling).  Once done, cool on cookie sheet for 2-3 minutes then transfer to wire rack.


**Maple Sugar, although absolutely delicious, can be quite expensive.  You can also use Brown Sugar (or Organic Palm Sugar) in this recipe with perfect results as well.

I will be spending the next week with my family, but I want to wish all of you a wonderful Holiday week! I hope your days are filled with delicious allergy-friendly meals eaten with those you love the most!


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  1. On December 5, 2010 Miriam Barton said

    Ooo, those soud delicious. Thanks for sharing! Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

    • On December 6, 2010 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Hi Miriam! Glad I was able to share them this week. Hope you are doing well!

  2. On December 6, 2010 Chaya said

    Maple is such a nice flavor. These cookies would be a great choice, in our home. Thanks for linking this to My Meatless Mondays.

    • On December 6, 2010 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Hi Chaya! The Maple flavor here is so yummy! Thanks for letting me share them with Meatless Mondays this week! 😉

  3. On December 6, 2010 Jeanine said

    I’ve never heard of maple sugar before, but I bet it really makes these cookies something special. They look fantastic! Lovin’ this 12 days of cookies!

    • On December 6, 2010 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Jeanine! Maple sugar is so so delicious, but also so very expensive. I use it sparingly and save it for this recipe usually. But it totally make these cookies amazing! 😉

  4. On December 6, 2010 Sophie said

    MMMMMMMM,..Your cookies , also gf look amazing & must taste wonderfully with that maple sugar in them!

    Lovely cookies! Could you also use cookie cutters?

    • On December 6, 2010 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Hey Sophie!! These are a great gluten free cookie and I think the maple sugar is a great touch for them. 😉 And you can use cookie cutters in them, but the dough is just a tiny bit sticky, not bad at all, until you roll them in the sugar. So, I would suggest maybe rolling a ball of your dough in some of the cinnamon/sugar mixture first before rolling them out. I am sure they would be great then.

  5. On December 6, 2010 Celiacs in the House said

    Maple is one of my favorite flavors and I do love chewy cookies. Wait I love all cookies, but this year I am just reading about cookies. Great photo by the way–I see some familiar things in there with the cookies. What a cute idea. Very clever.

    • On December 6, 2010 Cook It Allergy Free said

      LOL, Wendy. I knew a few of you would recognize my props. 😉 These are really one of my favorite gf cookies so far. They are the most cake-like that I have made. And I love Maple flavoring so much that I just had to add it to cookies. 😉

  6. On December 6, 2010 Iris said

    Wow you really went all out for us! I love that you included the substitutions for us!

    • On December 6, 2010 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Thanks so much, Iris!! I like to make sure that everyone can try and make my recipes without having to figure out the substitution measurements themselves so I try to include the substitutions options that I try or know will work. 😉

  7. On December 6, 2010 Tia said

    Ahhh, Wendy beat me to it. And, I’m totally stealing the idea, as usual. You will see it in one of my pictures, soon. LOL!

    And, thanks for another great cookie recipe. I always give consumable gifts, so this will make a nice change of pace in the cookie department.

    Tia 😛

    • On December 6, 2010 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Teehee, Tia! I knew you BHF gals would bust me. I hope you follow suit so I am not the only one using them for something useful! 😉 This would make a good edible gift because they really last nicely and you are right that they are a good change of pace!

  8. On December 6, 2010 Zoe said

    Wow, these look outstanding, Kim! I love that you used almond flour with the rice flour. Do you think cornstarch could replace the potato starch? I only ask as that’s what I have on hand…I want to use potato starch eventually, though, since it seems that while cornstarch and potato starch are interchangeable in most cases, there are some fine differences, aren’t there? In baking, it seems potato is the more versatile as far as recipes that are based on potato starch and or potato flour alone. I’ve yet to come across such a recipe that uses cornstarch in the same manner.

    • On December 6, 2010 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

      Thanks Zoe!! I love almond flour and love the taste (and protein factor) that it adds to baked goods. I think that the cornstarch actually may work pretty well in this recipe. I am posting my icebox shortbread cookies in a couple of days and I use cornstarch in that recipe instead of the potato starch. The cookies are awesome!! But I think you are right in that they are not always interchangable. 😉

  9. On December 6, 2010 Shirley @ gfe said

    What awesome cookies, Kim! Total yumminess! I love it when you make me happy with your recipes, too. 😉

    I recognized the props and thought, smart, smart girl!


    • On December 6, 2010 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

      LOL Shirley! Okay, you have all called me out on my prop usage! Too funny! But they were just too cute not to use. I think I have almost as much fun taking my pictures as I do cooking and testing recipes. In fact, the picture taking part is what I look forward to most of the entire recipe testing to blog process. Oh, and I especially love when i make YOU happy! 😉

  10. On December 6, 2010 Maggie said

    Mmmmm, I love maple. Slightly addicted to maple syrup and just discovered maple butter. Oh my. But I digress. I love the sound and look of these cookies Kim. Your pictures, as usual, are so darn good. I wish I could come over and watch you in action! Thanks for a GREAT write-up for Day Six. xo

    • On December 6, 2010 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

      Ooh! Maggie, I love Maple Butter too!! And maple, in general, is one of my favorite flavors. These cookies are really yummy, just because of that maple flavor! And thanks, my friend, for the kind words on my pics and write-up! 😉

  11. On December 7, 2010 InTolerantChef said

    I so wish we could get maple sugar over here.

    • On December 11, 2010 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Hi Intolerant Chef! I did not realize you could not get Maple Sugar there. Maybe it is a blessing in disguise since it is so stinking expensive. Consider it a way to save money. LOL

  12. On December 7, 2010 Miz Helen said

    Your Cookies look very good. Thank you for sharing and you have a great week.

    • On December 11, 2010 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Hi Miz Helen!! Thanks so much for stopping by! Thanks for the kind words about my cookies! Hope you are doing well! 😉

  13. On December 7, 2010 Laurel said

    What a wonderful idea. Spice cookies are my absolute favorite and adding maple to them has got to be heaven. When I was little my mom used to buy maple sandwich cookies. They were shaped like maple leaves, veins and all and has the most scrumptious maple filling. I haven’t seen them in forever and I could eat the whole package by myself so I’m pretty sure you hit a slam dunk here. Thanks for the recipe.

    • On December 11, 2010 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Hi Laurel! I totally know what you are talking about with those maple sandwich cookies. Trader Joe’s carries a version of those now that are supposed to absolutely amazing. My non-gluten-free family members totally SWEAR by them.!

  14. On December 7, 2010 Andrea said

    I love spice cookies and can’t wait to try this recipe! I need to buy some maple sugar first, but that’s just as well because I have been baking cookies for gifts for several days and my kitchen counter has 10 big plates of cookies on it! I don’t want to see any more cookies for a few days!
    Thanks for the great recipe!

    • On December 11, 2010 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Wow! Andrea! Your counters sound like mine do during this time of year! Cookies everywhere! I think you are right and probably do need a bit of a break! 😉

  15. On December 7, 2010 Sue said

    I love maple anything – these are beautiful looking cookies 🙂

    • On December 11, 2010 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Hi Sue! I love maple anything too!! Thanks so much for the sweet comment about these cookies. 😉

  16. On December 7, 2010 Aurelia said

    Oh wow they look and sound delicious!

    I haven’t made many cookies but these are just asking to be baked 🙂

    • On December 11, 2010 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Hi Aurelia! Even if you have not made many cookies, these are surprisingly easy. I think you will definitely love them! 😉

  17. On December 7, 2010 Christy said

    Hmm, perfect holiday cookies! full of delicious spices and my favorite – maple syrup. You really can’t go wrong with that!! Thanks for sharing this with the Hearth and Soul Hop!

    • On December 11, 2010 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Hi Christy! Thanks for letting me share them on Hearth and Soul this week! Hope you are doing well! Thanks for the kind comments about these cookies! 😉

  18. On December 8, 2010 April Harris said

    These look fantastic – I love maple cookies!

  19. On December 8, 2010 Alisa Cooks said

    Maple and spice? Um, I’ll take a dozen, no make that two dozen, for overnight delivery please.

    • On December 11, 2010 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Alisa, I will have your two dozen packaged and ready for shipping tomorrow. LOL Expect them on Monday. 😉 Just kidding. I am living between my sister’s house and the hospital right now and there is not a gluten-free flour to be seen in my sister;s house. LOL Not sure when I will be heading back home. Depends on how my sister is doing. Her BP and her platelets are still completely out of whack.

  20. On December 8, 2010 Lexie said

    Hey lady, I came to find your salad … but cookies will do. : ) I am loving all these cookie recipes. Cookies are one thing I have not explored yet. Hope this finds you well. Missin’ our chats. Let’s get that retreat planned : )

    • On December 11, 2010 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Hey Lex, I do not know how I ended up signed up for salads, thought I was only for dessert. Oh well. Miss you and so hope you are doing well! xoxox Planning retreat soon!

  21. On December 9, 2010 glutenfreeforgood said


    These cookies look perfect. Seriously perfect. Your photos are gorgeous and I love the idea of adding in organic, grade B maple syrup. That’s one of my favorite baking ingredients. And the ginger is another favorite. I’ll definitely be trying these.

    Sending a big hug your way.

    • On December 11, 2010 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Melissa, I love organic grade by syrup. I get it from a vendor at our local farmer’s market and I cannot keep enough of it in my house because I just love the flavor it adds to baked goods! Hope you are doing well! You sound like you are in such a great place right now!! Rhiannon says she totally loves you already, by the way!

  22. On December 23, 2011 Sarena said

    Oh Kim, Happy Holidays to you too! Enjoy every minute with your family.

  23. On December 23, 2011 Alisa said

    mmmm, maple and spice. Music to my ears, and a very close second to brown sugar and vanilla 🙂

    I hope you and that big workaholic, incredible family of yours have a magical Christmas lady!

    • On December 23, 2011 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

      Ahh, you sweet funny girl, Alisa. Thank you so so much. Maple and spice go together like brown sugar and vanilla. Matches made in heaven! 😉

      I hope you guys also have an amazing holiday! Sending you so much love, my friend. “See” you next week! 😉


  24. On December 27, 2011 Jeanette said

    Kim – wishing you a wonderful Holiday Season and a Happy New Year!

  25. On December 28, 2011 The Healthy Apple said

    These look perfect. So beautiful and I love the recipe. Thank you for sharing. Hope you are having a lovely holiday season.
    Keep up the amazing work with your delicious recipes in 2012!

    • On December 29, 2011 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

      Hi Amie!! Thanks so much for the sweet words and the well wishes. I hope you have an amazing New Year’s celebration and a fabulous kick off to 2012!!
      😉 k

  26. On December 17, 2012 Jennifer said

    I’m always frustrated with the lack of actual feedback on recipes from people who have tried the recipe- so I make sure to give mine. This is by far- the best gluten free cookie I have baked to date. I hosted a cookie exchange last weekend where I baked 5 different gf df cookies and a few non for my gluten eating guests. I am relatively new to the gluten free baking scene and I have been baking for a long time. Like many out there who come from traditional baking- we rely on a gut instinct of sorts. Let me tell you- don’t do it on this one. FOLLOW ALL DIRECTIONS. This recipe yielded appx 36 cookies and I only got it right on the last 15 in the oven. The first two batches have been relegated to the freezer as ice cream topping because I over baked them.

    I found it most helpful to actually refrigerate the dough ovenight. It made them a lot easier to roll in the sugar. I made the mistake of putting the first batch on silpat, and the second batch cooked too long. For the third and perfect batch- I refrigerated the cookie sheet, and most importantly- only let the cookies go a minute past that point where they just started to cook. 4 days later- they are still moist and chewy and delicious. I will make these again. Thanks!

    • On December 18, 2012 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

      HI Jennifer! Thank you SO much for coming back and leaving your real feedback. I am the same as you and typically will go and look at the comments of a recipe to see if anyone has actually made the recipe before and what their results were. Those are the recipes I find myself actually making. Thank you for letting everyone here know what worked for you! I really appreciate your review. 😀 So glad they worked for you!!

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