gooey gluten free butter cookies stacked 4 high

Gluten Free Gooey Butter Cookies

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Gluten Free Gooey Butter Cookies are pillows of deliciousness! This recipe is a made from scratch version where we forgo using a box of yellow cake mix and instead just grab things from the pantry. Don’t worry, it’s still very simple. 

I was first introduced to gooey butter cookies at my most recent baby shower. My best friend had adapted a recipe from Sugar Spun Run to make it Gluten Free and I knew I had to share it with everyone. I’ve tweaked it to work with gluten free flours and have taken it to a few events to get the crowd approval. Let me tell you, these have the approval! They also are a huge hit with my daughter who has Celiac Disease. This is now one of our go to cookie recipes for many events but it especially is top of the Christmas cookie list.

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multiple gluten free gooey butter cookies stacked on a plate with milk in background.

What Are Gluten Free Gooey Butter Cookies?

Gooey butter cookies are believed to have originated in St. Louis Missouri. It is said the recipe is a variation of the traditional gooey butter cake which also has its roots in St. Louis. This version, making them gluten-free, is yet just another adaption to the happy mistake that occurred in the 1930’s. Legend has it that the original gooey butter cake recipe was a result of baking mistake by a St. Louis area Baker who accidentally reversed the proportions of flour and sugar in a coffee cake recipe. The result was a dense gooey and delicious cake that became a local favorite.

Overtime, variations of the green butter cake recipe emerged, including the creation of gooey butter cookies. These cookies have a rich and buttery flavor with a sweet gooey center. It is a mixture of butter, cream cheese, vanilla, Gluten Free Flour Blend, sugar, powdered sugar and salt.

rolling gf gooey butter cookie placing it on tray

What You Need To Make These GF Gooey Butter Cookies Recipe

These cookies are simple to make, and I think you’ll find they taste much, much better than the cake mix version. Here are the key ingredients you’ll need:

  • Softened Butter: I use a salted version in my recipe because that is what I keep on hand. If you use unsalted, just in crease the salt a bit more, just a pinch. Butter should be at room temperature.
  • Softened Cream cheese: A block variety is easiest to work with and gets the best texture. This adds the added moisture and cream to make a soft, gooey cookie. This should also be at room temperature.
  • Vanilla: Since we are not using a boxed cake mix, we are going to use a lot of vanilla for this recipe to get that flavor. Don’t shy away from it or they wont come out as good!
  • Eggs: If you remember ahead of time, pull your eggs out at the same time as your butter and cream cheese to warm to room temperature.
    • Note, if you didn’t take things out to warm ahead of time, you can warm the butter and unwrapped cream cheese in the microwave for a few seconds to soften them. But DO NOT do that with the eggs!
  • Gluten Free Flour Blend: My go to pre-made blend is King Arthurs Measure for Measure.
  • Sugar: We will use granulated (regular) sugar for the base of the recipe and then roll them in powdered sugar just before baking.
  • Salt: A touch of salt to enhance the flavors.
delicious gluten free gooey butter cookies held in a hand.

What Equipment is Needed

You will need:

Mixing Bowls These mixing bowls come with airtight lids.

A hand mixer or stand mixer helps to cream the ingredients together as well as the gluten free flour blend upon addition.

Spatula helps to incorporate all ingredients as it is mixed.

Measuring cups for measuring solid ingredients.

Measuring spoons to measure smaller amounts of ingredients.

Baking sheets to cook the cookies on in the oven.

Wire cooling racks helps to stop the baking process upon completion, so the cookies don’t get over baked.

Optional:

Kitchen scale to more accurately measure ingredients.

Parchment paper can help make the cookies come off easily from the baking sheet for a soft cookies.

Small cookie scoop: Helps keep the cookies a uniform size and gets the job done quickly.

How To Make The Best Ooey Gooey Butter Cookies Gluten Free

more instructions for how to make gluten free gooey butter cookies infographic
  1. In a large bowl, cream together the room temperature butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer until well combined, then add in the eggs and vanilla. Mix until smooth.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients and then whisk until well incorporated. 
  3. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in small portions about a 1/3 at a time. Use your electric mixer to combine the dough well before adding another 1/3 of the dry ingredients.
    • (The gluten free flour blend will thicken as it combines with the wet ingredients. If it gets too thick, just scrape the mixers down with a spatula.)
  4.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (to not loose any moisture) and chill it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
    • (You can chill it for longer, but it may need to warm up just a tad before scooping and shaping the cookies.)
  5. Using a small sized cookie scoop, measure out (about 1 1/2 tablespoons) sized clumps of dough, and then roll them between your palms to make a smooth ball.  
  6. Roll the cookie dough ball through some powdered sugar.
  7. Then place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (Return the dough to the fridge in between batches.)
  8. Bake cookies at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes. They won’t be very golden but do not over bake them as that takes away the gooey center of each cookie.
  9. Remove them from the oven and place them on a wire cooling rack to stop them from continuing to bake after being out of the oven.

Storage

Gluten free gooey butter cookies can be stored in an air tight container in the pantry for about 5-7 days. Although, none of my test cookies have stayed in my kitchen long enough to see if the can actually make it longer. Ha!

Can these be frozen?

Yes, you can freeze them before baking by rolling them into a ball and through the powdered sugar. Then place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to freeze them in their shape for 1 hour. After an hour, remove them from the baking sheet and place them into an air tight container or zip loc bag. When ready to bake, pre-heat the oven and place the frozen cookies on a baking sheet to start to thaw while the oven preheats. Bake for 10 minutes and then check for doneness, they may need a few minutes more but be careful not to over bake them.

 To freeze them after baking, let them first cool on a wire rack to room temperature and then place in an airtight container.

Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

Why are my gluten free gooey butter cookies not gooey?

Most likely you over baked them. Oven temperatures can vary so I suggest baking for about 2 minutes less next time and see how they do.

Why aren’t my cookies soft?

You may have added too much gluten free flour blend, or tried a different brand than I use. Try using a kitchen scale for the exact amount of King Arthur Measure for Measure Gluten Free Flour Blend for best results.

Can I make these lemon flavored?

Yes, that would be so delicious! Replace the vanilla with lemon extract and you could even add some lemon zest to the sugar mixture.

Can I replace the vanilla for almond extract?

Yes and I’m sure they will still be delicious.

My cookies are way too sticky, I can’t roll them without a mess!

When I roll these cookies out, there is a bit let on my hands but it shouldn’t but so much so that you can’t roll them. Maybe increase your chill time or perhaps you didn’t use a brick style cream cheese.

If your hands are still too sticky, you can add some powdered sugar to your hands when rolling them out.

I don’t have salted butter, can I use unsalted butter?

Yes you can, just increase the amount of salt from 1/2 tsp to 3/4 tsp salt.

close up view of stack of gf gooey butter cookies on a plate with a cup of milk in background.

Gluten Free Gooey Butter Cookies

Super soft, deliciously creamy cookies that will make you want to eat the whole batch!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Chill 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 3 Dozen Cookies

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup butter salted, room temp.
  • 8 oz cream cheese 1 block, room temp
  • 2 large eggs room temp
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cup King Arthur Measure for Measure Gluten Free blend 400 grams
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar 300 grams (regular sugar)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt 4 grams. increase to 1 tsp if using unsalted butter.
  • powdered sugar to roll cookies in

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, combine the room temperature butter and block of cream cheese.
  • Mix with a stand mixer or hand mixer until smooth.
  • Add and mix in the eggs and vanilla.
  • In a medium sized bowl, whisk to combine the Gluten Free Flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  • Working in batches, add 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the large bowl with the butter and cream cheese mixture. Mix with stand or hand mixer till combined.
  • Continue adding in batches of the dry mixture. You'll need to stop the mixer and scrape the dough down and work it to all be fully combined.
  • (As the gluten free flours become hydrated, they become more dense and it tends to climb up the beaters. Just scrape it down.)
  • Cover the bowl full of dough with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
  • 20 minutes are so into the chill time, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line baking sheets with parchment paper and fill a shallow bowl with powdered sugar.
  • Using a 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop, portion out scoops of cookie dough.
  • Use your hands to roll the dough into balls then roll the ball through the powdered sugar, making sure the dough is generously covered.
  • Give a little press to flatten the cookie just a bit and double dip into powdered sugar if it seems to be absorbing the powdered sugar into the dough.
  • Then place the rolled cookie dough onto the lined parchment paper 2 inches apart.
  • Repeat the rolling and powdered sugaring process until your baking sheet is full. (About 3 rows of 4, making 12 cookies a sheet.)
  • (Replace the unused cookie dough into the refrigerator in between rolling out sheets of cookies. If dough gets too warm in between preparing the next sheet of cookies, the dough will spread and have an undesired shape/ thickness.)
  • Bake for 12-14 minutes at 350 degrees. Cookies should be soft to the touch with some give.
  • Let cookies cool on a wire rack to set a bit before enjoying the gooey goodness!

Notes

Trouble Shooting:

  • If cookies are hard or do not have any gooey factor, you probably have over baked them. Try less bake time next time.
  • If your cookies do not have the crinkle affect on the outside, try to apply more powdered sugar next time. 
The baked cookies  won’t be very golden but do not over bake them as that takes away the gooey center of each cookie.
 
Hot Tip: if the recipe still ends up saying *bailing powder* in the instructions, it is supposed to be baking powder. That’s what I get for typing with a baby on my lap. Sorry! 
Keyword Baby Shower, Christmas Cookies, cookies, Easter Cookies, GF, gluten free
pinterest graphic for Gluten free gooey butter cookie

If you’d like to try my number 1 visited gluten free recipe, check out How to Make Gluten Free Sourdough Bread with Recipe.

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10 Comments

  • Kara May 16, 2024 at 7:13 am

    These look so good! I’m always on the lookout for GF recipes.

    Reply
    • Joanna May 16, 2024 at 7:21 am

      They are! You won’t be disappointed 🙂

      Reply
  • Alisha May 16, 2024 at 7:17 am

    These look dangerously good and so fluffy! Yum!

    Reply
    • Joanna May 16, 2024 at 7:22 am

      For real, dangerous! lol Thanks for commenting!

      Reply
  • Dawn May 16, 2024 at 7:40 am

    Love, love, LOVE cookies! These I am sure are quite addicting. Celiac is no fun but you’ve managed to create some wonderful recipes for your daughter and family!

    Reply
    • Joanna May 16, 2024 at 8:45 am

      Thank you! You are so kind.

      Reply
  • Jen May 16, 2024 at 7:54 am

    Can’t wait to try these! They look amazing! Do you think I would have similar results with all-purpose ‘regular’ flour?

    Reply
    • Joanna May 16, 2024 at 8:47 am

      Yes they will still be delicious! I’d increase the flour to 3 cups for regular wheat flour.

      Reply
  • Emily May 16, 2024 at 10:04 am

    looks so tasty! my son and i are both gf so i’m going to put this on my list to try soon 🙂

    Reply
    • Joanna May 16, 2024 at 12:02 pm

      I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

      Reply

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