One of my fondest childhood holiday memories is making sugar cookies with my family. It was so much fun using the cookie cutters to make all the different shapes, and then sitting around the kitchen table decorating the cookies with frosting and sprinkles. When we were done, we would share plates of cookies with our neighbors. Sugar cookies are still one of my favorites to this day. Although I, like many others, are trying to eat healthier. I found this healthy sugar cookie on the internet that can easily be made gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free and artificial dye-free. This is a great recipe you can make with your consumers or your own family. Enjoy and happy holidays! 

-Chef Steve Norton


Sugar Cookies

½ cup butter or dairy-free butter, room temperature

½ cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 ½ cups flour (gluten-free, all-purpose or white whole wheat pastry flour)

½ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

2-3 tbsp milk (regular or plain plant-based milk)


2 cups powdered sugar

½ tsp vanilla extract

1-3 tbsp milk (regular or plain plant-based milk)


Artificial-free food dye

*You can also use store bought icing


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat. 

To make the dough

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. 
  • In a large mixing bowl, using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. 
  • Add in the vanilla and beat for another 30 seconds, scraping down the sides if needed. Add in half of the flour mixture and beat on low speed until combined. 
  • Add in the other half of the flour mixture and beat until just combined. 
  • Add in a tablespoon of milk at a time, beating on low speed until the ingredients form a dough ball. 

To form the cookies

  • Dust a clean counter or cutting board with a little flour and place half of the dough in a ball on top of the flour. 
  • Sprinkle a little flour on top of the dough ball, and with a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is 1/3” thick. 
  • Cut out desired shapes using cookie cutters, and transfer the shapes to the baking sheet. You can buy cutters at the store, or use something circular to cut out an “ornament” to decorate later.
  • If the dough is hard to work with, add more flour to the counter and the top of the dough or place the dough ball in the fridge for 5-10 minutes. 

To bake the cookies

  • Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes or until they are just turning golden brown on the sides. 
  • Let them rest on the cookie sheet 2-4 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to finish cooling. 
  • Repeat the process until you have used up all of the dough. 

To make the icing

  • To make the icing, place the powdered sugar, vanilla and 1 tablespoon of milk in a medium bowl and whisk together until the sugar has melted and the icing is smooth. 
  • If needed, add in another tablespoon of milk until you have your desired consistency. 
  • If you want a thinker icing (less sugar), add a little more milk. 
  • Separate the icing into different bowls for however many colors of icing you want, up to 4. Add in a couple drops of artificial-free food dye and mix until incorporated, adding more drops if needed. 

To decorate the cookies

  • Place the icing into a zip-lock baggie to decorate the cookies or spread it on with a knife. 
  • Add some sprinkles and let the icing on the cookies harden on the cooling rack.