These almond flour based, sugar free sugar cookies (I know, it sounds crazy) are the perfect base for all your keto baking cookie desires! Whether you bake up a batch as is, plan to make cut out cookies, or add other flavors, this recipe lends to so much creativity and deliciousness!
Every person needs a good sugar cookie recipe in their arsenal. Having a good gluten free and keto sugar cookie recipe in my house is even more important (living that low carb life and all). I’ve been making this basic shortbread recipe as a keto friendly base for my Keto and Gluten Free Samoa Cookies and my Keto Thin Mints and several biscotti cookies, that I realized it needed it’s very own recipe.
My favorite part about the versatility of these shortbread’s? Because they are not a chewy consistency (like a traditional sugar cookie) and a little on the crispier side, they make making sugar cookie cutouts a keto friendly option too. Just wait until you try these adorable Keto Frosted Animal Cookies!
Each cookie is only 1 net carb, the dough is quick and easy to make and uses keto pantry staples like almond flour, low carb sweetener (you could sub for traditional sugar if you’re not keto and just gluten free), butter, eggs, baking powder, etc. Get the full break down on keto baking tips and techniques and the full recipe below.
- Food Processor
- Measuring Cups & Spoons
- Rubber Spatula
- Pieces of Parchment Paper
- Baking Sheet
Like I mentioned above, this recipe is super simple and really quick to make for a basic shortbread style cookie. Below I will break down the steps and some common keto baking questions to help you have a successful cook!
Keto Cookie Dough Tips & Techniques-
Mix With A Food Processor- This is my MOST used keto baking tool believe it or not. That’s because making gluten free dough’s in a standard mixer doesn’t usually lend for as fine of a mixture and leaves the dough chunkier and not as smooth. A food processor breaks up and mixes the dough (no worry about over mixing since gluten doesn’t exist here).
Don’t have a food processor? Use a hand mixer or stand mixer but freeze your butter and grate it in first (or use a pastry cutter) to get the butter really small and mixed in.
Almond Flour: This recipe works best with almond flour or maybe almond meal as a sub. Unfortunately for anyone with a nut allergy, coconut flour often doesn’t lend itself to a good substitute here (coconut flour absorbs liquids very differently and isn’t a great 1:1 swap).
Cold Butter: Do not use melted or warmed butter in this recipe! Because we don’t have natural properties of gluten like you do in a regular flour based cookie, you need the cold butter to give this recipe structure and binding properties. That’s why I highly suggest using the food processor for this recipe, it breaks the butter up into tiny cold pieces that help form a cohesive dough.
Leavening Agents & Binding Agents: This is just fancy words for baking powder (the leavening agent) and xanthan gum (the binding agent). Xanthan gum REALLY does help keep the cookies from getting too crumbly. If you don’t have any on hand, sub with a little cornstarch (though it may not be gluten free and is slightly more carbs but does the trick).
Flavoring- These cookies taste like a basic sugar cookie. Add vanilla extract or almond extract for a basic flavored cookie. Want to switch it up entirely? I often add 1/4 cup of cocoa powder or peanut butter powder. Mix in keto chocolate chips too for fun!
Making & Baking-
Start by combining all the dry ingredients into a food processor. Mix them together with a few pulses and then add in the cold, diced butter. Pulse again so it resembles corn meal (tiny little cold butter clumps throughout the dough is your goal, like with a pie crust). Add in your extract of choice and the egg and do a final mix. The dough should form a ball within the food processor and look like a thicker cookie dough.
Next, lay a piece of parchment or plastic wrap out on the table (I prefer parchment here personally). Dump the dough into a log like shape and use your hands to make it slightly more uniform. Roll the parchment over the dough and roll and form the log at the same time. I do this a few times until it get a nice round shape to my log and the cookie dough is about 2.5 inches thick give or take.
Twist the edges closed with a little pressure. Roll it a bit across the table if you feel like any parts are slightly lopsided or have large creases from the parchment. Pop the cookie dough log into the freezer (this is crucial for cutting the cookies) for about 40-60 minutes. You want the dough to be cold and solid but still easy enough to slice through.
After freezing the dough for close to an hour, open and unravel the parchment paper to reveal your beautiful log of cookie dough. Use a chef’s knife and cut 1/4 inch slices into the dough. Because cutting adds a slight amount of pressure, I have found that if after each cut I slight rotate the dough about a quarter turn, that it won’t indent as oddly or create a lopsided circle.
No one wants a lopsided circle people.
Place your COLD cookies on a parchment paper covered baking sheet. Make sure they go into a fully preheat oven at 350 F. They will spread out a bit during baking, if they seem to have gotten too warm then place your pan with the cookie dough rounds on it back in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to firm up. They need to go into the oven COLD!
Bake the cookies for 11-13 minutes. They will appear lightly golden around the edges and will still be softer to the touch when removing from the oven, so don’t continue to bake or they will get too hard when they set. Allow then to cool on the pan and fully set before removing and storing.
Store the cookies in a plastic container or resealable bag. They may get slightly softer when storing. Freeze them for several months as well if you want to save and ration them for later.
Making Keto Friendly Sugar Cookie Cut Outs-
Making a sugar cookie cut out from this recipe is 100% doable but does take some more effort. In order for this to work, I like to divide the dough up into 4 pieces and freeze. Working in smaller batches is best because the dough softens wand warms quickly.
After freezing the dough for 40-60 minutes, I roll it to about 1/4 in thickness between two sheets of parchment paper. Then (this is crucial) re-freeze the rolled out dough before cutting it with a cookie cutter.
The cookies bake for a similar amount of time. If you make smaller cookies, like I did with my keto frosted animal cookies, then you might have to adjust as needed. Let the cool before icing and serving!
If you love this cookie recipe, be sure to check out these popular creations here on Bon Appeteach too-
Keto Shortbread Sugar Cookies
- 1 1/2 cups Almond Flour
- 1 cup Low Carb Sweetener
- 6 tbsp Cold Butter
- 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Xanthan Gum
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 Egg
- In a food processor, combine all the dry ingredients and pulse together. Add in the cold butter and pulse until it resembles corn meal (kind of like making a pie crust). Finally add in the vanilla and egg and blend until its one solid dough ball.
- Dump the dough onto a piece of parchment paper and shape into a log by rolling the dough up and twisting the sides tightly. I like the log to be around 3 inches thick to produce a nice sized cookie. Freeze the log for 45-60 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place parchment on a baking sheet. Remove the log from the freezer and cut 30-32 rounds of dough with a chef’s knife. I cut mine about 1/4 inch thick and place 12 rounds on a cookie sheet. If the cookie dough is warming up, pop the pan with the cookies on it back in the freezer for a few minutes to firm up. You want the cookies to be cold! Store the unbaked, sliced cookies in the freezer while the others bake.
- Bake for 11-13 minutes. The cookies should be lightly browned and still soft to the touch. Let them cool on the pan completely so they set before removing. Continue baking and cooling the cookies as needed.
- For Making Cut Outs (more details in the post above)- Divide the dough into 4 separate balls and freeze. Roll one out at a time between two sheets of parchment and re-freeze (dough must be very cold to cut). Cut out the shapes as needed and use a butter knife to help you lift and place. If the dough warms up too much, place it back in the freezer and repeat! Bake following the instructions above (smaller cookies take around 8 mins so be mindful of this).