How to Bake Gluten and Dairy Free – Cookie Edition

Other blogs in the How To Series:

How to Bake Gluten and Dairy Free – Cupcake Edition

Let’s talk about the oil in these cookies. Now, it seemed really odd to me when I first used oil in my cookie recipe, but I’d been struggling for ages to bake a good cookie after making the swaps to make good gluten and dairy free cookies.

I remember back at university my housemates and I discovered a great chocolate chip cookie recipe. Now this recipe unfortunately predates my intolerance’s so I was really sad when I couldn’t bake it anymore.

Never letting that stop me, the cookie experiments began!

Gluten and dairy free White chocolate and raspberry cookies

To my horror, at first my cookies were dry and cakey. I was pulling my hair out trying all sorts of baking powder/bicarbonate of soda and caster/granulated/brown sugar ratios to try and counteract the cakeyness with no avail. I was feeling all together pretty glum about my cookies and putting the change of texture down to the gluten free flour.

When I needed to swap to dairy free cookies I assumed it would be a straight swap from butter to margarine as it was with my cake baking. However, I started to wonder if it wasn’t the flour at fault after all, especially after seeing all the perfect cookies posted by other bakers on their pages. I decided to experiment with oil instead of margarine after seeing a cake box to cookie recipe that used oil.

I was so glad I did! The batter consistency is totally different and quite runny but the cookies came out great! I was so happy, finally I had gotten past my cookie blues and developed a recipe for gluten and dairy free cookies.

So I to put together this little comparison as I’ve had so many comments from others that cookies, although seemingly simple, can actually be a real challenge.

I have baked four cookies, all with exactly the same egg, sugar, bicarb, fat and flour ratios and all baked for exactly the same time. Lets see how they turned out…

Variations of cookie recipes

Gluten and Dairy Free Cookies

Normal Flour and Butter – 4.7/5

Flavour 5 (Well I assume as I remember them being delicious!)

Texture 4.5 Crunchy and gooey, just as a cookie should be.

Appearance 4.5 Nicely round, brown and crispy on the outside and gooey in the middle.

Cookie made with flour and butter

Gluten Free Flour and Butter – 4/5

Flavour 4.5

Texture 4 Crunchy on the outside and fudgy in the middle. Mmmm…

Appearance 3.5 Very spread out and an oddly textured top.

Cookie made with gluten free flour and butter

Gluten Free Flour and Margarine – 3.7/5

Flavour 4.5

Texture 2.5 Disappointingly dry and cakey

Appearance 4 Domed appearance, but they still look pretty tasty.

Cookie made with gluten free flour and margarine

Gluten Free Flour and Oil – 4.7/5

Flavour 4.5

Texture 4.5 Crunchy on the outside and fudgy in the middle, yummy!

Appearance 5 You may disagree but I think these looked the best and on a blind test my husband thought the same.

Normal flour with butter comes out equal to gluten free flour with oil! That’s not just my bias as I blind tested them on my husband, let me know if you try them and agree!

Cookie made with gluten free flour and oil

Additional Tips and Advice for Gluten and Dairy Free Cookies

Chocolate chips

My money saving tip is that I never buy expensive chocolate chips for my baking! I always buy cheaper supermarket chocolate bars and chop them up into nice small chocolate chips myself. I also think they taste much better and I like how some of the chunks are bigger than others – some are nice and chunky while others almost melt into the cookie.


Now, bake to those ratios. For my cookies I like to use 50:50 light brown sugar to granulated sugar. Brown sugar adds a great caramel flavour, while the granulated sugar is neutral in flavour but pairs well with salt in baking to allow the other flavours to come through. Furthermore, brown sugar causes the cookies to spread thin while the more coarse granulated sugar will take longer to melt and delay the spreading. I find a 50:50 ratio creates the best of both worlds for flavour and texture!

Baking Soda

Additionally, brown sugar is acidic, and therefore work well with alkaline baking soda; when the two combine, they produce carbon dioxide which is the raising agent that creates that perfect cookie consistency. This is why my cookies use bicarbonate of soda rather than baking powder. Baking powder can also delay the spreading of the cookies and make a more cakey consistency.

Rebecca K.

Please let me know if you try any of these recipes and leave a comment!

Gluten and dairy free Mini egg cookies


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Variations of baked cookie recipes