Gluten-Free Rolled Sugar Cookies…or Halloween Cupookies!

I made some cookies the other day. Some really yummy cookies. Some sugar cookies that are gluten-free, courtesy of Gluten-Free Girl (if you don’t need gluten-free cookies, use my favorite sugar cookie recipe instead).

When I made these, I walked around the house all day, thinking, “How clever am I? Watch me make up a funny portmanteau for these!” (Because I was asked: Portmanteau - definition. For the record, I knew there was a word for what I was trying to do, but I had to look it up, too.)

I quickly settled on ‘coopcakes.’ Cookies + Cupcakes = Coopcakes. However, after throwing the word out there a few times, I couldn’t get the word coop out of my head. As in chicken coop. Seriously?! Coopcakes?! I don’t even wanna know what would come out of a chicken coop that could be considered a coopcake! Moving on…

I finally decided to go with cupookie, even though, after a quick google search, I learned that I can’t claim credit for inventing it. But, then again, seeing as how I still thought of it all by myself, before google entered the picture, I think I will. Spread the word, I invented a new word. Then use it in a sentence and watch people look at you like you’ve lost your mind!

I got the adorable cutters to make these cupookies from Bake It Pretty (of course).

Anyway, as I said, I used Gluten-Free Girl’s recipe, and they turned out great! I like my sugar cookies, on the softer side, so I roll them out to about three-eighths of an inch thick. You can certainly go thinner, but they will be not be as soft. If you make yours thinner, you should also be prepared to change the bake times to keep them from burning.

Just be aware that the thicker your cookies are, the more soft they’ll be around the edges. You can tell these are shaped like cupcakes, but they’re just a tad blobby (and this is after chilling them in the freezer for 10 minutes before baking).

To decorate these, in addition to the frosting, I used various sanding sugars, some black sugar pearls, and Halloween nonpareils. Both the sanding sugars and the sugar pearls are CK Products from Bake It Pretty, while the nonpareils are Wilton, and are available at lots of locations.

To decorate these cookies, or rather cupookies, I decided against royal icing (that glass smooth frosting that hardens and looks so gorgeous), because I think this frosting tastes better. Don’t get me wrong, I like royal icing. It’s tasty enough, and you can make some really amazing looking cupookies with it, but it’s not really that easy for everyone to work with. It can be pretty intimidating. And, like I said, it’s tasty enough, but this frosting…this frosting, is delicious!

I used several Wilton decorating tips while decorating these cupookies, including writing tips #2, #4, and #7, as well as star tips #17 and #18. For example, on the cupookie above, I swirled black frosting on the top using writing tip #7. Next, I drew vertical, parallel stripes of purple on the bottom, and added a small rosette at the top, using star tip #18.  The green dots and swirl accents were added using writing tip #4.

Besides the cupookies, I also cut out some mini pumpkins and made them into tiny jack o lanterns! To decorate these, I used star tip #17 to cover them, then I gently pressed them face down into orange sanding sugar. I drew the stem on using # 4 writing tip, and finished up by drawing their faces on with a #2 writing tip. You can add the sanding sugar decorations to any of the cookies, using the same technique, but just be sure to dip the frosting into the sugar right away (while it’s still wet and the sugar will stick), and also, make sure that you dip the cookie before you add any other colors.

For example, if you make a cupookie with an orange base and you’ll be adding a black top, then you need to dip the bottom into the orange sanding sugar before you add the black top, or the sanding sugar will stick to both colors of frosting. I hope that makes sense. I wanted to photograph the process, but my extra set of hands haven’t grown yet!

The great thing about sugar cookies is that you can be as elaborate or as minimalistic as you like, and they’ll still look beautiful and be a huge crowd pleaser! And the great thing about these cookies is that you can share them with your gluten intolerant friends and those who can have gluten, and everyone will love them equally! Enjoy!

Darla’s Favorite Rolled Sugar Cookie…ever (not gluten-free)
Gluten-Free Girl’s Rolled Sugar Cookies

Smooth Decorator Buttercream


2/3 cup (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
4 cups confectioners’ sugar (make sure it’s gluten-free!)
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla (I used clear, but prefer the taste of regular)

Food coloring (optional)

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter. Add about half of the sugar and continue beating until combined. Stir in the vanilla, then add the remaining sugar. Once combined, add the milk, as needed. Whip until light and fluffy, 6-8 minutes.

Frosting recipe by Darla


Leave a comment


  1. Stephanie says

    wow! these turned out amazing!

    I'm making halloween cookies today too! I was going to use marshmallow fondant to decorate them.. but now i'm curious about this icing.

  2. Lora says

    Gorgeous cookies! I love the halloween colors. Have you tried the trick of sticking the tray of cookies in the freezer for 5 minutes before putting em in the oven? They hold their shape better.

  3. Sugarbear says

    Thanks everyone! I had such a great time making these! 🙂

    @Lora – I actually had put all of these in the freezer for about 10 minutes to chill them. I think what they really needed was a little extra of some of the dry ingredients to compensate for the humidity here. But they're still pretty fun! 🙂 Thanks for the tip!

  4. Karen says

    I would like to be eating these right now!!! They look beautiful D! (as all of your goodies do) I am pining for your sugar cookies… they are sooooo amazingly wonderful!! xo

  5. Ali says

    I just found your blog after following a link from one of my favorite blogs – CakeWrecks. I'm driving my husband crazy right now by telling him all about your blog…"she likes all the same baking blogs that I like!" "Look at all these yummy treats! This blog is amazing!" "Penzy's Spices!" "Ooh a new pizza dough recipe!" "She is obsessed with Harry Potter too!" "She made a HARRY POTTER BIRTHDAY CAKE!" "SHE WENT TO THE WWOHP!!!!!!!!!!!!" "Her husband is in the CG too!" (actually DH is out now, but he went to USCGA) "Look at these amazing CG cupcakes!"
    Needless to say I'm a huge fan and I can't wait to try your recipes!

  6. Sugarbear says

    Thanks again, everyone!

    @Ali – I'm so glad that you found your way here! I hope you continue to find everything fun and exciting! It's crazy that we have so much in common!

    If you haven't been to WWOHP yet, I hope you make it soon! It's AMAZING!!!!

    P.S. Your daughter is beautiful!

  7. Anne says

    Hi, these are wonderful! Can I ask about the frosting on them? Do they harden/stiffen/firm up? Not as hard as royal icing but firm enough where it wouldn’t stick to another cookie if I stack them. I need to make a bunch of cookies and stack them for storage a few days before laying them out for display and without it sticking onto another cookie. The decorations have texture/shape to them (like the rosette or purple swirls that you have above) that I don’t want completely flattened when stacked. I’m not even sure I’m using the proper term–stiff frosting? Frosting that hardens? Any help/suggestion you can give me would be greatly appreciated. 🙂

    • says

      Hi Anne, You’re using the proper wording…you can call it whatever you want! 😉 The frosting does get slightly hard as it dries. It’ll sort of form a sugary crust but stay soft on the inside. I think the cookies could safely be stacked for a short time, but the longer they’re stacked, the more likely they would be to squish. You can layer wax or parchment paper between them to keep them from sticking, but you may still end up with flattened frosting if you stack too many on top of one another (too heavy), or leave them stacked to long. When I use this frosting, I usually only stack cookies for transit or for displaying them. I hope this is helpful! 🙂