Easy Recipes For Holiday Cookies (dairy/gluten free)

Finding easy holiday recipes for cookies are the most fun this time of year and such as good way to get the kids in the kitchen. If you are dairy and/or gluten free I’ve got you covered with some easy and simple cookies and holiday recipes. 

Whether you are gluten and/or dairy free or wanting to start to move in that direction your body will thank you for it in the long term of things. I’ll share more on how to actually go dairy and/or gluten free in another post but for now let’s talk all about these yummy holiday recipes for cookies.

Gluten Free Baking

I’ve learned quite a bit since going gluten free a couple years ago. My oldest has a gluten allergy and we decided as a family that we’d all go gluten free to support him.

I believe that when kids have their parent’s (and siblings) support, and when allergy food is not in the house, it makes it somewhat a smoother transition.

Gluten free baking is tricky. You will learn that Tapioca Starch is your best friend because it helps keep the baked goods together nicely. No crumbling cookies here my friend!

I want to share some of my favorite tips with you so that baking gluten free can be easy peasy for you.

Here are some things I’ve learned when it comes to baking gluten free.

  • If a traditional recipe says bake on 350, I move the temp up to 375 or 400. Gluten free flour cooks better at a higher temperature.
  • Not all gluten free flours are the same! You can’t just throw coconut flour into a recipe and think it’s gonna work.
  • I prefer the gluten free flours that have xantham gum already in them. This is what helps replace the elasticity that gluten would normally give the dough. You can always buy xanthum gum separately, but you don’t want to add that into a flour with xanthum gum already added. It would be way too chewy.
  • Personally, I think King Arthur Measure for Measure or King Arthur One to One GF flours are the best for baking muffins, cakes, cupcakes, pancakes, waffles, etc. It has a neutral taste and bakes up nicely.

Dairy Free Baking

In my opinion going dairy free is easier than gluten free. When we started this diet change, I quickly realized that dairy was in a lot of foods, but gluten was in almost everything. So, it was a little easier for us to go dairy free.

In a way it helps you to buy food that is less processed and more real whole food. But for kids, I still wanted to buy some fun treats and other goodies that my kids would enjoy. I love to cook but sometimes I get tired of being betty homemaker and just want to pull something out the pantry.

Over the last couple of years I’ve gathered a few of my favorite treats, granola bars, pasta dishes, etc that I enjoy making and feel like I don’t even miss the dairy in them. It’s mainly because I’ve learned some easy tips and found products that are very similar to if you were using dairy.

Some tips for dairy free baking and easy substitutes are below

  • For dairy milk use unsweetened plain almond milk
  • Using rice milk for baking and cooking
  • For buttermilk mix 1 cup unsweetened almond milk with 1 tsp white vinegar
  • Tofutti sour cream instead of dairy sour cream (found next to sour cream)
  • Using dairy free plain/unsweetened yogurt (great to replace sugar in muffins with or when a recipe calls for yogurt)
  • Earth Balance butter, Country Crock butter, Melt Organic butter, Miyokos butter, Forager butter (all dairy free and vegan. Come in tubs or sticks. I prefer the sticks for baking cookies and cakes with)
  • Miyokos DF cream cheese
  • Canned coconut milk

I want my family to still be able to enjoy the foods that they always have but just with a twist. This made the transition easier for us. Finding foods/meals/treats that we love and can continue to love just made a different way without the taste being compromised.

I’ve put together some of our favorite holiday dairy and/or gluten free treats that I know you will be able to find a couple in here you love too! Your kids can help you out in the kitchen too and it can be a fun treat for them.

Holiday Recipes For Cookies

1. Turtle Bites

These are gluten free BUT not dairy free (we give these to neighbors)

  • 1 bag of GF pretzels
  • 1 bag of Rolos chocolate/caramel
  • 1 small bag of pecans or you can use red/green M&Ms. Kids love that!


  1. Preheat the oven to 350
  2. Lay pretzels flat on cookie sheet.
  3. Unwrap Rolos and place one Rolo on top of each pretzel.
  4. Place in the oven for about 3-4 minutes
  5. Take out and gently press a pecan or M&M on top of the rolo and let cool completely

2. Magic Bar Brownies (Dairy and Gluten free) 

  •  You can use either the King Arthur Measure For Measure Flour OR buy a GF brownie mix/box
  • Condensed sweetened COCONUT milk (sometimes found in International isle or with other condensed milks)
  • Shredded unsweetened coconut flakes
  • Enjoy Life DF mini chocolate chips or Nestle three ingredient Allergy friendly chocolate chips (both found with chocolate chips on baking isle)
  • Choice of nuts (pecans or walnuts)


  1. Follow directions on back of Measure for Measure Flour if making their recipe OR follow directions on back of Brownie Box (I use almond milk instead of dairy milk)
  2. Place a layer of parchment paper in the brownie pan
  3. Heat oven to directions on brownie box or flour bag
  4. Pour brownie batter into the parchment lined baking pan
  5. Pour the condensed sweetened coconut milk all over the top of the brownie mix. Do not mix into batter.
  6. Sprinkle coconut flakes
  7. Sprinkle chocolate chips
  8. Sprinkle Nuts (we like chopped walnuts)

Bake and then let cool before cutting! A great thing about these magic brownie bars is you can add whatever toppings you’d like such as butterscotch chips, peanut butter chips, white chocolate chips, marshmallows, etc.

3. Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies (Dairy and Gluten Free)

This is one of the best holiday recipes for cookies I’ve found and a bonus that it’s dairy & gluten free

  • 1/2 cup vegan butter ( I like the earth balance sticks, country crock avocado oil vegan sticks)
  • 1/2 cup cane or coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1-1/2 cups gluten free flour (King Arthur Measure for Measure OR King Arthur One to One GF flour)
  • 1/4 cup rice milk or almond milk
  • 3/4 cup DF chocolate chips (I like the Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips OR Enjoy Life Mega Chunks)


  1.  Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheet with parchment paper
    In a bowl, mix together the butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and baking soda.
    Add the flour and rice/plant milk to the butter mixture and mix together until well mixed.
    Add the chocolate chips to the cookie dough and mix again until combined.
  2. Scoop out cookie dough into a spoon and lay on cookie sheet. Place about 2 inches apart.
  3. Bake for 10-11 minutes for chewy cookies and 12-13 for crispy all over. We love the chewy ones!
  4. Let cool completely then store in an airtight container for a few days.

Recipe cred: The Fit Cookie

4. Maple and Cinnamon Pecans

  • 2 cups pecans
  • ¾ cup pure maple syrup (none of that fake syrup ya’ll)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • (optional) ½ tsp pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 425
  2. Place pecans in a bowl. In another bowl place the syrup and cinnamon. Mix the two together. Rather than getting a second bowl dirty I just mix the syrup and cinnamon in the measuring cup.
  3. Pour syrup mixture over the pecans.
  4. Then pour onto the cookie sheet and spread out.
  5. Cook for 20 minutes. Pull out of the oven and let cool completely.

Recipe Cred: Party In Your Plants Cookbook (my measurements might be a tad different)

I love to place these in a small size mason jar. Tie a ribbon around or put a pretty Christmas stick on the jar and give to coworkers, teachers, friends, or neighbors.

These are also so good on a Christmas salad with sliced green apples, beets, mixed greens, and goat cheese with poppyseed or vinaigrette dressing.

I also serve these with breakfast and on my oatmeal!

Comment below with your favorite recipe from this blog post! 

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5. Snowballs

I found this recipe on the Mama Knows Gluten Free site and I love it. I really like this site because everything I’ve made from here has actually ended up being really tasty. As for these snowball cookies, I like them because they are super easy and only have a few ingredients. You may even have the ingredients in your pantry already!

The kids will enjoy breaking apart the nuts in the mix and rolling the balls in powdered sugar! To make dairy free you just use a vegan butter like Earth Balance, Country Crock Plant Sticks, or another one of the vegan butters out there.

6. Christmas Morning Cookies

  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cashew butter
  • 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp ground flax
  • 1/3 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup oats
  • handful raisins
  • handful chocolate chips (we love enjoy life mini chocolate chip)
  • handful walnuts


  1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. Mix coconut sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and cashew butter in a bowl until mixed thoroughly
  4. Add in the chia seeds, ground flax, salt, cinnamon, oats and mix well.
  5. I like to split the dough down the center. For half the batch I add in walnuts and raisins. The other half I add in walnuts and chocolate chips.
  6. Spoon out on parchment lined cookie sheet.
  7. Bake on 350 for 10 minutes. Let cool and enjoy on Christmas morning. One of my favorite holiday recipes for cookies right here.

7. Last But Not Least, an old school favorite. Christmas Sugar Cookies

Here is a yummy gluten free cookie recipe that is really easy to make. To make to dairy free just use a plant based butter. I like to use country crock plant sticks. Miyokos and Earth Balance also make a great dairy free butter. I got the recipe from the MamaGourmand site and she also gives a super easy three ingredient icing to make too. I love the icing because it hardens and has a gloss over it, making it perfect for painting on the cookies.

Well, those are some of my favorite and easiest holiday recipes for cookies I wanted to share with ya’ll!  For more recipe inspiration please check out my Pinterest page and follow me there.  You can also tag me on IG

If you like these holiday recipes for cookies then you will also enjoy my recent post giving you holiday desserts that kids will eat up! Click HERE to check it out.


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