The best gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, with crisp edges and super chewy centers. These cookies are the just-right texture - neither paper thin nor the slightest bit thick. Semisweet chocolate chips dotted throughout a classic chewy vanilla cookie. Just like my mom made them. This recipe was developed with either an almond flour or a nut-free flour base!
Pro friendship tip: keep a batch of gluten-free chocolate chip cookie dough in your freezer at all times. Got a sad friend? Need something for a bake sale? Teacher appreciation luncheon? Neighborhood potluck? Midnight snack? Gluten-free chocolate chip cookies are always the answer. I'm always prepared with frozen cookie dough and they're always a huge hit.
These buttery gluten-free chocolate chip cookies have crisp edges with super chewy centers and are neither paper thin nor the slightest bit thick. The chocolate is studded throughout with plenty of room to taste the chewy vanilla cookie.
Over the last several years, I've been making adjustments to this recipe each time I bake it to capture my ideal classic chocolate chip cookie texture. There's no exaggeration when I say I've tested this recipe over 100 times, adjusting the method and each ingredient to dial it in. Ultimately, this final perfect recipe is a variation of the ratios of classic (not gluten-free) chocolate chip cookies my mom in my childhood.
Chocolate chip cookies are about nostalgia and as such, I still firmly believe cookie-style preference is learned in childhood (psst: here are my favorite gluten-free oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, based on my mom's). When I picture a classic chocolate chip cookie posing for a photo, it's this cookie.
Ingredients and substitutions for gluten-free chocolate chip cookies
This recipe comes with two flour blend options. Almond flour is my go-to base for gluten-free cookies, but for nut-free occasions (see also: every single school event), I developed a nut-free version as well. For ultra-chewy cookies with crisp edges and a classic chocolate chip cookie flavor, these cookies use a blend of almond flour (or oat/teff flour), sweet rice flour, and tapioca flour.
Here are the ingredients you need for these gluten-free chocolate chip cookies:
- Superfine blanched almond flour: Superfine blanched almond flour adds flour bulk without drying out the cookie. It imparts the cookie moisture and a subtle nutty sweetness.
- Substitution: See oat flour option below about a nut-free substitution.
- Bob's Red Mill tapioca flour: Like sweet rice flour, tapioca flour offers chewiness, but it also is what helps create the fluffiness and crispy edges.
- Substitution: Substitute by weight with arrowroot starch.
- Sweet rice flour: Also called mochiko or glutinous rice flour, sweet rice flour is distinctively different than white rice or brown rice flour. Sweet rice flour is the same flour used to make mochi, and as such, it contributes to the chewiness of the cookie center.
- Substitution: If you can't find sweet rice flour or want a grain-free version, I would replace it by weight with additional tapioca flour. Your bake time might vary a bit, so keep an eye on the cookies for clues that they're done!
- Baking soda
- Unsalted butter
- Light brown sugar: I recommend organic light brown sugar, as it has a higher molasses content than conventional, creating a chewier cookie with more flavor.
- Granulated sugar
- Large egg
- Vanilla extract
- Chocolate chips or chunks
Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies
The subtle sweet nuttiness of almond flour is the most neutral gluten-free flour to capture that classic cookie flavor and texture. Almond flour does not make the baked cookie taste like almonds but adds subtle warm and cozy flavor notes that pair beautifully with oatmeal and spices. Because of the higher fat and moisture content in almond flour, you'll need more flour than in the oat flour version, which creates a couple of bonus cookies.
Nut-Free Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
I also developed a nut-free version of this cookie using in case you can't tolerate nuts. Follow the same recipe instructions, replacing the flour ratios listed in the recipe with one of these blends:
Oat flour chocolate chip cookies: The oat flour version has a more classic gluten-free chocolate chip cookie flavor with wholesome notes, similar to the almond flour version above.
- 115g (1 cup + 1 tablespoon) gluten-free oat flour
- 35g (¼ cup + 1 tablespoon) tapioca flour
- 40g (¼ cup) sweet rice flour
Teff flour chocolate chip cookies: For a less classic, but out-of-this-world cookie, use this teff flour variation. Teff flour gives rich toffee notes that accentuate the brown sugar and will make people wonder what magic they're eating. The teff flour version will bake up darker with a less classic chocolate chip cookie color (similar to these gluten-free oatmeal chocolate chip cookies).
What kind of chocolate for chocolate chip cookies
You can use any kind of chocolate you want in these gluten-free chocolate chip cookies. Whatever you use, I recommend opting for a high-quality chocolate, such as Guittard.
- Chips: Classic chocolate chip cookies use semisweet chips, but you can use bittersweet or a combination of both (my personal favorite).
- Chunks or Chopped Chocolate: Alternatively, you can use chocolate chunks or chopped chocolate. Chopped chocolate will bake up into puddles, with tiny flecks of chocolate throughout the cookie, giving a more chocolatey flavor with every bite.
Dairy-free Gluten-free chocolate chip cookies
For gluten-free dairy-free chocolate chip cookies, substitute the butter for a stick-based plant butter, and make sure you use dairy-free chocolate chips!
I've made them this way for my dairy-free friends, and the results are super delicious.
How to Make gluten-free chocolate chip cookies
Here's how to make gluten-free chocolate chip cookies:
- Weigh and sift your dry ingredients into a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
- Mix in egg and vanilla until combined.
- With the mixer on low, slowly mix in the dry ingredients until just combined.
- Mix in the chocolate chips or chunks until just combined.
- Scoop cookie dough balls onto a baking sheet, press reserved chocolate chips into the top, and chill.
- Preheat oven to 350° and bake for 10-12 minutes.
- Use a round cutter or a large cup to create perfectly round cookies.
- Let cool on the pan for 3 minutes before using a thin metal spatula to transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
Tips for the best gluten-free cookies
USE A SCALE TO MEASURE FLOURS
All of my gluten-free recipes use a blend of flour, and as such, there's more room for error in measuring your flour if you scoop and measure by volume (cups). For example, A cup of gluten-free almond flour can weigh 112g scooped one way or 90g or even 120g scooped another way. Too much or too little flour will make a huge difference in the outcome of your cookie. Multiply that variation across three different flours - yikes!
For that reason, I always recommend measuring the flours by weight, so you'll always have accurate measurements. Bonus: it's so much faster than scooping and leveling cups! Place the flour sifter over a bowl on the scale and tare the scale, then just spoon the flour straight into the scale until it reaches the correct weight.
RESERVE AND ADD SOME CHOCOLATE CHIPS ON TOP OF COOKIE DOUGH BALLS
I like to see a few gooey chocolate chips or chunks on top, so to achieve that, reserve a few chocolate chips or chunks and press them onto each cookie dough ball after you've scooped it.
MAKE PERFECTLY ROUND COOKIES WITH A ROUND CUTTER
As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, use a large round cutter or the ring of a large mason jar (larger than the diameter of the cookie) to scoot each cookie into a perfect circle. This method also helps make the centers of the cookie puff up, adding to the chew factor.
REMOVE COOKIES BEFORE THEY LOOK DONE
Take care not to overbake cookie dough. For the perfect chewy gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, pull them out when the edges look set, but the centers still look just a bit underbaked. The cookies will continue baking as they cool.
Why did my cookies spread and flatten?
If your cookies spread and flattened, there are a few likely culprits.
- Old baking soda: Check to make sure your baking soda is fresh. If the baking soda is old, it will not contribute to the cookie rise, and your cookies will bread and flatten.
- Too little flour: If you didn't add enough flour, then your cookies will spread. Even just 10g difference will cause your cookies to spread too thin. This is why I recommend you always weigh your gluten-free flours.
- Different brands of flour: I have found different brands of flour to behave quite differently based on how finely they are ground. While almond flour and oat flour are less finicky, be sure you use Bob's Red Mill tapioca flour and either Koda Farms Mochiko or Bob's Red Mill sweet rice flour. Specifically, I've found other brands of tapioca flour cause more spread and leave a gritty texture behind.
- Dough not chilled long enough: The longer you chill the dough, the less likely your cookies are to spread too thin. While you can chill in the freezer for just 20 minutes and bake successfully (as pictured here!), I've found the best results when I chill the cookie dough overnight or longer (either in the fridge or freezer).
Why didn't my cookies spread and flatten?
If your cookies do not spread and flatten as they should, there is likely either too much flour or not enough sugar. Be sure to measure by weight when making this recipe!
Why are my cookies too soft or too dry and crumbly?
The likely culprit is bake time and/or oven temperature. Every oven can vary a bit in temperature, which can affect the bake time. If you have an oven thermometer, make sure your oven temperature is accurate. Alternatively, I recommend baking off a test sheet of just 3 cookies to dial in the bake time before charging ahead with the rest of the cookies. If your cookies are too soft, they are likely underbaked, and if they are too dry and crumbly, they are likely overbaked.
The cookies will be finished when the edges feel just set to the touch, and the centers are puffy, but just barely look underbaked in the very center.
How to store baked Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
Store baked cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days. After a couple of days, the cookies will begin to lose their freshness, so if you plan to store them for longer, I recommend freezing them. For ultimate freshness, I recommend only baking off what you need, and freezing the rest of the dough (see below).
You can freeze-baked cookies for up to 6 months. First, freeze the completely cooled cookies in a single layer on a baking sheet for 15 minutes, before transferring them to an airtight container or bag. When ready to serve, let them return to room temperature on the counter for about 30 minutes.
Storing Gluten-Free Cookie Dough
You can store the cookie dough balls in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 6 months. First, chill the cookie dough balls in a single layer on a baking sheet until firm (about 15 minutes in the freezer or an hour in the fridge), then transfer to a freezer bag to store for longer.
Bake chilled cookie dough straight from the fridge or freezer! If the dough has been frozen for longer than an hour, add 1-2 minutes to your baking time. Bake off a tester cookie and check for clues about doneness!
More Gluten-Free Drop Cookie Recipes
Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 112g (1 cup) Superfine blanched almond flour *See nut-free version below
- 84g (¾ cup) Bob's Red Mill tapioca flour
- 70g (¼ cup + 3 tablespoons) sweet rice flour (also called mochiko, sweet rice flour is distinctly different than white rice flour or brown rice flour. Use Koda Farms or Bob's Red Mill)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 100g (½ cup) packed light brown sugar (preferably organic, as it has a higher molasses content)
- 88g (¼ cup + 3 tablespoons) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 4½ ounces (¾ cup) chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (semisweet, bittersweet, or a combination), divided
- In a medium bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a medium bowl with a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
- Add the egg and vanilla extract, mixing until just combined, scraping down the sides as needed.
- With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients, mixing until combined.
- Add the chocolate chips or chunks and mix until just evenly distributed. For gooey puddles of chocolate on top, reserve some of the chocolate chips/chunks for on top.
- Using a medium cookie scoop, drop 2 tablespoon-size balls of dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, close together. Press the reserved chocolate chips for on top of the balls of cookie dough.
- Chill the cookie dough in the fridge for at least 1 hour or the freezer for at least 20 minutes (pictured here).
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the cookie dough balls at least 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. If the dough has been frozen for longer than an hour, add 1-2 minutes to your baking time. Take care not to overbake cookie dough. Pull them out when the edges look just set, but the centers still look just a bit underbaked. The cookies will continue baking as they cool.
- Optional: As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, use a large round cutter or the ring of a large mason jar (larger than the diameter of the cookie) to scoot each cookie into a perfect circle. This method also helps make the centers of the cookie puff up, adding to the chew factor.
- Let cool on the baking sheet for 3 minutes before carefully transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Nut-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
Oat flour: The oat flour version has a more classic gluten-free chocolate chip cookie flavor with wholesome notes, similar to the almond flour version above.
- 115g (1 cup + 1 tablespoon) gluten-free oat flour
- 35g (¼ cup + 1 tablespoon) tapioca flour
- 40g (¼ cup) sweet rice flour
Teff flour: For a less classic, but out-of-this-world cookie, use this teff flour variation. Teff flour gives rich toffee notes that accentuate the brown sugar and will make people wonder what magic they're eating. The teff flour version will bake up darker with a less classic chocolate chip cookie color (similar to these gluten-free oatmeal chocolate chip cookies).