Paleo Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Icing

5 minute read

Soft, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth sugar cookies topped with a light and fluffy paleo buttercream are in perfect harmony for the best iced sugar cookie ever! These gluten-free and dairy-free cookies are the perfect treat for Easter, get-togethers, or just because you’re in the mood to bake a decadent and mouthwatering cookie. Everyone will love these Paleo Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Icing and you will love that they are made with all whole food ingredients.

We’ve all seen those iced cookies at the store—the ones with the sprinkles and bright icing, not to mention a fair share of chemicals. I wanted to make a whole food, gluten-free copycat version of these soft, iced sugar cookies and these are the bomb! You won’t believe how amazing these buttercream cookies are: a tender, buttery, and luscious cookie with the perfect amount of sweet, creamy buttercream. This Paleo iced sugar cookie puts those store-bought icing cookies to shame and comes without any preservatives, artificial flavors, or colors, and hasn’t been sitting on the store shelf for 3+ weeks.

Why Unrefined Ingredients vs. Refined Ingredients?

Refined foods are foods that have been processed and altered from their natural state. These include foods from organic whole milk that has been pasteurized to increase shelf life to PopTarts, which contain nothing but highly refined and artificial ingredients. Foods that are not refined include eggs, raw milk, raw honey, and fresh produce.

In our culture, there is virtually no way around processed foods, so my recommendation is to make the best choices with what you have.  When choosing foods and ingredients, try to look for items that are minimally processed as they will contain more nutrients and are not as inflammatory to the body.

Categories of Processed Foods and a few examples of each [1]:

  • Unprocessed/Minimally Processed foods: fresh produce, whole grains, meats, nuts and seeds and whole milk.
  • Processed Ingredients: flour, pasta, oils from plants, seeds, and nuts .
  • Processed Foods: canned fruits and vegetables, canned fish, some cheeses (American, Velveeta), and bread.
  • Ultra Processed Foods: potato chips, some lunchmeat candy, soda, cookies, crackers, breakfast cereals/pastries, and frozen meals.

Some examples of inflammatory Ultra Processed/Refined ingredients:

  • Bleached white flour
  • White Sugar/Castor Sugar
  • Cooking oils: vegetable, canola, sunflower, safflower, certain seed oils
  • Margarine
  • White table salt

Alternatives to Consider:

  • Almond or Coconut Flour vs. Bleached White Flour
  • Sea Salt/Pink Salt vs. White table salt
  • Coconut Sugar/Pure Maple Syrup/Raw Honey vs. White sugar/Castor sugar
  • Ghee or Grass-Fed Butter vs. Margarine
  • Palm Shortening vs. Crisco
  • Cold Pressed Unrefined EVOO/Avocado Oil vs. Vegetable/Canola/Seed Oils
  • Sparkling Water vs. Soda

Choosing to cook with and consume foods that are minimally processed ensures that what you eat is more nutritionally dense and a better option in supporting health and wellbeing.

So grab some whole food ingredients and let’s get cooking!

Paleo Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Icing Ingredients

Makes 20-24 cookies

For the Paleo Sugar Cookies

1 1/3 cup Arrowroot Starch

2/3 cup Fine Almond Flour

1/3 cup Coconut Flour 

1/2 cup Grass-Fed Ghee or Brown Butter Ghee, softened

1 Large Pasture Raised Egg

1/2 cup Pure Maple Syrup or Pure Raw Honey

1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

1/4 tsp Fine Real Salt*

1 tsp Pure Baking Soda

*Add if ghee is unsalted

For the Paleo Buttercream Icing

1/4 cup Grass-Fed Ghee or Brown Butter Ghee, slightly chilled

3/4 cup Palm Shortening

1/4 tsp of Fine Real Salt*

1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

2/3 cup Pure Maple Syrup or Pure Raw Honey

2 Tbsp-1/4 cup Arrowroot Starch**

Sprinkles (opt)

**Use enough to “fluff” the buttercream

How to Make Soft Paleo Sugar Cookies

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees for convection, 350 for conventional

2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

3. In a medium bowl combine the almond and coconut flours, arrowroot starch, salt, and baking soda, gently whisk to evenly combine.

4. In a large bowl combine the ghee, egg, maple syrup or honey, and vanilla extract.  Whisk to evenly combine.

5. Transfer the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix with a spatula or wooden spoon until a uniform dough is formed.

6.  Using a small cookie dough scoop, scoop dough the onto parchment lined baking sheets.

7.  Bake for 10-14 minutes, then cool on the baking sheet for about 10-minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

8.  Enjoy as is or add a dollop of fluffy Paleo buttercream!

How to Make Fluffy Paleo Buttercream

1. Add all the ingredients to a medium bowl or the bowl to a standing mixer.

2. Beat on high until the icing is light and fluffy (2-3 minutes), you will need to stop and scrape a few times.

3. Add about 1/2-1 Tablespoon of icing to each cookie and using an icing spatula and smooth over the top of the cookie.

4. Sprinkles are NOT Paleo, however, if you can have them, sprinkle the cookies with a few decorative sprinkles.


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Q: My dough was pretty loose and my cookies flattened out, what happened?

A: The dough may have been a bit too warm, try to be sure the ghee is not melted, and softened instead. If after combining the dough is still a bit loose, try chilling the it for at around 20-30 minutes to give the fat a chance too cool down and harden a bit before baking.

Q: My icing didn’t fluff like I wanted it too, it was really dense.

A: Be sure you don’t use melted palm shortening or ghee, cool them down a bit if your house is too warm and chill the bowl in the freezer if it is freezer safe.

Q: I have extra buttercream, what is the best way to store it?

A: Keep it in an airtight container in the fridge up to a week or you can freeze it up to a month.

Q: Will the cookies freeze well?

A: The cookies are very delicate and tender, they do freeze and defrost well, just be sure they are in a container that will not cause them to crumble easily.

Q: Are the sprinkles Paleo?

A: No, they are not. If you are on a strict Paleo protocol or WOE, do not decorate with the sprinkles.

Q: Can I use Crisco in place of the palm shortening?

A: To keep it Paleo and whole food, stick with the palm shortening as crisco is ultra processed hydrogenated vegetable oil and it is highly inflammatory.

Note: This post contains Amazon affiliate links to the products and kitchen gear I love. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting Almond Milk and Cookies!


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Welcome to Almond Milk and Cookies where good food, health and lots of flavor go hand-in-hand!

I am a holistic nutritionist with an auto-immune disorder, a love of cooking, and a passion for holistic health.

Sharing what I make and eat with all of you…in hopes that you find inspiration here to fuel your body and feel your best with nutrient dense whole foods and clean eating.

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