Healthy Soft Sugar Cookies (and Some Handy Hints for Thanksgiving!)

Healthy Soft Sugar Cookies — sweet, buttery, rich and delicious, you’d never know they’re made without the refined flour, butter, and yes, sugar!  😳😁

Sugar free, gluten free, dairy free and vegan SUGAR COOKIES?!?

I’ll take 7  😍

Healthy Sugar Cookies (refined sugar free, gluten free) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits

Cookies are very difficult to “healthify” compared to other desserts like cake and ice cream since they require a specific ratio of butter:sugar:flour.  Or, maybe they’re just difficult for ME to healthify because I don’t use butter, sugar and flour.

I’ve always struggled with baking cookies…  they either turn into soft and puffy muffin tops or crunchy cracker thingies.  They’re either to moist or too dry.  Or they crumble between your fingers.  Or I burn them (oops).

But finally, some good news:  these Healthy Soft Sugar Cookies!

These cookies are a breakthrough.  A triumph  🙌

Healthy Sugar Cookies (refined sugar free, gluten free) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits

They’re soft and chewy, sweet and rich, addictive yet satisfying…  and surprisingly healthy.  They taste like Pillsbury sugar cookies sans the dangerous hydrogenated oils, unhealthy white sugar and bad-for-you bleached flour.

Healthy Sugar Cookies (refined sugar free, gluten free) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits

As a baker and food blogger, my kitchen is constantly pumping out yummy new treats.  True story, one day I made 2 layer cakes, a batch of brownies, and 3 batches of cookies  😳

I live alone, though, so it’s physically impossible for me to eat all of it in time before it’s no longer good for consumption.

Thank goodness for freezers, and thank heavens for Hefty® Slider Freezer Bags  🙏

Healthy Sugar Cookies (refined sugar free, gluten free) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits

Cookies and bars and brownies store amazingly well in the freezer.  Just stick ’em in a bag and place them in the freezer!  When you want a cookie without the hassle and commitment of baking an entire batch, just grab one from the Freezer Bag, place it on a plate, and pop it in the microwave for ~20 seconds.

BOOM.  “Freshly baked” cookie in literally 30 seconds  👌

It’s super easy to freeze other foods, besides these ahhhmazing cookies, too — from pie doughs to dinner rolls to cranberry sauce!  Here’s a little helpful guide to make Thanksgiving prep a little easier:

Healthy Sugar Cookies (refined sugar free, gluten free, vegan) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits

I think this guide might help us ALL maintain our sanity during the cooking-for-Thanksgiving-dinner chaos.


Bake some of these deliciously sweet and chewy, secretly healthy Soft Sugar Cookies ahead of time for Thanksgiving this year!  Simply store the freshly baked (and cooled) cookies in a Hefty® Slider Freezer Bag in the freezer for up to one month.

14 cookies

Healthy Soft Sugar Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the oat flour, erythritol, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, almond milk, vanilla extract, butter flavor, stevia extract and almond extract.
  4. Dump the dry ingredients over the wet ingredients and fold together.  Fold until the mixture can form into a dough ball (it will look sticky at first, but then the oat flour will absorb the liquid and turn into a play-doh/cookie dough texture).
  5. Use a medium cookie scoop to portion out the dough onto the prepared cookie sheet.  Roll the dough portions into balls, then use your fingers to press them into patties.  Form them just a tiny bit thicker and smaller than you prefer your cookies -- they spread out a little.  Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until baked through (when you tap the center of the cookie, it should be soft, but shouldn't leave a permanent fingerprint indentation).
  6. Slide the parchment paper off the cookie sheet and let the cookies cool completely.  Serve immediately, or transfer them to a Hefty® Quart Size Slider Freezer Bag and store in the freezer for up to one month.  To thaw, place the Hefty® bag in the fridge overnight.  For a "freshly baked" cookie straight from the freezer, place a cookie on a plate and microwave for ~20 seconds!
Recipe adapted from: Chocolate Chip Cookies from the Naughty or Nice Cookbook

Here is the recipe’s nutrition label:

Healthy Sugar Cookies (refined sugar free, gluten free, vegan) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits

For a cookie that tastes almost identical to a Pillsbury sugar cookie, the difference in health is pretty drastic.  Pillsbury sugar cookies have 3g of trans fats and nearly 1 tablespoon of sugar PER cookie, while mine have 0g of both  👌

Are you curious to see the ingredients inside a Pillsbury sugar cookie?  Look no further:

Pillsbury Ingredients

Ahhh!  My eyes!  My eyes!  😖

Like, seriously?  Sugar, Bleached Flour, Partially Hydrogenated Oils?  The first 3 ingredients alone are incredibly detrimental to your body.  I can’t believe I used to eat that crap for the holidays (and any other festivity that included cookies)  😒



Healthy Sugar Cookies (refined sugar free, gluten free) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits

I accidentally dropped the bag of cookies on the floor and Cherry ran straight over and tried to eat it (just like anything else I drop on the floor lol)

Healthy Sugar Cookies (refined sugar free, gluten free) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits

And she was sorely disappointed she couldn’t gobble away at the entire bag.

Enjoy the cookies y’all!  😘

69 comments on “Healthy Soft Sugar Cookies (and Some Handy Hints for Thanksgiving!)

  1. Oh and I love your desserts with healthy benefits, thanks for all the recipes!

  2. Count me in! I love erythritol, and your recipes that use it.

  3. These cookies sound as delicious as they are pretty. They look like they would be great to bring to a little boy’s baby shower that I am attending next weekend, and I just might have to go hunt these erythritol items down before the contest is over so I can make it in time! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    I signed up to receive the e-mails, followed you on Pinterest, and I gave you a thumbs up on Facebook. Good luck to everyone on the giveaway!

  4. Can’t wait to try this recipe. I love cookies!

  5. What is erythritol made out of? Is it chemically made in a plant?

  6. I totally agree with you on being grossed out about what I used to eat! Yikes :-/

    These cookies look delicious!

  7. I recently stumbled upon your website and it’s really made me challenge my views on the foods I’m eating. Just because something is “lower calorie” doesn’t mean it’s better for me. Thanks for sharing all of this info! (And of course I’d love a chance to win some of your favorite products. I’d love to switch to everything “good” and “honestly healthy” but it’s expensive!)

  8. These cookies look delicious! I’ve wanted to try erythritol for a while, I so it would be wonderful to win this! I stay away from artificial sweeteners, so it would be nice to have a healthier natural sweetener option.

  9. You are amazing! These cookies look fabulous. I’m a little gunshy of new-ish sweeteners, but I’m totally down to try this!

  10. Those look amazing! I have used Erythritol but never the powdered kind, that looks awesome. Thanks for the chance to enter.

  11. I love your website! I just recently came across it and I plan to try out some of these recipes soon! I love baking but have pretty much given it up since I started eating healthy. It’d be great to start baking again, and baking stuff that’s good for me. 🙂

  12. I’d bake every damn day if these were in my kitchen.

  13. hi Jessica,
    Do you think I can substitute brownrice flour & out flour with 2 cup whole wheat flour in this recipe?

    • dessertswithbenefits

      I haven’t tried it but I’m sure the WW flour will work… I would also use 1+3/4 cups of flour, 2 cups might make the cookies dry. I guess you can add the 1/4 cup if the dough seems wet. Good luck!!

  14. These look really great. I feel you on the cookie difficulties.

  15. Love all the healthy desserts you post!

  16. These cookies look amazing!

  17. Cookies are so hard to healthify, but these look fantastic! Can’t wait to make them.

  18. I’ve used erythritol a few times before, and it works great! Can’t wait try out these cookies. 🙂

  19. these are making my mouth water while I sit in class! haha

  20. wow those cookies look great! I would love to win and try the recipe! 🙂

  21. I used to looove those soft Lofthouse sugar cookies from the supermarket before I started eating clean — THANK YOU for providing a healthy alternative!

  22. Love your site! Every time I’m at the health food store, I remember that erythritol is on my list of things to pick up that I want to try… it’s kind of expensive, so…hope I’m the winner! 🙂

  23. soft sugar cookies are my FAVE! i’ve been trying to find a good GF recipe for a while – the ones i make usually turn crisp…love that these are ALSO sugar free!

  24. I’ve seen xylitol everywhere, and I thought stevia was the fad…hmm you’ve definitely intrigued me to do some research on what the difference is!

  25. And of course I subscribed by email! Your new blog looks awesome!

  26. These look delicious! I absolutely love all of your recipes!

  27. I’ve been wanting to try this for a long time; I just never got around to ordering some.

  28. Love the store cookies with that thick sugary icing, but they always were too much. I definitely am going to try making them at home soon!

  29. Hey Jessica!
    I am constantly amazed by how much you know about the science of foods to completely recreate recipes and still get amazing results! I was wondering, in your recipes where you use brown rice flour, can I sub with another flour or is that pretty essential to the recipe?

    • dessertswithbenefits

      Many gluten free flours can replace brown rice flour (like sorghum flour, more oat flour, quinoa flour, etc), I just like the mild flavor of brown rice flour. I find sorghum flour to be a little bitter, so I only use it in recipes with strong flavors, such as chocolate or cinnamon. The same goes with quinoa flour. Oat flour is very mild, but when it is used as the one and only flour in a recipe, it makes whatever you are baking smell like oatmeal… which isn’t bad necessarily, just not authentic. You can experiment using other flours if you like, but I would avoid coconut flour because it absorbs so much liquid 🙂

  30. I’d love to win these sweeteners, as I don’t like using sugar but would like to try some more baking!!

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