With crisp edges and tender middles, these easy gluten-free chocolate chip cookies get a flavor boost from a blend of gluten-free flours – oat flour, sweet white rice flour, and tapioca flour, plus brown butter, loads of bittersweet chocolate, and flaky salt.
Ridiculously delicious, easy to make, and no one will believe they're gluten-free!
I originally shared the recipe for these heavenly brown butter gluten free chocolate chip cookies back in 2012. Over a decade later, these are still my very favorite gluten-free chocolate chip cookies and the recipe I'm most likely to whip up on any given day!
I've been baking gluten-free for over 20 years and chocolate chip cookies are my go-to when I need dessert ASAP. I love this gluten-free cookie recipe so much, I shared a version in my cookbook made with chestnut flour, dark milk chocolate, and dried tart cherries. And I shared versions on Food52 made with different flours: buckwheat, teff, and mesquite.
Here's why I think these are THE BEST gluten-free chocolate chip cookies that exist. They're:
- crispy at the edges
- soft, gooey, and chewy in the middles
- rich & buttery
- packed with butterscotch flavor from vanilla bean brown butter, oat flour, and brown sugar
- undetectably allergy-friendly
- optionally refined sugar-free, nut-free, & dairy-free as well as gluten-free
- easy to make with one bowl in under an hour, no mixer or chilling required
- super satisfying with better-than-classic flavor & texture
But no need to take my word for it. Here's what some readers have had to say in the comments:
An amazing recipe, as always! My kids and husband gobbled these up right off the cooling rack and I had to get on them before the whole batch was gone in less than a day.
Third time making this awesome recipe. It's so nice to finally have a gluten free cookie go to that is actually better than any other cookie I can remember eating:)
If you give them a go, I hope they become a favorite in your gluten-free baking repertoire as well!
And if you're still hungry for more, you can find all of my gluten-free cookie recipes here including these gluten-free ginger molasses cookies and gluten-free matcha chocolate chip cookies for a cookie smorgasbord.
What does brown butter do to cookies?
Once you try gluten-free chocolate chip cookies made with brown butter, you'll never go back. It makes these cookies taste absolutely freaking amazing.
- Browning the butter caramelizes the milk solids in the butter, giving it a rich, nutty flavor. In French this is called beurre noisette for its nutty flavor.
- Browning the butter also releases some liquid in the form of steam, leaving behind more pure fat. This makes the cookies extra rich, dense, moist, and chewy.
- I take it a step further by adding a vanilla bean to the browning butter. This infuses the butter with floral notes. But if you don't have a vanilla bean on hand, no worries: just brown the butter on its own and add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract along with the egg.
Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies Without Xanthan Gum
My original recipe for these cookies called for 1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum. But I've since made this recipe many times without it and I can't detect a difference. The cookies are still tender and chonky without it.
Ingredients & Substitution Suggestions
Just a handful of ingredients go into these rice & oat flour gluten-free chocolate chip cookies.
- Butter makes the cookies rich and moist. I prefer using European-style butter which has a higher fat content and is better for browning. You can use plant butter such as Miyoko's to make these dairy-free.
- Granulated sugar adds sweetness. I use organic granulated sugar, such as Florida Crystals, but regular white sugar will work too. For a refined sugar-free cookie, swap both sugars for coconut sugar, measured by weight.
- Brown sugar should be fresh, soft, and full of molasses. Either dark or light will work. I prefer organic dark brown sugar, which is more flavorful and slightly coarser. For a refined sugar-free cookie, swap both sugars for coconut sugar, measured by weight.
- One large egg helps the cookies puff as they bake and the proteins help the cookies hold together. For an eggless option, try using a flax egg (3 tablespoons water mixed with 4 teaspoons ground flax).
- A small amount of baking soda helps the cookies spread and brown.
- A handful of toasted pecans add flavor, but you can leave them out if you prefer.
- A sprinkle of flaky salt makes these completely addictive. I prefer Maldon salt for its thin, crisp flakes.
- Lots of bittersweet chocolate chunks offset the sweetness of the cookie dough. I like using baking chocolate with at least 70% cacao mass chopped into large pieces, but feel free to use your favorite chocolate chips. For refined sugar-free cookies, use chocolate sweetened with coconut sugar or maple such as Raaka, Guittard Santé, or Hu.
The best gluten-free flours for baking chocolate chip cookies
A trio of GF flours creates dreamy flavor and texture here. You'll never know they're gluten-free!
- Gluten-Free Oat flour (I use Bob's Red Mill brand) gives the cookies earthy flavor, tenderness, and crispy edges.
- By weight, you can substitute teff, buckwheat, or chestnut flour (all of which have stronger flavors). Or try subbing sorghum flour, which will have a slightly sandier texture.
- Sweet rice flour helps the cookies hold together and creates a smooth texture, like all-purpose flour would.
- You can substitute Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 gluten-free flour, which is made with sweet rice flour, or try cassava flour.
- Tapioca flour adds chew and keeps the cookie middles soft.
- You can try subbing arrowroot starch.
How to Make Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
A few key techniques make these cookies extra-special.
- This recipe makes 15-20 cookies and takes 30 minutes of prep time, 30 minutes to let the dough sit, and 10 minutes to bake. All you need is a bowl, a spoon, and a baking sheet!
- The recipe can be doubled if you need more cookies!
- No mixer required here! The melted browned butter is simply stirred with the other ingredients.
- The dough can be made and scooped ahead of time and chilled or frozen until ready to bake. The baked cookies keep beautifully for up to 3 days.
These oat & rice flour chocolate chip cookies can be made ahead for fresh, gooey cookies whenever the whim strikes. Chilling the dough for at least several hours results in cookies that are extra-thick and chonky because it allows the flours to absorb more moisture. Here's how to do it:
- Make the dough as directed, then let sit until firm enough to scoop (or chill for a few minutes to speed this up).
- Scoop the dough into balls using a cookie scoop, place the dough balls on a small baking sheet lined with parchment, and chill until firm, about 1 hour.
- Transfer the cold dough balls into a container and chill for up to a week or so. Or freeze for up to several months.
- When you’re ready to bake, just plop the dough balls on a cookie sheet as directed, top with flaky salt, and bake. They may need a bit longer in the oven if they're been chilled or frozen.
Troubleshooting & Tips for the Best Gluten-Free Cookies
Cookies are at once one of the simplest treats to bake and one of the most sensitive. Here are a few tips to ensure gluten-free chocolate chip cookie bliss.
Measure for measure
Accurate measuring is crucial for cookies. Too much flour will lead to thick, dry cookies, and not enough will lead to thin, greasy ones. For best results, weigh your ingredients with a food scale. This is the one I use.
When measuring by volume, use the dip and sweep method for flours: fluff up your flour, dip in your dry measuring cup, and use a flat butter knife or small offset spatula to sweep away the excess so that the flour is level with the cup. For brown sugar, pack it well into the cup; it should mostly hold the shape of the cup when turned out into the mixing bowl.
Bake off a single test cookie before baking the full batch. I like to use a small baking sheet that came with my toaster oven and a small piece of parchment. This way you can adjust the rest of the dough or the oven temperature and you didn't just ruin the whole batch!
Here are some common cookie troubles and how to rectify them:
- The cookies spread too much.
- Add a tablespoon of two more flour to the remaining cookie dough, and/or increase the oven temperature by 25-50 degrees.
- The cookies didn't spread enough.
- Lower the oven temperature by 25-50 degrees and/or flatten the dough balls before baking them. Next time you make them, use a little less flour.
Make sure your oven is actually the temperature it claims to be! Most ovens don't run true to temperature (mine runs about 50 degrees cold), so do yourself a favor and invest in an oven thermometer. Your cookies are worth it!
If your oven is too cold, your cookies will spread too thin, and will overbake in the centers before the edges show signs of doneness. Too hot, and the cookies' outsides will firm up before they have a chance to spread; the outside will be overdone before the innards get a chance to cook.
Timing is everything
Pull the cookies from the oven when they look underbaked. The edges should be just starting to color, while the tops should be puffed and soft, collapsing when you touch them gently with a fingertip.
Use rimless cookie sheets and parchment paper so you can effortlessly whisk all the cookies off the sheet and onto a cooling rack to stop the cooking. The cookies' residual heat will bake them fully. Much of the softness of hot cookies comes from the melted butter and chocolate, both of which become solid at room temperature. The properly baked cookie will stay soft in the center when cooled.
Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies for Everyone
This recipe is friendly to many different food sensitivities. Here how to adapt the recipe for your own needs:
- Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies: use vegan butter in place of the dairy butter, such as Miyoko's cultured butter. Take care when browning the vegan butter so it doesn't burn.
- Coconut Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies: omit the sugars and use the same amount of coconut sugar by weight. The dough will feel a little thicker, but the cookies will bake up exactly the same. The molasses flavor of the coconut sugar plays beautifully with the brown butter.
- Refined Sugar-Free: Make the coconut sugar variation above and use chocolate sweetened with coconut sugar or maple.
- Nut-Free: omit the pecans or swap them for toasted pumpkin seeds.
- Egg-Free / Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies: I have yet to perfect this recipe using flax egg, but I will update it when I do! In the meantime, try one of these recipes:
Whether you nom these gluten-free chocolate chip cookies warm and gooey from the oven or cooled to room temp, with a tall glass of milk or plant milk, shared with a friend or hoarded all to yourself, I hope you love them as much as we do!
*Bojon appétit! For more Bojon Gourmet in your life, follow along on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest, purchase my gluten-free cookbook Alternative Baker, or subscribe to receive new posts via email. And if you make this gluten-free chocolate chip cookie recipe, I’d love to see. Tag your Instagram snaps @The_Bojon_Gourmet and #bojongourmet.*
Thick & Chewy Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip CookiesPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 8 tablespoons butter (115 g) unsalted butter*
- ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped (or ½ teaspoon vanilla extract or paste, added with the egg)
- ½ cup (100 g) packed organic dark brown sugar**
- ¼ cup (50 g) organic granulated sugar***
- 1 large egg (2 ounces by weight out of shell)
- ½ cup (78 g) sweet white rice flour (such as Koda Farms Mochiko)****
- ½ cup (50 g) gluten-free oat flour (such as Bob's Red Mill)*****
- 2 tablespoons (15 g) tapioca flour******
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 7 ounces (200 g) bittersweet chocolate (around 70% cacao mass), coarsely chopped (1 ½ cups)
- ½ cup (60 g) toasted pecans, cooled completely and coarsely chopped
- flaky salt such as Maldon, for sprinkling (optional)
- 2 rimless cookie sheets
- 1 cookie scoop
Brown the Butter
- Melt the butter and vanilla bean and scrapings (if using) together in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. (If using vanilla extract or paste, just brown the butter by itself and add the vanilla along with the egg.)
- Continue to cook, swirling occasionally, until the butter turns golden and smells absolutely amazing, 3-5 minutes. There should be dark brown bits (not black) on the bottom of the pan. When the butter starts to foam up, watch it very closely as it can go from brown to burnt in moments.
- Place the sugars in a large bowl and when the butter has browned, scrape it and the browned bits into the sugar immediately to stop the cooking. Let cool, stirring occasionally, for 10-20 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean if using (you can rinse and dry it and use it to make vanilla extract or to flavor a small jar of sugar or liqueur).
- Whisk the egg (and vanilla extract, if using) into the cooled sugar-butter mixture until well-combined and emulsified.
- Meanwhile, sift together the flours, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl.
- Use a sturdy wooden spoon to stir the flour mixture into the sugar mixture, stir until well combined, then continue to stir vigorously for 45 seconds; the mixture will firm up slightly. This increases the stickiness of the flours, helping the cookies hold together and be more chewy.
- Stir in the nuts and chocolate until evenly distributed.
- Cover the dough and let it sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours to allow the butter to firm and the starches to absorb moisture, leading to thicker, chewier cookies.
Bake the cookies
- Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 375ºF. Line two rimless cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- At this point, I recommend baking off a single test cookie on a small baking sheet. This way you can adjust the rest of the dough and/or oven temperature before baking off the whole batch. See Troubleshooting & Tips in the recipe notes.
- Scoop the dough into 1 ½ inch diameter balls (about 3 tablespoons each; a size 24 or 30 spring-loaded ice cream scoop works wonderfully) and place on the prepared cookie sheets, spaced 2-3 inches apart. Top each cookie with a pinch of flaky salt.
- Bake the cookies about 7-10 minutes, rotating back to front and top to bottom after 5 minutes. When the cookies are ready, they will seem underbaked. The edges should be just starting to color, and the tops should be puffed all over with soft centers that collapse when gently touched with a fingertip. The centers will look wet under a thin surface of dry, cracked-looking dough.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and pull them, parchment and all, onto cooling racks to stop them from baking further. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before devouring. Or cool completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature; the butterscotch flavor comes through better when the cookies are cool.
- The cookies will keep for up to 3 days, airtight at room temperature.
- measure by weight, not volume
- if measuring by volume, use the dip and sweep (aka scoop and swoop) method
- make sure your oven is the correct temperature by using an external oven thermometer
- bake off a single test cookie to make sure your cookies spread the right amount
- if your cookies spread too much, add more flour or increase the oven temperature
- if they don't spread enough, flatten the dough balls or decrease the oven temperature
My original photos from 2012!