If you love a buttery, slightly crisp cookie, you will love my easy gluten free sable cookies recipe. This sable, also called a French butter cookie, is delicious any time, and it can be made in lots of different flavors. Make a batch in under an hour with chill time!

Five sables stacked and tied with twine.

If you have never heard of a sable, I am excited to introduce you to these crisp little cookies! These cookies hail from France’s Normandy region, also known as sable biscuits or Sable Breton.

The first time I tried a sable was at a restaurant in Berkeley several years ago. The sable cookie was the base of a baked Alaska recipe, instantly becoming my favorite dessert ever. The chef’s recipe was grain-free and made with almond flour, and it was so good!

You can decorate the sables and make them fancy by rolling the cookie dough in coarse sugar or gluten free sprinkles so when you slice and bake them, they have flashy edges. You can also roll this cookie dough out and use your favorite cookie cutters.

Sables not only make great stand-alone cookies, but the sable cookie dough also makes a great tart crust! You can use it to make my delicious homemade Gluten Free Lemon Tart recipe.

A sable cookie on a plate broken in half.
  • I consider this one of my blog’s must-make gluten-free cookie recipes because this is such a versatile cookie dough.
  • You can flavor these sables in so many ways or add shaved chocolate! Kids love making these cut-out cookies!
  • If you have been looking for a gluten-free cookie recipe with very few ingredients, I highly encourage you to try this recipe!

If you are a cookie fanatic like me, you will want to try all of my delicious Gluten Free Cookie Recipes!

Allergen Information:

These buttery cookies are gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, and oat-free. Using plant-based butter instead of regular butter makes them dairy-free.

Photos of the sable cookie ingredients.

Ingredient Notes:

For the full list of ingredients and amounts, please go to the recipe card below.

  • Gluten free flour blend – I tested this recipe using Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free Flour Blend and King Arthur’s Measure for Measure Gluten Free Blend. That doesn’t mean others will not work. I just have not tested other flours.
  • Xanthan gum – If your gluten free flour blend doesn’t contain xanthan gum or guar gum, please add 1 teaspoon.
  • Butter – Use unsalted butter.
  • Vanilla – You can use pure vanilla extract, vanilla bean paste, or vanilla beans. I do not recommend imitation vanilla extract.
  • Coarse Sugar – This is optional, but it makes the edges of these cookies sparkle.

Step-By-Step Photos and Directions:

Gluten free sables photos of steps 1 and 3.

Step 1: In a large bowl, add your dry ingredients and whisk to blend.

Step 2: In a smaller bowl, add the wet ingredients and mix well.

Step 3: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix into a ball of cookie dough.

📢 Sandi says: Every gluten-free flour blend has a different starch-to-grain ratio. The brand of gluten-free flour you use will affect the moisture of the batter. If your cake batter is too runny, add more flour, and if it is too thick, add more liquids.
Read Why Gluten-Free Flour Blends Vary to learn more about this.

You can also mix this sable cookie dough in a standing mixer. To use a mixer, add your wet ingredients first, then gradually add in the dry ingredients until your cookie dough ball forms.

Photos of making sable cookies steps 4 and 5.

Step 4: Roll the cookie dough into a ball and press coarse sugar into it. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 45 minutes. You want the dough firm and cool but soft enough to fix the roll in case it flattens on the bottom.

Step 5: Slice the cookie dough into slices and place them on a parchment-paper-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 10-11 minutes at 350º F. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool on a baking rack.

Three sables on a plate. One is tilted sideways.

Fun sable flavor variations to try:

  • Almond sables – add 1 teaspoon of almond extract to the wet ingredients. Sprinkle the tops of each cookie with almond slices.
  • Chocolate chip sables – add 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips or chocolate shavings to your cookie dough.
  • Espresso sables: Add 2 teaspoons of powdered espresso to the dry ingredients and whisk it in. For a little crunch, you can also add 3 tablespoons of cocoa nibs!
  • Dip or drizzle your vanilla sables with melted chocolate.

Why are my cookies flat, aka spread too much?

This is one of the most common questions I get from my readers. There are several reasons for flat cookies, including:

  • Check to see how long you chilled your cookie dough. If you use partially melted or softened butter, you must chill it to prevent spreading.
  • How did you measure your flour? Measuring your flour accurately is important. I don’t often weigh my ingredients because every flour blend has a different weight, and my readers all use different gluten-free flour blends. I recommend using either the Spoon Method by using a spoon to add flour to the measuring cup. Use a knife to level along the top to remove the extra flour. Leveling Method by putting the measuring scoop into the flour and filling it with flour. Do not pack the flour. Use a knife to scrape along the top to remove the extra flour.

Why do my gluten-free cookies taste gritty?

This grit you experience is from the rice flour in the gluten-free flour blend. Not all companies mill their flour extra fine. To eliminate the grit, I recommend letting the cookie dough rest for 15 minutes. This extra time will allow the rice flour to soften, eliminating the grit.

How do you make cookies the same size?

The best way to ensure your cookies are the same size and look uniform is to use a cookie scoop. I really like my XOXO brand medium-sized cookie scoop. It is the only scoop I have used that has lasted a long time and hasn’t broken. Check out all of my favorite gluten-free cookie tools.

For more cookie troubleshooting, read my Gluten-Free Cookie Troubleshooting Guide.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can you freeze sable dough?

You can easily freeze the sable dough. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then put it into a freezer ziplock bag. The dough will keep up to four months.

How do you know when the sables are done baking?

The cookies are done baking when they are a pretty golden color.

How long will these cookies keep?

These cookies will last up to 4 days in an airtight container or up to 4 months in the freezer.

How do you freeze sables?

Allow the cookies to cool completely, then gently place them into a freezer bag.

A stack of 5 gluten free sable cookies on a white plate.

More International Gluten Free Cookies:

*If you are looking for even more Gluten Free Cookies From Around the World, check out my incredible e-cookbook!

Love This Recipe?

If you made and enjoyed this recipe, I would be incredibly grateful if you could leave a comment below. Please include which flour blend you used. This will help others know this recipe is delicious. Thank you!

Five sables stacked and tied with twine.

Gluten Free Sables

Sandi Gaertner
These gluten free sable cookies are light and buttery. They are French cookies also known as a Breton Sable cookies.
5 from 10 votes
gluten free allergy icon
nut free allergen icon
soy free allergy icon
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chill Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Gluten Free Cookies and Bar Recipes
Cuisine French
Servings 20 cookies
Calories 164 kcal

Equipment

  • Cookie sheet
  • Mixing bowls

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups gluten free flour blend * see note
  • 1 cup sugar
  • teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter softened, unsalted
  • 1 egg size large
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract * see note

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl, add the wet ingredients and whisk to blend. If you are using a standing mixer, add the wet ingredients to the standing mixer.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients and whisk to blend. If you are using a standing mixer, gradually add the dry ingredients to the mixer and mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are mixed in.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix.
  • Roll the dough into a log and then roll it in coarse sugar. This is optional but it gives the cookies a nice crisp edge.
  • Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 45 minutes.
  • Remove the cookie dough and preheat the oven to 350º F.
  • Slice the log of dough into cookies about 1/4 inch in thickness and place onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
  • Bake the cookies for 10 minutes until they are slightly golden.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a cooling rack.

Notes

  1. I have tested this recipe with King Arthur Measure for Measure GF and Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 GF blend. That doesn’t mean others will not work, I just have not tested other flours.
  2. If your gluten free flour blend doesn’t contain xanthan gum or guar gum, please add 1 teaspoon.
  3. To make this recipe dairy-free, substitute the butter for vegan butter.
  4. These sable cookies will keep up to 4 days in an air-tight container, or up to 4 months in the freezer.
To Make Flavored Sables:
  • Almond sables – add 1 teaspoon of almond extract to the wet ingredients. Sprinkle the tops of each cookie with almond slices.
  • Chocolate chip sables – add 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips or chocolate shavings to your cookie dough.
  • Espresso sables – add 2 teaspoons powdered espresso to the dry ingredients and whisk it in. You can also add 3 tablespoons cocoa nibs for a little crunch!
  • Dip or drizzle your vanilla sables with melted chocolate.

SPECIAL NOTE

Please know that every gluten free flour blend has a different starch to grain ratio. If you use a blend I didn’t test, you may need to adjust your moisture levels in your baked goods.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 164kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 2gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 99mgPotassium: 7mgFiber: 1gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 296IUCalcium: 12mgIron: 1mg
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Nutrition Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.

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Recipe Rating




12 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    My favorite recipes are those with few ingredients that I already have. The sable cookies are good, not excessively sweet and I will make them again.

  2. Hi Sandi, Can I roll the dough into balls and flatten them rather than rolling it into a log and slicing it because I would like to add a bit of jam to the centre of each cookie; do you think that will work with this recipe?

      1. 5 stars
        I added half a teaspoon of almond extract to the recipe and reduced the vanilla to one and a half teaspoons, rolled them into one and a half inch balls, indented the centres and filled them with half a teaspoon of raspberry jam. I baked them at 325 for approximately 16 minutes until the edges were golden. I made a glaze consisting of 3/4 cup icing sugar, 3/4 teaspoon almond extract and a couple of teaspoons of milk and drizzled it over the cookies while they were still a bit warm. Delicious! Thanks, Sandi.

  3. Hello, I’m trying to enter the naked cookie dough giveaway. The chocolate mint flavor is the one I can’t wait to try first, although all of the flavors sound amazing! Thank you so much for all your hard work and recipes! Also thank you for this wonderful giveaway! 🌸