Grain-Free Iced Animal Cookies

These scrumptious and cheerful Grain-Free Iced Animal Cookies are such fun to bake, decorate– and most importantly, eat!

Lion + Horse Animal Cookies in White Chocolate and sprinkles

Grain-Free Iced Animal Cookies

A nod to the deliciously famous Circus Animal Cookies, this delectable Grain-Free version is built upon our Shortbread Cookie recipe. These are perfect for little hands to make and can be a joy to decorate with the whole family.

Pink and White Grain-Free Iced Animal Cookies

We recommend trimming half of the cookies in the white chocolate dip and to leave the other half plain so you can enjoy the animal cutouts- plus they taste amazing even without the white chocolate! 

Gluten-Free Circus Animal Cookies

We were super impressed with this animal cookie cutter set we found on Amazon, they worked beautifully with the Grain-Free dough. Each cutout is adorable and very realistic, I can’t tell you how much fun we had with this whole process, it definitely brought out the kid in us again! View our shortbread cookie video below for guidance as to how to put the cookie dough together.

**We also included a simple Grain-Free Funfetti Cupcake recipe with the cookie recipe below in case you want to use these cookies for an animal themed birthday party- we’ve got you covered!

Animal Cookie On Frosted Cupcake
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Grain-Free Iced Animal Cookies 16

Tips & Tricks

  • Gather your tools and ingredients ahead of time to ensure a smooth and worry free baking process!

If you love this recipe, we think you might also enjoy our Grain-Free Lemon Blondies. Happy Baking!

Grain-Free Animal Cookie Pin
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Lion + Horse Animal Cookies in White Chocolate and sprinkles

Grain-Free Iced Animal Cookies

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 3 reviews

  • Author: Lila Ruth
  • Total Time: about 35-45 min
  • Yield: about 35 animal cookies 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free



For The Cookies

  • 1.5 cups almond flour
  • 1/3 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8th teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup chilled salted butter, cubed (Earth Balance for dairy-free)
  • 1.5 tablespoons milk or coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 bag Ghirardelli white chocolate chips (or regular chocolate chips if you’re not a white chocolate fan)
  • 12 tablespoons coconut oil or Spectrum Vegetable Shortening (optional, this thins + smooths the white chocolate, see instructions below).
  • A few tablespoons of gluten-free non-pareil sprinkles
  • animal cracker cookie cutters
  • pink food coloring gel (optional)

For The Cupcakes (optional)

  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons almond flour
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon tapioca starch
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (Hain brand is grain-free)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup rainbow jimmies (Color Kitchen has a dye-free, gluten-free version)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 milk or coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2.5 cups powdered sugar (Wholesome! brand is grain-free)
  • 1 softened stick of butter or Earth Balance
  • 1 tablespoon milk or plain almond milk (add more to thin frosting)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (clear for lighter color)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


For The Cookies:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Take out and set aside two additional sheets for rolling the dough.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, tapioca starch, sugar and salt.
  4. Cut butter into flour with a pastry cutter as you would with a pie crust.
  5. Add milk and vanilla to the flour and work the liquid and butter into the flour by hand. It will feel dry at first, then it will turn into a play-doh like texture.
  6. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, chill in freezer for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Then roll dough in between two pieces of parchment paper–this way it won’t stick to the rolling pin. Don’t roll it too thick or thin. (You can dust the surface with just a tiny touch of tapioca starch).
  8. Use the animal cookie cutters and cut out shapes. Peel away the dough around the cutouts and use an offset spatula or carefully peel the cookies off the paper and transfer them to a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. (If the dough gets too soft and warm at any point, just stick it back in the freezer for a few minutes). (See our shortbread cookie video in the post above if you’d like visual guidance)
  9. Place cookies into preheated oven and bake at 350 degrees for about 12-15 minutes depending on thickness. Rotate your cookie sheet 180 degrees at 8 minutes in.
  10. Take cookies out of oven when they start to turn golden brown around the edges. They will still be soft to the touch at this point.
  11. Place cookie sheet on counter top and leave untouched for 6 full minutes. Then use a spatula to carefully transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack-this will crisp them up. Again, be careful not to let them slip off the spatula during transfer as they could break when they’re still warm.
  12. While your cookies are cooling, melt your white chocolate using a double broiler method. You may, if desired, mix in a tablespoon or two of coconut oil or Spectrum Shortening to smooth and thin the white chocolate. You also may add a drop of food coloring gel and mix with a dry whisk.
  13. Set a cookie on a fork and lower it into your melted white chocolate until the cookie is coated. Place coated cookie onto parchment lined plate and sprinkle with non pareils, repeat. Put them in the freezer for 10 minutes for the chocolate to harden. Serve and enjoy!

For The Cupcakes (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together well your almond flour, tapioca starch, sugar, “jimmies”, baking soda and baking powder.
  3. Add milk, olive oil, eggs, apple cider vinegar and vanilla extract. Blend with whisk until smooth.
  4. Immediately pour batter into your cupcake liners a little over half way full. Place cupcake tin into preheated oven, bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. You can gently place foil overtop at about 15 minutes in, it will keep the cupcakes lighter in color and keep the tops a bit softer.
  5. While your cupcakes are baking, sift then whisk together powdered sugar and salt. Blend in softened butter, milk and vanilla with a hand mixer until smooth and place into a large piping bag or large ziplock bag with and inch cut off the tip.
  6. Cool cupcakes completely on a wire rack. After they’ve cooled, pipe frosting on top with piping bag. Top each frosted cupcake with non-pareils and an animal cookie, enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 12-15 min
  • Category: Grain-Free
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Cookies

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  1. Are you kidding me Catherine! These are adorable- and so creative! These iced animal cookies will no doubt bring many smiles while nibbling 🙂

    1. I appreciate it so much, thank you Ben!! I was so impressed with the cookie cutters, they were the best I’ve used, they really do allow for a lot of detail! 😀

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