Gluten-free Vegan Trefoil Cookies

Today is monumental. It is one of those lessons of tenancity and perseverance. It is a life moment of realizing that I am a slave to the kitchen. No wait, that isn’t right. It is a life moment of realizing that you can do anything that you put your mind to. What taught me this? The Trefoil Girl Scout Cookie. No scratch that. This Gluten-Free Vegan Trefoil Cookie.

Gluten-free Vegan Trefoil Cookies

These boogers took all day to figure out. At 9:30 p.m. I was finally able to do my victory dance around the kitchen after an entire day of tweaking, stressing, and sweating over such a good tasting gluten-free/vegan shortbread recipe.

Gluten-free Vegan Trefoil Cookies

Nothing but the best for you, my friends. Even down to the cookie cutter, I was determined to make sure that you were given the best homemade Trefoil cookie recipe imaginable! I found the Girl Scout cutter on Etsy from Marie at Stray Squirrels; who totally deserves the biggest shout out! I ordered this on Friday {mind you, she lives in Minnesota and I, California} and it arrived on Monday. Aaaaahhh, people who follow through immediately… Please support her Etsy store! *Shout out ended*

Gluten-free Vegan Trefoil Cookies

These shortbread cookies pack a vegan buttery crunch to them with an incredible sandy texture. They are insane, really. I ate 5 of them right out of the oven {this shouldn’t surprise anyone, however}. In fact, Trefoils really are my ultimate first love of all the Girl Scout cookies, which is probably why I had to make sure they were perfect. Plus, I had a certain Caitlin for whom I had to make sure were up to par for her approval.

Gluten-free Vegan Trefoil Cookies

Trefoil Girl Scout Cookies Recipe

Makes 24 cookies

Egg, dairy, and gluten free


  • 1 stick vegan butter (8 Tbs), chilled and cubed
  • 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 3/4 c. brown rice flour
  • 1/2 c. sorghum flour
  • 1/4 c. arrowroot powder
  • 1/4 c. potato starch
  • big pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum


  1. Preheat 350 degrees.
  2. In an electric mixer, blend the butter and sugars together just until combined. No more than 30 seconds {you do not want too much air to get into the butter}.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flours, starches, salt and xanthan gum until well mixed.
  4. Add flour mix into the butter mix with the mixer briefly until just combined. Knead with your hands until smooth.
  5. Roll dough out between 2 pieces of parchment/wax paper until 1/4″ thick. Cut into desired shape. Place on a baking sheet, sprinkle with sugar in the raw, and freeze for 20 minutes {Thanks for the tip, hipster Ashlae!}
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned. Allow to set on baking sheet until cools.

Gluten-free Vegan Trefoil Cookies

Can’t you just imagine what this cookie tastes like??! Eeeeeeeeeee! Apparently my victory dance is going to last a long time {which I like to believe is well-deserved}…

OptinMonster allows you to explode your email list by using our incredible exit intent technology.


  1. jennifer says:

    Hi Cara!

    I have made these cookies twice to rave reviews – they are delicious! I have a question about the dough consistency: when I use the amount of butter that you recommend, the mixture is really floury and doesn’t look like traditional cookie dough. It also doesn’t stick together, so both times I have ended up doubling the butter. How is the dough supposed to look before you roll it out? Thanks!

  2. Hi Cara, I can’t wait for your book to come out! It’s pre-ordered. :) I do have one question in your flour blends/uses as I am still confused and don’t want to mess up. I can’t have potato (or corn), so if I want to make a blend and/or replace the potato starch part, can I replace that amount with the same amount of arrowroot powder or would it not work right then? Example, YOUR blend: 3C Brown Rice, 3C Sorghum, 1.5C arrowroot, 1.5C potato starch<<<what are my options to replace just the potato starch and amount and still get the same effect? I hope you can clarify for me so I don't mix what I think is right and waste a huge amount of products. I have so many allergies (including eggs)that I really appreciate trying some of your recipes and being able to enjoy something. :) Thank you!!

    • First of all, THANK YOU for the preorder! Goodness on a biscuit, that is awesome. About your questions, you can totally sub the potato starch for more arrowroot or even tapioca (which would be my #1 choice!) This is a super simple fix so I am most positive you will still find GREAT results with this substitute. Good luck and let me know! xo

  3. Would these recipes work out the same if I used regular white flour instead of gluten free flour

  4. hi cara (: just found your blog last week and am already addicted to it!!! your recipes look great and really easy to make, and also loved the baking tips part, i learned a lot!! im starting with my gf cooking, about sorghum flour, they dont sell it where i live, i mean here they use it for crops, but not humans, i guess its not the same, how can i replace it??
    thanks again for such a beautiful blog… i laughed so hard with the do you even get out? coment on the praise chezz crackers… i think most vegans, and not to mention gf spend most the time in the kitchen!! .. i just figured out its either that, or spending your life at the store reading food labels lol … good luck i loooooooooove cooking (:

    • You are too cute, I just loved reading this comment–thank you! I couldn’t be more thrilled to share my love for gf/vegan cooking and baking :) About the sorghum, yes! You can easily replace it with any of the medium flours (oat, rice, etc). You also can just do 100% brown rice and not do a blend. It’s totally up to you to play with. Let me know how it goes, Marie! xo, Cara

  5. Yum! I love shortbread cookies, but have never tried making them vegan (too afraid they wouldn’t taste right) – these looks great, though! And you’ve gone and made them gluten-free, too… outstanding. I’ll have to give this a try sometime, thanks for sharing!

    • Well, let’s be honest, if you don’t have to make them vegan {or gluten free}, I wouldn’t you know? You cannot replace that butter taste but when you gots no choice, they are delightful! Actually pretty darn good, what am I saying? Make them gf and vegan! :) xo

  6. Marie Plocharz says:

    Thank you for the sweet shout-out. Your cookies look scrumptious!

  7. My oldest Girl Scout daughter saw the pic and said ARE YOU TRYING TO MAKE TREFOILS!!!! Oh MY, TREFOILS!!!! Can WE eat them???!!!!! I really love the cookie cutter! Absolutely wonderful!

    And for the record, the girls and I have been too busy selling the real GS cookies for the last 2 weeks (650 boxes in a small town of only 1500 people but 3300 sq miles so lots of driving lol) to make those thin mints, and now Im too tired lol but rest assured, I WILL, at some point, very very soon, be doing so, and will update when I do. Mostly because these children can be really can be really persistent people lol

    • haha! Oh Delta, I am wishing your daughter never saw this now :) And congrats on the massive selling fest. 650 boxes? That is AWESOME! You and your girls are some incredible saleswomen!

  8. AMAZING work!!!! I mean seriously. These cookies are a work of art and I bet they also taste wonderful!

  9. Ohh my gosh! How did you figure this out! Amazing! I miss shortbread so much! Even as a vegan before going GF, I missed it. Every time I see girl scouts, I want to tell them to go back to their leaders and ask for GF, vegan cookies…..but my husband stops me. I know better, since I was a scout myself. Now, I don’t have to wish for that, I can make your creations! I don’t have the fancy cookie cutter, but I just want the taste. You deserve an award for this!! :-) You made my day!

    • Oh Amanda, I am sooo happy to hear this! You just made MY day with this comment. Thank you for this and I hope you like them! xo

  10. You are amazing!!! Thank you for the recipes….. :)

  11. These look divine! And I love your attention to detail – right down to the cookie cutter. You spoil us!

  12. Oh. My. Gosh. You are blowing my mind, yet again. Another amazing looking cookie recipe. And to think, I haven’t even thought about shortbread cookies in years, now I simply MUST have one :) Thanks for sharing, these are beautiful.

  13. i havent had a trefoil too! better late than never.. i was wondering about that cookie cutter.. all those thin cookies soo perfect and so prettttyyy! now i cant even say that i dont have gf supplies.. coz i have lots :].. u know i am just too lazy to use a cookie cutter.. but i will try these shorties 4 sure! my to-try list is longer than this years calendar now… 😀
    i hear ya about getting obsessed with something. every few weeks i try to veganize Rasgulla(indian dessert cheese ball in flavored syrup).. and the texture is just not there.. try and try again..

    • It’s an addiction almost, isn’t it Richa? But goodness, how amazing you feel when you nail the recipe huh? {my to-make list is ever growing as well. I need extra days this year to make everything}

  14. I am a little ashamed to say that i have never had a trefoil…is that weird?

    Obvisouly I was missing out on something absolutely wonderful; I totally thought you imprinted each of those cookies by hand :) I thought geesh, here she goes being all amazing on us with her handprinted cookies; you are still amazing with your little green girl scout cookie cutter!

    • Definitely not weird at all! Sometimes there are just other cookies that demand our attention :) Now about the cookie cutter, I love you people–but that would just be stupid crazy of me to have hand-imprinted all of these!! hahaha.

  15. Wow. I officially suck as your sister. And as your nieces’ mother. Make sure you bring all your fancy cooking crap to our house for Easter because you are going to be baking up a storm with those two, in between holding your namesake baby of course!!

    • Just because I make awesome homemade Trefoil cookies doesn’t make you a sucky sissy, sissy! Don’t get all crazy hormonal on me :)
      Believe me, I am already making a list of all the fun things Kookie, Schmoops, and Cami will be making in the kitchen. I cannot wait!!!

  16. Eee!! I am so excited for you! I was just thinking about shortbread cookies last week. You’ve, once again, solved my woes.

  17. yep, the room in our potential new house? the one that I was going to use as a BIG closet and workout room? now has YOUR name on it. 😉

    this is my favorite GS cookie, I cannot wait to try it!

  18. Hah! Very good. You know, I wish I had you comment-replying ethic… I currently have over 100 to reply to… that’s my morning sorted. Hah. These look wonderful, Cara 😀

  19. Delicious! Might try these for the kids…they look perfect!

  20. My favorite GS cookie! Are you SURE it tastes as good as the real ones with all the real dairy products? I’m gonna trust you with my palate, if you’re sure. Can’t believe you got the cookie cutter, too. Pure genius, my friend!

    • MJ, for what I have to work with, you better believe it is just as good! Do your wife a favor: order this cookie cutter and make her some this weekend :)

  21. Great job! Who knew they made Girl Scout cookie cutters?! You deserve an extended intricate rain-producing victory dance, my friend! :)

  22. Eeeeeeeee!!!! These are perfect looking and in sure the taste is incredible too!!! I’m doing a victory dance for you, you are amazing Cara!!!

  23. Shortbread. My husband’s favorite cookie in the world, pecan sandies. I’d wager you’ve done all the work for me there. My favorite? Lemon bars with a shortbread crust. Got my vegan butter made yesterday, too, just in time. And that cookie cutter? So incredibly cute. I’m glad you didn’t have to incise each cookie separately to please Caitlin. Hi, Caitlin! Well done, Princess Fork.

  24. I have been following your blog for a while, and it just has to be said your posts are always just gorgeous, both in the words and the pictures :)

  25. Look great! How do you find the time to test recipes. So cool!

    • Thank you!! and… Great question :) I am lucky to have a schedule in which I can fit that sort of taste-testing in once in awhile. Usually it doesn’t take THAT long, it just so happened that today’s post did. xo!

  26. So wonderful!

  27. Shortbread is my favorite too! These look perfect!

  28. And for my second favorite G.S.cookie…thank you. I think. Ha. Ha. These look simply amazing.

  29. laaaaady friend! you did it! you did SUCH an amazing job! they look like the real thing..but BETTER. thank you for making sure they were up to par for me 😉 i can’t wait to make them! xo <3

  30. Wow – I can just taste the butteriness! Now I am going to be craving these all day. ….off to hunt down a girl scout!

  31. that cookie cutter blows my mind! quite a triumph.. well done Cara.


  1. […] This is huge for me–I never want myself or anyone I know who have similar food issues to feel left out in terms of their way of eating. A big misconception is that you have to feel deprived if you cannot have gluten, dairy, etc. My mission with the blog is to prove to people that having a restricted diet doesn’t mean that you have to eat celery sticks and tofu. You really can do anything with a GF/vegan diet and {and this is my biggest point} it can actually taste GOOD. For examples of the things I am recently doing, check out my Girl Scout Cookie Series: Tagalongs, Thin Mints, Samoas, Do-Si-Dos, and Trefoils […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *