Let’s face it. Most traditional desserts that manufacturers turn gluten-free aren’t even worth wasting the calories on. If you do have a gluten allergy (or are cooking for someone who does) we say go with a naturally gluten-free dessert instead. Below, a cheat sheet to getting around any wheat intolerance without sacrificing a sugar hit post dinner.
Crunchy yet light as air, meringues are the go-to for those with gluten allergies. “They’re made with egg white and sugar as a base, then you can add other flavors like chocolate or coconut if you’d like,” says Marisa Moore, a registered nutritionist in Atlanta.
Get our Gluten-Free Chocolate Hazelnut Meringue recipe for yourself!
If you’re craving chocolate, this is the one for you. If you’re craving an actual brownie, you can make a batch gluten-free by ditching the flour and using nontraditional ingredients that make good swaps. “We serve brownies made with black beans and sweet potato,” says Guy Vaknin, chef and owner of Beyond Sushi in New York City.
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“Mousse is beyond delicious and made with just a few ingredients most people have in their pantry,” says John Kanell, founder of the recipe site Preppy Kitchen. Eggs and cream are whipped together until they’re smooth and peppered with air bubbles, then chocolate, coffee, or strawberry is added for an extra punch.
Get Preppy Kitchen’s Mango Mousse recipe for yourself!
Dressed Up Fruit
Don’t underestimate the power of a sweet and tangy bowl of berries, topped with whipped cream, sprigs of mint, and even some chocolate shavings. “Or, bake up seasonal fruits like apples, pears, or peaches until they’re caramelized, then top with a drizzle of homemade caramel, a sprinkle of spiced nuts, and a dollop of whipped cream or yogurt,” suggests Moore.
Simply . . . Gluten-Free Desserts, $9.94 on Amazon
Arm yourself with 150 gluten-free dessert recipes this holiday!
A silky and delicious baked custard that’s dripping with caramel. Just be sure to use a condensed milk that’s gluten-free.
Get our Coconut Flan recipe for yourself!
Alternative Flour Cakes
“You’d be surprised by how tender almond and oat flours bake up in cookies or muffins,” says Moore. “Depending on the recipe, you might be able to swap these out cup for cup, or combine with your favorite gluten-free flour.” Know that you can also throw regular quick oats in a blender and make your own.
These fudgy balls of sugary goodness don’t always have to be chocolate. You can use everything from peanut butter to candy to create something special. “I like a chocolate truffle that’s covered in toasted nuts, cocoa powder, or coconut flakes,” says Kanell. “And I add brandy to mine for an extra kick.”
Get our Easy Chocolate Truffles recipe for yourself!
Nut Crust Pies
If your pie recipe calls for a graham cracker crust, crushed up nuts are the perfect gluten-free substitution. “Walnuts, almonds, and pecans work well,” says Kanell. “They produce a crust that’s similar in texture to a graham cracker one but is so much more flavorful, especially if you toast the nuts before grinding.”
Get Simply Gluten-Free’s Nut Pie Crust recipe for yourself!
Ice Cream Sundae
You don’t have to be a kid to dig into a loaded ice cream sundae. Pile on gluten-free friendly toppings like nuts, chocolate or chopped fruit—and don’t forget the cherry on top.
Related Video: Taste Test – Gluten-Free Crackers
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