5 Gluten-Free Desserts That’ll Make Your Mouth Water

Gluten Free Desserts

If you’re tired of the same ‘ol, same ‘ol desserts, especially if you’re gluten-free (or even sugar-free), here are five decadent treats that are sure to become part of your regular rotation. (Plus, they promise to cure your sweet tooth at the same time!)

No-bake hazelnut ganache brownies

{Gluten-Free, Vegan, Refined Sugar-Free}

No-bake hazelnut ganache brownies



¾ cup (110 g) whole raw hazelnuts, plus 2 tablespoons (20 g) for topping

½ cup (50 g) raw sliced or whole almonds

½ cup (35 g) natural cocoa powder or raw cacao powder

⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt

1 cup (230 g) pitted, slightly packed dates

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


2 tablespoons (30 g) almond or hazelnut milk

¼ cup (55 g) extra-virgin coconut oil

¼ cup (70 g) maple syrup

¼ cup (20 g) natural cocoa powder or raw cacao powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


chopped hazelnuts (from above)

handful cacao nibs

a few pinches of flaky sea salt


To make the brownies:

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spread the hazelnuts on a small, rimmed baking sheet and toast until golden and fragrant, 10-12 minutes. Let cool completely, then rub off as much of the loose skins as want to come off.

Place ¾ cup of the hazelnuts in the bowl of a food processor, reserving the rest for garnish, and add the almonds, cocoa powder, and salt. Process until finely ground, stopping the processor when the mixture just begins to clump, taking care not to overprocess to a paste. Scrape the nut mixture into a medium bowl and set aside.

Add the dates and vanilla to the now-empty food processor and blend to a paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Scrape up the date paste, add the nut mixture, and process until a clumpy, dough-like substance forms. Scrape this mixture into an 8×4 or 9×5-inch loaf pan lined with a sling of parchment paper and pack it into an even layer. Chill until needed.

To make the ganache:

Combine the almond milk, coconut oil, maple syrup, cocoa powder and vanilla in a medium, heat-proof bowl. Set the bowl over a pot of gently simmering water, and whisk until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly to thicken, whisking occasionally 5-10 minutes. Pour the ganache over the brownies. Chill in the refrigerator until a bit firmer, 30 minutes. Chop the remaining 2 tablespoons of hazelnuts into large pieces. When the ganache has firmed a bit, sprinkle the hazelnuts, cacao nibs, and flaky salt evenly over the top. Chill until completely firm, 1 hour.

Use the parchment handles to lift the brownie out of the pan, and use a chef’s knife to cut into 8 or 10 bars.

The brownies keep well, refrigerated airtight, for up to 1 week.

Raspberry brownie ice cream sandwiches

{Vegan, Gluten-Free, Raw-ish, Naturally Sweetened}

For the brownies:

1 1/4 cups (5.5 ounces / 155 grams) nuts (We use equal parts raw almonds and pecans)

1/4 cup+ 2 tablespoons (1.25 ounces / 35 grams) raw cacao powder (or regular cocoa powder)

1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 cup (4.5 ounces / 130 grams) dates, pitted (covered with boiling water and soaked 5 minutes if not super soft and squishy, then drained well)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 ounce (about 2 1/2 tablespoons / 20 grams) chopped cacao butter, melted

For the ice cream:

1/2 cup (2.25 ounces / 65 grams) cashews, soaked 6-24 hours, drained

1 1/4 cups (10 ounces / 300 mL) full-fat coconut milk, shaken prior to opening

1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped

1 1/2 cups (6 ounces / 170 grams) raspberries

5 tablespoons (3.25 ounces / 90 grams) grade-A maple syrup, plus another 3 tablespoons (1.75 ounces / 50 grams) for macerating the raspberries

1 tablespoon bourbon or vodka (optional)

pinch salt

1/2 ounce (about 2 1/2 tablespoons / 20 grams) chopped cacao butter, melted

For the raw chocolate coating:

1 scant cup (3.5 ounces / 100 grams) chopped cacao butter

1/2 cup (1.5 ounces / 45 grams) raw cacao powder (or regular cocoa powder)

1/4 cup maple syrup (2.75 ounces / 80 grams)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons cacao nibs (for topping the sandwiches)

To make the brownies:

In the body of a food processor, process the nuts with the cacao powder and salt until fairly finely ground. Scrape into a bowl and set aside. Place the dates (drained if soaked) with the vanilla in the now-empty blender and blend until smooth, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the nut mixture and melted cacao butter to the date mixture, and pulse until combined and clumpy, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed.

Line two 8×4″ loaf pans (or one 8×8″ square pan) with parchment paper, leaving the sides sticking out for handles. Pack each pan with half of the brownie mixture, pressing firmly, into a thin, even layer. Freeze the brownies until firm, at least 20 minutes.

To make the ice cream:

Heat the coconut milk with the vanilla bean in a small saucepan over a medium flame until hot and steamy, swirling occasionally. Cover and let steep 20 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the raspberries with 3 tablespoons of the maple syrup and the bourbon in a small bowl and mash lightly. Set aside.

In the body of a blender or food processor, pulse together the cashews, maple syrup, and salt. Blend until smooth, about 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Remove the vanilla pod from the coconut milk, discard the pod, and slowly blend the coconut milk into the cashew mixture. Blend until silky smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, a minute or two. Blend in the melted cacao butter, then stir in the mashed berries and their juices, leaving some chunks of berries.

Scrape the ice cream mixture into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Assemble the sandwiches:

If you made the brownies in one pan, cut in half. Scrape the ice cream onto the top of one brownie and spread evenly. (There is plenty of ice cream, so feel free to “taste.”) Turn out the second brownie onto the top of the ice cream and press gently to even it out. Peel off the parchment and discard. Freeze until firm, at least 2 hours.

When firm, use the parchment handles to pull the ice cream sandwich out of the pan and onto a large cutting board. With a sharp chef’s knife, trim away the edges and cut into 8 sandwiches. Freeze until ready to dip.

Make the chocolate:

In a metal bowl set over a pot of barely simmering water, combine the cacao butter, cacao powder, maple syrup, and vanilla. Whisk until nearly melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool until warm and slightly thickened, whisking frequently to keep the mixture in the emulsion.

Dip the sandwiches:

Remove the frozen sandwiches from the freezer and line a small sheet pan with parchment paper. Working quickly, dip a sandwich into the chocolate halfway on the diagonal. Shake off the excess chocolate, place on the pan and immediately top with a sprinkle of cacao nibs before the chocolate hardens. (You’ll only have a matter of seconds to get them on there, but you can always re-dip the sandwich if need be.) Work quickly and return the sandwiches to the freezer to firm up again, at least 30 minutes.

The sandwiches are best when they’ve had a few minutes to soften out of the freezer. If not serving immediately, wrap airtight and store for up to a month or two.

No-bake matcha mint grasshopper pies in jars

{Gluten-Free, Vegan}



1 ¼ cups (130 g) sliced or whole almonds

¼ cup + 2 tablespoons (40 g) unsweetened cocoa powder

pinch fine sea salt

2 tablespoons (30 ml) maple syrup


1 cup (135 g) raw cashews, soaked in cool water for 4-12 hours (or covered in boiling water and soaked 1-2 hours)

1 tablespoon (6 g) finely ground white chia seeds

¼ cup + 2 tablespoons (90 ml) light maple syrup (grade-A amber)

pinch fine sea salt

½ cup (120 ml) cool water

2 ½ teaspoons unsweetened culinary-grade matcha powder

¾ cup (20 g) lightly packed fresh mint leaves (from 1-2 bunches)

¼ cup + 2 tablespoons melted and cooled extra-virgin coconut oil


1 small (5.4 ounce / 160 ml) can coconut cream, chilled at least 2 hours

2 teaspoons (10 ml) maple syrup

a few drops peppermint extract

chocolate shavings, mint sprigs, and/or matcha, for garnish


To make the crust:

In the bowl of a food processor, process the almonds, cocoa powder, and salt until the almonds are finely ground. Drizzle in the maple syrup and pulse until the mixture clumps together lightly. Divide the crust mixture among 4 (8-ounce) or 8 (4-ounce) jars or cups and pack gently; the crust mixture is easier to eat with a spoon when slightly loose.

To make the filling:

Rinse and drain the cashews and place them in the bowl of a blender with the ground chia, salt, maple syrup, and half of the water. Blend on low, gradually increasing to high, gradually adding the remaining water. Blend on high for 2-3 minutes until silky-smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender as needed. If the mixture is warm to the touch, let it cool before proceeding to the next step – we want to keep the mixture cool so the mint doesn’t oxidize.

Bring a small kettle of water to a boil. Prepare a small ice bath by combining several ice cubes in a medium bowl with cool water. Place the mint leaves in a strainer, place the strainer over a bowl, and pour enough boiling water over the leaves to just wilt them, about 1 cup. Immediately dump the mint into the ice bath and stir until the mint is icy-cold, 1 minute. When the cashew mixture is ready, drain the mint, squeeze out excess moisture, and add to the blender along with the matcha powder. Blend on medium-high until the mint is broken down into tiny pieces. Add the melted coconut oil and blend until just combined; don’t over process or the mixture could become grainy.

Place a fine mesh strainer over a large measuring pitcher or bowl and pour in the filling; it will be thick. Vigorously work the mixture through the strainer with a sturdy silicone spatula, pressing on the mint leaf dregs to extract all the good stuff; it will take a bit of effort but the silky-smooth results will be worth it! Now pour the filling into the jars over the crust. Cover and chill the jars until the filling is firm and set, 3-4 hours and up to 2 days.

To make the topping:

Without tilting or shaking the can, remove the coconut cream from the refrigerator, open the can, and scrape the top creamy part into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the maple syrup and peppermint extract (a little goes a long way!) and whip until the mixture holds soft peaks.

When the pies are firm, remove from the refrigerator, top each with a dollop of cream and handful of chocolate shavings, and serve.

The pies keep well for up to 3 days.

Ginger, vanilla+ quince upside-down cake 


For the quince:

1 vanilla bean

1 small (or 1/2 a large) lemon (preferably Meyer)

4 cups (950 mL) water, plus more as needed

1 cup (235 mL) dry white vermouth, white wine, or Lillet

1/2 cup (3.5 ounces / 100 grams) organic blonde cane sugar

1 1/2 – 1 3/4 pounds (680-800 grams) quince (3 large or 6 small)

For the cake:

1 stick (4 ounces / 115 grams) unsalted butter, softened, plus 1 tablespoon for the pan

1/2 cup (3.5 ounces / 100 grams) organic blonde cane sugar

vanilla bean seeds (from above)

2 eggs, at room temperature

2 tablespoons (1 ounce / 30 grams) finely grated fresh ginger

1/2 cup (2.75 / 80 grams) sweet white rice flour

1/2 cup (2 ounces / 60 grams) gluten-free oat flour

1/2 cup (2.5 ounces / 70 grams) millet flour (or sorghum, or brown rice)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (4 ounces / 115 grams) crème fraîche

To poach the quince:

Split the vanilla bean down the center and use the back of a knife to scrape away the seeds. Set the seeds aside to use in the cake, and place the pod in a large saucepan. Use a vegetable peeler (t-shaped works the best) to pare away 5 strips of lemon peel and add them to the pot. Juice the lemon and add the juice to the pot along with the water, vermouth or wine, and sugar. Bring the liquid to a boil while you prepare the quince.

Use a t-shaped vegetable peeler to pare away the skin of a quince. Cut it in half, leaving the seeds in, and add it to the pot. Continue with the remaining quince. Place a small, heat-proof plate over the quince to keep them submerged, cover partially with the lid of the pot, and adjust the flame to keep the liquid at a simmer. Cook until the quince are rosy and tender, about 1 1/2 hours, adding more water as needed to keep the quince submerged. When done, carefully remove the quince and let them drain, reserving the liquid (or let the quince cool in their juices if using later.) Core the quinces and cut them into 1/4″ slices.

Return the poaching liquid to the saucepan and simmer until reduced by about half and bubbling thickly, about 10-20 minutes. Reserve.

to make the cake:

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350º.

Shove a piece of parchment paper into an 8 or 9″ round pan and trim the edges to rise 1″ above the pan. Grease the bottom and sides with the 1 T of softened butter. Lay the quince slices, slightly overlapping, in concentric circles over the buttered parchment and set aside. If you have quince left over, chop them coarsely and set them aside to add to the batter. (I had about 1/2 a cup.)

To make the cake batter:

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl fitted with your arm and a wooden spoon), combine the stick of butter, vanilla bean seeds, and sugar. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until combined after each and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed, then beat in the grated ginger.

Meanwhile, sift the sweet rice, oat, and millet flours with the baking powder and salt into a medium bowl.

With the mixer on low, stir half of the flour mixture into the butter mixture until just combined. Stir in the crème fraîche until just combined, then the rest of the flour, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Stir in the chopped quince, if using, and give the batter a final stir by hand to make sure it is well-combined.

Spread the batter over the quinces evenly.

Bake the cake until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean, or a with a few moist crumbs, 40-50 minutes. Let the cake cool completely, then invert onto a serving platter and peel away the parchment. If the reduced poaching liquid has solidified, warm it in a small saucepan until liquid. Brush some of this glaze over the top of the cake. Serve the cake at room temperature. I like it with a flowery tea, such as Darjeeling. Extras will keep at room temperature for a day or two, or in the refrigerator for a few days.

Grapefruit custard pie


For the pie:

1 almost-fully-baked 9″ gluten-free pie shell, hot

3 tablespoons (.75 ounces / 20 grams) sweet white rice flour

3/4 cup (5.75 ounces / 160 grams) organic blonde cane sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs

4 tablespoons (2 ounces / 55 grams) melted butter

1 cup (8 ounces / 225 grams) strained ruby/pink grapefruit juice

4 tablespoons strained blood orange juice (optional, for color – otherwise, 4 more tablespoons grapefruit juice)

1 cup heavy cream

4 tablespoons St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur

2-3 teaspoons finely grated grapefruit zest (colorful part only, from 1 medium grapefruit)


Have a rack positioned in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400ºF. Have your pie shell baking on a rimmed baking sheet on the bottom rack, and blind-bake it until it’s golden all over, somewhere between par-baked and fully-baked. The gluten-free crust won’t brown much more once the custard is added. (If your pie crust has already baked and cooled, that’s fine – put it in the oven for 5 minutes before pouring in the custard.)

To make the custard:

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, whisking until combined after each addition. Whisk in the melted butter, then the grapefruit and blood orange juices, and finally the heavy cream and St. Germain liqueur. The mixture should thicken up with the addition of the cream. Strain the mixture into a large measuring pitcher or bowl, and whisk in the grapefruit zest to distribute it evenly.

To bake the pie:Pour the custard into the hot pie shell set on a rimmed baking sheet. Carefully transfer to the lower rack of the oven, reduce the temperature to 325ºF, and bake until the sides are slightly puffed and the center is quite wobbly but not watery, about 35-45 minutes. Be careful not to over-bake, or the filling will separate.

Remove the pie from the oven and cool completely, about 2-3 hours; it will still be cooking from residual heat. (If the filling is too soft to slice, chill the pie 1-2 hours.) The pie will keep at room temperature for one day, or refrigerated for up to three days, though it is best on the day of baking when the crust is most crisp.

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