Gluten-Free Dessert Recipes

Don’t skip dessert just because you’ve gone gluten free 

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Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes 1 1/2 dozen cupcakes


2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose gluten-free flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups water


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cupcake pans with liners.


2. Stir together all the dry ingredients, then add eggs, oil, and water. Mix on low speed until just blended. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for approximately 18 minutes or until done.


3. Cool cakes in their pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and continue to cool.

4. Frost with your favorite icing.


CREDIT: Sweet Retreat

Photo Credit: James Schwartz

Deep-Dish Apple Pie

My most coveted pie is of the apple variety. To me, nothing says an afternoon out by the grill more than having an apple pie to finish off the experience. What sets this pie apart from your normal apple pie is that I use a whopping thirteen apples that I slowly cook down with Vietnamese cinnamon and brown sugar, creating a collection of flavors so distinctively comforting, you’ll never search for another apple pie recipe. Use Maker’s Mark bourbon, as it is currently the only gluten-free bourbon available.


Makes one 12-inch deep-dish pie; serves 8 to 10


13 mixed baking apples: Golden Delicious, Braeburn, or Red Delicious and either Gala or Fuji
Juice of 1 large lemon
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
1 scant cup of water
2 tablespoons Maker’s Mark bourbon

2 disks Sweet Pâte Brisée (Short Crust Dough)
Glutinous rice flour for dusting
Milk for brushing
Sanding sugar for sprinkling
Vanilla ice cream for serving


1. Peel, core, and thinly slice all the apples and put in a very large bowl. Pour the lemon juice over the apples and toss. In a small bowl, combine the granulated sugar, light brown sugar, dark brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and toss with a fork until there are no longer any lumps. Pour the dry ingredients over the apples, toss, and let stand for 5 minutes.


2. In a large Dutch oven, melt the butter and then add the apple mixture. Stir to coat the apples in the butter and cook down for 10 minutes. Add the bourbon and 1/2 cup of the water and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 20 minutes, or until the apples are tender and the sugar has caramelized. If the mixture begins to thicken too much, add the remaining 1/2 cup water, reduce the heat to low, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, about 15 minutes longer.


3. Remove both disks of the dough from the refrigerator and let stand for 15 minutes. Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F.


4. Dust the work surface with glutinous rice flour and roll one of the dough disks out to a 14-inch round.


5. Gingerly transfer the rolled dough to a 12-inch deep-dish pie pan, fitting the dough into the pan and being cautious not to tear the dough, as it is delicate. (If you do tear the dough, just join the tear together and brush the tear with water; smooth with your finger until the damage is no longer visible.) Using scissors, trim the overhanging dough to an even 1 inch.


6. Roll out the second disk of dough to a 14-inch round, adding additional rice flour, if needed. Trim the edges. Using decorative cookie cutters, press into the center of the disk to form a vent. Set aside.


7. Pour the filling into the pie shell. Brush the overhang of the bottom crust with water. Fold the pit top in half, center the vent hole, and unfold. Pinch the top layer of dough to the bottom and then flute the edges with your fingers.


8. Brush the dough with milk and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown. 


9. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours before slicing. Serve cut into wedges and topped with vanilla ice cream.
Cover and store for up to 2 days at room temperature or refrigerate for up to 1 week.



Photo Credit: Knoxy

Rhubarb Burnt Creams

Serves 8


These individual desserts are super simple but look like works of art. The only trick is watching the sugar syrup carefully; once it turns a rich shade of amber, take it off the heat and start drizzling! If at all possible, use shallow 8-ounce dishes for the best presentation, but custard cups will work, too.


3 cups rhubarb, cut in half-inch pieces
2 tablespoons water, divided
1 cup sugar, divided
½ cup heavy cream
1 cup vanilla flavored Greek yogurt


1. In a heavy saucepan, combine rhubarb and 1 tablespoon water and cook over low heat, covered and stirring occasionally, until fruit is tender, about 10 minutes. Begin stirring briskly to break down rhubarb, mashing it against the sides of the pan. Turn up heat and cook until most of the juices evaporate, leaving a thick puree. Add ½ cup sugar and stir until dissolved. Divide the puree among eight dishes and let cool.


2. In a small bowl, beat the cream until stiff, then gently fold in the yogurt. Spoon over the rhubarb puree and smooth the tops. Freeze for a half hour, until the cream is firm.


3. Arrange dishes on the counter before you begin to make syrup. Things move fast once the caramel is ready. In a small heavy saucepan, stir together the remaining ½ cup sugar and tablespoon water over low heat. When the sugar is moistened, stop stirring. Watch carefully until the mixture begins to boil and the sugar changes from light golden to medium to a warm golden color. Remove from heat and, working quickly, use a spoon to drizzle the desserts with squiggles of sugar syrup until all the syrup is used. It will harden on contact. Serve immediately or refrigerate and serve within 3 hours.


CREDIT: From RHUBARB RENAISSANCE by Kim Ode, Minnesota Historical Society Press

Photo Credit: John Danicic

Frozen Roasted Rhubarb Meringue Pie

This pie is the perfect way to end a warm summer evening, with the pure flavor of rhubarb folded into a frozen meringue. Serves 6–8.

Graham Cracker Crust

1 3/4 cups finely crushed gluten-free graham crackers (12 large crackers)
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a pie plate with cooking


2. Stir together cracker crumbs, sugar, butter, and milk until well
combined. Reserving 1 tablespoon of crumbs for garnish, press the
rest into the pie plate, creating an even layer across the bottom and up
the sides.


3. Bake for 15 minutes, then let cool on a wire rack.


Foundation Recipe for Sweet Roasted Rhubarb (below)
1 tablespoon Triple Sec liqueur or orange juice
pinch salt
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1. Roast rhubarb and then puree in a blender with Triple Sec or orange
juice and salt. Set aside.

2. Bring about 2 inches of water to a boil in a saucepan over which a medium bowl will fit. While the water is heating, combine egg whites,
sugar, and cream of tartar in a medium bowl. Reduce heat to keep the
water at a simmer and place the bowl over the saucepan. With a handheld mixer on medium speed, beat the whites until foamy, about 3 minutes. Increase speed to high and beat until the whites begin to
appear glossy, moving the beaters around the bowl, about 3 minutes
more. Remove bowl from the pan and set on a counter; continue beating mixture until the meringue holds a stiff peak when the beaters are lifted.

3. Fold the rhubarb puree into the warm meringue, then scrape into the graham cracker crust. Sprinkle the reserved crumbs over the filling. Place in the freezer, uncovered, for an hour, then gently cover with plastic wrap and freeze until solid, at least 6 hours or preferably overnight. Remove from freezer about 10 minutes before serving to make slicing easier.

Foundation Recipe for Sweet Roasted Rhubarb


Makes about 1 cup puree.

3 cups rhubarb, cut in 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place rhubarb in a shallow baking dish, such as a pie plate, and sprinkle confectioners’ sugar evenly over fruit. Roast for 20 minutes, stirring once, until rhubarb is very soft. (Late summer rhubarb may have less moisture than the first rhubarb of
spring, so watch carefully, adding a tablespoon of water if it seems to
be scorching before it’s soft.)

2. Serve as is on ice cream, or scrape into a bowl and stir briskly to break down the rhubarb into a smooth puree for use in the recipes that follow.




CREDIT: RHUBARB RENAISSANCE by Kim Ode, Minnesota Historical Society Press

Coconut-Lemongrass Black Rice Pudding

Ever wonder what to have for dessert after a Thai meal? This luscious tropical fruit pudding can be made with the sticky, stubby sweet black or brown rices to make it just as comforting and sweet as any dessert, or with any rice. If you have 1 cup of leftover cooked grain, just substitute that for the rice.

Serves 4


2 cups coconut milk (regular or light)
1 stalk lemongrass, split lengthwise and bruised
6 lime leaves, or zest of 1 lime, pared in a long strip
6 thin slices ginger
1/2 cup palm sugar or brown sugar
1 cup cooked black sticky rice or short-grain brown rice

1 cup chopped dried pineapple or mango

3 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract



Place four 8-ounce ramekins in a 3-inch-deep baking pan large enough to allow at least an inch of space on all sides. Bring a large kettle or pot of water to a boil, to make a bain marie for the ramekins. Preheat the oven to 375°F.


In a 1-quart pot, put the coconut milk, lemongrass, lime leaves, and ginger. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cook for 20 minutes. Pour the hot coconut milk mixture through a strainer placed over a large bowl. Discard the lemongrass, leaves, and ginger. Mix the palm sugar into the hot coconut milk to dissolve it. Stir in the cooked rice and dried fruit. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and vanilla. When the coconut milk has cooled to body temperature, whisk in the egg mixture.


Portion the mixture among the ramekins, making sure to distribute the solids and liquids evenly. Put them in the baking pan and pour the hot water in around them, so that it comes halfway up the sides. Carefully put the pan in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Check for doneness by jiggling one ramekin; if the sides are puffed and the center barely moves, they are done. Take the ramekins out of the water to cool on a rack. Serve warm or chilled. 


CREDIT: THE NEW WHOLE GRAINS COOKBOOK by Robin Asbell, Chronicle Books 2007

Photo Credit: Caren Alpert

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Total Time: 1 Hour Makes 8 Servings

Nonstick butter spray
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 stick cold butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ounces hazelnut liqueur (recommended: Frangelico)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted
3 eggs, beaten

Chocolate Ganache, recipe follows
Berries, garnish
Powdered sugar, garnish


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray an 8-­‐inch round cake pan with nonstick butter spray and line bottom with parchment.


2. Put the chocolate, butter, vanilla and hazelnut liqueur in a large bowl on top of a double boiler. Stir the mixture frequently until combined and smooth. Remove the chocolate from heat and put the bowl into an "ice bath" to cool the chocolate.


Cook's Note: This step is important so the eggs will not cook when added to the chocolate. Mix in the sugar and cocoa powder. Stir in the eggs and pour into the prepared cake pan. Put the cake pan on a sheet tray and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.


3. Remove the cake from the oven and invert onto a rack over a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Pour the ganache over the cake. Allow the cake to cool and set for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh berries and powdered sugar.

Chocolate Ganache


4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream


1. Put the chocolate into a large bowl. Heat the cream in a small pot, over low heat, until hot to the touch. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Mix well with a rubber spatula until the chocolate melts.


CREDIT: Food Network's Big Daddy, Chef Aaron McCargo 

Photo Credit: Lucy Schaeffer

Mom-Mom’s Rice Pudding

Serves 8 to 10


8 cups whole milk
1 6-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup Arborio rice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 vanilla bean or 1 ¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs, beaten


1. Combine milk, sweetened condensed milk, rice, butter, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the pan, stirring until evenly dispersed.


2. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the rice is just tender, about 25 minutes, stirring now and then. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool slightly. Whisk in the beaten eggs. Let cool in the pan and serve.


3. The pudding can be made up to four days ahead and kept in the refrigerator with the lid on. For a lighter texture, fold in about 2 cups whipped cream before serving.


CREDIT: Chef Brad Spence of Amis

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Amis

Wheat/Gluten Free Banana Chocolate Fonut

1 ½ cup white rice flour

1 ½ cup almond meal
2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
8 bananas, very ripe
2 eggs
6 tablespoons sugar (we like organic cane sugar)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ cup (refined) coconut oil or other oil
¼ cup chocolate chips, or to taste

1. Mix all dry ingredients together, and wet separately; combine the two together and be careful not to over-mix. Note: If using coconut oil, use a water bath to melt the oil. Lastly, add chocolate chips, as little or as much as you like. We find ¼ cup works perfect.


2. Bake at 350F degrees for approximately 15 minutes until golden brown. When touching the center, it should bounce back.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Waylynn Lucas & Nancy Truman of Fonuts

Gluten Free Date Squares

Makes 9 squares


Date Squares:


1 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 cups gluten free oats
1 cup rice flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt


Date Filling:

2 cups chopped dates
1 cup water
1 tsp grated lemon rind
1 tbsp lemon juice - fresh

1. In saucepan combine dates, water, rind and juice; bring to boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer until soft and thickened. Stirring occasionally.


2. Heat oven to 350F or 180 C.


3. In bowl combine melted butter and brown sugar. Mix well. Add dry ingredients and mix until blended. Firmly press half of mixture into greased 8 inch square pan. Spread with date filling.


4. Top with remaining crumb mixture, pressing lightly. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool on rack. 


CREDIT: Denise Cumming, owner and creator of Pip's Place: The Gluten Free Cakery, NYC

Photo Credit: Sublime Management, Photography by Kate Sears

Flan with Coffee Caramel Sauce and Fresh Berries Pico de Gallo

Serves 4


For Flan:

10 ounces milk
½ cup heavy cream
4 ounces sugar
½ vanilla bean
½ cinnamon stick
½ cup evaporated milk
½ cup condensed milk
3 eggs
2 egg yolks


For Coffee-Caramel Sauce:
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons Patron coffee liqueur XO
2 cups heavy cream
2 ounces butter


Fresh berries, for the garnish


For Flan:
1. Bring to a boil milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and evaporated milk, then add the condensed milk; set aside until room temperature. Beat the eggs and add the mixture to the well beaten eggs, then strain.


2. Pour the mixture into separate ramekins. Cook the ramekins in a bain marie, covered with aluminum foil, in a 250°F oven for about 45 minutes.


For Coffee-Caramel Sauce:

1. In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine the sugar and water. Allow combination to simmer until it caramelizes, about 10 minutes or until brown.


2. Once caramelized, add the Patron coffee liqueur XO and stir. Add next the heavy cream, pouring slowly so it is absorbed into the sauce. Finally, add the melted butter and stir until well incorporated. The sauce should be light in weight and caramel in color.


To Assemble and Serve:
1. Per each plate, carefully remove the individual flans from the ramekins and place in the center of the plate. Pour over the Coffee-Caramel Sauce. Garnish with fresh berries.


CREDIT: Julian Medina, Chef/Owner Toloache

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Toloache

Coconut Panna Cotta with Caramelized Pineapple in a Passion Fruit Broth

Coconut Panna Cotta


6 2/3 cups coconut milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 vanilla beans split and scraped
2 zests of lime
7 sheets of gelatin
2 cups heavy cream

1. Heat coconut milk, sugar, vanilla beans and zest to a boil. Remove from heat and add bloomed gelatin. Then add heavy cream.


2. Let set to cool. Pour into a ramekin pan treated with baking spray. Refrigerate overnight.

Caramelized Pineapple

1 dried pineapple
1 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean

1. In a sauce pan, heat sugar until it dissolves and becomes amber colored.


2. Add diced pineapple. Sauté until the pineapple releases its juices and becomes almost transparent. When finished, place pineapple into a bowl and set aside to cool.

Passion Fruit Broth

1/2 cups lime juice
1/2 cups orange juice
1 1/2 cups passion fruit juice
1 cup simple syrup

Garnish with toasted coconut.


CREDIT: Pastry Chef Thomas Heck of Davio's Philadelphia

Photo Credit: Davio's Philadelphia

Black Rice Pudding Cakes with Mango Sorbet

1 cup black rice, preferably Hinode Black Rice
1 ¾ cups water
1 cup coconut milk
3 eggs
½ cup turbinado sugar
1 tbsp fresh minced ginger
1 tsp vanilla
1 carton mango sorbet

1. Cook black rice according to package directions. Cool slightly and add to a large mixing bowl.


2. In a small bowl, whisk together coconut milk and eggs. Mix the coconut milk and eggs into the rice, along with the sugar, fresh ginger and vanilla until well combined.


3. Scoop into muffin tins and bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes until rice is set. Remove from oven and allow to cool at least 15 minutes.


4. To serve, unwrap a rice cake and place on a plate. Top with a scoop of mango sorbet. Serve immediately.


CREDIT: Shaina Olmanson of Food for My Family for HINODE Rice

Photo Credit: Shaina Olmanson of Food for My Family

Fresh Strawberry Popbar YogurtPops

5 ounces of fresh strawberries or fruit of your choice

¼ cup plain yogurt

½ cup of milk

4-6 pop molds

Wooden pop sticks

1. Cut, wash and drain the strawberries.


2. Put in blender with milk and blend for at least 30 seconds.


3. Add the yogurt and blend again, until it's smoothened out (usually 30 seconds to 1 minute).


4. Place into pop molds, add sticks and freeze in freezer for about 2 hours or until hard.


CREDIT: Popbar



Photo Credit: Popbar

Angie’s Artisan Green Tea Kettle Corn Recipe

7 ounces kettle corn, preferably Angie’s Classic Kettle Corn
1 tablespoon of finely ground green tea leaves or approximately 4 tea bags
1 teaspoon lemon zest
½ teaspoon ground ginger powder

1. Prepare green tea. Cut the top of the tea bags and pour the leaves in a small bowl. There is about a teaspoon of green tea leaves in each tea bag. Add the ground ginger powder and lemon zest to the tea leaves.

2. Pour kettle corn in a microwave safe bowl. Heat in microwave on high for about 30 seconds. Immediately sprinkle warmed kettle corn with green tea leaf mixture. Stir. Serve immediately.

Makes approximately 7 servings.


CREDIT: Angie's Classic Kettle Corn




Jennifer Jeanne Patterson is a freelance writer and author of 52 Fights. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and three children. Find her blog at Unplanned Cooking.

Related: Scrumptious Ice Cream & Sorbet Recipes

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