Gluten Free Desserts

We all have heard that oysters are an aphrodisiac, but did you know other reported aphrodisiacs include olive oil, chocolate, coffee, shrimp, chilies, honey, and avocados? The following recipe is part of a three-course romantic dinner for two. Click here for the appetizer and here for the main course. All three recipes include several aphrodisiacs and take no more than 20 minutes to cook, meaning more time to spend with your significant other.

Gluten Free Triple Layer Chocolate Cream Cups Recipe

Ingredients

For the coffee layer:
½ teaspoon gelatin powder
2 ounces hot espresso

For the milk chocolate layer:
1½ ounces milk chocolate
¼ cup heavy cream
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon sugar

For the dark chocolate layer:
1½ ounces dark chocolate (70 percent cocoa solids)
¼ cup heavy cream
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cocoa powder

For garnish:
2 tablespoons chocolate shavings (dark, milk, or white)

Directions

For the coffee layer: In a bowl, combine gelatin with espresso and whisk until the gelatin dissolves.

Divide the coffee mixture between two serving glasses and refrigerate while you prepare the other layers.

For the milk chocolate layer: Break the milk chocolate into small pieces, then melt in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (do not let the water touch the bowl), stirring constantly. Set aside to cool.

In another bowl, beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form.

Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water with a handheld electric mixer for about 3 minutes, until the eggs have at least doubled in volume. Remove the bowl from the heat and keep whisking, adding the melted chocolate. Let cool, then carefully fold in the whipped cream.

Divide the mixture between the two glasses and refrigerate while you prepare the next layer.

For the dark chocolate layer: Repeat the same process as the milk chocolate layer, but add cocoa powder into the egg yolk mixture, then add in the melted dark chocolate and continue.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours to set. Garnish with chocolate shavings before serving.

Servings

Serves 2

Written by Natalia Mantur

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These are a huge hit at any gathering. Over the years, I have made a couple simple swaps to add just a little bit of nice to the naughty.

Gluten Free Magic Bars Gone Healthier

Ingredients

1½ cups gluten-free graham cracker crumbs, crushed
½ cup sugar (healthier option: ¼ cup coconut sugar)
½ cup unsalted butter, melted (healthier option: 6 tablespoons coconut oil, melted)
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (healthier option: 14-ounce can sweetened condensed coconut milk)
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut (healthier option: 1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (healthier option: 1 cup 70 percent cacao dark chocolate bar, chopped)
1 cup butterscotch chips (healthier option: ½ cup carob chips)
½ cup chopped pecans

Directions

Place the rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper and spray well with gluten-free nonstick cooking spray.

Place graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a medium bowl. Stir in the melted butter until thoroughly combined. Press into the bottom of the baking pan to form the crust. Rub oil or butter on hands and press the crust down with fingertips to get a smooth, firm crust. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until puffy in spots or the butter looks like it is sizzling in the pan. Let sit on a wire rack until completely cool.

Once the crust has cooled, pour condensed milk evenly over crust. Cover with coconut flakes, chocolate, and butterscotch chips. Press in firmly. Bake for 20 minutes.

Add nuts and bake for about 5-9 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely before cutting.

Use parchment paper to lift bars out of the pan and place on a cutting board. Use a long, straight-edge knife sprayed with nonstick spray to cut the bars.

Servings

Makes 24-36 bars

Written by Kim Maes

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Who doesn’t love a good doughnut? The problem is, doughnuts are typically filled with fat, calories, and sugar, and are deficient in nutrients. These Red Velvet Doughnuts are baked instead of fried, free of refined sugar and artificial coloring, and are nutrient-dense thanks to beets and cashews. To keep things simple, we used jarred beets instead of roasting or boiling fresh beets – just make sure you don’t get the pickled variety.

Gluten Free Healthier Red Velvet Doughnuts Recipe

Ingredients

Gluten-free nonstick cooking spray
1 cup jarred or canned beets (not pickled)
¼ cup grapeseed or other neutral flavored oil
1¼ cups gluten-free flour blend
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
½ cup maple syrup
2 large eggs
¾ cup milk (any kind)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 batch Maple Cashew “Cream Cheese” Frosting (recipe follows)
¼ cup chopped pistachios or cashews, optional garnish

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Spray 2 (6-count) doughnut pans with cooking spray.

Combine the beets and oil in a food processor and process until smooth.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another mixing bowl, whisk together the beet mixture, maple syrup, eggs, milk, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Spoon or pipe the batter into the doughnut pans, filling each form about ¾ full. Bake for 7-9 minutes or until the doughnuts spring back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted into a doughnut comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling completely. Frost with frosting and sprinkle with chopped nuts, if desired.

Servings

Makes 12

Maple Cashew “Cream Cheese” Frosting Recipe

Ingredients

¾ cup raw cashews
¼ cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
⅛ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt

Directions

Cover the cashews with boiling water. Let sit for 30 minutes. Drain. Place in a food processor or blender and process until very smooth, scraping down the sides, as needed. Add the maple syrup, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt and process until fully combined.

Written by Carol Kicinski

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This recipe is already slightly healthier than a traditional upside-down cake because it has less sugar to begin with, but I have also included a few ideas on how to adjust the health-factor even more by making it grain-free. And, to help with portion control and for a fun presentation, these are made in individual ramekins.

Gluten Free Mini Citrus Upside-Down Cakes

Ingredients

For the topping:
1 medium orange (blood oranges look pretty, but any kind will work)
6 teaspoons brown sugar (healthier option: 6 teaspoons coconut sugar)
2 tablespoons butter, melted, divided (healthier option: coconut oil, melted)

For the cakes:
1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour (healthier option: ¾ cup almond flour plus ¼ cup arrowroot starch)
1¼ teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (healthier option: 6 tablespoons coconut oil)
½ cup sugar (healthier option: ⅓ cup maple syrup)
1 large egg
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
⅓ cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
Ice cream, for serving (healthier option: coconut whipped cream)

Directions

First, make the topping. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 4 oven-safe (8-ounce) ramekins. Slice the orange into 8-10 slices, about ¼-inch thick each. With a sharp knife, carefully remove the outer peel from each slice (do this after slicing to keep each slice better intact). Sprinkle 1½ teaspoons of brown sugar into the bottom of each ramekin. Place 2 orange slices into each ramekin on top of the sugar. Pour ½ tablespoon of melted butter into each ramekin. Bake for 5 minutes, until the butter starts to bubble. Carefully remove the ramekins.

Next, make the cakes. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add softened butter and sugar. Beat on medium-high for 2-3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla. Stop to scrape down the sides.

Add half the flour mixture to the bowl, then the buttermilk, then the rest of the flour mixture and mix until just blended. Pour batter into hot ramekins, only filling ⅔ full. (Note: You may have extra batter for an additional ramekin.) Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes, run a knife around the edges, then invert onto a serving plate. Serve with ice cream or coconut whipped cream.

Servings

Makes 4-5

Written by Kim Maes

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Gluten Free Classic Pumpkin Pie Filling Recipe

Ingredients

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
1 Cookie Crust, Nut Crust, or pre-baked Perfect Pie Crust

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, milk, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie crust. Bake for 15 minutes, lower the temperature to 350°F, and bake for another 40-50 minutes or until the filling is set. If the pie starts to get too brown, lay a piece of foil over the top of the pie, making sure the foil does not touch the filling. Let cool, then refrigerate overnight or until serving time. Can be made a day ahead.

Servings

Makes 1 (9-inch) pie

Additional Variations:

No-Bake Variation:

Save space in the oven with a no-bake option!

Use the Cookie Crust or Nut Crust. Swap the 2 eggs for 1 envelope unflavored gelatin and ¼ cup water. Combine condensed milk, pumpkin pie spice, and salt and whisk well. Pour the gelatin over the water in a saucepan and let sit for 1 minute. Cook for about 2 minutes on low, stirring constantly, until the gelatin is dissolved. Add the milk mixture and stir. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the mixture thickens, then stir in the pumpkin. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie crust and refrigerate until firm, about 4-5 hours.

Chocolate Variation:

Use the Cookie Crust, made with chocolate cookies. Melt 3 ounces semisweet chocolate. With a spoon, carefully drizzle the chocolate into the pie filling before baking (or before refrigerating in the no-bake variation). Using a thin knife or a skewer, swirl the chocolate in a pattern throughout the pie. If desired, melt an additional 3 ounces semisweet chocolate and drizzle over top as garnish.

Maple Pecan Variation:

Use the Nut Crust, made with at least 1 cup pecans and another nut of choice. Combine 1 cup chopped or halved pecans with 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup. Pour the mixture evenly over the finished pie and serve.

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Gluten Free Simple Cheesecake Filling Recipe

Ingredients

1 Cookie Crust or Nut Crust

For the filling:
4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
4 large eggs
1¼ cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the topping:
2 cups sour cream
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the filling ingredients and beat on medium-high speed until smooth. Pour into the crust and bake for 50-55 minutes or until the center of the cheesecake is set. Remove from the oven but leave the oven on. Cool the cheesecake for 10 minutes.

Combine the topping ingredients and blend well. Pour over the top of the cheesecake after the cake has cooled for 10 minutes. Return to the oven and cook for 5 minutes. Let cool completely, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight or up to 48 hours.

Servings

Makes 1 (9-inch) pie

Additional Variations:

Citrus Fruit Variation:

Add juice and finely grated zest of 1 lemon or 1 small orange to the cheesecake filling and make the cheesecake as directed. Top with fresh berries (some mashed, some whole) and more lemon/orange zest.

Cinnamon Apple Variation:

Use the Cookie Crust, made with gluten-free gingersnap cookies. Add ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon to the cheesecake filling and make the cheesecake as directed. Using homemade or canned gluten-free apple pie filling/topping, pile a few scoops onto each slice of cheesecake and serve.

Chocolate Hazelnut Variation:

Use the Cookie Crust, made with chocolate cookies. Melt 2 tablespoons gluten-free chocolate hazelnut spread with 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream in a small bowl. Drizzle the mixture over the top of the finished cheesecake and let cool. Sprinkle with additional crushed chocolate cookie crumbs, for garnish.

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This Gluten Free Pecan Pie Milkshakes recipe takes leftover pecan pie from the holidays and turns it into a delicious new dessert.

Gluten Free Pecan Pie Milkshakes Recipe

Ingredients

1 large slice pecan pie
3 scoops vanilla ice cream or dairy-free ice cream
¼ cup milk or dairy-free milk
Whipped cream or dairy-free whipped cream
Chopped pecans

Directions

Combine pecan pie slice, ice cream, and milk in a blender and blend until smooth.

Pour the mixture into two glasses, top with whipped cream and chopped pecans, and serve immediately.

Servings

Serves 2

Written by Carol Kicinski

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Gluten Free Shortbread Gift Packages Recipe

Ingredients

1⅓ cups white rice flour
½ cup sweet rice flour
½ cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
14 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, whisk together flours, cornstarch, salt, baking powder, and xanthan gum.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar, and vanilla together on medium-low speed, until a thick paste forms, about 30 seconds. Shut off the mixer.

Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix on low until dough forms, about 3 minutes. Divide dough in half, wrap in plastic, and chill for about 20 minutes.

Lightly flour a work surface with rice flour. Place one of the dough halves onto the surface and roll to ¼-inch thick. Using a 2½-3 inch square cookie cutter, cut out dough. Re-roll scraps as necessary, chilling before rolling, if needed. Place cookies 1 inch apart on the baking sheet. Chill cookies on the baking sheet for 20-30 minutes.

Bake for 24-28 minutes or until aromatic, edges are light brown, and centers are set. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat using remaining dough.

To Decorate: Make a batch of Royal Icing (recipe follows) and divide into three or four portions. If desired, leave one portion white. Set aside. Tint remaining portions with food coloring, as desired.

Divide each color of icing in half. To half of each color, add water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until icing reaches a drizzling consistency. Use a thin off-set spatula to spread thinned icings on cookies. Place cookies on a wire rack set over waxed paper. Let stand for 1-2 hours or until dry.

Place the other half of each color of the remaining tinted icings into separate resealable small plastic bags. Cut a small hole in one corner of each bag. Pipe lines and bows on dry iced cookies. Let stand about 1 hour until dry and ready to package as gifts.

Servings

Makes 36-40 cookies

Royal Icing

Ingredients

4 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons meringue powder (found in cake decorating aisle of craft/hobby store)
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
½ cup warm water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

In a large mixing bowl, mix powdered sugar, meringue powder, and cream of tartar. Add water and vanilla and beat with an electric mixer on low until combined. Beat on high for 7-10 minutes or until icing reaches a stiff piping consistency. If not using right away, cover the bowl with a damp paper towel and then plastic wrap; chill up to 48 hours.

Written by Kim Maes

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Gluten Free Cranberry Thumbprint Cookies with Almond Glaze

Ingredients

For the cookies:
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
¼ teaspoon pure almond extract
1¼ cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
½ cup cranberry sauce (leftover homemade or canned)

For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
¼ teaspoon pure almond extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed. Add the egg and almond extract, and mix for 30 seconds. Gradually add flour, a little at a time, and mix on low until just combined.

Roll dough into teaspoon-sized balls and place on a large nonstick baking sheet. Make a small indentation in the center of each ball and fill with a small scoop of cranberry sauce. Chill for 20 minutes before baking.

Bake for 8-10 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then move to a rack to cool completely.

Whisk powdered sugar and milk together until smooth. Whisk in the almond extract. Pour the glaze into a small sandwich bag and cut a small hole in the corner of the bag. Place a piece of waxed paper under the rack. Drizzle the glaze in a crisscross pattern over cookies. Let harden for 10-20 minutes before packaging as gifts.

Servings

Makes 32 cookies

Written by Kim Maes

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Nothing says December quite like the taste and aroma of peppermint. In this easy-to-make sweet treat, peppermint adds refreshing and quintessential seasonal flavor to both the cakes and the whipped cream.

Gluten Free Sunken Chocolate Peppermint Cakes Recipe

Ingredients

For the cakes:
¾ cup (packed) pitted Medjool dates
¾ cup unsweetened coconut, almond, or hemp milk
¾ cup unsweetened sunflower seed butter
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
½ cup gluten-free oat flour
⅓ cup (lightly packed) brown sugar
⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
¼ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
⅓ cup dark chocolate chips

For the whipped cream:
1¾ cups cold heavy whipping cream
¾ teaspoon pure peppermint extract
6 tablespoons powdered sugar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line 12 cups of a standard muffin pan with paper liners. Cover the dates with hot water and soak for 10 minutes. Drain and place in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add milk, sunflower seed butter, and applesauce. Puree until smooth. Add the oat flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, peppermint extract, and salt. Puree to combine. Stir in the chocolate chips. Divide the batter among the lined muffin cups. Bake for about 25 minutes, rotating the pan once halfway through, until cracked on top and sunken in the middle. Cool for 20 minutes.

While the cakes cool, whip the cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks start to form, about 2-3 minutes. With the mixer running, add the peppermint extract. Add the sugar, a few tablespoons at a time, and whip to incorporate.

Serve the cakes warm, topped with the whipped cream.

Servings

Makes 12

Written by Hallie Klecker

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