If there’s one thing we know, it’s that gluten free desserts can be some of the most delicious and splurge-worthy sweet treats out there.
Maybe you eat gluten free, or maybe you’re cooking for someone who is. Maybe you’re like Alex and me, who just feel better not overdoing it on the gluten. Either way, you probably already know this: gluten free desserts can be some of the most delicious sweet treats out there.
Our philosophy for gluten free desserts is to make them naturally gluten free. We typically avoid gluten free flour blends, since they can sometimes have wacky additives and preservatives. Instead, we opt towards nutrient dense whole foods, like almond flour, coconut flour, and oats. You’ll see that each of the gluten free desserts below represent a different way of making a dessert naturally gluten free: without GF flour blends or inaccessible ingredients. And we promise: these gluten free desserts will please everyone at the table, not just people who eat a gluten free diet.
OK, are you ready to get started?
Here are our top naturally gluten free desserts!
Ready for a really, supremely delicious chocolate cake recipe? Because have we got one for you! It’s one of our top gluten free desserts that’s dairy free too. It’s an inventive way to eat real, whole foods in dessert form—and it’s got a fantastic secret ingredient too!
The magic ingredients are…drum roll…almond butter and shredded zucchini! The almond butter adds the fat and texture instead of butter, and the zucchini brings in moisture and lightness. So it can really be considered a chocolate zucchini cake! And some dark chocolate chips are stirred in for chocolatey goodness, too.
Next up in our gluten free desserts: crisp! This one is easy, has a healthy spin, and it tastes SO, so good. The filling is like eating pure blueberry. And guess what: there’s no sugar in the filling! The crisp topping has the perfect amount of sweetness: just enough so that the blueberries shine but not so much that you have to brush your teeth immediately afterwards.
The crisp topping is a mixture of almond flour, butter, oats and sugar that comes together into the perfect crumbly texture. While the blueberry filling has no sugar, somehow the crumble topping gives just the right amount of sweetness to the tangy berries. You’ve just got to try it!
Are you ready for the chewiest, salty sweet, delicious gluten free chocolate chip cookies? They’re made all from whole food ingredients, are downright delicious, and made dirtying only one bowl. Contrary to popular belief, dairy, all purpose flour, and eggs are not required to make a kickin’ cookie recipe. This recipe features almond flour: flour made of finely ground almonds. And they’ve got a touch of sea salt for that perfect salty sweet flair. (PS they’re also vegan!)
At A Couple Cooks we love to lighten up traditionally rich desserts, and cheesecake is one of the richest there is. Super tall cheesecakes can call for up to 4 packages of cream cheese (whoa!) and loads of sugar. This cherry cheesecake has a healthy spin, but maintains big flavor. Greek yogurt helps add creaminess instead of the traditional cream or condensed milk. A thinner cheesecake means less calories per serving.
And the icing on the cake, so to speak? It’s crustless! A crustless cheesecake also means fewer calories — you don’t even miss it because the filling is that creamy! It’s one of our favorite gluten free desserts.
This recipe came from a challenge: to create a healthy version of a strawberry yogurt pie. You know, those ones made with Cool Whip, strawberry yogurt, and graham cracker crust? Well get ready, because this all natural strawberry yogurt pie is even better than the original! Instead of artificially sweetened yogurt, this recipe uses organic whole milk yogurt and real strawberries! The entire pie is naturally sweetened with pure maple syrup.
And the kicker that makes this a gluten free dessert? Instead of graham crackers, the crust is made of oats and cinnamon. This oatmeal cookie crust makes it one of our fan favorites!
These gluten free and vegan brownies are insanely fudgy. And surprisingly, they’re filled with nutrient dense whole foods! They’ve got almond butter and applesauce to make them extra gooey, then they’re topped with chopped almonds and chocolate chips! (You could substitute another nut if you’d like.)
After they’re baked, pop them in the refrigerator to get them extra chewy. The secret to making them into one of our gluten free desserts: a touch of coconut flour. Take it from one of our readers: “I’m somewhat of a brownie snob. These are better than any brownie recipe I’ve tried, classic or adapted. Simply delicious!”
Here’s one of the most classic naturally gluten free desserts: bananas foster. Bananas are sauteed in a gooey sauce of caramelized sugar and rum, and served over ice cream. There’s usually a flame too, which brings in over the top drama! This recipe works for two, though the quantities can be enough for four small dessert portions. The best part: you can make it in 10 minutes!
Bliss bites are by far our most popular of gluten free desserts! They’re basically a homemade peanut butter cup combined with a no bake cookie, and people all over the world make and love them! Made with maple syrup, coconut oil, and oats, they’re naturally sweet, vegan, and gluten-free.
Keep them in the freezer or refrigerator and nibble all week long. When we served them to guests as a sweet treat at the end of a meal, our guest pronounced they were “literally heaven”.
This cozy apple crumble is gluten-free by way of almond flour! And make it vegan by using coconut oil instead of butter. This is the best classic apple crumble: it's a big 9 x 13 pan to feed a crowd, and fresh ginger accentuates the gooey filling perfectly. The crumble topping is just as good (better, maybe?) with crunchy almonds standing in for flour.
These homemade peanut butter cups are truly perfect: and a fantastic gluten free dessert option. Our recipe shows you how to temper chocolate to get a glossy sheen, and make a mouthwatering peanut butter filling.
The resulting peanut butter cups are so, so good! They’ve got a satisfying crunch, just the right amount of lightly sweet peanut butter filling, and a few flakes of sea salt on top for a salty flair. We will be making these for years to come: and we hope you will too.
Here’s another one of our gluten free desserts that you’d never know doesn’t have gluten! This strawberry rhubarb crisp has just a tinge of healthy, but most of all it tastes really, really good. The crisp topping is oats and oat flour. And there’s no refined sugar: it’s all maple syrup! Some strawberry rhubarb crisp recipes call for boat-loads of sugar: for this one, we’ve used just enough. But don’t worry — it still tastes very sweet! It results in a sweet tart crisp that’s seriously nostalgic.
These dark chocolate no bake cookies feature tahini (sesame paste), maple syrup, and sea salt: they’re a salty sweet combination that you’ll go crazy over! Made with oats and coconut oil, we’ve served them at parties and they disappear in a flash! Pro tip: both no bake cookies recipes require the cookies to stay cool, so they’re best right out of the refrigerator. You can also freeze them.
Here’s one for your repertoire of delicious gluten free desserts: brownie pie. This flourless brownie pie recipe is fudgy and decadent. The crown jewel is the tahini maple sauce! It’s super simple to whip up: just mix together tahini, maple, espresso powder, and salt and it comes together into a gooey, salty sweet drizzle. It’s the absolute perfect finish for this brownie pie.
These chocolate cherry dessert bites highlight all the best of that natural pairing: chocolate and cherries. They’re rich and chocolate-y but use natural sweetener and just a few whole food ingredients! How did we make them gluten free?
The crust is made of almonds, oats, cocoa powder, coconut oil and maple syrup, blended into crumbles and pressed into a muffin tin. And the creamy chocolate mousse topping is made of just three ingredients: coconut oil, maple syrup and cocoa powder. Topped with delicious sweet cherries, each one is a little bit of heaven.
And last but certainly not least in our list of gluten free desserts: our “famous” skillet cookie! This one has been made and loved by many. The trick to this one is almond flour, which makes the cookie turn out chewy, caramely, and dense like a blondie.
Since the dough base is primarily almonds, it’s got more nutrients than the typical refined white flour cookie. And most importantly for us, it’s incredibly simple: mix all ingredients in a bowl, dump it in a skillet, and bake. You can’t get much easier than that!
This really is the best chocolate cake. It’s so rich, moist, and chocolate-y, no one would guess it’s a gluten free dessert recipe!
- Coconut oil for pan
- 1 cup creamy, unsweetened, unsalted almond butter, raw or roasted, or sunflower butter
- 1/3 cup pure Grade A maple syrup
- 1/4 cup raw cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder (optional)*
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini (about 2 small)
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips, dairy-free as desired
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease an 8- or 9-inch square pan with coconut oil. If you want to remove the cake from the pan in one piece, line it with unbleached parchment paper as well.
- In a large bowl, stir together the almond butter, maple syrup, cocoa powder, salt, coffee powder, egg, vanilla, and baking soda until fully combined and a sticky dough forms.
- Stir in the zucchini and chocolate chips.
- Pour into the prepared pan and bake until just set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with dry crumbs. Do not overbake. A 9-inch pan will take about 30 minutes; an 8-inch will take about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before serving.
Reprinted with permission from Kitchen Matters by Pamela Salzman
*Instant coffee powder enhances the chocolate flavor in baked goods. It is completely optional though. There are coffee alternatives, such as Pero, which is a chicory and barley-based product with no caffeine. Pero is not gluten free or grain free, due to the barley. Do not use coffee grounds in place of instant coffee powder.
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Sweets
Keywords: Gluten Free Dessert Recipes
Looking for more gluten free desserts?
Still not sure what to make? Here are some more of our favorite gluten free dessert recipes:
- Raw Brownies
- Blackberry Vegan Cheesecake Bites
- Salted Chocolate Vegan Ice Cream Recipe
- Berry Banana Ice Cream
- Flourless Chocolate Almond Cakes
- Blood Orange Granita Recipe
- Cherry Quinoa Chocolate Bark
- Blood Orange Granita
- 47 More Gluten Free Desserts
- Jamocha Almond Fudge Dairy Free Ice Cream
- Healthy Peanut Butter Buckeye Balls Recipe
- Berry Brownie Yogurt Parfait
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.