Some associate gluten-free desserts with crumbly cookies and cakes that fall apart after a single bite. But we are here to say that such is not the case when you choose the right recipes that specifically cater to a gluten-free diet — so you aren't swapping all-purpose flour for almond or coconut at abandon. You can serve these quick desserts after a delicious gluten-free meal and even repurpose some for Passover treats or kid-friendly snacks. Each of these gluten-free dessert recipes is easy to prepare, so you can enjoy a slice of flourless cake or a scoop of no-churn ice cream on a weeknight.
A gluten-free diet excludes all foods that contain gluten, a protein found in wheat and other grains. This means that many of your go-to baked goods may no longer be on the table for a sweet treat after dinner. However, there are plenty of gluten-free alternatives that take chocolate classics, fruity favorites, and brilliant bars and turn them into allergy-friendly delights the gluten-sensitive (and everyone else) can enjoy. So, if someone at home is allergic to gluten, take a look at these simple gluten-free dessert ideas for your next holiday dinner or birthday celebration. They'd also be perfect for a Mother's Day dessert or Father's Day cake if mom and dad avoid gluten.
Strawberry-Horchata Shaved Ice
This cold and creamy shaved ice dessert from cookbook author and chef Fany Gerson is made with rice, milk, and fresh fruit, so it's filling but totally gluten-free. With its classic Latin horchata flavor, this unique take on the sweet summer treat will surprise and delight anyone who tastes it.
Chocolate Meringue Layer Cake
Bittersweet and shaved chocolate combine with fresh raspberries for a lush gluten-free dream that can be on the table in less than an hour.
Get the Chocolate Meringue Layer Cake recipe.
Summer Melon Slushies
These tasty slushies live in the gray area between drink and dessert. They're super refreshing and will definitely cool you off on a hot day.
Get the Summer Melon Slushies recipe.
Semifreddo with Honeyed Peaches
This semi-frozen dessert gets a bit of savory crunch from pistachio pieces and some extra summertime sweetness from the peaches.
Peach Melba Ice Pops
These ice pops feature bright fruity flavors of peaches and raspberries as well as some creaminess thanks to a layer of frozen yogurt.
Get the Peach Melba Ice Pops recipe.
No-Churn Banana Split Ice Cream
Who doesn't love a classic banana split? Make enough for a large group by mixing all the toppings with the ice cream in a large container and then scooping to serve in individual bowls.
Meyer Lemon Posset
This lemony dessert is perfect for when you want something light and fluffy. And you'll be amazed how easy it is to throw together — it only takes 10 minutes!
Get the Meyer Lemon Posset recipe.
Frozen Tropical Fruit Kebabs
Sliced fruit is only so exciting on its own, but when you incorporate some zingy lime zest, freeze, and drizzle with chocolate, it becomes a lot more exciting.
Get the Frozen Tropical Fruit Kebabs recipe.
Mango and Nut Dream
You can make these mango desserts with ingredients you probably already have at home. They only take five minutes to assemble and then you just have to wait for them to set. If you're prepping to host a dinner, you can make these ahead of time, set aside, and not worry about them until it's time to serve.
Get the Mango and Nut Dream recipe.
Double Chocolate Mocha Mousse
It's hard to beat a chocolate mousse, and this version incorporates a bit of espresso for an instant pick-me-up.
Get the Double Chocolate Mocha Mousse recipe.
Creamy Frozen Raspberry Mousse
This recipe is unbelievably easy to make, and it tastes instantly refreshing on a hot day. Top with some nuts for a little bit of crunch or enjoy plain with all the bold flavors that raspberries bring.
Chocolate–Pistachio Orange Slices
These orange slices are so easy to make that you can have your kids or friends help out in the kitchen for a fun after-dinner activity. And don't let the fact that they're fruit-based fool you — these things are still super sweet.
Blueberry & Nectarine Semifreddo
This frozen dessert is the perfect thing to make ahead to enjoy later, and it features a unique fruit pairing that is vibrant and fresh.
These desserts have no gluten, no cholesterol, and actually have a pretty big protein bump from the chickpeas that are included. Not bad for a sweet treat, eh?
Get the PB&J Bars recipe.
This versatile dessert is both a sweet snack and an eye-catching centerpiece. Customize it with your favorite seasonal toppings and serve it year-round.
Get the Meringue Wreath recipe.
Elizabeth Berry is the editorial assistant for WomansDay.com, where she writes and edits lifestyle content. When she isn’t assisting with day-to-day editorial needs, Elizabeth is baking dairy-free cakes, reading books, or strolling through nature.
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