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Gluten & Dairy free dessert

any suggestions? I was thinking about baked apples....

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  1. I recently had this same challenge when a close friend came to dinner. I made the chocolate sorbet from Gourmet, and almond "cookies" from Ottoleghni. My friend said this was the best dessert anyone had ever made him, and several others without these food issues asked for recipes.

    2 Replies
    1. re: smtucker

      i have the perfect scoop. maybe i'll make that! thanks!

      1. re: smtucker

        smtucker- do you have a link for the sorbet? I couldn't find it. Also-- is this the right link for the cookies? https://sites.google.com/site/blueeye...

      2. We did a soy/gluten/dairy free diet for a week. I got desperate for chocolate in the middle, and I made these:


        Using oil instead of butter, an unsweetened chocolate bar, about 1.5 times the sugar called for, and white rice flour instead of brown (I think you could get away with pretty much any flour here, but if you have an Asian market, you might find a little box of white rice flour cheap. Just make sure it's not glutenous). They were so fantastic that they've become my standby brownie. The only tricky thing is that the unsweetened chocolate is prone to clumping or seizing or whatever you call it. Measure out all the other ingredients before you melt the chocolate, and melt it in a big enough bowl to hold the other ingredients. When you've got it melted, add the sugar while whisking or running the mixer in the chocolate, and add the other ingredients lickity-split as soon as the sugar dissolves. It will look kind of dry and ugly going into the oven, but it's less ugly when it comes out, and it tastes unbelievable.

        2 Replies
        1. re: jvanderh

          Just so you know, glutinous rice refers to sticky rice. It doesn't actually have any gluten in it and is ok for gluten-free diets.


          1. re: jennymoon

            As I recently learned while we were talking about sticky rice. And I think it would work fine for brownies.

        2. any kind of fruit sauteed in little margarine (or coconut oil?) and brown sugar with a shot of rum.


          Meringue-based anything - pavlovas, macarons

          The lovely cake made with whole navel oranges and ground almonds

          1. I have the same ideas as everyone else...

            My favorites include roasted pears (I make the recipe from Smitten Kitten, substituting Earth Balance for butter), coconut milk based ice cream (Coconut Bliss or So Delicious), sorbet, and chocolate tofu pudding.

            Presuming eggs are okay, I love the chocolate/nut/egg cake from Pure Dessert, and meringues would be great as well. You can also make amazing pecan chewy cookies just subbing flour for brown rice flour. I can find the recipes for these if you need.

            1. If you don't mind a bought dessert, those coconut-based ice "creams" are delicious.

              Otherwise, try subsituting dairy-free margarine for the butter in this sinfully rich recipe:


              You do have to have the mochiko, or sweet rice flour. I've tried it with regular rice flour and the texture is all wrong.

              If you don't like coconut, make a fruit salad and drizzle over it a simple syrup flavored with rosewater.

              1. I recently discovered Chocolate-Avocado Pudding. There are recipes on-line, but here's the one I used and tweaked. My brother calls it ChocAcado Pudding.

                1 ripe banana
                1/4 -1/3 cup honey
                1/2 t vanilla
                2 ripe avocados
                1/4 cup plus 2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
                1/4 cup water

                Chop banana and avocados into chunks. Blend in a blender (smoother texture than a food processor) with water. Add vanilla and cocoa powder. Blend until very smooth. Serve chilled.

                Notes: We noticed too much of a banana flavor, so we skipped the banana altogether the second time. We did the high end of sweetener and added more water a T at a time after adding the cocoa powder. First time it was very thick and hard to blend.

                The easiest way to get this out of the blender, since it doesn't make a lot, is to unscrew the blender from the bottom and push the pudding out. You don't lose much that way.

                4 Replies
                1. re: nemo

                  The easiest way to get this out of the blender, since it doesn't make a lot, is to unscrew the blender from the bottom and push the pudding out.
                  or just double the recipe ;)

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    GHG Even with doubling you'd lose some to the sides. You'd probably have to triple it or more, and I think the recommendation for doubling was not precisely 2 to 1.

                    MM I have a cheap stick blender that I got just to try one, see if I'd use it much. My blender does a much smoother job than my stick.

                    Was just sharing my experiences.

                    1. re: nemo

                      Was just sharing my experiences.
                      and we were just trying to be helpful by suggesting potential ways to make it easier.

                  2. I love baked apples - so easy to make and they can be prepared ahead of time.

                    What about meringue nests filled with fruit? Or drizzled with raspberry sauce.

                    1. If you want something with chocolate, I highly recommend Alice Medrich's Italian Chocolate-Almond Torte. It is easy to make (essentially egg whites, chocolate, almonds, sugar) and very sophisticated in flavor. Serve with a fruit compote.


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                        This is exactly the cake I was thinking of. Soooo good.

                      2. I love Karina's Kitchen- Recipes From a Gluten Free Goddess. Here's a link to her cakes and cupcakes page.


                        1. That Clementine Cake that makes the rounds from time to time - it's really delicious and neither gluten nor dairy. You can serve it dusted with icing sugar and with some fresh berries. If you can't find the recipe (search CH - it's here somewhere) I can dig it up.

                          1 Reply
                          1. i recently made pumpkin ice cream using coconut cream/milk as the base. and served it with almond tuiles (used earth balance instead of butter).

                            you can make brownies using unsweetened cocoa powder, almond meal, and potato starch for the chocolate and flour components.

                            i also have a recipe for a flourless almond cake that uses almond flour, potato starch, unsweetened cocoa powder, etc.

                            if you want any recipes, let me know!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Emme

                              I'd love the brownie and cake recipes!

                            2. What about a schaum torte? Super easy with tons of egg whites. I typically do a lemon curd and fresh berry topping, but if the butter's a problem...I'm sure you could find another yummy topping.

                              1. There are many options from meringue based to using shortening, oil, or other solid at room temperature fat (coconut oil, for instance) in place of butter. Of course, you're going to want recipes where the flavor of butter isn't integral to the recipe, shortbread being a good example. It'd be easier to come up with appropriate suggestions if we had more info on whether this dessert is for an event or maybe a family dinner? For how many people? Do you want something showstopping or humble or somewhere in between?

                                1. my gluten-free friends love this one. substitute coconut milk for the cream to eliminate the dairy.

                                  almond frittata
                                  6 eggs

                                  2 tablespoons sugar, 3 if using buttermilk

                                  Pinch of salt
                                  1/2 cup cream, light coconut milk or buttermilk

                                  1/2 cup almond meal

                                  1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds

                                  1 teaspoon each vanilla, almond extract

                                  2 tablespoons butter (non-stick spray is fine)

                                  1. Heat 8-inch ovenproof skillet (I use cast iron) in a 400-degree oven while you gather the ingredients and put the mixture together,
                                  2. In a bowl, combine eggs, cream, coconut milk or buttermilk vanilla and almond extract.
                                  3. In a second bowl, combine almond meal, sliced almonds, sugar and salt. Stir into liquid mixture.
                                  4. Melt butter or spray skillet, pour in egg mixture and return to oven for 20 minutes.
                                  5. Let cool, slice and serve. For company, dust with confectioners sugar.

                                  1. I can post recipe if any are of interest:

                                    mango sticky rice (made with coconut milk)
                                    Olive oil almond cake
                                    almond berry panna cotta
                                    pavlova with whipped coconut cream
                                    sauteed banana crepes with coconut caramel sauce
                                    Clafouti of all sorts
                                    tropical crisp
                                    Roasted fruit
                                    Chocolate tarts
                                    All sorts of tarts with an oat crust
                                    Hummingbird cake - frosting will need to be changed up using either soy cream cheese or I would suggest doing a trifle with coconut custard

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: jsaimd

                                      I would love to see your sticky rice recipe. I've never gotten the rice to come out right.

                                      1. re: jvanderh

                                        Not jsaimd, but here is the recipe for sticky rice I use and it is delicious:

                                        You have to use the right rice and you have to soak it, then steam it. Just follow the directions. It has never failed for me.

                                        1. re: Isolda

                                          Yep - the key is to use the right rice. We often use black rice, but white rice is traditional with mango.

                                          1. re: jsaimd

                                            Thanks very much. Can I use sushi rice, or is it different? And can I use regular black rice, or is there some certain kind?

                                    2. thank you everyone. the baked apples were a hit.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: eLizard

                                        My daughter is celiac and she often falls back on baked apples when she is serving a crowd-for future challenges of this sort, you can bake (barely-ripened) pears, too...use cloves instead of cinnamon for flavouring.

                                      2. My mother makes a gluten-free carrot cake that is honestly the best I've ever had. I can't get the exact recipe at the moment (she's on vacation), but I know that she starts with a Namaste spice cake mix and uses lots of carrots and apples, so its really moist, then uses tofutti cream cheese to make frosting. Gluten-free carrot cake is probably the most popular birthday cake request she gets, even for those of us who aren't celiac.

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: Cate

                                          completely forgot about carrot cake. i adapted this from martha schulman's recipe in the ny times. she used almonds, i like the creaminess of the pecans. i also used less sugar. but do follow her instructions about preparing the pan.

                                          8 ounces unsalted toasted pecans pieces (reserve a few for garnish)
                                          1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
                                          1/8 teaspoon salt
                                          1 teaspoon cinnamon
                                          1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
                                          4 large eggs
                                          1/3 cup organic white sugar
                                          1 teaspoon vanilla extract
                                          2 cups finely grated carrots (about 10 ounces)

                                          1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees with a rack in the middle. Oil a 9-inch springform pan, and line it with parchment. Lightly oil the parchment.
                                          2. Grind pecans in a food processor fitted with the steel blade until finely ground. Add the baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pulse together.
                                          3. Beat the eggs until thick in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or with an electric beater. Add the organic sugar, and continue to beat until the mixture is thick and forms a ribbon when lifted from the bowl with a spatula. Beat in the vanilla. Add the pecan mixture and the carrots in three alternating additions, and slowly beat or fold in each time.
                                          4. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan. Place in the oven, and bake one hour until firm to the touch and beginning to pull away from the pan. A toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pan, and carefully remove the spring form ring. Allow the cake to cool completely, then wrap tightly in plastic.
                                          Yield: Serves 10 to 12.

                                          1. re: wonderwoman

                                            i recall discussing our mutual appreciation for that MRS recipe around Thanksgiving - one of the best things about it is the adaptability.

                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                              and for those without dairy restrictions, this cream cheese frosting is a great addition:

                                              1 cup heavy cream
                                              8 ounces soften cream cheese
                                              1 cup confectioners sugar
                                              1 teaspoon vanilla

                                              whip cream until soft peaks, add cream cheese and mix until well-blended. add sugar and mix, then add vanilla.

                                              1. re: wonderwoman

                                                i think i'd eat tree bark if you spread that frosting on it.

                                                1. re: eLizard


                                                  a little citrus or spice added to the frosting is killer on that cake.

                                                  oh, and to keep it on-topic for the OP's specific request, y0u can try subbing tofu cream cheese (or coconut cream) and coconut milk.

                                          2. re: Cate

                                            Would love to see the recipe when your mom returns from vacation!! Sounds great.

                                          3. A number of my daughter's friends are on dairy and/or gluten free diets. I've tried a bunch of desserts. One of their favorites is mango sorbet. It requires a blender and an ice-cream maker, but they make it themselves (somehow I always seem to clean up the mess) and really enjoy it.

                                            1-2 Mangos, skinned and pitted
                                            Simple Syrup (optional for extra sweetness)
                                            Lemon juice, fresh

                                            I got the recipe from GreatGrub. Here is the link if you want more detail. http://greatgrub.com/recipes/mango_so...

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: AmyGB

                                              I'm thinking rice pudding subbing nut milk or coconut milk for the dairy.

                                              Did anyone say fried bananas?

                                              1. re: femmevox

                                                I make this Portuguese rice pudding all the time with coconut milk. I started making the recipe for a dairy-averse friend, but found I like this version better. It calls for 3 to 3.5 cups of milk - I sub 1 cup (approx. half can) of regular canned coconut milk (like Chao Koh) and for the rest use unsweetened or 'original' So Delicious coconut milk in the carton. At my local grocery, it comes refrigerated in half gallons or in smaller shelf-stable containers. You can skip the addition of butter at the end of the recipe, it's really not necessary. The coconut flavor is not at all prominent. If you want an even richer dessert, use a higher proportion of canned coconut milk.


                                            2. I've made this with a few subs -- using margarine instead of the butter, almond meal instead of the flour and skipping the whipped cream topping (I went with just the fresh raspberries, to cut the sweetness and richness of the cake).


                                              1. Maybe it's the wrong time of year, but I've been turning to my ice cream making and churning out some great coconut milk ice creams. Last night, I ate the last spoonful a Dark Chocolate ice cream, and man, it was good. Here's an abbreviated version of the recipe. I've also included a link to a Coffee Almond coconut milk ice cream that keeps my husband and I happy.

                                                Dark Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream
                                                3 ½ oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
                                                1 (14 oz.) can unsweetened coconut milk (light or regular)
                                                ¾ C. plus 1 T. sugar
                                                1 tsp. vanilla
                                                1/8 tsp. salt
                                                ½ tsp. xanthan gum

                                                Melt the chopped chocolate in top of a double boiler over hot, not boiling water, stirring often to help the bigger chunks of chocolate melt. Gradually whisk in the full can of coconut milk and heat, stirring constantly until smooth. Let cool.

                                                Pour the partially cooled chocolate mixture and the rest of the ingredients into a blender. Blend until evenly mixed, about 1 minute.

                                                Place the covered blender jar in the refrigerator and chill for at least 4 hours or up to 48.

                                                Blend the mixture again for 10-15 seconds to redistribute any chocolate that has settled. Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.