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Gluten-Free Desserts: 12 Healthier Recipes You’ll Love

Yvonne Mahl, MHSC, RDN, LDN, IFNCP

Published in Nutrition

6 min read

February 27, 2024
gluten free cookies
gluten free cookies

In a time where dietary restrictions are increasingly common, the quest for delicious gluten-free desserts has become more than just a trend—for many, having easy gluten-free options available is a necessity.

Whether you're navigating gluten intolerance, celiac disease, or are simply seeking to explore new culinary horizons, this collection of 15 of the best gluten-free dessert recipes promises to satisfy your desire for a sweet treat while accommodating your dietary needs.

1) Banana Oatmeal Cookies

banana oatmeal cookies

These banana oatmeal cookies offer a healthier alternative to traditional cookies by incorporating wholesome ingredients such as ripe bananas and gluten-free oats. Packed with fiber from the oats and natural sweetness from the bananas, these cookies provide a satisfying treat without relying heavily on added sugar.

Ingredients

  • 2 large ripe bananas
  • 1 ½ cups gluten-free quick cooking oats
  • ½ cup chocolate chips

2) Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

gluten free chocolate cookies

These gluten-free chocolate chip cookies are a healthier twist on a classic favorite, featuring almond butter and almond meal as nutritious substitutes for traditional flour. These chewy cookies are a wholesome alternative that will satisfy your sweet tooth.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup creamy almond butter
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 6 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips

3) Paleo + Gluten-Free Ice Cream

paleo ice cream

This paleo and gluten-free ice cream recipe is a unique alternative to traditional ice cream that uses ingredients like full-fat coconut milk, honey, and almond butter. With its rich and creamy texture, this homemade ice cream stacks up against store-bought brands.

Ingredients

  • 14 ounces full-fat coconut milk
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup creamy almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

4) Fudgy Gluten-Free Brownies

fudgy gluten free brownies

These fudgy gluten-free chocolate brownies offer a healthier twist on a beloved classic, featuring ingredients like almond flour and coconut sugar, and the coconut oil provides a decadent fudge texture. Pair these brownies with a bowl of high-protein plain Greek yogurt for a balanced dessert.

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 ounces 80% dark chocolate
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 3 medium eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 pinch of salt

5) Keto + Gluten-Free Pavlova

gluten free palova

Similar to a meringue, this keto and gluten-free pavlova offers a healthier dessert option with a light and airy texture achieved through the use of egg whites, Nutritionist Amanda Donahue, MS, RD, CD, adds, “this recipe also utilizes monk fruit sweetener instead of traditional sugar, making it suitable for those following a low-carb or ketogenic diet.”

This pavlova is a great summer dessert that won’t send your blood sugar levels skyrocketing!

Ingredients

  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cups monk fruit sweetener
  • 2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup fresh berries

6) Healthy Gluten-Free Lemon Bars

gluten free lemon ar
Source: Shutterstock

Nutrisense nutritionist Victoria Eaton, RDN, LDN, IFNCP says, “these gluten-free lemon bars provide a healthier option for gluten-free baking enthusiasts by replacing traditional wheat flour with a combination of almond and coconut flours, which are higher in fiber and healthy fats and lower in carbs.”

While these bars are a delicious choice for anyone on a gluten-free diet, aim to pair them with a source of protein to help keep your blood sugar levels stable.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs + 1 egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoons coconut flour

7) Gluten-Free + Low Sugar Apple Crisp

gluten free apple crisp

This gluten-free, low sugar apple crisp offers a twist on a classic dessert by reducing sugar content with monk fruit sweetener and incorporating ingredients like almond meal and coconut oil. With its delightful blend of flavors from cinnamon-spiced apples and crunchy oat crumb topping, it’s a must-try for anyone seeking a delicious yet health-conscious treat.

Ingredients

  • 6 medium-sized apples
  • 3/4 cup monk fruit sweetener
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons gluten-free rolled oats
  • 6 tablespoons almond meal or almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

8) Keto + Gluten-Free Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

keto gluten free pistachio short bread

These keto and gluten-free pistachio shortbread cookies offer a healthier twist on a beloved treat by using monk fruit sweetener and gluten-free flour. With the addition of nutritious pistachio nuts and the indulgent touch of low-sugar chocolate chips, these cookies are a must-try for anyone on a gluten-free diet!

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces unsalted butter
  • 1 cup monk fruit sweetener
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup crushed pistachio nuts
  • 4 cups organic all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 6 ounces low sugar chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup whole milk (or almond milk)
  • ½ cup crushed pistachio nuts

9) Keto Coconut Macaroons

keto coconut macaroons
Source: Shutterstock

Nutrisense nutritionist Emma Simpkins MS, RDN says, “these keto coconut macaroons are one of my favorite healthier dessert options. Instead of traditional sugar and flour, this recipe uses almond flour and erythritol, making them a crispy and delicious treat for those following a low-carb or ketogenic diet. Plus, they’re also gluten-free!”

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup erythritol

10) Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

flourless peanut butter cookies

These flourless peanut butter cookies offer a healthier twist on a classic favorite by omitting flour and using natural peanut butter and erythritol. With the simplicity of just a few wholesome ingredients, these cookies provide a unique and satisfyingly sweet flavor. Best of all, they’re gluten free!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter (100% peanuts) 
  • ½ cup erythritol (100g)
  • 1 egg large
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

11) Healthy Chocolate Mousse

healthy chocolate mousse
Source: Shutterstock

This chocolate mousse offers a nutritious twist on a decadent dessert by incorporating avocado and coconut cream instead of heavy cream and refined sugars, providing healthy fats and natural sweetness. With its creamy texture and rich chocolate flavor, this mousse is tasty and unique and makes for a great gluten-free and dairy-free dessert option.

Ingredients

  • 1 large avocado
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • 4 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 3 tablespoons liquid stevia sweetener
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

12) Keto Flourless Chocolate Cake

flourless chocolate cake

This keto and gluten-free chocolate cake is a unique alternative to traditional cakes, as it’s flourless and uses monk fruit as the sweetener. Even so, this healthier cake is sure to satisfy your chocolate dessert cravings and makes for a great gluten-free dessert—you can even use this recipe to make cupcakes or finish it off with a creamy ganache topping!

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate chopped
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil
  • ¾ cup monkfruit sweetener
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder optional
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¼ cup coconut cream
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
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Victoria Eaton, RDN, LDN, IFNCP

Reviewed by: Victoria Eaton, RDN, LDN, IFNCP

Victoria began her career in the functional medicine space in 2015. She has extensive experience interpreting labs and supporting weight loss, gut imbalances, and chronic migraines. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in nutrition and dietetics from Missouri State University.