So now that the holiday season has officially started let’s move straight to dessert shall we? What better time of year is there to get cozy in the kitchen and start baking?
I’d guess that many of you have even started pulling out your tried and true, family favorite recipes and are planning your gift boxes and goodie baskets full of homemade treats as we speak. Most likely there will be cookies, maybe fudge or a few loaves of fruited breads made very soon. There will be holiday parties and brunches and desserts to make for each. Let’s face it, this time of year it’s all about the food.
This year I hope to inspire you to create new traditions and fill your home with the tantalizing scent of homemade treats with these gluten-free and grain-free recipes from bloggers across the web.
In the spirit of holiday baking I’ve put together a collection of my favorite dessert recipes and asked friends and fellow bloggers to do the same and share with you their favorite desserts and sweets to make during the season. These recipes go beyond the ubiquitous holiday cookies to pies, cakes and chocolates and other baked goods. Hopefully you’ll find a new family favorite here that everyone can enjoy no matter what their dietary needs or restrictions
Let the baking and treat making begin!
Dessert Favorites From My Kitchen
Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo Friendly)
These zippy ginger molasses crinkle cookies are gluten-free, paleo friendly and filled with holiday spice. With their crackly tops and spicy complex flavor these cookies are high on my list of cold weather favorites.
Maple Cinnamon Meringue Cookies (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo Friendly)
A good meringue is a beautiful thing; light as air, every bite a cloud of sweetness. Maple syrup and cinnamon add a rich warm flavor while toasted chopped almonds add crunch to these entirely refined sugar-free meringues.
Double Chocolate Cookies (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo Friendly)
Deep, dark and rich, these double chocolate cookies are for true chocolate lovers. While we all have our favorite holiday cookies, it’s nice to mix in some new ones among old favorites, so I do hope you’ll make these this season, or for any occasion for that matter.
Honey Coconut Macaroons with Chocolate Dipping Sauce (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo Friendly)
Baked until lightly golden on the outside, but still creamy white on the inside they are bites of pure coconut goodness. The combination of chocolate and coconut makes for a luxurious treat any Bounty or Mounds lover can attest to.
CHOCOLATES AND CONFECTIONS:
Raw Double Layer Chocolate Fudge with Cacao Nibs (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo Friendly, Vegan, Raw)
This isn’t your traditional fudge recipe but it sure gives it a run for its money. An easy no-cook raw fudge that’s topped with a layer of rich chocolate ganache and cacao nibs for extra crunch.
Chocolate Coconut Stuffed Dates (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo Friendly, Vegan, Raw)
Medjool dates are stuffed with a moist coconut filling and dipped in chocolate for an easy but impressive sweet treat. Package them up in a pretty box and you have homemade gift that’s sure to be remembered. Or, treat yourself and keep these on hand for an after dinner or mid-afternoon treat with a cup of tea.
Cocoa Dusted Maple Glazed Walnuts (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo Friendly, Vegan)
In my house there’s not a holiday that doesn’t involve a hefty dose of chocolate. These walnuts are glazed with maple syrup then truffled and dusted with cocoa.
Chocolate Dipped Nut Bites (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo Friendly)
Good things come in small packages, right? And chocolate makes everything better? Well, then, these bite-sized chocolate-dipped treats are a very, very good thing. A mixture of caramelized nuts and seeds are dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkled with fleur de sel for a salty/sweet treat.
Dark Chocolate Bark with Ginger, Pumpkin Seeds and Apricots (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo Friendly, Vegan)
Chocolate bark makes an elegant hostess gift or party favor for any holiday get-together. It’s simple to prepare and is a wonderful healthy indulgence.
Easy Chocolate Mousse (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Raw, Vegan, Paleo-Friendly)
This creamy raw chocolate mousse made from cashews and raw cacao is topped with a layer of bittersweet chocolate ganache and cacao nibs for extra intensity.
Orange, Cranberry, Pistachio Fruit and Nut Truffles | Sugar-Plums (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo Friendly, Vegan, Raw)
The confection we have come to associate with the word sugar-plum today primarily contains dried fruits and nuts combined with holiday spices. It signifies everything simple, sweet and delectable about the holiday season.
PIES AND TARTS:
Chocolate Coconut Macadamia Nut Tart (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo, Vegan)
This dark chocolate coconut tart with its almond flour crust and macadamia nut topping is rich and silky and guaranteed to fulfill your chocolate cravings.
Chocolate Date Caramel Walnut Tart (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo, Vegan)
An almond shortbread crust and soft date caramel filling is topped with a rich chocolate ganache and finished with walnuts in this chocolate tart.
Pear Almond Clafoutis (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo)
A cross between a custard, a thick pancake, and a flan; it’s neither complicated nor intricate but it’s absolutely irresistible. In essence, it amounts to a moist crêpe-like batter studded with juicy pears.
Dessert Favorites From Bloggers Across the Web
COOKIES AND BARS:
Peanut Butter & Marshmallow Sandwich Cookies (Gluten Free, Grain-Free) from Beard and Bonnet
“These peanut butter cookies are my kids favorite! When I make these for them they squeal with delight when they see them and giggle as they eat them. Nothing makes me happier!”
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Raw Bars (Gluten Free, Grain-Free, Vegan, Paleo) from Beard and Bonnet
“These chocolate chip cookie dough raw bars are on a regular rotation in our house. They taste like cookie dough, but are actually full of ingredients that are good for us. Don’t tell my kids please!”
Cinnamon Almond Butter Cookies (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo Friendly) from A Harmony Healing
“I want to share one of my absolute favorite gluten-and-grain-free cookies. I have adored cookies since I was a child and I created this recipe when I found out I could not eat gluten or grains for 6 months. This cookie is really simple to make and it delivers delicious flavor and a wonderful crisp texture.”
Gluten Free Sand Tart Cookies (Gluten-Free, Egg-Free, Dairy-Free Options) from Real Food Whole Health
“This recipe means so much to me because it’s a third generation family tradition that I was so afraid I wouldn’t be able to participate in when we had to go gluten free. But, I was determined to re-work the recipe and it’s as good, if not better, than the original…and now my mom and I make these together and remember my Grammy who has passed away. It’s just not Christmas until we make these!”
Chewy Grain-Free Gingerbread Men (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo Friendly) from Texanerin”
For me, the holidays aren’t complete without at least one batch of gingerbread men! It’s the one time of the year I actually bother decorating cookies, which I usually avoid just because I don’t want to use food coloring. But with gingerbread men?! All you need is white chocolate and a piping bag! It’s fun, easy and as a bonus – these are some super chewy cookies!”
Grain-Free Fresh Mint Double Chocolate Cookies (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo Friendly) from Texanerin
“The gooiest and fudgiest grain-free cookies I’ve ever had, these are so fun to serve around Christmas time! You’d never guess that these are mostly date sweetened or that there’s an entire avocado in there – and neither will your guests! And they’re easily adaptable. If you don’t like mint, you can simply leave it out and fill the cookies with peanut butter filling, jam, or just leave them plain!”
Skinny Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo Friendly) from An Edible Mosaic
“For the chocolate chip cookie lovers out there, these cookies taste like the real deal, but are packed with nutritious ingredients to leave you feeling energized instead of lethargic! I’m planning on keeping a stash of them around throughout the holiday season!”
Peanut Butter Cookies with Dark Chocolate Drizzle (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Vegan) from Jeanette’s Healthy Living
“I came up with this cookie recipe as a healthier and gluten-free alternative to a childhood favorite – peanut butter blossoms (the cookies with the hershey’s kiss in the center).”
Flourless Mexican Chocolate Cookies with Spicy Roasted Pepitas (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo Friendly) from Kitchen Tested
“I can never say no to a rich and chewy chocolate cookie and these flourless chocolate cookies with spicy roasted pepitas are a no-brainer for the holidays this year. They are amazing fresh out of the oven and with no added sugar, I can eat more than one!”
Pistachio Rosewater Ghriba (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free) from Marcomama
“These are a favorite cookie that I re-made gluten-free for my husband. The flavors are unique and unexpected – and everyone loves them!”
Coconut Sugar Cookie Cutouts (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo Friendly) from Life Made Full
“I love them because they are so simple and make it so my kids can have Christmas-inspired sugar cookies again!”
No-Bake Chocolate Coconut Macaroons (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo) from Red and Honey
“Here’s my favorite no-bake chocolate coconut macaroon recipe, it’s a recipe my mom made for us while growing up, and then I modified it to be real-food friendly. It’s absolutely delicious – none of my friends can believe that it’s 100% healthy ingredients – they all hoard them in the freezer and hide them from the kids, haha!”
Pumpkin Bar Recipe (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free) from Wellness and Workouts
“This recipe means a lot to me; because it was a family favorite that I thought we would not be able to eat anymore once we went gluten free and grain free. After years of living without it, I realized I should try to make it over, into a GAPS legal recipe, and it worked!”
CAKES, PIES AND TARTS:
Pecan Pie (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo Friendly) from Deliciously Organic
Pecan pie is the epitome of the holidays for me. After a savory meal, I get a cup of coffee, a slice of pecan pie and enjoy the conversation. The filling isn’t cloyingly sweet – just nice and subtle. The pecans are crunchy on top and the crust is tender and buttery.
Grain-Free Mini Pumpkin Pie Tarts (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Vegan, Paleo) and
Grain-Free Cranberry Orange Spice Mini Tarts (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Vegan, Paleo) from Tasty Yummies
“I love serving mini-tarts as dessert for holiday get-togethers. They have become somewhat of signature sweet for me. I can change my fillings to create a seasonal treat specific to the occasion. Plus, I love that they are no-fuss, I can just make them ahead and set them out when dessert comes around and my guests can just help themselves.”
Mexican Chocolate Ganache Tarts (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo) from Slim Palate
“I was introduced to Mexican hot chocolate by my cousin a few years ago during the holidays and fell in love with it. With my incessant thoughts of Mexican hot chocolate cluttering my mind I decided to make an even more rich and alluring twist of it.”
Coconut Pumpkin Pie (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo) from Kitchen Tested
“No need to make more than one pumpkin pie this year! Everyone will be chowing down on this gluten free coconut pumpkin pie and they definitely won’t be missing the traditional flour crust.”
Chocolate Silk Pie (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo) from Paleo Fondue
“Something so decadent and rich is best enjoyed with the comforting joy of family during the holidays. It’s no wonder why this Chocolate Silk Pie is the star of our table.”
Sugar-Free Apple Tart (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo Friendly) from The Nourished Caveman
“This is a sugar-free dessert that will prove you that healthy and delicious can exist in the same sentence!”
Gingerbread Layer Cake with Bourbon Pecans & Caramel Sauce (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Paleo) from Wicked Good Kitchen
“Gingerbread has always been a part of our family Christmas traditions. For me, and I hope for others, this recipe is a culmination of favorite Christmas flavors–gingerbread, bourbon, pecans and caramel sauce. This gingerbread cake is not only moist and flavorful, it is dairy free, grain free and paleo. However, after one bite, no one would ever know. Enjoy and happy holidays!”
Clementine Cake (Gluten-Free, Grain Free, Dairy-Free, Paleo) from Real Food Whole Health
“This recipe was actually a god-send for a family birthday when we needed to accommodate several food allergies and you couldn’t even tell it was different. Everyone absolutely loves this cake..it’s now our go-to for holidays and birthdays as well.”
Spanish Almond Cake (Gluten-Free, Grain Free, Paleo ) from The Things We’ll Make
“Here in Spain, almond treats are very popular during the holidays. This cake is very traditional, and is, and always has been, grain free.”
Flourless Chocolate Cake topped with Chocolate Whipped Cream and Mocha Meringue (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free) from Dieter’s Downfall
“Dense Chocolate cake lightened up with cocoa whipped cream frosting and then decorated with crispy mocha meringue bark.”
OTHER SWEET TREATS:
Cinnamon Rolls (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo) from A Girl Worth Saving
“I love this recipe because to me it is the ultimate indulgence and reminds me the special times when my mother would spoil us with homemade cinnamon rolls. This texture and taste of this recipe is so close to the “real” deal that you will be blown way.”
Orange Cranberry Bread (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo) from Comfy Belly
“I’ve always loved the combination of tart and sweet in a recipe, and this recipe packs in the goodness of oranges, cranberries, almonds, and coconut, with the added benefit of vitamin A, C, fiber, phytonutrients and other good stuff for overall health and well-being.”
Chocolate Chip Doughnuts with Chocolate Glaze (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo from Everyday Maven
“These chocolate chip doughnuts with chocolate glaze make my son happy and taste like you are eating a real doughnut. They remind me that you don’t have to sacrifice health to eat delicious desserts!”
Black Forest Brownie Trifles (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free) from Simple Bites
“Dense, fudge brownies, layered with whipped cream and dark cherries for a delicious ending to a festive meal that everyone will enjoy.”
Gingerbread Scones (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo Friendly) from Seasonal and Savory
“I love all things gingerbread, and since I have gone grain free this recipe has been my go-to for a quick flavor fix.”
Cranberry Apple Maple Crisp (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo) from With Food and Love I cook from my heart and I’m totally obsessed with seasonally fresh foods. So naturally cranberries and apples just had to be smothered in cinnamon and maple syrup and baked to bubbly perfection. I hope you enjoy this little bundle of goodness and much as I do.
Truffles with Goji Berry or Cocoa (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo) from 80 Twenty
“I make these truffles on a regular basis because they’re show-stoppingly beautiful in real life. They’re special to me because I make them with my partner. One of us forms the balls and the other one does the rolling in goji/cocoa/coconut. It’s nice because it makes us slow down and have time together to connect.”
GLUTEN-FREE BUT NOT GRAIN-FREE:
Healthier Chocolate Chunk Molasses Gingerbread Cookies from Running to the Kitchen
“I love these cookies because they’re like wrapping Christmas around your favorite soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie.”
Buttermilk Apple Hand Pies from So Let’s Hang Out
“I’m not much of a baker. I have issues when it comes to following directions, and tend to take a more “fly by the seat of my pants” route when it comes to my cooking methods. This whole attitude works well for savory cooking, but not so much with the precision of baking. I’ve learned this many times the hard way. Making a successful gluten-free pie crust was a huge triumph for me. I felt like an art student that had aced a science exam. I’d love to make these again for my family over the holidays and show off my new baking chops.”
Gluten Free Maple Sweet Potato Cheesecake with Gingerbread Bottom and Sour Cream Marshmallow Topping from Eat the Love
“Though I don’t have a gluten or grain sensitivity I have friends that are. So when I entertain it gives me great pleasure to create recipes that are either indistinguishable from the original version or even better than the gluten full version. This sweet potato cheesecake is a great example of a fabulous holiday desert made even better using gluten free flours.”
Dark Chocolate, Butterscotch and Vanilla Bean Ombré Cake from Eat the Love
“If you’re looking for a show stopping holiday dessert, this gluten free ombre cake made without dyes is the perfect project. Combining vanilla bean, butterscotch and chocolate, the cake kicks it out of the park with both flavor and presentation!”
Pfeffernüsse Cookies (Gluten-Free) from the Gluten Free Doctor
“Pfefferneuse have always been my favorite with bits of candied peel and snowy coating, they are Christmas in a Cookie.”