Stunning Gluten-Free Dessert Recipes
Gluten-Free Cranberry Coconut Trifle
No other dessert turns heads like a trifle. Festive in every way, this trifle recipe glows from within with scarlet layers of juicy cranberries. The filling is made from an astounding 6 cups of antioxidant-packed cranberries! We made the custard “skinny” with a combination of low-fat milk and light coconut milk. From-scratch brown-butter sponge cake (gluten-free!) stands in for store-bought ladyfingers.
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap-Walnut Crust
We pulled out a few of our favorite EatingWell tricks to achieve plenty of creaminess in our pumpkin cheesecake without all the saturated fat of a typical recipe: nutrient-packed canned pumpkin and pureed nonfat cottage cheese replace some of the cream cheese. A touch of pumpkin pie spice warms up the flavor. For the crust, shop the natural-foods section for gluten-free gingersnaps without any hydrogenated oil. Simple toasted walnuts are an elegant garnish. Or try making candied walnuts. Just be careful not to eat all of them before they make it to the cake!
Caramelized Spiced Pears
Serve these caramelized pear slices over ice cream, stir into plain yogurt or enjoy as a topping for pancakes or waffles. Brown-skinned Bosc pears hold their shape during cooking, but any variety of pears tastes delicious.
Pomegranate Poached Pears
Pears are simmered in a blend of tart pomegranate juice and sweet dessert wine with gorgeous garnet-red results. The pears are served with the reduced poaching liquid and a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds. A striking finale to any festive meal, garnish the pears with toasted slivered almonds and a touch of tangy Greek yogurt.
Peppermint Pattie Pots de Creme
We love York peppermint patties and the flavor of these festive pots de crème is a dead ringer for the candy. Unlike traditional über-rich custard recipes, this custard uses low-fat milk, only 3 egg yolks and 1/2 cup of half-and-half for its creamy richness. Just 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract in the custard gives plenty of minty flavor, but if you want that icy mountain-breeze sensation, add a whole teaspoon instead.
This show-stopping dessert is a New Zealand (and Australian) classic reportedly created in honor of the famous ballerina Anna Pavlova when she visited the Southern Hemisphere. Our version delivers a wonderful combination of sweet meringue crunch and velvety tart lemon curd. The meringue is somewhat fragile--expect it to crack and crumble a bit as you slice it into individual servings. For the best results, avoid making the meringue on a humid or rainy day. The extra moisture in the air may prevent it from drying and crisping properly.
Riesling Baked Pears
Here's an elegant yet simple twist on the autumn classic. Pears are oven-poached in Riesling wine, which is known for its floral accents and aromas and hints of honey and pear. Serve this dessert with lightly sweetened ricotta cheese. Delicious hot, room temperature or chilled.
Coffee Panna Cotta
Panna cotta (“cooked cream” in Italian) is a silky-smooth dessert that works beautifully with the flavor of coffee. The sauce was inspired by café brûlot, the New Orleans classic coffee drink spiked with flamed brandy. Cooking for teetotalers? Use brandy extract in the panna cottas and omit brandy (and flambéing) from the sauce. Garnish with chocolate-covered espresso beans, if desired. Recipe by Joyce Hendley for EatingWell.
Rich, creamy, vanilla bean-flecked pudding tempers the tart-sweet pomegranate compote. Pick out small, festive glass dessert dishes for this pretty parfait.
Vanilla Bean Flans with Agave Syrup & Caramelized Walnuts
This melt-in-your-mouth custard is delicately flavored with vanilla bean and lightly sweetened with agave syrup. Crunchy caramelized walnuts are an addictively delicious topping. Adapted from Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho La Puerta: Recipes from the World-Famous Spa (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2008) by Deborah Szekely and Deborah M. Schneider with Chef Jesús González, Chef of La Cocina Que Canta.
Caramel Cream Cheese Custard (Flan de Queso)
Every panaderia (bakery) in Puerto Rico has many flavors of flan, from vanilla to guava. Reduced-fat cream cheese gives this version a rich, comforting texture.
Vanilla-Kirsch Panna Cotta with Cherry Compote
These panna cottas (Italian for cooked cream) are smooth, light and mild molded desserts set off by a bright, intensely flavored cherry compote. The recipe calls for a vanilla bean, which yields the best flavor, but you can use extra vanilla extract instead; just be sure it's top quality. The compote is also delicious spooned over slices of angel food cake or scoops of vanilla frozen yogurt. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.
Dark Roast Creme Brulee
Inspired by a recipe developed by Chef Patrick Grangien at Cafe Shelburne in Shelburne, Vermont, this lightened version has less than half the calories and one-eighth the fat of a classic brulee.