18 Gluten-Free Desserts for Thanksgiving Everyone Will Love
Pots de crème—which are basically individually portioned bowls or cups of loose custard—take just 20 minutes to prepare (plus chilling time). This recipe includes clementine zest, which is a bright complement to the rich chocolate. If you don't have ramekins, just use assorted wine or martini glasses.
2. Animal Farm Buttermilk Panna Cotta
Panna cotta made with plain cream and gelatin can be a little bland. Using buttermilk cuts through the fatty flavor of the cream and not only makes a slightly lighter version, but also brings the flavors alive with zest and tartness. For the best flavor, use fresh heavy cream from a local dairy. Serve with a little fresh fruit on the side, such as a few perfect raspberries or some sliced fresh strawberries that have been macerated with sugar to make their juices run.
3. Cheesecake Mousse with Blood Orange Gelee
Individual ramekins filled with creamy cheesecake with an orange slice and blood orange gelee make for a stunning presentation, but they aren't complicated and you can make them up to 3 days before serving.
4. Chocolate-Cherry Torte
This indulgent dessert from Kristine Kidd's Gluten-Free Baking has an impressive array of flavors, from balsamic-soaked dried cherries to finely ground almonds to bittersweet chocolate. Together, they form the perfect special-occasion cake, one that would be just as wonderful with a cold glass of milk as it would with a dark, fruity red wine.
5. Crème Brûlée
Who doesn't love the satisfaction of breaking the sweet shell and dipping into the luscious custard? A long-time favorite at the Silver Palate, this is a dessert can be both a comforting and an elegant end to your dinner party.
6. Steamed Pears with Asian Flavors
We're used to seeing fall and winter fruits roasted, baked and simmered. Steaming, though, is an unexpected way to keep the fruit (in this case, pears) in tact while still softening and sweetening it. You cook pears in the steam created by boiling spiced apple cider; once they're tender, you reduce the cider and stir in honey for a sweet sauce.
7. Dingo Cookies
These rustic cookies from Pure Sweets, an organic, gluten-free, vegan, kosher bakery in Philadelphia, are made with almond flour and almond butter, which lend a moist texture and rich flavor, along with maple syrup, vanilla extract and dark chocolate. Grade B syrup will give the treats a toasty, caramel-like flavor, and the chewy bites make terrific cookie-jelly sandwiches.
8. Maple Crème Caramel
Grade B maple syrup, which is darker and has a more intense flavor than grade A, is preferable for baking.
9. Orange Granita with Honey-Poached Pears, Cranberries and Citrus
A tangy-sweet granita that you can make up to 2 weeks ahead—store it in the freezer until ready to serve.
10. Cappuccino Ice Cream Cupcakes
Silvana Nardone, who writes Silvana's Kitchen, makes edible bowls out of finely ground, gluten-free sugar cones, butter and chocolate. She fills them with coffee ice cream and chopped, chocolate-covered espresso beans, and tops them with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
11. Sour Cream Ice Cream with Caramelized Pear Compote
You'll have more ice cream than you need for the finished dessert--just the thing to go with the leftovers from your feast in the days following Thanksgiving.
12. Bottomless Lemon Meringue
Just don't call them crusty. Lofty peaks of swirled meringue top pools of buttery lemon custard.
13. Pecan Pie Truffles
Nobody—and we mean nobody—is too full of turkey to eat one (or two...or six) of these irresistible truffles, made by layering dark chocolate ganache and pecan pie filling in miniature baking cups.
14. Marzipan Marbles
Smooth, sweet marzipan is an old-world ingredient that usually shows up in whimsical, brightly colored European holiday desserts. These streamlined versions of those traditional treats are made with just four ingredients, including almond paste and pecan halves. They're small enough that you can eat one or two without feeling as if you're going to burst, yet they still deliver an almond-infused, sugary hit.
15. Original Vanilla Macaroons
Coconut macaroons are often the default dessert for those avoiding flour; they simply consist of condensed milk, shredded coconut, egg whites and some flavorings. And while they're lovely on their own, they also take well to additions. Here are three slam-dunk ideas: Drizzle them with bittersweet chocolate, embellish them with dried fruits or sprinkle the tops with flaky sea salt.
16. Baked Ricotta Custard with Grilled Honeyed Peaches
Grilled honey-drizzled peaches meld elegantly with baked ricotta.
17. Roasted Pineapple Skewers
It's the South Sea Islands on a skewer: grilled maple syrup-infused pineapple slices.
18. Lemon and Lavender Mousse with Blueberry Soup
Here's a great option if you're looking for refreshing ending to a heavy meal. The lemon-lavender mousse and its accompanying blueberry sauce are sweet and tangy, with a subtle floral note.