10 Sweet Treats You Won’t Believe Are Gluten-Free
By JENNIFER WANG
Who wouldn't want to have their cake and eat it too? If you're gluten-free, this can be a very literal statement for you. Just because we're gluten-free doesn't mean we've lost the urge to indulge! I've definitely sat in front of friends at a bakery, staring and drooling as they lift a delicious, moist forkful of cake into their mouths, asking me as they chew, "You don't mind that I'm eating this in front of you, do you?"
Nowadays it seems like gluten-free alternatives abound. The trouble is finding gluten-free options that aren't just a cheap knock-off of the real thing (i.e., that taste like cardboard or have a completely foreign consistency and are full of additives, refined sugar and empty carbs).
[Read More: What's the Deal With Gluten? (INFOGRAPHIC)]
Below are some of my favorite gluten-free sweets that honestly taste like they're the real deal, not a second-rate imitation. Go ahead, try them on your omnivore friends and see if they can tell a difference!
1. Superfood Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Cake, made by L.A. artisan baker Sugar Beak Bakery. Not only is this cake gluten-free, but it's also dairy-free and made from wholesome ingredients like chickpea flour, organic roasted pumpkin, almonds, hemp seeds, flax meal and chia seeds. The cakey texture is unbelievable -- fluffy and moist.
2. Buckwheat crepes. This super-easy kid-friendly recipe can be topped with anything they can dream up, from savory to sweet. Even though they're called "buckwheat," don't be fooled. It is indeed a gluten-free grain and also high in fiber and essential vitamins and minerals.
3. Chocolate Miso Brownies. Miso, you may ask? Yes! This traditional Japanese paste made from fermented soybeans naturally has a bit of a salty flavor to it, which complements chocolate beautifully. This recipe is heavy on butter and eggs, giving it a rich, creamy consistency that goes perfectly with the miso-chocolate combination. It's also a great recipe option if you're trying to up your fermented foods.
4. Chocolate Fudge Balls, a treat made by gluten-free, low-glycemic baker You Are Loved Foods. These creamy balls of fudge covered with almond dust are little, guilt-free morsels of heaven. They're naturally gluten-free, Paleo, diabetic-friendly and vegan.
5. Signature Tiramisu by Cafe Gratitude. This tiramisu made by L.A.'s top (in my opinion) vegan restaurant is naturally gluten-free, raw and vegan. The cakey part is made with raw almond biscuits, and it's topped with coconut-cashew cream, espresso and raw cacao.
6. Sarah's Skinny Sweets Paleo Cookies. Made primarily with coconut flour, these cookies pack a nutritional punch while thoroughly satisfying your sweet tooth. My favorite way to eat them is frozen then dipped in chocolate. If you want to get fancy with tempering your chocolate, follow these directions.
7. High-Protein Cheesecake. Low carb and high protein? Not a bad combo. The crust on this cheesecake is made from almond meal and applesauce, and the protein comes from not only the almonds, but also the cheese mixture — low-fat cream cheese (or Greek yogurt cream cheese) plus Greek yogurt.
8. Ice-Cream Sandwich, by MILK. This L.A. ice-cream shop is famous for their signature macaron ice-cream sandwiches. A long-time staple in French cuisine, macarons are made with egg whites and almond meal, so there's nothing missing and nothing substituted here -- just natural gluten-free goodness!
9. Grain-Free Doughnuts. This recipe by Gluten-Free-Girl and the Chef is for ginger-citrus doughnuts. They’re light and fluffy and contain almond flour as their base. No gums, no refined sugar: It's a wholesome recipe that happens to be Paleo as well.
10. Meringue cakes from Bo Nuage Pastry Shop. French for "beautiful clouds," Bo Nuage serves up gluten-free and dairy-free mini cakes made from meringue and soy-based cream and come in a variety of colorful and delicious flavors like coffee, coconut, passion fruit and red velvet. The staff is very knowledgeable about food allergies and intolerances, and they even make large birthday cakes as well.
Readers -- What are some of your favorite gluten-free desserts? What are your go-to recipes or bakeries that feature gluten-free desserts? How do you satisfy your cravings for desserts on a gluten-free diet? Leave a comment below and let us know.
Jennifer Wang is the founder and CEO of The Tasteful Pantry. Having lived with multiple food intolerances and tried countless "'free-from" snacks that taste like cardboard, Jennifer's mission now is to share her love of wholesome food and healthy living through The Tasteful Pantry. When she's not scouring the country looking for yummy treats, Jennifer enjoys teaching spinning and meditation (although not at the same time).