There’s been a major shift towards tuning into the link between food and how it makes us feel. Whether it’s learning about gut health or the foods that cause sensitivities and allergic responses. Among my close friends, we’ve got two who are vegan, two who eat gluten-free, one who’s dairy-free, one friend that is #gf and vegan, and several children who are iffy on nuts. So when it comes to baking grain-free, gluten-free, and vegan holiday desserts for all of them…it’s complicated.
But I love to bake. Especially around the holidays. And since I want everyone to be able to indulge, I’ve spent some time over the last few years building up my arsenal of favorite desserts that don’t include the common offenders: grains and gluten, nuts, dairy, and eggs.
Let me tell you, even with all the amazing food bloggers out there, it still isn’t easy to find allergy-friendly holiday desserts that look delicious and taste good. So I’m pleased to share 15 of my favorites that are sure to make your vegan, grain-free, and nut-free friends really happy.
Chocolate Cranberry Christmas Mini Cakes from Nirvana Cakery
Why We Love It: How stunning are these mini chocolate cakes? They are made by using a cookie cutter to create small cake circles that are then stacked together with a cranberry chia jam and drenched in chocolate. What’s not to love?
Hero Ingredient: The cranberry chia jam is festive, delicious, and can be made the night before.
5-Ingredient Dark Chocolate Macaroons from Minimalist Baker
Why We Love It: Finding dairy-free, grain-free, gluten-free, and nut-free desserts that are made with five ingredients in under 30 minutes is like finding a unicorn. These delicious macaroons are perfectly sweetened with maple syrup, dipped in rich dark chocolate, crispy on the outside, and tender on the inside. *chef’s kiss*
Hero Ingredient: I’m a sucker for anything dipped in dark chocolate.
Cassava Flour Sugar Cookies from Finished with Salt
Why We Love It: These are your favorite classic Christmas sugar cookies, made allergy-friendly. They are basically all-things-free, yet still incredibly good. Finally, no one has to miss out on cookie decorating (and eating!).
Hero Ingredient: The cassava flour saves the day.
Allergy-Friendly Pumpkin Mousse Pie from Allergy Awesomeness
Why We Love It: This recipe is a no-bake, creamy pumpkin pie that is free from gluten, dairy, egg, peanut and tree nuts. It’s much fluffier and lighter than traditional pumpkin pie, which I actually love. Ready in 25 minutes and perfect for holiday gatherings, every guest will enjoy this pie.
Hero Ingredient: Pumpkin puree, duh.
Gluten-Free Chocolate Crinkles from Allergy Free Alaska
Why We Love It: Imagine a chewy brownie, dusted with powdered sugar, in cookie form. These are perfect for any holiday dessert platter and freeze well if you’re looking for something you can bake in advance. Warning: this recipe does contain eggs, so be sure to make an appropriate swap if vegan.
Hero Ingredient: The powdered sugar topping is a sweet, snowy showstopper.
5 Minute Easy Peppermint Fudge from Beaming Baker
Why We Love It: It’s not the holidays without peppermint chocolate fudge. This healthy version is living proof that vegan gluten-free desserts are still delicious. It uses almond butter to get the perfect fudge-y consistency (if you’re working with a nut allergy, try swapping in sunflower seed butter) and the peppermint extract gives it the perfect flavor. Run, don’t walk, to make this recipe.
Hero Ingredient: Pure peppermint extract just screams holiday cheer.
Cinnamon Rolls from Just What We Eat
Why We Love It: This recipe uses a genius gluten-free flour blend that makes these allergy-friendly cinnamon rolls taste and look like the real thing. Because no one should have to skip the cinnamon rolls at holiday brunch!
Hero Ingredient: Canned cinnamon rolls have got nothing on this filling, made with vegan butter, coconut sugar, and cinnamon.
3-Ingredient Dark Chocolate Peppermint Mousse from Minimalist Baker
Why We Love It: All you need to make this recipe is coconut cream, dark chocolate, and peppermint extract (and the optional coconut whipped cream, which should never be optional). It’s that simple, yet that delicious. Who knew vegan mousse was so easy to make?
Hero Ingredient: The coconut cream gives this mousse the perfect creamy, firm texture.
Chai Coconut Ice Cream from Cookie + Kate
Why We Love It: Don’t let homemade ice cream intimidate you—this one is ready in 30 minutes. Chai Coconut Ice Cream is the vegan holiday dessert I’ve been dreaming of. I am a big ice cream fan, and seasonal flavors are what I love the most. I’m imagining a scoop of this on top of an allergy-friendly brownie and my mouth is watering.
Hero Ingredient: This ice cream’s creamy texture is all thanks to the two cans of coconut milk. Just be sure you’re grabbing the full-fat variety—this isn’t the time to go lite.
Vegan, Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies from The Pretty Bee
Why We Love It: These cookies are sweet, spicy, and simply delicious. How fun would it be to bake a big batch of these gingerbread cookies and then invite everyone over for a decorating party? Also, if you want to make them refined sugar-free, you can swap the brown sugar for coconut sugar or date sugar.
Hero Ingredient: Allll the seasonal spices: cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
Shortbread Fudge Bars from Allergylicious
Why We Love It: Who can turn down a buttery cookie topped with chocolate fudge? That’s a kind of willpower I will never possess. This recipe calls for all-purpose flour, but they can be made by swapping in GF flour at a one-to-one ratio. These bars do have to sit in the fridge overnight, but it’s so worth it and perfect for when you need to bake something ahead of time.
Hero Ingredient: Don’t forget the shortbread crumb topping—it’s to die for.
Vegan Almond Butter Chocolate Chunk Blondies from The Vegan 8
Why We Love It: These chocolate chunk blondies are vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and oil-free. Simply mix eight ingredients in a bowl and voilá! Your search for delicious vegan, gluten-free desserts is complete. Note: use SunButter to make it nut-free.
Hero Ingredient: Lots of dairy-free chocolate chips.
Peppermint Bark Popcorn from Cookie + Kate
Why We Love It: This is not your typical dessert, but I had to include it for how delicious and festive it is. I don’t know about you, but I love desserts that are both sweet and savory, making this one a personal favorite. This recipe gives you instructions on how to pop homemade popcorn, but if you’re lazy like me, microwavable popcorn is fine. Just make sure it’s allergy-free.
Hero Ingredient: Popcorn, please.
Vegan Gluten Free Pumpkin Coffee Cake from Beaming Baker
Why We Love It: This is the ultimate holiday version of dessert for breakfast. It’s everything you love about coffee cake, plus the pumpkin and minus the allergens. The streusel topping does include pecans, but I suggest swapping for gluten-free oats instead.
Hero Ingredient: The crunchy, cinnamon-y topping.
Chocolate Peppermint Cups from Cookie + Kate
Why We Love It: Chocolate lovers, welcome to your new addiction. These holiday treats are a nut-free version of peanut butter cups that use peppermint honey as the filling. They are effort-free, and let me tell you—you’ll be making another batch the second you run out. They’re that good.
Hero Ingredient: Who knew honey and peppermint went so well together?
This post was originally published on December 13, 2019, and has since been updated.
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