5 Surprisingly Tasty Vegan Gluten Free Desserts

Vegan Diet

Whether you’re following a gluten free vegan diet or simply trying to cut back on your dairy, finding desserts that you can eat can be something of a trial. Most of the mainstream options are packed full of gluten and dairy products, such as milk, cream, and eggs! Rather than trying to find alternatives, why not simply make your own dishes? From chocolate and cashew butter cups to gluten free cupcakes, let’s take a look at some of the most surprisingly tasty gluten free desserts you can make at home.

What Is a Gluten Free Vegan Diet?

five types of gluten free flours on wooden spoons

Are you considering changing your diet and improving your health? One of the most popular eating trends at the moment is the gluten free vegan diet. When embarking on this particular lifestyle, you will need to cut out a wide range of food products. Cutting out foods which were previously the staples of your diet will be a challenge. However, you should see it as an opportunity to experiment with new ingredients and recipes.

Vegan diet rules

If you’re unsure how to become vegan, here’s what you need to know. The Vegan Society defines this diet as one that avoids all animal foods including meats, fish, shellfish, insects, dairy, eggs, and honey. Strict vegans also avoid any food products that have been tested on animals.[1] Despite the rigidness of this definition, as a baseline people following a vegan diet avoid meat and dairy products. These include products such as:

  • Meat and fish
  • Milk, butter, and cheese
  • Eggs
  • Yogurt

Veganism is on the rise in the U.S. and there are statistics to prove it. In 2014, just 1% of the population considered themselves to be vegan. However, the latest statistics show that the percentage has increased to 6% in just four years.[2] That’s a whopping 500% growth!

Interested in learning more about veganism? Read our handy guide about how to start a vegan diet, which will run you through all of the fundamentals you need to know!

Gluten free diet rules

As the name suggests, following this diet means cutting out food products that contain gluten. It’s worth checking the labels of products that you typically eat as those that are gluten free will always be labeled. Here are some food products that may contain gluten:

Foods which are naturally free from gluten include fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and beans. Using these ingredients as the staple of your diet could be one way in which you can following the eating plan. Contrary to popular belief, not all grains have gluten in them. Grains including cassava, quinoa, and yucca are free from gluten.[3] 

healthy vegan gluten free breakfast bowl including coconut flakes, chia seeds, goji berries, and a nut mix on a wooden base, in a wooden bowl with a wooden spoon

Gluten free vegan diet

The gluten free vegan diet is a combination of the two above eating plans. As you might imagine, this regime requires you to cut out a whole range of food products and items. You should cut back on any ingredients which are animal-based while also avoiding items that contain gluten. One of the ways in which you can do so is by making your own food at home. So, following our vegan gluten free desserts could be a great place to start.

The Benefits of Eating Gluten Free And Vegan

Before we take a look at some of the best vegan gluten free desserts, it’s worth considering the benefits of this eating plan. When you adopt a new way of eating, it’s important to understand the ways in which it may affect your body.

Luckily, taking on a gluten free vegan diet could help you to reap loads of rewards when it comes to your health and wellness. There’s a wide range of scientific research in this specific area. With that in mind, here are some of the major benefits you will find when you begin to eat a gluten free vegan diet.

Decreased risk of heart disease

vegan gluten free pink cranberry cake

More than 600,000 people die of heart disease in the U.S. every single year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection.[4] That actually accounts for one in four deaths in the country. So, how can you prevent this health-related condition? Making small and simple lifestyle changes is the answer. In fact, one such change that will lower your risk could be choosing to adopt a vegan gluten free diet.

Research in the area suggests that eating vegan food, rather than alternatives, decreases your overall risk of cardiovascular-related mortality.[5] This type of diet also helps to lower your chances of getting high blood pressure, which can contribute to problems with your heart and cardiovascular system.[6] Taking measures to eat healthily and construct a diet that works for your life and wellness is the only way to go.

Boost your nutrient intake

vegan gluten free breakfast bowl with smoothie, nuts, chia seeds, and mixed berries

When we talk about healthy diets, we mean those that are rich in nutrients and provide the body what it needs to reach peak wellness. Starting a vegan diet could help you when it comes to gaining the most nutritional value from your meals and, indeed, snacks. One study found that a well-planned low-fat vegan diet was higher in vitamin A, vitamin B, and magnesium.[7] All of these nutrients should make up part of a healthy diet.

Cutting back on gluten-filled items, such as breads and pasta, could also help to boost your nutrient intake. By replacing carbs with alternatives, such as legumes, fruit, and vegetables, you can get more vitamins from your meals. For that reason, choosing food that aligns to a gluten free vegan diet could help you to have a richer eating plan.

However, it’s worth noting that “fast food” vegan options may not offer much in the way of nutrients and vitamins. There’s a huge trend of deep-fried foods, such as avocado “wings” and veggie burgers, that are also vegan. Eating a diet packed with these items is no better for your health than any other high-fat eating plan.

Lower risk of type 2 diabetes

vegan gluten free chocolate pudding

In the U.S., more than 100 million adults now live with diabetes or prediabetes, according to stats from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).[8] The condition can affect every area of your life and overall health. Those with prediabetes will typically have high blood sugar levels which is outside the normal range.[9] When that accelerates to diabetes, you may need to have frequent insulin injections for the rest of your life.

Needless to say, your diet can play a major role in whether you develop type 2 diabetes. Research suggests that following a vegan diet could be a smart way to lower your risk of this condition.[10] What’s more, the same study found that those who were vegan had an overall lower BMI than vegetarians, pescatarians, and meat-eaters.[11]

Prevents dietary issues caused by gluten

vegan gluten free chia breakfast bowl with fruit toppings

Do you find it hard to digest gluten-packed food and snacks? It’s a highly common problem. Research from the Beyond Celiac found that 18 million people in the U.S. have some form of non-celiac gluten sensitivity.[12] Symptoms of this condition include fatigue, confusion, nausea, headaches, diarrhea, and numbness in the legs and arms.[13]

Should you experience any of these signs after you’ve eaten food that contains gluten, it could indicate that you are sensitive to it. In that case, it’s worth contacting a medical professional and talking to them about the issue. You may find that it’s advisable for you to avoid some foods. Following a gluten free vegan diet could be the answer.

Helps to prevent obesity

vegan gluten free chocolate chip cookies

Obesity is linked to a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, some types of cancer, and stroke risk.[14] It has also been linked to depression and low self-esteem.[15] If you’re currently struggling with weight loss, it’s time to make an action plan to help you lose some pounds. Leading an active lifestyle could help to get you into shape but you have to couple that with a healthy and balanced diet.

Research shows that vegan diets can help to prevent the risk of obesity and keep your body weight in check.[16] With that in mind, it could be worth considering embarking on a new diet plan to help you slim down. Cutting out animal products may prove difficult at first but you have to keep on track and work hard here. It could be a savvy decision.

Helps with IBS symptoms

vegan gluten free carrot cake

Managing irritable bowel syndrome symptoms can be relatively tricky and ensuring that you modify your diet accordingly is absolutely essential. Many people find that rich and flavorsome food can trigger their IBS. The symptoms of this illness include bloating, stomach pain, constipation, and diarrhea.[17] You may not be able to cure IBS, but there are ways in which you can stop it impacting your life.

Research into gluten free diets showed that following this particular eating plan can help to reduce some of the symptoms of the condition.[18] What’s more, many people find that foods which are high in fiber tend to trigger their IBS. Cutting these out wherever possible could help you to avoid the signs of the condition, should you be suffering with it.

5 Tasty Vegan Gluten Free Dessert Recipes

Now that you know all about the benefits of this diet, we can get down to business. Vegan gluten free desserts don’t have to be hard to make. If you’re already comfortable baking and whipping up dishes, you should find that these recipes are super straightforward to make. The secret is that it’s all about making small swaps and finding alternatives to traditional ingredients. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the very best vegan gluten free desserts.

Warning: These may make your mouth water!

1. Syrupy Chia Pudding

One of the quickest and easiest vegan gluten free desserts you can make for yourself is this syrupy chia pudding. The recipe will take you no longer than five minutes and it’s simple to master. When you’re done, you will need to allow the puddings to cool for at least a couple of hours. However, if at all possible, it could be worth leaving them overnight. Here’s what you should know about making these tasty treats.

Prep Time: 5 minutes  |  Cool Time: 2 hours (or more)  |  Serves: 4  |  Calories Per Serving: 298 kcal
Equipment: Food processor, large mixing bowl, large spoon

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of coconut milk
  • 3 Tbsp of agave syrup
  • 1 Tbsp of vanilla extract
  • 6 large dates (pitted)
  • ½ cup of chia seeds
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Put the coconut milk and the pitted dates into a food processor. Turn the machine on and allow it to blend for a minute or so. The consistency should be smooth and silky.
  2. Put the mixture into a large bowl and slowly pour in the chia seeds, mixing them as you do so. You want to ensure that the seeds are evenly distributed throughout.
  3. Add the vanilla extract, agave syrup, and salt (to taste) to the mixture. Mix well.
  4. Separate the mixture into four cups and then put them in the fridge. Leave them to cool for at least two hours before enjoying.

Customize your dessert

Of course, if you want to experiment and customize your vegan gluten free desserts, you should do so. When it comes to the chia pudding, for instance, you might want to add some nutritious extras to help you top it off. Why not grab some blueberries and add them to the mix? Alternately, you could cut up some strawberries and use them instead.

2. Vegan Gluten Free Creme Brulee

Creme brulee is a family favorite that never gets old. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or planning a meal for you and your kids, you don’t want to pass up on this recipe. Rather than using cream, the recipe includes cashew butter and coconut milk. It really works! Here’s how you can make some refreshingly simple vegan gluten free desserts at home.

Prep Time: 30 minutes  |  Cool Time: Overnight  |  Serves: 5  |  Calories Per Serving: 333 kcal
Equipment: Medium bowl, whisk, blender, medium pan

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp of cashew butter
  • 3 tbsp of agave syrup
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp of cornflour
  • Brown sugar (optional)

Instructions

  1. Whisk together 1 cup of coconut milk and the cornflour in a medium bowl. (Note: You may want to add a little extra cornflour if you find that the consistency is too thin.)
  2. Put the rest of the coconut milk into a blender. Add the cashew butter, agave syrup. Blend until the mixture is smooth and delicate.
  3. Pour the mixture into the medium pan and put it on a medium heat. Gently whisk the mixture and bring it almost to the boil (but don’t let it go all the way!).
  4. Add the cornflour and coconut mixture slowly, whisking as you do so.
  5. Add in the vanilla extract and heat for a further 3-4 minutes, stirring often. The mixture should be thick and creamy-looking.
  6. Separate the mixture into five ramekins or small bowls and put them in the fridge. Leave them to cool overnight. Take out around 10 minutes before you wish to serve.

Pro Tip: Of course, no creme brulee is complete without a little fire! Sprinkle the top with a little brown sugar and then use a torch to melt it before serving. Doing so will create a deliciously crisp crust that is sure to be a real crowd-pleaser. Nobody can resist these totally vegan gluten free desserts!

3. Chocolate and Cashew Butter Cups

vegan gluten free chocolate and cashew butter cups on a wooden table

Are you totally new to the world of baking? If so, the idea of diving headfirst into creating vegan gluten-free desserts might be overwhelming. Luckily, this chocolate and cashew butter cups recipe doesn’t require you to bake at all. Plus, the preparation will take you around 20 minutes to complete. Here’s what you should know.

Prep Time: 20 minutes  |  Freeze Time: 1 hour  |  Serves: 18 cups  |  Calories Per Serving: 187 kcal
Equipment: Cupcake tin, 18 paper baking cups, large mixing bowl, medium bowl, large spoon, whisk, basting brush

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup of cocoa powder
  • 1 cup of melted coconut oil
  • ¾ cup of cashew nut butter
  • 3 Tbsp of agave syrup

Instructions

  1. Put the cocoa powder, melted coconut oil, and one tablespoon of the agave syrup in a large mixing bowl. Whisk the ingredients together until you get a smooth consistency.
  2. Use a cupcake tin pop in the paper baking cups. (Note: You may need two cupcake tins if yours has less than 18 cups!)
  3. Use a basting brush to line cups with the chocolaty mixture. Keep it thin but as even as possible.
  4. Put the chocolate cups in the fridge and leave them there for around 10 minutes or until they become hard and brittle.
  5. In the meantime, put the cashew nut butter and two tablespoons of agave syrup into a medium bowl. Use a large spoon to fold the syrup into the butter and combine the two.
  6. Take the cups out of the fridge and use the spoon to put the cashew nut butter inside each of them. The key is to separate the mixture as evenly as possible.
  7. Put the cupcake tray into the freezer and leave for at least an hour.

Customize your dessert

Don’t like cashew nut butter? Don’t panic! You can still make vegan gluten free desserts like this one. All you need to do is make a small and simple swap. Change the cashew nut butter for peanut butter or even almond butter. Doing so will transform the taste of the sweet treat while also giving you a little variety. Try it for yourself!

4. Cocoa Vegan Gluten Free Cupcakes

vegan gluten free cocoa cupcakes on a blue knitted cloth

It would simply be a crime to talk about the finest vegan gluten free desserts and miss out everybody’s favorite. The humble cupcake is a homely and delicious treat that all the family can enjoy. Of course, most cupcakes are not gluten free. Luckily, we’ve got a fabulous recipe for vegan gluten free cupcakes that you don’t want to miss.

Prep Time: 10 minutes  |  Bake Time: 20-25 minutes  |  Serves: 12 cupcakes  |  Calories Per Serving: 289 kcal
Equipment: Cupcake tin, 12 paper baking cups, medium bowl, large mixing bowl, sieve, two large spoons

Ingredients

  • 2 ¾ cups of cassava flour
  • ¾ cups of cocoa powder
  • 1 ¾ cups of agave syrup
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp of baking powder
  • 2 tbsp of ground flaxseed
  • ½ cup of coconut oil
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Water

Instructions

  1. Put the paper baking cups inside the cupcake tin. Next, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the ground flaxseed with ¼ cup of water. You should allow this mixture to rest while you’re preparing the rest of your ingredients. (The mixture will be used in the place of eggs!)
  3. Sift the cassava flour into the large mixing bowl to get rid of any lumps. Then, add the cocoa powder, agave syrup, baking powder, and a pinch of salt into the bowl. Mix together.
  4. Add the coconut oil, almond milk, vanilla, and a cup of boiling water to the flaxseed mixture. Combine all of the above together.
  5. Pour this wet mixture into the larger bowl where you have the dry mixture. Mix well until the cake mixture has a smooth consistency.
  6. Pour the cake mixture into the paper cups as evenly as possible. Place the baking tray into the oven for around 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!

Pro Tip: Don’t open the oven too early. These vegan gluten free cupcakes need time to rise! If you let air into the oven, you could run the risk of them falling. Try to be as patient as possible.

Customize your dessert

Of course, there may be some ingredients that you simply don’t like. If that’s the case, there are some easy swaps you can make. For instance, you could switch the almond milk to coconut milk. Alternately, you might want to use a different gluten free flour such as chickpea flour, rather than cassava flour. Experiment as much as you fancy and make these vegan gluten free desserts your own.

5. Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream

vegan gluten free vanilla ice cream in a clear teacup, on a blue dish, with berry toppings

I scream. You scream. We all scream for ice cream! Yes, everyone adores the sweet and cooling taste of fresh ice cream. It’s one of the best gluten free desserts out there. But wait, what if you happen to be following a gluten free vegan diet? Making your own ice cream at home is a fun way to get around this problem. This recipe uses cashews to give it a rich and creamy texture – just like cream. Here’s what you need to know about this delicious dessert.

Prep Time: 30 minutes  |  Rest Time: 8 hours (in total)  |  Freeze Time: 45 minutes  |  Serves: 12  |  Calories Per Serving: 333 kcal
Equipment: Large bowl, food processor, sealable container, ice cream maker

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of raw unsalted cashews
  • 1 ½ cups of coconut milk
  • 8 pitted dates
  • Water

Instructions

Note: The night before you plan on making this dessert, you should take the churning bowl out of your ice cream maker and place it in the freezer. 

  1. Put the cashews in a large bowl and cover them entirely in water. Leave the nuts to soak for at least four hours. Then drain and rinse them.
  2. Place the cashews, coconut milk, and dates in the food processor. Turn it on for a few minutes until you get a smooth consistency. You don’t want any lumps at all!
  3. Put the mixture in a container and seal it up. Then, put the container in the fridge for at least four hours so that it can cool fully.
  4. Take the mixture out of the fridge and pour it into the pre-frozen ice cream churning bowl. Churn the ice cream according to the instructions from the machine’s manufacturer. It should take between 45 minutes and an hour in total. Serve and enjoy!

Customize your dessert

When you’ve made your ice cream, it’s time to jazz it up with some toppings. Of course, many of the major sauce brands will contain gluten. (You should check the labels before using them!) A fantastic alternative is to use maple syrup or agave syrup to give your ice cream a super sweet and delicious taste. Which will you choose? The choice is yours!

5 Surprisingly Tasty Vegan Gluten Free Desserts

Conclusion

There’s a common misconception that whipping up vegan gluten free desserts has to be difficult. That is simply not the case, as we have shown here. While these recipes may be a little different from the traditional ones we learned when we first started cooking, they are no harder to get our heads around. Why not get started today?

References

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