gluten-free-desserts Archives

Single-Layer, Gluten-Free Carrot Cake

Gluten Free Carrot Cake

I love a good carrot cake, spicy and chock-full of carrots, covered with a cream cheese frosting that’s just the right amount of sweetness. Baking gluten-free, without any expensive flours, can be tough. But almonds…almonds we tend to have around.

And they can be made into a simple substitute for gluten-free flour with just a few pulses of your food processor.

Gluten Free Carrot CakeA springform pan is ideal for this recipe since it releases in a snap, but a regular cake pan will work, too. The frosting is fluffy and and the recipe makes a generous amount so you can eat a few spoonfuls as you go. This cake is a good keeper on the counter, but if it’s crazy-hot, I’d recommend keeping it in the refrigerator so the frosting doesn’t melt. Quick tip: If you don’t want to shred carrots yourself, buy a 10 ounce bag of pre-shredded carrots in the salad aisle and this cake will bake up in no time at all.

Natalie of Good Girl Style joins us each month to share incredible desserts with Big Girls, Small Kitchen readers–desserts that are entirely gluten-free, but not like obviously gluten-free. That means no specialty flours or hard-to-find ingredients, just stuff like cream cheese and almonds and carrots. 

Apricot & Chocolate Energy Truffles

Apricot Chocolate Energy Truffles

Even though fresh apricots don’t make their appearance until later in the season, the dried versions provide bright fruity flavor just at the moment when you need thing to taste like spring. Add some chocolate, cashews and dates, and these little truffles are sure to put a spring in your step! Perfect for those on healthy eating plans for swimsuit season, you won’t feel guilty enjoying one or two of these babies after dinner.  And even better? They take just minutes to prepare. Throw all of the ingredients in the food processor and you’re good to go. A virtuous indulgence, indeed.

Apricot Chocolate Energy Truffles

If you don’t like coconut, no need to worry. You can simply omit it on the outside and substitute a few more apricots in the main mixture. In fact, these take well to all kinds of adaptations: try adding spices or substituting other sorts of nuts. Plus, the truffles travel well, so they’re great to throw in your work bag or gym bag for an after-lunch or post-workout treat. All that goodness and a hit of chocolate will keep you going. Be sure to use the mini chocolate chips (the tiny, extra-cute ones), or give regular chocolate chips a few turns in the food processor first.

This post is by Natalie of Good Girl Style, who joins us each month to share incredible desserts with Big Girls, Small Kitchen readers–desserts that are entirely gluten-free, but not like obviously gluten-free. That means no specialty flours or hard-to-find ingredients, just chocolate, nuts, and dried fruit. Don’t miss her gorgeous spring pavlova.

Toasted Coconut-Pistachio Macaroons

Toasted Coconut-Pistachio Macacoons

I set out to make good macaroons from scratch, with hopes of bringing something top-notch to this year’s family seder. About 30 seconds later, I realized that I already knew a macaroon secret that would make 2016’s cookies awesome. Fast forward another 1800 seconds and these pistachio and coconut macaroons were in the oven. They’re a true competitor for the delicious canned macaroons I usually gobble on Passover.

Toasted Coconut & Pistachio Macaroons

Here’s the trick. After you combine nuts with egg whites and sugar, you sauté the batter in a heavy pan over low heat. The sugars caramelize and the mixture grows sticky. Only after this stovetop cooking session do you form the batter into spheres and bake as for regular cookies. The cooking not only changes the taste. It does something wondrous to the texture. The cookies that come out of the oven are crackly on the inside and dense on the inside. They’re rich in a way that belies the short, egg white-centric ingredient list. All that from one simple, extra step.

I learned this secret years ago from an Italian cookie called brutti ma buoni, which I tried the BEST EVER version of – on a tip from a BGSK reader – at a restaurant in Clinton Hill called Locanda Vini e Olii (if you live in NYC, please go; when you do, order the “guitar strings” con le sarde and save room for the cookies). If you ever see a recipe for brutti where you don’t first cook the batter, don’t make it: you’ll be replacing a heavenly texture with that light, brittle, forgettable crisp of whipped-up egg whites.

I remembered the steps for making the cookies as laborious. That might have been because I tested and retested the cookies in the smallest kitchen I’ve ever cooked in, the one with the teensy refrigerator and half-size oven. The one that gave this blog its name. But this time the cookies came together quickly around toasted flakes of coconut and crunchy pistachios, chopped finely. Really, no big deal!

Toasted Coconut Pistachio Macaroons

Bring them to Passover seders. Or eat them all yourself.

Pavlova with Almond Whipped Cream & Berries

Pavlova with Almond Whipped Cream & Berries

Is there anything more welcoming than a cloud-like cake filled with whipped cream and berries to bring spring to the table (even if it’s a little early)?

A pavlova is simply a large meringue, made with egg whites and sugar and baked. It gets its name from the famous ballerina Anna Pavlova, because it’s as light and airy as she was on her feet. If you like meringues, with their crisp exterior and marshmallowy-pillowy interior, this stunning dessert is a must-make.

Pavlova | Big Girls Small Kitchenpavlova | Big Girls Small Kitchen
Pavlovas are showstoppingly beautiful, and the good news is, they are easy to create. Just be sure there are no bits of egg yolk in your whites and that the sugar is fully dissolved into the egg whites. The top of the pavlova may cave from the weight of your fruit, but no matter; it still tastes just as delicious. While a pavlova is a dessert, it is very low in sugar and I think it makes a lovely addition to a brunch table as well.

Natalie of Good Girl Style joins us each month to share incredible desserts with Big Girls, Small Kitchen readers–desserts that are entirely gluten-free, but not like obviously gluten-free. That means no specialty flours or hard-to-find ingredients, just egg whites, nuts, and fruit. Don’t miss her sprinkle-filled Rice Krispie treats

Birthday Cake Rice Krispie Treats

Birthday Rice Krispie Treats | Big Girls Small Kitchen

It’s my [Natalie’s] birthday month, so I’m pretty into sprinkles right now. Sprinkles in and on everything. Every treat becomes a birthday treat in January. These birthday cake Rice Krispie treats are pretty spectacularly colorful and incredibly fun. I had visions of frosting the entire sheet like a cake, but I luckily realized that our teeth might fall out if we did that much sugar.

Don’t worry, marshamllow-y goodness enhanced by nearly an entire container of sprinkles is quite delicious on its own.

Birthday Rice Krispie Treats | Big Girls Small KitchenEven if it’s not your birthday in January, these will brighten the winter days. Of course these will be a hit with kids, no doubt. But they’re also utterly festive for a Tuesday at the office or tucked in a roommate’s lunchbox, too. I’ve never heard anyone turn down sprinkles. Rice Krispies treats are a go-to gluten-free treat. Be sure to try our Salted Caramel version, or try making your own marshmallows.

Birthday Rice Krispie Treats | Big Girls Small KitchenNatalie of Good Girl Style joins us each month to share incredible desserts with Big Girls, Small Kitchen readers–desserts that are entirely gluten-free, but not like obviously gluten-free. That means no specialty flours or hard-to-find ingredients, just marshmallows and butter–yum. Don’t miss her white chocolate & lime truffles

White Chocolate and Lime Truffles

White Chocolate Lime Truffles

These white chocolate truffles spiked with lime should be on your holiday table.

Citrus can be overlooked during the holidays, even though clove-studded oranges and sweet grapefruit cookies should be seasonal staples. Plus, I think citrus is one of those notes that can pleases palate even once they’re maybe a little tired of chocolate and peanut butter (if that’s even possible). Of course, citrus is just coming into season, too, so it’s a smart time to incorporate more of this bright flavor into the holiday table. Which brings me to these white-chocolate lime truffles, which are perfect for gift-giving and a wonderful addition to any get-together.

White Chocolate Lime TrufflesCombining this white-chocolate truffle with the original truffle recipe found here would make such a nice gift. You can find little white truffle cups in the baking aisle or a specialty kitchen store, for pretty presentation. Grab cellophane baggies and ribbon, too, so you can wrap them up like this.White Chocolate Lime Truffles

Or, if you’re serving the truffles at a party, arrange them on pretty plates, garnishing with a nice twist of thinly sliced lime zest, to bring the flavor and color to life. Note that when you’re making these, you’ll want to take a bit of extra care: white chocolate is much more finicky than dark, so keep a close eye on it and stir evenly and gently.