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Santa Approved Gluten Free Christmas Desserts (That Actually Taste Good)

The holidays at my house are filled with three things: Christmas music, Christmas desserts, and time with family. The music literally starts in October some years and carries through February. I used to fight it, but life is just more fun when you’ve got some good holiday tunes playing in the background. So now I’m usually the instigator. My kids don’t mind because when the holiday music starts, they know that cookies, cakes, and treats aren’t far behind. Which brings me to the third part of the holidays: my family. Over half of my extended family has to eat gluten free because of Celiacs. They refer to themselves as “glutards”, which makes me roll my eyes a little, but to each their own. Because so many of them don’t do gluten, we’ve stopped making regular desserts and mostly do gluten free for everyone. It’s just easier, and when done right, just as delicious! So here are some of our Santa approved gluten free Christmas desserts that are sure to bring some holiday cheer to all.

Santa Approved Gluten Free Christmas Desserts (That Actually Taste Good)

Christmas is like gluten overload. Seems like gluten comes out of the woodwork and is everywhere! If you are sensitive to gluten, it is easy to feel left out during this time of year. Cut Side Down wants to help make you feel included so we are sharing our Santa approved Gluten Free Christmas desserts. And they actually taste good instead of like cardboard. YAY! Hurry up and take a look. #glutenfreechristmasdesserts #glutenfreerecipes

Recipe 01: Peppermint Meringues

I can be hard to find Christmas desserts that are gluten free but these peppermint meringues are delicious! For more gluten free Christmas desserts, look here!

When you’re all cookied-out but still craving something sweet, these will rescue you! I love adding crushed peppermint to the top. You can leave the peppermint out if you’re not a fan. Try swapping the flavors out for rosewater, almond extract, or cinnamon extract! You can also decorate with crushed peppermint candy cane or sprinkles like these.

Peppermint Meringues

Crunchy, sweet, and perfect for a holiday party.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time2 hrs 45 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Gluten-Free, Gluten-Free Cookies, Gluten-Free Desserts, Gluten-Free Recipes
Servings: 60 1-inch cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 egg whites room temperature
  • tsp. salt
  • c. sugar
  • ½ c. powdered sugar
  • tsp. peppermint extract
  • ¼ c. crushed candy canes
  • 6 drops red food coloring
  • 6 drops green food coloring

Instructions

  • Start by heating your oven to 200°F and lining two baking sheets with parchment paper. Then, using your stand mixer or electric mixer, whip the egg whites and salt for about a minute until they are white and foamy. While the mixer is running, slowly add the sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks begin to form. Then add the powdered sugar and peppermint extract and whisk to blend.
  • Prepare your piping bag by striping the inside with the red and green food coloring, then spoon the meringue into the bag. Pipe 1" rounds or larger "lollipops" spaced about an inch apart. If desired, sprinkle crushed candy canes on top.
  • Bake the meringues until they are dry but not golden, about 2 ½ hours. Then turn off the oven, leave the door open, and allow the meringues to cool for about an hour. Removed from the oven and store in an airtight container.

Recipe 02: Grandma’s Rice Pudding

I can be hard to find Christmas desserts that are gluten free but this rice pudding recipe is delicious! For more gluten free Christmas desserts, look here!

This is a holiday classic for our family and it’s naturally gluten-free. Adding a spoonful of homemade freezer jam from the summer brings a tangy sweetness to this dish. Or you can totally bring out the flavors of the season with a little cinnamon and a dollop of pumpkin pie filling.

Grandma's Rice Pudding

Creamy and perfect whether you eat it hot or cold!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Gluten-Free, Gluten-Free Desserts, Gluten-Free Holiday Desserts, Gluten-Free Recipes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 6 c. whole milk divided
  • ½ c. sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ c. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • cinnamon or jam optional

Instructions

  • In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, salt, and 5 ½ cups of milk. Bring the milk to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally. When the mixture comes to a boil, stir in the rice and reduce the heat to low, making sure to keep the mixture at a simmer.
  • Cook the rice for 50-60 minutes, stirring occasionally. The mixture will thicken to about the consistency of yogurt. When it's the right consistency, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Allow the mixture to cool, then serve or place in the fridge. If you refrigerate the mixture, add the last half cup of milk before serving.

Recipe 03: Whipped Shortbread Cookies

I can be hard to find Christmas desserts that are gluten free but these whipped shortbread cookies are delicious! For more gluten free Christmas desserts, look here!

These are a remake of one of my great-grandma’s recipes. She would make them each Christmas and give them to each grandchild in a stack and tied with a bow. It was one of my favorite gifts! You can leave these plain, or decorate with colored sugar like this.

Whipped Shortbread Cookies

Light and airy, these cookies melt in the mouth and are perfect for parties!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time22 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Gluten-Free, Gluten-Free Cookies, Gluten-Free Desserts, Gluten-Free Holiday Desserts, Gluten-Free Recipes
Servings: 40 cookies

Ingredients

  • ¾ c. butter softened
  • ½ c. powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. almond extract
  • ½ c. millet flour
  • ½ c. tapioca starch
  • ¼ c. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. xanthan gum
  • sprinkles or colored sugar for decorating

Instructions

  • Begin by heating your oven to 300°F and lining baking sheets with parchment paper. Then whip the butter and sugar together until very light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together. Then slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix for an additional 5-6 minutes on medium-high speed. This is what creates the light and fluffy dough.
  • Then scoop ¾-inch balls of dough and place on the cookie sheets. Next, use a fork to press the cookies down in the middle. Then place sprinkles or colored sugar on top.
  • Bake the cookies for 22-25 minutes. The cookies should not brown-just set. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe 04: Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cake

I can be hard to find Christmas desserts that are gluten free but this gluten free pumpkin cake is delicious! For more gluten free Christmas desserts, look here!

If you’re done with cookies and desserts, then try refreshing your palate with this cake! It’s moist, flavorful, and such a staple of the season.

Pumpkin Cake

Moist, creamy, and perfect after you've consumed a belly full of turkey.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Gluten-Free, Gluten-Free Desserts, Gluten-Free Holiday Desserts, Gluten-Free Recipes
Servings: 24 squares

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 15-oz. Pumpkin puree
  • 1 ⅓ c. sugar
  • 1 c. vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 c. gluten free flour blend
  • 1 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 2 tsp. baking powder 2
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg

Frosting

  • 3 oz cream cheese softened
  • 4 Tbsp butter softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 c. powdered sugar

Instructions

  • Start by heating your oven to 350°F and having a 9x13 dish set aside. Then whisk the eggs, pumpkin, sugar, oil, and 1 tsp. vanilla extract together until combined and smooth. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together. Then add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined.
  • Pour the batter into your ungreased baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely.
  • While the cake is cooling, whisk together the butter and vanilla until smooth before adding in the powdered sugar. Beat the mixture on high until smooth and fluffy. Then spread the frosting over the top of the cake and serve!

Hopefully, these recipes help you to think outside the gluten-free box for your next holiday gathering! Happy Holidays!



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