What desserts can a Coeliac eat?

Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes damage to the small intestine when gluten is ingested. Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley and rye. When a person with coeliac disease eats gluten, their immune system attacks and damages the small intestine’s lining and prevents it from absorbing some nutrients. This can lead to symptoms like diarrhoea, bloating, abdominal pain, fatigue and weight loss.

Following a strict gluten-free diet is the only treatment for coeliac disease. This means avoiding any foods that contain gluten. While going gluten-free may seem challenging at first, there are still plenty of delicious gluten-free dessert options that coeliacs can enjoy.

Gluten-free flours

When baking gluten-free desserts, substitute all-purpose flour with gluten-free flour blends. Some examples of gluten-free flours include:

  • Rice flour
  • Tapioca flour
  • Sorghum flour
  • Buckwheat flour
  • Millet flour
  • Quinoa flour
  • Almond flour
  • Coconut flour

Gluten-free flour blends combine several gluten-free flours to create the right texture for baked goods. Read labels carefully to ensure flour blends do not contain any gluten ingredients. Some popular brands are Bob’s Red Mill, King Arthur and Pamela’s Products.

Cakes and cupcakes

Cake lovers need not miss out with so many scrumptious gluten-free cake and cupcake recipes to try. Gluten-free flours lend well to creating decadent chocolate cakes, rich vanilla cakes, spice cakes and more. Top your cakes with gluten-free frosting or fill cupcakes with dairy-free cream cheese frosting. Here are some easy gluten-free cake and cupcake options:

  • Chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting
  • Vanilla cake with fresh fruit compote filling
  • Spice cake with cream cheese frosting
  • Lemon poppyseed cake with lemon curd filling
  • Pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting
  • Carrot cupcakes with vanilla bean frosting
  • Red velvet cupcakes with ermine frosting


Crunchy, chewy and everything in between – cookies are a gluten-free dessert staple. Bake up a batch using your favorite gluten-free flour blend. Here are some cookie ideas:

  • Chocolate chip cookies
  • Oatmeal raisin cookies
  • Snickerdoodles
  • Peanut butter cookies
  • Shortbread cookies
  • Sugar cookies decorated with royal icing
  • Gingersnaps

Pies and tarts

With a gluten-free pie crust, the pie possibilities are endless. Bake up a classic like apple pie, get creative with a chocolate pecan tart or keep it simple with a mixed berry tart. Blind bake your gluten-free crust before filling it.

  • Apple pie
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Key lime pie
  • Strawberry rhubarb pie
  • Chocolate mousse tart
  • Lemon meringue pie
  • Blueberry tart
  • Rustic mixed berry galette


Everyone loves the creamy deliciousness of cheesecake. Make it gluten-free by choosing a gluten-free cookie crumb crust and baking in a springform pan. Include a fruit topping like strawberry sauce or blueberry compote.

  • New York style cheesecake with fresh strawberries
  • Marble cheesecake with chocolate swirl
  • Pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust
  • Lemon blueberry cheesecake

Ice cream desserts

Keep it cool with homemade ice cream and sorbet. Or assemble frozen treats like ice cream sandwiches and sundaes. Look for brands that are labeled gluten-free when buying ice cream.

  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Chocolate ice cream
  • Strawberry sorbet
  • Raspberry sherbet
  • Ice cream sandwich with chocolate cookies
  • Banana split sundae
  • Affogato – scoop of vanilla ice cream with espresso poured over top

Chocolate desserts

For the chocolate lovers, here are some irresistible gluten-free treats that highlight cacao.

  • Chocolate mousse
  • Chocolate pots de creme
  • Chocolate chip brownies
  • Chocolate-dipped strawberries
  • Chocolate cupcakes with ganache frosting
  • Flourless chocolate cake
  • Chocolate hazelnut tart

Fruit desserts

Take advantage of nature’s candy by creating fruit-focused desserts. The natural sweetness of ripe fruit needs little added sugar.

  • Baked apples
  • Strawberry shortcake
  • Mixed berry crisp
  • Peach cobbler
  • Berry sorbet
  • Tropical fruit salad
  • Broiled grapefruit


Puddings make an easy, no-bake dessert. Simply blend or cook your ingredients and chill until set. Top with whipped cream for extra decadence.

  • Chocolate pudding
  • Rice pudding
  • Banana pudding
  • Pumpkin pie pudding
  • Lemon pudding
  • Coconut pudding
  • Chia seed pudding


Whether you have a sweet tooth or just want an after-dinner treat, there are plenty of delicious gluten-free desserts for coeliacs to enjoy. From fruit-filled pies to rich chocolate cakes and everything in between, you can still indulge your cravings on a gluten-free diet. Experiment with gluten-free flours to recreate old favorites or try something new. With the variety of recipes available, going gluten-free will not mean going without dessert.

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