Gluten and Dairy Free Holiday Desserts

30 Gluten and Dairy-Free Holiday Desserts your Family will LOVE!!

Dr. Kimberley O'Brien Blog, Food Leave a Comment

The holidays are ALMOST here!  Do you have big plans for Christmas and New Years, or is rest and relaxation what’s on your radar?

This is the first year in a long time that I’ll be spending the holidays at home instead of travelling to visit friends and family.  Although I’ll miss my family traditions and spending time with everyone I love, after a busy year I’m very grateful for the downtime that I intend these holidays will bring!  I plan on reading, having a movie-day or two, and making a holiday feast at home that provides me with plenty of leftovers.  I also plan to indulge in a few festive treats, inspired by this compilation of gluten and dairy-free holiday desserts!  Although, the difficult part will be deciding which of these 30 absolutely delicious recipes I’ll make first!

Are you wondering why all of the recipes in this compilation are gluten and dairy-free? This is because these are the two most common food sensitivities that I find for my patients through food sensitivity testing or the completion of an elimination diet!  These are also the ingredients that I avoid myself since I identified them to be causing my anxiety, bloating, eczema and fatigue.  This definitely doesn’t mean that I never eat foods containing gluten or dairy, but I feel my best if I avoid them about 90% of the time.

Minimizing your intake of ingredients that lead to inflammation is one of the BEST ways to keep your health and energy up this holiday season!  However, that definitely doesn’t mean missing out on the fun, food and festivities!  Take a look through this list of DELICIOUS gluten and dairy-free holiday desserts, and get inspired!  Also, don’t forget to pin this recipe compilation for quick and easy reference down the line 🙂  

30 Gluten & Dairy-Free Desserts your Family will LOVE! ❤️

Chocolate Orange Cake

This Chocolate Orange Cake from One Lovely Life is the epitome of holiday spirit! Gorgeous, glossy chocolate ganache is poured over decadent chocolate cake with hints of orange and cinnamon. Optionally, you can finish off your cake with sugared cranberries a candied orange slice. Mmm!

Dairy-Free Holiday Desserts: Chocolate Orange Cake

Magic Cookie Bars

Gluten-Free Paleo Magic Cookie Bars

Topped with a generous layer of homemade refined sugar-free caramel, these seven-layer magic cookie bars are simply irresistible! They are perfect as an after dinner treat, or for a holiday bake exchange. Thank you to A Clean Bake for this recipe.

Vegan Blueberry Cheesecake

The pecan crust of this Vegan Blueberry Cheesecake is gluten-free and naturally sweetened with dates and coconut. The homemade blueberry topping is sweetened with maple syrup, and fresh lemon zest is added for a delicious twist!  I hope you’ll love this recipe from my Healthy Life Redesign blog!

Dairy-Free Holiday Desserts: Blueberry Cheesecake

Carrot Cake with Pineapple and Coconut

Gluten-Free Carrot Cake

On top of being gluten and dairy-free, this carrot cake from Cathy’s Gluten Free is naturally sweetened using only pineapple, raisins and honey! Try it with Texanerin’s Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting, or any frosting of your choice. Delish!

Chocolate Covered Coconut Stuffed Dates

Did you know that medjool dates used to be primarily consumed by royalty and reserved for special occasions? Give your friends and family the royal treatment this holiday season with these tasty dates stuffed with chewy coconut filling and enrobed in rich, raw chocolate. Thank you to Gourmande in the Kitchen for this simple, yet delicious treat!

Dairy-Free Holiday Desserts: Chocolate Covered Coconut Stuffed Dates

Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes

Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes

These festive cupcakes are as fun to make as they are to look at! Bursting with flavours of chocolate, peppermint, and mocha, this recipe from Beaming Baker will delight all of your senses! Topped with rich, smooth frosting and crushed candy canes for the perfect holiday dessert.

Cranberry Pear Crisp

Warm pears and tart cranberries are paired together and topped with a sweet and cinnamony oat crumble in this delicious holiday dessert from Kim’s Cravings! Serve with dairy-free whipped cream or ice cream for an extra dose of delicious!

Dairy-Free Holiday Desserts: Cranberry Pear Crisp

Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles with Coconut

Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles with Coconut

I think you’ll agree that these Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles with Coconut are absolutely delicious!  “Ferrero Rocher” chocolates were the inspiration for me to create this recipe, and who doesn’t love those!? Rich dark chocolate, hazelnuts, coconut, cocoa nibs, honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon and cardamom combine to create these delicious gluten and dairy-free holiday desserts ❤️

Chocolate Pumpkin Cashew Cheescake

This recipe features two complementary layers of deliciously rich and creamy cashew ‘cheesecake’ on top of a pecan, coconut, and date crust. Yum-my! Thank you to Paleo Running Momma for this luscious holiday dessert!

Dairy-Free Holiday Desserts: Chocolate Pumpkin Cashew Cheesecake

Dark Chocolate Cups with Cashew Cream Filling

Dark Chocolate Cups with Cashew Cream Filling

A holiday dessert that’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant-rich, full of healthy fats, AND tastes delicious!? It’s a Christmas miracle! This recipe from Culinary Nutrition features maple orange cream enrobed in crisp, spiced dark chocolate. Perfection!

Vegan Lemon Cheesecake

This refreshing, creamy, and simple no-bake lemon cheesecake from BBC Good Food is absolutely heavenly! I suggest using honey to sweeten instead of agave syrup, as agave is very high in fructose and can negatively affect liver health and cholesterol levels.

Dairy-Free Holiday Desserts: Lemon Cheescake

Cranberry Pistachio Cookies

Cranberry Pistachio Cookies

These cookies are the perfect combination of crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, with cranberries and pistachios to give them a tasty, festive flair! Thank you to Veggie Inspired for this recipe!

Warm Banana Spice Loaf with Cranberries

Being exceptionally moist and delicious, this Warm Banana Spice Loaf with Cranberries tastes more like a cake than your traditional loaf. Friends and family likely won’t even guess that it is gluten and dairy-free! Tasty!

Dairy-Free Holiday Desserts: Warm Banana Spice Loaf with Cranberries

Black Bean Lava Cakes

Black Bean Lava Cakes

Molten chocolate lava cakes are the ultimate decadent holiday dessert! The main ingredient in this recipe from The Healthy Maven is black beans, but you would never know when you taste the warm chocolate oozing out of the centre!

No Bake Dark Chocolate Truffles

These rich and fudgy truffles will satisfy even the strongest chocolate craving! Lightly sweetened with dates and honey, with the added benefit of antioxidant-rich dark chocolate, this is a holiday dessert that you can feel good about! Thank you to Paleoish Krista for this recipe!

Dairy-Free Holiday Desserts: No Bake Dark Chocolate Truffles

Almond Butter Christmas Cookies

Almond Butter Christmas Cookies

These adorable Christmas cookies are easy enough to make with your kids, but so delicious that you won’t want to share with them! Thank you to The Green Creator for this festive, crispy cookie recipe!

Apple Cake with Caramel Frosting

Rich, dense apple cake is balanced out perfectly with light and airy caramel frosting in this recipe from Simply Jillicious! This delicious cake is loaded with fresh apples and topped with crunchy walnuts. Yum!

Dairy-Free Holiday Desserts: Apple Cake with Caramel Frosting

Festive Cranberry Fudge

Festive Cranberry Fudge

My Festive Cranberry Fudge combines the rich taste and texture of dark chocolate with a festive cranberry-orange twist. I use cashew butter for a creamy, rich texture, which makes it a “Top 10” on my list of dairy-free holiday desserts!

Gingerbread Squares

Gingerbread-flavored treats are holiday favourite, and these gingerbread cake squares are no exception! You could even add your favourite dairy-free frosting if you want to spice things up a bit. Thank you to 50 Shades of Avocado for this recipe!

Dairy-Free Holiday Desserts: Gingerbread Squares

Harvest Apple Crisp

Harvest Apple Crisp

Warm, rich, and cinnamony apple crisp is a year-round favourite, and this recipe from The Real Food Dieticians is a healthy and allergy friendly way for everyone to enjoy it! Add a scoop of dairy-free ice cream and dig in!

5-Ingredient Chocolate Turtles

These chocolate turtles are made with only 5 simple ingredients, but taste absolutely luxurious! Thank you to Minimalist Baker for this mouthwatering candy recipe.

Dairy-Free Holiday Desserts: Chocolate Turtles

Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies

Decorating sugar cookies is the perfect snow day activity for your kids! These tender and sweet cookies can be made chewy or crisp (depending on your preference) by simply changing the thickness of the dough when rolling! Thank you to Allergy Free Alaska for this fun recipe!

Pecan Pumpkin Pie Bars

These Pecan Pumpkin Pie Bars are a real crowd pleaser – even for those who aren’t gluten and dairy-free!  You’ll love these chewy pumpkin pie bars topped with dairy-free ice cream so much that you may just want to make a double batch!  

Dairy-Free Holiday Desserts: Pecan Pumpkin Pie Bars

Chocolate Peppermint Fudge

Chocolate Peppermint Fudge

Peppermint extract and crushed candy canes deliver a fun, festive twist to this rich chocolate fudge! This holiday dessert from Living Freely Gluten Free is simple to make, but sure to impress, and it’s perfect to give as a gift!

Chocolate Coconut Snowballs

These adorable coconut snowballs from Flavour and Savour are dipped in decadent dark chocolate and can optionally be skewered with a candy cane for an even more festive twist! As a bonus, these little treats are free from refined sugar, and are sweetened with honey.

Dairy-Free Holiday Desserts: Chocolate Coconut Snowballs

Baked Apple Dessert

Baked Apple Dessert

This baked apple dessert from Thriving on Paleo is easy to make with only a few simple ingredients and tastes delicious! This recipe is even suitable for the elimination phase of the Elimination Diet Meal Plan if the walnuts are swapped for sunflower or pumpkin seeds. Bonus!

Gingerbread Men Cookies

Gingerbread cookies are one of the most popular holiday treats, and with this gluten-free recipe from Celiac Mama, even those with food sensitivities can get in on the fun! Try making gingerbread reindeer by using her decorating trick of turning the cookies upside-down! Cute!

Dairy-Free Holiday Desserts: Gingerbread Men Cookies

Decadent Dairy Free Chocolate Cheesecake

Dairy-Free Holiday Desserts: Decadent Chocolate Cheesecake

These Decadent Dairy Free Chocolate Cheesecake feature creamy, rich vanilla cheesecake on a pecan crust.  Dark chocolate is swirled into each decadent bite, and if you’re a chocoholic (like me) you can also top with an additional chocolate drizzle! Trust me, this cheesecake will make the list as one of your favourite dairy-free holiday desserts!

Vanilla Bean Cranberry Swirl Bars

Creamy, sweet vanilla and tart, fruity cranberry are swirled together in these no-bake ‘cheesecake’ bars from Bakerita creating the perfect flavour combination! This recipe is an excellent way to use the extra cranberry sauce from your holiday dinner for the perfect holiday dessert!


Dairy-Free Holiday Desserts: Vanilla Bean Cranberry Swirl Bars

Pumpkin Spice Parfaits

Pumpkin Spice Parfaits

Love pumpkin pie, but don’t have the time or energy to fuss with a pie crust? Welcome, Pumpkin Spice Parfaits! Just as delicious as pumpkin pie, but so much easier to make. Try making this recipe from Go Dairy Free with my Fall Spice Granola!

Now, which one of these gluten and dairy-free holiday desserts will you be trying first?  Let me know in the comments below! I hope this list helps you to feel your best this holiday season, while still indulging in a few festive treats! Please make sure to pin this post and to share with your friends and family.  After all, who doesn’t love delicious new recipe ideas?  

Other blog posts and compilations you may enjoy include:

I also have plenty of free guides and resources to share with you, and I invite you to download my eBook, “A Naturopathic Guide to Identifying your Food Sensitivities” for free here.   

Happy Holidays!

About the Author

Dr. Kimberley O'Brien


Dr. Kimberley O'Brien is a Naturopathic Doctor in  Nelson, BC with expertise in the treatment of digestive disorders, fatigue and hormone imbalances.  She is the founder of Healthy Life Redesign and creator of the Elimination Diet Meal Plan and the Real Food Recharge online programs.  Her mission is to help you own your health and live a life you love!

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30 Gluten and Dairy Free Holiday Desserts your Family will LOVE!

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