mercy bars mercy bars Gluten-free baking can be easy and fun. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

Gluten-free desserts that prove everyone can indulge sometimes

Your favorite desserts and sweets can be made in fun, easy and delicious ways.

Having sensitivities or allergies to certain ingredients doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the best baked goods. Gluten-free eating has never been easier now that grocery stores have expanded their gluten-free selections and some restaurants have even added entire gluten-free sections to their menus. And this phenomenon is certainly not lost on the stellar team of home cooks and bloggers here at our Israeli Kitchen, as they've been crafting gluten-free recipes for years, experimenting with creative combinations and unconventional ingredients. Here are seven such recipes, and we encourage you to experiment on your own, too.

Gluten-free cinnamon chocolate chip cookies

gluten-free chocolate chip cinnamon cookiesGive your classic chocolate chip cookies a spicy, gluten-free upgrade. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

Finding out you're sensitive to wheat (in which gluten is a key ingredient) can be a crushing realization, but it can become a manageable lifestyle. Even if you’re not allergic or sensitive to wheat, when hosting a party it’s very thoughtful to offer some gluten-free treats. The key is to make them delicious enough that everyone will want to partake. These cookies are chewy, delicious, cinnamony and perfect for fall.

Get our recipe for gluten-free cinnamon chocolate chip cookies.


Gluten-free banana bread

gluten free banana breadEveryone needs a little banana bread in their lives. Even the gluten-free folks. (Photo: CaseyMartin/Shutterstock)

Recipe author Sarah Berkowitz conducted an innocent little experiment when she threw together this banana bread with a sweet maple walnut topping: She took it to her office and shared it with her coworkers without letting on that it was gluten-free. And sure enough, no one caught on; they were too busy chowing down!

Get our recipe for gluten-free banana bread.


Gluten-free pumpkin bread pudding bites

It's not technically 'bread pudding', but the custard-like flavor in this recipe is spot-onIt's not technically 'bread pudding', but the custard-like flavor in this recipe is spot-on. (Photo: Anna Norris)

This one not only omits gluten, it also introduces an ingredient many cooks are quickly endearing themselves to: coconut oil. It's considered a healthy fat, and it's starting to show up in everything from smoothies to cookies. It's just one of many things to love about these muffins, which are free of refined sugar and packed with protein, healthy fats and fiber.

Get our recipe for gluten-free pumpkin bread pudding bites.


Gluten-free mercy bars

mercy barsThese bars can easily be made gluten-free. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

Does gluten-free mean guilt-free? Not necessarily. But one bite into one of these fantastic dessert bars, and you won't care; it's what author Berkowitz calls "OMG delicious." Her take on the recipe yields a super-rich blondie, filled and topped with a variety of delicious candy and chocolate bits. This is one way to really capitalize on that occasional indulgence.

Get our recipe for gluten-free mercy bars.


Gluten-free cherry oat bars

cherry oat barsThese cherry oat bars, which can also be made into chocolate cherry oat bars, are gluten-free, high in soluble fiber and oozing with tart cherry filling. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

Admit it. The only thing you've ever used that jar of jelly in your fridge for is to make PB&J sandwiches. Aren't you tired of it? These cherry oat bars, which can also be made into chocolate cherry oat bars, are gluten-free, high in soluble fiber (lowers cholesterol) and oozing with tart cherry filling.

If you opt for the chocolate option, these bars take a definite shift into the dessert department, but either way, they make a filling breakfast, snack or scrumptious dessert.

Get our recipe for cherry oat bars.


Gluten-free pineapple souffle

pineapple souffleThis pineapple souffle is light, moist and absolutely delicious. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

You've probably sampled a slice of pineapple upside-down cake or two in your life. But have you ever tried a souffle version? Probably not. Berkowitz wasn't quite sure how this dish would be received, but she got her answer when it started disappearing before she could even place it on the dinner table. Consider that a warning and a gentle suggestion: If you want some for yourself, double the recipe!

Get our recipe for gluten-free pineapple souffle.


Gluten-free black bean brownies

gluten-free black bean browniesThese brownies may contain an unusual ingredient, but they're still chocolatey, rich and delicious. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

Go ahead, get used to the idea of beans in your brownies. We know you might need some time to process this. But once you do, trust us ... it's a worthwhile conversion. These brownies are naturally gluten-free; no slightly-more-expensive-flour-substitute needed. And like those crafty moms who hide zucchini in their kids' sandwich bread or cauliflower in their mashed potatoes, these brownies are up to the innocently deceptive task.

Get our recipe for gluten-free black bean brownies.

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