Simple Gluten Free Treats That Anyone Can Make

Last week I was asked by a reader to help her figure out what to make for her first gluten-free cookie exchange. She had limited gluten-free flours, and did not want to spend a lot of money acquiring those flours just to bake for a cookie exchange. I totally get it, and went on a hunt for recipes. I thought I would share a list of easy to make gluten-free recipes for here. Somewhere to find recipes for those that are newly diagnosed and not wanting to miss out on the holiday treats, those that are wanting to treat a celiac to a holiday treat, maybe something to take to the office Christmas party, or maybe to make something special for your cousin Fred. Whatever the case may be, these are recipes that you do not need a lot of special ingredients for. They are, for the most part, naturally gluten-free, or simply made gluten-free with one or two changes.

Now, you do have to keep contamination and cross-contamination in mind when you do any baking for anyone on a gluten-free diet. I am always leery when a gluten-free item comes from a gluten-filled kitchen. I will help you deal with the cross contamination a little further down. But now, some recipes!

First off, snack foods:

Jello Popcorn

Caramel Popcorn

Kool-Aid Popcorn ~ imagine the flavours & colours available!

Peanut Brittle, just like Grandma’s. :)

Autumn Brittle

Easy & Decadent Truffles (super easy, but taste fantastic!)

Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge

Golden Vanilla Bean Caramels

Muddy Buddies

Reindeer Feed (white chocolate & Peppermint chex snack)

Here’s a whole list of recipes that use Gluten-Free Chex as the base. (Note: The “Original Chex Party Mix is not gluten-free!)

English Toffee

Angel Bites (cream cheese mints)

Snickers Fudge YUM! Wow…

Creamy Mocha Coffee Caramels

Pumpkin Fudge

Cookies & Cakes:

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies (you can add chocolate chips to this, yum yum!)

Merry Meringues


Parisian Macarons

Using Gluten-Free Cornflakes, these Coconut-Cornflake Cookies would be great.

And since you’ve bought some gluten-free Cornflakes, you might as well make some Cornflake Wreath Cookies too. :)

Then there’s these amazing Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies. No flour. So pretty.

Chocolate Pomegranate Clusters are also very pretty.

Caramel Cashew Clusters ~swoon~

Beautiful Flourless Orange Cake

Mocha Mousse Torte

Nutella Cake

Flourless Hazelnut Cake

Garbanzo Bean Chocolate Cake (doesn’t taste like beans, I promise!)

And a Flourless Chocolate Cake

These Flourless Fudge Chocolate Chip Cookies are also on my list, I hope you add them to yours as well.

All fruits & vegetables are gluten-free, so setting out a plate of veggies & dip (be sure it is gluten-free, like THIS ONE) or fruit and dip (like THIS ONE) is a great option.

If you are setting out a tray of cheeses and crackers, please be considerate and have a small separate plate for those on a gluten-free diet. The crumbs from the wheat crackers is enough to get a celiac sick. The same goes for cheese balls. If you can set aside a small part before serving it, you do not have to worry about cross contamination.

So, how do I know if my ingredients contain gluten?

Gluten is found in wheat, rye and barley. If you read the ingredient list, and any of those ingredients is found, you know immediately. You also have to be on the look out for other terms, HERE is a list of all the ‘no-no’ ingredients for a celiac. And although regular beer is not safe for a celiac, distilled liquors (or gluten-free beer) is safe for a person on a gluten-free diet to consume.

When you are preparing food for a person on a gluten-free diet, it is best if you can start with newly opened ingredients. For instance, if you are making flourless peanut butter cookies, open a new jar of peanut butter. This will ensure that you do not have any crumbs from your wheat bread that has contaminated the peanut butter already. Same goes for margarine, and other things where you would normally dip a dirty knife into.

Be sure that all of your pots, bowls, spoons & pans are freshly scrubbed, to be sure that there are no traces of wheat-based goods in them. Some people with celiac disease are very sensitive to gluten, and using stainless steel bowls (compared to plastic bowls) may be better for them (food can get stuck in scratches in the plastic).

Please, remember that for many of those on a gluten-free diet, are not on it for fun. It is what we have to do to stay healthy, and the same way you would not intentionally feed a person with a shellfish allergy crab, you should not try to sneak gluten to someone with Celiac Disease. Even though the reaction may not be immediate, a little gluten can do a lot of damage and leave us feeling ill for a long time. And no one wants to feel ill during the holidays.

So, with all of the naturally gluten-free treats & snacks listed, and a little knowledge on what contains gluten, and how to prepare it safely, I hope that we can all have a safe, happy holiday season this year.

If you have any questions about any of the recipes, or preparing them safely, or have more recipes to add to the list, please do so in the comments.


  1. Colleen says

    What a great list! It is always good to find new and easy treats-will be checking them all out! One thing we did last year was more candy-chocolate covered cherries, and buckeyes were a hit, as was peanut brittle. But watch the peanuts-not all of them are safe and that is something my son has gotten sick on because he just assumed they would be fine.

    One other thing-if preparing stuff for someone with celiac do not be afraid to ask tons of questions-I knew nothing about this all until a year ago when my son was diagnosed-so I really think no question is a bad one if it leads to better understanding.

  2. Tamara says

    Hey, Jeanine! This is awesome! Not to bundle up on comments, but I love this list! What a sweet way to go one-stop treat shopping! (Not to mention that I’m going to make those pomegranate chocolate candies as soon as I can get the arils out of the shell…LOL) Thanks again for all you do for all of us. What a blessing to have friends that know what they’re doing so those of us who are needing help get it right (the first time) and can live better lives. Love you (AND your blog), girl!

    • says

      Thanks so much, Tamara! :) I love your comments, they make me smile. Did you make the pomegranate chocolate candies? I was just curious if they are a huge mess when eating. :)

  3. Chi Chi says

    Thank you! This is great info and all in one place! My daughter has terrible eczema and I recently read it could be a gluten sensitivity. We are slowly but surely making changes and this surely helps a ton. :)

  4. Tera Tylliros says

    Re: the pomegranate clusters (can’t wait to make them!!), if I am making ahead for a function, what is the storage? Keep refrigerated? Can I freeze them too? They are beautiful AND healthy!

  5. Dee Johnson says

    This is awesome. I will be pinning to my Pinterest so I can check out all the yummy recipes. I was thinking Night Night Cookies (meringue) are naturally gluten free, and would be a great addition. :) I love the tips at the end too. I had to learn about cross contamination in p-nut butter and butter the hard way. 😉

  6. kathleen says

    if there is no ingredient list, it is best to assume it has gluten and is dangerous! When my sister came home from college, my dad mixed the mustard packets she brought home with the safe bottle in the fridge. Because I put mustard on everything, I was sick for a week before he mentioned he did it and wanted to do the same with some old catsup packets. Food is dangerous for celiac folk and should be checked for safety and ingredients every time! Seriously, though, are there people who try to sneak it in knowingly? I don`t even understand why you would do that, unless you thought it was some dumb weight loss diet and you wanted to prove they wouldn`t get fat on a little bit. Lots of people try to do that to me even after I explain gluten is like poison to me. I guess they think I`m being mean if I don`t want to have some birthday cake or something, but I`m seriously not that concerned about my thighs or something to the point of hating going out to eat.

  7. says

    Thank you for sharing your recipes. I am a newby gluten free person. At first I was really depressed about it but now am realizing that most things can be substituted. The biggest problem is figuring out about the different flours and how to use them. I will be coming back to your site often!! Everyone says how can you eat? They don’t realize how sick this makes some. It really is a lifestyle change!

    • says

      Thanks, Gloria! I enjoy what I do. :)
      With some playing & practicing you’ll begin to understand how the flours work together, it took me a few years too. It most certainly is a lifestyle change! Much more than just what you eat.

  8. Louise says

    Thanks for all the yummy looking recipes. Tiramisu is one of our family favourites, just wondering if you’ve ever made it gluten free

  9. Lissa says

    So sad the Deep Dark Chocolate Cookie link is broken. I’ve made these a couple of times in past years, and should have saved the recipe elsewhere.

    • says

      I fixed the link, Lissa! Thanks for pointing out that it was broken, apparently that site doesn’t exist anymore, but someone else made her cookies and gave her credit, so I linked to that site instead. Should still be the same recipe!

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