Archive for Desserts

AppleCranPieSliceI love all the traditional foods made for Thanksgiving — turkey and gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and pies. But sometimes, I like to change things up a little…like adding chocolate to pumpkin pie or pecan pie. This year, I’m not adding chocolate to anything.

Instead, I’m adding cranberries to my apple pie. I absolutely love it! I love the burst of red color it adds to the pie, but I mostly love the burst of flavor it adds to each bite. The sweet apples and crumb topping are nicely complemented by the tart cranberries.

Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Apple Cranberry Pie Recipe


Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Pie Crust — uncooked, thawed if previously frozen

5-7 Fresh Apples — peeled, cored, sliced (I used 4 large Golden Delicious apples and 1 Granny Smith.)
1 Cup Fresh Cranberries
1/2 Cup Sugar
1-1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon

Crumb Topping Ingredients:
1/2 Cup gluten-free Flour (Fine Brown Rice Flour, or a mix of GF Flours)
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks (or Butter, Margarine)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  2. Prepare your gluten-free pie crust.
  3. Mix together the crumb topping ingredients and set aside.
  4. Mix together the 1/2 Cup sugar and 1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, and set aside.AppleCranPie
  5. Prepare the apples by peeling the skin, removing the core, and cutting into thick slices.
  6. Place and arrange half the apples in the prepared pie crust. Pour 1/2 the cranberries on top. Then, add the remaining apples, and cranberries on top. I like to pile them high because I know it will cook down.
  7. Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the top of the apples and cranberries. Be sure to spread it out evenly over the entire pie.
  8. AppleCranPieCrumbNow add the crumb topping to the pie, carefully spreading it to the edges of the pie crust and covering as much of the fruit as you can.
  9. Cover the pie crust edges with a Pie Crust Shield or strips of aluminum foil to avoid burning the edges. Bake in the oven at 400° for 40 minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven and place on a baking rack to cool before serving. It slices best if you let it cool to room temperature — about an hour. Enjoy!

Additional Notes:

  • AppleCranPieBakedYou can use whatever apples you like best for baking. I usually use a mix of apples with 1 or 2 Granny Smith apples. Gala and Golden Delicious apples have worked well for me — good texture and flavor, but not too juicy that it runs all over the plate.
  • Need a recipe for a gluten-free pie crust? Check the list of recipes at this Thanksgiving Dessert Roundup.
  • I have also used 1 tub of Pillsbury’s Gluten-Free Pie Crust Dough to make both the crust and the crumb topping, as I did with my Peach Crumb Pie recipe.
  • To make a traditional Apple Pie, I use the same recipe above but without the cranberries. You may need an extra apple instead.

This post is linked to Gluten-Free Wednesdays, where you’ll find more ideas for eating gluten-free!

Comments (7)

pumpkinmuffinplateI don’t know why I wait for the fall season to make these. They’re always gobbled up quickly! I made these using Namaste Foods Muffin Mix. They always turn out perfectly moist and tasty. Best of all, Namaste mixes never contain wheat, gluten, dairy, casein, peanuts, tree nuts, corn, soy, or potato. They are fabulous for family and friends gatherings or classroom parties with multiple allergies!

We prefer the small mini-muffins at my house, and I now have two Mini Muffin Pans to bake them all quickly. Only 10 minutes of prep, 10 minutes to bake, and they’re done. Great for a quick and filling breakfast!

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mini-Muffins (Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free)


pumpkinmuffinbite2 large eggs
1/4 Cup oil (I use extra light olive oil.)
1/4 to 1/2 Cup water (adjust amount depending on pumpkin puree)
1 tsp vanilla
1 Cup Pumpkin Puree (I used canned.)**
Namaste Foods Muffin Mix
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
3/4 mini chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life brand.)



  1. Start by preheating your oven to 375º, and preparing Mini Muffin Pan with an oil spray.
  2. Using a hand mixer, combine the eggs, oil, vanilla, pumpkin, and 1/4 cup water.
  3. Add the Muffin Mix along with the cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, and mix well. Adjust the batter by adding more water if needed. The batter will be thick, but it shouldn’t look dry.
  4. Add in the chocolate chips and blend so the chip are evenly dispersed.
  5. Scoop the batter into the muffin pan, about 3/4 full. I like to use a spring-loaded cookie scoop for ease.
  6. Bake at 375º for 10-12 min. I pull the muffins out when the edges just start to brown.

Additional Notes:

  • You may be wondering about what is in Namaste’s Muffin Mix. Ingredients: sweet brown rice, evaporated cane juice, brown rice flour, tapioca flour, arrowroot flour, rice milk powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt and ground vanilla bean.
  • Recipe makes about 40-48 mini-muffins.
  • You can, of course, make these a larger/normal muffin size. To make the larger size, just increase the baking time to 12-15 min. You may want to use a larger chocolate chip size, like Enjoy Life’s Morsels size.
  • You can use 2 tsp of Pumpkin Pie Spice instead of the cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.

  • For convenience, I prefer to use canned pumpkin instead of fresh. I find that the water content of fresh pumpkin puree can vary greatly. So, if you’re using a pumpkin puree that is very wet, you may not need to add water to the recipe at all.
  • I have also used Namaste Foods Sugar Free Muffin Mix to make these. I simply add 1/2 cup of Coconut Nectar, Honey, or Agave. I’m sure 1/2 Cup sugar would work, too, but I haven’t actually tried it.
  • **I have also made this recipe using a full can (15 oz.) of pumpkin puree. I simply adjust the recipe by reducing the amount of water to no more than 1/4 cup.

*I was not contacted by the company or compensated in any way for this article. I simply wanted to share with you a good gluten-free and dairy-free product that we enjoy at my house.

This post is linked to Gluten-Free Wednesdays, where you’ll find more ideas for eating gluten-free!

Giveaway details listed below.
If you missed the first two reviews I wrote of the Pillsbury® Gluten-Free Doughs, you may want to read them, too:  Pillsbury® Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Pillsbury® Gltuen-Free Pizza Dough.

peachpieslicepeachpieNow, for the last of their current doughs available — Pillsbury® Gluten-Free Pie and Pastry Dough.

Earlier this year, my son discovered the joy of my mother’s apple crumb pie. He raves about it every time apple pie, or any pie, is mentioned. So, when I received Pillsbury pie dough in the mail, apple pie was immediately requested (perhaps demanded).

However, when shopping at the farmers’ market last week, I just couldn’t resist the fresh peaches. And, when the vendor offered me a flat of bruised peaches to me for a big discount, I knew I was going to make a Peach Crumb Pie instead. My son was a little disappointed that it wasn’t “Grandma’s Apple Pie,” but he seemed to enjoy the peach pie just the same. And, then I made him an Apple Crumb Pie, too. 🙂

When, I first opened the tub of pie crust dough, it looked dry and crumbly. Don’t let that discourage you. It only takes a little kneading to get the dough to a smooth consistency. When I made the apple pie, I rolled out the dough using parchment paper on the bottom and plastic wrap on the top. The crust tore a little when transferring to the pie tin, but it was easily fixed by pressing the dough together again with my fingers. For the Peach Pie, I didn’t even roll out the dough. Just pressing the dough into the pie tin works just as well, and I think it’s faster and easier. The results? We’ll, it isn’t a buttery, flaky, homemade pie crust. It is made with oil, and behaves like an oil pie crust. That didn’t bother us a bit. We all loved the taste and texture of the crust as it was — rolled or pressed out, it was very tasty and had a nice tender crumb to it.

Each tub of pie and pastry dough makes two 9″ pie crusts. So, I used half the dough for the crust and the other half for the crumb topping. What a time saver! This really is the easiest gluten-free crumb pie I’ve ever made. With the dough already made, preparing the peaches takes the most time. But if you’ve got farm fresh peaches, the pit and skin remove very easily. Easy peasy!


Gluten-Free Peach Pie with Crumb Topping Recipe


  • 7-9 Fresh Peaches – sliced, peeled and pit removed
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp Corn Starch or Tapioca Flour
  • 1/4 Cup sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Prepare the peaches by removing the pits, peeling off the skin, and slicing.
  2. piepeachesRemove the gluten-free pie dough from the tub and cut in half. You’ll use one half for the bottom crust and the other half for the crumb topping.
  3. For the crust: Dump 1/2 of the pie dough into a pie tin. Knead the dough with your hands until it is smooth. Now flatten and push the dough into the pie tin until it evenly covers the entire inside of the tin and becomes the crust. I like to push a little extra dough to the edge of the tin, so that I can pinch the edges of the dough with my fingers to create a decorative edge.
  4. piecinnamonFor the filling: Place the peach slices into the pie crust and arrange so that you get the most fruit in as possible. In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cornstarch. Then, sprinkle it evenly over the top of the peaches in the pie tin.
  5. Using the same small bowl, use a fork to mix together the 1/4 Cup sugar and remaining pie crust dough. Just combine (and fluff?) until crumbly. Now pour the crumb mixture on top of the pie, carefully covering the entire pie.
  6. piecrumbPlace the pie in the oven and bake at 400º for 40 min. I used a Pie Crust Shield to keep the edges of the crust from burning. You could use strips of foil instead, as Pillsbury’s baking directions suggest.



Additional notes about the pie dough:

  • pieedgeThere was no need to grease the pie tin. I didn’t have problems with the pie crust sticking to the tin.
  • The directions for baking the crust says to bake at 425° F. I opted to bake a little longer at 400° instead.
  • “Ingredients: Soybean Oil, Water, Corn Starch, Modified Potato Starch, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Rice Flour, Whole Sorghum Flour, Fructose. Contains 2% or less of: Sugar, Salt, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Propionate and Potassium Sorbate (preservatives), Guar Gum, Citric Acid.
  • I paid $4.99 in the grocery store.  (Pillsbury® sent me one tub to try, but I bought another tub myself to make an apple pie, too.)
  • I thought the crust tasted great, and I loved the ease of working with the dough. Now I am thinking about trying some of the ideas below as well as a few new ideas of my own. 🙂

More recipe inspiration:

Giveaway Details:

Pillsbury® has agreed to let one of Celiac Family’s readers try the new products, too!

What: Premium Baking Set with a Cookie Sheet, Pie Tin, and Pizza Cutter, and coupons for free Pillsbury® gluten-free dough.

When: Beginning now and continuing through Aug. 23, 2013. One winner will be announced on Aug. 26, 2016.

How to Enter: Do you want to try the Pillsbury® gluten-free dough? Enter the giveaway by simply leaving a comment on this post or the other two CeliacFamily posts about Pillsbury’s® Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Pillsbury’s® Pizza Dough. Tell me why you’re excited to try the new Pillsbury® gluten-free products, and how it will make your life better.

Additional Details: Although you are welcome to and encouraged to comment on each post about the new Gluten-Free Pillsbury® dough products, only one winner will be chosen from

 Thanks to Pillsbury® for sponsoring today’s post and giveaway. All opinions are my own. 🙂

Comments (15)

Holiday Meringue Cookies

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I’ve had so much fun making meringue cookies. There is so much you can do with them. They are naturally gluten-free and dairy-free. Perfect for most of us. (Of course, if you have a problem with eggs, this isn’t the cookie for you.) They are light and airy, crispy on the outside, a little chewy inside, and oh so yummy.

I’ve already shared the rubber duckies and ghosts I’ve made in the past. Now, I’m sharing some that are more appropriate for this season: Snowmen and Christmas Trees!

Basic Meringue Cookie Recipe


2 large egg whites (at room temperature)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp almond extract (optional)
food coloring (optional)
1/2 Cup superfine sugar
candy for decorating (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 200° F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium glass or metal bowl, beat the egg whites until they become foamy little bubbles. Add the cream of tartar, almond extract, and food coloring. Continue beating at medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add in the sugar while beating until smooth and glossy and stiff peaks form.
  3. Fill a piping bag with open or large round tip. (I used Wilton disposable decorating bags.) If you don’t have these, you can simply use a zip-style plastic bag and cut the tip off a corner to squeeze out the meringue.
  4. Next add candy to finish the look.
  5. Place in the oven and bake for 2-3 hours. (Smaller, thinner cookies will bake/dry out in 2 hours. Larger, fluffier cookies will need more time or they will be sticky on the bottom.)
  6. Let them cool on the cookie sheets.
  7. Place them on a plate to serve, or store in an airtight container.

Snowman Notes:

  • For the snowmen, I started by squeezing out a round shape of meringue for the head then moved to the middle and bottom to finish it.
  • I used Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips for the eyes and buttons, and cut up Tootsie Roll Midgees for the boots. I’m thinking now that I should’ve cut out some hats, too. What would Frosty be without a hat? 🙂
  • For the “carrot” nose on the snowmen, I used orange colored Jimmies.
  • I was able to make 15 snowmen from one recipe.

Christmas Tree Notes:

  • For the Christmas Trees, I started squeezing out the meringue at the top of the tree. Then, I made diagonal zigzags to finish the shape.
  • I tried two different sprinkles for the ornaments/lights on the trees – Rainbow Sprinkles and Rainbow Sparkling Sugar. I think I like them best plain.
  • For the star/diamond on the top of the tree, I didn’t have any star-shaped candies or sprinkles. Instead I cut mini marshmallows into thirds then covered with yellow sugar for the star/diamond on the tree. I gave the ends a little squeeze to make them diamond-shaped.
  • My kids thought the trees needed trunks, so I cut up Tootsie Roll Midgees into quarters.
  • I was able to make 20 Christmas Trees from one recipe.

**Be creative and use whatever extra candy you have. These Jumbo Star Sprinkles would be great to use for stars on top of the tree. You could also use mini M&Ms for the snowman buttons, or large ornaments on the trees.

More Meringue Cookie Recipes:

Ghost Meringue Cookies

Raspberry Divinity Tarts

Rubber Duckie Cookies

Review Even More Great Recipes at: 


Comments (10)

sweetpotatoesThis is a fairly simple, traditional recipe that I put together for our Thanksgiving family gathering this year. I always enjoy sweet potato casserole for the holidays. I usually prefer a crunchy pecan and brown sugar topping, but I know some people always look forward to the toasted marshmallows on top. So, this year, I did both. This is now my favorite way to eat them.

I like to think of this as a vegetable side dish, but really it’s sweet enough to call it dessert. In fact, since I’ve been reducing my sugar consumption, I’ve found it to be too sweet. Now, I don’t add the 3/4 Brown Sugar to the main ingredients. Instead, I just enjoy the flavor of the sweet potatoes and the sweetness added by the toppings.

Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe


Main Ingredients:
4 large Sweet Potatoes or Yams, peeled, cooked and mashed (about 4 lbs or 8 cups)
3 Eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar (optional)
1/2 Cup Butter, softened (I use Earth Balance Vegan.)
1 TBSP Maple Syrup
3/4 Cup Almond Milk (I used vanilla flavored.)

Topping Ingredients:
1 Cup Chopped Pecans
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Brown Rice Flour
1/3 Cup Butter, melted (Again, Earth Balance Vegan Sticks)
1 Cup Small Marshmallows


  1. Cook and peel the sweet potatoes, or yams. I like to score the skin on the yams both around the middle and lengthwise. Then I put them into boiling water and simmer until they are fork tender (about 20-30 min.).
  2. While the yams are cooking, combine the first four topping ingredients with a fork and set aside.
  3. When the yams are done, remove them from the heat and drain the water. Cover with cold water to cool down. If the skin hasn’t come off already, gently pull the skin off.
  4. Mash the yams and add the rest of the main ingredients. Combine thoroughly. You may want to beat the ingredients together for a smoother, fluffier texture.
  5. Spread the yams/sweet potato mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish. (You can cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator at this point, if you are saving for the next day.)
  6. Then top the yams with the mini marshmallows and pecan mixture in alternating diagonal stripes.
  7. Bake at 350° F for 30-40 minutes, or until the yams are bubbly hot and the marshmallows are lightly browned.

Additional Notes:

  • To make ahead: I made this the day before Thanksgiving, skipping step 2 and ending at step 5 the first day. On the morning of Thanksgiving, I took the dish out of the refrigerator and let set on the counter while I worked on step 2 of the directions and preheated the oven. I then finished the baking with steps 6 and 7.
  • If the marshmallows don’t brown after 40 minutes, put it under the broiler for a few minutes. But watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn.

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