One food group people with allergies especially loath to give up is dessert — yes, we just called dessert a food group. And it’s no wonder! Desserts are a major source of pleasure in life, and we all deserve a treat now and then.
If you’re tired of checking the ingredient list for your after-dinner indulgence, we got you covered. We rounded up 13 desserts that are free of the FDA’s “Top 8” most common food allergens: milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soy. (Not that you’re craving shellfish ice-cream on a regular basis, but you get the idea.)
So grab your dessert fork!
For healthy, easy, and tasty, you can’t go wrong with The Feed Feed’s kiwi in smooth vegan dark chocolate. Just be sure to use dark chocolate that’s dairy- and soy-free to stay allergy-friendly (soy lecithin is often a sneaky ingredient in chocolate). Hemp hearts sprinkled on top of these bite-sized coins add crunch and a boost of fiber, protein, and omega-3s.
Recreating a classic dessert in an allergy-friendly package doesn’t have to be complicated. Sometimes it’s just a matter of using the right brands and products. Mama Shire’s s’mores use gluten-free graham crackers, allergy-friendly chocolate chips, and Kraft Jet-Puffed marshmallows, which just happen to be free of the Top 8. Ready to sing kumbaya around the campfire?
Impress guests at your next dinner party with these classy little balls of decadence. No one will know you only used two ingredients. This recipe by the Minimalist Baker lives up to her word, just make sure to skip on the optional hazelnut coating.
Unlike other grains, rice is considered a low-allergenic food, and a rice allergy is extremely rare, especially in Western culture. Make the most of this low-risk pantry staple with a tasty rice pudding by Go Dairy Free. Rice milk instead of cow’s milk is a no-brainer substitution to add creaminess.
Cool off and get tipsy with this refreshing dessert that starts with a full-bodied cabernet sauvignon. Made simply of wine, fruit juice, and sugar, it’s totally allergy-friendly — and the perfect follow-up to a spicy meal. Thank you, Simply Scratch!
Um, is it even possible to make cookies without eggs, butter, or flour? This recipe by The Pretty Bee proves the answer is yes. Flax seeds replace eggs, vegan buttery spread stands in for butter (just make sure to get one of the soy-free varieties), and gluten-free flour and oats add bulk to these berry-ful treats.
There may be a dozen ways to slice a watermelon, but we vote for this pizza-esque presentation by Choosing Chia. Kids and grownups alike will enjoy topping flat slices of melon with coconut yogurt, berries, and honey.
Didn’t we promise you could have cake? Get creative with flavors and ingredients in these surprisingly healthy, allergy-friendly chocolate cupcakes from One Green Planet.
If you’ve never tried a dash of savory in your sweets, you’re in for a delicious surprise with a dessert that offers the best of both flavor worlds. Rosemary sprigs bring earthy goodness to sweet lemonade in these easy popsicles.
Don’t let a dairy allergy stop you from giving up creamy frozen desserts. In this plant-based sorbet from Recipe Runner, raspberries, strawberries, and coconut milk come together for a finished product that looks and tastes a whole lot like ice-cream.
This ain’t your grandma’s fruit salad. From Simple Bites, citrus and pomegranate get fancy in this pretty, fruity showstopper.
All hail SunButter, champion of many a peanut-free recipe! This alternative butter by The Fit Cookie made from ground sunflower seeds offers a handy replacement for peanut or other nut butters, adding creamy texture and comparable taste. Try it mixed with chocolate and coconut oil in this rich fudge.
Take an edible trip down memory lane with Allergy Awesomeness’s allergen-free version of a childhood favorite: Rice Krispies treats. If you need to stay wheat-free and gluten-free, be sure to read labels carefully. Some rice cereals, like original Rice Krispies, are wheat-free but not gluten-free.
While finding the perfect dessert may be a challenge if you or someone you love has a food allergy or intolerance, it’s certainly not impossible. With a bit of creativity and practice, you’ll be on your way to making tasty treats you’d choose even if they weren’t allergen-free.
Sarah Garone is a nutritionist, freelance writer, and food blogger. Find her sharing down-to-earth nutrition info at A Love Letter to Food or follow her on Twitter.