Where's my easy dessert recipe?
October 13, 2022 3:15 PM   Subscribe

I need an easy dessert recipe for something that is: non-dairy, gluten-free, and has no egg. Hope me? Do you have one you can vouch for?

Google will obviously give me a zillion recipes, but I'm looking for something you trust, that's not too hard or fiddly, with ingredients available at Trader Joe's or a regular grocery store. Bonus points if it's something that can be made several hours in advance and just sit.
posted by BlahLaLa to Food & Drink (32 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
I've made something like this avocado chocolate mousse before (though the recipe I used was simpler). It was delicious and ticks all your boxes.
posted by altolinguistic at 3:25 PM on October 13, 2022

Best answer: I can't vouch for these specific recipes, but I do vouch for King Arthur flour recipes. Here are their vegan recipes, switch out flour with their gluten-free blend. Check out the extensive reviews as well. I'd make the vanilla cake and the chocolate cake. Or, depending on your audience, the gingerbread recipe for the vanilla.
posted by RoadScholar at 3:26 PM on October 13, 2022 [5 favorites]

Chocolate Coconut Panna Cotta. Swap the milk chocolate for dark if that's a problem.

Extremely easy, very tasty, and happy to sit in the fridge for several days before consumption.
posted by darchildre at 3:26 PM on October 13, 2022 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Sounds like you want a fruit crisp (Apple for fall). I use this one from NYTimes all the time.

6 cups peeled, cored, sliced apples or ripe pears, 2 to 3 pounds
½ teaspoon cinnamon, or more to taste (I like to add powdered ginger too)
1 tablespoon corn or potato starch
½ cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons (I would split between white and brown sugar)
5 tablespoons favorite non-dairy spread, plus more for greasing the pan
¾ cup oats
½ cup walnuts or pecans (or almonds or any nuts, or leave out nuts and add more oat)

cut up the apples into chunks or slices.
Toss with 1/2 spices and a few tablespoons of sugar and potato or corn starch
mix the rest of the ingredients in a food processor until everything starts to clump together a bit. If you don't have food processor chop nuts separately and mix by hand (use your hands for best clumping action).
Spread mix over fruit and bake at 350 for about 40 minutes.

Can serve immediately or let sit and reheat. Serve with favorite vanilla non-dairy frozen dessert.
posted by brookeb at 3:32 PM on October 13, 2022 [17 favorites]

Best answer: Flourless Chocolate Cake - base is canned pumpkin and almond flour, doesn't need a mixer. Does want a springform pan, but you could probably riff it with a regular cake pan and parchment.

You can top it with basically anything that meets the requirements, and honestly I often just get some interesting jam or preserves to spread over - fig, orange, apricot - and then grab some non-dairy canned topping. Vegan ice cream would obviously be awesome on the side. If you're going to Trader Joe's, I believe they have some GF cookies that would probably be eggless too, and you could make a cookie crumble topping for something more novel.

It's a sticky cake without a ton of internal structure, and it does not slide or flex without consequences. This recipe says take the sides off the pan and refrigerate on the base, which I recommend if you have a springform, or consider making it in a cake pan and leaving in there to serve, especially if you need to travel with it, even if it makes serving it a little uglier. But it is absolutely fine to make the day before, I think it's better the next day.
posted by Lyn Never at 3:39 PM on October 13, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If you use gluten-free graham crackers or some other kind of gluten-free crust, this Mexican chocolate pie fits your criteria, and it's amazing. I'm vegan, and this is the dessert that gets raves from omnivores. I use chocolate chips for the chocolate - if you do that, check the ingredients. Most of them have dairy, but I think most grocery stores have at least one brand that doesn't. I also buy a premade pie crust instead of following the recipe for that because I'm lazy.

(I get the recipe from the New York Times site, but that's behind a paywall, so I looked to see if someone else had it. This appears to be the same recipe.)
posted by FencingGal at 3:54 PM on October 13, 2022 [3 favorites]

Going in a slightly different direction with this, it's definitely toffee apple season at the moment (I think they're better if the toffee isn't quite set).
posted by offog at 4:15 PM on October 13, 2022

Best answer: Vegan banana choc chip loaf or muffins? I have made many times, mostly for non-vegans, always a hit. No animal products, no oil, nothing you can’t get at Trader Joe’s. No mixing bowl needed.
Best Vegan Banana Bread is the one

In fact, I just got some silicone mini muffin pans to make some this weekend. (My latest version includes pumpkin pie spice mix rather than just cinnamon.) Also, choc chips are not in the recipe and I don’t think you can get vegan ones at TJ’s anymore but I do always add them (sometimes chocolate chunks).
posted by Glinn at 4:18 PM on October 13, 2022 [1 favorite]

It doesn’t get any easier than poached pears.
posted by koahiatamadl at 4:25 PM on October 13, 2022 [7 favorites]

Peaches Roasted in Amaretto -- I do this all the time, and perhaps you could substitute your fave tangy non-dairy thing for the topping here.
posted by Hypatia at 5:01 PM on October 13, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Mexican chocolate tofu pudding, just use vegan chocolate if needed. It really is good.
posted by wintersweet at 5:07 PM on October 13, 2022 [5 favorites]

I was also going to post a chocolate tofu mousse, but I think I like the one wintersweet posted since I like spicy chocolates.

Instead, I will simply add that you can take the basic idea and run in a number of directions — adding fruit, or flavored extracts (eg: rum, etc), so it’s a very flexible concept. One warning: due to the protein content, this stuff can be VERY filling. Don’t expect to just wolf down a huge bowl like you could with a traditional mousse.
posted by aramaic at 5:13 PM on October 13, 2022

Also these almond flour cookies that a friend pointed me to. You might need a little experimentation to find the way you like them--I add almond extract to make them even more almondy.

Making them the first time is weird but after that they're easy and quick. I just use regular brown sugar, not coconut sugar, and I bake mine in a toaster oven. I don't know if they'd be any good the next day but a few hours should be fine.
posted by wintersweet at 5:21 PM on October 13, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Sorbet?
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:48 PM on October 13, 2022 [3 favorites]

Best answer: This is the recipe I use, typically doubling the recipe and with all the substitutions to make it gluten free, egg free and dairy free. It is delicious this way, and I undercook it slightly so it's a little squooshy in the middle.

You can also use less sugar if you prefer, but still sprinkle some on the top for crunch.

Originally from http://thelifeofclare.com.au/apple-slice/

PREP TIME: 15 mins
COOK TIME: 35 mins
TOTAL TIME: 50 mins

3 apples - peel, cored and cut into 1cm chunks
2 cups self-raising flour (substitute with gluten free)
1 cup sugar
125 gm butter - melted (substitute with nuttlex or other non-dairy butter)
1 egg (substitute with 1/4 cup silken tofu, or flax meal mixed with water)
Spices to taste (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg)

Add apples, sugar, flour and spices to large mixing bowl, combine.
Add butter and egg, stir until well combined.
Press into lined slice tray.
Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
Bake 180 degrees for 35 - 40 mins.
posted by eloeth-starr at 6:11 PM on October 13, 2022

Best answer: Came in to recommend apple or peach crisp. I add lemon to the apples, and use all brown sugar.
posted by theora55 at 6:34 PM on October 13, 2022

Best answer: I’ve made these vegan, gluten-free lemon bars a few times and they’re fantastic!
posted by Empidonax at 7:00 PM on October 13, 2022

Easiest dessert I know is baked apples. The only catch is they should be eaten hot out of the oven.

Put some water in the bottom of a baking dish--maybe one centimetre or so. Cut a lid off a good baking apple (like a Courtland). The lid should be similar to a jack o' lantern lid (so try to get apples with the stems attached). Core the apple without making a hole in the bottom. Pour in maple syrup. Replace lid. Place apple in baking dish. Bake in a pre-heated oven on a relatively high temperature (350-400 Fahrenheit) until the flesh of the apple is soft and starts to look a bit frothy. (Typically, if the apple skin splits that's an indication that it's a a little bit more than done.) Cooking times vary depending on the size and type of apples but 30 minutes might be a good average.

If you need something more official, this is another variation. I've done the butter and brown sugar variant before (but never added nuts or raisins). It's okay, but pure maple syrup is much better. (You can serve it with ice cream if desired.)
posted by sardonyx at 7:27 PM on October 13, 2022 [2 favorites]

Homemade apple sauce!
posted by spiderbeforesunset at 7:27 PM on October 13, 2022

Avocado blended with ice and sweet condensed milk. It's an Indonesian dessert.
posted by virve at 8:33 PM on October 13, 2022 [2 favorites]

Just plain fruit. Really, REALLY good fruit, though - the absolute best couple pears or peaches you can find, or the ABSOLUTE BEST apples, or grapes or whatever you choose. Just slice, plate up, and serve.

"just plain fruit" is what is served for dessert in French and Italian homes 99% of the time, so if anyone looks like they're gonna throw shade just tell them it's the European style or something.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:45 PM on October 13, 2022 [4 favorites]

For super easy, this is what Rice Krispie Treats are made for, if you can get vegan marshmallows (I think TJs should have them again now).

We also make these peanut butter chocolate clusters a lot, but with non-dairy chocolate chips (no butterscotch).

Note - Kellogg’s Rice Krispies aren’t officially GF, they can contain some malt, but there are other brands that are.
posted by Mchelly at 9:48 PM on October 13, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Sliced oranges sprinkled with cinnamon and (very little) sugar. It is a typical dessert in Morocco and we have it many times during the winter season, specially after a rich stew: it cleans the palate.
posted by mumimor at 11:13 PM on October 13, 2022 [3 favorites]

This is the link I meant to post at the very top of this thread: avocado chocolate mousse. (Mods if you could get rid of the wrong link I did post, I'd be grateful!)
posted by altolinguistic at 12:17 AM on October 14, 2022 [1 favorite]

This vegan chocolate banana cake requires no baking, uses only four ingredients if you make the ganache as well, and just two if you don't, and always gets rave reviews from vegans and non-vegans alike when I make it.
posted by terretu at 12:21 AM on October 14, 2022

I heartily endorse wintersweet's recommendation of mexican chocolate tofu pudding. Because of the melted chocolate, it sets to a firm consistency and is cheesecake-like in texture. Simple, few ingredients and delicious. I've made it several times.
posted by lulu68 at 2:39 AM on October 14, 2022

Southeast & East Asian cuisine might suit as well, especially if you have a steamer or a fridge and you like pudding & jelly textures.

- Konyaku jelly

- then, you can explore agar-agar jelly ones (type of seaweed instead of gelatine & sets very well in the fridge & firmer than konyaku (which seems to be a thing via Japan, who likes soft, pillowy textures))

- then, you can get into sweet soups. I call them tong sui but that's one type, not a generic name. if you have a slow-cooker, it's also very minimal effort: longan tong sui

- then, if you want non-dairy milkiness, try the coconut milk-based steamed cakes. generally known as kuih or kueh in Indonesian, Malaysian, Indian (Malaysian/Singaporean), or Nyonya recipes. the base carb is usually rice, tapioca, or corn flour. E.g: Kuih Seri Muka
posted by cendawanita at 2:51 AM on October 14, 2022

Coconut banana chia seed pudding--this recipe is a copycat of the one at True Food Kitchen, memorable and craveable even to my non-vegan palate; every time I attempt it, it turns out slightly different but still good

Matcha soy milk pudding--can't find my exact recipe at the moment but this Matcha Vegan Panna Cotta from Just One Cookbook is very similar, though I use gelatin rather than kanten/agar-agar
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 3:33 AM on October 14, 2022

Would something classic like chocolate dipped fruit be too fiddly? It requires some degree of labor per piece but probably not more work overall than some of these other dishes — and it presents itself beautifully.
posted by sesquipedalia at 7:38 AM on October 14, 2022 [1 favorite]

Passover macaroons are always gluten-free, and there are egg-free recipes. They might be too fiddly, though. I'm a big fan of a bowl of fresh strawberries cut into quarters, with powdered sugar mixed in, left to sit until the juice and the sugar turn into a syrup.
posted by redneck_crake at 8:52 AM on October 14, 2022

I make an amazing vegan chocolate cream dessert that is literally:

1 can coconut milk
1 bag vegan chocolate chips

Heat the milk on the stove and stir in the chocolate chips until they melt. You can aerate it with an immersion blender or in a blender to get it a little lighter in texture but not strictly necessary. Pour into ramekins and chill until firm (you can do this a full day or more ahead of time). Serve with vegan whipped topping, like Cocowhip.

If you want to be a little fancier, you can make an Oreo-like pie crust with the Trader Joe gluten-free Joe Joes.

No one ever believes this is vegan and so easy to make!
posted by LKWorking at 2:53 PM on October 18, 2022

Oh, okay, some ways to dress up "just plain fruit" -

* Strawberries with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar is surprisingly good.

* This is more kitschy fun than elegant - Sour Patch Grapes. All you need is grapes, some lemon juice, and a couple of packs of Jello or some other instant-gelatin-dessert thing - wash the grapes, spritz with lemon juice, and toss in the flavor of jello powder of your choosing.

And if you decide you really want to do something above and beyond plain fruit:

* Trader Joe's has a gluten-free pancake and waffle mix. That would be perfect for DIY fruit crepes or DIY belgian waffles (depending on what you have the equipment for). Those would be totally do-able in advance since the pancake or waffle doesn't necessarily have to be "hot". you could even do a sort of "build-your-own" concept - get a bunch of different fruits and chop them up, make up a few waffles or pancakes, and then get some different sauces, and let people customize their desert by putting whatever the hell they want on it.

* Granita! This is kind of like a fancy version of shaved ice - the only tools you need are a flat-ish baking pan or dish, a freezer, a fork, and 4 hours' waiting time. This is a good overview for how to make granita out of any fruit - take 4 cups of cut-up fruit, a quarter cup of some kind of liquid (lemon juice is the standard, but they say you can use liquor or kombucha, and I bet some kind of tea or even soda may work), a little sugar, and some salt, and whiz it all together in a blender. Pour that into a shallow dish like a baking pan or a casserole dish and stick that in your freezer. A half hour later, take a fork and scrape it around in the freezing liquid, trying to break up any big chunks and mix things up a bit. Stick that back in the freezer, then a half hour later do it again. And then a half hour later do that one more time. Then stick it back in the freezer and leave it for 4 hours.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:41 AM on October 19, 2022

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