Gluten Free Restaurant Desserts

If you have Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance, or even gluten sensitivity then, eating desserts outside of your house can be a bit difficult. Well now, it is not as hard as it used to be because so many chain restaurants now have gluten free dessert options.


Houlihan’s has three homemade, ice cream flavors. They are caramel macchiato, chick-o-stick, and raspberry. Plus, their crème brûlée has a rich vanilla bean custard that has caramelized sugar all over the top.

Outback‘s dessert is called Chocolate Thunder From Down Under. It is an extra generous pecan brownie that is crowned with rich vanilla ice cream and drizzled with their classic warm chocolate sauce. To finish it off, they add chocolate shavings and whipped cream. This is simply a chocolate lover’s dream.

Pizza Fusion has a fresh, delicious homemade brownie. That is not only gluten free, but is vegan as well.

Chili’s has a stupendously sweet ending with their chocolate milkshake. A great choice on a hot summer day.

Photo Courtesy of Simon James Kent

Bertucci’sdessert is called Chocolate Budino. It is a rich, creamy, and bittersweet chocolate mousse that is topped off with a generous helping of whipped cream.

Lastly, Carrabba’s dessert is called John Dole. It is Blue Bell vanilla ice cream with caramel sauce and roasted cinnamon, rum pecans.


So,don’t be afraid to have an evening out! Enjoy the sweet treats of your choosing anytime!

Let’s Make a Tropical Ice Cream Sundae

Ice cream sundaes usually come topped with hot fudge, whipped cream and a cherry on top, but this is not the only way to enjoy this popular frozen dessert. When looking for different ways to spice up your ice cream treats, consider taking a walk on the tropical side. The following ice cream sundae recipes incorporate island flavors and fruits:

Tropical Fruit Sundae

Perfect for fruit lovers, this sundae incorporates the flavors of pineapple, coconut, kiwi, and passion fruit.


  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Pineapple chunks
  • Sliced kiwi
  • Passion fruit
  • Coconut
  • Whipped cream

In a sundae dish, add one scoop of vanilla ice cream. Add pineapple chunks, kiwi slices, pieces of passion fruit, and coconut. Top with whipped cream. Optional toppings include chopped nuts and sprinkles.

Tropical Coconut Sundae

Coconut ice cream might not be the easiest ingredient to find, but you can always invest in making a completely homemade dessert. You may also substitute the coconut ice cream for Perry’s Tropical Neapolitan, which offers mango, pineapple and coconut flavors of ice cream.


  • Coconut ice cream
  • Mango sauce
  • Sliced banana
  • Pistachio nuts

Put a scoop of coconut ice cream in a bowl. Add mango sauce and top with slices of banana. For the finishing touch, sprinkle pistachio nuts.

Warm Tropical Banana Ice Cream Topping

When you’re looking for a tropical alternative to hot fudge, consider this island twist on a warm topping.


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 6 ripe bananas (sliced)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 3 ½ tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts

Over medium heat, melt the butter in a skillet. Add the banana slices to the skillet. Stir in the vanilla extract, and cook the ingredients until the bananas turn a golden brown color. Add the coconut flakes and stir. Top with confectioners’ sugar and walnuts. Serve quickly over ice cream.

Grilled Pineapple Sundae

If you love pineapple, then this sundae is right up your alley.


  • 1 fresh pineapple
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (or maple syrup or honey)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Maple syrup

Prepare a fresh pineapple for slicing. Cut the fruit and trim off the rind of each ring. Remove the tough core. Place the rings to the side, and preheat your grill to medium-high.

As the grill preheats, mix the butter, brown sugar, and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Heat the ingredients until they are evenly mixed. The sugar should completely dissolve. This will serve as your glaze.

Brush one side of the pineapple rings with the glaze. Place the rings on the grill with the glazed side down. Brush the tops of the rings with the glaze.

Close the cover of the grill and cook for about 3 minutes (or until the pineapple rings show the characteristic grill marks).

Turn over the rings, and brush with the glaze again. Grill for another 3 minutes (or until grill marks appear on the other side). Remove the pineapple from the grill.

Place one or two pineapple rings on a plate. Add one or two scoops of ice cream to the center. Drizzle with maple syrup, and serve immediately.

Banana Pineapple Sundae

This sundae will satisfy the foodie that enjoys the taste of pineapples and bananas together.


  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 small bananas (firm and sliced)
  • 1 cup cubed fresh pineapple
  • ½ teaspoon rum extract
  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream

Add brown sugar, orange juice, butter and cinnamon to a large saucepan. Bring the ingredients to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, and cook for 2 minutes. Make sure to stir the contents while cooking. Add the bananas and pineapple. Cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes longer. Remove the ingredients from the heat and stir in the rum extract. Top a scoop of vanilla ice cream with the cooked fruit mixture.


Non Dairy Desserts: Part Two

“Non dairy desserts: Part Two” is a continuation of our previous blog post. This time, instead of homemade treats, we’ll introduce you to some prepackaged ones. You can find them in your local grocery stores, health food stores, or in Whole Foods Market. You may have to kiss dairy goodbye, but not the types of treats you are used to enjoying. Having discovered these alternatives to dairy provides people with tasty options for enjoying decadent, creamy foods without the ramifications associated with dairy allergies.


The first option is the Tofutti company. They offer Tofutti Cutie, which are snack sized ice cream sandwiches bars with delicious chocolate wafer cookies. Their flavors are vanilla, key lime, wild berry, chocolate, totally vanilla, and cookies ‘n cream.

They also have Premium Tofutti, which are prepacked pints of non dairy, frozen desserts. The flavors are vanilla, chocolate supreme, wild berry supreme, vanilla almond bark, vanilla fudge, chocolate cookie crunch, and better pecan.

The second on the list is Turtle Mountain. They offer coconut and soy based options. Coconut includes ice cream, sorbet, creamers, yogurts, ice cream novelties, and more. Coconut actually has a nice sweetness all on its own, so it’s a perfect choice to create ice cream. Especially, since milk has a natural sweetness to it from the lactose. As for soy based you have ice cream, ice cream novelties, and yogurts. To be more specific, the brand names go as followed: Purely Decadent, So Delicious, It Soy Delicious, and Sweet Nothings.


Don’t just look forward to these tasty treats. Stop by your local grocery store and pick up a pint or a bar today! Then, you can curl up on your couch and enjoy your favorite dessert all over again.

Non Dairy Desserts: Part One

If you are allergic to dairy you may think that chocolate milk, milkshakes, ice cream sundaes and popsicles are gone forever. Well, I’m here to tell you to “chin up” there are many, many alternatives. Soy, rice, and almond come to the dairy lovers’ rescue.


The company Taste the Dream™ has a sweet, thick, creamy texture and taste. Silk is your chocolate soy milk and Blue Diamond is the chocolate almond milk options. One good shake of the container, pour it into a glass, and you won’t even remember it is not cows’ milk.


You can still have milkshakes, sundaes, and pops.  Here’s how you do it within your very own kitchen.

photo courtesy of Flying Toaster

Take an ice cream maker and place it in the freezer overnight. Then, the next day, take rice or soy chocolate milk along with plain almond milk and whip it together in a large bowl. Now just a little FYI, it might not get as creamy and thick looking as dairy.

Pour the thickened mixture into the frozen ice cream maker and let machine do the rest of the stirring for you. Once it has a velvety consistency, put it in the freezer and leave it for at least two hours. Depending on how soft or hard you prefer your ice cream.

Now, here’s how you make chocolate ice popsicles. Take any shaped container, pour the “mock” chocolate milk in and place it in the freezer for approximately two hours. Then, you have an icicle. You can even make a vanilla, chocolate mixture pop by adding in vanilla rice or almond milk.


I would try out any of these frozen treats even before the summer time rolled around. Believe me, they are that good!

And don’t forget to read Part Two!

Sweet Ideas for Pancakes

Pancakes, also called flapjacks, hotcakes, or griddlecakes, are best known as a popular breakfast food, but with a quick twist of ingredients and toppings – can easily transform into a tasty treat. A sweet batter is used to create the flatbread-like food that is typically cooked on a hot griddle or in a frying pan. In honor of National Pancake Month in February, consider the following sweet ideas for pancakes:

Blintz and Blinis

In Russia, Poland and Ukraine, their version of a pancake is called a blintz or blini. A typical recipe may call for jam, fruit, cottage cheese, or other cheeses rolled into a blintz, which is then lightly fried, sautéed or baked.


In the Netherlands, pancakes are called pannenkoeken, which come in a sweet variety. Slightly thicker than crepes, the pancakes are usually large – measuring 12 inches or more in diameter. An egg-based batter may use fillings, such as sliced apples, candied ginger, and cheese with a thick sugar molasses-like syrup called “stroop.”

photo courtesy of pzado

A crepe is a very thin pancake often associated with France that may include a variety of fillings. Wheat flour is a common ingredient used to make the sweet version of the dish, along with eggs, milk, butter, and a pinch of salt. There are many different variations, including the mille crepe, which is comprised of many layers of the thin pancakes. Crepe Suzette is made with lightly grated orange peel and liqueur (such as Grand Marnier). Cherry Kijafa crepes use a traditional crepe base, but are filled with cherries simmered in Kijafa wine sauce. Strawberries and whipped cream are popular toppings for crepes served in the United States.

Sugar and Spice

Add vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg to your pancake batter to create a sugar and spice combination.

Fruit Toppings

Strawberries, blueberries, and bananas are common fruit toppings for pancakes, but nearly any fruit can elevate the taste. Consider apples paired with a drizzle of caramel; strawberries and a scoop of strawberry ice cream; or peaches soaked in cinnamon sugar.


Substitute your maple syrup for honey as a pancake topping. Drizzle chopped nuts on top.


Whether you add chocolate chips to the batter, decorate as a topping, or drizzle chocolate sauce instead of syrup – chocolate is another fun way to enhance the taste of your pancakes.


You can add flavored yogurt to a pancake recipe to create a semi-thick, relatively moist texture.

International Sweet Treats: Greek Ice Cream

The modern form of ice cream is a relatively new concept, even though treats made out of ice have existed since ancient times. During the 5th century BC, the Greek markets of Athens offered a dessert that combined honey, fruit and snow. Over time, ice treats continued to grow in popularity. For example, the infamous conqueror Alexander the Great took pleasure in feasting upon snow ice mixed with honey and nectar. Today, the recipes of Greek ice cream have evolved to include more complex flavors and textures.

photo courtesy of becco

One of the most unique Greek ice cream selections I’ve come across is Pagoto Kaimaki, known for its distinct taste, which offers an almost crunchy texture due to using mastic-resin as an ingredient. With a strong, slightly smoky aroma, mastic resin comes from a tree and is typically added to chewing gum. Mastic is generally sold in drops of resin that requires a mortar and pestle to grind before using in ice cream. The addition of salepi (flour made out of grinded orchid plant parts) to Pagoto Kaimaki causes the ice cream to thicken and become more resistant to melting.

photo courtesy of gbrink

Other Greek ice cream creations include:

Olive Oil Ice Cream

Can you imagine what an ice cream tastes like that uses olive oil as an ingredient? From Greece and Italy to select restaurants in New York City, using a fruity olive oil to make frozen sweet treats is not unheard of. Common toppings for this kind of ice cream include flecks of sea salt, roasted apricots, sliced strawberries, bittersweet chocolate sauce or a balsamic chocolate sauce.

Pagpto Kataifi Chocolate

This ice cream involves a very fine, shredded phyllo dough pastry that looks like vermicelli or angel hair pasta.

Pagato Krema

To recreate a basic recipe for Greek vanilla ice cream, you will need 2 cups of full fat milk, 6 egg yolks, 1 cup of granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 1 ¼ cup of whipping cream (or double cream). Once made, you can dress up the ice cream with chocolate chips, cookie pieces, or strawberry sauce.

Frozen Sweet Treats: What’s the Difference?

In the past, ice cream was once an expensive and rare treat because it took quite a long time to prepare the dessert before the invention of modern refrigeration was born. Today, ice cream isn’t the only frozen indulgence that satisfies a sweet tooth. We can now choose from a variety of frozen sweet treats that offer an array of ingredients, flavors, and textures, including:

Ice Cream

ice cream dessert
Image Credit: Richard Dudley

Dairy products, such as milk and cream, play a significant role in making ice cream, which comes in fat-free, slow churned, sugar free, and low-fat versions. The variety of fruits, nuts, flavors, and other ingredients livening up our ice creams are endless. From rosewater-flavored selections served at Mashti Malone’s Ice Cream (Los Angeles, California) to inspired blends, like Turkey Hill’s Limited Edition Baked Apple Dumpling, creative minds cease to surprise our taste buds. Ice cream is also used in a variety of delicious desserts – ice cream pies, parfaits, cakes, and other desserts, like the infamous Baked Alaska.

ice cream dessert
photo credit: Michal Zacharzewski

Introduced as a healthier alternative to ice cream, frozen yogurt (also known as ‘froyo’) is made from or contains yogurt and/or other dairy products, which contributes to a lower calorie count. Frozen yogurt possesses a softer consistency and is considered tartier than ice cream. A basic frozen yogurt recipe generally includes milk solids, milk fat, yogurt culture, sweetener, gelatin, corn syrup, coloring, and flavoring. Vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, peach, and other fruity flavors dominate the frozen yogurt market.

Frozen Custard

Similar to ice cream, frozen custard carries a high percentage of butterfat and egg yolk, which creates a thick, creamy texture. This frozen treat offers a much smoother, softer consistency than ice cream. The best place to enjoy frozen custard is at a modern stand or facility, where the treat is prepared fresh. It’s usually hard to track down frozen custards in a grocery store. Standard flavors include chocolate and vanilla with the occasional unique blend – often touted as a ‘flavor of the day.’


The Italian version of ice cream is called gelato – a frozen dessert typically consisting of milk, cream, sugar, and natural flavorings – most often fruit and nut purees. This traditional sweet treat usually delivers a bolder flavor and contains about 3% less fat than ice cream. Often served in a small glass dish or paper container, popular gelato flavors include chocolate, pistachio, coffee, egg custard, strawberry, raspberry, and lemon.


A range of sorbets is found in restaurants and grocery stores – a frozen treat consisting of sweetened water flavored with frozen fruit juice or puree. Wine, liqueurs, and chocolate can also play a role in the creation of sorbet. While ice cream uses dairy products with an abundant amount of air whipped in, sorbet differs in its composition – allowing a dense and fuller flavor to emerge in this non-fat or low-fat dessert. Popular flavors of sorbet include key lime, mango, and coconut.


Sherbet offers a refreshing frozen blend of sweetened fruit juice and water. Sometimes, sherbet contains egg whites, gelatin, and milk, but usually only a small amount. The sweet treat possesses a lighter consistency than ice cream and is known for its vibrantly fruity flavors. Raspberry, orange, lime, and lemon represent standard sherbet flavors. Tropical blends, such as pineapple, mango, and coconut are also available. Pair orange sherbet with vanilla ice cream to create a dazzlingly traditional combination.

Italian Ice

Not to be confused with an Icee or flavored shaved ice, Italian ice actually undergoes the same process as ice cream – mixing ingredients and pouring them into a batch freezer. This frozen dessert is comprised of concentrated syrup flavoring or natural fruit purees. Cherry, lemon, orange, and blue raspberry are popular flavors of Italian ice, which is typically served in small cups or tube-like containers.

Thanksgiving Desserts: Caramel Apple Tarte Tatin Recipe

This recipe is courtesy of Coombs Family Farms.

3/4 cup Coombs Family Farms 100% pure organic maple syrup
1 T water
4 T butter, chilled
2 T heavy cream
6 T butter melted
1 cup sugar
4 golden delicious apples, peeled, seeded and quartered
1 box puff pastry dough, cut into an 8” circle
Vanilla ice cream

Caramel Apple Tarte Tatin
photo courtesy of Coombs Family Farms
Pre-heat oven to 350 F

To make caramel sauce:
In a small pot, combine maple syrup and water. Without stirring, heat over medium high heat until syrup boils and turns to a dark brown. Remove from heat and stir in butter and cream. Be careful as the syrup may be hot and may splatter with the addition of the butter and cream. Pour mixture into an 8-inch cake pan.

To make apple filling:
In a medium bowl, combine sugar, butter, and apples. Place apples in heavy baking pan, over syrup mixture. Place puff pastry circle on top of apples; prick with fork. Bake for 25 minutes or until apples are tender. Remove from oven and carefully remove puff pastry. Set puff pastry aside. Put baking pan (with apple mixture) over medium heat and simmer until the juices have completely evaporated. Watch constantly so it doesn’t scorch.

To finish the tarte tatin:
Put puff pastry back on top of apples and flip pan onto large round platter. Remove pan. Slice and serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

About Coombs Family Farms:
100% pure maple has been a way of life at Coombs Family Farms for seven generations (since 1840). Since 1988, Coombs Family Farms has produced certified organic maple syrup. A champion of small family farming, Coombs Family Farms also sources 100% pure organic certified maple from other small, independent farmers who share the Coombs commitment to quality, environmental stewardship, and sustainable forestry management. To learn more, please visit or view their videos on Youtube.