There are some desserts that many of us feel nostalgic about. These are the kinds of desserts that we grew up with. Desserts that we remember waiting for the exact moment when we were allowed to eat them, whether it was waiting for JELL-O or pudding to set or anticipating the moment when the savory food at a barbecue was finished and it was time to crack out the marshmallows and roast them over a fire. As tasty as those desserts are they include one ingredient, gelatin, and there are a lot of other desserts out there that use it. Gummy candies, Rice Krispie treats, puddings of all kinds, and even some cheesecakes include gelatin in their list of ingredients. If you’re including more plant-based foods in your diet, you might think that that means these desserts are off the table. But, fear not — we can have them all, without the gelatin. Woohoo!
You can find gelatin-free marshmallows and gummy candies in stores, it’s easy to make thick, creamy vegan pudding, and you can use agar agar to make jiggly jelly desserts. If you’ve never heard of it, agar agar is a mix of carbohydrates that comes from seaweed. In most recipes, you can substitute gelatin for agar agar powder (not flakes) on a 1:1 ratio.
But, if you’re unsure about doing the guesswork yourself, then we’ve already picked out some recipes for you to try! Try these 15 recipes that are gelatin-free!
1. Marshmallow Cream Cake
You light,don’t need gelatin to make light, fully marshmallowy texture and this Marshmallow Cream Cake is proof! It’s not your typical raw vegan cream cake. It has more substance than most but without the heaviness thanks to the addition of chia seeds. Light, fluffy, and subtly sweet, this colorful cake’s texture is as impressive as it is delicious.
2. Almond Joy Pudding With Cookie Dippers
Recreate the delicious flavor of Almond Joy chocolate with this Almond Joy Pudding With Cookie Dippers! Simply combine coconut and almond milk, sprinkle some crunchy almonds and chocolate chunks, and crumble some cookies for layers of sweet, sweet happiness. The pudding is thick and creamy without the need for gelatin and the cookies are perfectly crispy. Make sure to keep some cookies intact for dipping!
3. Kyauk Kyaw: Burmese Coconut Jelly
Kyauk Kyaw is a Burmese jelly dessert that’s completely gelatin-free! Instead, it uses agar agar to achieve a jelly texture. This coconut kyauk kyaw is a simple, refreshing treat that uses only five ingredients. Serve it chilled for a bite of something sweet and cold on a hot day.
4. Raspberry Pudding Pops
These Raspberry Pudding Pops will cure your raspberry craving without the gelatin! Blending raspberries with non-dairy milk and cashews results in dreamy, creamy pudding pop deliciousness that’s perfect for dessert, breakfast, or a pre-workout snack! All it takes is a blender and some patience while waiting for the pops to freeze.
5. Dim Sum Mango Pudding
Dim Sum Mango Pudding can be found at Chinese restaurants, but the traditional recipe calls for gelatin and cream. This recipe substitutes the gelatin for agar agar, an ingredient made from seaweed that’s used in several East Asian jelly desserts, and the cream is replaced with coconut cream. This refreshing and easy dessert is great for hot summer days and nights.
6. Raw Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake
Some cheesecakes call for gelatin to achieve that light, creamy texture. Not this Raw Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake! If you love peanut butter cups, you will literally swoon over this. It starts off with a crunchy base of dates and almonds, then cashews and cacao powder come together to make a dense but velvety filling, and finally it is topped with peanut butter cups and PB drizzle. Decadent is an understatement.
7. 3-Ingredient Coconut Avocado Mousse
This 3-Ingredient Coconut Avocado Mousse is super simple to make, totally delicious, and requires no gelatin. Full of healthy fats to support the nervous system, it’s super creamy, but not too heavy. You can have it for breakfast, but it can also be a great healthy, sugar-free treat.
8. Rosemary Lemon Sandwich Cookies
These Rosemary Lemon Sandwich Cookies are stuffed with a gelatin-free lemon curd that’s so good, you’ll want to make it again and again. The cookies are sweet, buttery, lemony, and infused with rosemary, giving them an herbal note that’s perfect for pairing with tea.
9. Raspberry and Dragon Fruit Mousse Cake
These Raspberry and Dragon Fruit Mousse Cakes are an amazing dessert experience. Melt-in-your-mouth and sweet, with a dark chocolate drizzle, they get their amazing mousse-like texture, not from gelatin, but from cashews and their flavor from fresh, juicy dragon fruit and raspberries. You’ve got to try it to believe it. Healthy and flavorful — what’s not to love here?
10. Rice Krispie Treats
Many of us grew up with Rice Krispie Treats — those light, fluffy, and crispy bars of goodness make by combining crisp rice cereal with marshmallows. Unfortunately, most marshmallows contain gelatin, but you can make your own, gelatin-free version at home! These Rice Krispie Treats taste phenomenal, with the buttery richness of the macadamia nut butter and the sweetness of brown rice syrup.
11. Raw Swedish Princess Cake
Sweden’s beloved cake gets a raw makeover! A princess cake is a Swedish dessert consisting of a layer of sponge cake, a layer of pastry cream or custard that are often made with gelatin, and a thick layer of whipped cream all surrounded by a layer of green marzipan. The sponge cake in this Raw Swedish Princess Cake is light and fluffy, made from coconut and almond flour and is covered with sweet strawberry chia jam, a layer of vanilla custard, whipped coconut cream, and raw marzipan.
12. Coconut Caramel Panna Cotta
This Coconut Caramel Panna Cotta is the perfect balance of sweet and salty. The base is a combination of coconut and date caramel which is then topped with a chocolatey nut crumble and drizzled with more caramel. Silky, sweet, nutty.
13. Filipino Maja Blanca With Coconut Latik
Typically served at holidays and parties, Maja Blanca is a Filipino dessert made mainly of coconut and sweet corn. Even though it has a jelly-like texture, this delicious pudding is gelatin-free! It’s light yet rich, creamy, and sweet.
14. #5under5: Chocolate Strawberry Jam Mousse Pie
This Chocolate Strawberry Jam Mousse Pie is what dessert dreams are made of. It’s creamy and chocolatey, smooth and velvety, and it doesn’t contain an ounce of gelatin. The base is a standard flour crust which is then topped with a silky chocolate mousse (that you would never suspect was formerly a flavorless block of tofu). While a chocolate mousse pie is pretty amazing in its own right, this dessert takes it to the next level by making homemade strawberry jam and tucking it in the middle. Mmm…
15. Triple Layer Peanut Butter Cup Pretzel Krispies Bars
These Triple Layer Peanut Butter Cup Pretzel Krispies Bars are an amazing combination of pretzels and crisp rice cereal (no gelatin here!), peanut butter cup filling, and a rich chocolate glaze. They’re like decadent little bites of heaven! Though there are three separate layers, each takes just a few minutes to make — most of the time spent on these bars is in the waiting for them to cool down.
Have you tried making your own gelatin-free desserts? Tell us all about it in the comments!
Lead image source: Coconut Caramel Panna Cotta