Gluten is the general name for proteins found in wheats, and is commonly found in everything from pastas, breads, cereals, beers and baked goods. And if you're gluten-free, it can be challenging to avoid all the sugary, bread-based desserts that dominate the market today. So what to do when a sugar craving hits? We've got you covered -- here is a breakdown of gluten-free desserts that will satisfy your sweet tooth:

Chewy Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

close up of chocolate chip cookies on a cooling rack

After decades of flour-heavy recipes, cookie lovers around the world can enjoy this classic dessert without having to disrupt their diets. Better yet, you won't detect any hint of the gritty, sand-like texture that many gluten-free cookie recipes tend to have, thanks to some outside-of-the-box ingredient ideas, including using cream cheese and xanthan gum. This recipe produces cookies with such smooth centers and perfectly crisped edges, you would have no idea they were gluten-free without first being told so.

Caramel Apple Crisp

apple crisp in red pan on wood background

How often do you find a dessert recipe that is warm, gooey and yet still free from gluten? Introducing a gluten-free take on caramel apple crisp, the cozy treat that never fails to inspire the spirit of autumn no matter what time of the year it actually may be. This recipe combines classic ingredients such as old-fashioned oats, cinnamon, brown sugar and chopped pecans with gluten-free flour blends and a caramel drizzles to create a dish that is as innovative as it is delicious.

Opera Creams

opera cream bars on white background

Perfect for foodies that want something beyond the traditional cookies and cakes, this recipe for opera creams combines flaked sea salt, chopped pistachios and bitter dark chocolate to create a kaleidoscope of flavors and textures. Next time you need a dish for, say, a fancy potluck dinner, this sophisticated treat is sure to come in handy.

That's not all that makes this recipe stand out from the rest. With a plate of these opera creams on the dessert table, there will no need to fret about your waistline -- they come in at an amazingly low 60 calories per square. Combine that with the fact that they don't demand any oven time whatsoever, and you've got a new go-to dessert recipe on your hands.

Almond Joy Cupcakes

cupcakes with coconut toppings

Let's face it, as unhealthy as it may be for us grown-ups, nothing exemplifies childhood fun quite like candy bars. They're sugary, simple and a nostalgic reminder of good times. Fortunately, you can now satisfy this craving without having to throw nutrition out the window entirely thanks to this almond joy cupcake recipe.

Whether you're a mom planning a kid's birthday or just someone who loves a good throwback, these cute cakes will satisfy your candy craving. As if this wasn't enough, the ingredient list manages to remain gluten-free without requiring any expensive or hard-to-find flour substitutes, making the baking process easier on your bank account.

Meringue Wreath

white and red meringue wreath on bright blue background

Not only is this lush meringue wreath a tasty treat -- it can also serve as a centerpiece worthy of any wedding table. With only a handful of easy-to-find ingredients and a short prep time, you can whip up a batch in mere minutes And by using cornstarch, these tasty treats stay gluten-free.

Mini Cheesecakes

mini vanilla cheesecakes on wood background

Just about everyone loves a good cheesecake -- including people with dietary restrictions. For those of us that aren't lucky enough to be able to comfortably ingest just anything (or who would just prefer not to), this is the perfect recipe: delicious and gluten-free single-serving cheesecakes.

Preparation for these adorable cakes is simple. The high-protein crust requires only four ingredients: almond flour, sugar, butter and lemon zest, and the filling is comparably simple. Without all of the hassle that full-sized dishes can bring (aka, long periods of rigorous oven-checking), you're free to get as creative as you want with each muffin tin-sized cheesecake.

Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies

close up of sugar cookies with pink frosting and sprinkles

Sugar cookies are iconic for their pastel-colored frosting and unrivaled cakey texture. Now, parents can recreate these favorite cookies at home, without the added glutens that make the store-bought variety inaccessible for some. Thanks to new gluten-free cake flour blends, less than an hour of work can produce homemade cookies that could pass as the original. Think this sounds too good to be true? Believe it or not, they happen to be vegan and dairy-free, too.

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