I love Cinco de Mayo, especially these gluten-free Cinco de Mayo desserts but truthfully, we rarely celebrate it on May 5 or only that day. I mean the actual day that Cinco de Mayo falls upon is often not convenient for celebrating and one day is … well, sooo limiting!
Still, several of these desserts are fairly “instant” if you want to wait to make them on Cinco de Mayo. Others you can make over the next several days.
Some of these recipes can truly be made at the last minute and they are all delicious and perfect for Cinco de Mayo. Or any time you need a special dessert, for that matter.
Gluten-Free Cinco de Mayo Desserts
~ Churros from Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom ~ gluten free, vegetarian, with dairy-free option
(Heidi describes these as “basically deep-fried cinnamon sugar donut sticks.” Yum!! Heidi’s son faux-fainted when he saw them and readers rave over them. For example, “These are SO good! My kids didn’t even realize they were gf!”)
p.s. You could also make Churro Cupcakes from Let Them Eat Gluten-Free Cake!
~ Dairy-Free Dulche de Leche from In Johnna’s Kitchen ~ gluten free, dairy free, egg free, vegetarian
(“Made with only one ingredient, dairy-free and with virtually no hands-on time needed!” Use your Instant Pot or Crockpot.)
~ Individual Flan Cheesecakes from A Few Shortcuts ~ gluten free, vegetarian
(The creamy caramel goodness of flan combined with the wonders of cheesecake—in perfect individual portions.)~ Margarita Cupcakes from In Johnna’s Kitchen ~ gluten free, dairy free, egg free, vegan
(From one of Johnna’s cooking students: “These cupcakes were fantastic! I did not have time to make the frosting, so I just sprinkled with powdered sugar and everyone loved them. They had no idea they were gluten free. My mother, an avid baker, could not believe that there were no eggs in the batter. You have to try these! Another awesome recipe from Chef Johnna!”)~ Margarita Mousse Bars from Simply Quinoa ~ gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian
(Alyssa says: “Soft and pillowy, the topping of these bars is infused with just a little bit of tequila … and tons of lime. Just imagine a sip of your favorite margarita, then picture in brownie-like form.”)~ Mexican Chocolate Avocado Mousse from Cook Eat Well ~ gluten free, grain free, dairy free, egg free, paleo, primal, vegetarian
(“This Mexican chocolate avocado mousse is creamy and decadent, with a hint of cinnamon and a little bit of heat. It’s an easy treat when you’re craving something chocolate.”)~ Mexican Chocolate Smoothie from Go Dairy Free ~ gluten free, grain free, dairy free, egg free, sugar free, paleo, primal, vegan
(“This chocolate smoothie is full of cinnamon, spice, and everything nice! Cayenne pepper adds a little kick, while a ripe frozen banana provides plenty of sweetness.”)
~ Mexican Chocolate Coffee Cake from The Paleo Mom ~ gluten free, grain free, dairy free, paleo, primal, vegetarian
(The baking time for this rich chocolate cake is what will eat up most of your time. So be sure to plan accordingly.)
~ Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream from Elana’s Pantry ~ gluten free, grain free, dairy free, egg free, vegan
(This creamy chocolate ice cream with a bit of a kick does take some cooling time, so factor that into its “instant”ness.)
~ Mexican Chocolate No-Bake Cookies from Chocolate-Covered Katie ~ gluten free (be sure to use certified gluten-free oats and certified gluten-free oat flour), dairy free, egg free, with refined sugar free options, vegan (Update: Skip the oats for right now. Recent testing results of oat products—even certified gluten-free purity protocol oat products—show that consuming “gluten-free” oats right now is like playing Russian roulette with gluten.)
(Think Mexican Chocolate Cookie Dough. Who will you blame for all your missing dough?)
~ Mexican Cocoa (Spicy Hot Chocolate) from Premeditated Leftovers ~ gluten free, egg free, vegetarian
(I’m sure dairy-free milk would work just fine in this recipe.)
~ Mexican Dessert Tacos from Predominantly Paleo ~ gluten free, grain free, dairy free, paleo, primal, with egg-free, vegan, AIP options
(This recipe is Jennifer’s version of the cold, creamy Choco Tacos she used to love back in the day. Her nutrient dense re-creation is every bit as delicious as the original treat.)
(Use Lea’s mix with your favorite milk—and coffee or espresso if you like—to create your own custom Cinco de Mayo Hot Chocolate!)
~ Mexican Hot Fudge Sauce from Gluten-Free Goddess ~ gluten free, dairy free, egg free, vegan
(What could be easier and more wonderful than this luscious hot fudge sauce from Karina?)
~ Mexican Mocha No-Bake Cookie Balls from Tasty Yummies ~ gluten free, grain free, dairy free, egg free, sugar free, vegan
(Beth says: “These are a nice little sweet treat, with just a little hint of a coffee and spice kick, which are extra added bonuses.” Your food processor does most the work with this recipe.)
~ Mexican Wedding Cookies from Elana’s Pantry ~ gluten free, grain free, dairy free, egg free, refined sugar free, paleo, primal, vegetarian
(These cookies are simply too good to only make at Christmas time. They’re Cinco de Mayo happiness without margaritas or beer, let me tell you!)
~ Paleo Margaritas from Worthybar via Against All Grain ~ gluten free, grain free, dairy free, egg free, paleo, primal, vegan
(Danielle’s brother uses high-quality tequila (100% agave), fresh lime juice, and his homemade honey syrup to create these liquid sensations.)
~ Quick and Easy Caramel Flan from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures ~ gluten free, grain free, vegetarian
(Lynn uses ready-made caramel ice cream topping to add to the ease of making her pretty and delicious flan.)
p.s. Need an egg-free version of flan? Try this recipe from Unconventional Baker.
~ Spicy Hot Chocolate from City | Life | Eats ~ gluten free, grain free, dairy free, egg free, refined sugar free, vegan
(I personally love this recipe! The spiciness makes for a delicious cup of hot cocoa.)
~ The Only Margarita You Will Ever Need from Celiac in the City ~ gluten free, dairy free, egg free, vegan
(The secret ingredient in this recipe has surprised me and others. Sarah says it adds a nice smoothness to the margaritas!)
~ Tres Leches Cake from Art of Gluten-Free Baking ~ gluten free, vegetarian
(Jeanne says it best: “Prepare for ooohs and aaahs from everyone who eats this cake!”)
Salud! Hope you enjoy your gluten-free Cinco de Mayo desserts and the festivities overall!
Originally published May 5, 2014; updated May 1, 2023.