Gluten Free Strawberry S’mores Parfaits

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This recipe for Gluten Free Strawberry S’mores Parfaits combines silky vegan chocolate pudding, gluten free graham cracker crumbs, and toasty marshmallows for a decadent no-bake summer dessert!  The parfaits are easily portable and the small batch recipe can be adjusted to accommodate any serving size.

Gluten Free Strawberry S’mores Parfaits

Add these gluten free strawberry s’mores parfaits to your list of s’mores options!  We are all familiar with the beloved summer s’mores.  And while it is hard to beat a classic, the s’more does lend itself to some creative variations on dessert.

For example, how about taking all of the flavors and combining them into a toasty s’mores truffle?  Or adding in a juicy summer berry that pairs perfectly with all of the flavors in a s’more? 

This easy recipe deconstructs the classic even more, and adds in the bright and juicy fruit to make an impressive dessert!  And if you love a pretty summer fruit parfait, you must check out the peach mousse trifle, coconut milk peach panna cotta, and the black forest chia pudding parfait

Gluten free strawberry s'mores parfait in a glass on a table

Here is what to expect with the pretty layered dessert:

  • Fresh Strawberries – And I mean fresh.  No added sugar, and certainly no frozen strawberries!
  • Silky Chocolate Pudding – The pudding is silky creamy, and would you believe it is also vegan?!  You can also try the parfait with the full on dairy chocolate pudding recipe if you prefer!
  • Creamy Marshmallow Cream – Seems redundant, but a little coconut cream makes the melted marshmallows even creamier.
  • Graham Cracker Crumbs – The gluten free graham cracker crumb layer adds so much texture and flavor.
  • No-Bake – After all it is summer, so who doesn’t love a dessert that doesn’t require the oven!  
  • Easy and Portable – We all want to be outside, at the pool, or at a BBQ in the summer.  These parfaits come together so easy, and they can easily be transported.  Just like the no-bake cherry cheesecake parfaits or the gluten free raspberry peach cheesecake cups!
Top view of strawberry smores parfait with toasted marshmallows

What You Need To Make Gluten Free Strawberry S’mores Parfaits

Ingredients

  • Fresh Strawberries – Fresh strawberries are the only way to go with this layered summer dessert!
  • Graham Crackers – You can use gluten free graham crackers, or regular graham crackers.  Your choice.
  • Marshmallows – I prefer the large marshmallows because they melt and toast well, and they are a prettier presentation on top of the parfait.
  • Cocoa Powder – My preference is Dutch process cocoa powder because I don’t find it as acidic as natural cocoa powder.  And, it has a more robust cocoa flavor.  However, you can use natural cocoa powder as well.
  • Tapioca Flour – The tapioca flour is what thickens the pudding.  Depending on the brand, it can also be called tapioca starch.  Corn starch and arrowroot starch/flour will also work.
  • Carton Coconut Milk – My go-to carton coconut milk is So Delicious.  Because it is so creamy and doesn’t taste have a strong coconut flavor.  Be sure to get unsweetened since we are adding our own sweetener.
  • Canned Coconut MilkUnsweetened canned coconut milk is what we use, and we are only using the coconut solids/cream from the can.  The coconut cream is what makes this pudding silky and creamy.
  • Pure Maple Syrup – I love using maple syrup for it’s rich buttery flavor.  And it has a lower glycemic index.  However, you can substitute in any sweetener of choice.
  • Vanilla Extract – For flavor!
  • Salt – Balances out all of the flavors and sweetness of the pudding.

Kitchen Equipment

  • Medium Heavy Duty Saucepan – I always recommend heavy duty saucepans, especially when making pudding.  They distribute heat evenly and keep the food from burning in spots!  Completely worth the investment!
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Serving Glasses
  • Kitchen Torch – I have (affiliate) linked the kitchen torch I use in the recipe.  It works wonderfully to toast marshmallows.  And you don’t have to turn on the oven!

helpful Tips For Making Gluten Free Strawberry S’mores Parfaits

  • Use fresh strawberries – You can’t have juicy strawberry slices without a fresh strawberry!
  • Refrigerate the can of coconut milk overnight – This causes the coconut solids and liquid to separate.  We are only using the coconut solids from the can.
  • Use unsweetened canned and carton coconut milk – For one, we are adding our own sweetness.  And two, sweetened coconut milk (or cream of coconut) is what they use to make Pina Colada’s, and are not the same product as unsweetened canned coconut milk.
  • Stir the cocoa powder and tapioca flour with liquid first – Before you start to heat your pudding ingredients, stir the cocoa and tapioca with the wet ingredients prior to get them fully incorporated, and remove any lumps.
  • Do not over cook the pudding! – Otherwise, it will set up too firm (like jello).  Heat it until is the consistency of yogurt.  It will set up even more when refrigerated.
  • Chill the pudding – Even though this pudding seems to thickens quickly, time in the refrigerator will help it set to the right pudding consistency for a layered dessert.  Think, pudding cups from your childhood …
  • Adjust the serving size and assembly method as you like – This is an extremely versatile no-bake summer dessert.  Meaning, you can assemble the parfaits however you prefer, and you can use as much (or little) of the graham cracker crumbs, marshmallow cream, and strawberry slices, as you like!
  • Add a little coconut cream to melt the marshmallows – The coconut cream is what makes the melted marshmallows more creamy.  Otherwise, melted marshmallows have a tendency to cool back to their original firmness.
  • Be careful toasting the marshmallows – ALWAYS toast the marshmallows on a heat-proof metal baking sheet.  And, move the torch around the marshmallows for even toasting, and to avoid burning!
Two gluten free strawberry smores parfaits in serving glasses on a table

Common Questions for Making strawberry s’mores parfaits

Can this recipe be doubled?

Yes! This recipe is easily doubled.

I don’t have tapioca flour. What can I use instead?

Corn starch or arrowroot flour will work to thicken the pudding.

You normally put eggs in your pudding recipes. Why not this one?

Eggs do give pudding a luxurious and silky texture. However, this pudding is just as creamy and I wanted to give vegan pudding a try!

Can I substitute a different sweetener for the maple syrup?

You sure can. Just taste the pudding as you go and adjust the sweetness to your preference.

Do I really have to let the pudding chill before making the parfaits?

I do recommend chilling the pudding. A few hours in the refrigerator will help the pudding set up so it is able to be layered in this dessert.

Where can I find gluten free graham crackers?

I provided two links in the notes of the recipe for gluten free graham crackers. I think any grocery should carry at least one brand of these.

Is is necessary to melt the coconut cream with the marshmallows?

I like to add a little of the cream to help loosen the marshmallows, and make them creamier when layered in the parfait. You can omit the cream and just melt the marshmallows. Just be aware that they will firm up eventually.

What can I use the extra canned coconut milk for?

You can make a smaller batch of whipped coconut cream, black forest overnight oats, or caramel banana overnight oats. Or, if there is not much left, use it in a smoothie.

I don’t have a kitchen torch. Is there another way to toast the marshmallows?

You could try toasting them on a metal baking sheet under the broil setting of your oven. Just keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.

Single serving of gluten free strawberry smores parfait in a serving glass
Strawberry smore parfait on wood tray
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Strawberry S’mores Parfait

Yield: 2 Servings
This recipe for Gluten Free Strawberry S'mores Parfaits combines silky vegan chocolate pudding, gluten free graham cracker crumbs, and toasty marshmallows for a decadent no-bake summer dessert!  The parfaits are easily portable and the small batch recipe can be adjusted to accommodate any serving size.
Prep20 mins
Chill4 hrs
Total4 hrs 20 mins

Equipment

Ingredients

Vegan Chocolate Pudding

  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, Dutch process
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons tapioca starch/flour - cornstarch or arrowroot flour also work
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened carton coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup - or any sweetener of choice
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened canned coconut milk, full fat - refrigerated overnight; only using the coconut cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch salt

Marshmallow Cream

  • 10 to 14 large marshmallows - more or less depending on how much you want to make
  • 1 tablespoon coconut cream - from the can of coconut milk

Gluten Free Graham Crackers

    Fresh Sliced Strawberries

      Instructions

      • Refrigerate the can of coconut milk overnight. This causes the coconut solids and liquid to separate in the can. We are only using the coconut solids from the can. Save the leftover coconut cream to make Whipped Coconut Cream, or put into smoothies.

      Vegan Chocolate Pudding

      • In a medium (heavy duty) saucepan with the heat turned off, add the cocoa powder, tapioca flour, carton coconut milk, and maple syrup. Whisk until the dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed in and free of lumps.
      • Turn the heat on the stove to medium. Add the coconut cream to the saucepan and heat the pudding until it starts to thicken and bubble. This may take 3 to 5 minutes. You want the consistency to be like yogurt. Be careful not to over-heat or the pudding can turn out too thick and firm.
      • Remove the pudding from the heat. Stir in the vanilla and salt. At this point, you can strain the pudding through a fine mesh strainer if you see any lumps. Or, transfer the pudding to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap – with the wrap directly touching the pudding. This will keep a skin from forming.
      • Refrigerate the pudding for at least 4 hours to set fully, or overnight.
      • When ready to assemble the parfaits – Slice about 8 to 10 strawberries (the amount and size of slices is up to you), Crush about 2 to 3 whole sheets of graham crackers to crumbs (the amount and consistency is up to you), and make the Marshmallow Cream. Note – A link for the gluten free graham crackers is in the recipe Notes.

      Marshmallow Cream

      • In a microwave safe bowl, add 10 marshmallows and 1 tablespoon of coconut cream (from the can). Heat for about 15 seconds, or until the marshmallows start to melt. The marshmallow cream will be loose when it is hot, but will start to thicken as it cools. Allow the cream to cool for a few minutes before assembling the parfaits.
      • To assemble the parfaits – Add a couple tablespoons of graham cracker crumbs to your serving glasses (or bowls) first; cover with equal amounts of pudding (start with about 1/4 cup); top with marshmallow cream, then strawberry slices. Repeat.
      • Finish each parfait with toasted marshmallows and a strawberry slice on top. Tip – To toast marshmallows with a kitchen torch, toast about 4 to 6 marshmallows on a metal baking sheet, then transfer to the top of the parfaits with a spatula. Enjoy!
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      Notes

      • Gluten Free Graham Crackers – A few options for gluten free graham crackers:  Pamela’s Gluten Free Graham Crackers or Kinnikinnick Gluten Free Graham Crackers.
      • Toasting Marshmallows with a Kitchen Torch – The small torch is great for toasting marshmallows easily.  Always toast the marshmallows on a heat-proof surface, like a metal baking sheet.  
      • Strawberry and Graham Cracker Quantity – For reference, I used 2 whole graham crackers and about 8 strawberries for the parfaits in the photo.  Use as many as you prefer when making your parfaits.
      • Vegan Marshmallows – You could swap regular marshmallows for vegan marshmallows.  However, I’m not certain how well they will melt or toast.
      Course: Dessert
      Cuisine: American
      Author: Erin Cernich

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