Strawberry and Chocolate Ganache Sandwich Cookies (Allergen Friendly)

These Strawberry and Chocolate Ganache Sandwich Cookies are the cutest sweet treat, made even nicer because they are optionally free of the 14 most common allergens. Gluten free strawberry cookies are sandwiched between a dairy-free chocolate ganache with hidden strawberry jam in the middle. Made in partnership with our friends at Enjoy Life Foods.

gluten free nut free cookie recipes

Strawberry and Chocolate Ganache Sandwich Cookies

These Strawberry and Chocolate Ganache Sandwich Cookies are magic! They almost taste like a nut-free macaron and they have an amazing strawberry flavor that is complimented so well with the chocolate ganache. They are coming just in time for Valentine’s Day too–the perfect sweet treat to share on this love-filled holiday. These sandwich cookies are made even sweeter though because they are free of the top 14 most common allergens, including nuts and dairy! That means these little cookies are also school safe–making them the perfect treat to pack away for your kids to share with friends! Or really, just a treat for yourself. You deserve it!

So let’s unpack what’s going on with these cookies: There are two strawberry cookies sandwiched with dairy-free chocolate ganache and a hidden center of strawberry jam that balances the whole thing out.

allergy free cookie recipe

There are a few steps needed to complete this recipe, but there isn’t anything hard to do! We use an electric mixer to make the cookie batter, but this doesn’t take much time. You can use either coconut oil or butter, and we enjoyed both versions equally. You’ll want the coconut oil to be solid at room temperature, and the same with the butter. It only takes a few minutes for the batter to come together, but once it does you’ll need to let it rest for about 10 minutes while the coconut flour hydrates, until it is no longer sticky.

Once it has rested all you need to do to form the cookies is scoop out a tablespoon sized amount of dough, roll it into a ball and pat it out to a 2″ circle on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. We tried a couple of different methods of making the circle completely round but found that patting it out was the easiest. The cookies won’t spread, so don’t worry about spacing them out very far apart and they should all fit on one standard size sheet pan.

soy free cookies

How do you make chocolate ganache

While the cookies are baking you can make the ganache. Making a ganache is simply heating up a milk and pouring it over chocolate! In this case we are using coconut milk and our favorite dairy-feee chocolate Enjoy Life mini chips which melt really easily and create a decadent ganache.

Once the cookies are cooled you’ll pipe a small circle of ganache on half of them, with a little hole left in the center for the strawberry jam to go in. We used piping bags for this, but you can just as easily use a plastic bag with a small hole cut out of one of the corners, or even just place a tablespoons sized amount of ganache in the middle will work.

allergy free recipes

We wanted to make these Strawberry and Chocolate Ganache Sandwich Cookies free of almost of the allergens out there so that they were able to be an inclusive Valentine treat for everyone, regardless of allergies or intolerances. This is especially relevant for school as there can be a lot of restrictions on what can be brought in. And this is why we love the chocolate from Enjoy Life! Enjoy Life baking chocolates are certified gluten-free, free-from 14 common allergens, verified Non-GMO, certified kosher, AND certified vegan and paleo-friendly, which makes them so inclusive for many different types of dietary restrictions. 

This month they’ve also launched the NEW Valentine’s Day Chocolate Minis! They would be a great option to bring into school and are the perfect size to share. They come in Dark Chocolate, Ricemilk Chocolate, Ricemilk Crunch (our favorite), and a variety pack. You can buy them right online here! We’ve been lucky enough to have been snacking on them this week, and they’re delicious! And as you can see below, they are also kid approved!

everything free cookies

Tools we used in this recipe:

If you like this cookie recipe, check out these others:


Strawberry and Chocolate Ganache Sandwich Cookies

Prep Time 00:35 Cook Time 00:12 Inactive Time 01:10 Total Time 1:57 Yields 10 sandwich cookies

Ingredients

For Strawberry Cookies

For Chocolate Ganache:

  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • ½ cup Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips

To assemble: 

  • 1/4 cup strawberry preserves or jam (store-bought or you can make your own here)

Directions

For cookies:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF and line a sheet pan with a silpat or parchment paper.
  2. With an electric mixer, mix the coconut oil (or softened butter) and maple syrup until combined, about 1 minute.
  3. Add vanilla, almond extract (if using) and salt and mix until combined, 30 seconds.
  4. Add in coconut flour, tapioca flour, and strawberry powder. Mix until combined.
  5. Let rest for 10 minutes until the dough has stiffened up slightly (see note).
  6. Scoop out a tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball. Place on the prepared sheet pan and flatten slightly with your fingers to form a 2" circle.
  7. Bake for 12 minutes on middle rack.
  8. Remove from oven and cool completely.

For ganache:

  1. Place Enjoy Life Mini Chips in a small heat proof bowl.
  2. Heat coconut milk until it is very hot (but not boiling) either in a microwave or in a very small pot over a low flame.
  3. Pour over chocolate and shake the bowl to make sure the chips are covered by the hot milk. Let sit undisturbed for 5 minutes. 
  4. Whisk the chocolate and coconut milk together until a smooth ganache is formed (see note). Let it cool at room temperature until it has thickened up and no longer hot, about 20 minutes.

To assemble:

  1. Place the chocolate ganache in either a piping bag or in a plastic storage bag with a hole cut out of the corner of it for piping.
  2. Place half of the cookies with the bottom side up (the tan side). Pipe a circle of ganache on half of the cookies, living a space in the middle. Place a teaspoon strawberry jam in the middle. Place another cookie on top and gently press together.
  3. Best served the day they are made. Store in the refrigerator in a airtight container for 2 days.

Recipe Notes

  1. To make your own strawberry powder simply crush freeze-dried strawberries until they are a powder. We found this easiest to crush the strawberries in a big with a rolling pin. It’s ok if the strawberries are not a super fine powder.
  2. The almond extract enhances the strawberry flavor of this cookie. To make this nut-free omit the almond extract, as it is not essential.
  3. We like to weigh our coconut flour as a measurement that is over or under can make a big difference since coconut flour is so absorbent. So if you have a digital scale at home, use it here!
  4. The cookie batter will seem like thick frosting at first, as the coconut flour needs time to thicken up.
  5. If you'd like to make your own jam, check out this post.
  6. If the ganache isn't coming together it's because the coconut milk hasn't been heated up enough. You can gently heat the whole mixture until the chocolate is melted enough, either over a double boiler or gently in 15 second intervals in the microwave.
  7. If your chocolate ganache ever gets too cold for piping you can gently rewarm it it over a double-boiler or in the microwaves for 10 seconds at a time.
  8. If the cookies are kept longer than a day they will soften up. They're still delicious, just a slightly different texture than when they are freshly made.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

The BEST Gluten-Free Layer Birthday Cake

Lexi’s Clean Kitchen turns FIVE today and to celebrate, we made The BEST Gluten-Free Layer Birthday Cake. Seriously, it’s the best cake ever. It tastes like the real deal cake you’ve been wanting!!!

The BEST Gluten-Free Layer Birthday Cake

The BEST Gluten-Free Layer Birthday Cake

We took my nut-free cake and made it even more amazing. SO if you’re looking for a nut-free cake recipe, go for the two in my cookbook or this July 4th Classic Cake!

Aside from the health benefits of using gluten-free flours in this cake, the combination of almond and coconut flour is so moist and tender! While you do have to cream the butter and sweetener together, this is a relatively fool proof recipe as there is no concern about the cake being tough from over-beating the batter like there is with a gluten flour containing cake. We also use all natural/homemade food dyes, see here!

The BEST Gluten-Free Layer Birthday Cake

I can’t believe Lexi’s Clean Kitchen has been up and running for FIVE whole years.  I truly feel so blessed that this is my job and that all of you trust me with the recipes you feed your family and friends, and yourself! Thank you for trusting me, supporting me, continuing to follow along this journey, and for being a part of  the LCK family. I truly mean it with all of my heart. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Let’s celebrate!

The BEST Gluten-Free Layer Birthday Cake

Tips Tools Needed to Frost a Cake Like a Pro

Now not everyone is going to frost this cake like we did. But if you want to give it a whirl, getting these tools make it easier to get an even and smooth cake!

Use the video as a guide on how to build up the cake. Additionally here are some tips that make it easier to frost a cake:

  1. Temperature matters: Chill your cake layers before assembling, and chill the cake after you have built your layers as it helps keep your cake evenly stacked.
  2. Apply a crumb coat: Frost the cake with a thin layer of frosting that locks in any stray crumbs
  3. To achieve a smooth finish: Once you have finished frosting the cake, chill again for 10 minutes and then heat the bench scraper or off-set spatula with hot water (make sure to dry it off completely) and make one final swoop to smooth it all out.

Video:

Tips to Making Cake Ahead of Time:

  • Make the cake layers and the jam the day before. Once the layers are cooked completely wrap them up or put them in a large airtight container, otherwise they will dry out.
  • Make the frosting and assemble the day of.
  • Cakes keep wonderfully fully assembled in the frige for a few days.

Easy Gluten-Free Birthday Cake

Prep Time 00:45 Cook Time 00:20 Inactive Time 02:00 Total Time 03:05 Yields 6" 3 Layer Cake

Ingredients

For Cake

For Strawberry Filling

  • 2 cups strawberries, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

For Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons almond milk
  • Natural food coloring (follow this guide)

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350ºF and prepare three 6" cake pans by cutting out a three parchment paper circles to fit exactly inside the cake pan. Butter sides and bottom of cake pan and place parchment paper circles inside.
  2. In a heavy duty stand mixer, or hand held mixer, add butter and honey/maple syrup to bowl and cream together until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, blending together after each one.
  4. Add almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and beat on medium for 1-2 minutes until well blended.
  5. Add almond milk, vanilla extract and almond extract and beat on medium for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.
  6. Divide batter into cake pans, about 1 cup of batter each, and bake for 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  7. Let cake cool in pan for 5-10 minutes, and then remove from pan to a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

For Strawberry filling:

  1. In a medium sauce pan place strawberries, honey and lemon juice and turn on heat to medium low.
  2. Cook, stirring frequently, until reduced, about 15 minutes.
  3. Let cool completely before using in cake.

For Buttercream Frosting:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment beat the butter until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add the sugar and mix on low speed until well blended. Increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Add the vanilla and 1 tablespoon of almond milk (or more if needed) and beat on medium speed until lightened in color. 
  4. Add natural food coloring if using and blend.

To Assemble Cake:

  1. Once cake and jam is cooled completely place first layer on serving plate and frost with a thin layer of buttercream. Create a 1/2" dam of buttercream on the perimeter of the cake layer by piping it, or using a offset spatula, to prevent the jam from leaking out of the cake. Top with 2 heaping tablespoons of jam and smooth over.
  2. Add next layer of cake and repeat with layer of buttercream, buttercream dam,  and jam.
  3. Place cake in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes, to let set up and to make frosting cake easier.
  4. Once cake has chilled, add about half of frosting to the top of the cake and using an offset spatula frost cake starting with the top and moving excess down the sides of the cake and smoothing as going.
  5. Decorate as desired with additional frosting.
  6. Cake will keep 3-5 days in refrigerator.

Recipe Notes

  1. We used a combination of maple syrup and honey equal to 1/3 cup together to prevent the cake from taking on the flavor too much of either one.
  2. The butter absolutely must be at room temperature or it will not cream together with the honey. It is always best when making a cake if all ingredients are as close to room temperature (especially eggs and milk) as the cake batter comes together more easily and you get a fluffier textured cake. If the eggs are not at room temperature you can place them in a bowl with warm (not hot) water for about 10 minutes. You can also gently heat up milk using your preferred method (stove top or microwave) to bring it up to room temperature (but make sure it is not hot).
  3. Follow this guide for our post on Natural Food Coloring!
  4. Sprinkles we use: We get them from Whole Foods  because they are artificial food dye free. These are also a decent option.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

Thank you for being a part of the Lexi’s Clean Kitchen family throughout these amazing 5 years. I love you all!!