A dessert charcuterie board, bursting with gluten-free sweets and treats, is perfect for Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day, Engagement Parties, Bridal Showers, Anniversaries, and any time you want to celebrate love!
A charcuterie board is more precisely a meat and cheese board with accompaniments. In the United States, a very loosely applied interpretation has developed to mean any board loaded with food. From breakfast charcuterie boards to dessert charcuterie boards, anything goes with this far-from-literal definition.
Once you make one, you’ll understand why. They are so fun to put together. Once you see how easy it is to create a stunning and delicious Valentine’s dessert board, you will catch yourself planning a traditional gluten-free charcuterie board or dessert board for every party!
There are two parts to this simple Valentine’s Day charcuterie board recipe: 1) choose beautiful Valentine’s treats and 2) assemble them into an artful display.
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Sweet Inspiration for Your Dessert Board
What to include on your gluten-free dessert charcuterie board… The possibilities are endless. Check out this list of some of the amazing gluten-free sweet treats you can buy or make to cover your board.
From the actual board to the food, hearts are the theme of the day. Add a few of the following heart-shaped ideas:
- Heart-Shaped Charcuterie Board No worries if you don’t have a heart-shaped board. Any tray will do, from a gorgeous wooden board or a marble slab to a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Heart-Shaped Bowls
- Candy Conversation Hearts: This heart-shaped candy is a classic Valentine’s day sweet. According to Spangler Candy, its Sweethearts Conversation Hearts are gluten-free.
- Heart Sugar Cookies: For the gluten-free cookies pictured above, I started with my recipe for Christmas sugar cookies, used heart cookie cutters, dipped the cookies in melted Nestle chocolate chips and added some sprinkles.
- Heart-Shaped York Peppermint Patties: Look for gluten-free on label when you purchase.
- Gluten-Free “Rice Krispies” Treat Hearts (cut out with heart cookie cutters). Kellogg’s Rice Krispies contain malt and are not gluten-free. Choose a brand that is labeled gluten-free, such as Malt-O-Meal Crispy Rice, which ironically does not contain malt.
Red, Pink & White Sweets
Fill your board with colorful red, pink, and white treats. Here are some gluten-free options:
- Betty Crocker Sprinkles: Valentine’s Day sprinkles are the perfect way to dress up simple vanilla or strawberry gluten-free mini cupcakes or any sweet treat. Most Betty Crocker sprinkles are labeled gluten-free.
- Pink Chocolate Covered Strawberries. Of course, you can’t go wrong with dark chocolate-covered strawberries either. You’ll find options for both in this Easy Valentine’s Day Chocolate-Covered Strawberries Recipe
- Visit your local gluten-free bakery. If you are lucky enough to have a gluten-free bakery within driving distance, stop by and pick up a few Valentine’s Day-themed baked goods and cut them into bite-sized pieces. I found strawberry rugelach at Modern Bread & Bagel in Woodland Hills, CA (which also has an NYC location).
- Donuts: Katz sells mini strawberry donuts, mini jelly donuts, and donut holes. The latter are often readily available in the freezer section of local grocery stores.
- Delizza Gluten-Free Creme Puffs
- Homemade Valentine’s Desserts: For inspiration, check out this round-up of Gluten-Free Valentine’s Desserts, including rose macarons and strawberry truffles.
Chocolate is a must for this holiday of love. Anything chocolate, covered with chocolate, or with chocolate in the middle belongs on a Valentine’s Day charcuterie.
- Nestle Chocolate Chips: Use dark, white, and milk chocolate morsels, gathered in a bowl or grouped around your board to fill in any open spaces. Look for gluten-free on the label.
- Gluten-free Brownies: Bake gluten-free brownies from a mix and cut them into bite-sized pieces.
- Goodie Girl Mint Slims: These cookies taste just like Girl Scout Thin Mints, but are gluten-free.
- Glutino Chocolate Covered Pretzels
- See’s Candies Chocolates that are made in its factories do not contain gluten ingredients. Please read See’s important disclosure regarding a handful of items that are made in outside factories. I’m partial to the salted dark chocolates with caramel filling.
- Delizza Gluten-Free Mini Eclairs
- Mini Chocolate Muffins
- Hershey’s Kisses, Hugs & Conversation Chocolate: Look for gluten-free on the label, as these varieties are currently gluten-free, but not every flavor of Hershey’s Kisses is gluten-free.
Visit the Go Gluten Freely Valentine’s Day Candy post for more gluten-free chocolate and candy ideas.
Red and Pink Fresh Fruit
- Cream Cheese Caramel Dip: This recipe is creamy cheesecake meets caramel dip! It always disappears.
- Chocolate Sauce
- Caramel Sauce: Trader Joe’s carries a fabulous caramel sauce that is labeled gluten-free.
- Strawberry Sauce
- Chocolate Hummus
- Marshmallow Fluff
Savory & Salty
I made this board for a gaggle of tween girls who just wanted sweets. Depending on your crowd or other items you have on the menu, you can add some savory & salty items to balance out the sweets:
- Cheese is a legitimate dessert in Europe, and is a great addition to a Valentine’s charcuterie. Choose one or two of your favorite varieties. I’m partial to soft cheese, such as goat cheese with a drizzle of honey.
- Gluten-Free Crackers: I highly recommend you purchase crackers in-store, and not online, to minimize breakage for a beautiful presentation.
- Gluten-Free Pretzels
- Nuts: While nuts are naturally gluten-free, they are a product that is often processed on the same lines as gluten-containing ingredients during packaging. Nuts.com is an excellent source of gluten-free nuts. Wonderful Pistachios are another gluten-free option.
There are more savory ideas in this post: How to Make an Easy Gluten-Free Charcuterie Board.
How to Build Your Dessert Charcuterie
You’ll love how simple it is to put together this delicious charcuterie board to together. It’s such an easy way to make your Valentine’s Day dessert next level. Let the fun begin!
Start with larger items: dips, any items in bowls, and cheese (if you are including cheese on your board).
Arrange them around the board, creating visual balance.
Odd numbers are ideal. As pictured, 3 is perfect for a medium charcuterie board. One is fine on a small charcuterie board for date night. 5-7 works well for a very large board. There should be plenty of empty space to fill with all the other goodies.
Cut any larger baked goods into small pieces.
Fan your baked goods around the board, similar to fallen dominoes or a river. Crackers are also good to add at this time, as they similarly occupy the space like a river. Cookies and crackers can also be stacked or grouped together on their side to fill a gap.
Strategically place sweets next to items of a different color or form, to create visual interest with varying colors and textures. It’s becoming a work of art!
Start to fill in large spaces with bright fruit, adding even more Valentine’s Day color.
Fill in any remaining spaces with the rest of the ingredients, the smaller items such as chocolate, candy, nuts.
Gently shift items around, tweaking and nudging things over until you are satisfied with your work of art and labor of love!
Snap a photo of your beautiful board and then enjoy! Happy Valentine’s Day!
Related Valentine’s Day Posts and Recipes:
- Gluten-Free Valentine’s Day Ideas, New Recipes & Party Crafts
- The Best Gluten-Free Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas
- Gluten-Free Valentine’s Candy
- Easy Valentine’s Day Chocolate-Covered Strawberries Recipe
Gluten-Free Valentine’s Day Dessert Charcuterie Board
- 2-3 Sweet Gluten-Free Dips: cream cheese caramel dip, gluten-free caramel dip, chocolate hummus, honey, gluten-free marshmallow dip/sauce
- Variety of Gluten-Free Valentine's Baked Goods (ready-made or homemade): mini cupcakes, brownie bites, gf crispy rice treats, Katz donut holes, Delizza gf mini eclairs, mini muffins, cookies (see notes)
- Variety of Pink & Red Fruits: fresh strawberries, raspberries, sliced red apples & pears, dragon fruit, lychee
- Variety of Valentine's Candy and Chocolate (labeled gluten-free): Spangler's candy hearts, Hershey's conversation hearts, heart-shaped York Peppermint Patties, Nestle chocolate chips, See's Candies chocolate, Glutino chocolate-covered pretzels
- Variety of Savory and Salty Items (optional): nuts, gluten-free pretzels, gluten-free crackers, cheese
- Arrange dip bowls, platters holding small items such as candy, and (optional) cheese in separate areas of the board, for visual balance.
- Cut any larger baked goods into small pieces. Fan some of your baked goods and (optional) crackers around the board, similar to fallen dominoes. Place the remaining baked goods in groups around the board to create contrasting areas of color and texture.
- Start to fill in large spaces with fruit, adding pops of red and pink for visual appeal.
- Add the remaining ingredients (nuts, candy, chocolate) to fill in any open spaces. Gently shift items around as desired, until you are satisfied with your work of art.
- Heart-shaped cookie cutters
- Betty Crocker Valentine Sprinkles (check the label for up-to-date gluten-free status)
- Frosting (colored pink with food coloring)
- Melted Nestle Chocolate Morsels (labeled gluten-free)