The holidays are upon us and the Christmas candy is out in full force in stores everywhere. Because the Halloween and Valentine’s Day gluten-free candy lists are so popular (and useful!) to readers, I started compiling a Christmas candy list for you last year (2016). Like the others, I will update this one each year.
Note: this list is not all-inclusive but I’ve tried to make sure the top Christmas candies and treats are here, including mainstream brands as well as a few specialty allergen-free candies, too.
I’m sharing links to websites and vendors where I can for your convenience. These are NOT sponsored links and I do not receive compensation for suggesting products to you here, but some products do contain Amazon affiliate links.
Also, keep in mind this is not a list of “healthy” treats. Use your own discretion when consuming sweet treats and note some of these contain artificial ingredients like color and flavor, so check those labels out first to make the best decision for your special diet.
Always remember to carefully read labels and check sources for any candies or other foods before consuming them on your special diet as manufacturers can change ingredients and production methods at any time without notice.
2017 Gluten-Free Christmas Candy List
Gingerbread House Kit – A and J Bakery
- Top 8 Free & Gluten-Free
- Available Sept. 1 through Dec. 24
- Get the details and order link here
- Pre-baked holiday cookies and graham-style crackers also available
You can see my review of this product here.
Gingerbread Cookies and Ginger Snaps
- A and J Bakery – Gingerbread men cookies – 6 pack
- Enjoy Life Foods Gingerbread Spice Soft Baked Cookies – in select stores and here online
- Mi-Del Ginger Snaps
- Lucy’s Ginger Snaps
- Pamela’s Products Simplebites Mini Cookies – Ginger Snapz
- Mary’s Gone Crackers – Ginger Snap Cookies
- How to Make a Paleo Gingerbread House – this is a Kindle book by Rebecca Gilmour and I thought those of you on a paleo diet may find this useful. I have not reviewed it.
*New Addition* for 2017 – Advent Calendars!
The advent calendar has been a tradition in our home for over two decades. We have purchased the ones with chocolates, tiny gifts and even made our own some years. I even give them at Thanksgiving to family and friends as fun gifts to get into the holiday spirit.
Here are a few gluten-free (and some other free) advent calendars you might like:
- Albert’s Advent Calendar – gluten-free & peanut-free (the most affordable choice available via Amazon)
- Albert’s also offers a 2-pack of gluten-free, peanut-free advent calendars here. It’s a slightly better deal if you need two calendars.
- Moo Free – gluten-free, vegan, soy-free & organic (more expensive, but a great option if you’re in need of all that free like I am!)
- Trader Joe’s – For the ultimate bargain, those $0.99 advent calendars you see at Trader Joe’s (while they last!) are not listed as gluten-free, but I did want to share the ingredients with you in case you’re wondering. You can read about the calendar, the ingredients and nutrition info here.
The Hershey Company
It’s easy to find their gluten-free items on their Dietary Needs page for US products. There is a (short) list for Canadian products at the bottom of the page, too.
Dark Chocolate Filled Kisses with Mint Truffle and Filled Cherry Cordial Crème Kisses, both are gluten-free.
Remember, The Hershey Company produces Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, which are gluten-free, however, the Reese’s Seasonal Shapes (like Christmas trees) are listed as NOT GF!
Note: UPDATE for 2017 – Candy Cane Kisses ARE listed as gluten-free now on the Hershey’s website! (Thanks to Jasmine for pointing this out!)
One of the more difficult in the past to navigate in terms of which products are gluten-free. Because of this, I email or call for the most up to date information from Nestle each year.
The company states their products will be fully labeled for the presence of gluten or gluten containing ingredients. They encourage consumers to contact Global Headquarters to inquire about the gluten content of their products.
Via email, the company made this statement to me regarding gluten-free offerings (this response is the same as previous year, and was restated 9 Nov. 2016 by a representative from the company via email):
“We consider “gluten free” to mean no gluten ingredients are in the product, whether directly added, or potentially present due to cross-contact. In other words, if a product label has an allergen advisory statement such as “made on equipment” or “facility that also processes wheat etc… “, we do not consider that product to be gluten free. It is important to always read product labels/packaging for the most accurate information.”
I received another email from a different representative letting me know the GF list was updated 26 Jan. 2016 (this is the first time since 2011!!). I received one in the mail.
There are many GF offerings from Nestle, but I’m only listing the candies on the list and the Christmas-related items here. For baking products, please see my Gluten Free Guide to Popular Holiday Baking Ingredients.
These items are listed as gluten-free on the mailer I received from Nestle:
- Butterfinger Bars – fun size, singles, share pack (Bites, Minis, Cups and seasonal shaped Butterfinger products are NOT GF!!)
- Sweet Christmas Morsels (Red & Green)
Supplies brands like M&Ms, Dove, and Milky Way. According to the company, they no longer maintain a gluten-free list (like the one Hershey provides). Instead, Mars makes this statement (sent to me via email 10 Nov. 2016):
“The ingredient statement on each wrapper is the best source for this information. The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network advises consumers to rely on ingredient labels, not lists that can become outdated when products change.
Please feel free to contact us at 1-800-627-7852 if you have any specific product questions.”
Mars states their policy on allergen labeling here.
As for products from Mars that are gluten-free, plain M&Ms candies are usually gluten-free, but still read the label on each bag, as these can be manufactured in different facilities and may bear an allergen statement regarding wheat or other allergens.
Seasonal candies can also be produced in various facilities, so the same goes for those.
Pretzel and Crisp M&Ms contain gluten and are NOT gluten-free.
Other Candies (non-chocolate)
You can read on the Tootsie Roll website that all of their products are gluten-free, but for seasonal/holiday candies, I did reach out to the company for confirmation about those special products, just in case. Here’s what they said:
“We are delighted to be able to inform you that, at this time, all of our confections are gluten free. We do not use wheat, barley, rye, oats, triticale, spelt or any of their components and that includes our dusting on our conveyor belts. We do use corn and soy products in the manufacturing of our products.”
They produce the Lifesavers® Sweet Storybooks for Christmas as well as Candy Cane Peppermint Lifesavers.
According to Wrigley:
“All U.S. Wrigley chewing gum and confection products have been assessed to be gluten-free with the exception of the products listed below, which contain ingredient(s) derived from wheat or are made on shared equipment that also processes products with wheat and may contain trace amounts of gluten.
Accordingly, these products are labeled as containing wheat-derived ingredients:
Altoids® Smalls® Peppermint Mints (contains wheat maltodextrin which is stated in the ingredient line)
Lucas® and Skwinkles® Branded Candy Strips (contains wheat flour and wheat fiber which is stated in the ingredient line)
If your sensitivity extends to other types of gluten or if you are extremely sensitive to gluten sourced from wheat, rye, barley, oats or cross-bred hybrids, then you may want to consult with your physician prior to consuming our products.”
Gourmet jelly beans and candy corn – according to the company website, “Jelly Belly jelly beans are gluten free, peanut free, dairy free, fat free and vegetarian friendly.”
Jelly Belly beans are also made in a peanut-free factory, according to the website (peanut butter flavor was retired some time ago).
About gluten specifically, Jelly Belly’s website indicates:
“All flavors of Jelly Belly beans are free of gluten. We do not use any wheat, rye, barley, or oats in the basic recipe for Jelly Belly jelly beans. The modified food starch listed on the package is cornstarch.”
About products besides the beans, Jelly Belly’s website indicates:
“We make over 150 different candies and a few of our products use gluten-containing ingredients. These items include Chocolate Malt Balls, Chocolate Deluxe Mix, Seasonal Malt Balls, Licorice Bridge Mix, and Licorice Pastels.”
Candy Canes and Peppermints
Red Bird Peppermint Puffs (and other flavors of “puffs”) have always been gluten and allergen-free; these are the “soft” sugar peppermints in sticks and “puffs”.
Candy Canes, as well as Dum-Dums, Saf-T Pops, and Circus Peanuts are gluten-free and free from the top 8 allergens according to the company website.
Bob’s Candy Canes
Jelly Belly Candy Canes
Starburst Candy Canes
Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses (the white and red peppermint ones) are NOT gluten-free.
According to their website, all See’s confections are gluten-free. They list detailed allergen information on their site for all allergens. At See’s you will find brittle, toffee, lollipops, chocolates and more.
Beverages & Syrups
The Republic Of Tea Gingerbread Cuppa Cake Rooibos Red Tea – certified gluten-free and no caffeine, no sugar, no carbs, no calories
Jordan’s Skinny Syrups Sugar Free Gingerbread Flavor – gluten-free and low-carb