With the focus on high-quality meats and fresh fruits and vegetables, Paleo diet recipes, which mimic what our ancestors ate thousands of years ago, provide a terrific way of eating for people struggling with gluten or eliminating processed foods. There’s just one problem: Sadly, our ancestors didn’t know the wonders of dessert.
Luckily, eating like a caveman no longer means forgoing after-dinner treats. Whether you’re into sweet, savory or just plain delicious, these Paleo desserts are the best way to finish off any meal — the icing on your (Paleo) cake.
22 Paleo Desserts
The boxed cake favorite goes grain-free. You’ll love that this light and airy cake uses ingredients you probably already have on hand, like egg whites, coconut sugar and arrowroot flour.
A carrot cake loaf without any grains? You’d better believe it! This moist “bread” goes perfectly with tea or coffee. Best of all, it comes together in just one bowl in five minutes, perfect for entertaining on the fly. Top with grass-fed butter or a drizzle of honey and devour.
These crazy good bars taste just like pumpkin pie but are much better for you. In fact, they’re healthy enough to enjoy as Paleo desserts or snacks. Packed with warm spices like antioxidant-rich cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, along with maple syrup for natural sweetness, these coconut flour bars are sure to be a new favorite.
Have an abundance of zucchini growing in the garden? Put it to good use with this chocolate chip zucchini bread. Using a ripe, mashed banana adds moisture and sweetness to this yummy bread, while mixing in a half dozen eggs ensures each slice is loaded with protein. Best of all, you likely have everything on hand to make this Paleo dessert now.
Hazelnut flour is the key to this insanely tasty tart. The filling is made with just a handful of ingredients — coconut milk, maple syrup, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and, my favorite, coconut oil — but it’s packed with flavor. And did I mention this is a vegan, no-bake Paelo dessert?!
Intimidated by making doughnuts? Try your hand at these little guys instead. Coconut and almond flours make up the base while pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin puree bring the flavor. But it’s the cinnamon and coconut sugar topping that will win you over and make it hard to stop eating.
Five ingredients, 10 minutes to prepare and not an oven in sight — these coconut bars are a win even before tasting. But once you do, get ready. These bars are seriously addictive. If you’re feeling adventurous, try adding dark chocolate chunks to push this Paleo dessert over the top.
No gluten, no dairy, no grains, no sweat. These are one of the easiest — and delicious — brownies you’ll make. There’s no stirring or mixing involved. Just add your seven ingredients into a blender, puree and bake. You won’t believe how decadent these taste.
Everyone knows the best part of making cookies is “testing” the dough. Now you can enjoy it in all its glory without the risk of salmonella. Tapioca and almond flours, dark chocolate, vanilla, honey, and grass-fed butter are all it takes to prepare the best cookie you’ll never bake.
If you’ve ever thought vanilla cake is too, well, vanilla, prepare to have your mind blown. Using fresh vanilla pods along with a raw cashew, honey and lemon filling mean this fiber-rich cake is brimming with flavor. You could use this cake as a base and add more to it, but when a Paleo dessert packs this much punch, it’s totally unnecessary.
Another boxed favorite turned much better for you (and tastier!), this banana pudding is the stuff of dreams. I love how simple it is to make and how easy it is to customize. Top with your favorite nuts for healthy fats, garnish with sliced berries or sprinkle on cinnamon.
Sometimes nothing but a giant cookie will do. There’s no need to turn on the oven or share when it comes to this Paleo dessert. Coconut and almond flours bring the fiber, while a scoop of protein powder and your favorite nut butter add a whole lot of (you guessed it!) protein. Add in your favorite cookie mix-ins, like nuts or dairy-free chocolate chips, for a cookie your body will thank you for eating.
13. Lemon Bars
Traditional lemon bars are so good, but that sugar high comes with a subsequent crash. That’s not the case with this Paleo-friendly version. Using honey instead of refined sugar keeps things sweet without throwing your blood sugar out of whack, while using coconut flour in the crust makes it perfectly crunchy. Make an extra batch because these will go quickly.
This skillet cake comes together in just minutes, but it tastes like you’ve been prepping for hours. The coconut milk and coconut oil give this a buttery taste, but if you’re lactose intolerant, no worries — this Paleo dessert is dairy-free. Mix pantry staples in a bowl, pour into a greased skillet and slide into the oven for a foolproof cake.
It’s hard to believe these snowball cookies have no flour in them when you see and taste them. But that doesn’t mean they have no flavor. These no-bake balls are bound together with Medjool dates, pecans and shredded coconut, with vanilla extract and sea salt packing a punch as well. These are a terrific treat to bring to a potluck or to nibble on guilt-free.
Gluten-free crepes?! They’re real, and they’re delicious. A combo of coconut and arrowroot flour keeps the “dough” smooth, while fresh strawberries and coconut sugar make up the fruity filling. Topped with a coconut whipped cream, serve this Paleo dessert when you’re ready to impress.
Get in a serious dose of healthy fats with these peppermint patties. Coconut butter, coconut oil and shredded coconut pack a hefty dose of it, but more importantly, when they’re mixed with cacao nibs powder and peppermint extract, they taste like a better-for-you version of your favorite peppermint treat. Plus, when an ingredients list includes two pinches of love, how can you go wrong?
Apple crumble has nothing on this strawberry variety. It’s the perfect Paleo dessert to make when your sweet tooth strikes unexpectedly. I love that the crumble topping is made from almond flour, coconut oil and maple syrup. You won’t miss the grains at all.
Fancier than muffins, tasty enough to go without frosting, coffee cake is the jack-of-all-trades of the dessert world, and this pumpkin version doesn’t disappoint. With nutritious ingredients like pumpkin and coconut oil, it’s just as easy — and tastes just as good — as pumpkin pie. Serve it at your next family gathering!
Though this Paleo dessert isn’t a true custard (it lacks milk), it tastes good enough that you won’t mind. The mixture of pumpkin and sweet potato purees gives this a soft, creamy texture, along with a dose of potassium and vitamins. This would make a fantastic Thanksgiving alternative to pumpkin pie, but don’t wait until then to try it.
Making a cheese-less cheesecake that tastes great takes some work, but boy is this worth it. The crust is perfectly crumbly and seasoned to perfection. The filling is dairy-free, and thanks to the secret ingredient (I’m not telling!), it’s actually good for you. And the strawberry topping? Let’s just say you’ll want to eat it on everything.
22. S’mores Bars
Camping isn’t necessary to enjoy these s’mores bars. With a grain-free graham cracker crust, fudge Paleo brownies and a homemade marshmallow fluff, this dessert is worth the extra steps. Every piece of this dessert is delicious on its own, but when combined together, the final product is absolutely stellar.