Part one of this article includes cookie, cake, bread and pie recipes. For brownie, fruit, candy and ice cream recipes, check out part two.
As a fitness writer, I spend a lot of time telling people what not to eat. When they ask me what they should eat instead, my answer is mostly “vegetables.” And I realize that’s not very fun.
So here’s a fun one for you- fifty delicious paleo dessert recipes. All of these recipes are gluten-free, eschewing regular flour in favor of stuff like almond, and coconut flours. Most of them are strict paleo, although a few are primal, meaning they contain some dairy. Many are also vegan, and many are egg- and nut-free.
They’re all lower in sugar than regular, non-paleo desserts, but how much lower varies a lot. A few of them are nearly sugar-free, but most are still sugary enough that they should be reserved for cheat meals. And of course, they’re all great for impressing your friends.
Quick disclaimer about the title: I mean that you can cook one of these recipes today. Please do not cook fifty desserts in one day.
Okay, maybe you can have two.
Paleo Cookie Recipes
These pumpkin cookies use gluten-free coconut flour, and the pumpkin puree gives them a soft and fluffy texture. Add in eggs, cinnamon and nutmeg, and you have an incredible fall treat that’s more filling than most dessert items.
These almond flour truffle cookies provide a rich combination of salty and sweet ingredients for a one-two flavor punch right to your taste buds. Parent-tested, child-approved.
Made with coconut oil, palm sugar, tapioca flour, and dairy-free chocolate chips, this delicious cookie is carefully designed to leave out all of the most common allergies and food intolerances- other than eggs, anyway. And it’s as easy as they come- mix it up, pop it into the microwave, and eat.
One of the simplest and healthiest recipes on this list, these cookies only use four ingredients: butter, almond flour, sweetener, and lemon zest. The use of non-caloric sweeteners also makes this one recipe low-carb- ideal as an occasional treat for people on a fat loss or insulin control diet.
With a coconut flour base, and raw honey for sweetness, these cookies are easy to make and relatively low in sugar and high in fiber. Oh, and delicious- pairs well with almond milk.
Made with a mixture of coconut and arrowroot flour, this has the distinction of being the only recipe on this list with an ingredient I had never heard of before. What the heck is arrowroot? Apparently it’s a South American medicinal herb that used to be used to treat poison arrow wounds- but now you can make gingerbread men out of it. Winning.
I’ve never seen apple spice cookies before, but I like apple pie and I love cookies, sooo…. This recipe doesn’t even use any kind of flour substitute- it’s able to get the texture and consistency of a cookie with just almond butter, honey, baking soda, salt, and an egg.
This recipe combines three of my favorite things- brownies, cookies and almond butter (which can be used in place of peanut butter). That’s just…that’s not even fair, Sally.
Paleo Cake, Cupcake and Bread Recipes
Baked with almond, coconut and tapioca flours, sweetened with maple syrup, and flavored with vanilla extract and cinnamon, these cupcakes are perfect for someone who’s new to gluten-free baking. Or, you know, loves chocolate but also loves being healthy.
This single-serving miniature cake somehow manages to come in at 140-205 calories (depending on which ingredients you use), which is about one half to one third of what you’d get from a similarly-sized non-paleo pastry. Disclaimer: takes closer to five minutes to make.
Paleo banana bread with a cinnamon-chocolate frosting- what’s not to like? Plus it has a creamy, buttery texture which it gets from….well, butter actually. Lots and lots of grass-fed butter. Plus there are bananas in there somewhere.
This pumpkin bread recipe is low in sugar and intended as a breakfast item. I prefer higher-protein, low-carb breakfasts, but this would certainly be alright as one component of a healthy breakfast (along with meat and veggies). If you want to turn it into a dessert, you could add a little more honey and some chocolate chips.
Another pumpkin bread recipe. Why? Because I love pumpkin bread. It’s seriously my favorite food in the whole world, and one of my mom’s signature recipes, and I only wish I had realized years ago that it could be made healthy. This recipe looks pretty close to how my mom makes it, so I’m sure it’s amazing- just add some chocolate chips and you’re good to go.
What the hell? Yes, it’s a chocolate “lasagna,” and yes, it’s paleo. This three-layered dish consists of an oreo cake, topped with a chocolate pudding, topped with whipped cream. And there’s zucchini in there somewhere.
A paleo pumpkin donut made with coconut and almond flour, flavored with honey, cacao and maple syrup, and sprinkled with bacon bits. I think it’s safe to say that humanity has finally reached the pinnacle of donut technology.
Paleo Pie Recipes
Had to start with this one, obviously- made with healthy almond, chia and coconut flours, fresh apples, and flavored with a variety of spices, this is the perfect paleo version of a timeless American classic.
This pie uses dates and applesauce for a healthy, fruity filling, and the pecans are roasted and chopped to further express their flavor. There’s also rum, but the best part of this recipe is the photo of the authors two young boys- both of whom are allergic to pecans- looking mad that their mom made a dessert that she can’t share with them.
I would never, ever have imagined that there was a dessert item with spinach in it, but here it is. Although according to the article, it’s a variant on an old recipe that was intended as a second course, rather than a dessert. And that makes sense, because this pie is very low in sugar, even by the healthy standards of this article.
This pie is both paleo and vegan- made with plant-based gelatin and fresh blueberries, lemon juice and almonds. Honey and coconut milk are used to make a dairy-free whipped cream substitute- an ideal treat for someone on a strict diet.
This pie uses avocado to create a paleo, vegan filling; apparently though, you don’t taste the avocado, and the whole thing tastes more like lime sherbet than anything else. Oh, and there’s a coconut macaroon crust, making for a clever pair of contrasting flavors.
Paleo and vegan, made with coconut cream, arrowroot starch, and cashew butter, this recipe is pretty healthy- but of course it still has rum. Can’t make bananas foster pie without rum. The visual presentation is nice too- this is a good option when you want to impress people at a dinner party.
The crust is made with honey and coconut flakes. The filling is made with avocados, coconut, chocolate and more honey. And then there’s a maple syrup chocolate fudge sauce. And she’s not kidding about how creamy it is either- just look at that photo. *drool*
For more paleo dessert recipes, including brownies, candy and ice cream, read part two of this article.