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Paleo Desserts: a hit and a miss

March 19, 2011

People seem to be quite impressed with how we’re keeping it together on this Paleo diet (eating meat and veggies, then veggies and meat, day after day).  Truth be told, by week two we were dying for a treat.  It wasn’t a craving for sugar as much as it was wanting to eat something snackish, that was NOT meat, fish, vegetables, fruit or nuts.  You know what I’m talking about…that urge to nibble on something “bad” after a tough day at the office (or even a good day).

Once I got the idea of making a “Paleo dessert” in my head, I couldn’t think about anything else.  I went on a mad search scouring websites and cookbooks for a “dessert” that was safe, yet satisfying.  Sadly, that’s how I spent my Friday night.  Talk about desperation.

I found two recipes posted by other Paleo bloggers that intrigued me.  One was a huge success.  The other, a complete and utter disaster.  Let’s save the best for last.

Paleo Flourless Chocolate Cake

I’m begging you to never try this at home!  When I first pulled it out of the oven it looked fluffy and promising.  Seconds later, it started to collapse and I grabbed my camera just as the shrivelling process began…

The shrivelling continued until I was left with this mess…

I’ve made a lot of sugar-free/fat-free desserts in my life and most have a strong resemblance to cardboard.  This cake was spongy-er and moister than usual and we have the eggs to thank for that.   Although, the taste test didn’t go over so well.  Feeling optomistic, I took my first bite then my gag reflexes kicked in when I struggled to swallow.  Keith on the other hand, braved his way through the first piece.  The fact that it looked like chocolate cake was good enough.  Within 5 minutes he was ready for his second piece, then finished off the cake a few days later .

The person who originally posted this recipe stated “this tastes great after the first couple of days in the fridge. It needs time to settle together.” They were right.  The shriveled up loaf goes from vomit-inducing to almost edible by the second day.  If you’d like to see for yourself, here’s the recipe


  • 1 cup sugar-free cocoa powder (which is healthier than you think!)
  • 1/4 cup water or orange juice or coffee (I used water which was mistake #1)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons honey (I did not add any sweetener, but in hindsight it may have made the difference)
  • 6 eggs divided


  • Mix all ingredients except the egg whites.
  • Fold the egg whites in at the end.
  • Cook in a 350 degree oven for about 35-45 minutes.
  • Optional: add a thin layer of “ganache” to up the chocolatey flavor if you wish by combining 75-90% chocolate with some water and drizzle on top.  I did not do this.

I really want to believe that two tablespoons of honey would salvage this recipe, but I’ll need to decide whether I want to risk wasting another 6 perfectly good eggs for potentially another disaster.


Pseudo Paleo Pumpkin Pie

The flourless cake turned me off of baking for the night, but by the following morning I recovered and was back in the kitchen to attempt this.  It was the highlight of my week and [mom, cover your ears] it might just be one of the best pumpkin pies I’ve ever had.   I don’t even really like pumpkin pie and I couldn’t keep my hands off this!

Howver, there is a tiny problem with this recipe; as you’ll notice, this pie isn’t 100% paleo because I used agave (which is essentially fructose).  It’s a little better if you use raw honey, but I didn’t have any on hand.



  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 4 tablespoons melted organic grass-fed butter (I used coconut oil in place of butter, since we have to avoid dairy)
  • pinch of sea salt


  • 1 – 14oz can of organic pumpkin puree (nothing added, just pumpkin)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup raw organic honey (I used a 1/4 cup agave)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Place the nuts in a food processor and process until the nuts are a flour like consistency.
  3. Pour into a small mixing bowl, add the butter (oil) and salt and mix into a thick dough.
  4. Using your hands, spread dough evenly into a pie pan and bake for 10 minutes.
  5. While the crust is in the oven, whisk all of the pie filling ingredients together.
  6. Pour onto the crust after it has been baked for 10 minutes and return to the oven for additional 45 minutes.

Pumpkin Pie

I think the little brown specs are from the cloves that didn’t mix in well, but who cares what it looks like.  It tasted incredible!

This was the last slice Keith and I had to fight for and ultimately split into two itsty bitsy slivers.

I’ll be making this again shortly  without any sugar (for our last few days of the Paleo diet!).  I’ve accepted that it won’t be as good as the original, but I’m also confident that it will no be nearly as bad as the flourless chocolate cake.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 31, 2011 1:55 am

    Loved your pumpkin pie! I am also following the Paleo diet and have been searching for some sweet treats, this sure hit the spot! Thanks for a great recipe!

  2. Stevedave permalink
    March 29, 2011 9:11 am

    I must say, that shriveled chocolate cake was not my favourite. 😉
    But I heard you tried an alternative recipe and it turned out fantastic. You should post that one!

  3. Tal Riff permalink
    March 25, 2011 3:18 pm

    Looks awesome! Will definitely try it as I am a huge pumpkin pie fan and am also craving something “bad”!!
    Looks like I won’t be able to make the seminar tomorrow as I’m coming down with something… 😦 I’m counting on you to take good notes!!! 🙂

    • March 28, 2011 4:16 pm

      Darn! I was hoping I could come to you for notes because I missed the seminar too:( Had a wedding shower and birthday party out of town. Maybe next time. Did you see Robb Wolf on Wylde on Health?


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