Heal your body AND enjoy a sweet treat with this collection of 40+ amazing AIP desserts… from “chocolate” cookies and cake to homemade candies, pies, puddings, and more!
AIP stands for the Autoimmune Protocol. You may have heard it called Autoimmune Paleo, too, but it means the same thing.
Basically, the AIP diet supports healing of the immune system and gut from autoimmune conditions or inflammatory diseases.
It accomplishes this mainly by removing inflammatory foods from our diet so the body has a chance to heal (source).
Inflammatory foods include gluten, grains, dairy, eggs, nuts, seeds, refined sugar, beans and legumes, nightshades, seed-based spices, and additives. Notice that many of these foods are also common allergen foods like gluten, dairy, eggs, peanuts (legumes), corn (grains), nuts and seeds (sesame seeds).
AIP Baking Ingredients To Avoid
Don’t worry, there are plenty of baking and dessert ingredients that you can enjoy and bake with it comes to eating AIP!
However, you do have to eliminate some common ingredients because they are known to cause inflammation and slow healing during the Autoimmune Protocol.
Remove the following foods from your AIP desserts:
- Grains and pseudograins like wheat, oats, corn, sorghum, spelt, buckwheat, barley, millet, quinoa, rice, rye, amaranth, etc.
- Dairy including butter, ghee, cheese, cream, yogurt, etc. (note there is some discussion in the AIP community that cultured grass-fed ghee is indeed permitted and allowed on the AIP diet, but please do your own research and check with your healthcare provider)
- Beans and legumes like peanuts, chickpeas, white beans, black beans, etc.
- Eggs including chicken, duck, etc.
- Nightshades including potatoes, tomatoes, goji berries, etc.
- Nuts and seeds including almonds, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pistachios, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, poppy seeds, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, etc.
- Refined sugars like cane sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, corn syrup, etc.
- Seed-based and pod-based spices like allspice, anise seed, cloves, nutmeg, fenugreek, cardamom, star anise, fennel, caraway, black pepper, cayenne, chili powder, etc.
- Cocoa and chocolate
- All low quality vegetable oils like canola (rapeseed), grapeseed, safflower, sunflower, etc.
- All additives like guar gum, xanthan gum, carrageenan, nitrates/nitrites, sulfates/sulfites, MSG, etc.
AIP Substitutions To Use For Desserts & Baking
If you'd like to make your favorite recipe AIP-friendly, consider swapping out certain ingredients for compliant ones!
The following ingredients are the most common AIP ingredient substitutions:
- Replace butter or ghee with palm shortening, coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, animal fats, etc.
- Instead of cocoa powder, use carob powder.
- Instead of nutmeg and allspice, use spices like cinnamon and ginger.
- Replace all-purpose flour, spelt flour, einkorn flour, and/or all-purpose gluten-free flours with cassava flour, tigernut flour, or coconut flour in combination with arrowroot starch or tapioca starch.
- Instead of sugar or brown sugar, use maple sugar, maple syrup, coconut sugar, honey, dates (like Medjool dates) or molasses.
- Instead of eggs, use gelatin or “gelatin eggs”.
- More additions that are not as common but can be used in dessert recipes are coconut yogurt, coconut kefir, coconut water kefir, collagen and produce like sweet potatoes, pumpkin, squash, zucchini, apples, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, citrus, mangos, melon, watermelon and peaches.
Whether you’re looking for a classic recipe like “chocolate” cake or cookies… or you want to try something new like frosted NYC black and white cookies, we've got you covered with a collection of over 40 delectable AIP dessert recipes!
All of the AIP desserts included are Paleo, grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free, so I haven't noted these dietary categories below. However, I have noted that some of the recipes are also GAPS-friendly, Keto, Low Carb, and/or vegan.
Image courtesy of Grass Fed Salsa.
Healthy “Chocolate” Banana Cookies — Whether for treats or snacks, you’ll love how fast and easily the batter for these AIP cookies comes together… with no added sweetener!
“Chocolate” Chip Cookies — Love cookies? Try this “chocolate” chip cookie recipe that uses cassava flour instead of coconut! It’s so good you’ll forget it’s free of soy, nuts, grains, dairy, and chocolate!
The Best Gluten Free “Chocolate” Chip Cookies — No unhealthy fats, refined sugar, or common allergens here! These awesome cookies are made with tigernut flour and arrowroot starch for the perfect “flour” base. Substitute with carob chips for AIP cookies!
NYC Black and White Cookies (Vegan) — Known as Half Moon Cookies, these nostalgic NYC style black and white cookies have a soft, cake-like base with fluffy chocolate and vanilla frosting on top!
Bacon Chocolate Chunk Deep Dish Skillet Cookie — Bacon, chocolate and deep dish cookie?! Such indulgence!
Ginger Cookies — These gingersnaps taste like the real deal. Crunchy, warming, and just a little bit sweet. The perfect AIP Christmas cookie!
Christmas Cutout Sugar Cookies — Perfect for the holidays or year-round. No cane sugar, a “flour” base of tigernut flour and tapioca starch, plus an AIP frosting recipe!
Snickerdoodles — These Paleo and AIP Snickerdoodles are a cookie lover’s wish come true. They taste like the old favorites, but so much healthier.
Pumpkin Snickerdoodles — These 9-ingredient cookies call for tigernut flour and arrowroot starch, plus maple syrup and coconut sugar.
Sugar Cookies — Delicious and chewy, these spiced sugar cookies call for gelatin eggs and a “flour” base of coconut flour and tapioca starch.
No Bake Coconut Cookies — These no bake coconut cookies are the perfect quick, healthy treat.
Coconut Date Bars — AIP Coconut Date bars satisfy your sweet tooth with zero added sugar. Add tigernuts for extra crunch!
AIP Cake, Pies, Crisps, Galettes & Fruit Desserts
Image courtesy of The Curious Coconut.
Chocolate Cake — This AIP Chocolate Cake uses carob for its chocolate-y flavor. A great allergen-free birthday cake!
Strawberry Pie — This fresh Strawberry Pie is perfect for the spring or summer! The strawberry pie filling is made with fresh strawberries and is naturally sweetened with honey and apple juice.
Rustic Apple Galette — An easy and delicious free-form French-style apple pie.
AIP Apple Crisp — This super easy crisp calls for only 9 ingredients!
Apple Crisp — This delicious 7-ingredient apple crisp is made with coconut sugar, cassava flour, and palm shortening to help keep it AIP.
Salted Caramel Apple Parfaits — Need an extra special treat? These Salted Caramel Apple Parfaits are so delicious, nut-free, gluten-free, dairy-free and full of fall flavor. Store in Mason jars for a pre-portioned treat.
Grilled Peaches — If you’re looking to take fresh peaches up a notch with minimal effort, try this grilled peaches recipe. The heat of the grill caramelizes the natural sugars in the fruit so that they taste like candy. It’s an amazing summer dessert!
Healthy Caramelized Apples — These delicious Healthy Caramelized Apples tastes great on their own as an AIP dessert or as a topping for waffles and pancakes.
Cinnamon Cupcakes with Strawberry “Buttercream” Frosting — These Paleo and AIP cupcakes are well-suited to all things special: moist, just the right sweetness, exciting, delicious, sure-to-please! The Strawberry “Buttercream” Frosting is, of course, dairy-free and YET, it’s a family favorite!
AIP Jello, Puddings, Custards, Mousse & Gummies
Image courtesy of Recipes to Nourish.
Naturally Sweetened Homemade Lemon Jello — Did you know that making homemade jello takes only 10 minutes? And it's such a fun treat! Kids and adults love it.
Homemade Orange Jello — Need another easy homemade jello recipe? Skip those box mixes and whip up a batch of your own delicious, naturally sweetened, Homemade Orange Jello in minutes.
Pumpkin Pudding — If you love pumpkin pie, you’ll love this AIP Pumpkin Pudding. It’s an easy, no bake AIP dessert.
Whipped Coconut Pudding — This yummy and light whipped coconut pudding can be made 2 ways – with spices and without. And if you're a whipped cream lover, the plain version doubles as a dairy-free whipped cream substitute to boot! Just make sure to use an AIP sweetener!
Easy Healthy Pumpkin Custard — This AIP Pumpkin Custard tastes just like crustless pumpkin pie in a dish! Make sure to omit the stevia and choose an AIP sweetener for the sweetener.
Coconut Pumpkin Panna Cotta — This AIP Coconut Pumpkin Panna Cotta is based on a traditional panna cotta but uses coconut milk and cream to replace the dairy. Pumpkin and wintertime spices make it a perfect dessert for the fall and winter holidays.
“Chocolate” Mousse (GAPS, Vegan) — This 5-ingredient chocolate mousse is easy to make and egg-free! It’s perfect for Valentine’s Day or whenever you’re in the mood for a healthy (but delicious!) chocolate-y treat.
Mango Sticky “Rice” — Mango Sticky Rice is a classic Thai dessert. It’s an amazing combination of mango, sticky plantain “rice”, and coconut.
Blueberry Sour Gummies — These fun and easy sour gummies are made from grass-fed gelatin.
AIP Homemade Candies, Sweet Sauces & Frostings
Image courtesy of Recipes to Nourish.
Pumpkin Fudge (GAPS) — In the mood for AIP-friendly fudge? Enjoy this easy pumpkin fudge, a clean eating family favorite!
Honey Sweetened Cinnamon Marshmallows — Homemade marshmallows are a fun, nostalgic treat! Eat them as is or generously sprinkle on AIP hot chocolate (see recipe below!).
Vitamin C Hibiscus Rose Hip Marshmallows — There’s nothing more irresistible than homemade, real food marshmallows. These are easy to make, naturally sweetened, super fluffy, and have a sweet, delicate herbal flavor.
“Chocolate” Marshmallows — These AIP marshmallows have a smooth, chocolate-y flavor that can be hard to find when using carob. A delicious treat made from all natural ingredients.
Honey Lavender Marshmallows — Flavored with dried lavender, these honey marshmallows taste lovely in a hot cup of Earl Grey tea.
Easy 3-Ingredient Homemade Caramel Sauce (GAPS) — This caramel sauce has a deep, rich flavor and thick, creamy texture. With only 3 ingredients, it’s easy to make and tastes delicious!
Chocolate Toasted Coconut Butter (Vegan, Keto, Whole30) — This 3-ingredient Chocolate Toasted Coconut Butter is great for drizzling on fruits!
4-Ingredient Homemade Carob Chips (GAPS) — An easy sub for chocolate chips, these homemade carob chips are rich in minerals and vitamins and delicious in baking! Or just for snacking!
Dairy-free Keto Icing — A sticky sweet sugar-free and dairy-free icing for brownies, scones, and sweet breads. With 9 flavor variations to try, you can make this recipe again and again!
Homemade Powdered Sugar — Use this homemade powdered sugar for your favorite AIP cookies, desserts, and icing or frosting recipes!
AIP Sweet Drinks & “Nice” Cream
Image courtesy of Texanerin Baking.
Peppermint White Hot Chocolate (GAPS) — This honey-sweetened White Hot Chocolate is a favorite holiday drink! It’s nourishing, delicious and super easy to whip up. Perfect for enjoying year-round, but especially during the fall and winter months.
Hot Chocolate — (Vegan) This Paleo hot chocolate is ultra-rich, creamy, and date-sweetened. It tastes just as delicious as a more traditional recipe! Make sure to follow the notes on the recipe about using carob powder to make it AIP.
4-Ingredient Avocado Mint Nice Cream (GAPS) — Full of healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals, there's no need to feel guilty about indulging in this dairy-free ice cream!
Healthy Pineapple Whip (Dole Whip Copycat) — This delicious, 3-ingredient frozen treat whips up in minutes!
What’s your favorite dessert? Which AIP dessert will you make first?
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