6 EASY Thanksgiving Desserts (Paleo, Gluten-Free)

Written By


Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.

What’s Thanksgiving dinner without a little dessert to top it off?


The problem is, often times people end up in a food coma (hangover) with the influx of sugar hitting their system! (not just from dessert, but the dessert-like casseroles and side dishes on the table).


Whip up one of these six unconventional Thanksgiving treats to indulge that sweet tooth just a little, while refraining from going overboard with refined sugars:


Pumpkin Pie Bars

Easy No Bake Pecan Pie Bars

Lemon Squares

Dessert Stuffed Apples

No Bake Chocolate Fudge

Instant Pumpkin Soft Serve Ice Cream* 


Pumpkin Pie Bars


  • 15 oz. pumpkin puree (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup or raw honey
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large pasture-raised eggs 


Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a 9×9” with butter or coconut oil. Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and stir well until no clumps remain. Transfer the batter to the greased baking dish, and use a spatula to smooth the top.


Bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes, or until the edges are golden and the center is firm. Allow to cool completely, then cut into squares and serve. Store in in the fridge for up to a week.


Easy No Bake Pecan Pie Bars (inspired by Cassidy’s Creations)


  • 1 C Pecans, Chopped
  • 1 C Medjool Dates, pitted (I used 9, soak in warm water 15 minutes if hard)
  • 2 Tbsp. Coconut oil, measured in solid form
  • 1 Tsp. Pure Vanilla
  • 1 Pinch of Sea Salt
  • 1 Tbsp. Honey



In a food processor, process the pecans until very finely chopped.

Add in the dates, coconut oil, vanilla, salt, and honey.

Process until everything is well mixed, scraping down the bowl as necessary.

Line a baking pan or baking sheet with parchment paper.

Transfer mixture to the pan and use your hands to press into a rectangle about ½ inch thick.

Place in freezer for 1 hour to set, then cut into squares.


Lemon Squares (inspired by Fed & Fit)



  • 2 cups Sifted Coconut Flour
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • ½ cup Honey
  • 16 tablespoons Room Temperature Virgin Coconut Oil {= 1 cup}



  • 1 ½ cup Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 ½ cup Honey
  • 2 tablespoons Lemon Zest
  • 8 Eggs



Preheat oven to 350 F.

Line a 9×13 inch baking dish with parchment paper.

Whisk the coconut flour with salt.

Thoroughly stir in the honey until it’s evenly mixed and crumbly.

Add the room-temperature coconut oil and stir until it’s evenly combined.

Pat the dough down into the bottom of the baking dish for an even thickness.

Bake at 350 for approximately 17 minutes or until it starts to brown.

{Note: follow your nose. You will be able to smell the crust when it’s close to finished.}

Remove from the oven and let cool on the counter while you prepare the filling.



Dissolve the honey into the lemon juice.

Working quickly, whisk in the eggs.

Whisk in the lemon zest.

Pour the filling into the now cooled crust.

Bake at 350 for 25 – 30 minutes or until it’s stiffened.

{Note: you will know it’s finished when it stops jiggling if you shake the dish.}

Let it cool on the counter for 30 minutes than the refrigerator for 3 hours or over night.

Cut into squares and serve chilled.


Dessert Stuffed Apples (inspired by PaleOMG)


  • 4 green apples, cored, bottom still in place
  • ½ cup coconut butter
  • ¼ cup sunbutter, unsweetened (or other nut butter)
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon (the more the better in my world)
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • 3-4 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup water



First core your apples.

Mix together your coconut butter and sunbutter along with cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.

Place cored apples in your crockpot and pour water in the bottom.

Use a spoon to pour in your coconut and sunbutter mixture into each apple until it’s at the top.

Top each apple off with a bit more cinnamon and your shredded coconut.

Cook for 2-3 hours on low. The longer you cook it, the softer the apple will become so you decide!!


No Bake Chocolate Fudge




In a food processor or stand mixer, combine all the ingredients and mix until fully blended. Scoop out into a pan that has been lined with parchment paper. Let chill for 4 hours and then enjoy!


Instant Pumpkin Soft Serve Ice Cream* (inspired by Against All Grain)

*No ice cream maker required


  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 banana – peel removed (the riper the better)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons grade B maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice



  • Fill an ice cube tray evenly with the pumpkin puree, making about 7-8 cubes.
  • Cover tightly with plastic wrap to avoid freezer burn.
  • Place  the banana in a ziploc bag and place it and the ice cube tray in the freezer overnight.
  • Remove the cubes from the tray and let them sit in a bowl on the counter for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the banana from the bag and place it and the rest of the ingredients in a food processor or blender.
  • Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides if needed. If you have an older food processor or blender, you may need to wait a little longer to let the frozen items thaw a bit before it will be able to process for you.
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