When following a caveman diet, a.k.a. Paleo which stands for Paleolithic, so many people think of Dino burgers the size of Manhattan, hunting for berries or perhaps if you’re lucky and tall enough to reach them, a fist full of nuts.
There is a common misunderstanding that the diet does not include baking or that it is too difficult.
A good Paleo diet allows you to enjoy a terrific variety of flours, fruit, and nuts, natural sweeteners, and let’s not forget “oh so good” cocoa for use in a gazillion baked treats. You can bake an endless variety of delicious cookies (try our paleo chocolate chip cookies!), muffins, cakes, breads, bagels, and tortillas; the list goes on and on.
Here is what you need to know about Paleo baking basics.
The major baking challenge people face is finding suitable substitutes for all-purpose or wheat flour, a big Paleo no no. Try alternatives like garbanzo bean flour, made from dried and finely ground chickpeas, almond flour, coconut flour, arrowroot flour, and tapioca starch.
You’ll find a number of great products available online at amazon, in box stores or even at your local market, generally in their baking or gluten free section. Manufacturers are catching up with the Paleo baking and gluten free trend. Then again, you can always mill your own.
Paleo Baking Tips
One tip is to make sure that your flour is very finely ground and to break up any lumps so that you can measure accurately. If mixing more than one type of flour, or if the recipe calls for it, always sift it.
Remember that when measuring these flours they are not equally interchangeable with wheat or all-purpose flour. Your best bet is to find a good cookbook or two that specialize in Paleo baking to ensure yummy results.
Some recipes call for yummy coconut oil. It’s important to remember not to store your coconut oil in the refrigerator. It can become thickened which makes it hard to measure accurately. Instead, store the oil in a cool, dark area of your pantry. Just remember to keep track of its fresh date.
Bakers secret: when a recipe calls for coconut oil, be sure to melt it before adding it to your recipe, otherwise when it hits the cool ingredients, let’s just say that it can become a blob that just won’t incorporate into your batter and you don’t want that. Just place your jar or sealed package in a container of hot water till it melts.
If you don’t want to or can’t use eggs due to allergies, unsweetened applesauce will do the trick. It will give you the moistness of a wet ingredient and provides your batter with the necessary binder it requires.
Berries are a wonderful addition to your baking. If they happen to be out of season, head to your frozen section or consider dried fruit as an alternative. It’s an easy way to add flavor, color, texture, and natural sweetness to your goodies.
Sweeteners are somewhat of a taboo subject in the Paleo world, but let’s face it; most products you bake need a sweetener. Your best bet is to choose a sweetener like locally sourced honey, or real maple syrup. Stevia or agave are also good options so long as you choose one is free of toxic chemicals and offers as many nutrients as you can find.
For do ahead party fun, why not be the “hostess with the mostess” and try some time saving tricks? Go ahead and make your batter, shape your cookies or brownies, and freeze them on a sheet pan. Once hardened you can take them off and store them in zipper bags until you’re ready to bake.
Just take them out, however many you desire directly from the freezer and right onto your baking pan. Bake them in a preheated oven and your family and friends will think you are a baking wizard.
Keep in mind that many companies have fun ready-made flours and baking mixes on the market. Do some online research or search your market and you’ll find Paleo friendly baking mixes for pizza dough, pancakes, sandwich bread, cookies, and muffins.
Look for organic.
Not to say I don’t encourage you to get in there and scratch bake, but there are tons of terrific products for the busy baker.
Easy Paleo All Purpose Flour Recipe
What can I say? Great Paleo baking is a matter of taste, creativity and experimentation. My preference is to whip up a big batch of this Paleo (also gluten free) all-purpose flour and store it in clean coffee cans. That way I can use it for dredging, roux, or baking any time the urge strikes.
By using a combination of almond flour, coconut flour and tapioca starch, it allows for your baked goods to maintain a certain lightness that’s often lost in Paleo baking, get the golden brown color everyone desires and have a nice rounded flavor.
You determine the quantity each time you make it!
- 3 parts almond flour
- 2 parts tapioca starch
- 1 part coconut flour
Sift all the flours together to create a well-blended mixture. Store your flour an air tight container.
To get the most out of every mile in your baking routine, don’t skip out on these excellent baking tips and tricks!
Why not start with our recipe for carrot cake cupcakes with coconut cream frosting? Cute, delicious, and healthy!
- 4 cage-free eggs
- 3/4 cup coconut flour
- 2 tablespoons Arrowroot powder or tapioca flour
- 1 cup fresh or frozen defrosted blueberries
- 1/2 cup raw honey
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat rectangular baking pan with coconut oil.
- Add blueberries to a food processor or blender along with coconut milk and mix until well blended.
- Beat eggs in medium mixing bowl with hand mixer or whisk. Add blueberry mixture, honey and vanilla. Mix to combine.
- Sift remaining dry ingredients into blueberry mixture. Beat until well combined.
- Scrape batter into prepared baking pan and smooth top with spatula.
- Bake for 25 - 30 minutes, until center is firm and top is golden brown. Toothpick inserted into center will come out moist but mostly clean.
- Remove from oven and allow cooling for about 10 minutes.
- Slice into 12 pieces. Serve warm or at room temperature.
About Marla Tetsuka
As a professional chef, author of multiple cookbooks, and graduate of the esteemed Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, Marla brings a professional touch to the community that we call Foodal.
58 thoughts on “Paleo Baking Basics – What You Need to Know”
I have really started to get into cooking, especially sweet things such as cookies and brownies. The Blueberry Cookie recipe that you posted up really does look nice, plus I may even try it with other berries and fruits. Thanks for all the tips.
Congrats! I’m happy to hear about your newfound baking adventures. And yes, try other variations, even with frozen fruit. The added bonus–you’ll have more left over for your next yummy treats.
As someone who is just starting to learn about the paleo diet, I am very glad to have come across this recipe. I would never have thought about being able to eat baked goods and still stick to the regime! This is awesome, thanks a million.
Enjoy all of the benefits of eating well and remember that you can eat so much more than not. Baked goods are a treat that you can share with your family and friends, Paleo or not.
I’ve been hearing a lot about the Paleo diet recently, and I really thought that baked goods would not be a part of it. I am glad to learn that I was wrong about that. The Honey Blueberry cookies sound delicious and pretty simple to make. I’ll have to look for the coconut flour and the arrowroot powder. I’m not sure if anyone carries it locally.
Great! We all want to enjoy exploring great tasting, healthy food options. I hope you enjoy this recipe as well as many more. Alternate flours, like coconut are a wonderful place to start. Many are available in markets. You may want to check the healthfood aisle or Amazon for sure.
This recipe sounds really good and we will definitely be trying it out. Our family is just starting to experiment with some Paleo recipes and we may swap to a Paleo diet after Christmas. Excellent tip on the coconut oil and a step many people omit from their recipe directions!
It excites me to hear about a family joining together in making any good food choices. You are so right that melting your coconut oil is important for measuring and mixing purposes. Thanks to you!
I would love to hear from someone that has tried out this recipe. I’m on a low-carb diet myself, and it’s really difficult to cut carbs completely from my eating habits. Does it taste any different? Although, I guess it would be a good idea to try it myself. I have a few friends that are also trying to cut the carbs, so maybe I’ll try this recipe out with them.
Thank you for sharing your question. The answer is every recipe tastes different, however you’ll find it so nice to have a baked treat. Especially if you are on a low carb diet.
I didn’t even know flour is allowed in Paleo. I must have confused it with Keto. May give this one a try if I get ahold of blueberries.
It’s the grains that “Paleo people” watch the most. You will notice that these flours are made from nuts, etc. If you have a hard time getting blueberries, try frozen. They’ll work really well.
Paleo aside, some “diet” recipes come out tasting better than the traditional versions. I’m not a paleo dieter, but I am always on the lookout for tasty low carb recipes. For someone who is diabetic, it allows them the opportunity to enjoy the foods they want without having to bend over backwards to manage their insulin.
I’m so happy to hear from you and I think your good comments will help so many others. The challenges that you go through searching low carb alternatives can be helped a lot by replacing grain based flours. My best to you!
I must admit I roll my eyes when I hear about the latest diet or eating trend. It just seems like another gimmick to get people to buy different products. But you make it sound so easy. The challenge I will have is finding these products, which still are not commonplace in my area, and the prices. I have no reason to eat gluten-free foods, but I’m always willing to try different ingredients at least one. I wish you had posted a photo of the cookies you made. The cookies in the picture almost look store-bought.
Hope you got to read the great reply from seenbyiandi above. Good information to have. Also, I usually make my cookies with a cookie scoop (not that I don’t love the rustic look) to ensure even size and a uniform baking time. It’s a wonderful time saving tool.
Paleo really helps some people who have chronic illnesses feel better. I know what you mean about diets sounding like gimmicks, but I’d say Paleo is not as much a diet as it is a lifestyle. Some people just do better eating this way. I’m not sure where you live, but if you have a Publix nearby, they usually carry the coconut milk and sometimes even the coconut flour. If you can’t find the ingredients nearby, there are some great websites that sell them for good prices like Vitacost, Amazon, LuckyVitamin, etc. Besides that, if you have any type of health food store in your area, they should have all of the ingredients there too! Hope that helps. 🙂
Getting myself strapped into this kind of diet and lifestyle, will take more than a miracle, being a sweet tooth of sorts can get me stuck in a rut!… but there is something exciting about this particular recipe, easy, doable and very friendly…who knows i just might try this recipe out and be utterly amazed…got to do something drastic about the sweet tooth cravings though ;).
Can’t say I don’t have a sweet tooth, and I do not believe in total restriction from any food if not necessary. I try to eat more fruits and veggies to satisfy my “sweet eats” yearnings. And yes, these cookies are really good too.
I’m a relatively new convert to Paleo, and I’m introducing the changes and recipes quite slowly. However, I’m really pleased that baking is not off the menu in my new regime. I’m a keen baker, and I don’t think I could live without my home made treats!
On a recent trip to the supermarket, I was thrilled to see that they are now stocking some Paleo necessities such as coconut flour, almond flour, and coconut oil. I thought I would have to buy most of the things I need online, so this was a nice surprise.
I’m totally with you on the unsweetened apple sauce too – I’ve been making banana bread for years with this stuff and it makes my bakes turn out great.
How terrific that you are a keen baker and are taking the leap to adjust to a brand new culinary lifestyle. It shows a lot of care that you are researching, shopping, and sharing your findings with myself and the Foodal community. Great thanks to you.
Everytime I hear about some restrictive diet, I always wonder why people would want to limit themselves this way if they don’t have allergies or intolerances. It simply makes no sense to me! However, I have met a guy who eats nothing but raw foods, and he surprised me telling me how he used a dehydrator and was able to make pizzas and pies etc. It looked like he missed nothing; but it looked pretty complicated and like it needed much planning and effort. Your approach to a diet like Paleo really does make it sound easy!
And good to hear about coconut oil. I got a bottle for various uses, and it got solid and hard to use as such. Next time, I’ll know better.
It’s fabulous that you have experimented with new genres is food! I’m just sayin’, more people should give it a try. I’m so pleased that you enjoyed learning about coconut oil. Tip: store it on a shelf, in a cool, dark area, (watch you exp. date though) not the refrigerator.
I swapped sugar for honey once I switched to paleo. In my opinion locally sourced unpasteurized honey is the best choice for a paleo friendly sweetener. Did you know that before sugar became the staple it is int he 1800’s, honey was the most popular sweetener?? I use it to sweeten my tea or in any paleo baking that I do. Maple syrup is a good choice as well but for me I really prefer the taste of honey.
I use almond flour instead of regular flour, it tastes so amazing. I try not to bake too often though as I’m trying to watch my figure and I can finish off an entire plate of paleo cookies in one night if I’m not careful.
Good ideas.Historical information is always fun to share. Sugar was brought to the America’s in the 1600’s, while bees and honey also arrived. I’m just so pleased to see the popularity of people exploring good alternatives.
Great tips on how to get into paleo! I’ve just recently started to adjust to this lifestyle, but hadn’t thought of baking yet. For me its just the usual dino burger, haha, with a lot of vegetables on the side. Thanks for sharing, will definitely be trying some of these out!
Hey, there’s nothing wrong with a Dino burger…..just continue on with your fun outlook and carefree spirit to try new things. It’s refreshing!
I find the idea of paleo baking very interesting. Typically baked goods are seen as a taboo or a naughty indulgence. With these recipes you can make paleo friendly goodies and take the taboo away from the sweetness. As with all things, I’m sure moderation will continue to be the key. I’m glad that I can satisfy my cookie craving in a much better for me way.
Everybody loves to indulge, And just as you suggest, it’s especially rewarding if done with forethought and moderation. Cookie away!
This is my first time hearing of the Paleo diet, since visiting this blog. It is my good fortune, since I do not want to eat wheat, and I am somewhat addicted to bread and sweets. I absolutely have to elevate my diet for improved health. The concepts spoken of here will help me tremendously to make a transition. There are lots of tips and substitutes I can begin to use right away. Thanks!
I’m so pleased to know that my article gives you ideas and inspiration. Please let me know what non-wheat triumphs you have enjoyed.
These cookies look great and it’s good to know that the Paleo diet isn’t so restricitve. I tended to think that Paleo desserts basically consisted of fruit and nuts so thanks or sharing this one.
I’m sure that you will be pleased to find out that there are so many more foods you are allowed on a Paleo diet than not. The list is very, very long on the yummy side.
Yup, coconut oil becomes viscous at the slightest drop in temperature. I leave my coconut oil out in the open and when I use it to cook early in the morning I always put just a little bit because I know that little bit is actually more than what it looks like.
Paleo is a great, and not too taxing diet. Once you’ve got the right substitutes aka almond flour, coconut flour, etc., you’re golden.
Thanks for your encouragement to everybody who may shy away from trying something new! It’s good to hear from someone, a fellow “foodie” I presume, who enjoys this lifestyle.
I love the idea of freezing the prepared cookies/bars. I have frozen baked cookies, but they definitely loose something when thawed. Being able to produced fresh baked goodies in an instant is perfect!
Isn’t it fun to have a sweet delight Johnny on the spot? This is a trick that many chefs in professional kitchens use daily. There is nothing like presenting a warm homemade dessert to make people smile.
I’ve not been convinced by the paleo craze, but I think the idea of making your own type of flour with definitely be healthier and help those with allergies. As it is more popular, hopefully these ingredients will be easier to find and cheaper. I like the idea of healthy cookies so if I can eat more and stay healthy, I’m happy!
So pleased that you are happy with these ideas! Any time you can control each ingredient in your dish, you can feel better about the health benefits as well. I would suggest you shop cost comparisons both at your local market and online, like Amazon.
I have never heard of a Paleo diet before. From what you e described about it, it sounds similar to a vegan diet. I’m definitely going to have to look in to this. If these recipes are typical for this diet I’m already half at sold… especially with those cookies!
It’s so grand that you are open to exploring new food lifestyles. Let me know as the other half is sold on trying these delicious goodies.
I’ve never tried a Paleo diet but let me tell you if there was a recipe to sway me that cookie recipe is right up there with the best of them. I love using natural sweeteners in my baked goods & I’d only suggest doubling up the blueberries. Why? When can you ever have too many blueberries???
The answer is never. You can never have too many blueberries, ha ha. Natural sweeteners are so readily available that it is fun to try them all. I’d love some more ideas anytime. Thanks!
I am actually gluten free so this recipe is suitable for me and it sounds wonderful. Thank you once again for a great article.
Thank for reminding us all that Paleo recipes are also gluten free. Many readers don’t realize they can take advantage of this as a wonderful resource. Your kind words about my articles are greatly appreciated.
A friend of mine tried the Paleo diet and lost a lot of weight, it was really impressive so I have been so interested in trying it as well so this article is perfect for me. I love the idea of making my own flour so thank you for this recipe!
How great for you both. Congratulations! I found it challenging to find a good Paleo friendly or gluten free flour available in bulk, so am so pleased that this recipe can help you out.
I’ve seen delicious-looking paleo baking recipes here and there, but I always hesitated to try them because I have very little experience with the alternative flours. Quite familiar with coconut oil though, I’m always having to melt it! In any case, these are super useful tips. The recipe looks absolutely delectable as well.
Hello LeopardJones! So nice to hear from you again with your positive insight. I’m sure there are so many of us that are reluctant to try new or alternative flours, but fear not. Try using one at a time and go from there. I’m sure you will find joy in the journey.
I really appreciate this article because I’ve just started trying Paleo and it’s a huge minefield of information to navigate through. I did feel a bit off about the baking part because of the flours, but I miss it so much!!
I’m still afraid to buy some of these flours though, I am afraid they will change the taste and texture. Of all the things I am missing it’s bread and biscuits! I never had many biccies before, but now it seems like I can’t live without them! I miss having eggs on toast, and I miss being able to bake…this has given me some hope!
No need to miss your favorites. Just look for a good Paleo Baking book, and experiment. Not to ring my own bell, but i have many Paleo books on Amazon that may help you out. Yes, I agree, not having a grain based flour can change textures, but done with love, will be wonderful. I assure you.
I’m not technically Paleo, but I can’t eat wheat or dairy, so these tips are awesome. I use almond flour a lot in my baking, and I’ve tried coconut flour but it seems to create a very overpowering taste of coconut which I’m not a fan of.
I often see people saying to mix tapioca starch in with your GF flours but have never actually tried it personally – what kind of effect does it have on the outcome? I need to hunt some down and give it a try.
Your restrictions are challenging to say the least. Been there too. To answer your question, tapioca starch is also used as a thickener. You need to be careful not to blend too much into your flour alternative, otherwise it may become rubbery. A bit goes a long way, yet can be a wonderful item to add to your pantry.
I never really tried a Paleo diet and frankly, I’m not too keen on it. There are some interesting recipes that can surely be tasty for some people, but I don’t think it suits me. I’m afraid the taste and texture will be changed a lot.
Your honest opinion is appreciated. Taste is always a matter of opinion.
I cannot wait to make those cookies for my GF and Paleo friends.
And, since I am slowly coming to believe that I need to make this major dietary change, it’s nice to know that there are such good resources out there. Thanks for your article!
How nice are you? I’ll bet your friends line up around the block for your delicious food. You are so right in noting that there are great resources available. Sure hope I and Foodal can be yours.
Those honey blueberry cookies sound delicious, and what a nice easy recipe to get a newbie to paleo baking off the starting blocks! It’s one of those things I keep saying I’m going to get into, and your excellent tips have given me a confidence boost; I especially like the tip about the coconut oil!!
Thank you for making paleo baking seem more accessible now.