November 16, 2013

No Bake Mini AIP Pumpkin Pies with Coconut Whipped Cream (Paleo, Autoimmune Protocol, GAPS)

If you follow me on Facebook, you may have seen me post about a pumpkin recipe a few weeks months ago. I started working on this back in August or September (and neglected to take pictures until recently) and it took some time to get these as I imagined them. When I have an idea for creating desserts that are allergy-friendly and I have to try to make them. I'm a little obsessed. I'm also obsessed with mini desserts. See here and here. This recipe actually started as somewhat of a pumpkin fudge. I was making this almond butter fudge and decided to try it with pumpkin. It tasted similar to a pumpkin pie, but then I decided that I wanted to create something that really was like pumpkin pie. But without eggs and nuts, and of course without gluten and dairy. A perfect and fun substitute for traditional pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving!

Mini No Bake Pumpkin Pies with Coconut Whipped Cream (grain, gluten, nut, egg-free)

I started experimenting with gelatin back with this pudding, then with this french onion dip, so I figured why not try it in a pumpkin pie. Traditional pumpkin pie is made with eggs and is very easy to make gluten and dairy free, but I've never made it without eggs. If you recall one of the last recipes I posted, my niece was having numerous issues and a potential egg white allergy, so it gives me even more motivation to create egg-free recipes, like these crab cakes. The first time I made these, they were good, but after being in the refrigerator overnight, the amount of gelatin proved to be too much. I wanted to create a somewhat soft but still stable pumpkin pie consistency. (Read more about gelatin here.)

Mini No Bake Pumpkin Pies with Coconut Whipped Cream (grain, gluten, nut, egg-free)

So, it did take quite a bit of pumpkin to get this just right. I ran out of the pumpkin puree I had from Vitacost (if you are a new customer to Vitacost, save $10 off your first order here), but I was determined to make these better. While out shopping, I loaded my cart with canned pumpkin and coconut milk. As I loaded my hundred cans (I like to exaggerate) on the the conveyor belt, I could see the cashier's wheels spinning...

Eh, I thought I had a funny story here. I have nothing. It's just one of those days...

Anyway...basically, I went through many cans of pumpkin for this. So. Many. Cans.

Mini No Bake Pumpkin Pies with Coconut Whipped Cream (grain, gluten, nut, egg-free)

Okay, let's just get to this recipe. Now, this isn't exactly like pumpkin pie, but it's pretty darn close. My sister made these several times and chowed them down for dessert and breakfast. Her child and (non-paleo) husband approved as well. So, let me know what you think. Oh yeah, and my other sister, who doesn't even like pumpkin pie, said these were good. :)

This recipe uses gelatin. See THIS post to learn more about the types of gelatin and why I choose to consume gelatin from grass-fed cows. I know that it can be expensive, but you really don't need to use a lot at once. Unless I'm experimenting, I stretch mine out for months. It's good stuff, but you don't have to go crazy with it. (If you are vegetarian or vegan, you may be able to substitute agar agar, but I haven't tested this.)

*Updated October 2014 to include option for using fresh pumpkin puree (instead of canned) and for baking the crusts.*

Mini No-Bake Pumpkin Pies 
with Coconut Crust and Coconut Whipped Cream 
(grain/gluten/nut/egg-free)  printable recipe
makes 15 minis (in mini cupcake pans) or 2-3 mini pies (in mini pie pans)

What you need:

Coconut crust
1 1/4 cup finely shredded coconut
1 tbsp maple syrup (or honey or 2 medjool dates)

1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch ground ginger
pinch salt
optional: 1 tbsp sunflower seed butter (sunbutter) (omit for AIP)*

1 cup canned or fresh pumpkin puree (I use this canned one.)
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
3 - 4 tbsp maple syrup or honey (I used Grade B)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
1 tsp cinnamon (I get spices here)
1/4 heaped tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (omit for AIP)
pinch ground cloves (about 1/16 tsp)
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin (I use this brand from grassfed cows.)
2 tbsp water

Coconut Whipped Cream
1 can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight (This brand works best for this.)
1-3 tsp maple syrup (or honey)
1 tsp vanilla extract
dash salt (optional)

How to make:

Mini No Bake Pumpkin Pies with Coconut Whipped Cream (grain/gluten/nut/egg-free)
Line a mini muffin pan with paper liners (I double mine) or silicon liners. You can also use mini pie pans or regular size muffin pans. Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until crust comes together. You may need to push down the sides a few times. You should be able to pinch the crust and it will stick. Press the crust into liners, either as only bottom crust or pressing the crust along the sides to create a complete pie crust. Press crust firmly so it will stick. (I press mine thin along the sides.) Place in refrigerator until filling is ready.

*If you leave out the sunbutter, you may need additional coconut oil. Blend well and if your crust doesn't stick, add additional coconut oil or coconut milk. Mine came together just find without the sunbutter, but I do like it with it for a almost gingerbread like taste. You can also replace sunbutter with other nut/seed butter.

Optional baked crust: To bake crust, preheat oven to 350. Bake in lined muffin tin for 6-8 minutes or until slightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool. 

In a large saucepan, mix together all ingredients except for gelatin and water. Place pan over low/medium heat and warm gently. While this is warming, put water in a small dish and sprinkle gelatin over the top of the surface and stir. Let gelatin bloom in water for about 5 minutes. Add to warmed pumpkin mixture and stir until gelatin dissolves. This may take a few minutes. Adjust spices to taste if needed. Allow to cool slightly and pour filling into crusts. You may want to put in a Pyrex cup for easier pouring. If you have extra filling, you can make without crust, add to a smoothie, or refrigerate until pudding-like. Place pies in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours or until set. I leave mine overnight. Store in refrigerator.

*I use 3 tbsp maple syrup. When I make it for others, I use up to 4 tbsp for sweeter pies.

Note: I have not tested this with fresh pumpkin. To make with fresh pumpkin, make a pumpkin puree and follow recipe as written. I made this with a small pie pumpkin which equaled almost exactly 1 cup puree (just a bit left over). If you'd like a firmer pie, you may increase gelatin by 1/4 - 1/2 tsp, but I didn't find this necessary. But if your puree is quite watery, you will want to use the extra gelatin OR when warming mixture on stove, before adding coconut milk, simmer mixture gently to reduce water.

Coconut Whipped Cream:
Remove can from refrigerator and turn upside down before opening. Pour out the liquid (save for smoothies or other use). Scoop the harden cream into a deep bowl. I like to stick the bowl in the freezer for a few minutes before making this. Beat with a hand mixer on high speed for about a minute. Add sweetener and vanilla and continue to beat until light and creamy. Store in refrigerator for about a week. Re-whip after refrigeration if necessary.

Coconut milk Brands: *Thai Kitchen brand of coconut milk (here) work best for me for this purpose. This one, Native Forest, (here) is what I usually buy and works most of the time, but you can get a dud (can that doesn't solidify well in the fridge), so I buy Thai Kitchen when making coconut whipped cream. Earth Fare brand (full fat) works as well. 

Update: Try my new baked AIP Pumpkin Pie and Crust here! 


Mini No Bake Pumpkin Pies with Coconut Whipped Cream (Paleo, Autoimmune, GAPS)

Freeze extra pumpkin to make this Instant Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream!

Shared at: Gluten Free Wednesdays, Fight Back FridaysNatural Living MondayMake Your Own MondaysThank Goodness It's MondayFat TuesdayGluten Free TuesdayAllergy Free WednesdayTeach Me TuesdayParty Wave WednesdayPaleo AIP Recipe RoundtableReal Food Wednesday

This recipe was featured at Phoenix Helix's weekly Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link, while your costs remain the same, Livin' the Crunchy Life will receive a small commission. Affiliate links are used to pay for any blog costs, including ingredients for recipe development. I appreciate your support!


  1. Love it!! If you haven’t already I would love for you to link up to this weeks linky party on my blog so you can share it.

  2. Livin' the Crunchy LifeNovember 20, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    Thanks Chelsea, will do! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I love this recipe, pinning to my dessert board, and featuring on my Real Food Fridays Thanksgiving blog.

  4. Your pictures are amazing. I want some like yesterday! Thanks for sharing on Natural Living Monday!

  5. I can't wait to try this for my pumpkin pie loving son!! Rather than making a whole big pie that gets hard after a few days, these little guys would stay fresh. And can be eaten in almost one bite!
    Thank you!
    (ps .. is it possible to change the background of your post? I can hardly read the instructions with the lovely, but busy wood grain. I'm sure it's just my very blind eyes. :-) Thanks!)


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