Mini Lemon “Cheesecake” with Gingered Date Crust (AIP, nut free, dairy free, refined sugar free)

P1040742Every once in awhile, things just come together in my universe.  By this, I mean a craving for some long lost food I’ve become allergic to actually gets satisfied by a recipe developed with substitutions and much modification.  Honestly, there’s no formula for this and, quite frankly, it doesn’t always work.  For instance, in my book, there’s no such thing as an AIP (Autoimmune Paleo a/k/a Autoimmune Protocol) chicken pot pie.  How can you pull off a flaky crust with no gluten, grain, nuts, butter or eggs?  I’ve given up on ever sinking my pearly whites into an AIP croissant filled with sliced apples and brie “cheese”. Nope. Not gonna happen.  I’ll do without and eat another piece of bacon, thank you.

But really, it’s ok.  I get to whining about it here and there, but TODAY I REJOICE – because this recipe fills my current need for a yummy holiday treat (and a taste for cheesecake – lemon and ginger, no less – two of my favorite things)…”When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m fee-ling saaaaaad…”  I feel a musical moment coming on.

Here’s a little background on this recipe:  This week we had some friends over to make Paleo Mom‘s Paleo Gingerbread Cut-Outs (a fantastic recipe, BTW, but not considered AIP as it contains egg whites and almond flour).  I got to thinking that a lemon icing would be phenomenal on these gingerbread peeps so I threw something together and it just happened.


My friend (a tremendous allergy-conscious self-trained home chef who should be the one with the food blog) and I put our heads together on how to make an AIP lemon ginger “cheesecake”.  In other words, dairy free, nut free, egg free, refined sugar free, etc., etc.

So, without further ado – Merry Christmas everyone!  I hope this recipe satisfies your “hankerins” and brings you joy this holiday season.


Shared on Allergy Free Wednesdays and AIP Round Table

5.0 from 1 reviews
Mini Lemon "Cheesecake" with Gingered Date Crust (AIP, nut free, dairy free, refined sugar free)
Serves: Makes 18-20 mini cheesecakes
  • CRUST:
  • 10 Medjool dates, soaked in warm water if hard
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (melted)
  • ¾ cup raw coconut butter (I use Artisana)
  • ½ cup palm shortening (I use Spectrum Vegetable Shortening. The only ingredient is palm oil.)
  • 2½ tablespoons honey
  • 1½ tablespoons lemon flavoring (I use Simply Organic)
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • lemon zest for garnish(optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 250F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Line a mini muffin pan with mini paper liners.
  3. Drain dates if soaked, then pit and roughly chop.
  4. Spread shredded coconut onto lined cookie sheet and toast in oven until golden brown. Watch carefully as it will burn easily. Allow to cool.
  5. In a mini food processor, pulse all of the crust ingredients until it comes together into a ball. Chill, if desired, while working on the filling.
  6. For filling, measure out coconut butter and place filled measuring cup into a larger cup or bowl filled with hot tap water. This will soften the coconut butter, making it easier to work with. Be sure that no water gets into the coconut butter.
  7. Once coconut butter softens, beat all filling ingredients with either a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until smooth and shiny. (It's ok if there are some small bumps.)
  8. To assemble, make little balls out of the crust and press into the bottoms of the mini muffin cups.
  9. Pour filling into a zip-top bag, seal top and cut a corner off the end of the bag.
  10. Pipe filling onto the crust.
  11. Chill in fridge or freezer until set.
  12. Store in the fridge. Best served cold.
  13. Garnish with grated lemon zest.
  14. Enjoy!

Comments Adored

  1. Michelle Sears says:

    Great job on this recipe! It looks divine.

  2. Jennifer, would you link this up to the AIP Roundtable? It looks awesome!

  3. I was one of the lucky ones who got to sample these as they were being created, and I must say that they are WONDERFUL! I’m a cheesecake lover, but I didn’t even miss the cheese or any of the traditional aspects of a regular cheesecake. I can’t wait to make these so I can have more!

  4. Hello, Hello my friend. I so enjoyed reading your post and this AMAZING recipe. WOW!!! They are just gorgeous little things. And I am sure they taste like paradise. I can’t wait to make these!!

    Wishing you an amazing holiday and happy New Year!

    Big Hugs to you and your family

  5. What a treat! Thank you :)

  6. This super creative, I would love to try it! Pinned!

  7. I am so thankful for this unique recipe! It is amazing! I’ve also been able to come up with new AIP recipes off of this one i.e. iced pumpkin cookies. I’m about to experiment some more-making a lemon blueberry top and a cinnamon icing type of top :) You really helped my sweet tooth! Thank you

    • Thanks Amanda! I’m so glad you enjoy them! Pumpkin sounds delicious! I’ve got to try a pumpkin spice version!!! That sounds so good! The blueberry topping sounds delicious as well! Let me know how your experimentation goes.


  8. Is the sunflower oil in the Simply Organic lemon flavoring considered safe while on the autoimmune protocol, or not, since it is from a seed and seeds are on the no list? I’m brand new to the autoimmune protocol and wasn’t sure. Thanks!

    • That’s a great question, but one you would get 20 different answers from if you asked 20 different people. I think it comes down to personal choice. I react to certain seeds and seed oils but not seed based spices. Some versions of AIP eliminate seeds, some don’t. It’s such a small amount that I don’t worry about it, even though I react to seed oils on a larger scale. I know that’s not a firm “answer” but I hope it helps. If you can, join the FB group autoimmune protocol. They have great info. Also, the blog Phoenix Helix by Eileen Laird is a wealth of information on AIP.

      Take care!

  9. Hi there. This looks amazing! Is it possible to use lemon juice instead of lemon flavoring? Thanks!!

    • Yes, you can. I use a high quality lemon flavoring by either Frontier or Simply Organic but I’ve been out of it for other recipes and used just lemon juice and zest.


  10. I’ll be trying these soon! They look great! And just so you know, there IS a delicious AIP pot pie recipe: go to Mrs. Paleo’s blog! Seriously just as good as “the real thing”



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Matthew 4:4

But he answered, "It is written, "'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"