Incredible Edible Paleo Salted Caramel Cheesecake Bites

Paleo Salted Caramel Cheesecake Bites

Paleo Salted Caramel Cheesecake Bites

Can we go ahead and just agree that one of God’s greatest masterpieces was the salted caramel flavor combination. Oh. my. goodness. Crystal clear blue waters and sunsets? Who needs em’, but if I see the words “Salted Caramel” on any food item I immediately have to have a bite of whatever it is or I will die a slow painful unmerciful death. Okay fine more like I’ll throw a tantrum until I get a bite and then I’ll savor every last second of the flavor and hope it lingers and saturates every single taste bud. I could write poetry about salted caramel and the beauty it beholds. Or I could just capture it in one single word. Yum.

These Paleo Salted Caramel Cheesecake Bites are seriously the way to go. They are quick, easy, and decadent! I brought these in to work and they were a huge hit. I have this thing where I immediately have to get rid of all blog food otherwise I will eat it all. This means that my awesome co-workers get to be my taste test subjects. It’s actually a lot of fun to see what they think because there is such a variety of eaters in the office. There are the “We eat normal but relatively healthy” eaters, the “Foodies”, the “More processed and unhealthy the better” and lo and behold, there are actually two Paleans! Every aspect of the food eater spectrum we have here in the office so I like to see what both sides think. It’s like asking the Jedi’s and the Storm Troopers to sample food and give you feedback. Yes it is. Don’t argue with my Star Wars reference.

So how was your weekend?! I ran my 4th Half-Marathon of the year yesterday! It was such a great run you guys. I had some friends from high school running it with me, Marin, Meghan and Laura (it was Laura’s first Half and she did great!) and then my awesome and hilarious running buddy Bree. It was this whole huge festive event. Even my parents made it out! Bree and I completed the Triple Crown series this year which is where you run three local San Diego Half-Marathons and then at the end you get a special Triple Crown medal. 39.3 miles of gorgeous San Diego. This was probably my favorite and best run ever. There was no time PR or anything fancy like that, I was just properly fueled, had a great running mix in my iPhone that got me pumped, and I was just happy to be out there running with my friends in the city I love. Normally after a Half-Marathon I tell myself that I’m never running again. This time I felt I could have ran at least 5 more miles. I felt FANTASTIC! It also helped that the weather was unseasonably cool for late August. Oh my gosh it’s late August?! EEK! This year has flown by! This means two things, one my birthday is next month, and two it’s almost time for PUMPKIN FLAVORED EVERYTHING!!!! Until then, just make these Paleo Salted Caramel Cheesecake Bites to hold you over.
Cheesecake bite3

Paleo Salted Caramel Cheesecake Bites
*Makes 24 servings

For the crust:
1 heaping cup raw pecans
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon creamy almond butter
2 tablespoons coconut flour
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup grade B
a few pinches of pink himalayan salt

For the filling:
1 heaping cup raw cashews (soaked at least for 4 hours, overnight is better)
1/2 cup raw zucchini, peeled and diced
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons canned coconut milk, full fat, room temperature
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, grade B
2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon pink himalayan salt
The juice of one medium lemon

For the caramel:
1/2 cup coconut milk, full fat, room temperature
3/4 cup coconut palm sugar
4 tablespoons grass-fed butter (or ghee)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
few pinches of pink himalayan salt

1. Prepare the crust by placing the pecans in a food processor and grind them into fine meal. Add the rest of the crust ingredients and process again until well combined. Line the bottom of a mini cupcake pan with mini cupcake liners, then press the crust evenly into the bottom of the liners. Place the pan in the freezer to set, while you prepare the filling.

2. In a high-powered blender, process the raw cashews until they are blended. Add in the zucchini, coconut oil, coconut milk,
maple syrup, coconut palm sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and lemon juice. For the lemon juice go by taste as not to overdo it with lemon flavor. I started by juicing half of the lemon, mixing and tasting, and adding more. Add as needed to your preference. Then blend again until a super smooth and creamy batter is formed. If your batter is too thick try adding a little more almond milk or coconut water until the desired smooth creamy batter consistency is reached.

3. Pour the cheesecake batter into a decorating bag or ziplock bag, cut a hole in the corner and then pour the filling on top of the crust almost to the top, leaving some room for the caramel. Allow to set in the freezer for at least an hour. While the filling is setting go ahead and make your caramel.

4. To make the caramel, combine coconut sugar, coconut milk, and butter or ghee in a medium sized heavy-bottomed saucepan (2.5qt./2.3L). Over low heat, whisk gently in one direction so the butter doesn’t separate, until the butter has melted, the sugar has dissolved, and the mixture is combined. Then turn the heat to medium until it reaches a soft boil. Add vanilla extract, and salt and whisk until combined. Then bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Let boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and whisk gently until the mixture becomes a smooth liquid again. Place back over heat and boil for an additional minute to thicken further. Remove from heat, whisk until mixture becomes smooth liquid again. Repeat a third time for even thicker caramel. The caramel will continue to thicken as it cools. Refrigerate or freeze to cool and thicken completely.

5. Once your cheesecake bites are hardened, fill a decorating bag or a ziplock bag with the caramel and cut off the tip. Squeeze a dollop of caramel on the top of eat cheesecake bite and use the flat side of a spoon to evenly spread over the top. Once the caramel has set sprinkle pink himalayan salt on the tops. Store cheesecake bites in the freezer in between eating sessions and remove about 15 minutes or so before serving so they can thaw a bit. Enjoy!

Cheesecake bite2

So how were your little bites of Heaven?! Speaking of, I LOVE to hear all the feedback you guys give me about the recipes you try. I also like to help you guys problem solve, so if something doesn’t turn out, let’s figure it out! New slogan. Yes. Most of these recipes I’ve made numerous times, so feel free to ask, and if you messed up, trust me, I probably did it too at some point. I really just want you guys to have the best experience possible making healthy food. I don’t want you to get frustrated and have a stage 3 meltdown like I normally do. It’s not pretty people.

So until next week, enjoy! Enjoy your friends, your loves, your sport, your life, your salted caramel, whatever you enjoy…just enjoy it. Whoa, salted caramel makes me say deep things. Oh and by the way I would just like to point out for the record that this is the second non-chocolate recipe in a row! I enjoy you though my Weirdos! (Non-Chocolate lovers) I don’t understand you, but I enjoy you. I also enjoy that next week’s recipe has chocolate in it. Boo-ya. Did I just boo-ya? I’m hanging up now.
Cheesecake bite4

186 Comments on Incredible Edible Paleo Salted Caramel Cheesecake Bites

  1. Gia
    October 9, 2014 at 11:49 am (1 year ago)

    Does the zucchini just have to be steamed?

    • Vanessa Barajas
      Vanessa Barajas
      October 9, 2014 at 12:02 pm (1 year ago)

      The zucchini is actually raw. I will update the recipe to reflect that. Thanks!

      • Gia
        October 9, 2014 at 12:23 pm (1 year ago)

        Thank you so much! Making them right now :)

  2. jean
    October 24, 2014 at 5:56 pm (1 year ago)

    Almond milk in place of coconut??

  3. kristincooksdaily
    October 25, 2014 at 3:04 am (1 year ago)

    Just made this cheesecake and poured all the sauce on top so it sets as a layer of the cheesecake! Can’t wait to see how it turns out!

    • kristincooksdaily
      October 26, 2014 at 3:03 am (1 year ago)

      This recipe came out great – one for the books! Thank you!

  4. Nicole Darling
    November 10, 2014 at 3:53 pm (1 year ago)

    I made this and got so many compliments. In wondering if there is any way to make it into a full pie size though? Would it be too hard to thaw and unthaw?

    • Vanessa Barajas
      Vanessa Barajas
      November 10, 2014 at 4:36 pm (1 year ago)

      You could totally make it into a full size! I would use an 8″ springform pan. Press the crust into the bottom and then just pour the batter on top instead of into the mini cups. You may need to thaw for a little longer but it will be fine, then just cut and serve! :) Glad you enjoyed it!

  5. Beth
    November 12, 2014 at 8:52 am (1 year ago)

    Hi There,
    for some reason my caramel is still a little runny. It’s been in the freezer for a good few hours. Any tips to rectify this? :-S

    • Vanessa Barajas
      Vanessa Barajas
      November 16, 2014 at 12:22 pm (1 year ago)

      Hmm the only thing I can think of is that maybe it wasn’t boiled down enough? I usually boil mine down 3 times, for a minute each, after the mixture reaches the initial boil.

  6. Theresa
    November 19, 2014 at 12:23 pm (1 year ago)

    my caramel didn’t harden enough either. Is coconut palm sugar different than just coconut sugar? That was the only difference. My caramel is darker too, possibly because my coconut sugar is a brownish color. After being in the frig for a few hrs, and seeing your comment to the woman about hers being thin, i put it back on the stove. We’ll see what happens. Looking forward to trying these when completed though. Thanks for sharing.

    • Vanessa Barajas
      Vanessa Barajas
      November 19, 2014 at 2:14 pm (1 year ago)

      Hey there! Coconut sugar and coconut palm sugar are the same thing. I think what’s happening is that the caramel isn’t being boiled down long enough so it stays thin in consistency. I will update the recipe to reflect this. Sorry you are having trouble too! I also really want to do a video for the caramel. I’ve made it so many times without issue. The issue that I usually get is my butter separates because the temperature changed too rapidly. I also really like to use maple sugar in my caramel too, have you ever used maple sugar before? I like to use a combo of maple sugar and coconut sugar. :)

  7. Lisa
    November 30, 2014 at 11:49 pm (12 months ago)

    Tried these for a going away party for my paleo friend. ..didn’t like the crust texture on my trial run (too mushy) but baked the crust for 6 minutes at 350 on my second Try and liked them much better! Party is tomorrow. .hopefully they’re a big hit.

    • Vanessa Barajas
      Vanessa Barajas
      December 1, 2014 at 2:58 pm (12 months ago)

      I also bake the crusts too, I think it’s just personal preference. Hope you enjoy!

  8. Stella
    December 24, 2014 at 6:14 pm (11 months ago)

    What are we supposed to soak the cashews in? Water?

  9. Stella
    December 26, 2014 at 3:23 pm (11 months ago)

    Just fyi- they were awesome and delicious. I did not stray from the recipe used everything exactly as prescribed. My hats off to you and your great work.

    • Vanessa Barajas
      Vanessa Barajas
      December 26, 2014 at 4:59 pm (11 months ago)

      Glad you enjoyed them Stella! Thanks for sharing the kind words!

  10. Ann-Marie
    January 6, 2015 at 7:26 pm (11 months ago)

    Awesome recipe! I added a bit of almond extract to the cashew butter and it was very delish! Agree about all the comments re: the caramel…I had a hard time getting it onto the cheesecakes! I disagree with the above comment re: won’t replace your cheesecake or regular pudding. That is nonsense. These taste just as yummy as any cheesecake I have eaten and I am a HUGE fan of the cheesecake! Carry on…

    • Vanessa Barajas
      Vanessa Barajas
      January 7, 2015 at 9:09 am (11 months ago)

      Almond extract! What a fabulous idea! This year I’ve recently become obsessed with almond extract…and lemon. I’m a huge fan of extracts, you get so much flavor bang for your buck. There will be some cake recipes in my cookbook that use it, so I hope you try those as well! You’re a genius! I’m so happy to hear the recipe was such a success, thanks for commenting! :)

  11. Amy
    January 12, 2015 at 11:10 am (11 months ago)

    Just made these and couldn’t even wait for the caramel to thicken…I had to try them! They are WONDERFUL! This definitely rates as one of my favorite paleo desserts EVER. My husband loves them too! I can’t wait to try them on the kids after school today.

    • Vanessa Barajas
      Vanessa Barajas
      January 16, 2015 at 8:55 am (10 months ago)

      Awesome! I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed them! Yay! :)

  12. Kelly Cornelison
    January 19, 2015 at 7:40 pm (10 months ago)

    Everyone that I’ve shared these with has loved them. (I also have to get rid of blog food — especially these!) Somehow my caramel stays very hard even after thawing… but they are still heavenly! Re-blogging to my new site! Thank you!!

    • Vanessa Barajas
      Vanessa Barajas
      January 20, 2015 at 8:07 pm (10 months ago)

      Yay! Kelly, so happy to hear everyone loved them! I have the same problem, I give them to my co-workers! That caramel can be finiky but all’s well that ends well I guess! 😉

  13. Hayley
    February 6, 2015 at 4:01 pm (10 months ago)

    Both of my kids are allergic to cashews. Any replacement that would be as good?

    • Vanessa Barajas
      Vanessa Barajas
      February 9, 2015 at 9:59 am (10 months ago)

      Are they allergic to just cashews or all nuts in general. You could try almonds or macadamia nuts, something light colored without a huge flavor profile. I’ve never tried it with any other nut besides cashews, but almond would probably work best.

  14. Sara
    February 8, 2015 at 1:15 pm (10 months ago)

    This looks heavenly! Salted caramel is my favorite combo, as well.

    • Vanessa Barajas
      Vanessa Barajas
      February 9, 2015 at 10:00 am (10 months ago)

      In my cookbook I will have a Salted Caramel Ice Cream recipe. You have to try it! I had to make two separate batches, one for me to eat and one to photograph! It’s SO good. 😉

  15. Linda
    February 11, 2015 at 9:31 pm (10 months ago)

    Hello! I am gathering the ingredients to make these and I see there’s raw zucchini and cashews in the mix, any suggestions on substitutes as I am allergic to raw nuts and raw veggies? Thanks!

    • Vanessa Barajas
      Vanessa Barajas
      February 12, 2015 at 10:38 pm (10 months ago)

      You could definitely omit the zucchini, it just helps to make the batter creamier. Do you tolerate dairy? If so I would sub for a nice full-fat grass-fed yogurt. You could also try full-fat canned coconut milk. Let me know how it goes or if you need help figuring out amounts!

      • Linda
        March 5, 2015 at 5:48 pm (9 months ago)

        Thank you!!!! I have both yogurt and canned coconut milk, I’m going to play around with this recipe this weekend and let you know how it turns out!

  16. Kate Poulton
    February 14, 2015 at 9:42 am (10 months ago)

    judt made these OH MY GOD they are amazing really sweet when ive not had any sugar for 45 days lol x

  17. Kayla
    February 20, 2015 at 7:06 am (9 months ago)

    What could I do to make a nut free version of this? We are nut completely and dairy free for the most part.

  18. Aly
    February 20, 2015 at 3:13 pm (9 months ago)

    These tasted amazing!! My proportions were a bit off though. I had an extra 5 or so cupcakes that I could have made. I put the crust in 24 mini cupcake tins thinking they would be proportianate to the cheesecake and carmel but I could have made an extra 5…oh well, they still tasted great!

  19. Nada
    February 24, 2015 at 3:50 am (9 months ago)

    These look divine, I gathered all the ingredients and I can wait to start. However I’m not a fan of coconut flavor, can I use hazelnut milk for the caramel instead?

    • Vanessa Barajas
      Vanessa Barajas
      February 24, 2015 at 9:48 am (9 months ago)

      In all honesty you can’t taste the coconut flavor at all in the caramel. I’ve never used hazelnut milk before, I’m sure it would work fine, maybe try using a little less since it’s thinner than coconut milk.

      • Nada
        February 24, 2015 at 12:13 pm (9 months ago)

        I tried it with the hazelnut milk, followed your advice and used less than a cup. it turned out amazing! The smell and taste of the caramel infused with hazelnut flavor was mouthwatering.
        This caramel is to die for !
        Thank you so much all the way from Saudi Arabia for sharing this divine recipe with us..

  20. Addie
    March 16, 2015 at 11:24 am (9 months ago)

    I bought everything to make these EXCEPT the cupcake liners.
    Will they stick if I soray the pan with coconut oil?

  21. Riley
    March 31, 2015 at 3:59 am (8 months ago)

    These look absolutely amazing I can’t wait to try them!! I have a question for you. The desert I miss most is lemon raspberry cheesecake do you think I could just added lemon zest and extra lemon juice to the cheesecake filling and then put a homemade raspberry jam on top and it would be good?
    Thanks a bunch!
    PS so glad I discovered your blog I haven’t had desserts in two months, I worked in a bakery for a couple of years before I was diagnosed with my autoimmune disease and when I was diagnosed thought I could never have dessert again because how do you make dessert with no gluten, grains, dairy and very limited sugar? Because I sure didn’t know. So I’m glad you do and I love that your sharing all these treats! Thank you!!!

    • Vanessa Barajas
      Vanessa Barajas
      April 2, 2015 at 8:57 am (8 months ago)

      Hey Riley! Check out the Strawberry Cheesecake Jars recipe on my site. It’s just what you are looking for! Add more lemon and sub the strawberries for raspberries. Also in my book I will have a Key Lime Cheesecake version as well if you’re into that sort of thing. :) So happy you’ve found somewhere to get gluten and grain-free treats from!

  22. Destiny
    June 2, 2015 at 1:13 am (6 months ago)

    Hey! Is there any chance you’d know how many calories are in a singular serve?

  23. Meghan
    November 19, 2015 at 2:04 pm (1 week ago)

    Hey there! Any way to do the caramel dairy free?

    • Vanessa Barajas
      Vanessa Barajas
      November 19, 2015 at 2:46 pm (1 week ago)

      Sure! You can sub ghee in place of the butter. :)


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