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Paleo Halloween Mandarin Cups (GF, DF, *AIP)

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Paleo Halloween Mandarin Cups (GF, DF, *AIP)

If you are looking for an easy and healthy little desserts for “Trick or Treat” night, these Paleo Halloween Mandarin Cups are the perfect recipe for you!

They combine the traditional Jack O’ Lantern Oranges with the delicious and spooky Dirt Cups, all while looking like tiny, little carved pumpkins!

Paleo Halloween Mandarin Cups (Dairy & Gluten Free, AIP)

These paleo Halloween treats are super healthy and free from gluten, dairy, nuts and refined sugar, making them a great option for a kid party (you never know what kids might be allergic to) or simply for us adults, to enjoy something that’s actually nourishing on the night in which junk food makes its triumph!

Paleo Halloween Mandarin Cups (Dairy & Gluten Free, AIP)

Carving out the Jack ‘o Lantern faces on these mandarin cups can be a fun activity to do with your little ones or with your friends, which make this recipe a really fun one to prepare!

And if you don’t have time to prepare the mousse, or don’t have the ingredients for it at hand, you can always fill these Halloween mandarin cups some coconut milk chocolate ice cream and sprinkle fun toppings on it!

Paleo Halloween Mandarin Cups (Dairy & Gluten Free, AIP)

And if you have oranges at hand, you can definitely use those too! Just make sure to triple the dose of the filling ingredients, as to fill up oranges you’ll need a lot more of it.

I am excited for you to prepare these healthy Halloween treats, but before you scroll down to the recipe card, make sure you read the Q&As below about your replacement options and how to make these mandarin cups Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) compliant if you need to.

How make this recipe Easier & Faster:

To drastically reduce the prep time of these paleo Halloween Mandarin Cups, you can simply draw the Jack ‘O Lanterns faces with a sharpie on the mandarin peel and avoid carving it and filling the cut outs with chocolate. This will definitely make the preparation process a lot quicker.

Alternatively, you can still carve out the orange part of the mandarin peel (see instructions in the recipe card below) and avoid filling them with melted chocolate. Your Halloween Mandarin Cups will have white cutouts instead of dark ones, but they’ll be as cute!

Things to Know about these Paleo Halloween Mandarin Cups:

You can store these in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours, but if you need to store them for longer, I recommend waiting to squeeze the dirt filling in your mandarin cups until you are almost ready to serve them. This will prevent the mousse filling from getting soggy.

Nope. Once thawed, they would become a big mush mess. This is a Halloween treat you need to make fresh, ideally right before you are ready to serve them 🙂

If you are on the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) and need to avoid cacao and chocolate, the best replacement ever is to make your own AIP Carob Chocolate following my recipe.

Simply focus on the basic “chocolate” recipe and skip the toppings. As per the cacao powder, you can easily sub that with some carob powder, but you’ll find all the details about replacements in the recipe card below.

Here are some ideas off the top of my head which I think would be really fun. Add some crushed gluten free chocolate cookies, or grain free mini marshmallows. Alternatively , why not?, you can add some homemade gelatin gummies or nut pieces.

Paleo Halloween Mandarin Cups (GF, DF, *AIP)

Looking for more healthy, Paleo Halloween desserts?

Here’s a few more ideas to create healthy Halloween treats for your parties or your little ones:

Paleo Halloween Mandarin Cups (Dairy & Gluten Free, AIP)
Paleo Halloween Mandarin Cups (Dairy & Gluten Free, AIP)
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5 from 1 vote

Paleo Halloween Mandarin Cups

These Paleo Halloween Mandarin Cups are a healthy dairy & gluten free treat that combines the traditional Jack O' Lantern Oranges with a delicious Dirt Cup!
Servings: 12
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time0 mins


For the Dirt Filling:

For the Toppings


  • With a sharpie, draw out Jack ‘o Lanterns’ eyes, nose and mouth over the side of your mandarins. This sketch will help you be more precise when you make incisions in the mandarin skin.
  • With a cutter or a sharp knife, cut along the lines you traced with your sharpie, making sure you don’t cut it all the way through.
  • Remove the orange layer of the skin (making sure the white, internal part of the skin is still intact).
  • Melt the chocolate and use it to fill the incisions you made on the mandarin skin. You can do so by helping yourself with a small kitchen brush or with a small spoon and a toothpick, just like I did.
  • Slice the top off the mandarins, then run a sharp knife or cutter around its interior and cut out a big cone of mandarin pulp which you’ll reserve for the dirt filling or for a fruit salad. Do not remove all of the pulp, but make sure you leave some attached to the skin so it will add a juicy taste to your dirt filling.
  • Place your Halloween mandarin cups in the refrigerator and start preparing the filling.
  • Combine all ingredients for the Dirt filling in a Vitamix and blend until you have smooth and creamy mousse.
  • Transfer the dirt mousse in a pastry bag (or in a Ziploc bag in which you cut off a small piece of the corner) and squeeze out the mousse in the mandarin cups.
  • In a small pan, melt the dark chocolate, take it off the stove and mix date syrup and cacao nibs, mixing well until they are all coated with the chocolate-date syrup mixture.
  • Garnish your Halloween Mandarin Dirt Cups with some glazed cacao nibs, some shaved coconut and crushed freeze dried raspberries.
  • Add in a fun paper straw (I cut mine in 3 pieces) and serve!



Calories: 126kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 278mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 1718IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: AIP, Dirt Cups, gluten free, Halloween, Mandarin, Paleo
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Leave a comment below and share a photo on Instagram. Tag @littlebitesofbeauty and hashtag it #littlebitesofbeauty!

Share this healthy Halloween recipe on your Facebook and Pinterest or print it out so you can use it as a guide when you are ready to carve your Paleo Halloween Mandarin Cups!

Like always, make sure to share a photo with me on Instagram! and subscribe to my weekly newsletter so that you never miss a post!!

Lots of love from Italy and I will catch you at the next recipe!


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Paleo Halloween Mandarin Cups (Dairy & Gluten Free, AIP)
Paleo Halloween Mandarin Cups (Dairy & Gluten Free, AIP)

This post appeared in the Phoenix Helix recipe roundtable.

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Ambra Torelli
Born and raised in Italy, Ambra visited over 20 countries and now she divides her time in between Italy and the US, where her husband is from and where she moved in 2011 work as university professor of Italian Literature. She writes about food, travel and things that inspire her! more about ambra

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1 Comment

  • Amy October 28, 2020 10:08 am

    Very cute Halloween “pumpkins”! Thanks! I always enjoy your posts and checking out your recipes!

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