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Aztec Chocolate Blocks – Paleo Chocolate Gelatin Squares

I constantly struggle to eat enough fat.

You don’t have any sympathy, do you? But it is a problem for me about 6 days out of 7. I’m sure a few bacon cheese burgers and fries would fix this “problem,” but that’s not what I want. For starters, greasy food tends to ruin my day! Things like salmon, avocado, some nuts, and olive oil are how I’d prefer to meet my fat macro goal.

So what’s that got to do with this recipe? It’s made with a whole can of full fat coconut milk. Not the stuff that’s 50 calories a half cup – I mean the really full fat, un-diluted stuff. By the time the chocolate blocks are cut into manageable squares each block has about a gram and a half of fat. It isn’t enough to wreck your meal plan if you’re looking for a decadent treat, but a couple are enough to help me make my fat macro! And why are they called Aztec chocolate blocks? Because they have a spicy surprise. =)

Aztec Chocolate Blocks - Paleo Chocolate Gelatin Squares

This post may include affiliate links, which means I may make a commission on purchases made through these links at no additional cost to you. 

I know it sounds weird that I’m consciously trying to eat more fat, but your body needs a certain amount of fat, just like you need a certain amount of protein and carbs. The differences I’ve seen in my body, energy level, and gym performance since I started tracking my macros and eating what I actually need have been incredible. I’ve been logging my food regularly for almost six months now and in that time I’ve accomplished things I never imagined were possible. For example, I’ve gone from being able to regularly get 50% of my bodyweight overhead with a barbell to being able to get 104% of my bodyweight overhead. That’s exciting stuff! 

For some visuals, hop on over to my post about how “big” I’ve gotten with CrossFit and Oly (spoiler alert – I’m actually physically smaller as a result of lifting).

But enough of that. Let’s move along to the chocolate! That’s why y’all are here, right?

Paleo chocolate gelatin

If you love chocolate, you probably already know that it’s from South America and that the original chocolate beverages were spicy, not sweet. These Paleo “Aztec” chocolate blocks honor that tradition with raw cacao powder and two kinds of pepper!

While raw cacao is a better choice that cocoa powder, you can use cocoa powder if that’s all you have available. Even if there are no specially stores around you, you can always get natural cacao powder on Amazon! This is the cacao powder I use because I find it to be consistently high quality and a good value.

chocolate gelatin blocks

If you’re using processed cocoa that’s already sweetened, I highly recommend leaving out the honey. And speaking of the honey, I’m not a big sweets eater. You can add one or two more tablespoons of honey if you need to, but less sugar is better for you. =)

When I worked out the math, each of my chocolate blocks had about 35 calories with about 1.8 grams of fat, 2.9 grams of carbs, and 1.9 grams of protein. These numbers will vary depending on your exact ingredients and how many pieces you cut your chocolate gelatin in to, so please work out your exact numbers if tracking macros is important to you! If it isn’t, well, now you have a ballpark idea of the nutritional information.

Yield: 34

Aztec Chocolate Blocks - Paleo Chocolate Gelatin Squares

Aztec Chocolate Blocks - Paleo Chocolate Gelatin Squares
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 1 can (about 1 2/3 cups) full fat coconut milk
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 4 teaspoons gelatin, preferably grass fed
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1.5 oz raw cocao powder (this is about 1/4C + 1/8C)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper or cayenne pepper (more if you're bold!)
  • a few cranks of freshly ground black pepper


  • Combine the coconut milk and water in a medium saucepan.
  • Place the saucepan over a medium-heat burner and whisk in the powdered gelatin.
  • Whisk slowly but constantly until the mixture is heated through, about 5-8 minutes. You may see it just starting to steam - that's fine. You don't need to bring it to a simmer, though!
  • Keep whisking as you slowly add the honey.
  • Once the honey is combined, slowly add/whisk in the cacao powder and keep whisking until it's fully combined.
  • Whisk in the spices and remove the saucepan from the stove.
  • Pour the mixture into a large glass or ceramic dish. A 9x9 or larger casserole dish works well!
  • Cut a piece of plastic wrap and carefully place it on the gelatin's surface. This will prevent unattractive "scumming" as it cools.
  • Place the chocolate gelatin in the fridge and allow it to cool/set for 3-4 hours.
  • Cut into squares and enjoy immediately or store in an air tight container in the fridge to enjoy later.
  • { 16 comments… add one }
    • Pam May 13, 2019, 12:26

      I’m planning on trying adding vanilla paste and cinnamon with a small amount of honey.

      This is very similar to panna cotta that’s made with full fat Greek yogurt and heavy cream.

      Just as a guideline, I would like to know how many squares you initially cut to get the nutrient/kcal breakdown.

      Thanks so much.

      • Natasha May 13, 2019, 20:08

        I’m very sorry – I have no idea how many squares I cut these into when I made them in 2015! The blocks were approximately 1.5″ wide and long each. If you input the ingredients in an app like My Fitness Pal and divide by your exact number of servings, you’ll get an accurate for you macro count. I hope that’s at least a little helpful!

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