Whether you’re new to a keto diet or been following one for years, you already know it can be tough to give up desserts. When some of our family members started keto several years ago, I knew I needed to create delicious sweet treats so they wouldn’t feel deprived. So, in this post, you will learn more about keto baking and get all of my best tips for making the best keto desserts. I’m also sharing some of my favorite keto dessert recipes for you to browse.
Part of the challenge in being on a keto diet is knowing what ingredients you can use in recipes. In baking, this is especially important because with all the sugar and flour substitutes, it’s sometimes hard to know which ones to use.
I’m breaking things down for you so you know the difference between common keto flours and sweeteners, plus sharing some tips so you can make keto desserts with success.
Conventional sugars like brown and white sugar, honey and maple syrup, among others are not keto-friendly, but there are several different sweetener alternatives you can use instead. I always try to stick with natural sweeteners, which I discuss more in detail below.
Sweeteners often do more than just add sweetness to the recipe. They also play a role in the structure and texture of the dessert, so it’s always a good idea to follow the exact sweetener the recipe recommends.
- Erythritol is my preferred sweetener for most keto recipes. It is a sugar alcohol, does not raise blood sugar levels, and does not count towards net carbs. It is slightly less sweet than sugar, but in most recipes it can be used as a 1:1 substitute for sugar. Swerve is a popular brand which is actually a blend of erythritol and other ingredients. Sugar alcohols can sometimes cause digestive issues, but erythritol does not usually cause issues unless eaten in large amounts.
- Monk fruit is a popular option that has been around for a long time. It’s a powder sweetener that is extracted from monk fruit that are grown in Southeast Asia. It’s so sweet that it’s often mixed with other ingredients (like erythritol) to reduce its strong sweetness. It is often used in keto desserts and drinks. Lakanto is one of the most well-known brands of monk fruit sweetener. However, it is not pure monk fruit. Instead, it is a blend of erythritol and monk fruit.
- Xyiltol is often used in sugar-free candies, mints, and chewing gum. It’s a sugar alcohol, doesn’t count towards net carbs and doesn’t raise blood sugar levels. It has the same level of sweetness as table sugar, but it has been associated with digestive issues if it’s consumed at higher levels. It is also toxic to dogs, so that is something to keep in mind if you are a dog owner.
- Stevia: This is a common sweetener that is extracted from a plant and is used to sweeten drinks and desserts. It is a lot sweeter than regular sugar so you only need to use a small amount compared to regular sugar.
Low Carb Flour Substitutes
Just because wheat flour is not keto-friendly doesn’t mean you can’t make flour-based recipes using alternative flour products. With the popularity of low carb and keto diets, many alternative flours have become more widely available. But, like the sweeteners, they aren’t all interchangeable and you should always use what the recipe recommends.
- Coconut flour is made by extracting the “meat” from coconuts and then drying it. It’s then ground into a fine powder which can be used like flour. It is highly absorbent and is usually used in small amounts because it sucks the moisture out of batters and doughs. If a recipe calls for coconut flour, it’s important to use the exact amount. It’s also never a direct 1:1 substitute for almond flour.
- Almond flour is a common type of nut flour used in keto baking and should not be confused with almond meal, which is different. Almond meal is made with whole almonds and has a consistency similar to cornmeal. Almond flour is made by grinding blanched almonds in a very fine flour-like consistency. I prefer to use superfine almond flour in my recipes because it mimics the same texture as regular flour.
- Sunflower seed flour and sesame flour are other types of flours that are sometimes used in place of almond flour, especially if you have a nut allergy. But, as mentioned, it’s always better to use what is listed in the recipe.
- Psyllium husk powder is often used in gluten-free and keto baking because it helps prevent baked goods from being too crumbly. It works to retain moisture so the dough or batter is more elastic. So, it’s not so much a flour substitute, but is sometimes included in recipes to improve the texture of the baked good.
Tips for Making Keto Desserts
- Unless a recipe specifies it, avoid directly substituting wheat flour for low-carb flours.
- Many keto baking recipes call for higher amounts of baking powder, so I recommend using an aluminum-free baking powder which won’t leave a metallic after-taste when used in larger quantities.
- For chocolate desserts, Lily’s Sweets has a large selection of chocolate baking products and it is my favorite to use because it doesn’t have any aftertaste and acts the same way as regular chocolate when you use it in recipes.
- Finally, if you are new to keto, I think it’s important to keep an open mind! Many recipes may look weird on paper with unfamiliar ingredients or common ingredients used in new ways – but, and I am speaking for my recipes, trust that they work and will be great. All of my keto recipes are tried and tested.
Want to try some amazing keto desserts? Here’s a round-up of some of my favorite recipes!
All things cake including cheesecake in this list! My keto cake recipes are all easy to make and perfect if you are entertaining or want to make a cake for someone following a keto diet.
Keto Lava Cake | This chocolate cake is rich and decadent. Plus, you don’t need a mixer and it’s ready in about 20-minutes.
Peanut Butter Cake | You only need three ingredients to make this low-carb cake. Perfect for anyone who loves peanut butter.
Lemon Cake | This pound cake is moist, fluffy and full of lemon flavor. It’s finished with a sweet lemon glaze. It’s also an easy one-bowl recipe – no mixer required!
Peanut Butter Lava Cake | This chocolate cake has a molten peanut butter center and only takes 20 minutes to make.
I’ve been making mug cake for years and if you’re following a keto diet, I have several for you to choose from! They are all single-serving desserts you can make in your microwave.
Coconut Mug Cake | This coconut flavored cake is moist and fluffy and cooks in about two minutes.
Lemon Mug Cake | This easy single-serving cake is bursting with lemon flavor!
Blueberry Mug Cake | If you love blueberry you will love this easy low-carb cake.
Almond Butter Cake | This cake is light and fluffy with a subtle almond flavor. I like to add some chocolate chips to dress it up.
Coffee Mug Cake | I love coffee and coffee-flavored desserts, so I had to create a mug cake! The cake comes out super moist and fluffy, with a strong coffee flavor.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Mug Cake | This one has a very fudgy texture and lots of chocolate chips and you only need three ingredients to make it. Want to skip the chocolate? Try my peanut butter cake instead.
Nutella Mug Cake | This cake is made with cocoa powder and hazelnuts so it tastes like Nutella, but it’s still low-carb and keto-friendly.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake | Another chocolate and peanut butter combo because it’s one of my favorites!
Chocolate Chip Mug Cake | Vanilla cake with chocolate chips is like your favorite cookie but baked in a mug as a cake.
Snickerdoodle Mug Cake | Just like the classic cookie, this cake is spiced with cinnamon but it’s light, fluffy and keto-friendly!
Cookies and Brownies
It’s a challenge to get the right texture for keto cookies and brownies so all of my recipes are well-tested so you know they’re good!
Chocolate Chip Cookies | This recipe is so quick and easy. The dough comes together in less than 10 minutes. I love how easy it is and the cookies look just like traditional chocolate chip cookies.
Shortbread Cookies | Buttery, melt-in-your-mouth cookies that are studded with chocolate chips.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies | This is a one-bowl recipe and the cookies are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
Keto Brownies | These keto low carb brownies are fudgy and chocolatey. It’s also an easy one-bowl recipe!
Flourless Pumpkin Brownies | These brownies are an easy one-bowl recipe. The brownies are super chocolatey, chewy and you won’t taste the pumpkin at all.
Avocado Brownies | A low carb, keto-friendly avocado brownie recipe. These easy brownies have a rich chocolate flavor and fudgy texture from the use of avocados.
I’ve recently started creating keto-friendly candy recipes and plan to add more to the collection! In the meantime, you can get a candy fix with these easy recipes.
Gummy Bears | Sweet, chewy, fruit-flavored homemade gummy bears that are just 3 ingredients.
2-Ingredient Keto Fudge | This fudge couldn’t be easier. It’s rich, chocolatey, nutty, chewy and just 2 ingredients.
Peanut Butter Fudge | Of course, I have a version for the peanut butter fans, too!