When I started eating low-carb back in 2013, I pretty much avoided desserts for several months. My goal was to wean myself off sweet-tasting foods. I was successful. But eventually, I started missing sweets.
That was when I discovered that you CAN have desserts on the keto diet. Using ingredients such as almond flour, coconut flour, and stevia (or other sweeteners), one can actually create amazing treats!
Frequently asked questions
Most low-carb desserts replace wheat flour with alternative flours - usually almond flour or coconut flour, or a combination of both.
Almond flour is surprisingly easy to bake with. It produces fluffy baked goods with a tender crumb. My only issue with this flour is that baked goods made with it are usually high in calories.
Coconut flour is not as easy to work with. It's extremely absorbent, so you need to add quite a few eggs and enough liquid to any mixture that contains it.
However, once you get the ratios right, baked goods made with coconut flour are light and fluffy (these coconut flour muffins are a good example), and they are also very low in calories. Especially compared with almond flour baked goods which tend to be calorie-dense.
My personal choice is to use stevia almost exclusively. I especially like the stevia glycerite form (NOW Foods is a good brand). But in most of my recipes, you can replace stevia with a sugar-free granulated sweetener.
Adapting a traditional cake recipe to these special ingredients isn't always easy. But once you get the ratios right, I think that low-carb desserts can indeed be just as good (or almost as good) as traditional ones.
It's no coincidence I started this collection with cheesecakes. They are probably my favorite type of dessert (with chocolate as a close second!).
The good news: it's VERY easy to create keto cheesecakes. You don't need to replace flour - all you need to replace is the sweetener. In my case, it's a bit more challenging because I like to use stevia.
But it's still completely doable, and the results are just as good, as tasty and creamy as traditional cheesecakes.
1. Crustless cheesecake
This cake is amazing. It tastes JUST LIKE regular cheesecake. I use low-fat ingredients, but you can definitely use full-fat ones if you prefer.
2. Ricotta cheesecake
Ricotta cheesecake is different from regular cheesecake because it tends to be light and airy. So it's not as creamy, but it's lighter in texture. I love both!
3. Mini cheesecakes
4. Mini chocolate cheesecakes
These are amazing. Just try them and you'll see. They combine the best of both worlds - the richness of cheesecake with a deep chocolatey flavor. And they are very easy to make!
I don't think any of us are deluding ourselves into thinking that donuts for breakfast are optimal. But as long as it's a once-in-a-while affair and not a daily occurrence, I think it's good to have a keto option for a deliciously sweet breakfast.
5. Chocolate donuts
The only challenge when making these scrumptious donuts is that you need to use a well-greased silicone donut pan to prevent sticking. Other than that, it's a simple recipe that yields impressive results.
6. Blueberry scones
I am amazed at how good these scones are. The orange zest gives them wonderful flavor, and their crumb is wonderfully tender.
Cookies and bars
When my husband and I transitioned to a low-carb diet back in 2013, my husband really missed chocolate chip cookies. So it became my mission to find a proper substitute for him.
The cookies that I came up with were so good, that since then I have added several more cookie recipes to my collection.
7. Chocolate chip cookies
These are for my husband... and now that I make them, he doesn't need to ever feel deprived!
8. Chocolate cookies
I really like soft and chewy cookies, and these are perfect. Making them with nut butter gives them this irresistible texture. And their flavor is deeply chocolatey.
9. Peanut butter cookies
Peanut butter is one of the best things that life has to offer, and luckily, we can enjoy it on the keto diet. These peanut butter cookies are wonderfully soft and chewy.
10. Shortbread cookies
I make these buttery cookies in honor of my Dutch grandma Miep, who used to bake with lots of butter. As you can imagine, her baked goods were scrumptious!
11. Cookie dough
This is a recipe that I developed in an attempt to save my teenage daughter from junky supermarket cookie dough. I'm happy to say I succeeded! She loves this dessert and has learned to make it by herself (it's VERY easy).
While keto brownies lack the crispy exterior and gooey interior typical to sugary brownies, they are excellent. Soft and fudgy, they have a deeply chocolatey flavor and it's quite difficult to stop at one square!
My personal preference is simple cakes without frosting such as this fluffy coconut flour cake. But when the occasion calls for it, it's good to know that one can indulge in a rich multilayer cake such as the delicious options featured here!
13. Birthday cake
I made this cake for my husband. It's a keto rendition of the birthday cake his grandma used to make, and he says it's just as good! (My guess is it's almost as good. Those grandmas had a magic hand in the kitchen!)
14. Chocolate cake
And this one.. is for me. My favorite childhood cake was a simple chocolate sheet cake with chocolate frosting and colorful sprinkles on top. This recipe is as close as you can get to that on a low-carb diet.
15. Carrot cake
I wasn't sure how easy (or not) it would be to make a carrot cake that would be appropriate for a keto diet. I'm happy to say that it IS possible! With around 7g carbs and 3g fiber for a generous frosted slice, this cake is a great low-carb option.
Mug cakes are such an amazing keto dessert. Making them is the quickest and easiest way to satisfy those sugar cravings. And another advantage is that they are usually single-serve, so they are self-limiting, which is a very good thing.
16. Microwave cheesecakes
This is one of the most successful recipes on this blog, and it's also quite controversial. Many readers love it. Just as many say (mostly on Pinterest) that it needs more cream cheese to taste like true cheesecake.
I make the original recipe regularly and adore it. Why don't you try for yourself? It's ready in a few minutes and requires just a few ingredients.
17. Chocolate mug cake
If you like gooey chocolate desserts, this is the one for you! When I first made it I struggled a bit because it made two servings and I was always tempted to polish them both off... I have since learned to make a single serving. Phew!
18. Peanut butter mug cake
Peanut butter flavor and a fluffy cake texture... this is perfection. Topped with a dollop of keto whipped cream, it's definitely one of my favorite keto desserts.
19. Pumpkin mug cake
This cake is really good even without the frosting, and my feeling is that without it, it's okay to have it for breakfast on occasion. With the creamy frosting, it is elevated into a rich, scrumptious dessert, perfect for fall.
Cupcakes are so much fun. No wonder cupcake shops are all the rage these days! They are fun to make and fun to eat, and similarly to mug cakes, they are self-limiting.
It's good to know that even on the keto diet cupcakes are definitely an option, and they are just as good as sugary recipes.
20. Chocolate cupcakes
This is another one that I made specifically for my husband. He loves the combination of chocolate and peanut butter. So on his birthday a few years ago I surprised him with these irresistible cupcakes.
21. Vanilla cupcakes
I love pairing simple vanilla cupcakes with a rich chocolate frosting. The contrast in colors and flavors is wonderful.
22. Pumpkin cupcakes
These are my favorite indulgence in the fall, when I start making all things pumpkin. Their crumb is fluffy and tender, and the pumpkin-flavored frosting is wonderfully rich.
Mousse, pudding, and frosting
Rich and creamy yet low in carbs and in sugar, these tasty desserts are a real treat. A big advantage is that they don't require baking or cooking. So they are one of the easiest options for yummy low-carb treats.
23. Chocolate pudding
Can you believe that this rich, delicious pudding is made with just three ingredients and does not require any cooking whatsoever? It's true! This is one of the treats that I make most often, simply because it's so easy to make.
24. Chocolate custard
This chocolate custard is dark, rich, and intense. Its texture is smooth and silky. It is one of my favorite chocolate desserts!
25. Cream cheese frosting
I always loved cream cheese frosting, even back in my high-carb days. I like it better than buttercream frosting. It was easy to adapt this one to a low-carb diet by simply replacing the powdered sugar with stevia.
26. Whipped cream
This is another recipe where the keto substitution is effortless. I use the classic whipped cream ratios, but replace the sugar with stevia. This chocolate whipped cream, made with cocoa powder and stevia, is also excellent.
Fudge is amazing, and making a keto version is easy, especially if you use a powdered sweetener.
But even if you're like me and you'd rather use stevia (or just sweeten it with extra dark chocolate), it works, and it's one of the easiest keto treats you can make.
27. Peanut butter fudge
Rich and fudgy, this fudge is amazing - maybe too amazing! The only drawback to making it without a boatload of powdered sugar is that you need to keep it in the fridge. Otherwise, it gets too soft.
28. Chocolate peanut butter fudge
I got this fine recipe from my friend Jayne, then adapted it for the keto diet. I make it without any added sweeteners, relying on the dark chocolate to sweeten it. It's perfectly sweet!
29. Chocolate bark
It's easy to make keto chocolate bark - simply use extra-dark chocolate and focus on nuts instead of on dried fruit. Though I do add a very small amount of dried cranberries. They're just so pretty!
30. Chocolate covered strawberries
The combination of fruit and chocolate is a classic one. The darker the chocolate you use the better, of course.
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