10 Dessert Recipes You Won't Believe Are Keto-Friendly
A small handful of easy ingredient swaps make classic treats like chocolate chip cookies, apple pie, and cheesecake allowed on the ketogenic diet.
Chocolate chip cookies on keto? It's possible with the right recipe.
"Keto" and "dessert" are not usually two words that go together. But with a few simple ingredient swaps, you can satisfy a sweet tooth on this extremely high-fat, low-carb diet.
For instance, you can replace white flour with low-carb almond meal or coconut flour. Likewise, you can trade white sugar for sweeteners such as monk fruit extract, stevia, and erythritol to cut carbs.
You’ll simply want to enjoy these treats in moderation and factor in the net carbs provided by each recipe. (That unofficial term roughly describes the total carbs minus fiber and sugar alcohols, according to Atkins.com.) That’s because the ketogenic diet is very restrictive. On the standard version of this eating plan, 80 to 90 percent of your calories will come from fat, 5 to 15 percent will come from protein, and 5 to 10 percent will come from carbohydrates. Thus, it’s not a good idea for everyone, and people on medications should be especially cautious, according to Diabetes.co.uk.
Also, many of these recipes contain sugar alcohols (erythritol being one example), and these may contribute to gastrointestinal discomfort and diarrhea, according to the authors of an article published in October 2016 in the International Journal of Dentistry.
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After you’ve gotten approval from your healthcare team to try keto, consider adding these keto-friendly desserts to your meal plan.
Keto Chocolate Chip Cookies
The chocolate chip cookie is a staple at offices, on holiday party platters, and at home as an occasional treat. In this recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie, a combination of low-carb ingredients, including almond flour and powdered erythritol or stevia, make the beloved dessert possible to enjoy without kicking your body out of ketosis, which is the fat-burning mode of the keto diet, according to Harvard Health Publishing. Per cookie, you’ll get 2.1 grams (g) net carbs.
Keto Chocolate Milk
Nothing pairs better with cookies than a cool glass of chocolate milk. But between high-carb cow’s milk — a whopping 12 g net carbs in a single cup of whole milk, per the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) — and chocolate syrup (23 g net carbs per 2 tablespoons), this drink is typically off-limits on the keto diet. But thanks to a few recipe tweaks, such as cocoa and monk fruit liquid sweetener for chocolate syrup, in this recipe from Yummy Keto Cooking, you can enjoy a rich, creamy glass with only 3.5 g net carbs per serving.
Low-Carb Classic Cheesecake
There’s nothing like a slice of a delicious, creamy cheesecake. But the standard recipe calls for heaps of added sugar and refined flour, which contribute to its high-carb profile and make it a keto no-no. For example, a single piece packs a whopping 32.1 g net carbs, according to the USDA. This version from Wholesome Yum provides the same great flavor but cuts the carbs by using almond flour and erythritol. With a mere eight ingredients, it can be prepared in 10 minutes. What’s more, a piece sets you back 5 g net carbs.
Keto Coconut Lime Bars
Sometimes you just want a tart, refreshing dessert. And with this recipe, you can satisfy that craving while keeping carbs down. Combining almond flour, coconut, and lime juice, these delicious and colorful bars from I Breathe I’m Hungry have only 2 g net carbs per serving.
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Keto ‘Apple’ Pie
There may be no more classic American dessert than apple pie. Yet the traditional treat can be problematic for those on keto — according to the USDA, a standard slice has 41 g net carbs! This spin on the standard recipe from Wholesome Yum provides the same great taste with 8 g net carbs per serving. (You’ll never guess the secret ingredient that makes it possible.)
Coconut Seed Clusters
Looking for an afternoon pick-me-up? These bite-sized, plant-based clusters courtesy of LiveBest can make the perfect nutritious snack — and thanks to their pretty presentation, they stand a good chance of being a hit among non-keto dieters, as well. Those on the diet can rest assured that their snack contains 4 g net carbs per serving.
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Keto Peanut Butter Cups
Candy of any kind can spell disaster for your keto meal plan, but there’s a way around this roadblock: Make it yourself. Reese’s peanut butter cup lovers will appreciate this idea from Wholesome Yum in particular. With 3 g net carbs, whether to indulge in this treat is an easy choice.
Keto Vanilla Cupcakes
Cupcakes make any event seem more festive, but just one of these traditional treats clocks 63 g net carbs, according to the USDA. This low-carb recipe from Stay Snatched incorporates a blend of almond and coconut flours along with a low-carb buttercream frosting for a mouthwatering dessert with only 2 g net carbs per serving.
Cookie Dough Fat Bombs
If you’re following a keto diet, chances are you’ve heard about "fat bombs" — the keto version of an energy ball. Packed with fat and protein, these items can help stabilize your energy and appetite throughout the day. And this easy chocolate chip cookie dough fat bomb recipe from Healthy Sweet Eats can also satisfy your sweet tooth. Importantly, no raw egg or flour is used, so this dough is perfectly safe to eat. Each ball contains just 2 g net carbs.
Chocolate Almond Butter Protein Balls
Also in the fat bomb realm, these energizing balls make for the perfect grab-and-go snack. This recipe from Amy Gorin Nutrition mixes nuts, cocoa powder, and chia seeds for bites that offer fiber, protein, and unsaturated fat to keep you full for hours. And at 7 g net carbs per ball, they make the perfect sweet snack for keto dieters.