Keto Baking For Beginners | The Ultimate Guide To Low-Carb Baking

Keto Baking For Beginners | The Ultimate Guide To Low-Carb Baking

When it comes to keto baking we have to take a completely different approach than with traditional baking. Not only do we need to know what ingredients are keto friendly, but we also need to know how to cook with them. Unfortunately, it’s a bit more complicated than simply swapping out wheat flour for almond flour.

For example, almond flour is much denser and does not rise in the same way that wheat flour does. So creating a nice fluffy bread or chewy cookie requires a different approach. Thankfully, however, I have learned a few tips and tricks along the way that can help you create some amazing keto baked goods. But for starters, we’ll take a look at what ingredients we can use in keto baking.

Best Flours To Use For Keto Baking

Almond Flour

By far the most common low-carb flour used in keto baking is almond flour. Because it is made from almonds, this flour is high in fiber and relatively low in net carbs. And, lucky for us, almond flour is fairly easy to find at most grocery stores and with online retailers.

It should also be mentioned that almost all keto baking recipes you will find online call for the use of almond flour. Because of this, almond flour is my #1 recommended keto baking flour.

Almond flour is typically replaced cup-for-cup when substituted for regular wheat flour. This keto friendly flour has a sweet and nutty flavor that is perfect for keto cakes and cookies. Take note, however, that almond flour burns much more easily than does wheat flour, so you will want to bake your keto recipes at a lower temperature and be sure to cover them with aluminum foil.

Additionally, almond flour is much denser than regular flour. So when I am looking to make soft and chewy keto desserts like my chewy chocolate chip cookies, I will often add in a bit of cream cheese to the dough. This will help to not only keep the cookies soft, but it also helps prevent them from browning as much. A few tips that could help when baking with almond flour include:

  • Cooking recipes roughly 25 degrees Fahrenheit lower than you would other recipes
  • Covering with aluminum foil
  • Adding cream cheese for softness and flavor for cookies and other select recipes
  • Using a little extra baking powder or soda
  • Using slightly less oil due to the fat content of the almonds
  • Storing in the refrigerator or freezer

Best flour for keto baking Almond Flour Macros Per 1/4 Cup

 

15o calories

11 grams of fat

6 grams of protein

6 grams of Carbs

3 grams fiber

3 net carbs

 

 

Coconut Flour

Coconut flour is probably the second most common flour used in keto baking. Like almond flour, coconut flour is available at most grocery stores and used in many keto recipes. It is made from the meat of a dried coconut and has a light, soft texture.

Though I do not use coconut flour very often in my recipes, there are some unique benefits of baking with this keto friendly flour. One benefit, for example, is that coconut flour is very nutritionally dense. This keto friendly flour is high in fiber and contains important fatty acids and minerals. For instance, just one 25 gram serving of coconut flour contains 10 grams of fiber and over 12% DV of iron! Most notably, however, coconut flour is high in lauric acid and manganese.

However, unlike almond flour, you should not measure coconut flour cup-for-cup with regular flour. Generally speaking, you should substitute roughly 1/4 cup or 4-6 Tbsp coconut flour for one cup of wheat flour. Coconut flour absorbs a lot of moisture so recipes may require extra liquids and oils. Because of this, baking with coconut oil can become a bit tricky.

If I am using coconut flour in any of my low-carb baking, I will typically mix it with another keto friendly flour such as almond flour. If you are going to be experimenting with using coconut flour in your baking, I suggest following a few basic principles.

  • Recipes should contain a binding agent such as eggs, otherwise, ingredients will not hold together
  • Sift coconut flour before use to avoid clumping
  • Use plenty of liquids and oils to prevent dryness
  • Allow time for the liquids and coconut flour to soak together before baking
  • Cook at lower temperatures and cover with aluminum foil when baking
  • Store in a cool dark place

low-carb baking with coconut flour Coconut Flour Macros Per 1/4 Cup

 

120 calories

4 grams of fat

4 grams of protein

16 total carbs

10 grams of fiber

6 net carbs

 

 

Pecan Flour

Though it can be a bit harder to find at the local grocery store, pecan flour is my favorite keto friendly flour! I use either almond flour or almond bits in almost all of my keto dessert recipes.  You can purchase pecan flour on Amazon or make it at home straight from the pecans.

To make pecan flour, simply grind de-shelled pecans in a blender or food processor until you get a nice flour texture. Just be sure not to overdo this or you will end up with nut butter instead.

The reason I love baking with pecan flour is that it contains fewer net carbs and much more fat than almond flour does. In fact, pecan flour contains only 1 net carb and 21 grams of fat per 1/4 cup. Almond flour, on the other hand, contains roughly 3 net carbs and only 11 grams of fat per 1/4 cup. Because of this, I have been able to create keto baked goods that contain fewer net carbs than other keto recipes you will find online.

Pecan flour measures basically the same as almond flour and you should follow the same basic rules when using it in your low-carb baking. However, as good as all of this sounds, the major setback with pecan flour is the price. Pecan flour, though lower in carbs, is always going to be pricier than almond flour.

For this reason, most of my recipes are a mixture of pecan and almond flour. This way you can get the best of both worlds. In addition, these two keto friendly flours make a tasty combination. Pecan flour also has an amazing nutty flavor and is my secret weapon when it comes to low-carb baking! Follow the same guidelines you would with almond flour such as:

  • Cooking recipes roughly 25 degrees Fahrenheit lower than you would other recipes
  • Covering with aluminum foil
  • Adding cream cheese for softness and flavor for cookies and other select recipes
  • Using a little extra baking powder or soda
  • Using slightly less oil due to the fat content of the pecans
  • Storing in the refrigerator or freezer

 

Pecan Flour Macros Per 1/4 Cup baking with pecan flour

200 calories

21 grams of fat

3 grams of protein

4 grams of carbs

3 grams of fiber

1 net carb

 

 

 

Hazelnut Flour

Another not so common yet amazing low-carb baking flour is hazelnut flour. Though I haven’t experimented with this keto friendly flour as much as I would like, it has proven to be a great keto baking flour. Made from pure ground hazelnuts, this flour has a great nutty flavor and measures like wheat flour. Because of its rich nuttiness, hazelnut flour is perfect for pie crusts, cookies, muffins, and scones.

In addition, hazelnut flour is high in fiber and is very nutritious. It is high in folate, manganese, and omega 3 fatty acids, just to name a few! Hazelnut flour also holds moisture better than many other keto friendly flours do.

The only drawback to this flour is that it has not quite caught on in the world of keto so you won’t find it in too many recipes. In addition, since this flour is hard to find in stores you will likely have to buy it online or make it yourself.

You can make hazelnut flour the same way you would any other nut flour, simply grind the deshelled nuts in a blender or food processor until it has a great flour texture. Technically, if you leave the skin it would be considered hazelnut meal but it will work just the same.

All that said, I highly recommend experimenting with hazelnut flour. Treat it the same way you would almond flour. Specifically by following these same basic guidelines:

  • Cooking recipes roughly 25 degrees Fahrenheit lower than you would other recipes
  • Covering with aluminum foil
  • Adding cream cheese for softness and flavor for cookies and other select recipes
  • Using a little extra baking powder or soda
  • Using slightly less oil due to the fat content of the hazelnuts
  • Storing in the refrigerator or freezer

 

baking with hazelnut flour Hazelnut Macros Per 1/4 Cup

180 calories

17 grams of fat

4 grams of protein

5 grams of carbs

3 grams of fiber

2 net carbs

 

 

 

Other Nut Flours And Nut Flour Blends

You can experiment with making all kinds of nut flours and using them for keto baking. Keep in mind, however, that some nuts contain a relatively high-carb content for the ketogenic diet. For example, 1 0z of cashews contain 9 grams of carbs and less than 1 gram of fiber. Pecans, on the other hand, contain only 4 grams of carbs and 3 grams of fiber per 1 oz serving.

That said, try using lower carb nuts when making your own nut flours. As for me, most of my recipes are a blend of different flours, usually an almond and pecan flour mix. There are also pre-mixed nut flours you can find in grocery stores and online.

The most common brand is Pamela’s Gluten-Free Nut Flour Blend. It is made with a blend of almond flour, coconut flour, pecan flour, and walnut flour. It’s a great product and is relatively well priced compared to other keto friendly baking flours.

 

Pamela’s Nut Flour low-carb nut flour blendsMacros Per 1/4 Cup

130 calories

13 grams of fat

4 grams of protein

9 grams of carbs

4 grams of fiber

5 net carbs

 

 

What About Nut-Free Flours For Keto Baking

You can also make low-carb baking flours from ground seeds. Common examples would include sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and flaxseeds. Of course, if you have a nut allergy please consult with your doctor first since not everyone with a nut allergy can safely eat seeds.

That said, if you are looking for a nut-free option for keto baking, seed flours are an excellent choice. Like nut flours, seed flours are often highly nutritious. As far as low-carb baking goes, sunflower seed and ground pumpkin take the cake! These two are not only packed with vitamins and minerals but they also measure similar to almond flour.

Thankfully there are plenty of recipes online using almond flour that can simply be replaced by sunflower seed or pumpkin meal. Though you probably won’t find these are your local grocery store, they are available online and pretty simple to make. To make one of these flours simply grind them through a food processor or blender until you get a flour consistency. Like nut flours, however, if you overdo this process you will end up with a seed butter instead.

The biggest downside to using these flours is that there are very few recipes online using sunflower seed flour or pumpkin meal. Thankfully, however, simply swapping out almond flour for one of these flours will usually work just fine!  Store these flours in a dark pantry or cabinet after use and follow the guidelines as you would with almond flour when baking.

keto friendly sunflower seed flour Sunflower Seed Macros Per 1/4 Cup

180 calories

13 grams of fat

9 grams of protein

7 grams of carbs

4 grams of fiber

3 net carbs

 

 

Other notable keto friendly baking flours include psyllium husk powder and ground flax seed. These two can make great additions to your low-carb baked goods. However, I would not recommend them as a base flour for most recipes. Pysllium husk powder is a great option if you are looking for a good keto friendly binding agent.

Best Sweeteners For Sugar-Free Baking

When it comes to keto baking, using the right sugar substitute can make or break a recipe. Though there are many different types and brands of low-carb sweeteners, not all are created equal. That said, I’m not here to join the debate on which low-carb sweeteners are or are not keto friendly. Instead, I’m just going to share my favorite keto sweeteners and let you choose yours!

When it comes to baking, there are a few different types of sugars used. These include granular sugar, brown sugar, and coarse powdered sugar. In addition, many recipes will call for liquid sweeteners such as maple syrup. Thankfully, there is a keto friendly replacement for all of these sugary ingredients.

My Favorite Keto Friendly Granular Sugar Replacements

Swerve Granular Sweetener is probably the most widely used keto friendly sweetener used in baking. Swerve is made from a mixture of erythritol and oligosaccharides. Erythritol is considered by the FDA to be a 4-carbon sugar that does not affect blood glucose levels. Because of this, erythritol should be subtracted from total carbs the same way fiber is when calculating net carbs.

In addition, the oligosaccharides are non-digestible carbohydrates that are made from certain fruits and vegetables. These pre-biotic fibers are not only keto friendly but can even help stimulate certain beneficial bacteria in your gut.

One of the reasons I believe Swerve has gotten so popular is that it measures cup-for-cup with table sugar. This makes it very easy to experiment with different keto recipes. In addition, you will find Swerve Granular Sweetener at many national and local grocery stores as well as with online retailers. Because of this, there is no shortage of keto dessert recipes online using Swerve Granular Sweetener.

Unlike many other low-carb sweeteners, Swerve doesn’t have the bitter aftertaste. However, when used in some recipes you may experience what is called the cooling effect. This is where there is a noticeable mint taste due to the erythritol. This is especially true in recipes that don’t call for much liquid. Since erythritol is sugar alcohol it is literally cooling down when it makes contact with the liquids in your mouth.

You can typically reduce the cooling effect by cooking with more liquids or simply using less erythritol. Basically, this cooling effect is only present in Swerve when it hasn’t already been dissolved in water. So though it is not a perfect replacement for table sugar, it is by far my favorite.

That said, there are plenty of great keto baked goods that taste great with Swerve Granular. Here are just a few tips to keep in mind when baking with Swerve Sweetener:

  • Though it measures like table sugar I like to use a bit less to minimize the cooling effect
  • Try using it in recipes that contain liquids
  • Though typically easier on the stomach than other sugar alcohols try it in small amounts first to make sure it does not upset your stomach

 

Swerve Granular Macros Per Tspketo sweetener for baking

o calories

0 grams of fat

0 grams of protein

5 carbs

5 grams erythritol

0 net carbs

 

 

Lakanato Monk Fruit Sweetener

Lakanato Monk Fruit Sweetener is made with a mixture of monk fruit extract and erythritol. Like Swerve it is recommended to be measured cup-for-cup with sugar. And similar to my preference with Swerve, I typically choose to use a bit less in most of my keto desserts than I would with regular sugar. Lakanato contains erythritol, so you can expect a similar cooling effect if it is not dissolved in a liquid.

Though it is not as common to find Lakanato in many recipes online right now, that certainly seems to be changing. That is because Lakanato Monk Fruit Sweetener is an amazing choice for keto baking. The company seems to be growing fast and is popping up on the shelves of grocery stores more and more.

Monk fruit is part of the gourd family. The extract from this fruit is nearly 300 times as sweet as sugar. However, unlike sugar, this sweetener isn’t going to knock you out of ketosis. When baking follow the same guidelines as you would with Swerve. Remember that Lakanato contains erythritol, so recipes that don’t contain much liquid may result with a minty taste. Key takeaways include:

  • Though it measures like table sugar I like to use a bit less to minimize the cooling effect
  • Try using it in recipes that contain liquids
  • Though typically easier on the stomach than other sugar alcohols try it in small amounts first to make sure it does not upset your stomach


Lakanato Monk Fruit Sweetener Macros Per Tsp

0 calories

o grams of fat

0 grams of protein

4 grams of Carbs

4 grams sugar alcohol

0 net carbs

 

 

Best Brown Sugar Substitute For Low-Carb Baking

You cannot truly do low-carb baking without the perfect brown sugar substitute. After all, there are so many amazing desserts and baked goods that call for brown sugar. Thankfully, in recent years many great companies have created great keto friendly products to replace our beloved brown sugar!

My favorite brown sugar substitutes for keto friendly baking are Swerve Brown, Lakanato Golded, and Sukrin Gold. Each of these amazing products is keto friendly and has very little to no impact on blood glucose.

Swerve Brown

This brown sugar substitute looks and feels just like brown sugar. Thankfully, it also measures cup-for-cup with brown sugar, making it easy to experiment with. That said, I personally use a little bit less sweetener in my keto dessert recipes to minimize the cooling effect.

When baking with Swerve Brown, follow the same basic guidelines you would with Swerve Granular Sweetener.

 

Swerve Brown Macros Per Tspbrown sugar substitute for keto baking

o calories

0 grams of fat

0 grams of protein

4 carbs

4 grams erythritol

0 net carbs

 

Lakanto Monk Fruit Sweetener Golden

Lakanato Golden is another great brown sugar substitute for low-carb baking. It also measures cup-for-cup with brown sugar in recipes. Like the regular Lakanato, this golded version also contains erythritol. That said you may experience the cooling effect from this sweetener as well. Try using less than recommended if this bothers you.

 

low-carb brown sugar replacement for baking

 Lakanato Golded Macros Per Tsp

o calories

0 grams of fat

0 grams of protein

4 carbs

4 grams sugar alcohol

0 net carbs

 

 

 

Sukrin Gold

Sukrin gold is yet another great keto brown sugar substitute. It was founded by Norwegian nutritionists back in 2007 and is known as the original gold sweetener.  Sukrin Gold is made from a mixture of erythritol, stevia, malt extract, and tagatose.

Sukrin Gold also measures cup-for-cup with brown sugar, making it easy to experiment with. However, just like Swerve and Lakanato, you can expect a cooling effect from this product as well.

 

Sukrin Gold Macros Per Tsp

o calories

0 grams of fat

0 grams of protein

4 carbs

4 grams sugar alcohol

0 net carbs

 

 

Best Powdered Sugar Substitutes For Keto Baking

Another staple when it comes to sugar-free baking is a great substitute for confectioners’ sugar. Confectioners’ sugar is light, fluffy, and dissolves easily in water. It is often used for making icings, frostings, or for dusting the tops of desserts.

My favorite three brands for a keto powdered sugar replacement are Swerve, Lakanato, and Sukrin. These companies are simply leading the way when it comes to making sugar substitutes for low-carb baking.

Swerve Confectioners

Swerve Confectioners has the look, feel and taste of regular powdered sugar. Like the granular and brown, Swerve confectioners measures cup-for-cup with real confectioners’ sugar. In addition, it is widely available and used in many keto recipes you will find online.

I use Swerve Confectioners in all of my frosting recipes as well as many of my keto ice cream recipes. For an example, you can check out my keto peanut butter chocolate ice cream or my keto coconut chocolate cake!

 

 

Swerve Confections Macros Per Tspketo confectioners sugar substitute for baking

o calories

0 grams of fat

0 grams of protein

4 carbs

4 grams erythritol

0 net carbs

 

 

 

Lakanato Powdered Monk Fruit Sweetener

Lakanato powdered sugar monk fruit sweetener is another amazing powdered sugar substitute. Like Swerve Confectioners Lakanato tastes and feels like powdered sugar. Lakanato measures 2:1 with regular sugar. However, I personally would prefer to use a bit less.

 

 

Lakanato Powdered Sweetener Macros Per Tsplow-carb baking with monk fruit

o calories

0 grams of fat

0 grams of protein

4 carbs

4 grams sugar alcohol

0 net carbs

 

 

 

Sukrin Icing Zero Calorie Sweetener

Surkrin makes for a great keto friendly powdered sugar substitute as well. It is made from a combination of erythritol and stevia. Sukrin Icing is perfect for icings, frostings, and no-bake dessert recipes. It measures cup-for-cup with regular powdered sugar and it tastes fantastic.

 

powdered erythritol for sugar-free baking Sukrin Icing Zero Calories Sweetener Macros Per Tsp

o calories

0 grams of fat

0 grams of protein

3 carbs

3 grams sugar alcohol

0 net carbs

 

 

 Keto Friendly Sweeteners Syrups For Baking

Many baking recipes will often call for either syrup or honey in their recipes. Unfortunately, I don’t think the bees have found a keto friendly solution to this problem. However, there are a few companies that make a low-carb sugar-free syrup. My top two favorite low-carb sugars for keto baking are Lakanato Maple Flavored Sugar-Free Syrup and Choc Zero Honest Syprup.

Lakanato Maple Flavored Syrup Macros Per 2 Tbsp keto friendly maple syrup

15 calories

0 grams of fat

0 grams of protein

9 grams of carbs

3 grams of fiber

5 grams of sugar alcohol

1 net carb

 

 

 

Choc Zero Macros Per Tbsp

32 calories

0 grams of fat

0 grams of protein

15 grams of carbs

14 grams of fiber

1 net carb

 

 

 

Low-Carb Chocolate And Chocolate Chips

When it comes to baking chocolate or chocolate chips, Lily’s is the only company I use. Lily’s makes amazing products for low-carb baking. The two most specifically used for baking are the Lily’s Dark Chocolate Baking Bar and the Lily’s Chocolate Chips.

The baking bar is perfect for making brownies, chocolate ganache, and even low-carb chocolate covered strawberries! In addition, I use Lily’s Chocolate Chips in a ton of my recipes, like my chewy keto chocolate chip cookies and my low-carb chocolate chip cheesecake!

 

 

 Lily’s Baking Bar Macros Per Servinglow-carb chocolate baking bar

5o calories

5 grams of fat

1 gram of protein

8 carbs

3 grams of fiber

3 grams of erythritol

2 net carbs

 

 

In conclusion

Low-carb baking is a learning process. Simply put, we have been baking with traditional flours for thousands of years, so we have gotten it down to a sweet science. Keto baking, on the other hand, is a relatively new concept and we still have a lot to learn. Thankfully, however, I think we are starting to make some great progress.

Will keto friendly baked goods ever taste as good as the ones made with wheat flour and table sugar? The truth is…probably not. That said, I think we are going to get pretty darn close! Numerous companies are now making amazing keto friendly products and food technology is getting better year after year.

Anyway, I hope that this keto baking guide can be a good start to help you on your journey of making delicious keto baked goods. I know from first-hand experience that creating the perfect keto treat requires a lot of trial and error. That said, let’s get baking!

 

 

 

 



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