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6 Tasty Keto Holiday Desserts (That Don’t Taste Low-Carb)

By Cathy Stephens
December 13, 2021

The holidays can be particularly stressful if you’re eating low-carb. Gingerbread houses, sugar cookies, egg nog, peppermint bark… the whole season seems to revolve around sweets. Fortunately, it’s totally possible to make delicious keto desserts. 

When it comes to flour substitutes, almond flour is — by my estimation — hands-down the best substitute I have found for regular AP flour. Coconut flour is a close second, however, and is often used in conjunction with almond flour to absorb some excess moisture. Another staple in keto baking is xanthan gum, which is essential for gluten-free baking, as it provides the necessary binders and volume that gluten typically offers. Perhaps a lesser-known flour, psyllium husk, is also great to help retain moisture. 

When it comes to sugar substitutes, there are a ton out there — like monk fruit sugar, which is excellent. However, I recently discovered BochaSweet, which is a relatively new sugar replacement on the market. And I have to say: I love it. This isn’t sponsored, I just really like the stuff and it’s made from Japanese kabocha, which has high levels of carotenoid antioxidants. 

1. Keto Gingerbread Cake

Keto Gingerbread Cake

Image credit: Green and Keto

I once heard that anyone who can read can also bake, and I’ve found this to be true with one small caveat: you also have to have an eye for detail. This keto gingerbread recipe requires a little of that detail work, but proves to be well worth the effort. While most people tend to skip over the blog part of a recipe — and I get why — I encourage you to read this one. Particularly with keto, technique is even more crucial than traditional baking. And as a result of all that extra info, this cake is moist, sweet, and perfectly spiced. The recipe also includes an optional cream cheese frosting, which is delicious. 

2. Sugar Cookies with Decorative Icing

Keto Sugar Cookies with Decorative Icing

Image credit: Life Made Sweeter

Can a keto sugar cookie still… be a sugar cookie? Turns out, yes! Like any good sugar cookie recipe, it involves a time-consuming cooling, shaping, and decorating process, but what’s a holiday without days full of baking while dancing to crooner radio? A keto icing recipe is also included for decoration, which makes use of either coconut milk or heavy cream. Both are heavenly, in my opinion.

3. Lemon Bars

Keto Lemon Bars

Image credit: I Breathe I’m Hungry

This ambitious recipe is the perfect combination of tart, sweet, and smooth. The only advice I’d give is to take the notes in the comment section to heart and try using a powdered sweetener for the filling, as it seems to dissolve a bit better. Even better, you can use it to dust the top for that signature lemon bar look as well.

4. Keto Chocolate Chip Cookies

Keto Chocolate Chip Cookies

Image credit: Fat for Weight Loss

Sometimes you just want the comfort of a staple: The classic, warm chocolate chip cookie that melts in your mouth. This recipe blends melted butter, almond flour, and Lily’s chocolate chips, which work as a great sugar-free substitute. This recipe also shares some tips on how to make sure the cookies flatten properly, in part by using a small amount of xanthan gum. The chef also suggests that if you don’t have a fan forced oven, you should increase the temperature by 20 degrees Fahrenheit. FYI: This was also rated the best keto dessert in 2018!

5. Flourless Chocolate Cake

Keto Flourless Chocolate Cake

Perhaps the most natural keto dessert on this list, this chocolate cake recipe uses a combination of cocoa, espresso powder, and unsweetened chocolate to pack a serious chocolatey punch. If you want to make a layer cake, double the recipe, including the coconut cream icing.  The notes also include a gluten-free and vegan option using pumpkin. 

6. “Sex in a Pan”

Keto Sex in a Pan Dessert Recipe

Why, how forward of this recipe! Versions of this cake recipe have been around for years, but we love this one because it’s a gluten- and sugar-free version that doesn’t sacrifice on flavor. It offers layers of pecan crust, cream cheese, chocolate pudding, whipped cream, and shaved chocolate. While it’s definitely one of those all-day endeavors, like all good things, it’s worth the wait. The end result is crunchy, creamy, smooth, and tastes sweet — all without spiking your blood sugar. Your non-keto friends and family won’t even be able to tell the difference, promise.

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