Showing posts with label keto baking mix. Show all posts
Showing posts with label keto baking mix. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Keto Cheddar Cheese Biscuits Recipe With Chives


Today, I'm pleased to share my review of my quick and easy low carb cheddar cheese and chive biscuits recipe, whose not-so-secret ingredient is HighKey Keto Buttermilk Biscuit Mix.

I've enjoyed putting my own spin on my baked goods ever since I was a kid, whether I'm making them from scratch or using a high quality packaged mix as a shortcut. So, when HighKey Snacks, one of my favorite keto food brands, came out with a delicious keto-friendly buttermilk biscuit baking mix, I couldn’t wait to start playing around with my own ingredient add-ins. One of my favorite variations so far is this quick and easy, 5-ingredient recipe for keto cheddar cheese buttermilk biscuits with chives. They're so buttery and delicious, everyone in your family will ask for more, and they'll never guess these treats are keto-friendly. This is now one of my go-to low carb recipes, and I usually bake a dozen every two or three weeks, depending on whether my omnivorous husband is in the mood for some. 

Main image - photo collage with text "Keto & Low Carb Cheddar-Chive Buttermilk Biscuits"
Tender, flavorful, cheddar cheese keto biscuits with chives, ready in 30 minutes or less

Enjoy Big, Buttery Drop Biscuits, Even on a Keto or Low Carb Diet

I have tried—and loved—every baking mix in HighKey’s keto-friendly, low carb product line. So, I was really excited when the company announced it was coming out with a new keto buttermilk biscuit mix. I was confident that it, too, would be a winner, and I wasn’t disappointed! 

Since making a traditional flaky biscuit requires using wheat flour or other another grain, the texture of those made with HighKey’s buttermilk biscuit baking mix makes them more similar to traditional drop biscuits. Just add eggs, They’re extremely versatile and taste great, whether you eat them plain, toasted and buttered, or in sweet or savory dishes, from keto strawberry shortcake (with fresh berries and whipped cream) to sweet or savory low carb sandwiches.

Even though this biscuit mix has great buttermilk flavor, I was surprised to learn that it contains no buttermilk. In fact, it’s dairy free and soy free, and has no added sugar or artificial ingredients, so it’s a great option for people with those dietary restrictions, regardless of whether they’re following a ketogenic or low carb diet.

Photo of two baking pans of freshly baked keto cheddar-chive biscuits
Tender, low carb, keto-friendly cheddar cheese biscuits with chives, just out of the oven

My Quick and Easy Keto Cheddar Cheese and Chive Biscuits Variation

Using HighKey Buttermilk Biscuit Baking Mix

Variety is the spice of life, especially when your food choices aren’t free of limitations. Both my husband and I are huge fans of cheddar cheese bread. These days, however, the yummy, carbohydrate-laden cheese bread we used to buy from our local bakery is now off-limits (for me, at least). My husband also loves chives. So, one of the first ideas I had for varying the original HighKey buttermilk biscuit mix recipe was to add sharp cheddar cheese and chives. 

I had to experiment with the proportions bit to get the prominent cheddar flavor I was looking for. Increasing the amount of cheese also made the biscuits somewhat less crumbly, which means I can also use them as hamburger buns. And, while I love having a slice of hot, gooey, melted cheese on my burgers, using these cheddar-chive keto biscuits as a bun gives me that great cheeseburger flavor even if I don’t add any additional cheese. 

I usually prefer to use fresh chives in my dishes. For this recipe, however, I decided to go with freeze-dried chives, since I would need only a small quantity, and I no longer eat mashed potatoes (which I always make with plenty of fresh chives) now that I follow a ketogenic diet. Fortunately, freeze-dried chives work fine for these cheddar cheese biscuits.

One of My Favorite Keto Bread Options

With or without chives, these cheddar cheese biscuits are not only delicious but also versatile. Even though they are moist, rich, and yummy just as is, I also I love using them to add extra flavor to a sandwich or burger, as a filling side dish to turn a soup or salad into a satisfying, high-protein, low carb meal, or just sliced, toasted, and buttered for breakfast (or a hearty snack).  

Just be aware that you may want your burger with a knife and fork if you serve it in one of these tender biscuits.

Photo of hamburger on a biscuit, served on a plate
Last night's dinner: this juicy burger on a keto cheddar-chive biscuit,
served with a big, colorful, pretty and nutritious salad

Low Carb Keto Cheddar Cheese and Chive Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe 

These quick and easy keto biscuits are sure to become one of your favorite low carb recipes.

Photo of keto cheddar-chive biscuit on a small plate
Prep Time:

15 minutes

Cook Time:

15 minutes

Total Time:

30 minutes

Recipe Yield:

12 large biscuits

Calories:

257 kcal


Ingredients


Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 ℉. Line one or two baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the baking mix, shredded cheese, and chives.
  3. Stir in the chilled butter cubes, then cut in the butter with a pastry blender until it resembles coarse crumbs. 
  4. Stir in the eggs to form a soft, sticky dough.
  5. Scoop the dough onto the parchment-lined baking sheet(s) in 12 equal mounds, spacing them well apart to allow for spreading.
  6. Bake for 14–15 minutes, until the tops and edges of the biscuits are a light golden brown.
  7. Let them cool for a minute or two, then remove them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Screenshot of recipe nutrition information in Carb Manager app on iPhone screen
Nutrition Facts

If you're on a keto diet and counting your macros, here's what the Carb Manager app calculated. Although it's based on the specific brand of extra-sharp aged cheddar cheese (and eggs and butter) I used, the calories and macros should be very similar, regardless of the brands of ingredients you use.

These big, delicious cheese biscuits are extremely filling. Each contains 2.6 net carbs, 257 calories, and just over 23 grams of fat, 9 grams of protein, and 6 grams of dietary fiber. 


Helpful Baking Tips for Making Keto Cheddar and Chive Buttermilk Biscuits


Make the Entire Package of HighKey Buttermilk Biscuit Mix at a Time (and Freeze What You Don't Need For Later)

The first time I prepared a bag of HighKey Buttermilk Biscuit Mix, I measured out 1-1/3 cups of the dry mix and combined it with 1/4 cup of butter and two eggs to make 6 biscuits as directed on the package. Unfortunately, when I started making my next batch, I discovered that there was only about a cup of leftover dry mix in the package! Subsequently, I have seen comments on Facebook and Amazon from people who had the same experience after following the package directions. Now, I always make a dozen buttermilk biscuits at a time, using the entire bag of mix. Fortunately, like most baked goods, these biscuits freeze beautifully, and thaw quickly at room temperature.

Use a Pastry Blender to Cut in the Butter

When I was a girl, my grandmother taught me to cut fat into dry ingredients by scissoring it into the flour mixture with two sharp knives. That experience definitely has made me appreciate the ease and efficiency of using a pastry blender instead. In addition, this handy tool, also called a pastry cutter or dough blender, creates more uniform bits of butter for more even distribution throughout the dough. It's also possible to use a fork, but that tends to mash the butter into the flour, rather than chopping it into nice little individual flour-coated bits. So, although the HighKey Buttermilk Biscuit Mix package directions give you the choice of using a pastry cutter or a fork, I strongly recommend using the former.
Spring Chef Dough Blender on Amazon

I recently replaced my dull, 40-year-old pastry blender with a Spring Chef Dough Blender, and it turned out to be a major upgrade! It has sturdier and much sharper stainless steel blades, as well as a wide, comfortable, soft-grip handle. Both these features make it a pleasure to use, especially since this high quality, heavy-duty cutter doesn't feel heavy in my hand. In addition to cutting butter or other fat into dry ingredients, I also love using it for other cooking and baking tasks that my previous pastry blender would not have been up to, such as chopping nuts and making salsa and guacamole.

Use a #14 Scoop to Portion the Dough Evenly

Dividing any dough or batter evenly into equal-size portions is always desirable, since it enables all the biscuits, cookies, etc., to finish baking at the same time with the same degree of doneness. If you are baking for yourself or others who are monitoring their food intake, whether tracking macros on a low carb or keto diet or counting calories, protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, cholesterol, sodium, potassium, or other nutrients for a medical, health, or weight loss reason, portioning equal servings of a recipe becomes even more important. Over time, I have assembled a collection of high quality Norpro stainless steel scoops in several different sizes, the largest of which is the 4-tablespoon (#16) Norpro scoop with a comfortable, soft-grip handle, none had the right capacity to measure out 1/12 portions of this keto buttermilk biscuit dough, with or without added cheese. Guesstimating how much to overfill  the #16 size always left me with too much or two little dough for the last few portions, and I was spending more time weighing each mound and shuffling around bits of dough to equalize the portion sizes than I did preparing it in the first place.

Eventually, I managed to find a #14 stainless steel scoop with a capacity of 4-3/4 tablespoons, which turned out to be the perfect size for portioning this keto biscuit dough into twelfths. It's a huge time-saver, makes nice, rounded mounds, and has a sturdy spring-action mechanism for the scraper blade.

Don't Skip the Baking Parchment Paper

These drop biscuits will likely stick, and stick badly, to the baking pan if you try to grease it instead of using baking parchment. I prefer using unbleached, precut sheets of parchment paper, which are less toxic than bleached baking parchment and don't curl like paper sold in rolls. If you are trying to cut down on single-use disposable products, a reusable silicone nonstick baking mat is a great alternative.

Consider Making Them With Extra-Sharp Cheddar 

The first time I made these, I used regular sharp cheddar, and only half an ounce. (I also left out the chives.) They tasted good, but weren't as cheesy or tangy as I had hoped. So, for the next batch, I not only doubled the amount of cheese, and used aged, extra-sharp cheddar. It made a huge difference! So, if you enjoy the taste of extra-sharp cheddar, I encourage you to try using it in these biscuits.

My Favorite Brands of High Quality, Low Carb and Keto Baking Mix Products

One of the keys to my successful keto diet journey, which helped me lose nearly 60 pounds and, more importantly, has enabled me to maintain that weight loss, has been finding keto-friendly versions of my favorite baked goods. Although I’ve always loved to bake (and still do), I also wanted to spend less time thinking about food, which meant spending less time cooking and baking, especially during the first six months of my new, healthy eating lifestyle after switching to a ketogenic diet. So, while I absolutely love using the recipes in Carolyn Ketchum’s The Ultimate Guide to Keto Baking (my keto baking bible) and my go-to low carb and keto blogs and websites, more often than not I’ve been using the excellent baking mixes from HighKey Snacks, Good Dee’s, and Keto and Co, which not only taste great but are also made with wholesome (and, for the most part, minimally processed) ingredients. You can learn more about these brands’ high-quality baking mixes in my review of homemade low carb keto cupcakes and muffins.


More Reviews of Low Carb and Keto Baking Mixes and Recipes


Keto Cheddar Cheese Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe With Chives by Margaret Schindel







Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Good Dee’s Keto Cookie Low Carb Baking Mix Review

If you have been following my ongoing series of posts here about my successful keto diet weight loss journey, you’ll know that I love baked goods and desserts. You’ll also know that finding ways to indulge in keto desserts has helped me maintain a fairly strict ketogenic diet approach to eating since May 2019, a very low carb, healthy lifestyle that I continue to follow now that I have achieved and surpassed my original weight loss goals. 

I also enjoy baking, but I don’t always have time to do low carb baking from scratch. That’s why I keep a selection of high quality keto baking mixes in my pantry, so, I can enjoy fresh-baked sweet treats in just minutes. In a recent post, I shared my favorite low carb baking mix brands and keto recipes for low carb keto muffins. In this post, I'll share the excellent Good Dee's Cookie Mix low carb baking mix line.

Introductory image photo collage of Good Dee's low carb keto cookie baking mix flavors
Bake fresh keto cookies in just minutes 
with Good Dee's low carb cookie baking mix

Good Dee's Low Carb Cookie Mix

Fresh Baked Keto Cookies in Minutes!

All Good Dee's Low Carb Cookie Baking Mix flavors are sugar free, gluten free, grain free, and wheat-free. Some (but not all) are also manufactured in a dedicated gluten free facility. Anyone who either has a food allergy or bakes cookies for someone who does will appreciate the allergy information on the packaging and the brand owner's efforts to accommodate multiple common food allergies.

A Changing Flavor Selection

Good Dee's continues to expand their low carb baking mix line for keto cookies and other products. Not every flavor is available year round, and some are considered seasonal. I recommend checking on both Amazon (free shipping for Amazon Prime members) and the Good Dee's website (free shipping for orders over $50) to see which flavors are currently in production and in stock. Occasionally, these products also go on sale, another reason to keep an eye out on both websites, and also to sign up for the Good Dee's mailing list for exclusive offers.

Last week, I used the three Good Dee's low carb baking mix flavors I had on hand to bake the three dozen cookies I photographed for this post. I've also tried a fourth flavor (double chocolate chip) that I didn't have in my pantry at the time. Today, I'll share my product reviews of the four low carb baking mix flavors that I've purchased and made into keto cookies.

Good Dee's Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix

Side by side photos of Good Dee's Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix and baked cookies
These thick, soft, chewy chocolate chip cookies 
are also low carb and keto diet friendly treats

It's not surprising that the first keto cookie mix Good Dee's introduced was chocolate chip. After all, chocolate chip cookies are the most popular cookie in the United States, and the second most popular cookie in the world, after French macarons. 

I tried Good Dee's Chocolate Chip Cookie Low Carb Baking Mix for the first time shortly after I discovered it on Amazon and, truthfully, I was a bit underwhelmed. Fortunately, the "new & improved recipe" lived up to its promise, and the second batch I made, using the mix with the new recipe, was much better. Like all the Good Dee's cookie mixes I've tried to date, the improved chocolate chip version produced cookies that were large, thick, soft and chewy. That's how I prefer my "chippers," but if you like thin, crisp cookies, you probably won't be a fan of the Good Dee's mixes. 

As you can see, they certainly weren't the best-looking chocolate chip cookies I've ever baked. Both times I've made them, the batter underneath the chocolate chips seemed to pull away from them, resulting in small, chocolate-filled craters after baking. However, I don't care that much about how pretty they are, since they meet my much more important criteria for being tasty, satisfying, and keto-friendly.

The other thing to know about this mix is that the chips are very dark chocolate and not very sweet. I rather like the contrast of the barely sweet chocolate chips and somewhat sweeter cookie dough. 

Good Dee's Sugar Cookie Mix

Side by side photos of Good Dee's Sugar Free Cookie Baking Mix and plate of cookies
A different texture than traditional
sugar cookies, but a similar taste


Like all this brand's products, Good Dee's Sugar Cookie Low Carb Baking Mix is actually sugar free. Although the texture is coarser and chewier than conventional sugar cookies, the taste is surprisingly similar. 

These also make a great base for adding your own flavor mix-ins. I'm thinking of adding some tiny wild Maine blueberries and chopped walnuts or pecans to my next batch. Yum! 

Good Dee's Butter Pecan Cookie Mix

Side by side photos of Good Dee's Butter Pecan Low Carb Cookie Baking Mix and baked butter pecan cookies
If I had to pick my favorite, it would have to be this
awesome Good Dee's butter pecan cookie baking mix

Of the four keto cookie mix flavors I've tried so far, the Good Dee's Butter Pecan Cookie Low Carb Baking Mix has definitely turned out to be my favorite. To me, they have an awesome flavor and a less coarse texture than the other flavors, making these extremely similar to old-fashioned butter pecan cookies made with white flour and cane sugar. 

My husband, who eats conventional cookies or cake daily for dessert, likes these low carb butter pecan cookies a lot, too—the ultimate compliment for keto baked goods!

Good Dee's Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix

If you're a chocolate lover, Good Dee's Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Low Carb Baking Mix would be a good flavor to try. These are rich, not-too-sweet, dark chocolate cookies studded with dark chocolate chips. Since there are no golden brown edges to tell you when these are done, I suggest keeping a close eye on them and pulling them out of the oven as soon as the edges appear set.

Other Good Dee's Low Carb Cookie Mix Flavors

I haven't had a chance to try the Good Dee's Snickerdoodle Cookie Mix or Peanut Butter Cookie Mix yet. But since I love both those types, I'm definitely looking forward to picking up a bag of each.

About Good Dee's Low Carb Baking Products

The Dee behind Good Dee's is owner and founder Deana Karim, who finally succeeded in losing weight and adopting a healthy lifestyle after embracing a LCHF (low carb, high fat) approach to eating. She knew that thinking of this way of eating as a diet (and, by implication, temporary), and feeling deprived because she could no longer enjoy cookies and other baked goods, would be a "recipe" for failure. At the time, there weren't any baked goods that met her requirements for being healthy, low carb, and delicious — so she started developing her own low carb keto recipes for brownies, cookies, muffins, and cakes. 

Understanding that there were many other people following a low carb diet who, like her, had an unmet need for easy-to-make, healthy, and delicious sugar free baked goods, Deana invested her $5,000 savings into launching her Good Dee's low carb baking mix business. A month later, her low carb, gluten free, sugar free chocolate brownie mix was the number one brownie mix (not just low carb) on Amazon! 

She continues to expand her line, and has listened to customer feedback to improve several of her baking mixes. She now offers Good Dee's allulose-sweetened sugar free chocolate chips (currently out of stock on Amazon, so check back to see whether it's available), sugar free just add water frosting mix in cream cheese, dark chocolate, and white chocolate flavors, and even sugar free rainbow sprinkles and naturally colored sugar free edible glitter for decorating cookies, cakes, cupcakes, and ice cream sundaes. 

Get 15% Off at Gooddees.com!

After I wrote and published this review, I decided to apply for Good Dee's affiliate program and was approved the same day. That's great news for you, as well as for me, because...

I'm excited to be able to offer my readers a 15% discount code for the Good Dee's website

To take advantage of this generous 15% discount, simply:
  1. Use my Good Dee's affiliate link to go to the website
    - and -
  2. Don't forget to enter my 15% off coupon code: GOODDEES15MRS
That's all there is to it. Enjoy!

Tips for Baking With Good Dee's Keto Cookie Mixes

All low carb baking mixes behave differently than their traditional flour- and sugar-laden counterparts. Here are my tips for baking successful keto cookies from a Good Dee's low carb baking mix.

Line Your Cookie Sheets With Baking Parchment

Even if you have a Silpat or other nonstick baking pan liner underneath, I recommend lining your baking sheets with baking parchment, as directed when using these low carb baking mixes. The cookies are extremely fragile when they come out of the oven, and the parchment paper helps them release without breaking. I have switched to using unbleached baking parchment exclusively, and my high quality Fasmov Non-Stick Parchment Paper Baking Liner Sheets are shipped flat, so the edges of the paper don't curl (which I love!). 

Prepare and Measure the Wet Ingredients

Photo: Bag of Good Dee's chocolate chip cookie mix next to beaten egg, melted butter, and vanilla extract
Setting out and measuring all the ingredients, the mixing bowl,
and a mixing spoon keeps your work space organized

As with any type of baking, ingredients should be at room temperature unless otherwise specified (for example, using chilled fat in pastry dough or biscuits). 
  • To bring the egg to room temperature, you can either set it out on the counter or, if you want to start baking sooner, gently place the whole egg (still in its shell) into a bowl of warm (not hot) water and leave it for 5–10 minutes. 
  • Either butter (preferably unsalted) or coconut oil will work for any of the Good Dee's cookie mixes. I prefer the taste of unsalted butter for most keto baking. When I've been low on butter or baking dairy free cookies to accommodate another person's dietary requirements, however, I've substituted my favorite unrefined, cold-pressed, organic virgin coconut oil, which adds a very subtle hint of coconut flavor that I quite enjoy. If you prefer a more neutral flavor (or just don't like the taste of coconut), you can use refined coconut oil, but it doesn't offer the health benefits that unrefined, cold-pressed, organic virgin coconut oil does.
  • I find it easiest to melt the butter or coconut oil in a Pyrex measuring cup, covered with wax paper, microwaving it in 15-20 second bursts, and stopping when most, but not all, of the fat has melted. After removing it from the microwave, I gently swirl it in the glass measuring cup, letting the hot melted fat finish melting the remaining solids. If you prefer, you can melt it over simmering water in a double boiler. Set the melted butter or coconut oil aside to cool while you preheat the oven and prepare the cookie dough.
  • In any baking recipe, I always recommend using the best quality, pure vanilla you can find (and afford). Penzeys pure vanilla extract is my favorite.

Stir Dry Mix Before Adding Wet Ingredients

Photo of cookie baking mix in bowl, next to the wet ingredients on countertop
Getting ready to add the egg, butter, and vanilla extract
after stirring the dry cookie mix in a mixing bowl

The directions for all Good Dee's cookie mixes call for pouring the baking mix into a bowl and stirring with a spoon before adding the wet ingredients. I'm guessing the reason is that nut and seed flours are heavier than wheat flour, so they may tend to separate out and settle to the bottom during shipping. If that's the case, they might need to be stirred back into the rest of the mix to redistribute them evenly. 

After stirring the dry mix in the bowl, add the egg, melted butter or coconut oil, and vanilla extract, then mix thoroughly.

Use a Cookie Scoop to Portion the Dough Evenly

Image of 12 scoops of Good Dee's low carb chocolate chip cookie dough on baking parchment lined cookie sheets
I used a medium cookie scoop to divide the prepared
keto chocolate chip cookie mix into 12 equal portions

Dividing dough into 12 equal portions with any accuracy can be a pain. I could weigh the prepared dough in grams, divide the total weight by 12, and then weigh out each portion of the dough. But if I'm using a baking mix, I'm not interested in spending that amount of time and effort just to portion out the dough equally. 

Since I still track my daily keto macros and calories, ensuring that dough is divided as evenly as possible is important to me. Most of the mixes call for dropping 1½ to 2 tablespoon portions of dough onto the parchment paper-lined cookie sheet to make 12 cookies. However, the butter pecan cookie mix package says to use 1 tablespoon of dough for each cookie to make "approximately" 12 cookies, yet when I did that, I had used up only slightly more than half the dough. By trial and error, I found that 1/12 of my prepared butter pecan cookie dough measured out to slightly less than 2 tablespoons per cookie.

So, if you track your daily keto macros and calories (for example, on the Carb Manager app), I recommend using a 1.5 to 2 tablespoon stainless steel scoop with a trigger mechanism to help release the sticky dough, such as the Solula Professional 18/8 Stainless Steel Medium Cookie Scoop #40 (with a 1.7 tablespoon capacity) to help you measure out 12 equal portions of cookie dough. You'll quickly find out, through trial and error, whether you need to use a level scoop, a scant scoop, or a slightly rounded scoop of dough for each cookie.

Don't Overbake

I've noticed that keto cookies I've made using a Good Dee's Low Carb Baking Mix tend to progress from underbaked to overbaked fairly quickly. Since every oven is different, I recommend setting your timer for one minute less than the package directions' shortest baking time and then keeping a close eye on the cookies so you can pull them out as soon as the edges turn golden (or, in the case of the double chocolate chip cookies, until the edges have just set). 

Let Baked Cookies Cool Completely Before Removing From the Baking Parchment

These keto cookies have a much softer, somewhat coarser, and chewier texture than conventional cookies made with flour and sugar, and they are also more fragile, even after they have cooled. If you try to lift them off the baking parchment before they have fully cooled, they are likely to fall apart. So, don't let the scent of freshly baked cookies tempt you to try to eat one, or even move them to a serving plate, while they're still warm.

In fact, I find that both the flavor and texture of these low carb baked goods are even better after a day or two!

Consider Freezing Some (or Most)

If you think it might be hard to resist eating more of these cookies than will fit within your daily calories and keto macros, or if you don't plan to eat one every day and want to enjoy them as a sweet treat from time to time, you may want to freeze some or most of them, after snugly wrapping them individually in plastic freezer wrap and then placing them inside an airtight freezer-safe food storage container (or, if necessary, inside a heavy, zippered freezer food storage bag). 

Wrapping each cookie securely in plastic freezer wrap not only provides another layer of protection against freezer burn, it also makes it easy to remove just one or two cookies, which will thaw fairly quickly after being unwrapped.

Keto Cookies vs. Conventional Cookies

Photo: small plate of three different types of low carb cookies
Gluten-free, sugar-free, grain-free, butter pecan,
chocolate chip, and sugar cookie keto cookies,
made with Good Dee's low carb baking mix

Unless you're just starting a keto diet, you've probably discovered that ketogenic cookies, cakes, pies, etc., have a different texture and, often, a somewhat different taste than conventional baked goods made with high carbohydrate ingredients that can spike your blood sugar levels and cause inflammation. So, it's important to have realistic expectations of any keto baking recipes or low carb baking mixes. 

That said, I found that my taste buds gradually adapted after several months on a fairly strict ketogenic diet, and since I no longer eat conventional sweet treats, my palate no longer compares very low carb desserts to traditional baked goods. My experience is pretty typical of people who stick to a fairly strict keto diet for at least 8–12 weeks. 

So, while these cookies don't taste like my grandmother's cookies (or mine, prior to last May), they make yummy, satisfying keto desserts for those of us following a very low carb lifestyle.

Why Use a Keto Baking Mix Instead of a Low Carb Recipe? 

Ease of Use, Time Savings, and Convenience


Baking is based on chemical reactions between ingredients. And the chemistry that makes conventional baking recipes work involves interactions between ingredients that aren't keto friendly. Even for those of us who have decades of experience as excellent home bakers, there's a significant learning curve in converting old, beloved family recipes for low carb baking. That's a challenge I haven't had an interest in tackling (at least, not yet!), so I prefer to let low carb baking experts do the work of developing delicious, foolproof recipes for keto cookies and other baked goods. 

Sugar free, gluten free keto baking also requires stocking the pantry with different ingredients than the ones we're accustomed to using. For example, instead of white and whole wheat flour and cornstarch, we might need to buy almond flour, coconut flour, sunflower seed flour, watermelon seed flour, and xanthan gum. (And it's not as though any of these ingredients can be simply substituted 1:1 in a keto baking recipe!) 

So, although I keep those and other low carb baking ingredients in my freezer and pantry, and enjoy making a number of keto baking recipes for rolls, buns, muffins, etc., when I have time and inclination, I also appreciate the convenience of having keto baking mix varieties on hand. I try to buy ones that contain the same high-quality, low carb ingredients I use in my scratch low carb baking, and that produce keto baked goods that taste as good as the ones I bake from scratch (or close enough).





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Low Carb Muffins & Cupcakes: Treats to Enjoy on a Keto Diet

Keto Cupcakes & Muffins main image - text over photo collage
Enjoying low carb baked goods helps me stick to my ketogenic diet

In spring 2019, after the medical scare that motivated me to get serious about losing at least 50 pounds and become significantly leaner to reduce my risk for cancer and heart disease, a ketogenic diet was one of several options I considered. One of my biggest concerns about keto was whether–and how–I could stay on such a restrictive diet for however long it would take to lose that weight.

I didn’t think I could, nor did I want to, commit to a way of eating that prohibited all baked goods, since I estimated that it would probably take a year, or maybe longer, to reach my healthy weight loss goal. And, based on what I had read during my extensive research on the ketogenic diet approach, most recipes for keto baked goods turned out dry, dense, and with an unpleasant aftertaste from the sweetener. To be successful on an extremely low carb diet, I could find ways to incorporate keto-friendly baked goods that didn’t taste like cardboard!

When I thought about which ones would be most helpful in staying on track long-term, I initially narrowed my focus to muffins, cupcakes, cake, bread, and rolls, including hamburger buns. I tried a lot of recipes, many of which I didn't care for, but was able to find some I liked. I also sampled an array of keto-friendly baking mixes, limiting them to ones that were made with simple, high-quality ingredients, mostly the same ones I used in my homemade low carb baked goods. Again, some weren't up to my standards, but others were a very pleasant surprise.

Today, I'm sharing my favorite baking mixes (so far) for making keto-friendly muffins and cupcakes, as well as some recipes I can recommend, and the variations and add-on ingredients I use frequently. I'll also include some tree nut and coconut free options. (I'll do the same for other types of baked goods in future posts.)


Keto Baking Mixes vs. Recipes: Pros and Cons

I've been an avid baker all my life and have always enjoyed baking. And, of course, it always costs less when you only have to pay for the ingredients. However, I've found that when it comes to making my own keto baked goods, there's often more prep time and more ingredients needed than with conventional recipes (which also means more measuring cups, spoons, etc., to wash).

In addition to being less expensive, many of us generally prefer to bake from scratch to ensure that our treats are made with wholesome, nutritious, high quality ingredients, and because if you're a reasonably good home baker, they usually taste better than those made from a commercial mix (such as Duncan Hines, Betty Crocker, or even Krusteaz). However, the keto-friendly baking mixes I'm sharing here are made with the same foods I would use in my favorite low-carb baking recipes (with only a couple of exceptions), and most taste even better than many of their scratch-baked counterparts.

Another very important consideration for anyone tracking their macros is that many of the best keto recipes for cupcakes and muffins I've tried are significantly higher in calories, net carbs, and fat than treats made from the mixes I've included here.

Since last year, low carb food manufacturers have been really stepping up their game. There are many more options and much better tasting baking mixes than when I started in 2019. So, whether you prefer double chocolate chip cupcakes or savory (faux) corn muffins, I encourage you to give some of the mixes I recommend a try. You may find, as I do, that the taste and texture of your keto baked goods, the convenience, and not having to stock your pantry and freezer with a range of new, more expensive, and often perishable ingredients might be worth the higher cost.


Keto Blueberry Muffins or Cupcakes

HighKey Blueberry Muffin & Cupcake Baking Mix

HighKey Snacks makes some wonderful products for people who follow a ketogenic diet. I keep a wide range of them in my cupboard at all times, especially their baking mixes and mini cookies. Their HighKey Blueberry Muffin & Cupcake Baking Mix, which I usually order on Amazon with free Amazon Prime shipping, produces a nice, tender, cake-like muffin.

The mix uses a combination of coconut flour and almond flour for a tender texture that's a cross between a muffin and a cupcake. It's sweetened with HighKey's proprietary natural sweetener blend that includes erythritol, allulose, stevia and monk fruit, as well as soluble tapioca fiber (resistant dextrin), a non-digestible carbohydrate that the FDA considers a dietary fiber.

Prepared according to the package instructions with 4 eggs, 1 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk, and 1/3 cup coconut oil, each blueberry muffin has only 1g net carbs, 140 calories, 12g fat, 7g dietary fiber, 0g added sugars, and 4g protein.

If you can afford a few extra net carbs in your daily keto macros, these individual treats taste even better with some extra fresh or frozen blueberries, especially wild blueberries that are plentiful in Maine during the season. They have much better, more intense flavor than regular blueberries, and they're also tiny, which means the fruit can be more evenly distributed when it's mixed into the batter. If you don't live in New England, or when wild blueberries are out of season, Wyman's of Maine brand frozen wild blueberries are an excellent alternative to fresh berries.

You can also add a little finely grated fresh lemon zest and/or lemon extract (but not lemon juice), if you'd like.

Blueberry Muffins Recipe With Almond Flour

One of the first cookbooks I bought when I started my keto weight loss journey was The Wholesome Yum Easy Keto Cookbook by Maya Krampf, and the first think I tried from it was the blueberry muffins recipe. They turned out very good, if slightly dry (it's possible I might have overbaked them a smidge). And split, lightly toasted and buttered, they were delicious!

They're sweetened with erythritol, but since the book was published Maya Krampf has come out with her own line of Besti sweeteners, including a granulated monk fruit and erythritol blend that can be substituted 1:1 for erythritol in baked goods recipes.

Note that these homemade muffins are significantly higher in calories, fat, protein, and net carbs than those made with the HighKey mix: 5g net carbs, 254 calories, 23g fat, 0g added sugars, and 8g protein. (The recipe's nutrition information doesn't include dietary fiber.)

Photo of The Wholesome Yum Easy Keto Cookbook and prepared blueberry muffins recipe
The almond flour blueberry muffins I made with the
recipe from The Wholesome Yum Easy Keto Cookbook

Keto Chocolate Cupcakes or Muffins

HighKey Double Chocolate Chip Muffin & Cupcake Baking Mix

Given my chocoholic tendencies, you may have guessed my favorite low carb cupcakes or muffins flavor is double chocolate chip. I make them from HighKey Double Chocolate Chip Muffin & Cupcake Baking Mix often, and usually mix 1/2 cup of sugar-free ChocZero white chocolate baking chips into the batter. (Does that make them Double Chocolate Double Chip, or Triple Chocolate Chip?)

The texture falls somewhere between a cupcake and a muffin. I think of them as the former when I eat them for dessert, and as the latter when I enjoy them as a decadent breakfast treat.

The mix requires 4 eggs, 1 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk, and 1/3 cup coconut oil to yield 12 servings. Like the HighKey blueberry mix, it's sweetened with HighKey's proprietary natural sweetener blend, which includes erythritol, allulose, stevia and monk fruit.

Prepared according to the package directions, one serving of these sumptuous treats has only 1g net carbs, 120 calories, 10g fat, 5g dietary fiber, 0g added sugars, and 4g protein.

The optional ChocZero white chocolate chips add not only a complementary flavor but also a bit of extra dietary fiber, which can be hard to get enough of on an extremely low carb diet.

photo of prepared HighKey Double Chocolate Muffin & Cupcake Baking Mix Chip
I made these decadent, fudgy treats with HighKey Double Chocolate Chip
Muffin & Cupcake Baking Mix and ChocZero white chocolate chips

Low Carb Chocolate Muffins and Cupcakes Recipes

Here are a few good ones to try.

Keto Chocolate Cupcakes recipe from Wholesome Yum

Keto Double Chocolate Muffins recipe from All Day I Dream About Food

Keto Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins recipe from My Keto Kitchen (I haven't tried this one yet, but it has a 5-star rating with 230 votes - a pretty good endorsement in my book!)


Keto (Faux) Corn Muffins

Good Dee's Corn Bread Mix

Real corn is a major no-no on a ketogenic diet, which is a bit of a bummer for those of us who love all things corn. Fortunately, it's possible to bake something that gives us something that is sort of reminiscent of cornbread that is also very low carb, if you set realistic expectations for how "corny" something with no corn in it can taste. And if you're going to top it with keto chili, for example, it does very nicely, indeed.These days, my favorite way to make faux corn muffins is with

Good Dee’s Corn Bread Low Carb Baking Mix. (The package says “Corn Free Bread,” with the word "free" in much smaller letters than "corn" and "bread" for truth-in-advertising purposes.) The directions, which are based on making cornbread in an 8-inch pan, say to bake at 325 F for 18-23 minutes. I divide my batter among 12 silicone baking liners and bake until the muffins test done (i.e., a wooden toothpick stuck into the center comes out without any uncooked batter). That takes around 12-15 minutes, if I remember correctly.

I boost the corn flavor by adding Amoretti Sweet Corn Extract to the batter. It costs more than other brands, but has really good flavor and is keto-friendly. And, since I don't make corn muffins or bread that often, the 2-ounce bottle lasts me quite a while.

This mix makes faux corn muffins that are neither savory nor sweet and contain just a hint of stevia extract. They're perfect for adding shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese, with or without chopped jalapeño or other chili peppers, if you're so inclined, or you can add a little erythritol, monkfruit, BochaSweet (pentose), or a blend, if you prefer yours on the sweeter side.

Prepared with 3 large eggs, 3 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter, and 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar according to the package directions, these low carb cornbread muffins have 1g net carbs, 130 calories, 11g fat, 5g dietary fiber, 0g added sugars, and 4g protein. The optional teaspoon or two of Amoretti sweet corn extract adds negligible calories or fat and no net carbs per serving.

Photo of keto cornbread muffins
Tasty keto corn muffins made with Good Dee's Corn Bread
Low Carb Baking Mix and Amoretti Sweet Corn Extract


Keto Banana Muffins

Keto and Co Banana Caramel Muffin Mix

I love banana bread and cupcakes, and I really missed them after I adopted my new low carb lifestyle. Then, I discovered the awesome Banana Caramel Keto Muffin Mix by Keto and Co, which makes extremely moist, tender, and flavorful muffins that taste as though they were made with real mashed, ripe bananas, yet they contain no fruit at all. They have a slightly sticky, chewy texture similar to almond macaroons (yum!).

This mix is sweetened with the company's proprietary Wondrose Sugar Replacer, a mix of erythritol, non-GMO soluble corn fiber, inulin, monk fruit and natural flavors.

Each bag of mix, which calls for 4 large eggs, 6 tablespoons of melted butter, and 1/2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, makes 9 banana cupcakes or muffins.

I like to amp up the banana flavor even more with 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of OliveNation Pure Banana Extract, which has 0 net carbs, no added sugars, and no calories when used as directed for baking (the alcohol burns off in the oven). These muffins are even better if you add 1/3 cup of ChocZero sugar-free dark chocolate chips or white chocolate chips.

To make them into cupcakes, simply cover the tops with a swirl of keto-friendly frosting.

Photo of keto banana caramel muffins
I love adding ChocZero sugar-free white or dark chocolate chips when I bake Keto and Co Banana Caramel Keto Muffin Mix batter


Keto Banana Muffin Recipes

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin recipe from Joy Filled Eats

Low Carb Banana Muffins recipe with cacao nibs or dark chocolate chips from Sugar Free Londoner Note: This recipe is flavored with one very ripe banana, which is why it has nearly 8 net carbs. But if you really dislike recipes that use banana extract and you can fit it into your macros, you might want to make a batch of these and freeze them, so you can have one occasionally as a treat.


Low Carb Carrot Muffins or Cupcakes

Good Dee's Carrot Muffin & Cake Mix

I've always been a big fan of carrot cake and muffins, so I was really happy to discover Good Dee's Carrot Muffin & Cake Mix. Instead of almond flour and/or coconut flour, it's made with watermelon seed flour and sunflower seed flour.

Although this mix contains erythritol and very small amount of stevia extract, it's not as sweet as many others, which is actually a very good thing. If you'd like it a bit sweeter, you can easily add a very little bit of additional erythritol and/or stevia extract or another alternative, such as granulated/crystallized allulose, monk fruit, or a blend of some or all of them. However, after several months on a fairly clean keto diet (which also means no artificial sweeteners that can spike your blood sugar and can feed your psychological sugar addiction), you are likely to find that your sweet tooth has diminished, and you may find yourself preferring your baked goods a bit less sweet. I kept hearing this from other people doing mostly clean keto, but never dreamed it could happen to me...until it did!

This mix also has some cinnamon and a touch of nutmeg, but it's pretty subtle. I prefer carrot muffins and cupcakes with a more prominent spice flavor, so I always add additional cinnamon and, often, a bit of powdered ginger. I highly recommend Penzeys Spices for fresh, high quality herbs, spices and pure vanilla extract at terrific prices.

This mix calls for 3 eggs, 1/3 cup melted coconut oil, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract for carrot muffins, or 4 eggs, 1/3 cup melted coconut oil, and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract for carrot cake or cupcakes (follow the directions for the cake, but divide the batter into 12 silicone cupcake liners and bake for only 18-23 minutes). The "as prepared" nutrition information (which doesn't specify whether it's for cupcakes or muffins) listed on the package is 3g net carbs, 150 calories, 12g fat, 3g dietary fiber, 0g added sugars, and 4g protein.

Note: Although there are no tree nuts or coconut in the ingredients, the mix is manufactured in a dedicated gluten-free facility that also processes soy, milk, tree nuts, and eggs. So, if you have a severe food allergy to any of those things, this might not be an option for you.

Variation: Carrot Muffins with Nuts and/or Shredded Coconut

Traditionally, carrot muffins and carrot cake recipes often include crushed pineapple, raisins or dried cranberries, all of which are off-limits on a ketogenic diet. However, if you enjoy tree nuts and/or coconut and can tolerate them, these carrot cake muffins are even better if you add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut and/or chopped, lightly toasted walnuts or pecans to the batter.

While these additions will nudge the calories and net carbs a bit higher, they will also provide more healthy fat, dietary fiber and protein. I have tried several brands and prefer Anthony's Organic Unsweetened Shredded Coconut, which is great quality and costs less per ounce than many other high quality brands. I keep a 2-pound bag of it in our freezer.

Variation: Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Make the Carrot Muffins with Nuts and/or Shredded Coconut variation, then add a dollop or swirl of sugar-free cream cheese frosting to each serving. I recommend either the cream cheese frosting recipe from the Wholesome Yum website, or my favorite keto cream cheese frosting recipe on page 380 of The Ultimate Guide to Keto Baking by Carolyn Ketchum, an absolutely fabulous cookbook that has become my go-to for low carb baking. If you want to learn how to make delicious keto muffins, cupcakes, layer cakes, frostings, cookies, doughnuts, gingerbread, brownies, pies, tarts, pizzas, crackers, bread, and more, this cookbook will become your keto baking bible. In addition to explaining simply and thoroughly the fundamentals of low carb baking, this book contains more than 150 sweet and savory baking recipes. And, while I haven't tried them all yet, every recipe I've made has been a winner.


Choose Your Flavor Muffin Mix

Good Dee's Low Carb Base Muffin Mix

You can whip up a batch of sweet or savory keto muffins in a jiffy by mixing in whatever flavoring ingredients you want into Good Dee's Low Carb Base Muffin Mix. This versatile mix makes a neutral muffin batter that you can customize to suit your individual preferences. Shredded cheese and bits of ham or crispy bacon, fresh raspberries or strawberries, shredded coconut and lemon zest, any flavor extract you can think of...the only limit is your imagination!

Image of Good Dee's Low Carb Base Muffin Mix package
Good Dee's low carb base muffin mix is a blank canvas
so you can flavor it with any ingredients you wish


Adapting Keto Baking Recipes for People with Tree Nut Allergies

Almond flour, alone or with coconut flour, is the foundation of most low-carb baking. While there are some recipes that use coconut flour and no almond flour, these two ingredients behave very differently in baked goods, and you can't simply substitute one for the other and end up with a successful result. That means most keto recipes for baked goods are off limits to people who suffer from severe tree nut allergies.

Fortunately, in most cases, sunflower seed flour, also called sunflower seed meal, can be substituted for almond flour, if you add a bit more than the recipe calls for to get the right consistency (you may need to experiment a bit).

Although I'm not allergic to tree nuts, last fall I wanted to make a recipe that called for this almond flour alternative. I ordered a bag of Gerb's sunflower seed meal, which is convenient and high quality, but also on the expensive side. So, when that bag is finished, if I want more, I'll make my own by grinding raw sunflower seeds in a clean coffee grinder and sifting it. This post from Carolyn Ketchum on how to make sunflower seed flour has some helpful and important tips.


My Favorite Silicone Baking Cups / Liners for Muffins and Cupcakes

Keto baked goods often don't release as easily as their conventional counterparts. So, whenever I make low carb muffins or cupcakes, I always scoop the batter into my favorite non-stick, reusable, Pantry Elements Silicone Cupcake Baking Cups / Liners. This set of 24 fluted silicone liners includes four each of six bright, cheerful rainbow colors—yellow, orange, red, purple, blue, and green—in a bonus see-through storage container. The silicone passes the "pinch test" for color, and they also can be used standalone without the support of a cupcake or muffin tin, which is how I usually use them, since my old wall oven died and we now use only our countertop oven, which won't accommodate a full-size cupcake pan. I use these wonderful silicone liners for baking at least every other week.

Note: I've also recommended these silicone cups previously, in my review of the best silicone cooking and baking tools and accessories.


Thoughts on Soluble Tapioca Fiber, Soluble Corn Fiber, and Inulin in Low Carb Mixes

Tapioca and corn are starches, and high-fructose corn syrup (aka HFCS) and maltodextrin are high carbohydrate sugars with a very high glycemic index. None of them should be eaten on a ketogenic diet. However, although it is derived from HFCS, soluble corn fiber (SCF) is a horse of an entirely different color! Soluble corn fiber is a resistant dextrin, a water-soluble dietary fiber that has other potential health benefits, such as increasing bone calcium retention in postmenopausal women. It adds viscosity and sweetness without spiking blood sugar levels, because it passes through the stomach and small intestine without being digested. Similarly, inulin, another soluble dietary fiber recognized by the FDA, also provides sweetness and has an extremely low glycemic index.

Some people argue that anything with a sweet taste should be avoided on a ketogenic diet because, they allege, continuing to eat sweet-tasting foods will simply feed your food addiction to sugar. They point to studies that suggest that consuming artificial sweeteners may affect the metabolism, and a recent study that suggests that merely tasting something sweet might alter our metabolism and glucose control. However, these studies were focused solely on sugar (sucrose) and artificial sweeteners sucralose (Splenda), aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet), and saccharine, all of which affect blood sugar and metabolism differently than plant-based, low glycemic sweeteners such as erythritol, monk fruit and stevia. It doesn't seem scientifically valid to draw conclusions about the metabolic effects of anything that tastes sweet based on extrapolating findings about effects of sugar and artificial sweeteners.

I have been eating foods containing soluble tapioca fiber, soluble corn fiber, and inulin for more than a year, while losing 58 pounds on my ketogenic diet, and I successfully kicked my sugar addiction and enjoy, but no longer crave, sweet foods. There are many, many others who have had similar experiences. As always, your mileage may vary.

Also, different people metabolize carbohydrates differently. If you have any concerns about how any type of sweetener might affect your blood sugar (especially if you are pre-diabetic or diabetic) or your ability to stay in ketosis, or just try adding plant-based sweeteners in limited amounts for a month, without changing anything else about what, when, and how much you eat, and see whether it seems to affect your weight loss.


High Quality Keto Baking Ingredients & Mixes Cost More Than Flour, Sugar, and Honey

The only significant downside of my ketogenic lifestyle is a noticeably higher grocery bill, despite purchasing less food on our shopping trips. Whole, high quality, nutritious foods are cost significantly more than processed foods, pizza, rice, grains, and traditional baked goods, especially since I try to choose mostly foods that are organic, non-GMO, grass-fed, pasture-raised, etc., when possible (and practical). And for baking, ingredients like almond flour, coconut flour, psyllium husk powder, and high quality, naturally-derived sweeteners, such as monk fruit extract, stevia extract, erythritol, allulose, and my personal favorite, BochaSweet (pentose) that have a low glycemic load, are more expensive than their far less nutritious conventional counterparts, such as wheat flour, cornstarch, sugar and honey.

But I consider the added expense a small price to pay, compared to the extremely high financial, emotional, and quality of life costs of developing and being treated for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, or another serious and potentially life-threatening illness, for which my obesity put me at much higher risk. And the ability to enjoy life so much more, now that I feel (and look) so much better, free from my prior chronic joint pain and inflammation, with more energy and verve than I could have imagined, is priceless.


Want Even More Low Carb Cupcakes and Muffins?

Bookmark this page and check back often over the next few weeks. I'll be updating this review with more of my favorite keto recipes and baking mixes for the best muffins and cupcakes to enjoy on a ketogenic diet.


Low Carb Muffins & Cupcakes: Treats to Enjoy on a Keto Diet
by Margaret Schindel


Posts In This Series About My Keto Diet Journey

My Favorite Hamama Microgreens Seed Quilt Accessories

Hamama Microgreens Starter Kit and Seed Quilts Review

Good Dee’s Keto Cookie Low Carb Baking Mix Review

Low Carb Keto Chocolate Yogurt Granola Chip Pudding Recipe

Low Carb Muffins & Cupcakes: Treats to Enjoy on a Keto Diet

Preparing to Succeed on the Keto Diet, Part Two

Preparing to Succeed on the Keto Diet, Part One

My First Year on The Keto Diet


Reviews of the Keto Diet by Barbara C. (aka Brite-Ideas)

My Personal Keto Testimonial

How I Stayed Committed to the Ketogenic Way of Eating


Read More Reviews About Health and Wellness by Our Contributors




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