Showing posts with label keto muffins. Show all posts
Showing posts with label keto muffins. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

The Best Low Carb Keto Cinnamon Muffins

I love baking homemade cinnamon muffins, which always fills our house with the lovely, nostalgic aroma of this traditional, warm spice. So, I've been collecting and trying out low carb, keto-friendly cinnamon muffin recipes that fit my healthy, ketogenic approach to eating. 

The recipes I'm sharing produce scrumptious sugar free cinnamon muffins that the whole family will enjoy, especially if they are trying to reduce or eliminate grains or sugar and other sweeteners that can spike their blood sugar levels and be harmful to their health in potentially more serious ways. 

Any of these cinnamon muffins can be paired with a cup of hot tea, coffee, or cocoa, or a glass of cold, unsweetened vanilla almond milk or macadamia milk for a guilt-free, wholesome, low carb treat for breakfast, dessert, or a healthy, nutritious, and delicious snack.

I am also sharing my product review of BochaSweet Keto Cinnamon Muffin Mix, which makes excellent low carb muffins in practically no time when mixed with just two ingredients: eggs and melted butter (or coconut oil).

Bon appétit!

Photo of keto friendly cinnamon muffins

The Best Low Carb Keto Cinnamon Muffin Recipes

I have hand picked the following recipes based on their flavor, texture, calories, net carbs, and other aspects of their nutritional profile that make them good choices for people who love baked goods and follow a low carb or keto diet, or who just want to reduce or eliminate sugar from their diets as part of a healthier lifestyle. 

The keto cinnamon muffin recipes I've chosen to feature also can accommodate a range of common dietary restrictions. Most of them are low carb, sugar free, gluten free, grain free, and diabetic friendly. Two are also dairy free, and many of the others can be used to make dairy free muffins by replacing the butter with coconut oil. One of those is vegan. The other suggests substituting sunflower seed meal (aka sunflower seed flour) for the almond meal or almond flour for a nut-free cinnamon muffin recipe option. 

Replacing almond flour or meal with sunflower seed flour or meal works well in many low carb or keto baking recipes, and for someone with nut allergies, it's well worth experimenting with. (You might need to use a bit more than the specified amount of almond flour.)

If you are making these treats for someone who has dietary requirements other than, or in addition to, following a low carb or keto diet, be sure to review the ingredients for each recipe to ensure that it will fit that person's specific dietary restrictions.


Keto Cinnamon Cream Cheese Muffins Recipe (Wholesome Yum)

Maya Krampf developed the recipe for these yummy low carb keto cinnamon cream cheese muffins for her deservedly popular Wholesome Yum low carb and keto website. She is also the author of one of my favorite low carb cookbooks, The Wholesome Yum Easy Keto Cookbook: 100 Simple Low Carb Recipes. 10 Ingredients or Less.

A sweet vanilla cream cheese filling makes her low carb keto cinnamon cream cheese muffins like a cross between a coffee cake muffin with cinnamon streusel and a cheese danish pastry. I always make sure to warm these up before eating them (or sharing them with my husband, who also enjoys them), so the creamy filling returns to its slightly runny, just-out-of-the-oven state. 

The batter and cream cheese filling are sweetened with Maya's granulated/crystallized Besti monk fruit allulose sweetener blend. She says you could substitute allulose, or granulated erythritol for the batter and powdered erythritol for the filling, if you wanted to. The cinnamon streusel topping is sweetened with her Besti Brown monk fruit allulose sweetener blend, and she says she hasn't found another healthy, keto-friendly brown sugar substitute that works well in this recipe.

Compare the macros for Maya's Keto Cinnamon Cream Cheese Muffins, at 4.8g net carbs each, with those for Winchell's Donut House Cream Cheese Muffins (the most similar commercial muffin I could find nutrition data for), at a whopping 81g net carbs!

Nutrition Facts

Keto Cinnamon Cream Cheese Muffins
(Wholesome Yum)
Winchell's Donut House Cream Cheese Muffins
(source)
Serving Size: 1 muffin

Calories 318 610
Total Fat 29.3g 27g
Total Carbohydrate 8.7g 82g
Net Carbs 4.8g 81g
Dietary Fiber 3.9g 1g
Sugars 1.8g 56g
Protein 9.3g 9g

Recipe Notes:

As of this writing, these sweeteners are not yet available on Amazon.ca. However, you can order Besti sweeteners on Wholesome Yum Foods and have them shipped to Canada (although the shipping obviously will be higher). If you live in a country other than the U.S. and Canada and would like to be able to order these products, Wholesome Yum plans to expand its distribution internationally, based on demand. To express your interest, you can sign up to be notified when Besti sweeteners will become available in your country.


Keto Coffee Cake Muffins (All Day I Dream About Food)

Like any coffee cake worthy of the name, these tempting keto coffee cake muffins from Carolyn Ketchum have a grain-free, sugar-free cinnamon crumb topping, as well as an optional sweet vanilla glaze drizzle. Carolyn is the writer and fabulous recipe developer for another extremely popular low carb recipe blog and website, All Day I Dream About Food, another of my go-to resources for consistently excellent keto recipes.

She says these keto coffee cake muffins are "better and healthier than any bakery option!" For me, that's a bit of a stretch. (Even though my taste buds have adapted to enjoy the baked goods from the best keto baking recipes, which definitely includes Carolyn's, I have never eaten keto baked goods that have a better taste and texture than their flour- and sugar-laden counterparts from a good bakery.) That said, this recipe produces wonderful, bakery-style low carb muffins that have an unusually moist and tender crumb (for keto-friendly baked goods), thanks to the use of both almond flour and coconut flour, as well as unflavored whey protein powder that helps them rise properly, since there is no gluten in the grain-free batter. The cinnamon streusel topping and optional vanilla glaze also add to their bakery muffin taste and texture. 

The recipe calls for Swerve Brown sweetener for the crumb topping, granulated Swerve sweetener for the muffin batter, and powdered Swerve for the vanilla glaze drizzle. 

Compare the huge differences in nutrition between a Keto Coffee Cake Muffin from All Day I Dream About Food (3.9 g of net carbs) and a Cinnamon Coffee Cake Muffin from Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (54 g of net carbs):

Nutrition Facts

Keto Coffee Cake Muffins (All Day I Dream About Food)
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Cinnamon Coffee Cake Muffins (source)
Serving Size: 1 muffin

Calories 285 450
Total Fat 24.4g 23g
Total Carbohydrate 7.6g 55g
Net Carbs 3.9g 54g
Dietary Fiber 3.7g 1g
Sugars - 32g
Protein 9.1g 4g

Recipe Notes:

Swerve sweeteners are mostly erythritol. If you don't care for the taste of erythritol, or if it causes you gastric distress, you can check out Carolyn's Ultimate Guide to Keto Sweeteners Ultimate Guide to Keto Sweeteners on All Day I Dream About Food to find suitable keto-friendly brown, granulated, and powdered sweetener alternatives.


Nutella-Stuffed Cinnamon Muffins (All Day I Dream About Food)

I have had a long and complicated relationship with Nutella. The first time we met, it was love at first bite. I fondly remember the blissful decades when we were together. Sadly, when I started focusing on improving my health and trying to lose weight, I was forced to accept that my beloved "Nutty," with its palm oil, sugar, and artificial vanilla flavoring, was just no good for me. Finally, I found the strength to break up with it, fervently hoping that, someday, I would find another chocolate hazelnut spread that would be just as sweet, satisfying, and special, but also would support my commitment to a healthier lifestyle.

Fortunately, when I began researching low carb and ketogenic diet recipes, I discovered Carolyn Ketchum's All Day I Dream About Food website, which includes quite a few Nutella inspired low carb and keto recipes. Her amazing keto Nutella-stuffed cinnamon muffins hide a sweet surprise—a rich, creamy chocolate hazelnut filling made with healthier, fresher ingredients than the popular commercial spread. In this recipe, her sugar free Nutella filling is made from freshly toasted and husked hazelnuts, hazelnut oil, dark cocoa powder, heavy cream, keto-friendly sweetener, and pure vanilla extract.

These luscious keto cinnamon muffins are sweet and rich enough to enjoy for dessert. Served with a cup of fresh, hot coffee, they also make a truly decadent breakfast. 

The most comparable muffins I could find (from a reliable source I trust) for a nutritional comparison were the Nutella-Stuffed Cinnamon Sugar Muffins from Sally's Baking Addiction, which have a cinnamon-sugar topping instead of Carolyn's streusel crumb topping and vanilla glaze drizzle. 

Compare the calories, net carbs, fat, fiber, and protein in these indulgent yet low carb, keto-friendly Nutella-Stuffed Cinnamon Muffins from All Day I Dream About Food to the wonderful Nutella-Stuffed Cinnamon Sugar Muffins on Sally's Baking Addiction.

Nutrition Facts

Nutella-Stuffed Cinnamon Muffins (All Day I Dream About Food)
Nutella-Stuffed Cinnamon Sugar Muffins (Sally's Baking Addiction) (source)
Serving Size: 1 muffin

Calories 310 450
Total Fat 29g 23g
Total Carbohydrate 8g 55g
Net Carbs 4g 54g
Dietary Fiber 4g 1g
Sugars - 32g
Protein 10g 4g

Recipe Notes:

In the comments, Carolyn Ketchum explains how she toasts and husks the hazelnuts. Toast the nuts in a preheated 350 °F oven for 8 to 10 minutes, take them out, and let them cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Then roll them between your fingers while still warm and most of the husks will come off easily. Don’t worry about a few stubborn bits of husk; they won’t matter after you grind the hazelnuts. 

In my experience, nuts can go from nicely toasted to burned very quickly. I toast mine on a rimmed baking sheet, so I can give it a shake every few minutes without the nuts falling off the pan, and keep a close eye on them until I remove them from the oven. I let them cool for only 3 or 4 minutes, and then rub the toasted nuts briskly inside a clean kitchen towel to loosen the husks. I find that they loosen more easily when they are quite warm, and the towel protects my fingers from the heat.

Note to low carb baking enthusiasts:

In addition to being the driving force behind All Day I Dream About Food, Carolyn Ketchum has written eight keto cookbooks (as of this writing). I highly recommend the two I have purchased so far, the Keto For Two Cookbook (e-book) and The Ultimate Guide to Keto Baking: Master All the Best Tricks for Low-Carb Baking Success, which I consider my keto baking "bible" and a must-have for anyone who wants to understand the chemistry and techniques of successful keto baking recipes (which are fundamentally different than those of successful conventional baking). 

Note to conventional baking enthusiasts:

For many years, Sally McKenny's Sally's Baking Addiction website and her superb baking cookbooks have been among my favorite sources for consistently reliable, clearly written and clearly explained recipes for mouthwatering baked goods made with conventional ingredients, such as sugar, wheat flour, and cornstarch. So, although they don't fit within a sugar free, gluten free, or low carb diet, I recommend her cookbooks and website very highly to anyone who loves to bake with sugar and other high carb ingredients.


Low Carb Cinnamon Roll Muffins (The Big Man's World)

This high protein, low carb cinnamon roll muffins recipe from Arman Liew of The Big Man's World is quite unusual, since it contains no eggs and no butter. In fact, this recipe is keto, paleo, vegan, sugar free, gluten free, grain free, and dairy free. 

These almond flour muffins also contain vanilla protein powder to add sweetness, increase the protein, and help them rise in the absence of gluten, which creates a lighter texture and a better crumb. Pumpkin purée makes them moist. Coconut oil provides the fat in the muffin batter, along with your choice of unsweetened, low carb nut butter or seed butter (Arman suggests almond butter, peanut butter, sunflower seed butter), which further boosts the protein, while coconut butter (also called coconut manna) gives the lemony glaze a luxurious mouthfeel. 

It was hard to find a close analog for a nutritional comparison. I finally chose to compare the impressive macros for these Low Carb Cinnamon Roll Muffins from The Big Man's World (only 1g of net carbs per serving) to Starbucks Cinnamon Muffins (41g of net carbs each). 

Nutrition Facts

Low Carb Cinnamon Roll Muffins 
(The Big Man's World)
Starbucks Cinnamon Muffins
(source)
Serving Size: 1 muffin

Calories 112 350
Total Fat 9g 27g
Total Carbohydrate 3g 42g
Net Carbs 1g 41g
Dietary Fiber 2g 1g
Sugars - 30g
Protein 5g 5g


Keto Cinnamon Muffins (Sweet As Honey)

This versatile recipe for gluten free, dairy free, sugar free cinnamon muffins comes from another of my favorite low-carb food bloggers, Carine Claudepierre, the writer, recipe developer, food photographer, and videographer at Sweet As Honey

Her bakery-style keto cinnamon muffins are dipped into sugar-free cinnamon sugar while they're still hot, to add a crunchy topping and more cinnamon flavor. After they have cooled completely, the tops are coated with icing, made from powdered sugar-free sweetener mixed with just enough unsweetened almond milk to achieve your preferred consistency. 

This recipe is made with equal amounts of almond flour and flaxseed meal (aka flax meal). Flax is a source of many nutrition and health benefits, and flaxseed meal contains very few carbs, so it's great to bake with. Carine recommends using golden flaxseed meal rather than brown flaxseed meal, which would give these baked goods an unpleasant, bitter aftertaste (and no one wants that!). I prefer Bob's Red Mill organic golden flaxseed meal

She says she always uses an erythritol and monk fruit sweetener blend, and although the ingredients list says "erythritol," it links to the original Classic White Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener With Erythritol. The recipe was published in August 2019, three months before the brand introduced its  Lakanto Monkfruit Baking Sweetener With Erythritol, which also contains tapioca fiber, chicory root inulin, and cellulose gum and was created specifically as a 1:1 sugar replacement for baking recipes. According to Lakanto, some of its advantages for baked goods recipes are that it "dissolves effortlessly, retains moisture, can control cookie spread, and provides better browning for your desserts." I suspect it would be even better than the Classic White Lakanto for this recipe.

Since I couldn't find any commercial equivalents to these Sweet As Honey Keto Cinnamon Muffins whose tops are completely covered with icing (2.3 g of net carbs), I'll compare them to the Walmart Bakery Marketside Cinnamon Coffee Cake Muffins with no icing (45g of net carbs):

Nutrition Facts

Keto Cinnamon Muffins
(Sweet As Honey)
Walmart Bakery Marketside Cinnamon Coffee Cake Muffins (source)
Serving Size: 1 muffin

Calories 217 370
Total Fat 16.5g 19g
Total Carbohydrate 5.5g 46g
Net Carbs 2.3g 45g
Dietary Fiber 3.2g 1g
Sugars 0.4 26g
Protein 5.3g 5g

Recipe Notes:

Carine offers several suggestions for optional mix-ins, if you would like to customize these muffins to suit your personal preference. (Keep in mind that any additional ingredients or substitutions will affect the calories, macros, and other aspects of this recipe's nutritional profile.)

Even though the recipe uses flaxseed meal, she warns against trying to replace the whole eggs with "flax eggs" (flaxseed meal mixed with water), egg white, or another substitute. 

She suggests coconut milk as an alternative to almond milk for the glaze. (I'm sure any keto-friendly dairy-free milk would work.)

If you don't need dairy-free muffins, you can use melted butter in place of the coconut oil, if you prefer.

For nut-free low carb cinnamon muffins, you can replace the almond flour with the same amount of sunflower seed flour or meal.  


BochaSweet Keto Cinnamon Muffin Mix

If you don't have a lot of time for (or don't enjoy) baking from scratch, you can still indulge in some delicious, fragrant, freshly baked keto cinnamon muffins, thanks to BochaSweet Keto Cinnamon Muffin Mix.

Photo of BochaSweet Keto Cinnamon Muffins on cooling rack
My most recent batch from BochaSweet Keto Cinnamon Muffin Mix

Low Carb Muffins in About 15 Minutes

Preparing these tasty treats couldn't be any faster or easier! Just mix the contents of one bag of BochaSweet Keto Cinnamon Muffin Mix with 3 whole eggs and 1/2 cup of melted butter (or coconut oil, for dairy free muffins), portion the batter into a lightly greased 12-cup cupcake or muffin tin, and bake in a preheated 425 ℉ oven for 12–14 minutes, until golden brown, and enjoy!

Low carb keto baking recipes often turn out to be dense, coarse, and dry. Not these delectable muffins! The texture is lighter than I was expecting, which is great. My first batch was a bit on the dry side, but only because I left them in the oven a bit too long. (It's hard to tell when the muffins are "golden brown" when that's the color of the batter to begin with, lol.) So, I baked my second batch for just 12 minutes, and allowed them to cool a bit longer before sampling them. This time, the muffins were delightfully moist and tender! And, both times, not just my kitchen but my whole smelled divine.

High Quality, Wholesome, Healthy Ingredients

I have shared many posts on Review This Reviews about my keto diet weight loss journey that began in May 2019 and enabled me to lose nearly 60 pounds, and my subsequent decision to continue to follow a very low carb, ketogenic approach to eating that has made it easy to maintain my new, slim, healthy weight for more than a year so far. If so, you know that my primary motivation for this change in diet and lifestyle was getting healthier and lowering my risk of cancer and other serious diseases. So, although I am somewhat flexible, I try to make fairly "clean" food choices. And, when I purchase a low carb or keto baking mix (or prepared baked goods), the first thing I look at is the ingredients.

BochaSweet Keto Cinnamon Muffin Mix is made with the same high quality, wholesome, healthy ingredients I use in my homemade keto baking recipes when I'm making low carb muffins from scratch: almond flour, BochaSweet (kabocha extract), grass-fed collagen, psyllium husk powder, organic coconut flour, organic cinnamon, MCT oil powder, baking soda, aluminum-free baking powder, pink salt, and xanthan gum. The ingredients are non GMO, and the mix contains no preservatives or additives. (For that reason, the prepared muffins need to be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.) 

I love the fact that this keto cinnamon muffin mix is sweetened with BochaSweet sugar replacement, my favorite zero calorie, zero glycemic sweetener! BochaSweet tastes nearly identical to cane sugar and (to me and many other happy BochaSweet customers) has no aftertaste and none of the cooling effect produced by some other keto friendly sweeteners (such as erythritol). After using this healthy sweetener every day for about 1.5 years so far (to sweeten my tea, among other things), I have experienced zero gastric distress or laxative effect from this healthy sweetener, and most other product reviews I have read from customers who mention their reactions concur with my experience. The only downside is that it costs more than most other healthy keto-friendly sweeteners. However, for me and many other people who are looking for healthier, zero calorie, zero glycemic sugar alternatives, it's worth paying the higher price for this one, as well as for products that are sweetened with it.

BochaSweet Keto Cinnamon Muffin Mix was launched in late August, 2020, just as I was finishing up my review of recipes and baking mixes for making Low Carb Muffins & Cupcakes: Treats to Enjoy on a Keto Diet. That meant I wouldn't be able to order, test, and review this new cinnamon muffin mix in time to include it in that review of my favorite keto muffins and cupcakes. In the course of testing the recipes and mixes for that review, I ended up with a freezer full of baked goods and a pantry that was positively overflowing with packaged low carb keto baking mixes. So, it was only recently that I finally ordered a couple of bags of the BochaSweet Keto Cinnamon Muffin Mix to try. Now that I've made these quick and easy, tender, toothsome low carb keto cinnamon muffins, I will definitely update that review to include this yummy, convenient BochaSweet baking mix!

Nutrition Facts

BochaSweet Keto Cinnamon Muffin Mix

Serving Size:
23g of dry mix


Calories 60
Total Fat 3g
Total Carbohydrate 13g
Net Carbs 3g
Dietary Fiber 4g
Sugars <1g
Protein 4g


Product Review Notes:

The company provides this information for the dry mix only. However, you can easily calculate the nutrition data for the prepared muffins by entering the data for the dry mix into a tracking app such as Carb Manager and then creating a recipe entry in the app that will calculate the macros based on the ingredients (12 servings of the dry baking mix, three large eggs, and 1/2 cup of butter or coconut oil).

The net carbs for this BochaSweet Keto Cinnamon Muffin Mix are calculated as follows:13g total carbohydrates - 4g dietary fiber - 6g BochaSweet = 3g net carbs

BochaSweet is the name of the company, its flagship product (BochaSweet sugar replacement), and the overarching brand for its other products (such as baking mixes), including those with secondary brands (such as BochaSweet BochaBars high protein, high fiber bars and and BochaSweet Bocha-Beets nutritional supplement). For some reason, on the brand's logotype, the words Bocha and Sweet are separated by a space, which likely explains why it is often misspelled "Bocha Sweet" (occasionally, you'll even see an Amazon product listing for a "Bocha Sweet" product). 


Recipes and Product Review: The Best Low Carb Keto Cinnamon Muffins by Margaret Schindel


Posts In This Series About My Keto Diet Journey

The Best Low Carb Keto Cinnamon Muffins

The Good Chocolate 100% Organic No Sugar Dark Chocolate Review

Wholesome Yum Easy Keto Bread Mix and Yeast Bread Recipe

The Best Low Carb Keto Gift Ideas: Keto Gift Guide

The Ultimate Keto Hot Chocolate Recipe

Keto Cheddar Cheese Biscuits With Chives Recipe

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 Recipe Reviews by Our Review This Reviews Contributors

Read More Product Reviews by Our Review This Reviews Contributors

Read More Reviews About Health and Wellness by Our Review This Reviews Contributors




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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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