As more and more research supports the benefits of a ketogenic diet for weight loss, cognitive function, and health conditions like type 2 diabetes, more and more people (understandably) jump on the bandwagon.
Thing is, this bandwagon has little room for traditional desserts, since getting your body into the state of ketosis—the Holy Grail of the keto diet—in which it uses fat for energy instead of glucose, requires all but eliminating sugar. And that’s a major heart-breaker if you have a sweet tooth.
Luckily, with a little kitchen creativity—and some help from natural sugar-free sweeteners like stevia and erythritol (a sugar alcohol), and grain-free flours like almond flour—you can totally have dessert without throwing yourself out of ketosis. Plus, even if you’re not on a ketogenic diet, high-fat/low-sugar treats can help you conquer your sweet tooth guilt-free while cutting down your overall intake of the addicting stuff.
Ready for a treat? Here are five of the keto dessert recipes that are breaking the internet right now.
1. Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
Honestly, does a dessert combination better than chocolate and peanut butter even exist? Keto Connect’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake is basically a keto-friendly lava cake that oozes with creamy peanut butter when you dig in. The easy-to-make cake uses unsweetened chocolate and a mix of stevia and erythritol to keep sugar low, and takes less than 20 minutes from start to finish!
You’ll mix the cake ingredients, which also include coconut flour, eggs, butter, and cream, in a microwave-safe bowl and warm the mixture until you get a smooth, thick batter. Then you’ll pour half into a greased pan, add the peanut butter in the very center of the pan, pour in the rest of the batter, and bake at 400 degrees for 13 to 15 minutes.
Calories: 366 • Fat: 32g • Fiber: 6.5g • Net Carbs: 3.5g • Protein: 10g
2. Easy Keto Strawberry Shortcakes
When berries—which are low in sugar and pretty much the only fruit allowed on keto—are in season, you’ve got to whip up this guilt-free dessert! Fans of the OG strawberry shortcake will love Ruled.Me’s keto-friendly recipe. The cakes themselves call for just five ingredients: eggs, cream cheese, baking powder, vanilla, and erythritol, while the filling is a simple mixture of strawberries and whipped cream. The key is to beat the egg whites until they’re nice and fluffy before mixing in the rest of your ingredients. From there, you’ll bake up 10 mini puff cakes and layer in those berries and cream.
Calories: 273 • Fat: 26g • Fiber: 0.5g • Net Carbs: 3.9g • Protein: 6.6g
3. Keto Butter Pecan Ice Cream
Sugar-free ice cream that’s actually satisfying (and doesn’t taste like chemicals) is hard to come by. Luckily, it’s actually pretty easy to just make your own! Sugar-Free Mom’s butter pecan ice cream recipe is low in carbs and stands up surprisingly well against your childhood favorite. You’ll need an ice cream machine or stand mixer (like a KitchenAid) to really master this recipe, which calls for butter, heavy cream, Swerve confectioner’s sweetener (a blend of erythritol and prebiotic fiber), salt, egg yolks, maple extract, sugar-free maple syrup, MCT oil, and pecans. Making the ice cream is a bit of a process—it takes about 4 hours from start to finish—but that maple-y, nutty goodness is well worth the wait.
Calories: 302 • Fat: 32g • Carbs: 2g • Protein: 2g
4. Coconut Chocolate Bars
Candy bars are pretty taboo on keto, but you can still get your fix with The Big Man’s World’s killer chocolate coconut crack bar recipe. (In addition to being keto-friendly, it also happens to be Paleo and vegan.) You’ll need just four ingredients: unsweetened shredded coconut, coconut oil, monk fruit-sweetened maple syrup, and stevia-sweetened chocolate chips. First, you’ll mix the shredded coconut, syrup, and coconut oil, press the mixture firmly into a parchment paper-lined pan, and stash the pan in the fridge. Once the mixture has firmed up, you’ll cut it into bars, melt your chocolate chips, and coat each bar in chocolate for a treat that rivals any sugar-laden bar out there.
Calories: 106 • Fat: 11g • Fiber: 2g • Net Carbs: 1g • Protein: 2g
5. Keto Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting
Though it features one of our favorite veggies, carrot cake doesn’t typically fall into the ‘health food’ category—unless it’s this recipe from This Mom’s Menu. (Don’t worry, there’s still cream cheese frosting.) The recipe swaps sugar for erythritol and also calls for butter, eggs, unsweetened almond milk, vanilla extract, almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ground allspice, and (of course!) carrots. First, preheat the oven to 350°F and line the bottom of a cake pan with parchment paper. While the cake cooks (about 20 minutes at 350 degrees), you’ll whip up a too-good-to-be-true frosting made with cream cheese, butter, vanilla, heavy cream, and erythritol. Just don’t forget to let the cake cool before frosting it up!
Calories: 148 • Fat: 14g • Fiber: 1g • Net Carbs: 1g • Protein: 4g