It's not uncommon to be doing well on a diet but also think from time to time, "I would do anything for a giant slice of cake." Cravings for sugary, sweet, and all-around indulgent desserts seem to spike and stick around whenever we've gotten used to a healthy routine, and that can feel especially true if you've decided to try the keto diet. Since the whole point of this regimen is to rely on healthy fats and oils to burn fat, plunging a fork into a dessert seems strictly off-limits.
What Is Ketogenic Diet (or Keto)?
The Ketogenic Diet—called Keto for short—is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates.
Yet, if you really will do anything to satisfy a sweet tooth, there are ways. We found 11 easy keto desserts that make it simple to substitute ingredients for cake, ice cream, cookies, and anything else you might be fantasizing about. Most of these desserts can come together with a few ingredients, so you can lick your plate clean in no time.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars
The Sweet Facts: This no-bake option from Two Sleevers features the classically delicious combination of peanut butter and chocolate using almond flour, vanilla, and chocolate chips for topping. There's nothing wrong with that.
Don't Forget: "Refrigerate for at least an hour or two until the bars thicken up," Urvashi Pitre says. "These bars definitely improve with keeping, so don't be in a huge rush to eat them.
The Sweet Facts: Two Sleevers also whipped up these spiced cookies—which have a 10-minute prep time—using cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Agave nectar and softened butter add dimension.
Don't Forget: "These little ones are gluten-free, vegetarian, low-carb, keto, and if you sub the butter with coconut oil, they are also dairy-free and Paleo," she says. "So there. You now have a good excuse to eat them."
The Sweet Facts: Rami and Vicky Abrams at Tasteaholics managed to make this decadent dessert with only a handful of ingredients, including cocoa powder, vanilla extract, heavy cream, and an egg. Plus, you can create this in the microwave if you really need dessert fast.
Don't Forget: "Combine your erythritol and cocoa powder and whisk to remove any clumps," they write. "This'll make the consistency of our cake much smoother."
The Sweet Facts: It's true, you can eat cinnamon rolls on the keto diet, as long as you follow this recipe from Sugar-Free Mom. Brenda Bennett used mozzarella and coconut flower as part of the dough, and then cream cheese and heavy cream for the frosting. Sign us up.
Don't Forget: "I've not yet tried to make these ahead without baking them until the next day, so for now I don't recommend that," she says. "I'd just bake them as is, then cool, cover, and refrigerate. Reheat the morning you prefer and top with frosting."
Vanilla Bean Frappuccino
The Sweet Facts: We'll give it to the Sugar Free Mom—she knows how to re-create notoriously unhealthy eats for the keto diet. Here, she re-creates a frappuccino with unsweetened almond milk, heavy cream, and a vanilla bean. It has no sugar and two grams of fat.
Don't Forget: "You could substitute the heavy cream with coconut cream to make this dairy-free," she says.
Raspberry Lemon Popsicles
The Sweet Facts: There's nothing better than a fruity popsicle on a hot day, and this recipe from Ruled Me features its two fresh namesake fruits with coconut milk. The hardest thing about it is waiting for the molds to freeze.
Don't Forget: "By using sour cream as one of the base ingredients—and then using an immersion blender—we get a very creamy mixture. It pours easily and freezes well," the recipe says.
Salted Toffee Nut Cups
The Sweet Facts: Chopped walnuts, cold butter, and milk chocolate combine to make this eat-five-in-two-minutes dessert, which is also from Ruled Me. It may take a little finesse to get the toffee just right, but it will be worth it.
Don't Forget: "Fill each cup with a half spoon full of toffee mixture. If the mixture begins to separate and harden, that is normal," the recipe says. "Just stir it gently and work quickly."
The Sweet Facts: Maya Krampf at Wholesome Yum figured out how to prepare a keto-approved cheesecake by substituting in an almond flour crust and a cream cheese filling. All in all, this dessert can be made with only eight ingredients.
Don't Forget: "Make sure the cheesecake cools on the counter before refrigerating," she says, to help prevent cracking.
The Sweet Facts: Although this recipe from Simply So Healthy only calls for a quarter of a banana to keep its protein level low, it still has tons of flavor with help from heavy cream, almond flour, and vanilla extract.
Don't Forget: "Even in such small quantities, a ripe banana still provides the desired banana flavor," Harper Slusher says. "If you still want an extra boost of flavor, you can add a bit of natural banana flavoring to top it off."
The Sweet Facts: If a classic strawberry milkshake is what you crave, then use this recipe from the KetoDiet Blog to make one that follows the rules. It uses coconut milk, almond milk, and fresh strawberries in the blend.
Don't Forget: "When looking for ingredients, try to get them in their most natural form (organic, without unnecessary additives)," Martina Slajerova notes.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
The Sweet Facts: Sometimes, all you want is a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie. Thankfully, I Breathe I'm Hungry conjured up a recipe with sunflower seed butter, coconut flour, and vanilla extract to make that wish a reality.
Don't Forget: "If you don't have a nut allergy, you can absolutely substitute in almond butter, cashew butter, or even peanut butter for the sunflower seed butter and still achieve fantastic results," Mellissa Sevigny says.