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The perfect nut-free double chocolate keto brownies recipe, made with coconut flour and cocoa powder! These brownies are quick and easy, and you probably already have everything you need in your low carb pantry.
Let me get right to the point – these keto coconut flour brownies are SO easy, SO fudgy, and absolutely everyone loves them.
That’s why I love to make keto brownies to share! I mean, what’s better than a blood sugar friendly treat that tastes like the real thing?
Honestly, I don’t even tell anyone that they’re gluten free and keto brownies until after they ask for the recipe (which they always do).
Can I Eat A Brownie On Keto?
You shouldn’t eat a regular brownie if you’re following a keto diet. Regular brownies are full of sugar and flour – two things that don’t fit in a low carb diet.
For example, Betty Crocker Fudge Brownie Mix contains a whopping 22g carbs and 15g sugar per brownie, and that’s when you divide the nutrition information into TWENTY servings. Let’s be real – most of us bake brownies in an 8×8 pan and only cut them into sixteen servings.
And what do you think the first ingredient is in those Betty Crocker brownies? Yup, you guessed it – sugar! These classic brownies are also loaded with other inflammatory ingredients, like enriched bleached flour, corn syrup, and canola oil. No thanks!
Luckily my easy to make recipe for keto brownies with coconut flour is low carb, sugar free yet still incredibly chocolatey and fudgy. Sooo good!
The Best Ingredients For Keto Brownies
Sweeteners For Coconut Flour Keto Brownies
The first ingredient we’ll need to swap out to make low carb brownies with coconut flour is obviously sugar! My keto brownie recipe is made with granulated Swerve. You can also substitute the keto friendly sweetener allulose in place of the granulated Swerve as noted in the recipe below (allulose is 70% as sweet, so you’ll see that I recommend using ½ cup allulose in place of ⅓ cup of granulated Swerve).
Of course because we’re making the best keto brownies, I couldn’t just stop there! I’ve also included some brown Swerve sweetener.
Why is that? Brown Swerve adds a warm, caramelized undertone that supports and adds complexity to the chocolate flavor without stealing the show.
As you’ll read more about below, it’s these special, subtle flavor changes that will take your chocolate brownies (and especially low carb keto brownies!) from meh to amazing!
What Cocoa Powder To Use For Low Carb Keto Brownies
In this brownie recipe, unsweetened cocoa powder acts as a stand-in for some of the flour. This gives us super chocolatey brownies while also helping to absorb some of the liquid ingredients in place of regular flour.
I always keep unsweetened cocoa powder on hand in my pantry. I recommend only buying ethically sourced cocoa and other chocolate products. Direct Trade is ideal, but Fair Trade is more readily available to consumers, and I like fair trade cocoa powder from Equal Exchange.
I want to take a second now to help you understand a very confusing cocoa narrative that’s been all over the internet over the last decade. Years ago I started noticing paleo and other recipe sites telling folks to only purchase “cacao” and never “cocoa”. Who knew cocoa could be so controversial?! Truthfully, it’s not – there’s simply a huge amount of misinformation out there that has been repeated like an old school game of telephone. So let’s help clear it up!
What’s The Difference Between Cocoa and Cacao?
There’s a lot of confusing info about cocoa and cacao on the internet, and the difference between them. I didn’t really understand it myself until I began making my own bean to bar chocolate.
So what’s the difference between cocoa and cacao? In the chocolate industry, the term cacao is only used for the living plant, the fruit (the pod itself), or the raw unprocessed beans (some would also include the fermentation stage here). Anything that has been processed beyond that stage is considered cocoa. Simple as that. In other words, as soon as it leaves the cacao farm or fermentation facility, it’s considered cocoa.
The next step in production is typically roasting the beans. However, many companies have popped up selling “raw” cocoa products, which are simply made with beans that haven’t been roasted. This can be confusing, as these products are often incorrectly marketed as “cacao” despite having been processed into chocolate bars, cocoa nibs, or cocoa powder.
This means that in the grocery store, you can generally assume that products labeled as “cacao” are produced using unroasted beans and products labeled as “cocoa” are produced using roasted beans.
Want to make things even more complicated? “Cocoa” in English translates to “cacao” in many languages around the world, such as Spanish and Italian.
Further complicating the matter is the fact that the fermentation process actually heats the beans above raw foodies’ widely accepted limit of 118° F. So that chocolate bar or cocoa powder you see at the local health food store labeled “raw cacao” is neither raw, nor cacao.
So is it better to buy products labeled “cacao” or “cocoa”? I don’t recommend buying products labeled as cacao (remember, these are typically the products made with unroasted beans) and there are a few reasons why.
First, unroasted beans have a sour, flat flavor. Roasting beans perfectly is an art that elevates and rounds out the flavor…and wow can you taste the difference!
Second, all sorts of harmful bacteria can (and do!) grow freely during the fermentation stage. Farmers then routinely battle their climate during the drying stage, when beans must be dried enough to bag. Considering that much of the world’s chocolate is grown in humid, tropical climates, we should generally assume that unroasted beans will be contaminated with pathogens.
I’ve seen this process first hand and while it’s just as awesome as you’d imagine, no one would ever call it sterile. Not even close. That’s why roasting the beans is very important for food safety, in addition to flavor.
IS UNSWEETENED COCOA POWDER KETO FRIENDLY?
At just 3.1g of carbs per tablespoon, unsweetened cocoa powder is a great way to fit chocolate into a keto diet. Since unsweetened cocoa powder provides incredibly intense flavor, that means you don’t need to use very much in these coconut flour keto brownies.
Cocoa solids also contain many beneficial antioxidants and other compounds. One study titled Cocoa and Chocolate in Human Health and Disease even concluded that “While the case is strongest for cardiovascular benefits, the immunomodulating effects of chocolate hint at potential benefits in both infectious disease and cancer. Metabolic and psychological benefits are also strongly suggested, and mechanistically plausible.”
So not only are these fudgy keto brownies blood sugar friendly, the cocoa in them might even provide extra health benefits!
The Best Flour To Use In A Low Carb Keto Brownie Recipe
What’s the best flour to use for the best keto brownies? I like to use a combination of coconut flour and collagen peptides.
So why don’t I use almond flour?
Well, brownies made with coconut flour have a finer texture, while almond flour gives brownies a grainier, grittier texture. In my opinion, the finer texture of coconut flour brownies is more like the real deal.
So why do I also add collagen peptides? The collagen peptides give coconut flour brownies just the right amount of chew to perfect the texture and make up for the lack of gluten containing flour.
Collagen is one of those secret little hacks that will take your coconut flour brownies up a notch!
What Are The Best Keto Friendly Chocolate Chips For Low Carb Brownies?
The best brownie recipes are double chocolate! My favorite keto diet friendly chocolate chips to bake with are:
- Lily’s Chocolate Chips: Lily’s is the OG sugar free chocolate chips. Their chocolate chips bake and melt well, and they have a good solid chocolate flavor. As of the writing of this post, they’ve also expanded their line to include semi sweet chips, milk style chips, white chocolate style chips, and even fun holiday variations (like white chocolate style peppermint). Lily’s chocolate is very easy to find these days, even in regular chain grocery stores, or you can order via Amazon.Some folks experience digestive distress with Lily’s chocolate due to the inulin fiber – if that’s you, I recommend one of the options below.
- Lakanto Chocolate Chips: Lakanto chocolate chips are sweetened with monk fruit extract and erythritol, and it’s important to know that they’re slightly sweeter than Lily’s chips. They’re slightly flatter than Lily’s traditional chip shape (more like small callets, if you come from a pro baking background). Lakanto chips have a clean flavor and creamy mouthfeel (never dry or chalky). Lakanto chips aren’t as readily available in grocery stores, but they’re worth hunting down. I buy them on the Lakanto website or from Thrive Market.
- Pascha Unsweetened Chocolate Chips: Often once folks go keto their taste buds change and they like things to be a little less sweet. If that’s you, Pascha unsweetened chips might be the perfect choice. They’re unsweetened chocolate, so they won’t add any additional sweetness to your keto brownie batter. Pascha chocolate is available at most natural foods stores, and some grocery chains or you can order on their website. Make sure you look for the 100% unsweetened (currently sold in a red bag) or the 70% no sugar added bittersweet, which is sweetened with erythritol and stevia (currently sold in the green bag). You could also use unsweetened baking chocolate – simply chop the squares into chip-sized chunks.
- Bake Believe Chocolate Chips: Bake Believe chips are very similar to Lily’s, but slightly sweeter. They’re only available to purchase at Walmart, so they’ll be a convenient choice if you’re a Walmart shopper.
How To Make Keto Brownies With Coconut Flour That Taste Amazing
Brownies (especially keto brownies, and ESPECIALLY coconut flour keto brownies) are usually just OK. Passable. But they definitely don’t live up to our super fudgy chocolate dreams. Why is that?
As a young, super green pastry cook, I learned two very important things about chocolate.
The first was that chocolate should always be salted (or rather, everything should be salted, and liberally). A pastry recipe without salt is a crime. Seriously. This recipe calls for 1/4-1/2 tsp salt.
If you’re a salt-loving foodie (which also makes us kindred spirits), you’ll want the higher amount.
The second thing I learned was that chocolate really, truly sings when it’s supported by other, subtle flavors. Flavors that you may not even consciously detect!
There are a few different ingredients that pastry chefs regularly turn to for this, and often they have spicy, earthy, or umami qualities.
In this recipe, we’re using a small amount of cinnamon. Just enough to have an effect on the flavor of the chocolate, but not enough to be detectable by most people.
CASSIA VS CEYLON CINNAMON (FAKE CINNAMON VS REAL CINNAMON?)
Most commercially produced cinnamon is actually made from inexpensive Cassia bark, which many serious cooks will refer to as “fake cinnamon”.
Ceylon, on the other hand, is usually given the title of “real cinnamon”.
Really, they are both barks from the Cinnamomum genus of trees, so neither is fake.
However, their flavors are definitely different. Cassia bark contains a much higher percentage of cinnamaldehyde, which is what gives cinnamon it’s spicy flavor. Ceylon, on the other hand, has a milder and more complex flavor.
There’s no right or wrong answer here, but I like the flavor of Ceylon cinnamon better.
HOW TO PREPARE A PAN FOR THE KETO BROWNIE RECIPE
Your metal bakeware will last a lot longer if you never cut anything in the pan. Knives do a real number on metal bakeware.
Instead, cut a strip of parchment paper the width of the pan. Grease the pan with softened butter or coconut oil, and fit the parchment strip into the pan so that it lines the bottom and two sides, as shown below.
The fat used to grease the pan will help stick down the parchment and hold it in place (especially useful if your parchment came on a roll).
After the brownies have cooled slightly, hold onto the ends of the parchment and lift the brownies out of the pan and onto a cutting board, where they can easily be sliced.
Wondering how to spread out the thick brownie batter (or frosting, or anything, for that matter)? Use an offset spatula!
Not many home cooks have one, and they are an indispensable tool for pastry chefs. Once you get one, you will wonder what you ever did without it.
MORE EASY TO MAKE KETO BROWNIE RECIPES:
Keto Coconut Flour Brownies
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
- To prepare your 8″ square metal baking pan, first grease the pan with softened butter. Next, cut an 8″ wide strip of parchment paper and lay it in the pan so it lines the bottom and two of the sides.
- Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl, making sure to sift the cocoa powder as you add it.
- Add the eggs, melted butter, and vanilla to the bowl and whisk quickly to combine. The coconut flour will slowly absorb more moisture, eventually creating a very thick batter. You want to be done whisking before that happens!
- Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl and fold in the chocolate chips.
- Spread the batter evenly in the pan.
- Bake at 300 degrees F for 15-17 minutes or just until done, turning the pan halfway through the baking time.
- Allow the pan to cool and then use the parchment strip to lift the brownies out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Slice into 16 pieces.
Nutrition facts have been calculated using Cronometer, with the carbs from all erythritol and allulose sweeteners subtracted because I do not personally have to bolus insulin for Swerve, erythritol, or allulose as a Type 1 (autoimmune) Diabetic. All Bake It Keto recipes have been tried and used successfully, but results may vary from person to person. All information provided regarding nutrition on the Website is intended to be used for informational purposes only. I am not a nutritionist. Consult your medical professional before using any recipe if you have concerns about how you may individually react to the use of any particular recipe or ingredient. By voluntarily creating and using any recipe provided here, you assume the risk of any potential injury that may result. Please see my full disclosures at https://www.bakeitketo.com/disclosures-privacy-policy/.