After two plus years of low-carb eating, I have come to the conclusion that keto desserts generally suck. Before you jump into the comments and say “what about Rebel ice cream?” or “I have this recipe for incredible keto brownies!”, just know I’ve probably already tried them. Admittedly, there are a few options like the Keto Sea Salt Caramel Ice Cream Bars at Costco and the rainbow of chocolates by Lily’s, but other than a passable Blueberry Cheese Danish Coffee Cake recipe, almost all of the keto dessert recipes I have tried sucked.
The “fails” in these recipes run the gamut from texture and flavor to aroma, something is inevitably not quite right. While I certainly haven’t tried all of the recipes available online, I have discovered that my creations tend to come out best when I figure it out myself. With savory dishes, instead of finding a specific keto or low-carb recipe, I’ve taken to using the tried and true options (read “carb-filled”) and made them my own. So, I raged to myself, why haven’t I done this with sweets?
As y’all may know, I recently made my first New York-style cheesecake. While I got a small taste, most of the cake was devoured by John — cheesecake is freezer-friendly, in case you were curious — and I thought cheesecake would be the perfect dessert recipe to keto-fy. After all, it’s mostly cheese, eggs and sour cream, all of which are friendly to this way of eating.
After digging through recipes, both with and without regular sugar, I dove in and created this absolutely awesome amalgam. Since it’s Mardi Gras, I’ve been desperately craving king cake. I needed a little purple, green and gold in my life, if you know what I mean, though the only aspect that makes this “king cake” is the colors and that it’s a “cake.”
At first, I was planning on using food dye with melted Lily’s White Chocolate, but after tossing about $15 worth (*sobs*), I threw up my hands and went with a simpler option, but it still came out damned cute if I do say so myself. By no stretch of the imagination am I a pastry chef/baker, not to mention the fact that I’m using cheap pastry bags and tips, so I kept it basic with a cheesecake fluff-like icing.
Kim’s Keto Cheesecake
For the cake:
3 8oz. packages of cream cheese, softened
1 C full-fat sour cream
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 C Swerve Confectioners (did you know they’re local?)
1 Tsp. vanilla
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 Tsp. salt
*For the crust:
1 1/2 C superfine almond flour
6 Tbsp. salted butter, melted
3 Tbsp. Swerve Granular
For the icing:
1 8oz. package of cream cheese, softened
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 C heavy whipping cream
1/4 C Swerve Confectioners
1 Tsp. vanilla
Purple, green and yellow food coloring
Preheat the oven to 350°. Prepare an 8 inch springform pan with butter or butter spray. Mix the ingredients for the crust together and press it into the pan, coming roughly up the sides about halfway. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Remove and set aside to cool. After the crust has cooled, wrap the bottom of the springform pan tightly in 2-3 layers of aluminum foil.
Using a stand or hand mixer, cream together the butter, cream cheese and Swerve. Add vanilla, lemon juice and salt and mix. Next, add the eggs one by one to ensure they’re incorporated, and then the sour cream. Mix well, but not too much. We don’t want too many air bubbles as this should be a dense and creamy cheesecake.
Pour the batter into the cooled crust and set the pan inside a larger pan, I used a roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with water until it comes about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Place the entire vessel inside the oven and bake for 45-55 minutes. It should still be jiggly in the center when you take it out.
At this point, some people suggest to let cheesecake sit in the oven after you’ve turned it off, cracking the oven door to let it cook more, while preventing the top from cracking. But I just took mine out, took the pan out of the water bath and set it onto a cooling rack. After 45 minutes, slide a knife around the edge to loosen the cake from the sides and then continue to let it cool completely. Once it is completely cool, cover with saran wrap and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.
For the icing, mix together the softened cream cheese, butter, heavy whipping cream, Swerve and vanilla. Separate into three bowls, add desired amount of food coloring and have at it!
*While the cheesecake itself turned out awesome, I think next time I will change up the crust. Though the almond flour tasted just fine (almost like a softened, buttery shortbread), I think I’d like something a bit crunchier. On the next go-round, I believe I’ll try crushed macadamia nuts or pecans with Swerve Brown Sugar and butter.
**I did not figure out the carb/nutrition count, but I’m betting it’s lower than other recipes out there because I used way less Swerve (like half of the typical amount) and less almond flour.
Happy Mardi Gras!