Flour Substitutes and other Gluten-Free, Keto Baking Ideas

Lindsay Malone MS, RDN, CSO, LD
10 - 12 MIN.

IN THIS ARTICLE
  • Flour Substitutes
  • Almond Flour
  • Coconut Flour
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Sugar-Free, Keto-Friendly Sweeteners 

Flour Substitutes
Is Gluten Free Flour Keto-Friendly?


Traditional grain flours and caloric sweeteners in your baking recipes just aren’t going to cut it while following the keto diet, since these ingredients rack up the carbs. The good news is that flavorful alternatives exist that produce great results in your favorite recipes and satisfy your craving for baked goods.

Almond Flour

Flour substitutes icon for almond flour in highkey blue /> 

Almond flour serves as a great replacement for wheat flour and can be used in cookies, brownies, pizza crust, and dessert crusts with delicious results. There are two types of almond flour: blanched and natural. With blanched almond flour, the almonds are dunked into hot water, then the skins are peeled off, leaving a creamy white color. Natural almond flour is comprised of skin-on, whole ground almonds, which leaves brown flecks throughout the flour and doubles the fiber content. Options also range in texture from somewhat coarse almond meal to super-fine almond flour, with the latter being ideal for keto desserts and gluten-free baking.

As a general rule, you can replace at least 25% of the wheat flour with almond flour in baking recipes. For crusts and crispy cookies, you can replace it 100%. Financiers, a classic french tea cake, are traditionally made with mostly almond flour and French macarons are made 100% with almond flour, so you’re already way ahead of the game with turning these recipes into keto-friendly masterpieces.

When measuring almond flour, be sure to do what the pros do: pour the flour into the measuring cup and level off with a knife. On the contrary, scooping the cup into the flour packs the flour, which can result in over portioning, leaving you with dry results.

Coconut Flour

Flour substitutes icon for Coconut Flour in HighKey blue

Coconut flour is great on its own, like in this comforting Keto Pumpkin Mug Cake, or works well when blended with other flours. Use coconut flour in pancakes, cookies, or muffins. Since coconut flour has such a high fiber content (5 grams in 2 tablespoons!), you may need to increase the eggs in your recipes to help with leavening and binding. Coconut flour provides some natural sweetness and a slight coconut flavor, but does not contain added sugars.

Nuts and Seeds

Flour substitutes icon for nuts and seeds depicting various keto friendly nuts and seeds such as pistachios, walnuts, and almonds 

Grinding flaxseeds, walnuts, and hazelnuts incorporates new flavors and textures into bars, crusts, and cookies. Sesame seeds and sunflower seeds can be added whole to crackers and breads. Certain seeds, like flaxseeds, can also be used as an egg replacement to make a recipe vegan! 

Store all ground nuts and seeds in the refrigerator to extend their shelf life.

    Sugar-Free, Keto-Friendly Sweeteners 

    There are several choices out there when it comes to low-carb, sugar-free sweeteners, but they don’t all work or taste the same in baking recipes. In general, sweetening blends are most successful as they highlight the best characteristics while balancing out any aftertastes or cooling effects.

    HighKey Monk Fruit Stevia Erythritol Blend

    Flour substitutes icon for HighKey Monk Fruit Stevia Allulose  sugar substitute

    This zero-calorie sweetener is twice as sweet as sugar, allowing you to use half as much in your baking recipes—so instead of 1 cup sugar, use 1/2 cup of this blend. It contains no artificial ingredients, has zero net carbs, and is non-glycemic, meaning it won’t affect your blood sugar levels.

    Monk Fruit Stevia Allulose Erythritol Blend

    Flour substitutes icon for HighKey Monk Fruit Stevia sugar substitute

    If you didn’t graduate with a degree in math (hello, from a communication major), this may be the sweetener for you, since you can use it cup for cup in place of sugar. It still tastes as sweet as sugar, but with zero net carbs. Allulose occurs naturally in foods like raisins, giving this sweetening blend a great taste and crystalline texture without affecting your blood sugars.


    Try using this sweetening blend in these Keto-Friendly Key Lime Cake Balls. YUM!

    More Keto-Friendly Baking Ingredients

    • Cacao nibs add crunch, texture, and make for fun sprinkles
    • Some nuts offer a naturally sweet taste, like macadamia nuts and pecans. Be sure to roast pecans first to maximize their flavors and crunchiness.
    • Low glycemix fruits are a gorgeous and flavorful topper for cakes and tarts. Get inspiration from this list of Seven Fruits That Won’t Kick You Out of Ketosis.

    Be sure to also check out this article on 5 Keto Baking Essentials You Need

    Happy baking!

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    Lindsay Malone, MS, RDN, CSO, LD
    Lindsay Malone is a Functional and Integrative Medicine dietitian empowering individuals to take charge of their health with evidenced-based nutrition information.

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