Keto Coffee: What Is Keto Coffee & How To Make It

Lindsay Malone MS, RDN, CSO, LD
12 - 14 MIN.

  • What Is Keto Coffee?
  • What’s The Difference Between Keto Coffee & Regular Coffee?
  • How Many Times A Day Can I Drink Keto Coffee?
  • Can Keto Coffee Help You Lose Weight?
  • Keto Coffee Side Effects
  • Keto-Friendly Coffee Creamer Options
  • How To Make Keto Coffee
  • Keto Coffee Recipe With Heavy Cream

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Keto Coffee

For many, coffee is an essential morning habit. Whether it’s the smell of a warm cup brewing in the kitchen, the act of sitting and drinking a cup while reading the news before heading out the door, or that caffeine rush that kick starts your energy for the day, coffee can be a quintessential part of your everyday routine — one you’re not willing to give up, and one you shouldn’t have to. 

If you’re committed to keto, it may be hard not to experience some serious FOMO when you realize that something like a Honey Vanilla Latte doesn’t exactly fit into your diet. Thankfully, you can still get your coffee fix even if you’re going keto. Black coffee has negligible carbs and calories, making it a viable choice on the keto diet. It’s just the add-ons, like sugar and milk that are a big no-no. This means you just have to be willing to make a few swaps and substitutes, whether you brew your own coffee at home or hit up your local coffee shop every morning. 

Many popular coffee drinks are full of sugar-filled syrups and carb-laden milks, which means you’ll have to avoid these when it comes to the keto diet. But fear not — there are still plenty of options when it comes to getting your regular caffeine fix. You just have to make the switch to ketogenic coffee by ensuring whatever you’re putting into your cup of joe is low-carb and low in sugar. Thankfully, there are plenty of ingredients you can choose to make that happen. 

keto coffee recipe card

What Is Keto Coffee?

Keto coffee, also commonly called butter coffee or Bulletproof coffee, doesn’t differ much from regular coffee — in fact, it’s just regular coffee with an added fat. Usually this comes in the form of butter, ghee, MCT oil, or heavy cream which are fats that help increase feelings of fullness and encourage ketosis. Some keto dieters use keto coffee as a replacement for breakfast in the morning, especially if doing something like intermittent fasting. 

What’s The Difference Between Keto Coffee & Regular Coffee?

You don’t have to search my any specific labels on your coffee grounds — keto coffee is regular coffee, just with the addition of the aforementioned butter, ghee, MCT oil, or heavy cream. Regular coffee is usually just black coffee or coffee with added sweetener or creamer, or a standard espresso  drink with milk such as a latte or cappuccino. Those aren’t fit for a keto diet because they contain regular milk, which contains carbs. Keto coffee just combines black coffee with a fat, and no sugar of course!

How Many Times A Day Can I Drink Keto Coffee?

Keto coffee can sound like a dream — creamy, buttery coffee, who wouldn’t want to drink that all day long? But don’t get too far ahead of yourself. Although it’s okay to drink keto coffee several times a  day, you may still want to limit yourself to the times you actually feel you “need” it. This is because you’re adding a fat like butter, so your keto coffee still has calories and fat.

Many people will drink keto coffee as a replacement for breakfast, and others will drink it as a mid-afternoon brain boost. There’s no set number of times you can drink keto coffee, so just listen to your body and its needs and make sure your keto coffee consumption doesn’t bump you over your calorie limit. 

keto coffee mugs and travel cups

Can Keto Coffee Help You Lose Weight?

Many people swear by keto diet coffee because they claim it helps them lose weight. Well truth be told, keto coffee is certainly not a magic weight loss bullet. However, there  are a few ways that keto coffee may be part of a healthy diet and potentially support weight loss. First, it is free of traditional sweeteners and milk, and lowering your intake of sugar and carbs can certainly help with weight loss. Second, because ketogenic coffee is high in fat, it can help promote satiety and feelings of fullness which may prevent overeating when you’re not hungry. Finally, the MCT added to keto coffee converts into ketones, which of course helps you stay in ketosis and also provides energy. So while keto coffee isn’t the miracle diet beverage you may have dreamed of, these are some of the reasons why it has been claimed to help with weight loss. 

Keto coffee can also be useful when doing intermittent fasting, as it can help reduce hunger  in between meals or give you a boost of energy in the morning before your eating window begins. 

It is important to note that a cup of keto coffee will up your calorie intake, since you’re adding butter and possibly heavy cream. While you do need those calories for energy, again, you just don’t want to overdo it by loading up on too much keto coffee causing you to miss out on  meals with nutrient packed, whole foods. 

Keto Coffee Side Effects

Because keto coffee hasn’t been studied extensively, it can have potential side effects in different people. Because both butter and MCT oil are high in saturated fat, depending on how often you have keto coffee, you may be consuming a large amount of saturated fat per day. Studies on saturated fat are mixed, but it is generally advised to limit your intake. Again, this just means you don’t want to be drinking keto coffee all day long, and you want to make sure you’re eating lots of healthy foods as well. 

Additionally, you don’t want to replace your meals with keto coffee too frequently, as it doesn’t contain many essential nutrients. If you choose to just have keto coffee for breakfast, make sure to eat an extra healthy lunch and dinner so you’re getting a balanced diet.

keto coffee creamers unsweetened almond milk

Can You Have Coffee Creamer On The Keto Diet?

If you’re someone who definitely doesn’t take your coffee black, then you’re likely wondering if coffee creamer is okay on the keto diet. Most conventional coffee creamers unfortunately don’t make the cut when it comes to being keto compliant. The mainstream brands are typically filled with sugar, which means they don’t belong in your ketogenic coffee. Many single serving packets are also filled with preservatives, thickeners, and stabilizers, which can irritate your stomach and contain carbs. 

But this doesn’t mean you have to suffer through drinking a bitter cup of plain black coffee. Your first instinct may be to turn to milk, but milk actually contains carbs and the lower the fat level the higher the carbsWhole milk has the lowest amount for milk, but most keto dieters stick to heavy cream. Cream itself can be used to make a keto diet coffee, or you can keep reading for a whole slew of options for keto-friendly coffee creamers. 

Keto-Friendly Coffee Creamer Options

So you like a creamy cup of coffee — what’s a person to do? Here are some of the best options if you’re looking to drink your cup of keto coffee with some good ole creamer. 

Heavy Cream

The simplest way to add creamer to coffee is to go straight to the source: heavy cream. While non-keto dieters traditionally opt to use milk or over cream in their coffee, when you choose to go keto  all that fat is a-ok — in fact, it’s encouraged. This high-fat, low-carb option fits perfectly into the keto diet, and it’ll give your coffee that extra creamy oomph you’re looking for.  

Full-Fat Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is another option to add creaminess to your coffee, along with a little extra, naturally-sweet flavor. Some stores even sell coconut cream on its own (the top, thick part of the coconut milk), which has a higher concentration of fat and protein.

Keto-Approved Coffee Creamer

For those who are used to keeping a quick coffee creamer in their fridge, you can look for keto-approved coffee creamers sold by specific brands. Many of these are made with either heavy cream, coconut milk, or almond milk, and some even have their own flavors. Just make sure you read the label to verify carb content to assure what you’re buying is a right fit for your diet.  

keto coffee ingredients

How To Make Keto Coffee

Start With Black Coffee As Your Base

Black coffee on its own fits into keto, so begin with that and build from there depending on the time of drink you’re making. The important thing is to add in your fat to help promote satiety. From there, you can build on the flavors. 

Add In A Fat

The key to a keto diet coffee is to add in a fat like butter, MCT oil, or ghee. For 1 cup of black coffee, you’ll want to add in 1 tablespoon grass-fed butter or ghee and/or 1 tablespoon MCT oil. You can also substitute butter for 1 tablespoon coconut oil. Combine these ingredients using a frother or a blender to create a latte like consistency. 

Use Cream Or Alternative Milk

In addition to keto butter coffee, you can also make your ketogenic coffee more creamy by using milk replacements.  Since cow’s milk is not a low-carb option for ketogenic coffee, you’ll want to pick an alternative to add instead. You can opt for heavy cream, or if you want to skip the dairy, you can go for a sugar-free, low-carb alternative milk such as almond milk, coconut milk, or cashew milk. 

If you are going to order a pre-made drink at a coffee shop or Starbucks, you can ask the barista to use heavy cream. Places like Starbucks usually make their own whipping cream, so they should always have heavy cream on hand for this swap. Although many coffee shops do carry almond milk or coconut milk, they are often sweetened and high in sugar. You should always ask before ordering plant-based milks if they are sweetened or unsweetened. 

keto coffee keto friendly sweetener

Sweeten, If Desired (But With A Keto-Friendly Sweetener)

Some people love the taste of bitter coffee, but if you’re someone who absolutely needs to satisfy your sweet tooth with your morning java you can mix in a keto-friendly sweetener. Stay away from sugar (duh), and instead use something like stevia, erythritol, or monk fruit. If you make your own coffee at home, be sure to keep HighKey’s sweetener blend in your pantry!

Additionally, if you’re ordering at a coffee shop and getting a specialty drink, ask for a sugar-free syrup. Unfortunately, the standard issue syrup is essentially a sugar bomb. If you’re at Starbucks, ask your barista to make a “skinny” version, which uses these sugar-free syrups, or add the syrup to a black coffee with heavy cream. Even if you’re going sugar-free, opt for only one to two pumps, as many sugar-free syrups still contain ingredients such as sucralose and maltodextrin that you don’t want to have too much of.

Skip The Whip

If you’re ordering from somewhere like Starbucks, specialty drinks will often come with a dollop of whipped cream on top. Although it’s a tasty sweet touch, their whipped cream contains a flavored syrup which will load your drink with sugar. So skip the whip, and just stick to adding plain heavy cream to your beverage instead. Fun tip: ordering a “skinny” version of your drink will leave out the whipped cream.

Add In Spices

If you like to flavor your coffee, rather than opting for a sugar-filled, flavored creamer, add in your own spices, like cinnamon or nutmeg. Both of these spices are also available at the Starbucks milk and cream station along with cocoa powder, which can add some flavor to your drinks without any more added sugar. You can also add in vanilla or almond extract for an additional twist. 

keto coffee spices cinnamon

Keto Coffee Recipe With Heavy Cream

If you make your own coffee at home, you can use this recipe as a start to create your own ketogenic coffee.

Keto Coffee (serves 1)

  • 1 cup brewed coffee
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon MCT oil
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream

Combine with a frother or blender until whipped and creamy. 

Although gone are the days when you can walk into Starbucks, order a Caramel Macchiato, and walk right out the door, coffee is something you can still enjoy when following a keto diet — you just have to get a little crafty. The key is to avoid consuming too much sugar or milk, and instead load up on fats and oils that will give you energy and keep you satiated. You can accomplish this by making your own ketogenic coffee at home, or when you go out to get coffee, make some swaps or even craft your own drink from scratch. Believe me, by now they are used to getting orders for low carb and keto diet coffee!

There’s nothing like drinking a coffee to get you up and at-em in the morning (or afternoon!), and with the keto diet you certainly don’t have to give that ritual up. Just swap your half and half for heavy cream, add a scoop of butter, use a keto-friendly sweetener and you can enjoy all those perks of a cup of joe without bumping yourself out of ketosis — you might even find that you enjoy your coffee more that way after all!

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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