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The Complete Guide to Keto Baking

The Complete Guide to Keto Baking

If you are trying to cut sugar and carbs out of your life, I want to help you with this Complete Guide to Keto Baking!

My love for baking started at a very young age!

When I was a poor college student I would make homemade food gifts for my friends, aunts and uncles. It was usually my caramel apple pie (not healthified!). It would be unbaked and frozen with a label on it on how to bake it (temperature and time amounts), so they could enjoy a fresh baked pie whenever they desired.

I still love to give food gifts but I just make healthified gifts now. I love to make keto baked goods for my friends and family!

There are a few reasons why I allow keto baked goods:


For one, I’m competing against a multi-trillion dollar food industry that markets products filled with food-dye, chemicals and sugar to my children. Providing cute Keto treats keep them happy. I also teach them how certain foods make them feel good, super smart and run fast;)


What’s the first thing that comes to mind when I say…

Thanksgiving? I think of Pumpkin Pie.

How about the word Christmas? I think of Christmas cookies and Eggnog.

Valentine’s Day = Do you think Chocolate???

Birthdays = Do you think of Cake and Ice Cream???

Minnesota State Fair = Deep fried cheese curds, corn-dogs, deep fried Twinkies???

They all create images of Food!

Even when our children learn to go on the potty as toddlers we reward them with food. My son, Micah, always asked for kale chips after he would go on the potty. But still food was a reward. I hear it all the time from parents who are frustrated when their kids little league team has to get ice cream after every game. One of my clients sent me a picture of the giant bag of Skittles her type 1 diabetic second grader was given for getting 100 percent on her math test!


I love a dessert. Having Keto options at home helps me say no to a slice of cake at a wedding. If I were to never let myself have a treat like keto ice cream (which I have some all the time) I wouldn’t be able to say no to sugary filled treats. I no longer feel deprived by allowing keto treats.

HOWEVER, most of the keto desserts I make are nut free like my flourless chocolate torte or my lava cakes. I have better results when my clients eat nut/nut flour free.


I love to bake and create beautiful food. It is enjoyable to me. I love being in the kitchen on a rainy day (if it is nice out I prefer to be on my bicycle or kayak!). I am not one to meditate on a mat with my eyes closed. I like to think of my baking and cooking time as mindful meditation.

There are some health-care clinics and counselors consulting with me to bring in keto cooking to their hospitals as therapy tools for people suffering from depression, anxiety and other mental-health problems.  Sounds crazy right? But it soothes my stress, builds self-esteem and helps my clients curb negative self-talk by focusing the mind on following a recipe.


The reason I wanted to write this post for you is because I see bad keto advice all over the internet! So called “keto recipes” that use lupin flour, chia, flax, tapioca starch, and others I would never recommend using.

If you want to be successful on the keto diet, you can not subtract fiber from the total carbohydrates to get this magic “net” carb number. You must count fiber in your carbohydrates. Don’t believe me? Wear a CGM and check your glucose after you eat a high fiber Quest bar. Your body will respond as if you ate a KitKat bar!

Be careful when baking keto. Do not just look for gluten free baking mixes. Gluten-free flours are ultra-processed and use rapidly absorbed starches that are higher in carbs than white flour and often contain tapioca starch, rice flour or corn flours. I do not recommend just going gluten free, but I recommend going GRAIN FREE for ultimate healing.

Let’s start with flours that I do NOT recommend for a proper keto diet:

1. Flax-meal (and Chia): Flax and chia increase bad estrogen and high toxic estrogen causes estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance is the leading cause of breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, thyroid cancer and even prostate cancer in men; yep, men can have estrogen dominance. Click HERE to read how harmful flax-meal is!

If you see a recipe with flax, run away!

2. Lupin Flour: Lupin flour is a legume flour made from sweet lupin beans. Beans have anti-nutrients and should be avoided. It is also too high in carbs at over double the total carbs of almond flour. Too many carbs for me.

3. Vital Wheat Gluten: You will often see this ingredient in “Keto Tortillas” and “Keto Breads” at Costco and other grocery stores. STAY AWAY!

This makes a “paste” in your gut and causes a lot of inflammation. Especially if you have an autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s, Graves Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Fibromyalgia, or another autoimmune disease, you MUST stay 100% gluten free if you want to heal like my clients do! Many get off all medications!

Even though I do not have a gluten allergy, if I eat vital wheat gluten, my blood sugars go through the roof and I am out of ketosis.

4. Tapioca Fiber (and Tapioca Starch)

We have also been mistakenly told by our trusted doctors that a high-fiber diet is a great defensive against the change of diverticulitis and IBS. On the contrary, it has been proven that a high-fiber diet decreases gut flora and irritates the lining of the gut; which increases risk of this disease.

Fiber is like steel wool on your intestines!

Do not be fooled my keto marketing of products using Tapioca Fiber.

5. Oat Fiber

All grains are inflammatory and are not recommended for anyone. I avoid all parts of any grain (rice, wheat, oats, etc).

6. Carb Quick

PLEASE stay away from this harmful baking mix! Check out the ingredients:

INGREDIENTS: Carbalose flour (enzyme-modified wheat, vital wheat gluten, wheat fiber, high protein wheat flour, vegetable fiber, soy oil, salt, dextrose, emulsifiers, enzymes, ascorbic acid, sucralose, calcium propionate), partially hydrogenated soy oil, buttermilk powder, baking powder, egg white powder, lecithin, salt, natural and artificial flavors.

Not only is it filled with carbs, it also has trans-fats and sucralose (an artificial sweetener that is hard on the thyroid, CLICK HERE for more on sweeteners)!

7. Cassava Flour

Bringing in a whopping 100g carbs per cup, I do not recommend this gluten free flour that you will find in many keto products like keto tortillas and keto breads.

8. Soy Flour

Soy flour is a very harmful low carb flour to use! Soy increases bad estrogen and high toxic estrogen causes estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance is the leading cause of breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, thyroid cancer and even prostate cancer in men; yep, men can have estrogen dominance. Read more HERE.

9. Yeast

Yeast isn’t a flour but as far as keto recipes including yeast. It might be ok in small amounts for some people but could drive yeast overgrowth and candida is not careful  it isn’t needed by the body so I wouldn’t consider it healthy and don’t use it in my recipes for this reason.

10. Keto Cereals 

I’ve been seeing a lot of keto dieters on Instagram post photos making cereal bars and keto baked goods with these Keto Cereals. Please do not be fooled by these marketing geniuses, they are not a healthy keto baking item. The main ingredient is whey protein and tapioca starch. Whey protein should be avoided for anyone trying to lose weight or with an autoimmune disorder. Whey protein is too quickly absorbed into the blood stream and causes a blood sugar spike. The Tapioca Starch will also increase blood sugar.

11. Arrow Root Powder

This is another one that is just too high in carbs and will raise blood sugar.


If you are doing keto and want to have results like my clients do, these are the approved Keto Flours:

1. Blanched Almond Flour

Blanched almond flour is the most common keto baking flour. To make blanched almond flour, the almonds are blanched to remove the skins then finely ground into a flour. The flour is rich in vitamins and minerals. Since almond flour can go bad fast, I store my almond flour in the freezer after opening. I personally don’t eat a lot of nut flours.

A serving (1/4 cup or 28 grams) of almond flour has around 160 calories, 6 grams of carbs and 3 grams of fiber.

Click HERE to find the blanched almond flour I use for a GREAT price.

Click HERE to find my favorite keto recipe using Blanched Almond Flour: my keto Biscuits!

2. Coconut Flour

Coconut flour is another great keto baking flour! The biggest difference between coconut flour and most low carb flours is that it needs a lot more moisture when baking. Too often people will substitute my recipes that call for almond flour and use coconut flour instead. If you do this, you will end up with a dense, inedible end product.

When using coconut flour, the batter may be thin at first but after a few minutes, the coconut flour will absorb the liquid and it will thicken.

Not all coconut flours are created equal. There is a lot of variance on the different brands of coconut flour. This is frustrating as the recipe writer because sometimes people don’t come out with the same baked good as I had hoped.

Here is a tip when choosing and using coconut flour in your keto baking:

“It’s not so much the different types of flour but the weight of it. Different brands weigh differently(e.g. homemade coconut flour is not ground as smoothly as commercial so 1 cup homemade would have a different weight than 1 cup commercial). I’ve been using a measurement of 120g for 1 cup coconut flour and it works so much better now.”

The carbohydrates in Coconut Flour are more than blanched Almond Flour, however, you only use a fraction of coconut flour vs almond flour in recipes so usually the carbs are very low in recipes that use coconut flour.

Store coconut flour in an airtight sealed bag or container in your pantry. Make sure it is sealed because coconut flour can easily absorb moisture.

Click HERE to find the coconut flour I recommend.

Click HERE to find my favorite keto recipe using coconut flour: my keto crepes.

Here is a chart to help when converting to coconut flour from other flours.

Ketogenic Baking Tips

3. Almond Meal

This is basically ground up almonds with the husk. It isn’t as fine as blanched almond flour so if you substitute a recipe with almond meal, the finished product will not be the same but many recipes will work with almond meal and it is often much cheaper. It can can be used 1:1 in place of blanched almond flour in recipes.

I suggest to store almond meal in the freezer after opening, since it can go bad fast.

Click HERE to find Almond Meal.

Click HERE to find my favorite keto recipe using Almond Meal (my Sweet Fauxtato Casserole).

4. Pecan Meal 

Pecan Meal is ground up pecans and I love to use pecan meal. It makes such a flavorful product! I have a great keto Pecan Pie Pancake recipe using Pecan Meal!  It can can be used 1:1 in place of blanched almond flour in recipes.

Store pecan meal in an airtight container in the fridge for freezer.

Click HERE to find Pecan Meal.

Click HERE to find my Pecan Pie keto Pancakes!

5. Walnut Flour 

If you love the taste of walnuts, you would love walnut flour! You can sub any recipe that called for blanched almond flour with walnut flour. It can can be used 1:1 in place of blanched almond flour in recipes.

Store walnut flour in an airtight container in the fridge for freezer.

Click HERE to find Walnut Flour. 

Click HERE to find my favorite keto recipe using Walnut Flour.

6.  Sunflower Seed Flour

Sunflower seed flour is a fine option however, your keto baked item will have a strong flavor of sunflower seeds. It is a good option for those who are allergic to almond flour or coconut flour. It can generally can be used 1:1 in place of almond flour in recipes.

Store sunflower seed flower in an airtight container in a dark pantry or better would be the fridge.

Click HERE to find Sunflower Seed Flour.

Click HERE to find my favorite keto recipe using sunflower seed flour.

7. Pork Panko

This is a great option for dairy free and nut free and it is an approved option for those of you following my protocol for The 30 Day Ketogenic Cleanse! It is also great for keto dieters who have a nut allergy. It can can be used 1:1 in place of blanched almond flour in recipes.

Store pork panko in an airtight container in a dark pantry.

Click HERE to find pork panko.

Click HERE to find my favorite keto recipe using Pork Panko!

Click HERE to find my favorite keto pie crust recipe using Pork Panko!

8. Egg White Protein Powder

This is my favorite for a weight loss treat. It is dairy free and nut free. It is also great for keto dieters who have a nut allergy. I use it to make my angel food cake, protein sparing bread, Yorkshire Pudding and my keto Popovers.

Store egg white protein powder in an airtight container in a dark pantry.

Click HERE to find Egg White Protein powder.

Click HERE to find my favorite keto recipe using egg white protein powder! 


1. Psyllium

15 years ago I wrote THIS recipe for the perfect chewy puffy low carb bread that uses psyllium! It went gang busters on the internet and now people call it the “Diet Doctor Bread” because he put it on his website, but it isn’t his recipe. He doesn’t write recipes. It is my recipe. Sorry for the venting, it just took me a year and hundreds of dollars in ingredients to perfect that recipe and it is frustrating when he claims it as his recipe.

However, if you are doing keto for weight loss or gut healing, I would avoid all recipes with psyllium. It is just all fiber and fiber is an irritant to the intestines. This is why when someone is diagnosed with Crohn’s or Colitis, they are told to not eat ANY fiber.

I feel that my recipes like my keto Monkey Bread using psyllium are still healthier than store bought breads and breads with gluten, but if you are doing my recipes using psyllium, eat them in moderation. And if fat loss is your goal, it might be a good idea to leave psyllium recipes until you are closer to your goal.

2. Whey Protein

Whey protein should be avoided for anyone trying to lose weight or with an autoimmune disorder. Whey protein is too quickly absorbed into the blood stream and causes a blood sugar spike.

If you are doing keto for muscle building and are an athlete, not concerned about weight loss, then whey may be a fine option if you are not allergic to dairy. If fat loss is the goal, then stick with egg white protein powder.



Be careful when using “sugar-free” chocolate chips. I see WAY too many keto dieters on Instagram using Hershey’s Sugar Free chocolate chips. These are NOT a good option and will cause high blood sugar and a lot of bloating and gas!

Stay away from Choc-Zero products with soluble corn fiber. They claim it is a fiber, it is not absorbed! But check this out!

If you need a chocolate chip, you can either make my recipe for chocolate and make them into chips OR what I do is purchase The Good Chocolate and chop them into small pieces for chocolate chips.

Click HERE to find The Good Chocolate.


You don’t expect Baking powder to contain corn. But, yep, it is there. Cornstarch (or potato starch) is often added to baking powder to avoid clumping. I always purchase THIS baking powder which is cornstarch free and potato starch free!


When it comes to Natural sweeteners in Keto Baking, it is quite complicated.
When choosing a natural sweetener, here is a helpful chart from my book Keto Restaurant Favorites! 


Click HERE to find a Complete Guide to Keto Baking Sweeteners I approve of and sweeteners that should be avoided!  


If you are looking for more help and more recipes that are DAIRY AND NUT FREE for maximum weight loss, yet still DELICIOUS, I wrote 5 books that are dairy and nut free for a reason! That is how I lost weight and kept it off for over 20 years! I still enjoy a dessert, but I make sure they follow my guidelines!

Click HERE to find The Art of Fat Loss book AND my Protein Sparing Modified Fast book! Which are 100% dairy and nut free yet filled with delicious keto recipes!


“I will second all of that. I am doing week one of the food (in The Art of Fat Loss) and loving it. I am doing it as OMAD as that works with my work schedule. Can’t wait for the ginger chicken tonight. I have lost 85 pounds doing keto but I think I was doing a lot of things wrong. I am loving Maria and Craig’s advice and recipes. Thank you!” Karen 

Click HERE to find The Art of Fat Loss!

Most people I consult are doing keto totally wrong. Get fast results with the my NEW Keto Packages!

Click HERE to check out my NEW Keto Packages!

Maria Emmerich

Maria is a wellness expert who has helped clients follow a Ketogenic lifestyle to heal and lose weight for over 20 years. She has helped thousands of clients get healthy, get off medications and heal their bodies; losing weight is just a bonus. She is the international best selling author of several books including "Keto: The Complete Guide to Success on the Ketogenic Diet.".


  • Jouce says:

    I saw on here your mention of choc zero and it confirmed what I suspected! I love it but I could tell I wasn’t feeling good got the tingles after eating it. I thought maybe a smaller amount but after your info choc zero is a big zero for me!

  • Nathalie ☀️ says:

    Such a good post! Thank you Maria!

  • Stephanie says:

    This article confirmed my suspicion of these products. Gas and Bloating. Thank you.

  • Anne Godwin says:

    Thanks for all the good information you share. Last night, my husband commented that he would really like to get rid of twenty more pounds. I commented that if we would get serious for a month, we would both see a difference. He volunteered to become our cook after 30 years of marriage. We’re now at 39 years. Maybe I should start cooking again! Just yesterday, he commented that the tart cherry juice he was drinking (recommended by a friend for knee pain) tasted really good. I took a sip and read the label: 45 carbs per 8 oz.! He drank two glasses yesterday!! Again, thanks for all the work that you and Craig do! I recommend you to people often! Sending wishes for a wonderful Christmas with your beautiful boys. And a better New Year for our world1

  • Lisa Sam says:

    Thank you for all you do, but especially this post!! It really clarifies all the stuff out there. The explosion of “keto” products requires a great understanding of ingredients and I am so thankful that I can look to Maria and Craig for information. Much appreciated!!!!!!

  • Karen Stephenson says:

    Loved this Post Maria. It cleared up a lot on baking products. We have been following you for a year now and we love all your recipes. Waiting for your latest “The Art of Fat Loss” to arrive printed and bound. You have opened my eyes to so much, Thank you so much and always look forward to your posts. Merry Christmas to you, Craig and boys. I love to watch them.

  • Natalie says:

    Thank you for this insightful and concise post! This is one that I will share over and over when people ask me about keto!

  • Sharon Falconer says:

    Great article. Explains our stall so clearly. Of all your books which one would you recommend first?

  • I didn’t see Lilys Chocolate chips on here. Are they not on here? How about Lakanto peanut butter powder?

  • Ronnie Roll says:

    Darn! I was hoping this post was announcing a new keto baking cookbook! Perhaps it’s coming soon? ;-D

  • Leslie says:

    Hi Maria, Thank You for addressing Psyllium…. just as I expected! and I do avoid all recipes using it.

    “The Art of Fat Loss” seems to be the next book on my list. I already have your PSMF, Carnivore and Keto Adapted. I love the look of the other books but I really need to cut my dietary fat as I’m almost 50% boby fat according to a Dexa Scan. Would that be a good idea?

  • Jana says:

    I’m not crazy about the flax seeds even though I love them. I’m crazier about sardines, sprats, salmon, hake, cod, to name a few lovely fishes we have here in the Mediterranean. However, to whoever is concerned, girls don’t be lazy, do the homework: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6567199/#:~:text=Flaxseed%20has%20several%20characteristics%20that,and%20the%20propensity%20for%20bitterness. Read to the end.
    I’d be more concerned about almost all nuts and flours from them including popular almond flour (even blanched). I guess the winner is macadamia nuts which unfortunately we don’t have here in my country. In recent years I saw an increase supply in South EU countries for avocado, coconut, chia… food that is not growing in this soil. So, I thought, why bother? For decades we eat fermented dairy, eggs, leafy veggies meat (oh yeah, specialities), olives but seeds, nut milks, flours? The message is, eat what is natural to your surrounding and that is not meant to stay for long on the shelf in some market. Powders, “polyols”, substitutes etc. Keep it simple and life would be better.
    Maria, I love your work and the immense effort you take to deliver all the information. Sun warms from Montenegro far. 🌞 Low carb girl for little over 16 years✌🏻

  • Amber Lawhorn says:

    I haven’t ever purchased choc zero chocolates but I have purchased Lily’s chocolates and use them occasionally in my coffee. Since have been using them I have stalled. I am beginning to think the stevia in these are reacting like sugar and kicking me out of ketosis as well.

    • Maria Emmerich says:

      Nope, that is from the inulin. 🙂

      • Simon says:

        Hi Maria,

        Inulin and fructooligosaccharides do they have the same effect?
        Can they prevent you to reach your goal in your weight loss journey?
        Swerve contain fructooligosaccharides, so can we deduce that Swerve will not be the best sweetner and we should go with a pure Erythritol option?

        Thank you very much,

        • Maria Emmerich says:

          They are similar. But swerve uses a very small amount in their product. We like erythritol, stevia, monk fruit and allulose best.

  • Tracy says:

    You mentioned potato starch. What is your take on all the hype about it being a resistant starch and promotes good gut biome? One tablespoon has 10 grams of carbs yet people are dissolving it in water, drinking it and testing their blood sugar with minimal spikes? Inquiring minds want to know your thoughts ❤️ I’ve learned soooo much from your work, website and books! Thanks for all you and your Family do!!

    • Maria Emmerich says:

      There are many animal based prebiotics that feed the gut flora event better than plant based ones like glucosamine, collagen, butryic acid, etc. We talk about this and link to the studies in our Keto and Carnivore books. 😉

  • DH says:

    Re Psyllium: My husband has had a “lazy bowel” for years, and all doctors ever recommend is Miralax or similar product! It’s very frustrating. Are there any supplements you recommend for this (other than magnesium)? If I understand you correctly, the psyllium only makes matters worse?

  • Mike & Carol says:

    Hi Guys
    2021 we are eating clean and keto properly.
    I have 5 of your books Maria so have no excuses anymore.
    I’ve posted this page to my FB to alert all of my FB fri3nds both to you but also this info.
    Thank you for all you have done and we wish you the very best 2021.

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