Don’t let the name fool you, these keto sugar cookies are actually sugar free! Take part in the holiday cookie decorating tradition the low-carb and gluten-free way!
Cut-out cookies are a long-standing holiday tradition in my husband’s family. The recipe has been passed down for generations and was given to us by his paternal grandmother. They’re a special holiday treat in our family but I needed my own keto sugar cookies to indulge in.
I stopped indulging in these family treats when I switched to low carb. Instead, I converted a few other cookie recipes, like my gluten free peanut butter blossoms and soft gluten free ginger cookies, to satisfy that holiday cookie craving.
Even though I wasn’t eating them, I still liked to participate in the cookie making and decorating tradition. But now, it turns out I’m not the only family member staying away from sugar and gluten anymore.
That’s why I finally created a low carb sugar cookie recipe.
The best keto Christmas cookies
As I said, my husband’s family has passed down their holiday cookie recipe for generations. They have perfected it!
That’s why I wanted to replicate these Christmas cookies in a way that is keto friendly but still stayed true to the original recipe.
To be honest, it wasn’t too difficult to modify the recipe. After replacing the sugar and flour, the rest of the ingredients were all naturally low carb.
Even the glaze was pretty simple to convert. Now, I can enjoy both the plain and decorated cookies without any guilt.
How to make the best keto sugar cookies
You can either beat all of the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl or pulse them together in a food processor until the dough forms.
If the dough is sticky, it’s best to sprinkle the outside with a little coconut flour while rolling. Either roll the dough out between two pieces of parchment paper and cut into shapes, or roll the dough into a log and freeze for 20-30 minutes before slicing into discs.
The dough shapes or slices should be ¼th to ⅛th of an inch thick depending on your preference. Thinner cookies will bake faster and be a little more crisp.
Bake the keto sugar cookies on a parchment-lined baking pan at 350°F for 8-10 minutes or until edges become lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the pan for about 5-10 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a cooling rack until completely cooled.
If you want to make a glaze to decorate the cookies, simply pour powdered sweetener in a small bowl and add enough water to make a thin glaze. Add food coloring if desired, then brush the glaze on cookies in a thin layer and allow them to dry.
Tips for making low-carb sugar cookies
It takes a little patience, but you want to make sure that the cookies have time to fully cool.
If you try to decorate or handle the cookies before they’ve cooled, they are more likely to crumble and fall apart. So be sure to give them a little time.
In terms of storage, these low-carb cookies will keep at room temperature for a few days. If you want them to last a little longer, you can also store them in the fridge or the freezer.
Why does this recipe use lard?
Because this recipe was created generations ago, it calls for lard instead of butter. Lard was much more popular for cooking than butter until recent decades.
I find that lard makes for lighter and crisper keto sugar cookies.
You can buy pasture raised heritage pork lard online. Or, if you’re willing to pay a little more, the absolute best is leaf lard. If you have the time, you can also make your own lard. It’s not hard, you just want to be sure to use high quality, pasture-raised pork fat.
Avoid the cheaper lard you find at the store because it is partially hydrogenated to extend the shelf life. Trans fats like these have been shown to raise LDL (bad) cholesterol and lower HDL (good) cholesterol.
I did try a variation of this low carb sugar cookie recipe where I replaced the lard with ghee, which is pure butter fat without the unwanted dairy proteins. Ghee will give your cookies a nice, buttery flavor, but I personally prefer the texture of the cookies when they are baked with lard.
Variations of this recipe
There are a couple of different ways that you can prepare these cookies.
The traditional way is to roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper until it’s between ⅛th and ¼th of an inch thick. This is the way you’ll want to do it if you’re going to be using cookie cutters to create fun shapes.
If you’re not planning to cut out shapes and just want standard, round keto sugar cookies, then I recommend rolling the dough into a log shape and placing it in the freezer for 20-30 minutes. Then, you can slice the log into flat discs, still between ⅛th and ¼th inches thick, just like “slice and bake” cookies.
For an egg-free cookie, replace the egg with 1 tablespoon gelatin dissolved in 3 tablespoons water by whisking over low heat until frothy. Or if only avoiding egg whites, keep the egg yolk and use only 2 teaspoons gelatin and 2 tablespoons water.
Other keto cookie recipes
Looking for some other keto cookie recipes to make around the holidays? Try these twists on traditional favorites:
- Low Carb Peanut Butter Cookies With Coconut Flour are indulgent, simple to make, and feature the nostalgic criss-cross pattern.
- Keto Low Carb Snickerdoodles Cookies are soft on the inside, crisp on the outside, and sure to please a crowd.
- Cream Cheese Cookies were my go-to holiday cookie recipe before I converted my husband’s family’s sugar cookie recipe and are still a family favorite.
- Italian Almond Macaroons are simple to make and great for sharing with family and friends.
- Coconut Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies are perfect when you’re in the mood for a classic chocolate chip cookie.
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Low Carb Keto Sugar Cookies
- 1 cup almond flour about 107g (see Notes)
- ¼ cup coconut flour about 33g (see Notes)
- ⅓ cup low carb sugar substitute
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup non-hydrogenated lard or ghee (butter works too)
- 1 large egg or gelatin egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup Swerve Confectioners Powdered Sweetener
- water as needed
- Beat all ingredients together or pulse together in a food processor until dough forms. If dough is a little sticky, it's best to sprinkle in some coconut flour on the outer surfaces when rolling.
- Roll dough out between two pieces of parchment paper to desired thickness (between ⅛ and ¼ inch). Thinner cookies bake quicker and tend to be more crisp. Sprinkle a little extra coconut flour (or almond flour/sunflower seed flour) on to dough as needed. Dough can also be rolled into a log and frozen for 20-30 minutes and then sliced into circles for easy "slice and bake" cookies.
- Cut into shapes and place on parchment lined baking pan.
- Bake in oven at 350°F for 8-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
- Remove from oven, let cool on rack for about 5-10 minutes then transfer cookies to a cooling rack until completely cooled.
- Pour the powdered sweetener in a small bowl. Add enough water to make a thin glaze. Divide and add coloring as desired (I go for natural food coloring). Brush glaze onto cookies in thin layer and allow to dry.
Low Carb Sweeteners | Keto Sweetener Conversion Chart
Array ( [serving_size] => 1 [calories] => 67 [carbohydrates] => 2 [protein] => 1 [fat] => 6 [saturated_fat] => 2 [cholesterol] => 10 [sodium] => 30 [potassium] => 3 [fiber] => 1 [calcium] => 10 [iron] => 0.4 [serving_unit] => cookie )
Notes on Nutritional Information
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
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I'm wondering what the difference in texture is in this recipe and in cookie recipes in general if you use and don't baking powder
The cookies may just be a little flatter.
Hi Lisa - Do you think I could substitute coconut sugar for a non-keto version of this cookie? I want to make two batches - one for hubby and me with artificial sweetener and one for my daughter who ABHORS artificial sweeteners. She’s wheat sensitive so I’ve successfully made her other treats with almond flour and coconut flour but I can’t convince her to give up the sugar, honey or other non-keto-friendly sweeteners. Thanks! 🙂
Coconut sugar is fine for the recipe if you aren't watching sugar carbs.
Can gel food coloring be used
I don't see why not. They are pretty strong so a little goes a long way.
I used regular butter it worked great!! I put the whole stick in and pulsed it.. my cookies are just like shortbread!
My Boyfriend Royce is a Diabetic and has a sweet tooth so I have been trying to bake with Splinda and sugar free Chocolate and have tried some Keto low carb food with the Holidays coming up.then I seen your site and really like your cookies. Candy recipe thank you thay look good and easy .I even learned some things can't wait to start baking.I'll seend you picture and how thay trund out .
Hi Deb! I'd love to see how it turned out.
Petra M Rushing
Splenda is an artificial sweetener. Use a natural sweetener like erythritol or xylitol, allulose. It's better for him
Can U substitute the lard for coconut oil?
Yes. I often use lard in cookies.
I have to say you hit it out of the park with these cookies.
Everything came out perfect.
Thank you very much for sharing...
Happy to share these yummy keto cookies!
Can I make these as balls instead of rolling them out?
You can. Just press them down before baking.