Easily the best keto sugar cookies you will ever make. This cut out sugar cookie recipe produces sturdy but tender cookies that stand up to your favorite sugar-free frosting and decorations. Perfect for any holiday or event, and so fun to decorate!
My keto cut out sugar cookies have stood the test of time! First published here on All Day I Dream About Food back in October of 2012, and I decided to give them a little update. I changed very little about the cookie itself but created a perfect keto royal icing so that you can decorate to your heart’s content.
If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck, right? And if it looks like a sugar cookie and tastes like a sugar cookies, it’s a sugar cookie, right? Or not.
Perhaps I shouldn’t call these keto sugar cookies, since they don’t have a single grain of sugar in them. False advertising and all that. But it’s a whole lot better than calling them Cut-out Erythritol Cookies. Somehow that just doesn’t roll of the tongue as nicely. And let’s face it, erythritol is not a pretty name. It may be the best one of the best sugar replacements on the market, one that doesn’t spike my blood sugar even a little bit, but erythritol sounds like something you might clean your kitchen sink with.
But the holidays are coming and what kid doesn’t love playing around with fun cookie cutters and colorful frosting? My kids look forward to it every year, when we crank the holiday music and make a horrific mess in the kitchen. I can’t let them down!
Re-inventing The Best Keto Sugar Cookies
It’s funny when I go back and revisit an older recipe such as this one. Sometimes I find I have to change things significantly, as I have learned so much and improved my keto baking skills considerably in the last 7 or 8 years.
But sometimes I find I don’t really need to change them very much at all, and I am delighted to discover that a good recipe back then is still a good recipe today. These cut out sugar cookies are one such recipe.
What makes them so great? Well for one thing, they don’t spread or rise, and they hold their shape perfectly during baking. And if you’re careful and keep your eye on them, you can make sure that they don’t brown too much, so that they stay a pale golden brown like a traditional sugar cookie.
Once cooled, they are both sturdy and tender. You bite into one thinking it’s going to be too crisp, but it has just the right amount of give under your teeth. And yet they still hold up to all the decorating you care to throw at them.
The only changes I made to the cookie dough itself was to swap out the oat flour for coconut flour, and leave out the xanthan gum altogether. Everything else stayed the same, including the chilling time and baking time.
One major tip, though, to keep that pale golden sugar-cookie color: use a silicone mat for baking rather than parchment, if you can. It protects the cookies better from the heat.
Decorating Cut Out Sugar Cookies
I like to say I am the world’s worst cookie decorator. The truth is that I rarely have the patience or the inclination to do fussy, careful decorating, even though I envy those who have such talents. But I have to say, I think I did a pretty decent job with this updated keto sugar cookie recipe. I’m not going to win any awards but I surprised even myself.
And it all comes down to creating the perfect keto royal icing.
I’m not a huge fan of royal icing most of the time, and much prefer buttercream or cream cheese frostings. On its own, royal icing tastes a bit like a sweet glue. Which is sort of what it is, when you think about it, a combo of sweetener, water, and egg white that can harden to stay in place.
But somehow when it’s added to a good sugar cookie like this one, the whole thing tastes really delicious. I think it’s in part because I keep the cookies themselves less sweet, so the end result is not overpowering or cloying. It really works together and your cookies end up both pretty and tasty – and in this case, healthy and sugar-free. Now that’s a holiday miracle!
If you prefer to use a buttercream frosting, I have preserved the original frosting recipe for these cookies, below the main recipe.
How to make Keto Royal Icing
This one took a little messing around with to get right. I’ve made royal icing before, most notably for my Keto Gingerbread Men. That one is made with all powdered Swerve and it works well and hardens nicely but it also hardens in a way that can end up looking very dried out. For the little lines on gingerbread men, that’s fine. But for colorful sugar cookies, I wanted something with a bit of a sheen to it.
So I decided to use half powdered Swerve and half powdered BochaSweet. I know you hate it when I use two sweeteners, but this really works, trust me.
Why not all powdered BochaSweet? Because in my experience, it can make frostings and glazes too soft and I still wanted this to dry out and harden onto the cookie. The combination of these two sweeteners helps me take advantage of their desired properties and offset the undesired ones.
Note* You could probably use powdered xylitol instead. Not sure if there is such a thing as powdered allulose yet!
You want to work at getting just the right icing consistency – slightly drippy but not runny. This allows you to make outlines of shapes, and then “flood” them in by zig-zagging lines of icing within the outlines. Then use a toothpick to run all the lines together into a smooth coating (photo above shows this process).
Coloring your Keto Royal Icing:
These days, there are an increasing number of all natural food dye options. I like the vegetable based powders from Color Kitchen but they tend to end up very pastel looking and there is no true red, just pink.
But I recently found this beet powder coloring which makes a much stronger red color. It does taste faintly of beets and has a bit of carbs, but you put so little frosting onto each cookie that neither the flavor nor the carbs are a significant factor in the end.
For the deep forest green on these cookies, I had to use a little of the blue Color Kitchen powder mixed into the green. Otherwise it ends up a slightly neon light green.
Always always use a light touch with these powders, sprinkling in a little at a time and mixing, and then adding more until you achieve the desired shade.
The end result? Well yes, it still tastes like sweet glue if you taste the icing on its own. But it’s a perfect keto decorating icing, as it dries firmly but still keeps its rich color. And together, the cookies and icing taste fantastic.
Not being much of a cookie decorator, I was surprised by how much fun I had playing with this icing and decorating my cookies. And truth be told, I can’t wait to do it again and practice!
Can you make Keto Sugar Cookies ahead?
You can indeed! I actually have some of this batch in the freezer right now, undecorated. They are simply stored in an airtight container.
I do advise making just the cookies ahead of time. They freeze well but I am not sure how well the icing will fare. I think it will look fresher and brighter when it hasn’t been frozen. I may test this out though, this holiday season.
But the good news is that once the cookies are frosted and decorated, they can last on the counter at room temperature for up to a week or even a bit longer.
So go ahead and whip up a big batch of keto sugar cookies. Sock them away in the freezer until you are ready to decorate. Then have fun playing with the royal icing and give them away to all of your friends, family, and neighbours. They are lovely to look at but they are also lovely to eat!
Love to bake? Me too! Check out my new cookbook, all about keto baking.
Keto Sugar Cookies
- Prepare a work surface with a silicone baking mat or a large piece of parchment paper. Dust lightly with coconut flour.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, and salt. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sweetener together until creamy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract, and then beat in the almond flour mixture until dough comes together.
- Turn the dough out onto the prepared work surface. Pat into a rough circle and then top with a large piece of parchment paper. Roll out to about 1/3-inch thickness. Place the whole mat on a cookie sheet and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 325F and line two large baking sheets with silicone mats (you can use parchment paper as well but it doesn't protect your cookies from the heat quite as well. Using cookie cutters of choice, cut out cookies and lift carefully with a small, offset spatula or knife.
- Place cookies on the prepared baking sheets. Re-roll your dough and cut out more cookies (if your dough gets too soft to work with, you can return it to the refrigerator for a bit to harden up).
- Bake the cookies 12 to 14 minutes, or until they are just starting to brown around the edges, switching and rotating the pans halfway through baking. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on pan. The cookies will still be quite soft when removed from the oven but will firm up as they cool.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sweeteners and the egg white powder. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking in between, until desired consistency is achieved. It should drizzle off the end of the whisk in ribbons, but shouldn't be too thin. Whisk in the vanilla extract.
- Divide into sepate bowls and add food coloring in small amounts until the desired color is achieved.
- Place icing in small ziploc bags or piping bags with the very corner snipped off to pipe outlines. Let the outlines dry at least 10 to 20 minutes before filling in.
- To fill in the outlines, pipe frosting into the outline in a back and forth motion. It does not have to be perfect and there may be gaps. Then simply use a toothpick to fill the icing into the gaps.
- Let the flooded icing dry completely before adding any additional icing decoration. (Or do what I did for one cookie, add little dots of another color and swirl them in with a toothpick. So many fun options!).
If you would prefer a buttercream based frosting:
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 cup powdered Swerve Sweetener
- 3 to 5 tablespoons heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Food coloring as desired
Beat together the butter and powdered Sweve. Add the cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is achieved. Stir in the vanilla and food coloring. Spread or pipe onto the cooled cookies.