These tender almond flour donuts have a ribbon of cinnamon in the center and are decorated to look just like mini King Cakes. Perfect for celebrating Mardi Gras!
I really wanted to be bringing you a full Keto King Cake recipe today. I tried, I really tried!
Alas, it was not to be. I tried to make a king cake out of a sweet version of my keto bagels, and although it was absolutely delicious, it fell a little flat.
And I mean that quite literally. It puffed and then it spread out and flattened and was less than impressive looking and certainly not at all like the rounded dome of the New Orleans classic.
So you’re just going to have to settle for king cake donuts today. While I have some ideas on how to correct my cake, I don’t have time to try it out before Mardis Gras.
Donuts make perfect mini king cakes!
Many people think that king cake is just a round cake with white glaze and purple, green, and yellow sprinkles. I’ve seen many a bundt cake passed off as a king cake.
It’s actually more of a sweet bread dough with a cinnamon filling, rolled up and baked in a circle. And that’s what I was aiming for with my fathead dough version.
When it didn’t work out to my satisfaction, I decided to pivot and make donuts with fun Mardi Gras colors instead.
But I wanted to stay somewhat true to the original cake. So instead of just making keto cinnamon donuts, I decided to make a cinnamon filling and bake that in the center.
Pretty tasty stuff, I have to say!
Decorating Keto King Cake
Before we go any further, we need to discuss how best to decorate your donuts so they really resemble king cakes.
First you need a stark white glaze. Sometimes it contains cream cheese but sometimes it’s simply powdered sugar, lemon juice, and cream or water. I went with the simpler version, made with powdered Swerve, for these donuts.
But the tri-colored sanding sugars on top are part of what make king cakes so distinctive and I wasn’t about to skip out on that. Of course, I wasn’t about to use real sugar either.
The Sprinkle Company to the rescue! They’ve got gorgeous sanding “sugar” (made with erythritol) in a multitude of colors. I have been eyeing them for a while and decided I would purchase the whole set for myself for the holidays.
My friend Deana of Good Dee’s also makes some sanding “sugar” in yellow and pink. No other colors at the moment.
But if you can’t order any of these, you can also make your own sanding sugar with erythritol or any granulated sweetener. I’ve done this before and it’s fun and easy.
You just need to mix a bit of food coloring in with the sweetener. These all natural powders work well because there is no moisture so it won’t make your sweetener clump together. Start with just a little sprinkle at a time, as they are extremely potent.
How to make keto king cake donuts
These are easy and fun, and a great way to celebrate Mardi Gras, keto style! Here are my best tips for getting it right:
Prep the cinnamon filling
Do this first so that it’s ready to go when your donut batter is ready. This is meant to be thin and somewhat liquid, so you can simply drizzle it into the donut batter.
Make the donut batter
I find that whipping the donut batter in either a good blender or a food processor makes for a lighter, fluffier, and more cohesive mixture. From there, it’s easy to simply spoon it into the donut pan.
If you don’t have a good strong blender or food processor, simply mix the wet and dry ingredients together in a bowl.
Assemble the donuts
Spoon a little donut batter into each donut well, enough so that it covers the bottom of each. Then simply drizzle a bit of the cinnamon filling around the center of the donut cavity and top with the remaining batter.
Make the glaze
The glaze should be thin enough to drizzle over the donuts and spread to the edges, but thick enough so that it leaves a nice coating and doesn’t disappear into them.
I usually start by spooning it over the donuts and then use the spoon to spread it to the edges. A little may drip down the sides but you don’t want it sliding off too much.
Sprinkle with sanding “sugar”
I did alternating sections of green, purple, and yellow to mimic a real king cake. You only need a few pinches of the sugar-free sanding sugars for each section of the donut.
For the whole batch of donuts, you probably need 1 to 2 tablespoons of each color. That’s all it takes!
More delicious keto donut recipes
- Keto Maple Bacon Donuts
- Keto Chocolate Donuts
- Keto Donettes (chocolate dipped mini donuts)
- Keto Lemon Poppyseed Donuts
- Lemon Vanilla Protein Donuts
- Keto Blueberry Donuts
Keto King Cake Donuts
- 1 ½ tablespoon butter melted
- 2 teaspoon Swerve Brown
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅓ cup sour cream or greek yogurt
- 2 large eggs
- ⅓ cup Swerve Granular
- 3 tablespoon water
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¾ cup almond flour
- ¼ cup unflavored whey protein (or egg white protein powder)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Glaze and Decoration
- ⅓ cup powdered Swerve Sweetener
- 2 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- Sugar-free Sanding "sugars" Green, yellow, and purple
- In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar replacement, and cinnamon until well combined.
- Preheat the oven to 325F and grease a donut pan very well. This makes 8 regular donuts so grease 8 wells. If your pan only holds 6 wells, you may need to work in batches.
- In a blender or food processor, combine the sour cream, eggs, sweetener, water, and vanilla extract and blend to combine. Add the almond flour, protein powder, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt and blend until smooth.
- Spoon enough batter into the well of each donut cavity to cover the bottom. Drizzle a little of the cinnamon filling over each and then top with the remaining batter.
- Bake 12 to 22 minutes, until golden brown and firm to the touch. Remove and let cool 15 minutes in the pan. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Glaze and Decoration
- In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sweetener, cream, and lemon juice. Spread over the tops of the donuts. If your glaze is very thick, thin it out just a bit with a teaspoon or two of water.
- Sprinkle in an alternating pattern with the three colors of sanding "sugar".
Such a quick recipe to put together! I only had a mini donut pan and it was a nightmare getting them out. I did the rest in the mini muffin pan and it was perfect. 14 minutes. Thanks for such wonderful recipes!
Andrea M Grimes says
I do have a donut pan, but I also love cake pops and bought a cake pop baker at Goodwill recently. Would this recipe work in that?
I say give it a go and let me know what happens! 😉
Tabatha Lobo says
If I wanted to do a cinnamon and cream cheese filling (keto of course), how would I go about doing so? Steps and ingredients if you have a suggestion would be awesome!
No idea! I think you will have to experiment.
Super fun! I love the Mardi Gras colors! But these are so good even a month after Mardi Gras! I think I might make this for Easter as well and add in some pink sugar sprinkles to make it more “Eastery”.
I don’t know what it is about donuts, but they are the BEST. This is such a cute idea!
Was looking for a healthier king cake and I’m so glad I found this recipe! It was wonderful and we can’t wait to make it again!
These are so fun and delicious! I loved having a festive treat that fits my diet and is still delcious. Loved them!
So easy! And so much fun! Thanks for the idea!
I made these on Saturday and they were a HUGE hit in my house!!! I chopped up some pecans to mix with the cinnamon slurry and these doughnuts tasted like Cinnabon. So. Delicious! Thank you, Carolyn!!!
Danielle Schultz says
I made these this past Tuesday when, arrived home from work. I made them in my Vitamix I could not believe how quickly they came together as well as how nicely they baked up. They were a great treat after our lentil soup. My husband devoured them and said I must bar them again!!
Anne Hause says
I don’t have a “donut”pan. So I’m going to try cupcakes
That works too!
Can grass fed whey be used in Keto? What brand did you use in this recipe?
Of course! This is the one I use: https://amzn.to/2Mx19Bn
This looks amazing – Thank You!
Is the carb amount (6.8g) after the fiber (3g.) has been subtracted or before? Meaning the Net carbs would be 3.8g per donut? thanks
Total carbs is 6.8 (not including erythritol as it has no carb impact). So net is 3.8