Tender pecan flour chocolate cupcakes with sugar-free caramel frosting and toasted pecans. Heavenly low carb and grain-free dessert for pecan turtle lovers!
Chocolate, caramel, and pecans, oh my! I made these Keto Turtle Cupcakes back in December for my husband’s birthday and I swear I’ve been dreaming about them ever since.
His birthday comes right on the heels of Christmas, when everyone is rather sick of sweets and heavy meals. And usually at that point, I am sick of baking.
But because he’s spent a lifetime of being a birthday afterthought, I always try to do something special for him. And cupcakes make things easy on both of us, since they are less effort than a full cake.
So I presented him with a few options and he choose Turtle Cupcakes. Smart man, wouldn’t you agree?
Keto caramel recipes
I don’t try to hide the fact that I think my keto caramel sauce is by far the best out there. I really believe you won’t find a better, gooier, more delectable sugar-free sauce out there.
And I try to use it just about everything I can think of.
Some of my most loved keto recipes feature this sauce, including keto turtle candies, keto caramel cake, and keto caramel butter bars.
So you can see why I was so delighted that my husband chose the turtle cupcakes for his birthday.
How to make Keto Turtle Cupcakes
These delicious keto treats feature a chocolate cupcake, a creamy caramel frosting, and toasted pecans.
Keto Chocolate Cupcakes
I could have made these in many possible ways but this time, I chose to use pecan flour. Why? Because they are turtle cupcakes, which by their very definition contain pecans.
You don’t have to use the pecan flour, as I realize it’s yet another ingredient to buy. You can use almond flour or sunflower seed flour. And if you really want to, you can make coconut flour chocolate cupcakes instead.
Keto Caramel Frosting
This is a basic keto buttercream, with the caramel sauce beaten into it, and it’s heavenly. To be honest, I could have just eaten this with a spoon and skipped the cupcakes!
Make the caramel sauce ahead of time and let it cool to room temperature, otherwise it will melt the buttercream and the frosting will become soupy.
As with any buttercream, you need a powdered (confectioners style) sweetener. I love Swerve because it measures cup for cup like any powdered sugar.
The caramel extract isn’t required, but it will amp up the caramel flavor delightfully!
You’ve got to have some toasted pecans if you want keto turtle cupcakes! But because children aren’t always fans of pecans, I did some with mini sugar-free chocolate chips as well.
And then I rewarmed another few tablespoons of caramel sauce and drizzled it over each cupcake.
Do I even need to tell you how good these were? And how special they made my husband feel? I think the photos speak for themselves!
Keto Turtle Cupcakes
- 1 1/2 cups pecan flour (or almond flour)
- 1/2 cup granulated Swerve Sweetener
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 3 tbsp unflavoured whey protein powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp espresso powder (optional, enhances chocolate flavor)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup hemp milk (or nut milk of choice)
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
- Additional caramel sauce for drizzling
- 2 tbsp mini chocolate chips (optional… did this for the kids instead of the pecans!)
- Preheat the oven to 325F and line 9 muffin cups with parchment or silicone liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the pecan flour, sweetener, cocoa powder, whey protein, baking powder, espresso powder, and salt.
- Stir in the eggs, hemp milk, butter, and vanilla extract until well combined. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups.
- Bake 20 to 30 minutes, until the tops are firm to the touch. Remove and let cool completely.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter with the cream cheese until smooth. Slow drizzle in the caramel sauce, beating on low.
- Add 1/2 cup of the powdered sweetener, beating until smooth. Add additional sweetener to taste. Beat in the caramel or vanilla extract.
- Pipe or spread the frosting onto the prepared cupcakes.
- Sprinkle with the chopped pecans, and drizzle with additional caramel sauce.