Introduction: KETO Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

My kitchen is not usually my place for experimentation, but I might be encouraged by this KETO cookie remake success. Eating KETO? These will enhance your holiday!

For this Instructable, I wanted to attempt remaking my favorite holiday cookie recipe for Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies (it wins office competitions) into a KETO friendlier version. Don't want a KETO version? Make the original recipe. They are delicious.

Surprisingly there was a lot of experimentation in this. By sheer luck, some of my guessing paid off and I was successful with the first recipe, but not each batch. Some of the variables that came in to play were what amounts of almond and coconut flour should be substituted, how and what liquid to use, what oven temperature to bake at and how long to cook. I also used two different types of cookie sheets and multiple items to make the center indention in the cookie. I tried something a little different each batch and arrived at a recipe that I feel is replicable. I’ll definitely make these again. They were easy and they are good (and froze very well). I’m going to try them out on my family because I think it will be hard for them to tell they are “special “.

Step 1: Remaking the Recipe

Since no KETO recipe existed for Caramel Thumbprint Cookies, I wanted to see if I could make them out of KETO ingredients to reduce the carbohydrates in them. I know from previous recipes I've tried, that almond flour and coconut flour are substituted frequently for regular flour, but at reduced amounts. So the first thing I did was research how much I should use as a substitute. This resource from Atkins was very helpful. In addition to guiding my decisions on how much flour to use, it helped me know that I should use more liquid and to guess better at what liquids to use. It also made recommendations about oven temperature and a tip about letting baked goods sit completely until cool.

The ingredients you need:

Almond Flour (not meal)

Coconut Flour

Swerve Sweetener (but anything that is a 1 to 1 substitute with sugar would probably work)




Baking Soda

Whole cream


Here is my recipe:

Keto Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

It is also attached as a PDF below.

KETO Caramel Thumbprint Cookies
Makes 50+ cookies


1 ⅞ cup Almond Flour

⅝ cup Coconut Flour

½ tsp. Baking Soda

¼ tsp. Salt

1 cup Butter (softened)

2 Eggs

¾ cup Swerve Sweetener (granulated)

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Equipment: Melon Baller, Insulated cookie sheet, Parchment paper or Silicone mat, Aluminum Foil

Preheat oven to 325℉

1. Combine flours, baking soda and salt in a bowl.

2. Using a mixer or food processor, combine Swerve and butter until light and fluffy.

3. Add in eggs and vanilla until combined.

4. In batches, add in dry ingredients and mix until combined.

5. Shape dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for an hour or more.

6. Use melon baller to school ½ balls and place on a parchment covered baking sheet.

7. Use a rounded tool to poke a hole in the middle of each cookie.

8. Bake 13-16 minutes until browned. Tent with foil in the last few minutes to prevent burning.

9. Allow to cool completely on cookie sheet (prevents crumbling).

10. Once cookies have cooled, spoon caramel sauce into each cookie. I did not salt these additionally, but if you want Salted Caramel cookies, sprinkle with coarse sea salt at this step.

Caramel Sauce:

The caramel sauce is adapted only in amount from the original KETO Caramel Sauce recipe here. It is lighter in color than traditional caramel filling in this cookie. Mine had a cooled consistency that reminded me of cinnamon bun icing. A wonderful compliment to the cookie, and not sticky, so cookies can be stored without the caramel making a mess.

1 cup Heavy Cream

⅓ cup Swerve Sweetener

⅔ tsp. Vanilla

⅙ tsp. Salt

1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil (stir constantly) Lower heat and simmer (stirring often) until mixture is reduced to thick and golden brown. This took me a good 15 minutes.

2. Pour into a measuring cup or container with spout. While still warm and pourable, fill each cookie indention or “well” but not to overflowing.

I passed on the extra salt this time, but they are delicious and pretty with course sea salt sprinkled while the caramel sauce is just setting.

Left over caramel can be refrigerated for up to 2 months.

Cookie Recipe adapted from:

Caramel Sauce Recipe:

Step 2: What I Learned Along the Way:

1. Only in a recent KETO recipe did I ever use my food processor as a mixer. It is SO much easier than lugging out my big mixer. It worked well, but I did do a tiny hand mixing once I took the S-blade out.

2. Cookies take longer to bake and The cookies burned on the bottom when baked on a regular pan (versus insulated cookie pan). They needed to be tented to allow for them to cook the final minutes. My first batch looked uncooked in the middle.

3. A cork made the best indention when compared to a measuring spoon and the end of a wooden spoon.

Step 3:

4. The second batch leveled better than the first for what I think are 2 reasons: a) the dough had a little more time to warm and b) Using a whole scoop of dough made the cookies too thick. Cookies made with almond flour (and coconut flour as well) do not expand like regular cookies. So, the 1/2 scoop of the melon baller was perfect.

5. Making the caramel sauce took much longer than I anticipated. When hot it has the consistency of turkey gravy.

Frankly, I'm surprised these turned out so well on my first try. I thought it would take more tries. Next time, I will experiment with reducing the butter. I think these could be just as good - AND still lower carb. I believe the carb content for these KETO cookies is roughly 7.5/ea (according to the recipe calculator I used). That is higher than I'd like, but still less than regular cookies. I think with more experimentation (and less butter), it could be lower! Please shout out if you have ideas!

Covid 19 has been a banner year for weight gain - OK, for me anyway. I can lose weight by keeping my carb intake to less than 50 grams per day. Because this one aspect works for me, I do not track other data like calories, protein, fat, etc. I have been trying lots of different KETO recipes. Eating KETO baked goods works for me, but understand, when I make "bread", my feelings are, 'it’s not bread but it’s not bad'. With these cookies I can say they are really not my non-KETO salted caramel thumbprint cookies but they are still yummy! They’ll make a difference in my holidays because I won’t have to go without something when the treats come out. (I travel with KETO food when I visit others or go to work. That way I’m not tempted to break my diet.)

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