These keto pecan bars have a sweet and crunchy pecan topping over a crisp almond crust. Low carb and gluten free, this is a fantastic easy dessert to make for nut lovers or for holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.
To keep the recipe as simple as possible, there are only 2 layers to make: crust and topping. The layers share multiple common ingredients and only 5 unique ingredients are required for this recipe.
To bring out an ultra nutty flavor, the pecans are given the full treatment: they’re separately toasted on a baking sheet and then soaked in sweetened browned buter. This constitutes the topping, which is spread over the almond flour crust.
Designed to be keto friendly, each pecan bar is only 0.5g net carbs and doesn’t contain traditional pecan bar ingredients like corn syrup or honey. Note that net carbs do not include fiber or sugar alcohols (like the erythritol in swerve) since they are non-impact.
- The recipe below provides measurements in both weight (ounces and grams) and volume (cups or tablespoons). If you have a digital food scale, I highly recommend using the weight values because volume measurements for flours and sweeteners can vary substantially depending how they’re packed into the measuring cup.
- When making the topping, the recipe moves quickly, so having all of your topping ingredients measured and ready to go before starting is important.
- Almond flour cannot be substituted with coconut flour since the latter is much more absorbent and not a simple 1:1 substitution.
- Available in both confectioners and granular form, I use swerve confectioners which has a powdered consistency. This is an erythritol blend sweetener that measures the same as sugar. It cannot be equally substituted with pure erythritol, which is only about 70% as sweet as sugar.
Keto Pecan Bars (Only 5 Ingredients)
These keto pecan bars have a sweet and crunchy pecan topping over a crisp almond crust. Low carb and gluten free.
- 6oz / 170g pecan pieces (not halves; pieces are 1/4 to 1 inch in length, often found in the baking aisle of grocery stores, not in the snack or ready-to-eat nuts section)
- 2.5oz / 71g (1/2 cup loosely packed) confectioners swerve sweetener
- 2.5oz / 71g (5 tablespoons) salted butter, sliced into about 8 pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Don’t skip this step; toasting the pecans separately is important because it will bring out a lot of nutty flavor.
Position an oven rack in the lower half of the oven, and preheat to 350 F.
Spread out pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet (I use a 17×12-inch sheet), no oil or parchment paper needed.
Bake at 350 F for 4 minutes, stir the pecans and spread out again in a single layer, and then bake again until fragrant and toasted, about another 4 minutes.
Set aside the pan to let the pecans cool. Leave the oven on.
Making The Crust:
Line a 8×8 inch baking dish (I use a glass dish) with foil. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, add melted butter, swerve, and vanilla. Stir together until well-mixed. Add almond flour, stirring it in until incorporated. It should be dough-like and it’s fine if it’s crumbly.
Transfer the dough to the foil-lined baking dish, spreading it out. Use the back of a solid turner spatula to press down to form a very thin crust. Initially, it will look like there isn’t enough to cover the bottom, but keep flattening and spreading until it covers the entire bottom of the dish. Set aside.
Making The Topping:
In a saucepan (use stainless steel instead of nonstick so you can easily see when the butter browns; I use a 1.5 quart 7-inch pan), add the butter over medium heat. Stir it around until melted, about a minute.
When the butter starts simmering, stir nearly constantly to avoid burning. Within a few minutes, it should stop sizzling and quickly develop a caramel color with brown flecks at the bottom, underneath the foam. Immediately reduce to medium-low heat and add swerve. Stir together for a minute until the sweetener is dissolved.
Turn off the heat. Stir in vanilla extract. Add toasted pecans, stirring until they’re well coated.
Transfer this pecan mixture to the prepared almond crust, spreading it out evenly so that no crust is visible. Lightly press down with the back of a solid turner spatula to flatten the mixture against the crust, forming an even surface.
Baking and Cooling:
Bake at 350 F for 20 to 25 minutes; the pecan bars should be sizzling a bit and darkened on top when you take them out of the oven.
Cool at room temperature (without removing the pecan bars from the baking dish because they are too soft), about 1 hour. A wire rack is great for this. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 6 hours.
After chilling, lift up the foil to transfer the pecan bars from the baking dish onto the countertop. Use a sturdy knife to cut into 16 bars (it’s fine if they crumble a bit), and serve chilled. Store leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator.
|Makes 16 Servings|
|Amount Per Serving (1 bar):|
|Total Fat 18g||27%|
|Saturated Fat 5g||24%|
|Net Carb 0.5g|
|Total Carb 2.5g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||7%|