An easy low carb, gluten free king cake cheesecake bar recipe with simple, pantry friendly ingredients. Delicious and perfect for the carnival season.
Before scrolling down to the recipe, be sure to read my easy tips for making your recipes low carb and delicious.
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When and where were you when you had your first slice of king cake? More than likely, my first slice of king cake was, well, before I can remember (in other words I was in diapers, but on the other hand, I can tell you my Yankee husband had his first experience with Cannatta’s king cake. Before online shipping (hello Randazzo king cakes), we traveled down to my hometown of Houma and had a slice of the delicious green, purple, and gold cake. And another. And another. You get the picture….
Fast forward 15 years (yes, we have been together 15 years) and we are overloaded with various locations willing to ship, various flavors (yes, I have even seen bacon), but yet they still contain carbs, carbs, and carbs.
I went to my drawing board to develop a low carb king cake recipe, and while I am still working on the perfect low carb king cake, I developed this cheesecake to get us started with carnival season. In the process I made this amazing Low Net Carb King Cake Bread Pudding.
I love King Cake, and while I don’t have the secret Randazzo king cake recipe, this recipe is just as amazing and deliciously low carb. I hope you will love it just as much as my family does.
Low Carb Ingredient Substitutions in our Low Carb King Cake Cheesecake Bars
With any dessert, flour is the basic ingredient. It serves several purposes, mainly as a thickening agent and to hold the wet ingredients together. Flour in the low carb and low net carb worlds make us cringe since whole wheat flour has 21 grams of carbs and 3 grams of fiber per 1/4 cup serving. What can we do? Enter almond flour! Almond flour is made of almonds that have been ground to a fine texture. It is a gluten-free, keto-friendly, grain-free food and contains approximately 5-6 grams of carbs per 1/4 cup. Don’t panic over the carbs, almond flour has approximately 3 grams of fiber per serving giving this flour a net carb of 3 per serving. And please don’t panic over the fat. Remember nuts are the fats we want to include in our diet. I do enjoy cooking with almond flour, but I personally feel due to it’s heavier texture, almond flour works best in bars, brownies, and muffins, as well as in my batters for my vegetables and meats in the air-fryer. We used Bob’s Mill Almond Flour in this recipe.
Sugar is used to add sweetness to our dessert recipes. While a spoonful of sugar may help the medicine go down, at 4 grams of carbs per teaspoon, a low carb sugar alternative is needed. One of my favorite sugar replacers is Swerve. Swerve is a keto friendly sugar replacer and taste amazing. Kick those old blue and pink packets good-bye and pick up this New Orleans product. In this recipe we used 2 types of Swerve, granular and confectioners.
Swerve granular is an amazing keto sugar replacer in baked goods, while our Swerve confectioners sugar replaces powdered sugar (yes, I am working on a low carb beignet) in items such as dips and frostings.
My favorite place to find Swerve is Drug Emporium. Can’t find Swerve at your store? It’s always available online!
While my fabulous keto friends will keep the full-fat versions of cream cheese (please do if you are following keto), I used a light cream cheese to keep the calories down in this dish (yes, I look at calories). No fear, light cream cheese does not have any added sugar. Light cream cheese is a healthy alternative to cream cheese with 35 calories per 1 tablespoon compared to 51 calories in 1 tablespoon of full fat cream cheese.
We love eggs in the Skinny Louisiana kitchen. Eggs offer us an amazing source of protein. No replacement needed in our eggs.
Yes, the recipe does call for butter. Under any circumstances, we do not use margarine in the Skinny Louisiana kitchen. We are quite mindful of the amount of butter we use, never using more than we need.
Heavy Whipping Cream (KETO!) or Fairlife Milk (LOW CARB)
Heavy whipping cream is perfect for our keto friends.
A low carb milk alternative is Fairlife milk. Fairlife milk not only taste amazing, but is ultra-filtrated thus taking the carb count from twelve to six. Fairlife milk is a staple in the Skinny Louisiana house and works amazing in all our low carb recipes.
How to Make Low Carb King Cake Cheesecake Bars
Start with a Hand Mixer
While I used my Kitchen Aid Mixer, you can easily use a hand mixer.
Steps for Dough Layers.
In a large bowl (or in mixer bowl), combine water, butter, sour cream, vanilla, egg, egg yolk, and butter. Beat with mixer on low for 2 minutes. Turn mixer off and slowly add almond flour, Swerve, salt, and baking powder. Combine with a spatula. Beat on low until combined, about 2 minutes. Place aside.
Steps of Cheesecake Layers.
In a small bowl, combine light cream cheese, Swerve confectioners sugar, and vanilla extract. Place aside.
Steps for Baking.
Preheat oven to 325. Line 8 x 8 pan with non-stick aluminum foil. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. Using a spatula, scoop 1/2 flour mixture and spread in pan. Layer with cream cheese. Layer with remaining almond flour mixture. Bake in oven for 35-45 minutes or until set. Remove from oven and cool.
Once our dish has cooled, we can make our simple glaze frosting with Swerve confectioners sugar and Heavy Whipping Cream (or Fairlife milk). For fun we made purple, green, and gold colored Swerve sugars and sprinkled on top. To make this, place a tablespoon of Swerve granular sugar in a ziploc bag. Add 1-2 drops of food coloring. Mix.
Low Carb King Cake Cheesecake Bars
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
3 tbsp. butter
3 1/4 cups almond flour
1/3 cup Swerve granular sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 8 oz. pkg light cream cheese
1/2 cup Swerve confectioners sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup Heavy Whipping Cream OR 2% Fairllife milk
1/2 cup Swerve confectioners sugar
Green, gold, and purple Swerve colored granular sugar
YIELD: 24 bars
Nutrition Facts per Serving:
Calories: 160. Fat: 14g. Saturated fat: 14g. Cholesterol: 30mg. Sodium: 25mg. Carbohydrate: 5g. Fiber: 2 g. Sugar: 1g. Protein: 6g.
NET CARB: 3g
Carb count exclude sugar alcohols. New carb count is determined with the equation total carbohydrate – total fiber – sugar alcohol.
This recipe was developed and copyright by culinary dietitian Shelly Marie Redmond. She is the author of Skinny Louisiana…in the Kitchen and upcoming Skinny Louisiana…in the Slow Cooker.