Keto Peppermint Brownie Balls!! These chewy bite-sized brownies are perfect for the holidays! Cool peppermint, a mint chocolate shell, and crushed "candy canes" make these a pretty & festive treat!
No dairy, gluten/ grains, or sugar. No artificial sweeteners. And with less than 2 net carbs each, you're free to enjoy! Jump to Recipe
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Easy Keto Brownies for the Holidays
Looking for a DELICIOUS and easy treat to make for Christmas? (Or just because you could use one right about now haha)! Look no further!
These delectable brownie bites are :
- FESTIVE &
- everything you need for a holiday treat.
These brownies have just the right amount of chewy texture, not too soft, not too fudgy. And the glaze gives them a crisp candy-like shell that's so yummy! And the mint chocolate flavor is to die for!!
With just a sprinkle of my magic CANDY CANE potion, they go from boring to beautiful! 😉
And check this out: They can also be made into Mint Chocolate Fudge TRUFFLES!! YUMMM.
Keto Candy Canes
Before anyone starts Karen-ing my recipe saying, "Candy canes are not keto! You can't use that!!" Just CHILL.
First of all, you don't need to be the keto police.
Second of all, these are FAUX candy canes lol.
I created the look (and a sort of similar taste) of crushed candy canes using sugar-free ingredients I had in my pantry 🙂
THE MAGIC: unsweetened coconut flakes! Plus monkfruit granules, a few drops of peppermint extract, and a drop of gel food coloring! No corn syrup or any of that kinda stuff, don't worry.
Ingredients for Healthy Brownies
- Superfine Almond Flour (I really like this brand)
- Monkfruit and Monkfruit Syrup
- Coconut Oil
- Ground Flaxseed (this acts as a binder)
- Pink Himalayan Salt
- Peppermint extract
The Key to "REAL" Brownie Flavor
There are 3 main types of cocoa, each with its own use and benefits, etc:
- Raw Cacao: this is mostly unprocessed and retains its nutritional benefits. This is used in a lot of "health food"/paleo vegan recipes for this purpose.
- Cocoa: heated/processed to lessen the bitterness. This is generally used in conventional baking and hot cocoa.
- Dark Cocoa: specially treated with alkali to lessen its bitterness (acidity) even more, making the flavor smoother and darkening the color. This gives the CLASSIC brownie flavor that you crave.
If you want to have the BEST chocolate taste/brownie flavor, use dark cocoa. I actually used a combination of raw and dark because that's what I like! It makes it a bit more on the dark side (ha), but still sooo delicious.
You can find dark cocoa, such as "Hershey's Special Dark" on Amazon or sometimes your local grocery store (although my Target only carries it online now instead of in-store)
PS It's the MAGICAL special ingredient I use in my Keto OREOS to create that classic oreo flavor!! 🙂 YUM yum.
Sweetened with Monkfruit (Syrup!)
To sweeten these brownies, I used my FAVORITE sugar-free sweetener -- which doesn't taste sugar-free!!-- MONKFRUIT.
But this time I used a special variety: Vanilla Syrup from Lakanto! This is technically a coffee syrup, but I have found that it is INCREDIBLE for baking!
- Exhibit A: my amazing Red Velvet Cupcakes!! (And many more cupcakes in my new cookbook, Yay! It's Sugar-Free!!)
This vanilla syrup is absolutely delicious and does not add a weird aftertaste as some sugar-free syrups have. It blends in easily and is easy to use in drinks and baking alike. (Anywhere you would normally use maple syrup in baking, you can use monkfruit syrup!)
Don't have any monkfruit maple syrup yet? You need some! 🙂
Use my special discount code PRETTYPIES to save 20% off your entire order at Lakanto (every time you shop!)
IMPORTANT Baking Notes
"Do I have to use monkfruit syrup? What else can I use?" <- pretty sure that question is going to come up. And it's a good question!
The sweetener is critically important to the outcome of the brownies.
TRUST ME. I've tried baking with JUST monkfruit granules (Lakanto classic) and the texture does not work in things you want to have a soft consistency.
- I don't care what they say, it's not a perfect 1:1 replacement for sugar in baking.
- The melting point of monkfruit is much higher than regular sugar.
- It does not dissolve the same way sugar does. And it can crystallize.
The syrup has the monkfruit and erythritol already dissolved into the liquid, so it does NOT create a crunchy, crispy, crystall-y (? lol) or grainy texture.
What if you don't have monkfruit syrup?
I specifically formulated this recipe using the exact sweeteners listed: Lakanto Vanilla Syrup and Homemade powdered monkfruit (blended Lakanto classic granules) and I can not say for sure if it will work exactly the same using a different sweetener.
But I can say
- DO NOT use monkfruit granules in place of syrup for the reasons listed above (too crunchy!)
- You CAN use another liquid sweetener that measures the same as maple syrup (maybe Lakanto maple syrup, stevia syrup or another sugar-free syrup?)
- Please don't use ones with artificial sweeteners (Splenda, aspartame, sucralose, ace K, etc), which have been linked to sugar cravings and weight gain (and also have an unpleasant aftertaste!)
- OR you can use almond milk and pure monkfruit extract or pure stevia extract to taste.
- These are highly concentrated and you typically only need about ⅛ or ¼ teaspoon for an entire recipe
Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free Chocolate Glaze
To make these brownie balls extra special, I added a mint chocolate coating!
It's made with the same ingredients used in the brownies themself. These are my pantry staples:
- Coconut oil
- Monkfruit (powdered)
- Dark Cocoa
- Peppermint Extract
- Pink salt
And it's so simple to make! Melt the oil in a small bowl and mix everything together. Dip the balls to coat and place on a piece of parchment paper to dry (to prevent sticking).
Feel free to dip these twice if you want a thicker coating. OR use just palm oil that is gently warmed/softened instead of melted coconut oil. Palm oil glaze creates a smoother, thicker glaze (but it is messier to eat, ha.)
Wanna change it up? Use your favorite chocolate instead! White, dark, milk, sugar-free or not!
Melt in the microwave in 20-second intervals or over a double-boiler. AND You can add a few drops of peppermint extract right into the melted chocolate.
OR - leave 'em bare! The chocolate coating is totally optional.
"Can I leave out the peppermint?"
YES. Not everyone is a fan of mint chocolate, so no worries. You don't have to add it to the glaze, the brownies, or anywhere. But I would replace it with another extract like vanilla. Or even almond or coconut. SO good!
How to Turn Brownies into Truffles!
This may come as a surprise, but YOU DON'T HAVE TO BAKE THESE!
The raw dough is totally EDIBLE, SAFE, and DELICIOUS!!
(No grains, no eggs, & nothing that requires baking to be edible or to taste good!)
Before baking, these balls taste almost like mint chocolate COOKIE DOUGH or a scrumptious fudgy TRUFFLE.
Feel free to leave them as raw truffles, OR dip them in whatever you like!-- the mint chocolate glaze in the recipe below, your favorite dark chocolate, white chocolate, or roll in my magic "keto crushed candy canes" OR regular candy canes if you want! So many possibilities!
Alternatives for Almond Flour
If you can't have nuts due to allergy or preference, I always recommend trying SEEDS 🙂 Their similar protein and fat structure makes them an ideal sub to nuts.
I recently tested Pumpkin Seed Flour in baking (my chocolate cupcake recipe!) and they turned out really good!! My family gave them a big thumbs up. The texture is a little bit coarser than superfine almond flour, but it does work!
You can find pumpkin seed flour on Amazon, or you can make it in a high-speed blender like a Vitamix -- that's what I'm going to try next! Just blend dry roasted pumpkin seeds (probably just the inner green part which you can buy shelled.)
Need help or another ingredient substitution?
Grain-free baking is hard! (Not to mention sugar-free and egg-free!) Don't try to go at it alone.
Save this recipe on Pinterest by clicking PIN below on the recipe card.
Peppermint Brownie Balls (Keto, Paleo, Vegan)
Brownies: Dry Ingredients
Brownies: Wet ingredients
Mint Chocolate Glaze
To make the brownies:
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 325.
- Add dry ingredients to a stand mixer or food processor until uniform, scraping down the sides as needed. Add liquid ingredients and mix again. (Can also use a hand mixer or just a bowl and spoon, but it’s less efficient)
- Taste and adjust if you like — more monkfruit, peppermint, cocoa, or salt. (Note some of the peppermint flavor will dissipate while baking)
- Use a standard cookie scoop to form balls (just over 1 Tbs size). Roll smooth in your hands and place on the lined baking sheet.
- Bake for about 11 minutes or until firm when pressed (the dough doesn’t “give” when touched)
- Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before adding glaze.
To make the glaze:
- Melt oil in a small bowl.
- Stir together remaining ingredients and taste and adjust to your preference
- Drop balls one at a time in the glaze and turn to coat. Use a fork to place back on the parchment to dry.
- Repeat with all balls. Before they are completely dry, sprinkle on the crushed “candy canes”
To make the faux crushed candy canes
- Mix together all ingredients except coloring in a small bowl.
- Add one drop of gel color and stir gently so that the color stays speckled with red and doesn’t turn to a uniform pink.
- Chill balls in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes to firm up after adding the glaze. ENJOY!
Want more festive keto treats?
Check out my MEGA low-carb holiday recipe roundup!