Get ready to whip up an easy, sugar-free, tasty and guilt-free dessert!
As the months grow warmer, I start craving chilled, sugar-free desserts more and more. From lemon meringue pie to ice cream cookies and cheesecakes, my sweet tooth can be overwhelming come Spring and Summer! (Yes, hard to believe but I do eat things other than bacon from time to time! Speaking of bacon, don’t forget to enter for a chance to win a trio of bacon goodies here!)
However, we all know how much sugar can wreak havoc on one’s body, and since I cut out sugar over a year ago when switching to a ketogenic diet, I’ve had to say goodbye to a lot of great desserts. One of my favorite goodies I have missed so much has been salted caramel. But is it possible to enjoy caramel in a sugar-free fashion?
There’s something so satisfying and nostalgic of the sweet yet salty taste that salted caramel brings. I remember my grandmother and grandfather having a double-door pantry with built in baskets on the door when I was growing up, and there would be a whole basket filled with salted caramel candies inside. We would always bee-line for that pantry whenever we visited, and since then caramels have always tasted like home and comfort.
I had thought I would be out of luck for that “home” taste when starting this way of eating. Then, one day when discovering Tom & Jenny’s awesome sugar-free original soft caramels as a Valentine’s gift from my mother, I knew there was a great possibility to get this sweet, sticky goodness back in my life without the sugar coma!
So, here’s the cool thing about these Tom & Jenny’s Original Soft Caramels for those low-carb goers: they’re truly guilt free! Sweetened with Xylitol and Maltitol, they’re so much better for your teeth, your waistline, and your blood sugar levels. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that is low on the glycemic index (GI), which is therefore less likely to cause blood sugar spikes for those with diabetes. To top it off, it has been proven to be better on teeth than sugar-filled goodies. AND, it tastes just as great—especially in these caramel morsels. What’s not to love?!
Below, you’ll find the ingredients needed to make the perfectly-nostalgic low-carb salted caramel sauce that you didn’t know you were missing in your sugar-free life until now. Seriously, I’m wondering myself why it took me this long to attempt this recipe, but man am I sure glad I did! I’ll admit, I’ve eaten a spoonful or two of the sauce on its own (you know, for taste testing purposes…).
Between the original soft caramels from Tom & Jenny’s and flecks of fresh sea salt in this sauce, you get to indulge in the delicious twist that is salted caramel without any of the remorse!
Now, let’s get to the cheesecakes. One thing you’ll notice with these mini cheesecakes is that there is no crust. For those wanting the flavor of cheesecake without the unnecessary carbs, you won’t miss the crust at all (after all, it’s all about the creamy texture of the cake itself).
If you’re really craving cheesecake with crust and all, it would be simple to add a little walnut crust packed into the bottom of each muffin liner before continuing with the below recipe.
These mini cheesecakes were designed to be hassle-free, easy to bake, and easy to portion-control/pack for trips and work. Refrigerate them for up to 5 days after baking, and simply pop off the muffin liner when you’re ready to eat, add your favorite toppings and enjoy! Happy snacking, my friends.
Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free, Low-Carb Salted Caramel Mini Cheesecakes
Nutritional Facts (per serving):
324 Calories, 28g Fat, 6g Protein, 3g Carbs, 1g Fiber, 2g Net Carbs
Ingredients for Caramel Sauce:
- 11 Tom & Jenny’s Original Soft Caramels
- 1.5 tbsp heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 tbsp salted butter
- 1 generous pinch kosher salt (or sea salt)
Ingredients for Mini Cheesecakes (makes 4):
- 1 8-oz package cream cheese
- 1 egg
- 1.5 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tbsp caramel sauce
- 2.5 tsp sweetener of choice (I used a half-and-half blend of Stevia and Swerve Sweetener)
- 1 tbsp heavy whipping cream
- Parchment paper cupcake liners (get them here)
- Caramel sauce to top
- You will want to make the caramel sauce first to use it within the cheesecake. Unwrap the soft caramel candies and place in a small frying pan with the heavy whipping cream and butter.
- Place on stove and warm over low heat (I kept mine between 2 and 3; if you start noticing your mixture getting too hot and letting off wisps of heat, turn down). Stir continuously until the caramels have melted and blended evenly with the cream and butter.
- Once your sauce is completely melted and blended, throw in the pinch of salt and stir. Take sauce off stove and set aside.
- Pre-heat oven to 350°F
- In a mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese, sweetener, caramel sauce and vanilla extract until well blended.
- Add the egg and heavy whipping cream and beat together until creamy and no lumps present.
- Line muffin pan with four parchment paper liners (these allow for easy peeling and less sticking when the cheesecakes are done and cooled; I recommend them over paper liners) and pour cheesecake mixture evenly amongst each liner.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until tops of the mini cheesecakes are cracked and golden brown.
- Remove muffin pan and transfer cheesecakes to cooling rack. The tops will fall while cooling to provide a smoother top.
- Cool on rack until cool to touch, then transfer to fridge to set for at least two hours (I like to leave mine overnight).
- Once your cheesecakes are set and ready, remove liner and serve with the remaining salted caramel sauce drizzled over it, as well as any of your other favorite toppings (I like to top mine with sugar-free whipped cream and/or sliced strawberries.