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Dark Chocolate Espresso Cookies

You want to be healthy and keto, but you still want to eat cookies every once in a while.  You love how being grain- and sugar-free makes you feel, but you miss chocolate.  Fret no more, lovely readers.  You shall have cookies and chocolate and health all at the same time.

I give you Dark Chocolate Espresso Cookies. Dark Chocolate Espresso Cookies

Now, just don’t go crazy.  I’m being serious here.  They may have no flour, no grains, no sugar and no unhealthy oils or fats, but if you are new to alternative sweeteners you may need to build up to eating it gradually.  A few people experience a little – how shall we say this? – a little intestinal disturbance at first.  We don’t want that.  So go easy until you know it doesn’t affect you, or if it does, build up gradually.  You should get over it quickly with continued use.  If you choose to use xylitol, there are benefits, and those benefits – apart from replacing that nasty, nasty sugar – are wild and wonderful.  They include:

  • Safe for Diabetics
  • Helps prevent cavities
  • Helps prevent ear infections
  • Slows the growth of candida
  • May improve bone density
  • Helps tooth enamel & strength
  • Increases white blood cell activity
  • Prevents Streptococcus mutants in newborns
  • May help with allergies & sinus infections
  • May lower risk of ovarian cysts

Lots of good stuff!  You can get the full scoop here. Bear in mind that xylitol can be poisonous to animals. Check out this post and then decide if xylitol is something you want on your home.

Anyway, I digress.  Back to the cookies, which I am certain is all you really care about right now.

Dark Chocolate Espresso Cookies

I’ll be quiet now so you can just get on with the whole baking part.

Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate.  Mmmmmm.


Dark Chocolate Espresso Cookies

Author: Carrie Brown | Prep time:  15 mins   |   Cook time:  12 mins  |   Total time:  27 mins  |  Serves: 20

What You Need
What You Do
  1. Pre-heat over to 325 F (see notes regarding use of allulose)
  2. Place chocolate and coconut oil in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water.
  3. Stir occasionally until the two are completely melted together.
  4. Leave to cool.
  5. In a bowl, using a hand mixer (or in a stand mixer) beat the eggs, xylitol, vanilla and espresso powder together on high for about 5 minutes until the mixture is pale and thick.
  6. Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture until evenly mixed.
  7. Stir in the almond flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, konjac flour (glucomannan powder) and salt until completely mixed. It will start to stiffen as you mix it.
  8. Leave the cookie dough aside while you line baking sheets with aluminum foil.
  9. The mixture will stiffen. When it is stiff enough to handle, using your hands, roll dough into balls slightly smaller than a golf ball.
  10. Place the balls on the lined baking sheets, about 2 inches apart, and flatten the balls until they are about 2½ inches across.
  11. Bake on the top shelf of the oven for 10 – 12 minutes, turning half way through the baking time. They will look dry, but will be still be soft in the center when they are done (see notes regarding use of allulose).
  12. Remove from the oven and leave on the baking sheet for 10 minutes until the foil and cookies are cool enough to touch.
  13. Lift the edge of the foil up and over with one hand so that you can peel it away from the cookies as they fall into your other hand.
  14. These are rather more fragile than regular cookies, so this method means you will get the cookies off successfully.
  15. Place on a cooling rack to cool completely.


Top Recipe Tips

  • With baked goods it is super important to use a food scale to weigh the dry ingredients. Seriously. Your keto baking will improve overnight if you make this one change. Listen to this: How and Why to Measure Food. I use this Oxo Digital Scale, but there are plenty of others for less than $10. Trust me when I tell you it is worth every cent and then some!
  • Espresso powder is not the same as instant coffee granules, but if instant coffee granules is all you can find and amazon isn’t a thing for you (link in the ingredients), then it will work OK, but the flavor will be different and the granules will be difficult to incorporate into the cookie dough well.
  • If you are using allulose, reduce the over temperature to 300 F and cook for 8 minutes.
  • When we say these are keto, what we mean is that they do not contain any sugars, starches, grains or unhealthy oils.  They provide healthy fats, some fiber & the other nutrients that almonds bring to the table. Depending on where you are in your journey, consuming large quantities of nuts might not help you get where you want to go. If that’s you, enjoy these as a treat, but don’t live on them.


Helpful Cooking and Recipe Links


Podcast Episodes and You Tube Videos



  • Don’t. Just buy the correct ingredients and you, too, shall have a fabulous outcome!
  • Xylitol or allulose or erythritol are the sweeteners I recommend because they work very well. You can use any other sweetener you like, but I cannot guarantee the results if you choose to use something different. In low carb and keto baking sweeteners are generally not interchangeable if you want great results. If you see a cookie recipe that says you can use anything, they either don’t know the difference, don’t know what they’re doing, or don’t care.

Dark Chocolate Espresso Cookies



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  • Michelle FusmanThe cookies in this recipe are delicious. Rich, moist, flavorful…yum! Gluten-free too. Cheers Carrie!ReplyCancel

  • NancyCarrie,

    I made these cookies today and all I can say is I am happy, happy, happy!!!!!!!!ReplyCancel

  • carrie:-)))) Nancy!!ReplyCancel

  • Baking spree « Lipomachia[…] (no, really, are you ready for this?) (seriously, you’d better be sitting down or something): Dark chocolate espresso cookies!!! Mine looked more like microwave turds than the beautiful creations on Carrie’s blog, so I […]ReplyCancel

  • Claire LucasHi Carrie, coming from the UK, is almond flour the same as ground almonds?? I seem to be getting wildly different results when I search online :) Also, whats the difference between guar gum and xanthum gum??ReplyCancel

    • carrieYes, Claire – almond flour = ground almonds in UK. Guar is used mainly for cold applications while xanthan for hot, but they can be used interchangeably if necessary. Hope that helps! THANKS for your support – hugely appreicated!ReplyCancel

  • Claire LucasThanks Carrie, that helps enormously! I will be baking these tonight, along with the cheese scones – can’t wait!! Tried the quiche cups last night – yum, yum, yum. An amazing, sane, portable lunch – thanks Carrie, you’re amazing :)))ReplyCancel

  • LillyCarrie, you’ve outdone yourself again! These are so rich and heavenly. I ate one while it was still warm and it had the taste and texture of a decadent gooey brownie :)
    I just have one question. This is the second cookie recipe that I’ve made, and both times the recipe calls for the better part of a $10 bag of xylitol. I know in a recent podcast you mentioned that you had purchased a 50 lb bag of xylitol. Just wondering where you found it? I don’t need 50 lbs, but I could certainly save some money by purchasing a 5 or 10 lb bag.
    Thanks for sharing, your recipes help me stay SANE!ReplyCancel

  • Claire LucasHi carrie, another question for you – can these be frozen? If I make a whole batch we eat the lot!!!ReplyCancel

    • carrieHi Claire! I have not tried freezing them – I took 2 batches to the office and poof! they were gone…so I would pop one in a baggie and sling it in the freezer overnight and see how it fares. I cannot see any reason why they wouldn’t freeze perfectly – I mean, I keep my alomond flour in the freezer. Update us?!ReplyCancel

  • Claire LucasI will!! I’ll be making more this week so will give it a try.ReplyCancel

  • If You Were Wondering » Carrie Brown | Marmalade and Mileposts[…] heading into cookie *inSANEity – NOW YOU DON’T HAVE TO.  What with these and the Dark Chocolate Espresso Cookies, you’re set. These dreamy almond cookies are slightly dense, moist, and chewy in the […]ReplyCancel

  • Claire LucasThey certainly freeze beautifully, it even seemer to enhance the espresso flavour. Yum, yum, yum, you’re keeping me SANE and away from the mid afternoon energy slump!!ReplyCancel

  • VeronicaHi Carrie, Thank you for these wonderful recipe(s) and for being a part of the podcasts too. I love listening to how you’ve lost your muffin top…inspiring me to keep at it, even though my size hasn’t yet changed. I’m looking forward to giving this recipe a go….but can I use cocoa instead of unsweetened chocolate? There’s a big price difference, 180g of 100% chocolate is £5.99 here in the UK, about half that for cocoa. Thanks Carrie! Cheers, VeronicaReplyCancel

    • carrieHi Veronica – I fear it will not work the same if you substitue chocolate for cocoa powder :-( I would have to change the recipe to accomodate a change like that and I will do that, but it is unlikely to be very soon as I have such a long list of requests. I hugely appreciate your kind words and support.ReplyCancel

  • Hot and Nutty Cereal » Carrie Brown | Marmalade and Mileposts[…] maybe, but this made me even happier than those Dark Chocolate Espresso Cookies did.  There’s no accounting for […]ReplyCancel

  • The Monday Memo #4 » Carrie Brown | Marmalade and Mileposts[…] Dark Chocolate Espresso Cookies – because you deserve a chocolate cookie that does not make you sick, fat or diabetic. […]ReplyCancel

  • MarlysCarrie, I’m a newbie here but excited to try your recipe. Just to clarify is the unsweetened chocolate 100% cocoa in powder form? Or am I looking for a bar that is 100% unsweetened chocolate? Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • carrieHi Marlys – the chocolate I used is Ghiradelli 100% unsweetened chocolate, NOT cocoa powder.ReplyCancel

  • MarlysWow Carrie! I just had to follow up after making my first batch and discovering what xylitol and xanthum gum are all about. These are truly amazing. Mine did not turn out as flat and pretty as yours but rather kept their ball shape for the most part. The dough was pretty stiff after I mixed in the xanthum gum and dry ingredients, but I can adjust next time. They were moist and rich and so flavorful and I’ve popped half in the freezer so I can enjoy a few later too. Thanks! :)ReplyCancel

    • carrieMarlys – it’s not the easiest dough to handle but glad that you loved them! Impressed that you got some into the freezer!!ReplyCancel

  • JulieI’m very excited about these – in fact they are in the oven right this very moment. But I’m a little baffled. I went to pull them out at 12 minutes (after turning half way) and they not only did not look dry, they were very shiny and very much not cooked. I’m now on minute 18 and trying to decide at what point to pull them out of the oven. I made cheesy scones again tonight and those always take ~14 min instead of 8-10 to brown up. (another story about the scones is that while amazing, mine never rise like yours do) I just bought a little oven thermometer from sur la table and my oven temp is pretty spot on. Any ideas? Thanks!!!ReplyCancel

    • carrieJulie – I am perplexed. My immediate response would have been that your oven temp is off…but then you foiled that argument :-( Can you email me with ANY changes at all you made to the ingredients or method?ReplyCancel

  • JulieOk, finally decided to take them out at minute 20, and holy cow are they good! We couldn’t wait for them to cool completely to try them. Knocked my socks off!ReplyCancel

  • MaddiLove these cookies, they are so yummy. Just to clarify, is the amount of coconut oil required in the recipe referring to melted, liquid oil or solid oil?ReplyCancel

    • carrieHi Maddi -thanks for the cookie love :-) For coconut oil the measurement is the same whether it is warm (liquid) or cold (solid) since it does not expand or contract with temperature. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • SyritaHi Carrie!! Thank you so much for this recipe; I know that I will be making this one. I have a quick question though. Can I substitute the xylitol for sweetleaf stevia drops or do I need to use the xylitol? And if I do need to use the xylitol, then where can I find it? At any health food store such as Earth Fare or is there a place/website that you would recommend that get it? Also, around how much would it cost me (generally speaking)? Thank you for the hard work you do to make these recipes and get them posted. I know that I am extremely grateful especially since I’m a brand new SANE convert. Thanks again for your time and caring efforts!

    P.S.- I live in Augusta, GA if that helps you think of somewhere near me that I can get the xylitol if I can’t replace it with the stevia drops.ReplyCancel

  • KatieThese cookies are decadent! They taste like something you shouldn’t eat, they are so good and delicious!! My husband and I can’t get enough of them. They really satisfy that chocolate craving. WOW!ReplyCancel

  • SheilaCarrie, my son is allergic to almonds. Do you think that I could use coconut flour? I have never used coconut flour before. Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipes! SheilaReplyCancel

    • carrieHi Sheila – unfortunately you cannot swap out coconut flour for other flours 1:1. Coconut flour is very difficult to work with. I am experimenting with other “flours” for people who cannot have almonds, but I have nothing ready yet. Soon! Thank you for your kind words. Please come back so you don’t miss the almond-free cookies when they arrive!!ReplyCancel

  • DianeI just made these cookies tonight. My oldest son helped me roll out the dough but thought they were too messy to handle so we took some of the batter and rolled the last few balls in unsweetened coconut. Less mess on our hands. My youngest thought they were too chocolatey. Too chocolatey? Is there such a thing? I don’t taste the coffee. I have been mostly SANE for almost a year now and have craved brownies but never thought I could have them again. I will now name this recipe brownie cookies in my own mind. Next time I will try them with some chopped walnuts or pecans because that is how I like my brownies. I will need to buy more xylitol just to make these cookies. I have made many recipes on your site but this one is the best so far. A++++ReplyCancel

    • carrieDiane – thank you so much for your lovely words! I am thrilled that you enjoy them as much as you do!!! THANK YOU for taking time to swing by.ReplyCancel

  • JamieIs it possible to use honey instead of xylitol?ReplyCancel

    • carrieHi Jamie – two things – 1. Honey is not SANE and 2. Honey is “wet” so using this instead of a dry sweetener would alter the recipe significantly. I don’t recommend this approach. Sorry!ReplyCancel

  • JamieI figured as much, but wanted to double check. Thanks for your time, though. :-)ReplyCancel

  • PaulaCarrie, just made these last night, and oh. my. goodness. So rich and fudgy and wonderful!!! I have a container out in my car right now to take to our church Christmas dinner tonight for those of us (including our pastor and his wife, my daughter, and my diabetic mom) who try to stay away from all the bad foods. (They’re out in my car so I don’t eat them all before tonight.)
    Just a couple of comments. My first pan wasn’t nearly done after 12 minutes, but I took them out at about 14 because I was afraid to keep baking them. But then I read down through the comments and saw that someone else had a similar problem. So I ended up baking them for 20 minutes and they were perfect. The only difference in how I made them from your recipe was that I didn’t have 100% cocoa; About 60 grams of the chocolate I used was 99%, and the rest was 85%. I also used dark roast instant coffee instead of espresso powder.
    Then after reading the comment by one poster about rolling them in coconut, I did one pan that way, and loved those, too. The last 5 cookies got shaped around a pecan AND rolled in coconut. That was my favorite! Thank you for all your wonderful recipes!
    Oh, and I bought my daughter your ice cream book. She goofed up and accidentally made a quintuple batch of the chocolate, but we didn’t consider that a bad thing at all!!! I also bought her your soup recipe book, and today she is making shrimp soup. Can’t wait to taste that one!ReplyCancel

    • carriePaula – THANK YOU so much for all the book and recipe love! I am thrilled that you are loving your SANE eating adventure :-)ReplyCancel

  • jill1. how to change grams to u.s. oz or cups? 2. what to do about xylitol…how much to start with, this gives me sharp side aches and abdominal pain..does it truly go away for everyone? looks good though! thanks.ReplyCancel

  • MattThese taste AMAZING!!! Wasn’t expecting the mixture to harden so much before I put the almond flour/xantham gum combo in, but some working the dough with my hands fixed it. SO delicious though! Will be recommending this recipe to the other people in my life eating sugar free!ReplyCancel

    • carrieThanks, Matt! Thrilled that you loved them. I haven’t made them in ages, so honestly don’t remember how firm the mixture is.ReplyCancel

  • BethHi Carrie

    I am a newbie to SSOS and The Calorie Myth and am loving everything so far. I want to make these cookies. What kind of instant espresso powder do you use? I saw instant expression coffee-is that the same thing?


    Beth in AtlantaReplyCancel

  • PattiCarrie, Can I use Swerve instead of Xylitol for your recipes that use xylitol? It agrees with me better.


    • carrieHi Patti – I haven’t tried it to be sure, but from what I have read online I believe you can! Hope that helps.ReplyCancel

  • jillianis there a site or place on your site that shows how to turn g to oz? thanksReplyCancel

  • Pat SonnenstuhlGreat site. Thanks !ReplyCancel

  • RobHi Carrie,
    I just started being SANE, last month and its a lot easier than I thought.
    I made the cookies today and they taste great! I have a few questions: 1) How long will these cookies keep in a ziploc bag, before going bad? 2) What is the serving size for the cookies? 3) This is my first time using Xylitol, how long does it take for your body to get used to it. I plan on only eating 1 cookie or 2 cookies max to avoid the side effects of of Xylitol.


  • CathyHi Carrie! I love the sound of this recipe with two of my favorite ingredients – dark chocolate and coffee (espresso.)I can’t have xylitol due to GI issues. Is there a substitute that I can use that isn’t like Stevia? Could I sub in natural cane sugar? Thanks! Love all the work you are doing with healthy food! Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • carrieHi Cathy – you can sub in natural cane sugar but that will make the cookies completely inSANE :-( You could try using erythritol, although I haven’t trialed them with it so cannot guarantee success. At this point I don’t know of anything that you can simply sub out with xylitol in these cookies and keep them SANE. Not the answer you were looking for but I hope it helped!!ReplyCancel

  • CathyThanks so much Carrie for your quick response! Unfortunately I have a very sensitive GI and it has taken years to figure out what has caused these issues. The Drs. always give the same types of responses which never helped and mainly made things much worse. I have chose to take my journey on MY path and have learned so much and am much better. Thanks to people like you and Jonathan Bailor who are helping me on this road to health I feel like I am getting my life back! Erythritol wouldn’t work for me either. But I wondered if coconut sugar would be an option. I don’t have issues with pure coconut products and it has a low glycemic index. Be interested to know what you think. Thanks so much!ReplyCancel

  • JenniferCarrie, my husband and I have been listening to SSoS. I just love the chemistry between you and Jonathan. We were looking for a way to combat that wicked craving for a treat after a long day. It use to be ice cream but we eliminated it from our diet a few months back. These dark chocolate espresso cookies are the answer! My husband is really picky when I try new things but he really loved them. I made these last night and put then in a ziplock bag in the fridge. When we came home from work today, it was the first thing he grab. He told me he wants to make these more often. I also ran into the issue of the mixture not getting stiff. I just put the bowl in the fridge for 30-60 minutes and came back. It was much easier to roll out the mixture into balls to then flatten and bake.ReplyCancel

  • John PetersonSecond time trying this. First time used cocoa powder. What a disaster. This time followed the recipe exactly. The dough resembles brownie batter even after resting for more than 20 minutes. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    This is not an inexpensive venture.ReplyCancel

    • carrieHi Ellie – thanks for stopping by! For every bad post I have read about xylitol I have read 50 good ones. Someone will always find something negative to say about everything, and the great thing is we all get to decide what is the right thing to do for own our bodies. I have experienced fantastic health results from switching to xylitol, not one side effect, and on the dental front it is the first time in my life I have been cavity-free for 2 years.ReplyCancel

  • Leila HillHi Carrie,

    I just made these and swapped the almond flour for coconut-I didn’t read all the comments first where you say we can’t use coconut flour-but, I managed it and they are excellent! I tweeted a picture-my edges are not as beautiful as yours-but still yummy. I bought your ice cream book and that is my next goal! You are just wonderful! It is fun to listen to your podcasts with Jonathan-especially as I am an American living near Manchester! Warm regards,ReplyCancel

  • DiepIs there any substitute for xanthan gum? My kids’ stomachs are kind of upset after eating baked goods with xanthan gum. Thank you.ReplyCancel

    • carrieHi Diep – I would leave it out in this instance. The texture will be different, but they should taste the same. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • JoanI am curious why all the sweetened recipes call xylitol and not raw honey. To those that don’t know xylitol is deadly to dogs. I have Beagles that love to steal food so I won’t and can’t have in my home. So can raw honey be substituted? Thank you.ReplyCancel

    • carrieHi Joan – using raw honey would make these inSANE, which would negate the whole point of the recipe. As far as your body is concerned, it sees raw honey exactly the same as sugar. You could use erythritol but would need to use slightly less to get the same sweetness.ReplyCancel

  • WrenOmg! These are little pieces of heaven! The pictures don’t do them justice. They are soft like a brownie and decadently chocolate. Love this recipe! Can’t wait to have these with Carrie’s ice cream.ReplyCancel

  • StaciI just made these and let me just say God bless you for this recipe! Wow are they good! Not just SANE, I haven’t had sugar in a while good–but good by cookie standard good!ReplyCancel

  • ValerieMs. Brown,
    The above link which you kindly provided directs me to the benefits of “honey” rather than xylitol! It seems they have removed their xylitol information altogether because a “search” on the “global healing” website comes up with zero results for xylitol! :(ReplyCancel

  • CoriThese came out rich, chocolatey and …cakey.? I used the allulose and followed the tip (top rack and 8 mins—they were not cooked). Oven temp alright as well. I cooked the rest on the middle rack for 20 minutes. I used a not-quite-full melon baller to get consistent size. Hubs LOVED them and I’m so off sweets, I just liked them. I’ll try these again, they make himself Happy!!! Thanks CarrieReplyCancel