Keto Caramel Pecan Bark is the ultimate indulgence. This tastes like the very best caramel pecan turtle from a chocolate shop combined with classic cracker toffee aka Keto Christmas Crack.
One of my favorite things around Christmas is the popular cracker toffee made with saltine crackers.
You lay the crackers on a baking sheet, microwave butter, and brown sugar (and vanilla, maybe?) and pour it on top of the crackers. Bake for a bit, sprinkle chocolate chips on top, spread the melted chocolate, cool, and eat the whole tray. Did I say that? Not the best option for any diet.
My Keto Christmas Crack is healthier and almost as easy to make at home. This keto bark recipe is low carb, keto, gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free, and Trim Healthy Mama friendly.
This Caramel Pecan Turtle Bark reminds me of that holiday treat. I'm thrilled to have a suitable alternative when the Christmas cookie and candy trays start appearing. It is one of my favorite keto Christmas desserts.
Just six ingredients for this amazing low carb candy!
Sweetener - I use my sweetened blend of xylitol, erythritol, and stevia. This is twice as sweet as sugar and most other sweeteners so you need less. I offer suggestions for alternatives in the recipe card but candies are tricky and I do not test my recipes with other sweeteners so I cannot guarantee they will work.
Heavy Cream - You need heavy whipping cream to make the caramel toffee base.
Salted Butter - I only buy salted butter but unsalted will work in this recipe.
Pecans - Toast your pecans for the best flavor. Just bake on a sheet pan for 5-7 minutes at 350. Watch them closely. Nuts can burn easily.
Sugar-Free Chocolate - I use ChocZero chocolate because it melts easily. Save 10% with code 'joyfilledeats'.
Coarse Salt - Coarse salt gives this a bit of a crunch and the perfect sweet-salty combination just like cracker toffee.
How to Make Keto Christmas Crack
Step One: Cook the sweetener, cream, and butter over medium heat. You want it to be deep brown, fragrant, and thickened. If you do not cook it long enough it won't set.
Step Two: Put the pecans on a small rimmed baking sheet. Mine is 8 x 11. Drizzle the caramel over the pecans.
Step Three: Melt the chocolate over low heat. You can do this in the pan you used to cook the caramel.
Step Four: Spread the melted chocolate over the pecans. Sprinkle with coarse salt.
Expert Tip: Make sure to use coarse salt. It gives these a bit of crunch!
Variations on Keto Christmas Crack
Nuts - Go ahead and use whichever nuts you prefer. Walnuts, macadamia nuts, pine nuts, almonds, or even roasted salted pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds will all taste great.
Chocolate - The same goes for chocolate. You can use any sugar-free chocolate or even sugar-free white chocolate.
What should the caramel look like?
This recipe is easy to make but you have to make sure you cook the caramel long enough. It should be a deep golden color, coat the back of the spoon, and smell fragrant. I let it go until it is close to burning. When I'm standing at the stove stirring like crazy and there are a few darkened bits forming at the bottom of the pan I know it's done.
The caramel in the photo above in the saucepan still needs to cook a bit longer. It is done when it is deep brown and very fragrant. I've also noticed that when it's done it will also stop bubbling up when stirred. Don't rely on that to tell when it has cooked enough though. The color is much more reliable.
If you do not cook the caramel long enough the keto Christmas crack will not set in the fridge.
How to melt chocolate
I go ahead and melt the chocolate over VERY LOW heat in the same pan the caramel was in. As long as you stay there and stir and use the lowest heat possible your chocolate chips will melt nicely without burning.
My pieces are a bit big. They are fine if you just want one piece for dessert. Next time I'm going to cut them smaller so I can have several. I'm one of those people who prefers three little cookies to one huge cookie.
Make sure to these low carb candies next:
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- 1 cup Joy Filled Eats Sweetener (or see alternatives in recipe notes)
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup salted butter
- 3 cups pecans toasted
- 8 oz sugar-free chocolate chips
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- Combine the sweetener, cream, and butter in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium, stirring frequently, until deep golden brown and thickened. Depending on the heat of your stovetop this can take 10-15 minutes. Watch it carefully.
- Spread the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle the caramel over the pecans.
- Put the chocolate chips in the saucepan. You do not need to wash it first. Put it back on the stove over very low heat. The lowest your stovetop goes. Stir until the chocolate chips have melted. Drizzle on top of the caramel and pecans. Spread gently.
- Sprinkle with the coarse salt. Refrigerate until the chocolate has hardened.
- Cut the Caramel Pecan Turtle Bark into small squares. The caramel side will be gooey. Turn one upside down and with another square so the caramel is in the center. Serve immediately or store in the fridge. The caramel will firm up into more of a toffee consistency with refrigeration.
Originally Published October 25, 2017. Revised and Republished November 23, 2021.
Chrissy Cipolla says
I was so excited to see this recipe . I used to make the reg version all the time but have t because I didn’t think I could SF !!! Cannot wait to try it !!!!!
Dana Eberhart says
My family and I love this! It turned out perfectly and my son didn’t even realize it was “on plan”. Quick and easy! Love it!!!!
Made this twice , didn't work either time. Before anyone asks, yes I cooked it to dark golden brown , it took forever. Just made a caramel. Never hardened. Tastes good, just is a mess.
Which sweetener did you use? Did you refrigerate it? Even keto caramel that is supposed to be a sauce will recrystallize and set placed in the fridge long enough.
Cathleen Dixon says
I just saw a NOT keto friendly recipe similar to this, but for the chocolate chip part, the recipe called for just sprinkling the chocolate on top of the hot caramel right after you spread it over the nuts, and the residual heat melted the chocolate, then you just gently spread it over the whole surface after it melts. I can’t wait to try this! Going to use almonds, though, because I don’t like pecans!😀
Chris B says
Thanks for the recipe! I used swerve brown sugar and a pinch of stevia for extra sweetness. Since it was already brown it was hard to judge by color and I burnt the crap out of the first batch. What’s Christmas cooking without smoke detectors going off 😂
2nd try I knew what to watch for. As soon as I smelled the carmalization I knew it was time to watch it close. About a minute later the bubbles reduced. And the instant I saw the steam start to turn Smokey I removed it from the heat and poured it on the pecans. Perfect!
Overall it didn’t thicken much while cooking but it set up nice
Katie F Manyoky says
My husband has odd dairy issues and cannot have HWC. I have tried using the Silk HWC in some recipes with varying results. Oftentimes it separates, which would be problematic in a caramel recipe. Do you know if it would work in this?
I'm sorry I haven't tested that. I have used coconut cream in caramel before.
It works fine?
Very good but crunchy
It is supposed to be crunchy like toffee. If you'd like a softer caramel try this recipe (you can add pecans): https://joyfilledeats.com/salted-caramel-cups/
Do you put tinfoil or parchment paper in the pan first?
Either greased foil or parchment paper does help with clean up.
This is now our favorite holiday candy!! Thank you for sharing
I Loved this recipe, just wondering, if you my sister from another mother, you have great taste !!!
I lOVE this keto toffee recipe. I used the monk fruit/erythritol combination and it worked great. I cut small squares and it has a nice crunch. I am curious if the caramel was suppose to be chewy? Mine was crunchy which made it so delicious. Just wondering if I did something wrong. Thanks for this keeper of a recipe!
It gets crunchy as it sets. Especially after refrigerating. Right away it is a little chewier.
what do you use for the coarse salt?
I don’t have HWC- would half & half work, do u think??
Tom Graffunder says
Would this be good with almonds?
Yes, I think so! Any nuts will work.
Can I use Monk sugar as a sweetener
I have not tested this with other sweeteners. Candies are very particular. I *think* a monkfruit/erythritol blend like Lakanto would work but I can't promise it, sorry!
Sorry if this has been asked already, I’m new to this.... canyon use Truvia for this?
I am not positive Truvia will work for this recipe. Maybe someone who has made it with Truvia can chime in.
I have Thm ‘sweet blend’ (stevia and erythritol). They were out of gentle sweet last time i bought.
Any suggestions as to how much I should use? Will it work? Thanks.
Hi Lenna, I'm not sure Super Sweet would work for this recipe. It is hard to convert sweeteners for caramel recipes. You need a bulkier sweetener. You could mix the Super Sweet with xylitol or erythritol to make a sweetener with the bulk needed for caramel. It easy to make my blend that is similar to Gentle Sweet and just uses generic ingredients https://joyfilledeats.com/sweetener
I have made this before with much success. The caramel does thicken as it cools and I’ve even used it in coffee too. I do use Lindt 90% dark chocolate bars and add the homemade sweetener as it melts instead of Lily’s chips. I put parchment paper down, less mess and easier to cut and fold pieces. It is sooooo delicious! Thank you for your recipes! I helps keep me on plan!!
Have you ever used a candy thermometer with the caramel? I'm thinking that might help. I've had both success & failure with other THM caramels in the past. (same recipes so it's definitely in the cooking) I'm am trying this!
That's on my to-do list next time I make it! It can be hard to temp because it can be pretty shallow in the pan (you only use have the amount as if you were using sugar).
another recipe involving caramel that will never work. i know better by now, it's a fail without an attempt.
I've made caramel dozens of times with no problem. As have my readers.
Which recipes have you tried?
Which sweeteners have you used?
I'm happy to help you troubleshoot to successfully make caramel in the future 😀
Tired these using Swerve, Ive never made caramel before, so i literally pulled up a chair to my stove and stirred and watched like a hawk... needless to say I was surprised at how apparent it is when its done and almost ready to burn. I think were some of the confusion comes in is that people are expecting it to look like caramel, mine did not, mine remained very thin and never resembled the 2nd photo you posted of it in the pot. However, if you look at your photos posted, the second one you post where the pecans are on the sheet pan, with "sauce" under them, mine DID look like that... so I'm going with it and taking it as a win. I to sprinkled Lillys chocolate chips on the top and placed in the oven for a couple mins, and smeared with a spatula and then sprinkled w/ salt. To me its more or a toffee than a caramel. I fear people have thrown the "sauce" away thinking it was ruined as it did not get thick and caramel like..... It a good recipe 🙂 thank you, def will be part of our holiday baking this year
I'm glad to hear these worked using swerve! And that you liked them 😀
The second picture in the pot is of the melted chocolate! Not the caramel! 🙂
Yes! Thank you for catching that. 😀