Brownie Battle Royal- 3 Packaged Keto Brownie mixes VS Homemade!
When I was testing and developing my keto brownie recipe I happened upon brownie mixes from my KetoKrates and a free gift from Highkey from making a purchase from them. So what to do with all these brownie mixes? Why not compare price, convenience, macros, ingredients and taste between all these products and my homemade brownie recipe I developed, so you don't have to!
I'll start by saying the serving sizes are a relatively small for all of these brownies and for a good reason. After trying all four of these brownies about 2 bites of each, my stomach was not happy with me. Most of the products do contain a lot of extra fiber and different amounts of certain sugar alcohols that can upset your stomach and create a smelly situation.
We'll start with the most expensive keto brownie from Duncan Hines, with added ingredient it's $2.02 per serving. It was the Keto Friendly Walnut Fudge Brownie Mix a microwave one serving brownie. It has one of the highest carb counts at 5g net carbs for a single serving of 70g and the highest calories at 380, total carbs at 33g and fat at 23g. It's more of a cake like consistency than a brownie and even though it had the most grams of allulose at 22 plus stevia, it wasn't very sweet tasting. All in all for the amount of carbs and calories I wouldn't recommend this product unless you really need a fast, quick keto snack but I believe there may be a better alternative out there for a mug cake. I've had one from the company Sweet Logic, a red velvet mug cake and it was pretty delicious with a little keto cream cheese frosting. It still has 4 net carbs plus adding cream cheese makes it about the same carbs as the Duncan Hines but tastier and less calories but a smaller company so more expensive.
The next most expensive was the Highkey Brownie Baking Mix with added ingredients it was $11.08 for 12 small brownies weighting 40g each, so .82 cents per brownie. They were by far the tastiest next to my homemade brownies. They have good macros for keto with 2 g net carbs per brownie, 12 g of fat and not too much fiber or sugar alcohols per brownie because they use allulose, monkfruit, erythritol and stevia. They had a good level of sweetness and a fudgy texture. There were no bad ingredients and didn't take long to put together. The only thing I noticed was a slight off flavor from sunflower lecithin in the chocolate chips. But an all around good choice if you don't want to make a recipe from scratch.
The second cheapest and easiest to get your hands on because they are at Walmart is the Pyure Sugar-free Bakeable Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix at $9.17 with the added ingredients for some how 11 brownies at 40 g each. They tied Duncan Hines in net carbs at 5 per brownie but much smaller and kind of a strange sponge texture that mushes in your mouth. Its all organic which is nice and there are no bad ingredients and they are vegan. So if you are doing just low carb and are vegan it is a definite option for you and readily available. It does have the most fiber at 10g per brownie so definitely eat in moderation. Both the Highkey and Pyure have 130 calories per brownie but only had 6 g of fat.
On to the cheapest which is obviously homemade but some extra work and you have to buy all the ingredients. I figured out the cost for just the amount of ingredients used in the recipe. But when you buy all the ingredients you have a bunch to make multiple baked goods with them. For 12 brownies it costs $7.98 so .63 cents per 50 g brownie. It took a lot of testing to get the perfect texture and fudginess for this keto brownie. Mine has 1 g net carbs per brownie and 12 g erythritol/monkfruit but no extra fiber and a good amount of fat at 16 g. Mine is not as sweet as the Highkey because I used bakers chocolate, espresso powder and dutch cocoa powder to give a rich chocolate flavor. It took about 3x as long to prepare as the Pyure and Highkey packaged brownies at 27 minutes, yes I timed all of them. The Pyure took about 9 minutes, Highkey took 6 minutes and the Duncan Hines took 1 minute. Not including baking and cooling just preparing them all and getting them into the oven.
Macros for 1/12th recipe: Can cut into however many pieces you want
16 g Fat
15 g Total Carbs
2 g Fiber
12 g erythritol/monkfruit
1 g Net Carbs
4 g Protein
Keto Fudgy Brownie Recipe:
12 Tbs. Butter (Sliced up)
28 g baker's chocolate (4 squares unsweetened 100% cocoa)
1 cup powdered alternative sweetener (144 g)(I prefer monkfruit/erythritol blend)
6 Tbs. dutch cocoa powder (I found a Ghirardelli 0 carb product)
2 Tbs. Coconut Flour (16 g)
3 Tbs. Unflavored Whey Protein Powder (20 g)(Isopure is my go to)
2 tsp. Xanthan Gum
2 Pinches of salt (1/4 tsp. salt if using unsalted butter)
1/4 Cup Sour Cream (optional but adds needed moisture)
1 tsp. Liquid Stevia
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 tsp. Instant Espresso Powder (optional)
1/4 Cup Sugar free chocolate Chip or nuts (optional, not reflected in macros below)
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9 inch springform pan with parchment paper round on the bottom and nonstick cooking spray around the sides or an 8x8 square baking dish with parchment paper on bottom and up the sides coated with a little nonstick cooking spray
2.Start with melting the baker's chocolate in the microwave for 30 second intervals until it starts to melt
3.Add in the sliced butter and melt for 30 seconds at a time, taking out and stirring after each 30 second until fully melted and combined, set aside to cool (can also use a double boiler for this step)
4.Sift together cocoa powder, coconut flour, whey protein, xanthan gum, salt and espresso, if using, and whisk to combine, set aside
5.Whip the 2 eggs with the powdered sweetener for at least 1 minute until it is pale and fluffy if you don't the brownie will be grainy
6.Once light a fluffy, continue whipping while drizzling in the chocolate and butter mixture, scrap the bowl frequently
7.Whip in the sour cream, vanilla and stevia
8.Using a rubber spatula mix in half the dry ingredients at a time, batter will be hard to mix if you mix all the dry in a once
9.Spread batter evenly into prepared baking pan
10.Bake for about 22-27 minutes turning halfway threw. The middle will be very soft and uncooked looking but that gives the fudgy moist texture and will continue solidifying as it cools
11.Once cooled release the springform to make sure the brownie is loose from the sides, if topping with additional mixtures leave in the springform pan
12.If not slice and enjoy! Will stay fresh in an airtight container on the counter for a week or more. If keeping longer can freeze or refrigerate for later consumption
For the 8x8 you can slice and serve right out of the pan or use the parchment paper to lift the brownies out of the pan and slice once completely cooled
In conclusion dun dun dunnnn. Making homemade is always best if you have a tried and true recipe, you know the ingredients you are using, no added fibers or bad ingredients. But if you don't have the time or ingredients I would suggest the Highkey brownie mix. I know there are other brownie mixes out there. I have heard mixed reviews on Lakanto brownie mix and Keto & Co brownie mix. I've tried the Keto & Co banana caramel muffin mix and thought it was pretty good. So I hope you got some good information out of my testing, I did it so you don't have to! Video coming soon!! Much love and happy baking!