Ever hear of PB2 powder? It’s a peanut butter flavored powder that does provide a nice wallop of low-carb peanut butter flavor. I made this to go with a low-carb quick sugar-free jam. This recipe has no flour, but it is a confection that can be eaten with a nice sugar-free jam or flavored cream cheese, creating a tasty low-carb “danish.” Or as a peanutty bread suitable for a chicken salad sandwich. Or break it into soft croutons for a salad!
What is Cloud Bread?
Cloud bread is a kind of keto “cake” or “bread” that uses stiff, whipped egg whites to provide the “rise” and cream cheese to provide the basic structure that makes it more of a pastry–and less of a merengue. They are one of the oldest, most revered bread substitutes on the keto menu.
Most people enjoy this light confection and use the base recipe (here’s a good one with pictures).
Some people are not fond of the “eggy” nature of these breads. Egg yolks and cream cheese provide the base. Some eggs have a more “eggy” flavor than others; some people are more sensitive to that “eggy” taste. I find that the secret is to add strong seasonings like garlic, Italian seasoning, and onion powder if you’re looking for “sandwich material.”
A Slightly Sweet Cloud Bread / Pastry
In this recipe, I was aiming for something that would give me a good peanut butter flavor, using the PB2 powder, a low-carb ingredient you can find at Walmart and other places (I found mine at Giant. I live in the Washington DC area). My goal was to create “peanut butter and jam” flavor for a very small carb pricetag!
Cloud Bread Baking Tips
Tip #1. Start with eggs at room temperature.
Chefs often keep fresh eggs sitting on the counter. Home cooks buy eggs at the store and keep them in the fridge. You can get eggs to room temperature quickly by putting them in a bowl of lukewarm water and letting them sit for ten minutes or so.
Tip #2. Beat the eggs on high in a stand mixer. For a looooong time. And don’t forget the cream of tartar.
Unless you devote three days a week to “arm day” at the gym, getting the egg whites to form stiff peaks is going wear you out. I’m so so not there. If you’re just using an electric hand mixer, you are going to need to get patient. It’s going to take around 10 minutes on “high” to get those soft but slightly stiff peaks. Make the peaks too stiff and the texture will be a bit like styrofoam. Not stiff enough, there will be fragile.
Cream of tartar stabilizes those stiff so that they stand up well to the “folding” process when you add the base ingredients.
Tip #3. LOW oven setting.
These things need a low oven setting as they are more or less a form of merengue. Preheat the oven to 300 F.
Tip #4. Make flattish circles of the “dough” (all of the same size) onto parchment paper.
On the Internet, you will see pictures of cloud bread that looks like fluffy buns. They have the texture of light styrofoam and are not really edible. Food styling is often deceptive. You want flat, round disks.
I use Reynolds Wrap Parchment paper because it is marked out with lines to help me more easily see that my dollops are all roughly the same size. It helps to create an “even bake” so that all the pieces get done at the same time.
This makes for about 12 small, peanut-buttery pastries that can be garnished in many keto-friendly ways. Each piece was about 2 inches in diameter.
- 4 eggs, separated (at room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar (sifted)
- 4 tablespoons of Swerve (sifted) for the egg whites
- 1 tablespoon of Swerve for the egg yolks
- 2 ounces of cream cheese
- 4 tablespoons of PB2 powder
- Coconut oil spray (or other oil) to grease the parchment paper.
Step 1. Preheat the oven to 300 F. Put parchment paper on two baking sheets. Spray with coconut oil or otherwise grease the parchment paper.
Step 2. If you have a stand mixer, put the egg whites in the bowl and sift in the cream of tartar. Using the “whisk” attachment, whisk the eggs to high peaks (about speed 4) for from five to ten minutes–until the eggs form soft, slightly stiff peaks and can hold their shape.
If you’re using an electric hand mixer, you’re in for a long haul. Start beating at the highest speed.
Stop every so often to add the 4 tablespoons of Swerve, 1 tablespoon at a time, in the egg whites as they are beaten, until the four tablespoons of Swerve are incorporated.
Step 3. In a separate bowl, beat together the egg yolks, cream cheese, and sifted PB2 powder. Add 1 tablespoon of sifted Swerve. The mixture should taste like a light peanut butter. This is your cream cheese/peanut butter base.
Step 4. Fold the beaten egg whites into the cream cheese / peanut butter base. I generally scoop the whites into the cream cheese base, one big spoonful at a time! I use a rubber spatula to scoop the base from the bottom of the bowl into the fluffy egg yolks. Then, I add another dollop of egg whites and repeat! I do this LITTLE BY LITTLE, one dollop of egg whites at a time, being careful to not crush the egg white fluff down too much.
The result should be a very light batter with little to NO white streaks of egg white in that batter.
Step 5. Using a large spoon or a small ladle, dollop the batter onto the parchment paper–making about six circles of the same size on each baking sheet. Flatten out the circles so they aren’t real high.
Step 6. Put this in the oven for 15 minutes (if using a convection oven); 20-25 minutes if using a regular oven.
Step 7. These pastries should release easily off the parchment paper, within a few minutes of getting out of the oven. Set them on a plate to cool.
I made this with keto quick jam for a peanut-butter “danish” that nicely captures a less-sweet PB&J snack with a low carbohydrate pricetag. Other ideas abound — such as a low-carb chocolate “schmear” — or a peanut butter flavored cream cheese perhaps? Hmmm.
The Carby Facts
Whole Recipe Facts
2 tablespoons of PB2 powder: 4 g carb times 2 (for the four tablespoons) (8)
2 ounces of cream cheese: 3 g carb
4 eggs = 2 carbs
Divided by 12 portions =13 carbs /12 would make this more than 1 carb per pastry. Let’s call it 1 carb and be done with it!
Add to this a heaping teaspoon of keto quick jam, and we’re talking a very nice pb & j snack for a ridiculous 2 carbs.