The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides: Keto Chai Walnut Cupcakes

I read this book for an online book club I am part of. Though I am not a part of the Book of the Month club (despite the markings on this book, I bought it used on mercari,) this book makes me very tempted to sign up for it. I had seen reference to this book all over the #bookstagrammer-verse and was intrigued. When it was chosen for the book for my club, I was thrilled! I love reading thrillers and this one hit it out of the ballpark.

At the time of me writing this entry, The Silent Patient is rated 4.11 stars on goodreads. I rated it a 5. This book is about a psychotherapist, Theo. His patient, Alicia, is selectively mute. Theo begins a job in a mental hospital where Alicia is housed due to her conviction for the murder of her husband. Theo takes it upon himself to try to open Alicia up and get her to begin speaking, to try to help unleash the truth about her husband’s death.

I can’t go into this book too much, because I don’t want to give away the massive twist that I absolutely did not see coming. But it got me!

This book did not have a lot of food presence. The foods that I noted included:

  • Iced coffee
  • Italian restaurant
  • Sugared almonds
  • Chewy, nutty, and sweet walnut cake
  • Frying onions
  • Sherry
  • Barbecue
  • Salad
  • Champagne, small sweet tomatoes, smoked salmon, and slivers of bread
  • Whiskey
  • Fish and chips and chicken curry
  • Sushi
  • Prawn cocktail crips

I decided to go with the walnut cake, though as you can see, I made a keto version because today is not a cheat day and I wanted to get something made for this book. And I had a sweet tooth that these cupcakes cured. I had intended to make a swiss meringue frosting to go on these, but the recipe I tried did not work and by that point I was over it. So we got unfrosted walnut cupcakes. The texture is much more like a muffin because of the almond flour.

The scene that the walnut cake appeared in the book was close to the beginning. Indira, one of the employees at the hospital, gives Theo a slice of walnut cake. She tells him that she finds a piece of cake helps with difficult clients and difficult staff, though she reassures him that he is neither. “A little sugar is a great mood enhancer.” I won’t disagree with that sentiment, though there is no sugar in these.

Keto Chai Walnut Cupcakes


2 cups almond flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/3 cup xylitol
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 375. Line a cupcake tin with liners.
  2. In a food processor, pulse together the almond flour, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, xylitol, and baking soda.
  3. Once well combined, pulse in the almond milk, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and butter.
  4. Add the eggs and process until smooth.
  5. Pulse in the walnuts, but do not over-process. You want some nut chunks.
  6. Divide the batter between the 12 cupcake liners.
  7. Bake for 18 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!

Makes 12 cupcakes.

This recipe is being shared with Foodies Read, Novel Food, & Weekend Cooking.

6 thoughts on “The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides: Keto Chai Walnut Cupcakes

  1. Yep, like Beth, I am going to share this with some family that is on the keto diet. I was recently at their home and ate some blueberry muffins made with almond flour. Delicious. I’ll try these, too! Nice book review (obviously) as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. An intriguing amuse-bouche of the book, Elizabeth, and an interesting recipe. I have never used xylitol as sweetener and you have made me curious. Thank you so much for your contribution to Novel Food 🙂


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