This pavlova-inspired keto dessert recipe is just the perfect, light ending to your Thanksgiving meal — or to any hearty keto meal. It’s moderately sweet, slightly tangy, and combining different textures: you can feel the crunch of the meringue and the silken, velvety whipped cream, along with the burst of fresh, tart cranberries. This fabulous dessert is easy to whip up in a cinch — remember it when you next time have some surprise guests coming over. Last but not least: would you believe that you need only 4 ingredients to prepare this luscious treat?
Tips for making the Foolishly Easy Layered Cranberry and Meringue Keto Dessert
Meringues are great feather-light, tasty little treats. They also keep long. Those are some good reasons to have some keto meringues in your pantry — yes, you can make sugar-free meringues easily. Just swap the regular sugar to a natural sweetener like powdered erythritol or liquid stevia. Sugar-free meringues are also practically calorie-free, which is excellent if you want to munch something sweet but don’t want to add more calories to your day.
I do have some sugar-free meringue recipes, like this keto peppermint meringue recipe from last year. You can use those meringues in this recipe, just replace the peppermint cookie stevia with regular stevia and add some vanilla extract, or use vanilla stevia. But when creating this layered dessert recipe, I did some more meringue experiments. One of them turned out so well that I will post it here on my blog right for the holiday season. So, stay tuned! Here’s a batch of sugar-free meringues:
This is a foolishly easy recipe to make, as the title suggests. I chose the word “foolishly” intentionally, as this recipe also reminds me of the dessert called “fool” — though real fool doesn’t use meringues. If you want a delicious keto fool recipe, this Cranberry Cherry Fool is just the perfect delight for the holiday season while this Keto Rhubarb Orange Fool is like made for summer, for the season of the succulent rhubarb.
For the sugar-free syrup, you can use any decent product you can find on the market. That is: no artificial sweeteners and no nasty food additives. Personally, I prefer Sukrin syrups as they are quite natural, and they also taste fantastic. Just note that if you use Sukrin Gold syrup, it’s not entirely gluten-free as there is some malt extract added. Sukrin Clear syrup is gluten-free, though. For some, Sukrin syrups raise blood sugar levels (especially if you have a metabolic disorder like diabetes), so it’s good to be careful. At the end of the post, I’ll give some decent sugar-free syrup alternatives I’ve seen on Amazon.
Oh, an important tip: be sure to serve the dessert immediately after preparing it. If you store it even for 15 minutes or longer, the meringue starts losing its crunchiness and becomes soggy. And that’s something we don’t want!
But, let’s take a look at how to prepare this dessert — you’ll see why I call it foolishly easy:
Take some sugar-free meringues and crumble them into relatively large pieces until you’ve got 4 cups (950 ml).
Have also the rest of the ingredients ready.
Take 4 dessert bowls (I use these margarita glasses here as they are so gorgeous). Divide the crumbled meringues into the dessert bowls.
Divide also the whipped cream into the serving bowls, on the meringue.
You can also pipe the whipped cream for a more aesthetic presentation.
Sprinkle also the cranberries on the servings…
…and finally drizzle over the sugar-free syrup.
That’s it. Pure deliciousness!
My Layered Cranberry and Meringue Keto Dessert experiments
This is actually an old recipe of mine. I posted quite a similar recipe on my Facebook page in October 2015. I had made some sugar-free meringues, and as I had some fresh cranberries, too, I came up with the idea of preparing a dessert using meringues and cranberries. However, as those two ingredients wouldn’t make a very satisfying dessert, I decided to add some whipped cream for a rich, velvety touch.
Because the meringues were somewhat large in size, I decided to crumble them. Oh yes, I never sweeten my whipped cream — and also this time, I wanted to use unsweetened whipped cream. The meringues should provide enough sweetness, I thought.
After layering an unmeasured amount of crumbled meringues, whipped cream, and cranberries into a dessert bowl, I made the first taste test. I was delighted about the different textures and the combination of creamy, tart, and sweet flavors. It always surprises me how much variety you can achieve with just a few ingredients!
When serving the dessert for my son, I figured it might be too tart for him, so I got the idea to drizzle some sugar-free syrup on top. I chose Sukrin Gold syrup as it is really flavorful and has a delicious caramel note. Indeed, the result was so mouth-watering that I also added a good squirt of syrup to my serving. So delicious!
Here’s the recipe for you to enjoy:
|Nutrition information||In total||Per serving if 4 servings in total|
|Protein||8.4 g||2.1 g|
|Fat||42.5 g||10.6 g|
|Net carbs||9.4 g||2.3 g|
|kcal||540 kcal||135 kcal|
Tips for variation
Instead of just plain sugar-free syrup, feel free to use maple-flavored sugar-free syrup — as long as you find a decent product without artificial sweeteners like aspartame or sucralose, or without nasty thickeners like CMC that causes leaky gut. By the way, my Low Sugar, So Simple book has a recipe for homemade sugar-free maple syrup that doesn’t need those nasty ingredients. Oh yes, salted caramel flavored syrup also sounds scrumptious to me (and again, the recipe you’ll find from my book though it’s called “Three-Ingredient Sugar-Free Caramel Glaze)!
Below is a list of the best commercial sugar-free syrups I’ve found on the market – well, on Amazon – but please still check the ingredients carefully and if they are suitable for you. If you know some good products I didn’t list here, feel free to tell me about that in a comment.
- Isomalto-oligosaccharide-based Sukrin Fiber Syrup Gold
- Isomalto-oligosaccharide-based Sukrin Fiber Syrup Clear
- Monk fruit-sweetened Maple Flavored Sugar-Free Syrup
- Fiber and monk fruit-based ChocZero’s Maple Syrup
- Fiber-based Fiber Yum
- Yet another isomalto-oligosaccharide-based (fiber)VitaFiber IMO Large Syrup
- Allulose and monk fruit-based Keystone Pantry Honey Flavored syrup
- Allulose-based Maple Syrup All-u-Lose
- Monk fruit-sweetened Zero Sugar Simple Syrup (hasn’t got very good reviews, though)
- Maltitol-based Sugar Free Syrup (Ziyad)
For even more decadent indulgence, you can add grated dark chocolate on top. In that case, plain sugar-free syrup like Sukrin Clear syrup is the best match if you need more sweetness. Actually, why not swap the syrup to homemade sugar-free hot fudge sauce? Sounds celestial to me!
Feel free to sprinkle on some chopped nuts like pecan nuts. I can imagine how indulgent is a combo of pecans, cranberries, whipped cream, and Sukrin Gold syrup!
If you don’t want to use syrup at all, you can sweeten the whipped cream with powdered erythritol or with a few drops of liquid stevia. Naturally, you can add some vanilla extract to the whipped cream to give it an elegant touch.
Fresh cranberries are a must for this dessert — don’t use frozen ones as they will be too watery when they melt. And when it’s not a cranberry season, you can use other low-carb berries like raspberries. As a Finn, I’m planning to try sea buckthorn as those berries are the lowest in carbs and they have lots of health benefits, too. Sea buckthorn also provides all four omega fatty acids: omega-3, omega-6, omega-7, and omega-9, but you have to consume the seeds as well.