As colder weather creeps in, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger replace the citrus and mint of summer, and apple-based recipes such as cake, pie, cobbler and crumble take over kitchens and café menus. Apples and low-carb diets do not mix — but who can resist the warming apple treats of the season? To the rescue: chayote! A crispy almond-flour waffle cone meets creamy, no-churn ice cream, buttery shortbread crumbs, and roasted faux apples in this keto apple cobbler dessert with an ice cream cone twist.
You can’t have apples on a keto diet, right?
In this sneaky recipe, I transform a vegetable from the squash family into an Instagram-worthy keto dessert that checks all the flavor and texture boxes of your standard high-carb, autumn-scented apple dessert. Firm, flavorless and naturally low-carb, chayote squash offers a flavor remarkably similar to roasted apples when cooked with warm spices.
What’s chayote squash, anyway?
Chayote squash, also known as mirliton squash, is part of the gourd family; it’s related to zucchini and pumpkin. You can cook chayote as you would zucchini and pumpkin by boiling or roasting. You can mash it, fry it, and add it to salads and salsas.
In post-World War II Australia, where apples were scarce and don’t grow well, chayote often was used as a substitute in apple pie recipes. Conversely, chayotes grow in abundance in Australia and are a popular vegetable dish to this day.
Sweetening your keto apple cobbler to avoid sugar spikes
As the co-founder of The Sola Company and initial developer of Sola sweetener, I highly recommend this sugar substitute for sweetening low-carb recipes. I created the sweetener because of a personal mission as a chef: to make a sweetener that actually worked like sugar in recipes. Sola caramelizes and gets sticky, helps cakes rise and brown, and keeps ice cream soft. It uses ingredients found in nature, measures 1:1 like sugar, and has been clinically tested to show no impact on blood sugar or insulin levels. It tastes just like cane sugar but packs 75 percent fewer calories and 0 net carbs.
Erythritol, a sugar alcohol found in pears and grapes
Maltitol, a low-calorie sweetener found in chicory leaves
Stevia leaf extract
Monk fruit extract, from a small, melon-shaped fruit
Xanthan gum, a natural ingredient that helps create texture
If you can’t find Sola sweetener, here are some other recommendations you can use to make these keto apple cobbler cones:
Swerve: A blend of erythritol and oligosaccharides, which are considered dietary fiber and are derived from fruits and vegetables. Swerve contains no artificial ingredients, preservatives or flavors, and is safe for diabetics. Human clinical trials have shown that Swerve does not affect blood glucose or insulin levels:
Lakanto: A blend of erythritol and monkfruit extracts.
Pure erythritol: Your next best bet. You might notice a slight cooling taste and crystallization in liquids. Wholesome Sweeteners Zero brand erythritol is widely available in retail outlets and on the company’s website.
Pure xylitol: Has the highest glycemic index (7) on my list of recommendations but is a decent option if you can’t find any of the above sweeteners. Widely available through natural food retailers, it’s made primarily from birch trees. A warning for dog owners: Xylitol is highly toxic for dogs. Xyla Brand xylitol is widely distributed and easy to find.
In the keto apple cobbler waffle cone recipe below, we’ll walk you through every step from making your roasting your “apples”, cooking and forming a keto waffle cone and perfectly churning low-card ice cream.
1/2 cup (95 grams) Sola sweetener or granulated sweetener of your choice (see sweetener advice below)
2 cups (480 milliliters) heavy cream, divided
1/4 cup (60 milliliters) brandy, optional (bourbon, whiskey and dark rum also work well; you can omit entirely, but alcohol helps ice cream stay soft when frozen)
2/3 roasted “apple” mixture, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cups (110 grams) finely ground almond flour
2 tablespoons Sola sweetener or granulated sweetener of your choice (see sweetener advice below)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 stick (57 grams) unsalted butter, cold, diced
Make waffle cones:
Heat waffle cone machine to lowest heat setting. (Alternatively, preheat oven to 325 F and line sheet pan with greased parchment paper.)
In bowl with fork or handheld electric mixer, mix all waffle cone ingredients.
Place 2 tablespoons waffle cone batter in center of waffle cone machine and close lid. Cook for approximately 2 1/2 minutes. (Use first cone as test run to get timing right based on temperature of your machine).
Alternatively, spread 2 tablespoons waffle cone batter on parchment paper and cover with an additional piece of greased parchment. Press out waffle cone batter into 4-inch-by-4-inch disc, and remove top sheet of baking parchment. Bake for approximately 10 minutes until golden-brown.
Remove cooked waffle cone cookie from machine or oven. Cool for 2 minutes before shaping into cone. Use cone-shaping tool that comes with waffle cone machine; alternatively, use hands, wrapping dough around end of champagne flute.
Cool waffle cones for at least 10 minutes, until crisp. Store in an airtight container until needed.
Make roasted "apples":
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Bring water, 1/2 cup sweetener, cinnamon sticks, ginger, anise, salt and 3 tablespoons lemon juice to boil.
Add chayote and boil for 20 minutes until softened. Drain and transfer to sheet pan.
Sprinkle 4 tablespoons sweetener, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, cinnamon and butter over squash.
Roast squash for 20 minutes, until golden and caramelized, turning pan halfway through cooking time.
Make ice cream:
In mixing bowl, use immersion blender to purée cream cheese, sweetener, 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/3 of roasted “apples” until smooth.
Add brandy and mix well. Cool to room temperature.
Whisk remaining heavy cream into soft peaks and fold into cooled cream cheese mixture.
Chop remaining roasted “apples,” add to mixture, and stir well.
Pour mixture into container and freeze for at least 3 hours. Store in freezer until needed.
Make shortbread crumbs:
Preheat oven to 300 F.
Place almond flour, sweetener and vanilla extract in mixing bowl. Add diced butter and use hands to rub ingredients together until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
Line baking pan with parchment paper and sprinkle crumbs on top. Bake for 10 minutes.
Stir thoroughly, and bake for another 10 minutes until golden-brown. Set aside until needed.
Build waffle cones:
Pack 1 generous scoop ice cream in each waffle cone.
Add roasted “apples.”
Top with another scoop ice cream.
Roll ice cream through shortcake crumble mixture.
Top with extra shortcake crumbs.
Although the total carb count comes in at 60 grams, 46 grams of those are from a low-glycemic sweetener. The net carb count is 9 grams (60 grams total carbs minus 46 grams sweetener and 5 grams fiber).
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat69 g
Total Carbohydrates60 g
Dietary Fiber5 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.