While I was binge-watching the Great British Bakeoff for the 100th time and last year’s winner, Peter, often mentioned that he had to alter his dessert recipes to accommodate an allergy that his brother has, I became fascinated with the fact that his bakes were always a smash even though they didn’t include some of the ingredients you would traditionally find in desserts. So, I started thinking about ways I could make delicious desserts that were a little healthier and better suited for the healthier lifestyle I was starting to create for myself.
I didn’t want to completely cut desserts out of my diet, so I started looking for recipes that still tasted good but wouldn’t slow down the progress I was making in the gym. Once I found some favorites, I decided to make them into a list that I could share with others who still wanted to make tasty dessert recipes while cutting back on the sugar. This is that list. Enjoy!
1. No Bake Chocolate Chip Cookies (Half Baked Harvest)
It’s hard to go wrong with a chocolate chip cookie. This dessert recipe is fast, easy, and really healthy. The six ingredients in the cookies make them doughy, soft, and chewy. Plus no added sugars, yes, please!
- 1 1/2 cups roasted, salted cashews
- 8 ounces pitted dates; use moist, plump dates
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups old fashioned oats
- 1 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
- flaky sea salt
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the cashews, dates, coconut oil, vanilla, and oats. Pulse well to combine. The dough shouldn’t be dry, if it is, add more coconut oil or a splash of water. Stir in the chocolate chips. Roll the dough into decent size balls and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Gently press each ball down to flatten into a circle. Place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Take out and sprinkle with flaky sea salt, then enjoy.
2. Chocolate Ice Cream (Amy’s Healthy Baking)
Chocolate ice cream is my favorite, so I had to find a dessert recipe that would allow me to continue to eat it without feeling totally guilty. This ice cream only takes about 25 minutes to make and comes out rich, smooth, and creamy just like ice cream should.
- 1 1/4 cups 2% milk
- 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla crème stevia
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
The night before you make the ice cream, place the bowl of an electric ice cream maker in the freezer. Freeze for at least 12-15 hours. Add all the ingredients to a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer for 1 minute or until very frothy. Working quickly, remove the ice cream maker bowl from the freezer. Place it on the ice cream maker, attach the paddle and the lid, and turn it on. With the ice cream maker turning, pour in the milk mixture. Let the ice cream maker churn for 15-20 minutes or until the ice cream is frozen and has reached your desired consistency. For the best texture and taste, serve immediately.
3. Fresh Fruit Cheesecake Pie (Woman’s Day)
Fresh fruit is one of the best ways to cut back on sugar. This dessert recipe adds all the freshest fruits to a cheesecake base, so it’s not like you’re just sitting there eating a bowl of fruit.
- 44 tea biscuits
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 8-oz. packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cup very cold heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 clementines, peeled and sliced
- 1 kiwi, peeled and sliced
- 1/4 cup blueberries
Pulse the tea biscuits in a food processor to form fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse to combine. Transfer to a 9-inch pie dish and press evenly on the bottom and up the sides. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl on medium-high speed until smooth. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add the cream. Increase to medium-high and beat until stiff peaks form. Beat in the lemon juice to combine. Spread evenly onto the crust. Refrigerate until the mixture is set, at least 4 hours, covering lightly with plastic wrap after 1 hour. Just before serving, top with fruit.
4. Chocolate Raspberry Chia Pudding (Good Housekeeping)
Chocolate and raspberry are the perfect pair. The chia seeds add another nutritious component to this super sweet dessert recipe. It’s light and refreshing, making for the perfect snack.
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 4 cup skim milk
- 20oz. semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 cup raspberries, plus additional for garnish
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
In a saucepan, whisk sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt; whisk in milk. Heat to boiling on medium, stirring constantly. Add chocolate and cook for 1 minute or until melted and slightly thickened. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and 1/2 cup chia. Transfer to medium bowl, cover with plastic, pressing onto surface of pudding, and refrigerate overnight. In blender, puree 2 cups raspberries and maple syrup until smooth. Stir in the remaining 3 tablespoons chia. Transfer to a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Whisk pudding to break up clumps. Spoon pudding into serving dish. Whisk raspberry jam, spread over pudding. Garnish with extra raspberries. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
5. Lemon Cake (The Spruce Eats)
You would think a cake needs to have sugar, right? Well, with this dessert recipe it doesn’t. Made with a sugar-free yellow cake mix and fresh lemon zest, this cake will have everyone returning for seconds. Nothing beats a lemon cake.
- 1 box sugar-free yellow cake mix
- 3/4 cup water
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 lemons, zested and juiced
- 1/4 cup sugar free strawberry preserves
- 2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
Preheat oven to 350. Grease mini bundt pans. Add yellow cake mix, water, eggs, vegetable oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest to a medium mixing bowl. Mix at medium speed for about 2 minutes or until smooth. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Turn out of the pan and cool completely. To make the sauce, add the sugar-free preserves to a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the preserves turn into a liquid. Stir in the sliced strawberries and continue to stir over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Simmer the strawberries and preserves, while stirring, until they break down to form a sauce. After cooling, top each mini cake with a little sauce and serve.
6. Low Carb Banana Pudding
A classic, this dessert recipe packs everything you love about a banana pudding into a healthier portion and treat. Substitute the cookies for almond crumble and you’ll still get the creamy pudding and vanilla cookie texture.
- 1 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1 1/2 oz. butter
- 1/4 cup swerve sweetener
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 sugar free sweetener
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 4-serving size box sugar free banana pudding
- 2 tablespoons sugar free vanilla syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon banana flavoring
Mix the almond meal, butter, sweetener, and vanilla until crumbly for crumb. Set aside. Beat the cream cheese until soft. Add your sweetener and beat well. With the mixer on low pour in the cream, the pudding mix powder, vanilla syrup, and banana flavoring. Whip until light, creamy, and thick like a mousse. Add a layer of crumb to the bottom of a serving dish. Spoon some of the banana mixture on top. Repeat crumb then banana one more time. Sprinkle crumb on top. Refrigerate before serving.
7. Sugar Free Brown Butter Blondies (The Sugar Free Diva)
Brown butter adds a unique flavor to this dessert recipe. With no added sugar, this recipe taste like a true brownie but is low carb and can even be made keto.
- 11 tablespoons butter, unsalted
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup granular brown sugar alternative
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup sugar free chocolate chips
- 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 and prep a square baking pan. Brown the butter by cooking the butter in a large saucepan on medium heat. Cook until the butter starts to foam and turns a deep golden color with a nutty aroma; approximately 5 minutes after the butter has melted. While the butter is cooling, place the flour, salt, and brown sugar alternative into a mixing bowl. Stir in the cooled brown butter, egg, and vanilla until just mixed. Fold in the chocolate chips and transfer to the square baking pan. Smooth out the top then sprinkle the flaky sea salt on. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Cool before cutting, then serve.
8. Strawberry Pretzel Salad (The Cookie Rookie)
This dessert recipe combines salty, buttery pretzels with a creamy whipped cream and tangy strawberry jello. It’s a delicious dessert for all occasions and parties. It’s a little healthier, but it’s still delicious.
- 2 cups pretzels, crushed
- 3/4 sup salted butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons Stevia In the Raw
- 8 oz. low fat cream cheese
- 8 oz. sugar free whipped topping
- 6 oz. sugar free strawberry gelatin mix, 2 packages
- 2 cups boiling water
- 14 oz. frozen strawberries
- 8 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
- sugar free whipped topping for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 and spray 9×13 inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Mix together the butter, pretzels, and 3 tablespoons of stevia in a medium-sized bowl. Pour the pretzel mixture into the baking dish and press down firmly to create a flat, thin layer. Bake the crust for 7-8 minutes and then allow it to fully cool. Using a hand mixer, beat together the cream cheese and 3/4 cup stevia. Stir in the whipped topping until smooth. Pour over the pretzel crust then place in the fridge to cool for 30-60 minutes. Boil the water then stir on the gelatin mix. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Stir in the frozen strawberries and crushed pineapple. Pour this strawberry mixture over the cream cheese layer and place back in the fridge for 6-8 hours. Slice and serve with a dollop of whipped cream and sliced strawberries.