These healthy dessert recipes are guilt-free pleasures that you can indulge in without worrying too much about compromising your diet. From puddings, pastries, and cookies to ice cream, we've got everything you want right here in this list.
Healthy dessert recipes aren’t a myth. They’re very much a possibility and make sweet, guilt-free treats.
Our collection includes a wealth of healthy delights that will keep your sweet tooth satisfied. It’s full of seasonal delicacies from summer strawberry gelatos or winter rice puddings to fall pumpkin cookies.
But first; are all pastries desserts? And what is the difference between custard and pudding anyway?
Let’s address some hot topics from the world of desserts.
What are Desserts?
A dessert is an occasional sweet treat served after the main course. It can be hot or cold, sweet or sour, like lemon bars, a pastry, or a cake.
But we can also group desserts according to their nature, of which there are many types.
Types of Desserts
A delicious cake enriches any dining occasion. Its neat display of layers and elegant, fluffy textures will have your guests instantly drooling.
Whether it’s a classic white triple-layered vanilla cake with a pale frosting and the tiniest raspberry atop each slice, or a lopsided sponge cake with a chunky red jam center; cakes are simply stunning.
Gooey, creamy, or stiff; custards make sensational desserts. Thick custards feature in pastries, holding them together, while lighter ones like crème brulée can be enjoyed straight from the fridge.
Yes, puddings are similar to custards, but the two aren’t the same. They both include milk and sugar but where custards take on an egg base to set, puddings, on the other hand, use cornstarch as a thickening agent. This gives puddings a lighter texture compared to custards.
Of course, little ones love cookies, but so do adults. After all, cookies bring out the kid in us!
We’re talking warm, gooey-centered treats with all the good stuff: melting chocolate, a crunchy bite, and a glass of milk to go with it. Love them or really love them; you can’t go wrong with cookies.
Mixing just flour, water, and fat can yield several types of dough, such as puff pastry or pie dough. But not all pastries are desserts.
For example, chocolate eclairs, almond croissants, glazed doughnuts, apple strudels, and even mushroom pies, are all pastries. Except, mushroom pies are not a dessert; they are better classified as a savory pastry.
Gelatins are no-bake fruit desserts, also known as jellos or jellies. Their gelatin base gives them a wobbly structure and a melt-in-your-mouth feel.
When it comes to the healthiest of healthy desserts, yogurt is your best pick. Yogurt is basically fermented milk, using live bacteria.
To keep it healthy, stick to wholesome sweeteners such as strawberries, mangoes, or any other fruits that add flavor.
Other types of desserts include ice creams, candies, and confections such as macarons and meringues.
What Are the Most Popular Desserts?
Some of the most popular desserts include apple pie, chocolate chip cookies, or cheesecake. Not forgetting eye-catching Tik Tok desserts like this fluffy cloud bread, even if they only distract us for a brief moment.
But the most popular selections are timeless, recreated, and sometimes healthy dessert recipes re-birthed from our favorite classics.
First up: tiramisu. Even coffee cynics with their bulletproof views will mellow in the face of tiramisu. It’s Italian, coffee-flavored, and airy, with generous layers of mascarpone and fresh whipped cream — what’s not to love?
Although Boston cream pie doesn’t live up to an actual pie’s criteria, we’ll let the name pass. It must be the light, fluffy textures and decadent pudding layer that make us extremely forgiving.
And no matter how it’s presented, the classic sticky toffee pudding still continues to outdo its former hype. The caramel-like sauce over a decadent intense cake is a luscious, fail-proof combination.
Easy and Delicious Dessert Recipes
1. Dessert Recipes With Cookies
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies: Crispy yet chewy, these raisin-baked cookies boast a delicate texture and sweet taste.
Pumpkin Cookies: This low-carb version of pumpkin cookies carries a pumpkin purée with a fragrant spicy essence.
Peanut Butter Cookies: The nutty, buttery flavors flatter these cookies so much, you won’t stop nibbling once you start.
Sugar Cookies: These cookies are festive colored sugary and buttery treats ideal for reviving the Christmas spirit.
Carrot Cake Cookies: Treat yourself to mini carrot cakes with the right balance of cookie, cake, and cream cheese.
2. No-Bake Dessert Recipes
Pancakes: With a fresh berry topping, these pancakes deliver on their promise of being a sweet, refreshing delight.
Overnight Oats: These creamy overnight oats are easygoing, not over the top, and quickly fulfilling.
Rice Pudding: A staple turned dessert, this treat delivers creamy spoons of rice garnished with almonds and raisins.
Stewed Pears: Fresh pears are absorbed in a ginger, cinnamon, and mixed spice elixir, making them tender and juicy.
Peanut Butter Milkshake: Milk and ice cream are the primary ingredients in a milkshake, but Simply Quinoa’s version omits ice cream, allowing coconut cream to deliver the fatty richness a milkshake needs.
3. Baked Dessert Recipes
Pumpkin Cheesecake: Nothing’s more fulfilling than a recreated classic of pumpkin and cheese flavors to brighten a Thanksgiving feast.
Pumpkin Pie: This is not your grandma’s pumpkin pie, but it’s a classic recipe nonetheless.
Southern Cornbread: Fusing years of American heritage and cornmeal flavors into one, this cornbread lives up to the exceptional reputation of Southern food.
Banana Bread: A dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom accentuates the sweet taste of this indulgence.
Zucchini Brownies: These moist, fudgy bars are the perfect mix of healthy and sinful, and every bite is worth it.
Bread Pudding: This bread pudding comes together quickly and is the perfect vehicle for a spicy, buttery dessert.
4. Decadent Dessert Casserole Recipes
Sweet Potato Casserole: A good deal of sweet flavors infuses this marshmallow-topped casserole. Serve with a dollop of sugar-free whipped cream to mellow out its sweetness.
French Toast Casserole: What could be better than the French classic that meshes eggs, milk, and bread? This casserole version.
Peach Cobbler: A ‘peach cobbler made right,’ this recipe by Fit Living Eats transforms a treat that went wrong 59 years ago into a light and healthier dessert.
Blueberry and Peach Dump Cake: Dump cakes put the ‘easy’ in easy desserts. The idea is simple: ‘dump’ all ingredients into a casserole dish, place the container in the oven to bake, and voila — a succulent cake you can serve with cream.
Cinnamon Roll Casserole: Cinnamon meets butter in this recipe by The Pound Dropper and blossoms into a fluffy dough of woody fragrance.
Sea Salt Honey Ice Cream: Ice cream is the king of creamy desserts. This rendition by Kitchen Treaty is a play on sweet and sour elements that captures its luxurious essence.
Strawberry Gelato: Gelato has less cream, less air, and richer texture compared to ice cream. This recipe by Wellness Mama includes fresh strawberry zest balanced with a dash of honey.
Custard Tarts: These custard tarts by Pointed Kitchen are mini egg-based delights that combine satisfying smooth and crunchy textures.
Lemon Curd Mousse: Lemon curd, cream cheese, and heavy cream are the key to creating this silky-smooth mousse by The Cafe Sucre Farine. The mousse sits on a coconut graham cracker base that gives it a lovely crunchy texture.
6. Pastry Dessert Recipes
Apple Crostata: Crostata is an Italian puff pastry dish. She Loves Biscotti’s version seizes crostata’s rustic essence and combines it with an open-pie display.
Chocolate Profiteroles: A profiterole, or chou à la crème, is a plump ball of choux pastry stuffed with cream. This recipe by The Flavor Bender glazes each puff with chocolate that complements the vanilla center.
Greek Vegan Baklava: Baklava can be Turkish or Greek, and this Greek one by Veggies Don’t Bite layers phyllo pastry sheets, walnuts, and almonds before baking them to light, crispy textures served with a delicious maple syrup mix.
Apple Empanadas: Apple empanadas by My Dominican Kitchen are hand-held pies jammed with fresh apple, cinnamon, and nutmeg aromas that kids will love.
Raspberry Mille-Feuille Napoleon: Mille-feuille means a thousand sheets, which depicts this dessert’s wispy puff pastry sheets. They lie elegantly on layers of raspberries sat in a pastry cream spread to resemble a Napoleon.
7. Fuss-Free, Quick Dessert Recipes
Honey Roasted Figs: Fresh figs roasted with honey, butter, cinnamon, lemon, pistachio, and a dollop of mascarpone by Sprinkles and Sprouts.
Vegan Snickerdoodles: A vegan, gluten-free treat made with applesauce and baked into a chewy fall treat — all in 15 minutes.
Peanut Butter Mug Cake: A pillowy dream in a cup, this mug cake by Scrummy Lane delivers coconut, maple, and chocolate flavors in each bite.
3-Ingredient Fudge: Coconut oil, honey, and cocoa powder are the key to these ultra-smooth fudge bars by Thrifty Frugal Mom.
Bananas Foster: Caramelized to a golden, chunky purée, this banana foster by Foodie Fiasco is the perfect quick treat to serve with ice cream, waffles, or whipped cream.
1. Can I Eat Cake Every Day?
Eating cake every day isn’t ideal if you’re trying to lead a healthy lifestyle. The reason being cake often contains plenty of sugar, which can inflate its total calories to about 408 per serving. That’s 20% of calories on a 2,000-calorie diet.
Make it a habit to reduce the amount of sugar a cake recipe calls for by 50-75%. This, plus limiting your cake and dessert consumption to about twice a week, can help promote a healthier lifestyle.
2. Is a Pancake a Dessert?
Yes, a pancake can indeed be a dessert. Although it’s traditionally a breakfast treat, it has evolved into some dessert-worthy versions that live up to a pudding or cake’s character.
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.