Thanksgiving Desserts That Aren't Pie
One bite of this light and airy cranberry-lime cheesecake recipe and it will become your go-to recipe for dessert. Part-skim ricotta cheese adds a delicate texture and stands in for some of the higher-fat cream cheese. Be sure to use a large, wide piece of heavy-duty foil to wrap the pan--the foil helps prevent water from seeping into the cake as it bakes.
Orange Chocolate Tart
This healthy chocolate tart recipe is topped with homemade candied orange peel infused with cinnamon. You then add the cinnamon simple syrup to the chocolate filling. You can use store-bought candied orange peel and plain simple syrup in the filling to streamline the recipe.
Sticky Toffee Pudding with Maple Sauce
This is a healthier version of the gooey-rich sticky toffee pudding recipe served in the winter at Joanne Chang's Asian restaurant Myers+Chang in Boston. Lightly sweetened with maple syrup, the cake is chock-full of rich, naturally sweet dates. Adapted from Baking with Less Sugar by Joanne Chang (Chronicle Books, 2015).
Pavlovas with Cranberry-Ginger Sauce
This healthy, gluten-free dessert has everything--crisp-on-the-outside, gooey-inside meringue base, whipped cream, tart cranberry sauce and toasted nuts. Plus, you can make everything ahead of time, then simply assemble and serve.
Chocolate-Covered Almond Cake
Ground almonds, almond flour and coconut sugar combine in this healthy, gluten-free cake recipe. Don't skip the dry sherry syrup! It gives this cake a complex, fruity flavor that results in an extra-moist cake. Serve with afternoon tea, brunch or as a special dessert.
Pumpkin-Chocolate Cream Cake
This healthy cake recipe is like a pumpkin-flavored version of Boston cream pie. Rather than the traditional round shape, we use a 9-by-13 pan to make a four-layer rectangular cake that looks fun and provides more layers of creamy goodness.
Spoonable Pumpkin Pie
Eat this pumpkin pie with a bowl and spoon. Cream cheese makes the filling extra creamy, and chopped pecans add some crunch.
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap-Walnut Crust
We pulled out a few of our favorite EatingWell tricks to achieve plenty of creaminess in our pumpkin cheesecake without all the saturated fat of a typical recipe: nutrient-packed canned pumpkin and pureed nonfat cottage cheese replace some of the cream cheese. A touch of pumpkin pie spice warms up the flavor. For the crust, shop the natural-foods section for gingersnaps without any hydrogenated oil. Simple toasted walnuts are an elegant garnish. Or try making candied walnuts. Just be careful not to eat all of them before they make it to the cake!
Double Nut & Date Tassies
The two-bite pecan tarts satisfy the sweet tooth with far less guilt than pecan pie.
Slow-cook apple halves in a spiced cider mixture and serve as dessert drizzled with caramel topping and sprinkled with pecans.
No-Bake Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake
This luscious swirled cheesecake dessert is a no bake, mix-and-chill recipe. Plus, each slice is under 200 calories!
Cheesecake Chai-Spiced Banana Bread
Classic banana bread gets a delicious twist with chai spices and a cheesecake layer.
Pumpkin Spice Pudding
The key to making this healthy, smooth pudding is constant slow whisking. A staff favorite, this recipe is one you'll want to pin for an easy make-ahead dessert.
Chocolate-Sweet Potato Parfait
This healthy chocolate mousse recipe gets its body from sweet potato rather than eggs. Both the mousse and the meringue cookies can be made ahead of time, so all you have to do is assemble the parfaits when you're ready for dessert.
Frozen Pumpkin Slices
These pretty and easy-freezy pumpkin treats are great for a fall party or holiday dinner dessert.
Making restaurant-quality flan at home is easier than you think, and our version is healthier, too! With just a few ingredients, you'll have a satisfying dessert that's sure to impress.
Spiralized Apple Crisp
Use a spiralizer to skip the peeling and slicing in this easy apple crisp recipe. Plus the noodly texture of this gluten-free fruit dessert is a fun adaptation of traditional versions.
Lemon Poppy Seed Chiffon Cake
Beating the egg whites separately and then folding them into the batter gives this chiffon cake recipe great height, while the egg yolks make this healthy cake recipe rich and tender. Be sure to use a completely clean bowl and whisk when beating the whites-if the whites come in contact with any fat they won't whip up airy and light.
Cranberry Upside-Down Cake
This rustic cake is a delicious alternative to pie and uses one of the tastiest fruits of the fall harvest--cranberries. The basic recipe is very versatile and can be made with apples, pears, peaches, plums or any full-flavored, slightly acidic fruit. Just arrange the fruit in the skillet before you pour the batter over it. The cake is best served warm; if you can, put it in the oven just before you sit down to dinner. Recipe adapted from The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters.
Carrots give carrot cake a health-halo effect--people think it's health food, but it's usually very high in fat and calories. But our version has about 40 percent less calories and 50 percent less fat than most. First, we use less oil in our batter. Then we skip the butter in the frosting (don't worry, it's still light and smooth). To ensure the cake is moist, we add nonfat buttermilk and crushed pineapple.
Maple-Pumpkin Custards with Crystallized Ginger
A Thanksgiving meal wouldn't be complete without pumpkin, and here in Vermont we wouldn't dream of excluding our beloved maple syrup. We've combined the two in these elegant custards, featuring the best part of a pumpkin pie and saving calories for a luscious finish of real whipped cream. If you can find it, use Grade B dark amber syrup to get the best maple flavor.
Baked Pears with Marsala-Honey Syrup
The baked pears in this easy fruit dessert recipe simply bake in a sauce of Marsala wine mingled with honey, orange, cinnamon and vanilla. Serve the pears warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or with a small sugar cookie.
Pumpkin-Chocolate Torte with Pumpkin Whipped Cream
If you're ready for a change from standard pumpkin pie, try this pumpkin torte recipe with a deep chocolate flavor. Pureed pumpkin helps make the dessert incredibly moist and dense. The topping is whipped cream with a touch of vanilla and sugar and a bit of pureed pumpkin folded in.
Cranberry Coconut Trifle
No other dessert turns heads like a trifle. Festive in every way, this trifle recipe glows from within with scarlet layers of juicy cranberries. The filling is made from an astounding 6 cups of antioxidant-packed cranberries! We made the custard “skinny” with a combination of low-fat milk and light coconut milk. From-scratch brown-butter sponge cake, made with whole-wheat pastry flour, stands in for store-bought ladyfingers.
Rich, creamy, vanilla bean-flecked pudding tempers the tart-sweet pomegranate compote. Pick out small, festive glass dessert dishes for this pretty parfait.
Glazed Chocolate-Pumpkin Bundt Cake
You don't have to have pumpkin pie to still enjoy pumpkin and spice in a Thanksgiving dessert. Pumpkin helps keep this cake tender and moist while, delicate spices add the classic Thanksgiving flavors.