Low-Calorie Comfort Food Dessert Recipes
Hot Fudge Pudding Cake
Serve this dense, fudgy pudding cake with vanilla frozen yogurt.
Classic whoopie pies combine a creamy filling sandwiched between cakey chocolate cookies. Some are filled with a marshmallow cream frosting while others are filled with whipped cream. Even those of us who grew up with the former fell in love with our lighter version of the whipped cream-filled treats.
Sturdy apples are flavored with cinnamon and vanilla in this slow-cooker apple compote. Top with low-fat vanilla ice cream and a sprinkling of toasted walnuts for dessert.
Warm Chocolate Pudding
This warm pudding has a marvelous deep chocolaty flavor, but it's low in fat and super-quick to make. Don't skimp on the quality of cocoa with this one--treat yourself to the good stuff.
Rocky Road Brownies
These super-rich brownies made chocolaty with plenty of cocoa powder have less fat than other brownies, but stay extra gooey and good with marshmallows, nuts and chocolate chunks on top.
Frozen Pumpkin Mousse Pie
While pumpkin pie deserves respect as a Thanksgiving icon, it's fun to shake up tradition. Surprise your family and friends with a frozen pie this year--it just might become one of their holiday favorites. No need to let them know how easy it is.
Creamy Chocolate Gelato
This ultra-chocolaty, dairy-free Sicilian-style gelato--made without eggs or cream--is relatively lean but still creamy-smooth and flavorful. The coconut milk used for the base gives it a silky, rich mouthfeel and a subtle coconut flavor.
EatingWell Zucchini Bread with Chocolate Chips
Here's a super-simple zucchini bread recipe. The addition of chocolate chips makes it more like a dessert than a breakfast, but you can enjoy it anytime. Skip the chocolate and try it with toasted walnuts or raisins if you prefer. Freeze 2-cup portions of shredded zucchini so you can make zucchini bread all year long.
Chewy Chocolate Cookies
We can't resist big, soft, fudgy cookies, like those found in glass jars on bake-shop counters. These freeze exceptionally well-layer them in a freezer-safe container between sheets of wax paper; thaw 15 minutes at room temperature before serving.
Dark Roast Creme Brulee
Inspired by a recipe developed by Chef Patrick Grangien at Cafe Shelburne in Shelburne, Vermont, this lightened version has less than half the calories and one-eighth the fat of a classic brulee.
Quick Mini Chocolate Cheesecakes
Here we stir a little melted chocolate into ricotta cheese for a cheesecake-like topping for chocolate wafer cookies.
Dairy-Free Banana Rice Pudding
This rice pudding is dairy-free, but the bananas and rice milk make it so creamy and rich-tasting, no one will know the difference.
Inspired by the old-school, ultra-rich, mousselike chocolate cake that usually called for a whole pound of chocolate, half a dozen eggs and lots of butter, this enlightened rendition has deep bittersweet chocolate flavor and dense melt-in-your-mouth texture. No one will guess it's healthier. The secret is excellent natural cocoa powder and good-quality bittersweet chocolate, preferably with 70% cacao. Although the cake can be eaten once it's completely cool, it comes out of the pan much easier and even tastes better if it has been chilled at least overnight.
You don't have to sit around a fire to enjoy s'mores. Just be sure to watch them carefully under the broiler--the marshmallows can go from perfectly toasted to charcoal in a hurry.
Swirled Cheesecake Brownies
Made with whole-wheat flour, these decadent-tasting brownies have a beautiful marbled cheesecake topping. Cutting them into bite-size pieces helps to keep the calorie count in check.
Mini Molten Chocolate Cakes with Mocha Sauce
Some molten-cake recipes call for simply underbaking the batter so the middles stay lava-like, but mini cakes get done so quickly it's best to give them a filling that won't set up. These rich, mocha-flavored morsels are guaranteed to stay moist and gooey, owing to a simple mocha ganache in the middle. Serve the cakes with a scoop of low-fat coffee ice cream and garnish with a chocolate-covered espresso bean, if desired. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.
Peach & Blueberry Cobbler
This is a healthier version of a traditional cobbler, with canola oil in place of some of the butter and whole-wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour. Unlike more classic biscuit-topped cobblers, the peaches and blueberries are nestled into a tender batter that swells around the fruit as it bakes. Other fruits may be substituted. It's especially beautiful when baked in and served right from a cast-iron skillet.
Chocolate-Fudge Pudding Cake
When you have a craving for a comforting dessert, try this pudding cake, which forms its own rich-tasting sauce as it bakes. The coffee flavor is subtle, but it adds complex depth to the cake's flavor.
French Silk Pie
Bittersweet chocolate and Dutch-process cocoa meld with a shot of fresh brewed coffee to give an ultra-rich flavor to this creamy French silk pie. A frothy meringue is the secret to lightening the brown sugar-sweetened filling.
If you're a fan of the classic Italian dessert tiramisù, try this quick, lower-calorie variation the next time you need a dessert in a hurry. Both types of ladyfingers--spongy and crunchy--work well.
Made with nonfat milk, this comforting rice pudding (delicious for breakfast, too) has a lovely creamy consistency because Italian arborio rice is used.