Healthy French Dessert Recipes

Find healthy, delicious French dessert recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Sugared Rosemary

Use these festive-looking sugared fresh rosemary sprigs to decorate any holiday dessert platter. They look especially beautiful alongside a traditional yule log cake.

Chocolate Coconut Macaroons

Rating: Unrated
2
These airy coconut cookies get an upgrade with a simple dark chocolate drizzle in this healthy dessert recipe.

Rustic Pear Tart

Rating: Unrated
3
Who says you can't have your tart and eat it, too? This deceptively simple fall dessert is made for special celebrations. Look for a fragrant pear that's nonetheless firm to the touch.

Thick & Rich Drinking Chocolate

Rating: Unrated
21
Rich, creamy and thick enough that you may want to scoop it with a spoon, this European-style drinking chocolate is something different from the usual hot cocoa. Serve it in a demitasse or espresso cup for an elegant treat.

Gluten-Free Mocha Yule Log

Rating: Unrated
1
A bûche de Noël--a cake decorated like a yule log--is a traditional dessert served around Christmastime in France, Belgium, Canada and some other French-speaking countries. Our gluten-free recipe, which is just as tasty served cold as it is at room temperature, is lighter than air. The chocolate brown-butter génoise cake is easy to roll up and it's covered with a billowy espresso-spiked 7-minute frosting. We've substituted agave nectar for white sugar in the frosting. It's pretty garnished with meringue mushrooms and sugared rosemary.

Drunken Prunes

The oaky taste of Armagnac, a French brandy made in Gascony, has long been paired with prunes. While Armagnac is available in vintage bottlings, nothing so extravagant is needed for this recipe. Use waterproof markers to decorate the outside of glass jars with flowers, abstract designs or a favorite line from a poem.

The Best Vanilla Custard

Rating: Unrated
3
Calling this “the best” custard recipe may seem like a bold statement, but it's true. In this healthy dessert recipe, the rich eggy custard is silky-smooth and infused with loads of vanilla, making it worthy of its name.

Pear, Apple & Cranberry Tarte Tatin

Rating: Unrated
5
This ultimate fall and winter tart showcases the best fruits of the season: pears, apples and cranberries. Unlike other tarts, the tarte tatin is made upside down in a skillet. You start by cooking the fruit, then top it with the dough, carefully tuck in the edges and let it cook. When it's ready you invert the whole tart onto a plate. It comes out looking beautiful and is actually much easier than you might imagine.

Pear Crumble

Rating: Unrated
5
This easy, comforting pear crumble is sure to please. Serve it as is or with low-fat ice cream.

Vanilla Creme Anglaise

This light vanilla custard sauce recipe is perfect served on top of bread pudding or in lieu of whipped cream on pie. Jazz it up with your favorite spices, such as cinnamon or nutmeg, or add a touch of your favorite booze, such as bourbon or rum.

Raspberry-Almond Crumb Tart

Rating: Unrated
15
You can quickly make the crust for this tart in the food processor and then press it into the pan--no need to dig out a rolling pin and struggle to transfer a tender pastry dough from pin to pan. Extra crust dough doubles as a crumbly topping.

French Silk Pie

Rating: Unrated
4
This French silk pie recipe deviates from tradition for a lighter version. Butter and sugar are traded for dates and canola oil in the crust, while the chocolate filling has less egg and butter and is thickened with gelatin. The tasty secret is a shot of coffee that enhances the pie's chocolate flavor without giving it a detectable coffee flavor.

Inspiration and Ideas

Hazelnut-Mocha Buche de Noel

Rating: Unrated
3
Bûche de noël is a traditional dessert served in France at Christmastime. This version features a hazelnut-flavored cake and a mocha frosting.

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.

Raspberry Chocolate Mousse

Rating: Unrated
3

Chocolate mousse for 115 calories? Yes, please! This healthy dessert recipe is perfect for a special occasion or if you just need a sweet treat. For the fluffiest mousse, make as few gentle strokes with your spatula as possible to fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture in Step 5.