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Healthy Christmas Dessert Recipes

Featured Recipes

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.)

» Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

Vanilla-Pomegranate Parfaits

Rich, creamy, vanilla bean-flecked pudding tempers the tart-sweet pomegranate compote. Pick out small, festive glass dessert dishes for this pretty parfait.

» Vanilla-Pomegranate Parfaits

Chocolate Decadence

Inspired by the (now) old-school, ultra-rich, mousselike chocolate cake that usually called for a whole pound of chocolate, half a dozen eggs and lots of butter, here is an enlightened rendition with deep bittersweet chocolate flavor and that dense melt-in-your-mouth texture so characteristic of the genre. 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.

» Chocolate Decadence

Mocha Yule Log

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. Some bûche de Noël cakes can be as heavy as a real log when they are decked out with sugar and buttercream. Our recipe, which is just as tasty served cold as it is at room temperature, is lighter than air. The chocolate brown-butter génoise cake made with whole-grain flour 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.

» Mocha Yule Log

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!

» Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap-Walnut Crust

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.

» Cranberry Coconut Trifle

Peppermint Pattie Pots de Crème

We love York peppermint patties and the flavor of these festive pots de crème is a dead ringer for the candy. Unlike traditional über-rich custard recipes, this custard uses low-fat milk, only 3 egg yolks and 1/2 cup of half-and-half for its creamy richness. Just 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract in the custard gives plenty of minty flavor, but if you want that icy mountain-breeze sensation, add a whole teaspoon instead.

» Peppermint Pattie Pots de Crème


Delicious and healthy Christmas dessert recipes to enjoy throughout the holiday season.

Impress your guests with one of our delicious and healthy Christmas dessert recipes. From Christmas cookie recipes to Christmas cake recipes, our healthy Christmas dessert recipes are perfect for a festive occasion. Enjoy our Christmas cookie recipes at your annual cookie swap or our Christmas cheesecake recipes for a sweet ending to your festive occasion. You can feel good about celebrating the holidays with our healthier Christmas dessert recipes.

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Healthy Christmas Cookie Recipes

This thumbprint cookie uses honey as the only sweetener and...
Patti Anderson, a professional quilter, had never entered a...
These chocolate, coconut and almond meringue cookies are so...
Crisp, moist and chewy, this cookie created by Georgene...
Master of Fine Arts student Allyson Lea Smith consulted...
These meringue cookies have a puffy, fragile exterior and a...
Trisha Kruse, an administrative assistant, created quick,...
The two-bite pecan tarts satisfy the sweet tooth with far...
These soft chocolate cookies have a big peanut flavor since...
A no-bake, make-ahead treat, this perfect combination of...
Perfect meringues depend on totally yolk-free whites. The...
Cynthia Farr-Weinfeld, a hypnotherapist and writer, started...
Strategy and operations director Josh Gitlin gave this low-...
Registered Dietitian Mary LaRock flavored these phyllo...
These coconut-chocolate-almond-topped shortbread cookies...
Financial advisor Linda Croley was inspired by childhood...

Healthy Christmas Cake Recipes

Inspired by the (now) old-school, ultra-rich, mousselike...
The flavor of this spiced orange compote improves with time...
This rustic cake is a delicious alternative to pie and uses...
Cherries and almond extract pair beautifully in this...
You don't have to have pumpkin pie to still enjoy...
Reminiscent of a British sticky toffee pudding, this cake...
A bûche de Noël—a cake decorated like a yule log—is a...
In this stunning dessert, two layers of coconut-flavored...

Healthy Christmas Dessert Recipes for Pies & Tarts

A sublime silky chocolate custard fills this simple...
This chocolate cake is sophisticated, rich, moist and even...
While pumpkin pie deserves respect as a Thanksgiving icon,...
This lighter pumpkin pie has the rich, subtle spices of the...
This pecan tart gets added tang from dried cherries....
This decadent pie is loaded with juicy apples and adorned...
Dark rum, coconut milk, cinnamon, ginger and cloves give...
Try this custard pie with buttercup squash, a sweet, orange...

Healthy Christmas Dessert Recipes for Puddings & Parfaits

Sweet caramelized pears are the highlight of this...
Pungent and aromatic cinnamon perfumes this bread pudding...
We love York peppermint patties and the flavor of these...
These panna cottas (Italian for cooked cream) are smooth,...
Rich, creamy, vanilla bean-flecked pudding tempers the tart...

Healthy Christmas Dessert Recipes for Cheesecake

This tangy yogurt cheesecake is topped with ouzo-poached...
Our Test Kitchen created this showpiece cheesecake to...
Softened dried pears give this low-fat cheesecake much of...
We pulled out a few of our favorite EatingWell tricks to...
Pureed winter squash gives most of the body to these leaner...

Healthy Christmas Dessert Recipes for Fruit

Apples, pears and dried cranberries fill this holiday crisp...
Serve these caramelized pear slices over ice cream, stir...
No other dessert turns heads like a trifle. Festive in...
Ah, the maligned fruitcake. Many store-bought varieties,...
Cranberries add a particularly pleasing tartness and color...
This ultimate fall and winter tart showcases the best...
All across Wisconsin, Scandinavian and German bakeries...
This easy, comforting pear crumble is sure to please. Serve...
Pears are simmered in a blend of tart pomegranate juice and...
Here's an elegant yet simple twist on the autumn...
Trifle, the quintessential British dessert, can be made in...

Healthy Gluten-Free Christmas Dessert Recipes

No other dessert turns heads like a trifle. Festive in...
We pulled out a few of our favorite EatingWell tricks to...

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