Healthy New Year's Dessert Recipes

Ring in the New Year with these lightened-up versions of your favorite party dessert recipes.

Staff Picks

Fried Apple Pie Rolls

Rating: 4.55 stars 15
In this healthy take on apple pie, egg roll wrappers stand in for pie crust, saving you calories and the headache of rolling out dough. We like to use Granny Smith apples because they hold their shape and provide tart balance to the sweet filling. Try dipping these handheld crispy treats in whipped cream.

Banana-Bran Muffins

Rating: 4.83 stars 49
By the end of the week, any bananas left in the fruit bowl are past their prime--just right for these moist bran muffins. Add a handful of dark chocolate chips to entice children to enjoy a fiber-rich treat.

Sweet Potato Pie with Cream Cheese Swirl

Rating: 4.29 stars 4
This creamy sweet potato pie recipe is seasoned like a pumpkin pie with plenty of cinnamon and nutmeg and gets nice ginger flavor from the gingersnap crust. For the best results, roast sweet potatoes in the oven; in a pinch, microwave them instead.

Apple-Cinnamon Fruit Bars

Rating: 3.57 stars 4
These easy apple-cinnamon fruit bars make a big batch--perfect for fall potlucks and parties.

Peppermint Mocha Chocolate Bark

Rating: 5 stars 1
With just a few simple steps, you can transform plain chocolate into a divine treat with this chocolate bark recipe. We stir chopped peppermint candies and chocolate-covered espresso beans into this chocolate bark, which is perfect for a gift.

Frozen Pumpkin Mousse Pie

Rating: 4.86 stars 10
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.

Cranberry Meringue Pie

Rating: 3.82 stars 2
If you're a fan of lemon meringue pie, you'll love this festive cranberry meringue pie recipe. For the fluffiest meringue, set your eggs out at room temperature for about 15 minutes or submerge (in the shell) in a bowl of lukewarm water for 5 minutes before beating--egg whites at room temperature will gain more volume than cold whites.

Caramelized Spiced Pears

Rating: 4 stars 1
Serve these caramelized pear slices over ice cream, stir into plain yogurt or enjoy as a topping for pancakes or waffles. Brown-skinned Bosc pears hold their shape during cooking, but any variety of pears tastes delicious.

Pumpkin-Chocolate Torte with Pumpkin Whipped Cream

Rating: 4.4 stars 4
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.

Crustless Pistachio-Topped Sweet Potato Pie

This no-crust sweet potato pie is a great addition to your holiday dessert table. Sweetened with honey and flavored with warm spices, it's topped with crunchy cereal and pistachios. Any leftover topping can be stored for up to a week and is delicious added on top of your breakfast yogurt.

Cranberry-Lime Cheesecake

Rating: 4.4 stars 4
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.

Deep-Dish Apple Pie

Rating: 4.48 stars 7
With all that delicious fruit an apple pie should be healthy, but the truth is a slice can have as much as 750 calories and 30 grams of fat. For the most part, the culprit is the crust. We use whole-wheat pastry flour to add fiber and lower the saturated fat by replacing some of the butter with canola oil. The brown sugar-sweetened filling in this pie is made with two kinds of apples for the perfect balance. A slice has half the calories of a typical version and only 10 grams of fat--sweet!
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Inspiration and Ideas

Apple Cupcakes with Cinnamon-Marshmallow Frosting
Rating: Unrated 6
Shredded apple replaces some of the oil and keeps the cake moist in these cinnamon-spiked cupcakes. There is a generous amount of fluffy marshmallow frosting to mound or pipe on top for a festive look. Be sure to frost them right after you make the frosting--it stiffens as it stands and becomes more difficult to spread.
Red Chile-Spiked Chocolate Mousse
Rating: Unrated 5
The idea of chile with chocolate still surprises most people, but the duo pairs beautifully in many chocolate desserts. In this silky, luxurious mousse the chile adds a light but bright accent.

Pear, Apple & Cranberry Tarte Tatin

Rating: 4 stars
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.