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: 4.5 stars 16
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.
A portrait of Breana Killeen, M.P.H., RD
By Breana Lai Killeen, M.P.H., RD

Frozen Pumpkin Mousse Pie

Rating: 5 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.
By Kathy Farrell-Kingsley

Banana-Bran Muffins

Rating: 5 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.
Patsy Jamieson
By Patsy Jamieson

Apple-Cinnamon Fruit Bars

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

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.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Chocolate Decadence

Rating: 4.5 stars 16
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.
By Alice Medrich

Sweet Potato Pie with Cream Cheese Swirl

Rating: 4.5 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.
By Stacy Fraser

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Rating: 5 stars 5
Here's a simple recipe for low-fat vanilla ice cream. Our version has all the richness you'll need but about 90 fewer calories than store-bought premium ice cream and a whopping 15 grams less total fat and 10 grams less saturated fat per serving.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Riesling Baked Pears

Rating: 4.5 stars 3
Here's an elegant yet simple twist on the autumn classic. Pears are oven-poached in Riesling wine, which is known for its floral accents and aromas and hints of honey and pear. Serve this dessert with lightly sweetened ricotta cheese. Delicious hot, room temperature or chilled.
By Marie Simmons

Creamy Chocolate Gelato

Rating: 4.5 stars 7
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.
By Alice Medrich

Deep-Dish Apple Pie

Rating: 4.5 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. 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—sweet!
By Stacy Fraser

Brown Sugar Broiled Grapefruit

Rating: 5 stars 1
Grapefruit for dessert? Why not! In this broiled grapefruit recipe, grapefruit halves are topped with spiced brown sugar, caramelized under the broiler then topped with a dollop of vanilla-infused whipped cream.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen
Advertisement

Inspiration and Ideas

Caramel Cream Cheese Custard (Flan de Queso)
Rating: Unrated 4
Every panaderia (bakery) in Puerto Rico has many flavors of flan, from vanilla to guava. Reduced-fat cream cheese gives this version a rich, comforting texture.
Pineapple Coffee Cake
Rating: Unrated 5
Nonfat plain yogurt stands in for sour cream to add moisture and tenderness to this lightened-up pineapple coffee cake. Best of all, you can mix the batter and have this wholesome breakfast treat in the oven in under 15 minutes--that's healthy in a hurry.
Banoffee Pie
Rating: 4 stars 2

Love bananas, toffee and whipped cream? Then you've got to try this healthy Banoffee Pie recipe--a healthier version of one of Great Britain's sweetest desserts. It is made with layers of toffee, bananas and whipped cream. Our healthier Banoffee Pie recipe has half the calories, over 65 percent less saturated fat and 40 percent less sugar than the original--but all of the amazing flavor.