Healthy New Year's Dessert Recipes

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

Staff Picks

Banana-Bran Muffins

Rating: Unrated
36
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.

Pineapple Coffee Cake

Rating: Unrated
4
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.

Light Lemon Meringue Pie

Rating: Unrated
2
Smooth and soothing; a great classic pie right down to the crust, redefined with a generous amount of lemon and fewer egg yolks in the filling.

Buttermilk Oatcakes with Raspberry Compote

Rating: Unrated
3
These high-fiber oatcakes are made with 100% whole grains and no butter. A quick raspberry compote is a nice change from maple syrup.

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Rating: Unrated
4
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.

Creamy Chocolate Gelato

Rating: Unrated
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.

Fried Apple Pie Rolls

Rating: Unrated
10
In this healthy take on apple pie, wonton 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.

Coconut-Dark Chocolate Truffles

Rating: Unrated
4
Coconut macaroons meet dark chocolate truffles in these little treats. Inside the snap of the dark chocolate shell lies the tender coconut-cocoa filling: a mix of naturally sweet dates, cocoa and coconut flour. Coconut flour is a healthy way to add decadent coconut flavor to this coconut-dark chocolate truffle recipe and other baked goods. It packs a whopping 5 grams of fiber per 2 tablespoons (with only 2 grams of total and saturated fat). Look for coconut flour near other gluten-free flours.

Lemon Pudding Cakes

Rating: Unrated
5
These magical little desserts start out as one batter and separate during baking into fluffy cake hiding a creamy layer of lemon pudding.

Brown Sugar Broiled Grapefruit

Rating: Unrated
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.

Chocolate Decadence

Rating: Unrated
11
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.

Apple-Cinnamon Fruit Bars

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

Inspiration and Ideas

Greek Walnut Spice Cake

Rating: Unrated
1
A rich, flavorful syrup infuses this Mediterranean-inspired walnut coffee cake with the bright aroma of oranges and cloves. Heart-healthy olive oil and whole-grain barley flour add subtle complexity and texture to this nutty treat.

Peanut Butter & Pretzel Truffles

Rating: Unrated
11
These peanut butter-pretzel truffles satisfy your craving for something sweet and salty.

Banoffee Pie

Rating: Unrated
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.