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: 4.83 stars
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.

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Rating: 4.27 stars
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.

Fried Apple Pie Rolls

Rating: 4.55 stars
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.

Banoffee Pie

Rating: 3 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.

Quick Mini Chocolate Cheesecakes

Rating: 4.6 stars
5
Here we stir a little melted chocolate into ricotta cheese for a cheesecake-like topping for chocolate wafer cookies.

Chilled Key Lime Mousse

Rating: 3.5 stars
2
This refreshing chilled Key lime mousse is a perfect union of cream and foam, tangy lime and soft sweet custard. The method is simple but a little unusual--you make a custard with fresh Key lime juice rather than milk or cream. Key limes, which are about the size of a Ping-Pong ball, are wonderfully fragrant and more acidic than regular limes. They are available all year at well-stocked supermarkets. If you can't find them, by all means use regular limes.

Creamy Chocolate Gelato

Rating: 4.33 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.

Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream

Rating: 4.11 stars
1
Here's a simple recipe for low-fat chocolate 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.

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.

Brown Sugar & Toasted Almond Ice Cream

Rating: 4.2 stars
4
In a world of designer ice creams, sometimes the simplest can be the best. The full-bodied flavors of brown sugar combined with nutty toasted almonds are all it takes to give this easy-to-make frozen treat a sophisticated distinction. The alcohol in the base mixture acts like an “anti-freeze,” reducing the icy texture sometimes associated with lower-fat ice cream. For a little extra indulgence, try topping a scoop with some crumbled gingersnaps.

Greek Walnut Spice Cake

Rating: 4.33 stars
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.

Caramel Cream Cheese Custard (Flan de Queso)

Rating: 4.33 stars
3
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.
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Inspiration and Ideas

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.

Sour Cherry-Fruit Slump

Rating: Unrated
3
A slump (sometimes called a grunt) is a cobbler with light, puffy steamed dumplings, rather than browned biscuit dough, on the top. This variation calls for tart “pie” cherries as well as an assortment of sweeter summer fruit (berries and plums) to round out the flavor and brighten the sour-cherry color. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.

Thick & Rich Drinking Chocolate

Rating: 4 stars
8

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.