Heart-Healthy Baking Recipes

Nothing says "celebrate" like freshly baked desserts (think cookies, pastries, and cakes), especially when they're heart-healthy. So settle in and treat yourself to one of these healthy dessert recipes.

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  • 1 of 27

    Cream Cheese-Berry Coffee Cake

    With a sweet, fruity swirl of jam, there's no need for frosting or a streusel topping. This low-sodium coffee cake is so buttery and moist you'd never guess it only has 150 calories.

  • 2 of 27

    Sweet Potato Bundt Cake

    First it was carrot, then pumpkin, and now comes the addition of the sweet potato -- the newest way to incorporate nutritious ingredients into tasty desserts. Not only is our cake deliciously moist, but sweet potatoes are off the charts in vitamins A and B6 content -- essential to lowering the risk of heart attack and stroke.

    Tip: This cake freezes well; make a double batch so you can enjoy some later or pull it out to entertain last-minute guests.

  • 3 of 27

    Bananas Foster Mini Pies

    A potassium-rich banana and monounsaturated fat-rich pecans, combined with caramel sauce, bourbon, and cinnamon, pack these handheld pies with lots of flavor. A light sprinkling of powdered sugar adds a fat-free garnish.

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    Baked Pumpkin Pie

    Enjoy a slice of flavorful, creamy pumpkin pie topped with a homemade topper made from baked apples, pecans, and pure maple syrup. You'll love that it has only 143 calories per serving!

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    Apple-Cranberry Crisp

    When you want down-home comfort using the finest ingredients, whip up our heart-healthy crisp and enjoy it any time of the day. It may be earthy and traditional, but there's nothing ordinary about this baked dessert.

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    How to Soften Butter

    Lots of baked goods call for softened butter. Watch our helpful method to soften butter without making a mess.

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    Sour Cream Apple Pie with Gingerbread Crust

    With a gingerbread crust and a creamy apple texture, this nontraditional apple pie is bound to become a new favorite. After the first bite, you'll wonder why you never thought to combine these harmonious flavors before.

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    Apricot-Cherry Tart

    Tired of the traditional? Deck the table with summer preserves in a colorful, heartwarming pastry. Apricots, cherries, and apples meet in the middle of this homemade crust.

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    Mini Cherry Pies

    These scrumptious little pies require only a few basic pantry ingredients. Experiment with the leftover piecrust to make fun shapes for the top of each pastry.

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    Zucchini-Banana Squares

    Need a quick fix for an overzealous sweet tooth? This nontraditional combination of ingredients is low in calories and high in flavor. Make a batch in less than an hour and enjoy a square whenever you need something sweet.

  • 11 of 27

    Citrus Angel Cake

    Infuse your day with the nostalgia of citrus in this delightfully airy dessert. Fat-free, cholesterol-free, and high in vitamin C and protein, this treat nourishes cardiovascular health. Undeniably festive!

  • 12 of 27

    Oatmeal-Banana Bread Pudding

    Based on oatmeal bread, banana, and walnuts, this scrumptious dessert is full of heart-healthy ingredients. Be sure to use miniature chocolate chips so they disperse evenly throughout for an extra-tasty treat.

  • 13 of 27

    Cinnamon-Chocolate Bread Pudding Souffles

    This modern, fluffy confection is bound to impress your guests, and they'll never believe that each serving holds only 4 grams of fat.

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    Holiday Biscotti

    Add an Italian flair to your dinner with biscotti. Experiment with these extra-crunchy, low-fat (1 gram per serving) treats by substituting your favorite dried fruits and nuts in this recipe.

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    Favorite Gingerbread Cookies

    Made with whole wheat flour, natural sweeteners, and egg substitute, these low-calorie gingerbread cookies will please even the pickiest eaters. Cut them into shapes with cookie cutters (we prefer hearts) to go with any theme.

  • 16 of 27

    Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp

    This heart-healthy version of the classic crisp is low in both fat and calories. If you're feeling creative, try switching out the fruit for peaches or nectarines for a new combination of flavors.

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    Cherry Bars

    Better than brownies! These moist dessert bars are chock-full of heart-healthy fiber and antioxidant-rich fruit preserves. They're low in calories, too, and are a perfect reward after a long day.

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    Mocha Meringue Kisses

    With these kisses, you can forget about feeling guilty. These rich, chocolaty morsels defy their low-fat (1 gram per cookie), low-calorie (32 calories per serving) decadence.

    Tip: Piped cookies can be made in various shapes, so get creative: Form stars, hearts, letters, and more with just a twist of your wrist.

  • 19 of 27

    Cardamom Tea Cookies

    Fill the house with an exotic aroma: These classic baked sugar cookies get a twist with cardamom spice. Rich and buttery, cardamom tea cookies look like glistening snowballs rolled in sugar.

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    Date-Ginger Cake

    Serve this tantalizing, date-laced delicacy at brunch or as a dessert. Figs contain high levels of magnesium and calcium and help keep blood pressure low.

    Tip: Store fresh dates in the refrigerator in a tightly closed container.

  • 21 of 27

    Double-Thumbprint Cookies

    Show a little love with heart-healthy (and heart-shape) goodies. These easy-to-make treats feature tangy cherry or raspberry preserves in the center.

    Tip: Make the dough ahead of time and freeze. When you're ready to bake a batch, simply thaw the dough for 30 minutes, then press into shape. You'll be ready to serve drop-by guests in a snap.

  • 22 of 27

    Mocha Souffles

    Our fudgy, dense cake warms both body and soul. Top your serving with walnuts to add a healthy dose of omega-3s, which help lower cholesterol and chase away the winter blues.

  • 23 of 27

    Chocolate Accordion Bread

    Bread and chocolate, the ultimate comfort foods, marry in this classic recipe to enjoy during the winter season. Prunes are cleverly tucked into the loaf, providing a hint of flavor and an excellent source of vitamin C and fiber.

    Tip: Don't have time to make fresh bread when you have guests? Make a few batches ahead of time; cool, slice, and freeze. Pop individual pieces in the toaster before serving for a made-fresh-that-day taste.

  • 24 of 27

    Brown Sugar Almond Stars

    Almonds are incorporated into the celebrations of nearly every world culture. An excellent source of magnesium, this popular tree nut helps reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol. Enjoy these cookies with abundant good health in mind.

  • 25 of 27

    Chocolate-Chunk Cookies

    Sneaking soft tofu into this classic recipe adds protein, which helps control hunger throughout the day. Indulge in one after lunch and forget about those midafternoon munchies.

  • 26 of 27

    Easy Blueberry Tarts

    These baked pastries are almost too pretty to eat, but they're also too delicious not to bite into. Using fresh berries makes these tarts low in fat (1 gram per serving) and high in vitamin C.

  • Next Slideshow Fantastic Holiday Bar Cookies

    Fantastic Holiday Bar Cookies

    These festive holiday bar cookie recipes -- including butterscotch-toffee bars and classic brownies -- make delicious gifts and party desserts. With make-ahead options, store-bought shortcuts, and mix-and-match topping ideas, the hardest part of your holiday dessert prep will be choosing which of these marvelous and merry bar cookies to try first.
    Begin Slideshow »

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