Healthy Apple Desserts When You Want Nutritious Seasonal Sweets

Apple Streusel Muffins
Photo: Andy Lyons

Craving something sweet, but hoping to avoid that overstuffed feeling? We've got just the thing. Our collection of healthy apple desserts includes flavorful muffins, cookies, tartlets, breads, and more. Each serving of these delicious desserts has fewer than 225 calories and 9 grams of fat, with an eye on nutrient-rich additions such as whole grains, apples (obviously), nuts, and naturally sweet ingredients so we can use less added sugar.

01 of 15

Apple-Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread

Apple-Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread
Andy Lyons

Yes, you really can have it all: Gooey pull-apart bread that's good for you, too, thanks to the nutritional benefits of ground flaxseeds, walnuts, and fresh apples. A buttery orange and brown sugar sauce enhances the apple flavor as this dessert bakes, and the creamy icing is made with reduced-fat cream cheese and orange juice instead of loads of butter and sugar.

02 of 15

Skillet Apple Gingerbread

Skillet Apple Gingerbread
Jason Donnelly

When the cooler seasons roll around, we're all about the skillet desserts. With a generous dose of fresh ginger and molasses, this healthy apple cake (or would you call it bread?) bridges the flavors of fall and winter. For added nutrition, swap in some whole wheat flour for part of the all-purpose flour.

03 of 15

Caramel Apple Cookies

Caramel Apple Cookies
Blaine Moats

Low in fat and calories, these delicious apple cookies get a flavor boost from cinnamon, cloves, and raisins. Topped with creamy caramel frosting and crunchy walnuts, they're the ideal healthy treat to feed a crowd. Or store, unfrosted, in the freezer for later—the recipe makes 72 cookies.

04 of 15

Maple-Glazed Baked Apples

Maple-Glazed Baked Apples
Andy Lyons

Healthy baked apples, like this recipe with just five ingredients, can be a cinchy way to indulge in seasonal fruit. Apple juice, maple syrup, and a small amount of butter come together for an easy sauce that allows the apple flavor to shine. A cinnamon stick "stem" gives each apple a hint of spice.

05 of 15

Pumpkin-Sunflower Apple Bread

Apple Pumpkin Sunflower Bread
Waterbury Publications

Take a healthy apple bread up a level by adding fall's other most-loved flavor—pumpkin. Yes, there are finely chopped apples and a full can of pumpkin in this bread, but we didn't stop there. Even more of those autumnal flavors come in with the addition of pumpkin pie spice and apple cider (or applejack, if you're feeling spirited).

Buy It: Laird's Applejack Brandy ($22, Wine.com)

06 of 15

Maple, Apple, and Date Fruit Crisp

fruit crisp with maple, apples and dates
Karla Conrad

Forget scoops and scoops of sugar. All the sweetness in this healthy apple crisp recipe is naturally occurring in the form of fruit (apples and dates) and maple syrup. Whole grain cereal flakes add a healthy dose of crunch to this fiber-rich apple crisp recipe.

07 of 15

Apple-Toffee Tartlets

Apple-Toffee Tartlets
Andy Lyons

Perfect for entertaining, these easy-to-make tartlets combine chunks of apple and crunchy toffee candy in delicious mini pies. They freeze for up to 3 months, in case you want to save some for later or make dessert ahead.

08 of 15

Stuffed Apples

Stuffed Apples
Peter Krumhardt

Figs sweetened with brown sugar and apple pie spice are the perfect stuffing for healthy baked apples (with a bit of butter for indulgence). Our favorite part of this six-ingredient healthy apple dessert is that it takes just 20 minutes to prep, and then the slow cooker does the rest.

09 of 15

Apple-Streusel Muffins

Apple Streusel Muffins
Andy Lyons

Muffins can be shockingly high in calories, but these apple-streusel muffins are a nutritious exception. Our secret: We boost the flavor with apple pie spice instead of sugar and top them with a crumbly mix of flaxseed meal, pecans, and brown sugar for irresistible, healthy apple muffins. Each muffin is only 163 calories with 2 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein.

10 of 15

Mini Cinnamon-Apple Empanadas

Mini Cinnamon-Apple Empanadas
Scott Little

Traditionally, you would make empanadas wrapped in pastry dough, but these wonton-wrapped apple treats crisp up beautifully for a fraction of the calories. If you like your desserts to have a bit of ooey-gooey factor, drizzle them with caramel ice cream topping.

11 of 15

Apple Crème Brûlée

Apple Crème Brulees
Kritsada Panichgul

This special treat for two tastes deceptively indulgent. A custard made of nonfat milk, creamy Greek yogurt, egg yolks, and some finely chopped apple makes a luscious custard base. A drizzle of caramelized sugar forms a golden top layer for that classic brûlée finish.

12 of 15

Spiced Caramel Apples

Caramel-Spiced Apples
Jason Donnelly

Instead of serving caramel apples on a stick, we cut apples in half, topped them with a sprinkle of cinnamon and cloves, and cooked them in a slow cooker. We added a drizzle of caramel topping later, along with a few chopped pecans, to create a healthy apple dessert that wows.

13 of 15

Apple-Cranberry Crisp

Apple Cranberry Crisp
Peter Krumhardt

With a crumbly sugar and oat topping, this slimmed-down healthy apple crisp is hard to pick out from the full-fat version. Thanks to the 6 cups of fruit and the rolled oats, each serving of this dessert packs 3 grams of fiber.

14 of 15

Apple-Date Cake

Apple-Date Cake
Kritsada Panichgul

Come fall and winter, when you can find fresh dates more easily, add them for another sweet and fruity layer to this healthy apple cake recipe. Pecans, brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon come together for the irresistibly crunchy topping you know and love.

15 of 15

Green Apple-Chardonnay Granita

Green Apple-Chardonnay Granita
Peter Krumhardt

Part cocktail, part dessert, you may not have seen this healthy apple dessert idea coming. Granny Smith apples and lemon juice impart sweet-tart notes to your white wine of choice. Freeze the mixture for a couple hours and scrape with a fork to get icy granita flakes. The end result is proof that apples belong on the dessert menu year-round.

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