18 Healthy Dessert Recipes That Taste Richer Than You'd Expect

Pumpkin-Cinnamon Empanadas
Photo: Andy Lyons

Your sweet tooth doesn't have to derail a balanced nutrition strategy: These easy, healthy dessert recipes make it possible to enjoy cake, ice cream, cookies, and more while sticking to your healthy eating plan. With 200 calories or fewer, our best healthy desserts are something you can absolutely incorporate into your diet daily.

01 of 18

Chocolate-Cashew Truffles

Chocolate-Cashew Truffles
Andy Lyons

Healthy desserts don't get much simpler than this. These five-ingredient bites are made with dark chocolate, cream, and protein-packed cashews. You can enjoy two truffles for under 100 calories!

02 of 18

Dessert Pizza with Banana Ice Cream

Dessert Pizza with Banana Ice Cream
Blaine Moats

How do we like our 'za? All the ways! From breakfast pizzas and dinner pizzas (of course) to dessert pizzas, we're always up for pizza. This healthy dessert recipe starts with a chocolate rice cereal "crust" and is topped with a dairy-free banana ice cream made simply with fruit, unsweetened coconut milk, and a splash of vanilla. Top to your heart's content with fresh, seasonal fruit for a slice that would make any delivery driver jealous.

03 of 18

Pumpkin-Cinnamon Empanadas

Pumpkin-Cinnamon Empanadas
Andy Lyons

Typically savory and served as a snack or starter, empanadas get the sweet treatment in this healthy baked dessert recipe. Once you have the dough made, you'll need to gather just four ingredients for the fall-flavored filling. We bet you can guess one (and likely have it in your pantry already): yep, a can of pumpkin!

04 of 18

Banana Split Cake Roll

Banana Split Cake Roll
Karla Conrad

For those days you can't quite decide between an ice cream shop creation or a slice of cake, we say, "Go for both." This healthy dessert option includes the banana (in the cake batter for a super-moist texture), chocolate syrup, and whipped topping, of course. The cherry on top—well, besides the actual maraschino cherries on top? All that yumminess comes in a warmly spiced party-ready cake that feeds a crowd.

05 of 18

Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie
Andy Lyons

Enjoy a light, tangy taste of spring anytime you make this healthy dessert idea. The pleasantly salty almond-and-pretzel crust makes a perfect base for the creamy, sweet pie filling. Garnish with gorgeous lime slices and more whipped cream because—dessert.

06 of 18

Dark Chocolate Fondue with Fruit Kabobs

Dark Chocolate Fondue Fruit Kabobs
Karla Conrad

A healthy and low-maintenance heart-healthy dessert recipe? We're so in! Toss three ingredients into your slow cooker—strong coffee, light whipped dessert topping, and dark chocolate—then dip and dunk away.

Buy It: Crock-Pot 2-Quart Slow Cooker ($15, Target)

07 of 18

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Andy Lyons

A frosting whipped up with light cream cheese makes these lush pumpkin cupcakes taste just as rich as their bakery counterparts. With the frosting layered atop a moist pumpkin cake, this will immediately rise to the top of the party treat power rankings. Bonus: These healthy but yummy desserts are baked with flaxseed—an outstanding source of fiber and protein.

08 of 18

Dark Chocolate-Mint Bites

Dark Chocolate Mint Bites
Kritsada Panichgul

Mint and chocolate aren't just teammates in ice cream or Girl Scout cookies. Try them together in these no-bake bars that sure don't taste like they have just 105 calories each. The crumbly crust that forms the base of these squares contrasts with the smooth layers of chocolate and mint for a better-than-boxed healthy dessert.

09 of 18

Tiramisu Bites

Tiramisu Bites
Blaine Moats

What's better than the combination of coffee and chocolate? A 63-calorie healthy dessert recipe loaded with java and cocoa goodness! Pipe the topping through a star tip to give these one-bite delights a beautiful look.

10 of 18

Chocolate Cookie Crisps with Coconut Cream

Chocolate Cookie Crisps with Coconut Cream
Andy Lyons

Coconut-lovers will flip for these slice-and-bake cookies. Coconut extract in the dough and a topping of toasted coconut offer maximum coconut flavor per crumb, all of which is deliciously balanced with chocolate and espresso. Not a huge coconut fan? (We get it.) Try the same healthy baked dessert concept with almond extract and sliced toasted almonds instead.

11 of 18

Chocolate-Coconut Pudding

Chocolate-Coconut Pudding
Kritsada Panichgul

Skip the store-bought pudding cups—it's a cinch to stir together a similar easy, healthy dessert recipe at home. Doing so allows you to control the quality of ingredients such as selecting your favorite nondairy milk to use as the base. A garnish of toasted coconut adds a bit of crunch to the silky pudding.

12 of 18

Spiced Zinfandel Granita with Grapes & Cream

Spiced Zinfandel Granita with Grapes and Cream
Jason Donnelly

Why choose between an after-dinner drink or dessert? This granita is a staff favorite and combines both into one spoonable package. The depth of flavor from citrus, cinnamon, and a full-bodied red wine blew us away and is sure to impress anyone you share this healthy dessert option with too.

13 of 18

Ginger & Mint Lime Floats

Ginger-and-Mint Lime Floats
Jason Donnelly

This cool, refreshing drink gets incredible flavor from a homemade ginger syrup. The syrup can be made up to a week in advance, allowing you to whip up this treat in a jiffy. Fresh mint, lime sorbet, and fizzy, calorie-free club soda make this healthy dessert idea uber-refreshing.

14 of 18

Almond-Chocolate-Cherry Cookies

Almond-Chocolate Cherry Cookies
Kritsada Panichgul

Trail mix meets cookie dough in this fan-favorite big-batch chocolate treat. Cherry, cocoa, and almond flavors unite in each bite to satisfy any dessert craving. A generous drizzle of sweet glaze takes this healthy baked dessert recipe to higher chocolate heights.

15 of 18

Chocolate-Date Truffles with Walnuts

Chocolate-Date Truffles with Walnuts
Jason Donnelly

Medjool dates are so naturally sweet that this five-ingredient healthy dessert doesn't even need sugar. Because the dates are also high in fiber, each one of these no-bake desserts delivers a gram of fiber! For a twist, try them with pecans or cashews instead of walnuts.

16 of 18

Lemon Crepes

Lemon Crepes
Jason Donnelly

Like pancakes for breakfast? Then you'll love thin French crepes any time of day! These citrus and berry crepes are so deliciously sweet and delicate that we categorized them as a healthy dessert idea, but they also make a fantastic breakfast recipe when you're in the mood for something on the sweeter side. Stuff with lightly sweetened mascarpone cheese or Greek yogurt filling and top with berries for a treat that will have everyone remarking "ooh-la-la!"

17 of 18

Red Velvet Cake Roll

Red Velvet Cake Roll
Jason Donnelly

Get on a roll with this healthy dessert option that looks complicated but is actually totally doable at home. Each 144-calorie slice of this impressive cake roll is swirled with a fluffy filling made of vanilla-scented whipped topping and sour cream. For more intense chocolate flavor, dust the finished roll with cocoa powder instead of (or in addition to) the powdered sugar.

18 of 18

Mocha-Cream Shake

Mocha Cream Shake
Jason Donnelly

Four ingredients, ice, and a blender are all you need to be able to sip this shake. The 10-minute easy, healthy dessert is buzzing with great mocha flavor. If you prefer your frozen desserts a bit less icy, decrease or omit the ice cubes to make it just the way you like.

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