16 Healthy Pumpkin Desserts for Any Time You Crave a Taste of Fall

Pumpkin-Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Photo: Jason Donnelly

Pumpkin is a jack of all trades. Pumpkin recipes like brownies, cakes, and cookies have unrivaled fall flavor, but pumpkin puree also gives typically indulgent desserts a good-for-you boost. We've got all kinds of ideas, such as a reduced-fat pumpkin bread recipe and a healthy pumpkin cheesecake recipe that's almost too-good-to-be-healthy. Trust us, you don't want to miss out on these healthy low-calorie pumpkin dessert recipes.

01 of 16

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Andy Lyons

Agave, flaxseed meal, and canola oil lighten up the richness of these cupcakes, plus they lend nutrients that regular cupcakes lack. These healthy pumpkin cupcakes are delicious on their own but are extra decadent with a dollop of low-fat cream cheese frosting. Sprinkle with an extra dash of nutmeg for a truly flavorful fall treat.

02 of 16

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Pumpkin-Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Jason Donnelly

We took a classic chocolate chip cookie recipe and added a healthy dose of fall flavor and a healthy spin all at once. Canned pumpkin and whole wheat flour are the secret ingredients for these healthy pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Chunks of semi-sweet chocolate chips make all the difference in these moist and chewy healthy pumpkin cookies.

Buy It: Farberware Insulated Cookie Sheet ($13, Bed Bath & Beyond)

03 of 16

Pumpkin Cookies with White Chocolate Chips

Pumpkin Cookies with White Chocolate Chips
Jason Donnelly

These decadent white chocolate chip cookies have a little secret; they're healthy! Whole wheat flour and canned pumpkin add a nutritional boost in this healthy pumpkin cookies recipe. The warmth from the pumpkin pie spices and the sweetness from the white chocolate chips make these an easy fall favorite.

04 of 16

Light and Luscious Pumpkin Pie

Light and Luscious Pumpkin Pie
Andy Lyons

Finally, a delicious pumpkin pie without the heavy ingredients! This healthy pumpkin pie recipe starts with an oil pastry crust that swaps in cooking oil and fat-free milk for butter. Using a sugar substitute will add low-sugar to this low-calorie and low-fat pumpkin dessert's credentials, and means you don't have to skimp on the frozen light whipped dessert topping.

05 of 16

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread
Andy Lyons

Not a fan of the ultra-sweet? Snack on our traditional pumpkin bread made a little healthier by subbing in low-fat yogurt and whole wheat flour. This reduced fat pumpkin bread is so good, it definitely qualifies as a special treat.

06 of 16

Caramel-Pecan-Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites

Caramel-Pecan Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites
Blaine Moats

These adorable cheesecake bites will be a great addition to a dessert buffet (or even a dessert charcuterie board!) any time of the year. They shine in fall though, thanks to sweet caramel and toasted pecans drizzled on top of a lightened-up cheesecake mixture. You'll have to tell your guests that these caramel-y, pumpkin-y treats are actually low-cal (130 calories per cheesecake!)—otherwise they'd never know.

07 of 16

Marbled Chocolate-Pumpkin Brownies

Luscious Chocolate-Pumpkin Brownies
Jason Donnelly

Pumpkin and chocolate are a match made in fall-food heaven. Plus, the addition of pumpkin nearly cuts the fat content in half for this healthy pumpkin dessert recipe. Basically, you're cutting back on the unhealthiness while adding flavor you crave to the treat.

08 of 16

Pumpkin-Almond Macarons

Pumpkin-Almond Macarons
Andy Lyons

Start with a healthy scoop of almond flour and mix in three egg whites with some other spices and dry ingredients for a light and healthy macaron. Use homemade pumpkin butter to take this healthy pumpkin spice dessert recipe to the next level. Have one and it's only 65 calories—or have three and that's still under 200!

09 of 16

Sour Cream Pumpkin Bars

Sour Cream Pumpkin Bars
Blaine Moats

These healthy pumpkin bars are super moist (thanks, canned pumpkin!) and use part all-purpose flour and part whole wheat flour. The end result is a deliciously sweet healthy treat, where each bar comes in at only 130 calories. Opt for low-fat sour cream instead of full fat so you can add this recipe to your favorite low-fat pumpkin recipes list!

10 of 16

Pumpkin Coffee Break Cake

Pumpkin Coffee Break Cake
Blaine Moats

Sure, coffee cake usually belongs at brunch, but a cake this good shouldn't be limited to just one meal. White whole wheat flour and canned pumpkin add a bit of hidden nutrition to this lightened-up cake. Topped with chopped pecans and a rich orange glaze, this healthy pumpkin cake recipe makes a tasty finish to any autumn meal.

Buy It: King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour ($5, Target)

11 of 16

Harvest Spice Smoothies

Harvest Spice Smoothies on blue napkin
Jason Donnelly

Two types of vegetables and three fresh apricots are hiding out in this creamy and satisfying pumpkin smoothie. Pumpkin pie spice and a dash of honey add some flavor, but the real secret ingredient is silken-style tofu, which packs a real protein punch. At just 162 calories per serving, you can sip it as a meal replacement or as a treat after dinner.

12 of 16

Pumpkin Angel Food Cake

Pumpkin Angel Food Cake
Matthew Clark

Canned pumpkin takes the place of any oils or fats to make this healthy pumpkin angel food cake recipe even lighter and airier. No one will ever guess that this recipe uses a box cake mix as its base, especially since it comes out fluffy and moist every time. Drizzle with a simple glaze of fresh orange juice mixed with powdered sugar.

13 of 16

No-Bake Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake

No-Bake Pumpkin-Swirl Cheesecake
Andy Lyons

Pumpkin plus cheesecake equals healthy and delicious. This healthy pumpkin cheesecake recipe features reduced-fat and fat-free cream cheese, plus the option to use a sugar substitute. Chill it overnight and then let the beautiful white swirls be the centerpiece on your holiday dessert table.

14 of 16

Gluten-Free Pumpkin-Walnut Streusel Muffins

Gluten Free Pumpkin-Walnut Streusel Muffins
Jason Donnelly

Oats, flaxseed, brown rice flour—these muffins are packed with nutrient-filled ingredients. Oh yeah, and thanks to the pumpkin pie spice, they're packed with fall flavor, too. The reduced-fat cream cheese frosting is optional, but even just a drizzle goes a long way over these gluten-free healthy pumpkin desserts.

15 of 16

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bars with Chocolate Chips

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bars with Chocolate Chips
Matthew Clark

There are zero added fats in this healthy pumpkin bar recipe. Instead, they are loaded with good-for-you ingredients like whole wheat flour, pumpkin puree, nuts, and fat-free milk. These classic bars are a guilt-free treat you can enjoy all season long.

16 of 16

Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Pancakes
Andy Lyons

Sure, pancakes are technically breakfast food, but these are so good we want to make them for dessert! Again, canned pumpkin as the base means these healthy pumpkin pancakes are super moist but with less unnecessary dairy or fats. Skip the sugary syrup and try them topped with a dollop of reduced-fat whipped topping and a sprinkle of pepitas instead.

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