Low-Calorie Dessert Recipes

Indulge your sweet tooth and mind your diet with these low-calorie dessert recipes, including cookies, cupcakes, milkshakes, pies and more.

Photo By: Kate Mathis

Photo By: Kate Mathis

Photo By: VideoFocus ©Ellie Krieger Healthy Appetite dry red wine ripe pears peeled pears pears in syrup dessert Spiced Red Wine-Poached Pears

Photo By: Tara Donne

Photo By: Tara Donne ©Tara Donne

Photo By: David Clancy ©2011, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


Photo By: Tara Donne

Photo By: Evan Sung for The New York Times

Photo By: Alice Gao ©2014, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Carrot Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting

Applesauce makes Ellie’s sweet, spiced carrot cupcakes particularly moist.

Get the Recipe: Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pear Ginger Crumble

There's no need to banish crumble from the dessert course. Try making some smart substitutions like using whole-wheat flour in the spiced topping and binding it together with canola oil instead of butter.

Get the Recipe: Pear Ginger Crumble

Chocolate-Hazelnut Drop Cookies

Everyone's favorite chocolate-hazelnut spread forms the base of these five-ingredient cookies. After baking, they get a snowy powdered sugar topping.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate-Hazelnut Drop Cookies

Balsamic Strawberries With Ricotta Cream

Balsamic syrup adds a rich, savory note to a bowl of berries, best complemented by a super-sweet ricotta, honey and vanilla cream.

Get the Recipe: Balsamic Strawberries with Ricotta Cream

Lighter Brownies

With half the calories and one-quarter the fat of a normal brownie, these squares allow you to indulge while cutting back.

Get the Recipe: Lighter Brownies

Caramelized Pears

Simple and sure to please, Chuck's quick dessert caramelizes Bartlett pears in brown sugar and bourbon and tops them with ice cream and graham cracker crumbles.

Get the Recipe: Caramelized Pears

Mascarpone Amaretti Cups

Debi and Gabriele's elegant mascarpone mousse, topped with chocolate shavings and crumbled amaretti cookies, is perfect for serving as a party dessert.

Get the Recipe: Mascarpone Amaretti Cup

Spiced Red Wine-Poached Pears

Nobody will complain about getting fruit for dessert when they find out these pears have been poached in spiced wine.

Get the Recipe: Spiced Red Wine-Poached Pears

Chocolate Dream Ice Cream

A bit of indulgence doesn’t have to leave you feeling guilty. For a sweet treat that doesn't pack on the calories, sprinkle any of the following toppings on some low-fat ice cream: chocolate bar, chocolate chips, peppermint patty or crumbled chocolate wafers.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Dream Ice Cream

Whole Grain Gingersnaps

This recipe uses whole-wheat flour, adding a little extra fiber and nuttiness to the gingersnap cookie fragrant with cinnamon and molasses.

Get the Recipe: Whole Grain Gingersnaps

Pistachio and Tart Cherry Chocolate Bark

Pack chocolate bark in decorative boxes to give as delicious gifts. This bark is drizzled with white chocolate and loaded with nutty pistachios and sweet, tangy dried cherries.

Get the Recipe: Pistachio and Tart Cherry Chocolate Bark

Chocolate Cherry Cookies

Tangy dried cherries add a pleasant pop to these soft, semi-sweet chocolate rounds.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Cherry Cookies

Apple-Oat Crisp

Baking apples is a great way to incorporate fresh fruit in a healthful dessert that doesn’t need a lot of added sugar. The crisp Granny Smith apples become tender and aromatic when baked under a cinnamon-and-oat topping.

Get the Recipe: Apple-Oat Crisp

Chocolate Marshmallow Madness Cupcakes

You’d never know that these fluffy, marshmallow-topped cupcakes are made with low-cal hot cocoa mix, egg whites and a no-cal sweetener. The marshmallow and chocolate chips are the real deal, though.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Marshmallow Madness Cupcakes

Triple Chocolate Cookies

Triple the chocolate, one-third the calories? Ellie’s chocolate cookies with both dark and milk chocolate chips will help you get your cocoa fix for only 100 calories.

Get the Recipe: Triple Chocolate Cookies

Mascarpone Mini Cupcakes With Strawberry Glaze

Adding mascarpone cheese to the batter makes these cupcakes extremely rich and moist — perfect for enjoying in bite-sized form. Top with a thin layer of strawberry glaze for just a hint of flavor and sweetness.

Get the Recipe: Mascarpone Mini Cupcakes with Strawberry Glaze

Angel Food Cake

Alton adds a teaspoon of orange extract to give this naturally light, spongy cake bright flavor.

Get the Recipe: Angel Food Cake

Honey Tangerine Gelatin

Mix powdered gelatin with honey tangerine juice and zest for fresh citrus flavor. Leave it to set in the fridge and then serve with a dollop of whipped cream. Have you ever seen such a sunny dessert?

Get the Recipe: Honey Tangerine Gelatin

Raspberry Tart

Framboise and fresh raspberries come together in this sweet-tart pastry best enjoyed in small but decadent doses.

Get the Recipe: Raspberry Tart

Devil's Food Cupcakes With Chocolate Icing

Ellie Krieger re-creates a favorite childhood snack by topping low-sugar, part whole-grain cupcakes with a rich chocolatey layer and just a squiggle of cream cheese icing.

Get the Recipe: Devil's Food Cupcakes with Chocolate Icing

Big Beautiful Baked Alaska

Reduced-fat ice creams and wafer cookies make this classic hot and cold confection a safe dessert bet.

Get the Recipe: Big Beautiful Baked Alaska

Gimme Gimme S'mores Ice Cream Sandwiches

Sandwich fat-free whipped topping, marshmallows and chocolate chips between graham crackers for an easy combo of two summertime treats.

Get the Recipe: Gimme Gimme S'mores Sandwich

Low-Fat Choocolate Chip Cookies

Made with old-fashioned oats, these chewy chocolate chip cookies are only 80 calories a pop — so feel free to have two.

Get the Recipe: Low-Fat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Applesauce Apple Tart

Homemade applesauce makes for a naturally sweet tart filling that won’t send your blood sugar level through the roof.

Get the Recipe: Applesauce Apple Tart

Angel Food Cake With Mangoes

Dress up store-bought angel food cake with a zesty-sweet mango sauce and fresh mango cubes.

Get the Recipe: Angel Food Cake with Mangoes

Organic Cupcakes

Debi and Gabriele dress up boxed vanilla cake mix by marbling the batter with melted dark chocolate and dusting the tops with confectioners' sugar. 

Get the Recipe: Organic Cupcakes

Indian Ice Cream: Mango Kulfi

This take on the fragrant Indian ice cream is made with cardamom and fennel, plus fresh fruit and vanilla frozen yogurt.

Get the Recipe: Indian Ice Cream: Mango Kulfi

Breakfast Cookies

Made with oats, bran and raisins, these cookies taste like a delicious bowl of cereal. You could actually eat these cookies for breakfast thanks to their healthy dose of protein and fiber, or enjoy them as a nutritious dessert.

Get the Recipe: Breakfast Cookies

Mississippi Mug Pie

The quickest path to a guilt-free cake is Hungry Girl’s easy, microwavable Mississippi Mug Pie.

Get the Recipe: Mississippi Mug Pie

Super-Simple Sorbet

All you need to make this super-simple, super-fresh sorbet are frozen strawberries, yogurt and sugar.

Get the Recipe: Super-Simple Sorbet

Grapefruit Zabaglione Over Mixed Berries

This popular Italian custard and berry mixture gets a zesty update with the addition of grapefruit juice.

Get the Recipe: Grapefruit Zabaglione over Mixed Berries

Grab 'n Go Cookies

Requiring just 30 minutes of total prep and cook time, these fruit- and oat-filled cookies are ready in a flash.

Get the Recipe: Grab 'n Go Cookies

PB 'n Chocolate Bread Pudding Bonanza

A lighter liquid base and reduced-fat peanut butter make this cozy comfort dessert a low-cal option.

Get the Recipe: PB 'n Chocolate Bread Pudding Bonanza

Bal's Lentil Cookies

Every one of our reviewers gave this cookie four or five stars, remarking on its great nutty flavor and healthy ingredients.

Get the Recipe: Bal's Lentil Cookies

Hungry Girl's Banana Split Pie

Fake a banana split pie with Hungry Girl’s recipe using chocolate pudding, whipped topping, bananas, syrup, peanuts and cherries.

Get the Recipe: Banana Split Pie

Cookie-rific Ice Cream Freeze

Sip on this low-cal version of a cookies and cream shake, made with chocolate crisps, light soy milk, fat-free ice cream and fat-free whipped topping.

Get the Recipe: Cookie-rific Ice Cream Freeze