18 Low-Sugar Desserts That Won’t Destroy Your Diet
We’ve been told time and time again that we eat too much sugar. But, like, it’s so good, you know? Luckily, just because you’re trying to cut back on the sweet stuff doesn’t mean you have to give up all delicious treats. To prove it, allow us to present these 18 mouthwatering low-sugar desserts to satiate even the sweetest of sweet tooths.
1. Avocado Chocolate Mousse
PSA: The world’s first avocado bar, Avocaderia, has a whimsical cookbook called Avocaderia: Avocado Recipes for a Healthier, Happier Life. Here’s the recipe for the first dessert the delightful Brooklyn eatery ever served: avocado chocolate mousse. Rich, creamy and intensely chocolaty, the treat is also dairy-free and plant-based. (And because we know you’re wondering: It doesn’t taste anything like avocado.) Make the mousse ahead of time and store it in a resealable container in the fridge for up to two days.
2. six-Ingredient No-Bake Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yep, you read that correctly. These chocolate chip cookies have just six ingredients: salted cashews, dates, coconut oil, vanilla extract, oats and chocolate chips.
3. Vegan Golden Mylk Cheesecake
Just because you’re living that vegan life (or vegan-ish life) doesn’t mean you shouldn’t indulge every now and then. That’s why this recipe gussies up golden mylk (a popular vegan beverage known for its anti-inflammatory properties) into a silky, practically no-bake dessert.
5. Paleo Carrot Cake
Made with almond flour, sweetened with maple syrup and dates, and frosted with whipped coconut cream, this healthier take on carrot cake is paleo-friendly and gluten- and dairy-free. Oh, it also tastes damn delicious.
6. Skinny Maple Granola Yogurt Parfaits
Ideal for dessert or breakfast, these crunchy-creamy parfaits are sweetened with maple granola that’s loaded with nuts, fruit and whole grains.
7. No-Bake Rose Petal Brownies
If you’re into fudge, we guarantee you’ll love this rich, intense chocolate treat that’s studded with just the right amount of tart dried cherries and macadamia nuts. Don’t feel like ordering dried rose petals? It’s OK to scatter rose tea on top for a similar look and taste.
8. Vegan Apple Tart
This gorgeous treat is sweetened with maple syrup and glazed with apricot jam or preserves. It’s also gluten-free, thanks to a crust that’s made from a mixture of almond and millet flours.
9. Gluten-Free, Vegan Lemon Cake
OK, just because you have dietary restrictions (self-imposed or not) doesn't mean you can't indulge in dessert. Enter this gluten-free, vegan lemon cake. We start with one of our favorite vegetables—cauliflower—and add a few more choice ingredients, and the result is a light yet satisfying treat.
11. Apple-Cranberry Crisp
Naturally sweetened with pure maple syrup, this two-fruit crisp is vegan and almost comically easy to throw together. To offset the tartness of the cranberries—without adding artificial sugar—opt for a sweeter apple varietal, like Fuji or Gala.
12. Chocolate Ice Cream
The base of this better-for-you ice cream uses Greek yogurt or 2 percent milk (use the yogurt for an added protein punch—one cup of the stuff contains about 21 grams of protein). From there, it’s sweetened with vanilla crème stevia, a plant-based, no-calorie sweetener that’s clean-eating friendly and highly concentrated. (The recipe calls for just 1/2 teaspoons for this entire batch of ice cream—the equivalent of ¾ cup of sugar.)
13. Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
OK, there is a little bit of brown sugar in this recipe, but it’s only 4 tablespoons for the entire batch. And yes, of course, dark chocolate contains sugar, too, but it’s also super good for you. (If you’re not a huge chocolate person, you can swap the chocolate chips out for raisins, which would add a nice chewiness.)
14. Pistachio & Chocolate Blondies
These vegan blondies are chewy, moist and jam-packed with roasted pistachios and chocolate chunks. They’re also gluten-free, paleo and naturally sweetened with coconut sugar.
15. Nutella Thumbprint Cookies
We know what you’re thinking: How can a recipe with Nutella in the title be low in sugar? But these babies are made with sugar-free Nutella, which contains high-quality fats and way less sugar than the store-bought kind. It’s also low-carb and gluten- and dairy-free. The cookie part is also low-carb, since it’s made from an almond flour dough.
16. Coconut “Snowball” Cookies
Here are three fun facts about these cute little cookies: They’re made from just seven ingredients (including shredded unsweetened coconut, maple syrup and aquafaba, or chickpea water), they only require one bowl and they take less than 30 minutes to make.
17. Keto Pignoli Cookies
These classic Italian cookies are typically made with almond paste, which is loaded with sugar and a no-no on keto. To cut back on sugar, you can make a sugar-free almond paste, or to make things easier for yourself, you can make them with almond flour and sweetener.
18. Lemon Cream Tart
Described as a cross between a lemon meringue pie and a cream tart, this pretty confection is low-carb, keto and sweetened with powdered erythritol. Hot tip: You can also make this as a savory dish by eliminating the sugar replacement and adding some herbs, spices and salt.