13 Mediterranean Diet Desserts to Indulge Your Sweet Tooth

The great thing about the Mediterranean diet? There are no off-limits food groups or intense restrictions…and that includes dessert. Since this popular eating plan is all about incorporating healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, nuts and low-fat dairy, you really can have your cake and eat it too. (And no, it doesn’t have to taste like “diet food,” aka treats that taste sweet-ish but don’t actually satisfy your cravings.) We’ll prove it: Try one of these Mediterranean diet desserts (like avocado chocolate mousse, brownie bites and lemon bars), none of which will derail your plan.

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Karen Tedesco/Family Style

1. Orange Flower Olive Oil Cake

Yes, this cake has sugar in it—but it’s also made with heart-healthy olive oil instead of butter. Aside from being a staple on the Mediterranean diet, it will keep the cake ultra-moist for days.

Henry Hargreaves/Avocaderia

2. Avocado Chocolate Mousse

Rich, creamy and intensely chocolaty, this treat is also dairy-free and plant-based thanks to avocado. And because we know you’re wondering: It doesn’t taste anything like a vegetable.

Photo: Mark Weinberg/Styling: Erin McDowell

3. Peaches-and-cream Ice Pops

If you want to reduce the amount of sugar when roasting the peaches, be our guest. (If the fruit is ripe and in season, it should be sweet enough that this won’t affect the taste.)

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

4. One-ingredient Watermelon Sorbet

A simpler dessert doesn’t exist. FYI, we think seeded watermelons have more flavor, but if you don’t want to deal with removing them, just use a seedless melon.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

5. Baked Pears With Maple Syrup And Almond Crumble

You can use any kind of pear, but Bosc and Anjou pears will hold their shape best in the oven. (And for the record, we think this dessert would taste delightful with apples too.)

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

6. No-bake, Gluten-free Rose Petal Brownies

The rose petals are optional, but the cocoa-maple glaze is not. Oh, and the whole treat happens to be sugar free.

Aran Goyoaga/Cannelle et Vanille Bakes Simple

7. Aran Goyoaga’s Peanut Butter–banana Cookies

A cookie that’s packed with good-for-you ingredients like banana and nut butter? Be still our heart.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

8. Rosé Poached Pears With Ginger And Vanilla

These pears are simmered in an entire bottle of rosé because YOLO.

The Mediterranean Dish

9. 5-minute Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Parfait

Who needs ice cream when you have thick, rich and creamy spiced pumpkin yogurt? You can top these parfaits with anything that inspires you, like dark chocolate chips or toasted nuts (or both).

Cookie and Kate

10. Easy Fruit Compote

Choose your favorite fruit, simmer it down and spoon it on top of whatever you please. (We’re starting with Greek yogurt.)

Minimalist Baker

11. No-bake Vegan Brownies With Chocolate Ganache

They’re impossibly fudgy and rich, thanks to soaked Medjool dates. You don’t have to include the frosting, but we think you probably should.

Ambitious Kitchen

12. Healthy Lemon Bars

The old-fashioned classic got a modern makeover with maple syrup and almond and coconut flour. (And the result is delicious.)

The Full Helping

13. Raw Vegan Brownie Bites

Nothing to see here, just more proof that dates are magical, and you can always find a way to incorporate chocolate in your diet if you get creative.

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