There's nothing not to love about dessert, except maybe one thing: its health profile. Many desserts are high in calories, saturated fats, sugary carbs, and low in nutritious properties, which makes them something you should limit and enjoy in moderation. But to help you enjoy sweets more regularly, we rounded up 17 low-cal, low-carb dessert recipes that also deliver important nutrients like fiber and protein so you can savor your favorite treats without the guilt. Not only are they super easy to make, but they're also a lot healthier than they look and taste, which is ideal for a sweet tooth. Take your pick between baked doughnuts, a light mousse, no-bake carrot cake, and cinnamon roasted nuts, to name a few (or have a bake-athon, and make all ten).
Read on for our favorite low-calorie, low-carb dessert recipes.
Oatmeal Confetti Cupcakes
This recipe from Food Faith Fitness includes all the fun you know and love about confetti cake batter, only it's made with gluten-free oats and packs in a little extra protein. The icing is composed of Greek yogurt and protein powder while the base is made with one egg yolk, rolled oats, vanilla almond milk, Greek yogurt, plus a few spices, and most importantly, rainbow sprinkles.
Healthy Caramel Apples
This healthy dessert recipe from Half Baked Harvest is beyond heavenly. Recipe creator Tieghan Gerard includes six different caramel-inspired dip recipes. The caramel base is made of dates, coconut milk, and vanilla extract, and then take your pick between the salted rice crispy treat with a chocolate drizzle, toasted chocolate coconut pecans, chocolate covered pretzel, toasted almond cacao, chocolate peanut butter, and Nutella hazelnut latte, or enjoy them all.
Frosted Raw Carrot Cake
This vegan take on carrot cake is tangy, zesty, and totally raw, which makes it pretty simple to make, and it's healthy enough to eat for breakfast. It's the perfect thing to make in the fall since it features warm spices with vanilla flavors folded in. This recipe from The First Mess also happens to be perfect for anyone who lives for frosting since the cake to icing ratio is 1:1. Since it calls for dates, there is a lot of sugar in it, but it's a more nutritious option than your classic slice of carrot cake.
Cinnamon Roasted Almonds
This cinnamon snack is almost too good to be true. Almonds are an amazing source of amino acids, fiber, magnesium, and vitamin E, and this recipe from Sugar Salted makes them even more enjoyable to eat.
Keep them all to yourself, or package them up pretty and give them to friends and family as a homemade gift.
Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies
In the words of the recipe maker, Minimalist Baker, these peanut butter cup cookies are "undetectably vegan and gluten-free," which is sweet, sweet news if you love dessert in all its decadent glory. And speaking of which, these cookies are easily the most decadent. That being said, they're still a healthier alternative to a recipe that calls for conventional ingredients that are higher in saturated fats. Plus, it's okay to indulge every once in a while, so go ahead, and grab that cookie.
Gluten-Free Maple Doughnuts
If you're someone who would eat a doughnut every day if you could, you'll love this recipe from The First Mess. Topped with a salted almond butter glaze, the flavors and textures are balanced perfectly. Oh, and they're baked, not fried!
Paleo Pumpkin Cake Bars
These Paleo and gluten-free hazelnut pumpkin cake bars are perfect for fall, and they're only 110 calories each. They're also easy to make and even better, they're loaded with chocolate. So if you have a major sweet tooth and super-healthy snacks just aren't going to cut it, opt for this recipe from Food Faith Fitness instead.
Strawberry Mousse Pie
Talk about drool-worthy. This strawberry mousse pie recipe from Low Carb Yum is officially on our must-try list. And lucky for us, it's a gluten-free and low-carb option that tastes just as decadent as the classic dessert. It's sweet, light, fluffy, and satisfying.
Dark and Stormy Popsicles
Boozy and refreshing, these popsicles from Brooklyn Supper give happy hour a whole new meaning. Made with lime juice, ginger beer, homemade ginger syrup, dark rum, and water, you'll love this light dessert recipe if a Dark and Stormy is your go-to drink order.
Keto No Bake Cookies
These soft and chewy cookies from Food Faith Fitness are completely sugar-free, low-carb, no-bake, and even keto-friendly. Does it get any better than that? Oh, and they only require six ingredients and contain 156 calories per serving.
Raspberry Paleo Coconut Oil Fudge
Calling all choc-o-holics! Food Faith Fitness created a paleo-friendly fudge recipe that'll let you get your chocolate fix without any guilt. The secret? Coconut oil, chocolate protein powder, and honey.
Keto Chocolate Peanut Butter Fat Bombs
Sometimes you just crave a Reese's cup, and when that happens, whip up these fat bombs from Food Faith Fitness. The no-bake treats are keto-friendly, low-carb, and contain 127 calories per serving. All you need is cocoa powder, peanut butter, coconut oil, and stevia.
Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies With Chocolate Chips
These cookies from Feed Me Phoebe are flourless, only require five ingredients, and are low in carbs and calories. Besides, who can resist the combo of chocolate and peanut butter?
Fat Bomb Avocado Brownies
Not only does this Feed Me Phoebe recipe allow you to have your brownies in a low-sugar, low-carb package, but it also makes them keto-friendly! The brownies get a dose of healthy fats thanks to avocado, which might sound strange, but it aids in producing a soft, moist texture.