You can have your cake and eat it too, thanks to some clever dessert recipes made from healthier ingredients that will still satisfy your sweet tooth. In moderation, this list of low-carb dessert recipes features whole grains, fruits, and chocolate combos while being mindful of added sugars. It has everything from mouthwatering chocolate chip cookies to homemade key lime pie (are you drooling yet?) If you have dietary restrictions, you’ll be thrilled to know that some of these recipes even fit into vegan, gluten-free, keto, and paleo diets. There’s something for everyone. Take note of these 14 shockingly good, low-carb desserts recipes.
Gluten-Free Apple Crisp
The Hero Ingredient: Oats and flaxseeds offer a whole grain topping, which are comprised of better-for-you nutrients than refined carbs (such as white bread and sugary cereals.)
Easy Vegan Grilled Pineapple and Coconut Ice Cream
The Recipe: Grilled pineapple provides a naturally sweetened, caramelized base for coconut ice cream in Joyful Healthy Eats's easy vegan dessert. Caramel sauce, toasted coconut, and mint bump up the indulgence factor.
The Hero Ingredient: Grilled pineapple adds a smoky, campfire-like dynamic to the dessert, compared to baking it or serving it fresh.
Coconut Cacao Tahini Snack Bites
The Recipe: This simple snack recipe from Minimalist Baker makes for a delicious low-carb dessert. The small bites are naturally sweet, thanks to the inspired combination of just a few nutty, chocolaty ingredients. Pop the ingredients in a food processor until the mixture feels like dough, roll into balls, and chill in the fridge or freezer before you’re ready to indulge.
The Hero Ingredient: Tahini provides a nutty flavor to play with the coconut and cacao sweetness. The recipe wouldn’t be complete without a dash of cinnamon.
The Recipe: If you’re a sucker for the classics, you need this vegan, grain-free, and date-sweetened chocolate chip cookie recipe courtesy of The First Mess. It took The First Mess many tries to create this recipe, and ultimately settled on these ingredients as your cookie base: Almond flour, coconut flour, coconut oil, and almond butter.
Try Lily’s Baking Chips sweetened with stevia to make this recipe completely free of refined sugar, and enjoy a golden, fluffy batch of low-carb cookies.
The Hero Ingredient: Dates provide that sweet flavor you’d expect from a homemade cookie without the added sugar.
No-Bake Paleo Lemon Bars
The Recipe: Food Faith Fitness brings you this no-bake paleo lemon bar recipe that’s as easy to make as it sounds. As the name suggests, there’s no baking required here. Plus there are only four ingredients, making this low-carb dessert free of gluten, grain, dairy, and refined sugar.
The Hero Ingredient: You couldn’t make lemon bars without lemon, but a simple crust made of raw cashews and dates deserves some credit too.
Raw Key Lime Pie
The Recipe: This raw dessert recipe on Hello Glow is inspired by The Blossom Cookbook, and is full of healthy fats, thanks to ingredients like macadamia nuts and coconut milk. Make the simple crust in a food processor, and press it into a pan before topping it with your lime filling. Freeze the pie overnight, and enjoy.
The Hero Ingredient: The versatile avocado combines with coconut oil, milk, and lime juice to create a perfectly creamy texture. This recipe is also vegan-friendly, and vegan bakers know avocado is a great substitute for recipes that call for butter.
Dairy-Free Root Beer Float
The Recipe: The classic root beer float gets a better-for-you ingredient makeover from Root + Revel. In this reimagined version, the recipe calls for root beer kombucha, dairy-free ice cream, and optional chocolate syrup made from coconut oil and chocolate chips.
The Hero Ingredient: We're into the crushed peanuts, and the cherry completes this nostalgic treat.
Raw Carrot Cake Slice with Tangy Citrus Frosting
The Hero Ingredient: A splash of orange juice sets the tone for the bright flavors of this yummy cake, which is perfect for slicing up and serving up to any crowd.
Keto Salted Chocolate Macadamia Nut Fat Bombs
The Recipe: These salted chocolate macadamia nut sweets Hello Glow recreated from The Everyday Ketogenic Kitchen are high in healthy fats and low on carbs. Combine unsweetened chocolate with unsalted mac nuts, coconut and avocado oil, vanilla extract, sea salt, and sweetener.
The Hero Ingredient: The creamy mac nuts, in our opinion.
Ricotta and Roasted Plum Bowls with Crunchy Buckwheat
The Recipe: This dessert bowl recipe Hello Glow recreated, inspired by the Buddha Bowls cookbook by Kelli Foster, is as delicious as it is nourishing. Ricotta, plums, and buckwheat offer a nice balance of protein, whole grains, and anti-oxidants; while a pinch of sea salt and a drizzle of honey complete the bowl.
The Hero Ingredient: Unlike refined starches like white bread, buckwheat's nutritional properties (like protein, fiber, and magnesium) put its carb content in context.
Berry Ginger Popsicles
The Recipe: Coconut yogurt adds creamy consistency to popsicles packed with berries, ginger, mint, and rose water, while a frozen banana adds natural sweetness. These berry ginger popsicles from Hello Glow would be the perfect palate cleanser after a hearty meal.
The Hero Ingredient: Mint makes these popsicles extra refreshing.
Grain-Free Paleo Pumpkin Pie
The Recipe: To make grain-free paleo pumpkin pie, Hello Glow learned that an "almond flour, arrowroot starch, maple sugar (or coconut sugar), coconut oil, egg, and a little sea salt" keeps the crust intact. Pumpkin puree and coconut milk make up the filling for this fall-inspired treat.
The Hero Ingredient: Arrowroot starch, which according to Hello Glow, prevents the crust from crumbling. You can typically find arrowroot starch at your local health food store, or online at sites like Thrive Market.
Avocado Chocolate Truffles
The Recipe: If Food Faith Fitness says her recipe for avocado chocolate truffles taste just like an Almond Joy candy bar, we'll take her word for it. Avocado replaces butter in the ingredient list, which also calls for milk chocolate chips, coconut oil, almond and vanilla extracts.
The Hero Ingredient: Sweetened coconut flakes for garnish add texture and another layer of flavor to the dessert.