Kathy Maister's Start Cooking

15 Low-Fat Holiday Dessert Options

posted in Sweets by Lisa Freeman

rice pudding

Whether you’re dieting during the holiday season or simply trying not to go overboard, here are 15 low-fat variations on traditional desserts. Go ahead: Treat yourself to a slice of scrumptious sweetness without worrying about your waistline.

  1. Bread Pudding just screams “holidays!”, but it also screams “calories!” This low-fat version, with skim milk and egg whites, comes deliciously close to the real thing.
  2. Skinny Chocolate Cookies are just as tasty as the higher-calorie kind, and they’re so simple to make that you will be whipping up batches in no time. See if your friends even realize there’s a difference.
  3. Chocolate Souffle Torte sounds terribly fattening, but this one is so delicious that none of your guests will dream you’re serving something that is reduced in fat.
  4. Chocolate Marble Cake is perfect for those that like to keep their cake simple, without heaps of icing cluttering things up. Low-fat cakes often taste dry and chalky, but yogurt keeps this one moist.
  5. Rice Pudding is my absolute favorite on a chilly wintry day, and this lower-fat version has the creaminess you expect from the real deal.
  6. Pumpkin Pie is a staple of the holiday season, and using low-fat pudding keeps this pie velvety smooth.
  7. Fruit Cake doesn’t have to be a gooey, heavy brick. This pretty orange version is refreshing and filling. The presentation will wow your guests.
  8. Carrot Cake may not be everyone’s cup of tea; a friend of mine swears that vegetables do not belong in desserts. But when I made her this Indian recipe, she changed her mind. The pineapple is what makes this so delicious.
  9. Bananas Foster is fun to make any time of year. It’s always an unexpected dessert and this one has a citrus twist. Also, this low-fat banana bread recipe is great with a side of sherbet if you’re looking to keep things simple.
  10. Strawberry Trifle always cures a fix for my favorite fruit. This strawberry shortcake in a bowl is fun and fresh. You can even cheat on this recipe, and avoid baking a thing. If you’ve got no time to make it from scratch, you can buy all these ingredients (including the cake), and build it from there. No one will know you didn’t slave over it in the kitchen. Shhhhh!
  11. Flan is not usually considered low in calories — the eggs, the sugar, oh my! But low-fat condensed milk helps slim it down just a wee bit. I’ve also tried it with a sugar substitute, such as Splenda, and things have worked out just fine.
  12. Angel Food Cupcakes get a delightful holiday look with luscious custard and a raspberry drizzle. They look just as good as they taste, and they’re so pretty to serve for a holiday dinner.
  13. Brownies are usually what I want to snack on but heaven knows they aren’t exactly light in calories, and they’re tough to make lower in fat. This recipe calls for prune puree, but I swear it doesn’t taste like prune at all. But, I confess, I’ve used apple sauce (I buy the baby food jars) instead and that kept things just as moist. This is truly something different.
  14. Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Cake is sure to strike fear into a dieter’s holiday menu, but this tasty version cuts out most of the bad stuff and retains all of the flavor. This is totally unique and will leave you begging for more. If you have trouble finding fresh vanilla bean, just sub 1 ½ teaspoons of vanilla extract. That’s what I’ve done, and things have turned out just right.
  15. Poached Pears sound fancy, look fancy and are a cinch to make. I love this variation with raspberry sauce.

If you are new to startcooking, or are a regular visitor here, please consider subscribing for free.

2 Comments

Jennifer said:

What a lovely selection! Now no one has to go without dessert!!

I am intrigued by the prune puree- I’ve gotta try that one.

Julie said:

Thanks so much for the low fat options for dessert. I try and find tasty low calorie recipes for everything I eat, not necessarily low fat. I have tried the brownies recipe before and I too can testify to their incredible yumminess! Nice not to have to feel guilty when I want something sweet.