9 Low-Sugar Desserts That Are Sugar Savvy

Updated: Feb. 09, 2017

We asked a few of our favorite food bloggers to create healthier, low-sugar desserts inspired by our book Sugar Savvy.

Courtesy Alex Curtis

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Blog: Spoonful of Sugar Free

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes
Yield: 1 cake. 8-10 slices

• 1 1/2 cup packed almond meal*
• 1/2 cup cocoa powder
• 1/2 tsp baking soda
• pinch salt
• 1 1/2 cup packed pitted dates**
• 1/2 cup water
• 3 eggs
• 2 tbsp coconut oil
• 2 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 325°.
2. Mix together all dry ingredients (almond meal, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt) in a bowl and set aside.
3. Place the dates and water in a food processor or strong blender and blend until it forms a smooth paste.
4. Mix the date paste with the wet ingredients (eggs, coconut oil, vanilla), and mix until smooth.
5. Add the wet to the dry and stir until smooth.
6. Grease an 8″ round cake pan, and pour in batter.
7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for at least 10-15 minutes before serving so that it has time to set.
8. Serve plain or with fresh fruit and/or coconut whipped cream. May also be served chilled from fridge.

* Make your own almond meal by processing raw almonds until no large chunks remain. Don’t over-process, because it will turn into almond butter.

** You may soak the dates for a few hours or overnight to make them softer and easier to blend.

Courtesy Brittany Mullins

Healthy No-Bake Coconut Bars

Blog: Eating Bird Food

• 2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal

• 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
• 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
• 1/4 cup maple syrup
• 2 tbsp cocoa powder
• 1/2 tsp vanilla
• 1/8 tsp sea salt
• 3 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut, plus more for topping

1. Grease an 8X8 glass baking dish with coconut oil or line with parchment paper.
2. Combine oatmeal and shredded coconut in a mixing bowl and set aside.
3. Combine peanut butter, almond milk, maple syrup, and cocoa powder in a sauce pan. Cook on medium heat while stirring the mixture until well combined. Heat until mixture is fragrant and thickened, about 5 minutes or so.
4. Turn off stove top and stir vanilla and sea salt.
5. Pour mixture over the oatmeal and shredded coconut and mix until well combined. Pour batter into the prepared baking dish and press down until the batter is evenly distributed across the dish. Sprinkle with extra coconut; press down once more so the coconut sticks.
6. Place dish into the fridge and let sit until the bars are set (about 2 hours). Remove from fridge, cut into bars, and enjoy. Store any leftovers in the fridge.

Courtesy Brittany Mullins

Flourless Peanut Butter Protein Cookies

Blog: Eating Bird Food

• 1 cup old fashioned oats
• 2 scoops of organic vanilla protein powder
• heaping 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
• 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce + 1-2 tbsp more, if needed
• 1/2 cup organic freeze-dried strawberries
• 2 tbsp honey
• 2 tbsp mini chocolate or carob chips (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Place oats, protein powder, freeze-dried strawberries, and chocolate chips into a small bowl and stir to combine.
3. In a separate bowl mix together the peanut butter, applesauce, and honey. Pour the wet peanut butter mixture over the dry mixture and stir well. Combining this mixture will take a little stirring power and it may seem a little crumbly at first; you can use your hands to knead the dough near the end. If it’s too crumbly, you can add an extra tablespoon of applesauce to moisten it.
4. Once combined, start forming the the dough into one-inch balls. Dough should make anywhere from 16-20 balls.
5. Place balls on a parchment lined baking sheet, press the ball down into a cookie shape with a fork and bake for 12-15 minutes.
6. Remove from oven, let cool, and enjoy. Store any leftovers in a covered airtight container on the counter/in the fridge for immediate consumption or store in the freezer for later.

Courtesy Gwen Brown

Chocolate Frosty

Blog: Gwen’s Nest

Yields: 3 cups (Two 12 oz. servings)

• 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
• 1/2 cup carton egg whites (optional)
• 1/4 cup cocoa powder
• 1/16 tsp stevia extract (adjust to taste)
• 1 1/2 cups ice
• 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
• 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Add all ingredients to blender, and process on high until smooth and creamy. Adjust sweetness to taste. Enjoy!

Note: This makes 2 servings or one MASSIVE frosty…enough to share with a friend or stash in the freezer to enjoy as a dessert after dinner, or as popsicles tomorrow!

Courtesy Ryan Baggett

Whole-Wheat Cinnamon Rolls

Blog: i.run.on.nutrition

Servings: 12

• 3 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
• 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
• 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
• 3 tbsp coconut oil
• 3 tbsp raw honey (or real maple syrup for strict vegans)

• 3/4 cup pitted dates (tightly packed)
• 2 tbsp raw honey
• 2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
• 1 tbsp cinnamon
• 3 tbsp coconut oil (melted)

• 2 tbsp raw honey
• 2 tbsp coconut oil
• 1/2 tbsp vanilla

For dough:
1. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
2. In a small pot add vinegar to almond milk and let sit for 5 minutes.
3. Add coconut oil and honey to almond milk mixture and heat on the stovetop over low heat until oil is melted, stirring frequently.
4. Combine wet and dry ingredients and stir until combined (dough will be sticky).
5. Liberally flour a flat surface and knead dough until smooth (you may need to sprinkle some additional flour until dough can be rolled out).
6. Roll into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick.

For filling:
1. In food processor combine dates, honey, cinnamon, and almond milk in a food processor until a paste forms, and spread evenly over rolled out dough.
2. Pour melted coconut oil evenly over the dates.
3. Roll dough up from one of the long sides and slice into 12 even pieces.
4. Place in a greased 13 x 9 pan. Bake at 375° for 20 min or when they are barely starting to brown—hard cinnamon rolls are no good!

For glaze:
1. Melt oil and honey on stovetop over low heat. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Whisk occasionally until mixture has a caramel consistency. Pour over cooked cinnamon rolls.

Courtesy Ryan Baggett

Blueberry-Raisin Energy Cookies

Blog: i.run.on.nutrition

Servings: 24 (makes 2 dozen cookies)

• 2 flax eggs*
• 1 cup old fashioned oats
• 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1 cup blueberries
• 1 1/4 cup raisins, divided
• 1/4 cup virgin unrefined coconut oil
• 1/4 cup honey, (or maple syrup)
• 1 tsp vanilla
• 1/2 cup unsalted cashews

1. *Make flax eggs: Combine 2 tbsp ground flax (you can pulse seeds in a coffee grinder) with 6 tbsp water. Refrigerate at least 15 minutes to allow mixture to gel.
2. In a food processor blend oats until the mixture resembles flour. Some oat pieces are fine; they add texture! Combine oat flour, whole wheat flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon in a bowl and mix together.
3. In a food processor combine 1 cup raisins, blueberries, coconut oil, honey, vanilla, and cashews, and blend together until incorporated. You should still see some bits and pieces of raisins and nuts.
4. In a large bowl, combine wet and dry ingredients, and remaining 1/4 cup raisins, and mix until incorporated.
5. Divide dough into 24 balls, and flatten slightly on cookie sheet. Cookies will not spread out, but will rise just a little. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes.

Courtesy Vered DeLeeuw

One-Ingredient Banana Ice Cream

Blog: Healthy Recipes

Makes 2 servings

• 2 medium, very ripe bananas (4 oz each without skins)
• 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)

1. Peel and slice the bananas. Place the slices on a wax-paper-lined platter and freeze for 3 hours.
2. Transfer the frozen banana slices to food processor. Process until smooth, stopping once or twice to scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula. If you wish, add cocoa and process to combine. Serve immediately.

Courtesy Holly, Annie and Chelsea Forsyth from Natural Sweet Recipes

No-Bake Carrot Cookies

Blog: Natural Sweet Recipes

Yields 12-15 cookies

• 2 tbsp coconut oil
• 1/4 cup applesauce
• 2 tbsp ground flax
• 1/3 cup coconut sugar
• 1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
• 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 2 tsp cinnamon
• 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
• 1/2 cup grated carrots
• 1 cup oats (we used gluten-free)

1. Mix everything in a bowl, rolls into balls and chill for 15 minutes. Then enjoy! Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Courtesy Kristi Rimkus

Frozen Bananas Dipped in Dark Chocolate with Walnuts and Cranberries

Blog: Mother Rimmy’s Cooking Done Right

• 2 medium bananas, sliced in 12 chunks
• 3 ounces dark chocolate, broken in chunks
• 1 teaspoon butter
• 1 cup walnuts, chopped
• 1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
• large toothpicks

1. Line a plate with parchment paper.
2. Place chocolate and butter in a small bowl with butter. Microwave on high in 30 second intervals, stirring in between until chocolate is completely melted.
3. Combine walnuts and cranberries in another small bowl.
4. Pierce banana chunks with toothpicks and swirl in chocolate.
5. Roll in nuts and cranberries and place on the plate.
6. Freeze a minimum of one hour before serving.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest