14 Healthy Holiday Desserts for Dinners, Parties & Potlucks!
Nothing brings people together like good food—especially when it’s time for dessert! Even when I’m stuffed after a Thanksgiving or Christmas feast, I always manage to make room for those sweet treats… We all have those classic desserts that we love to eat at Thanksgiving and Christmas time, like pumpkin pie, cheesecake, and apple pie. But, what if those goodies didn’t have to be so heavy and indulgent? I’ve got 14 healthy holiday desserts that are just as yummy as the classics we love, but they’re lighter and more fuel-filled!
You can indulge without the guilt. These healthy holiday desserts will satisfy your sweet tooth, while making your holiday feast a bit more wholesome. You’ll find health-ified versions of some classic holiday desserts, along with TONS of other seasonal sweets you might enjoy! And, many of these healthy holiday desserts are vegan, gluten-free, paleo, or low-carb! There’s something for everyone—and you might just want to try them all…
It’s one of the most beloved holiday desserts of all time: PUMPKIN PIE. But, compared to traditional pumpkin pie, this recipe for healthy pumpkin pie has half the calories and fat, and just a fraction of the carbs and sugars! The filling is made with real pumpkin, so it’s full of pumpkin flavor, and you only need a few simple ingredients to make it. You can use the filling recipe with any homemade or store-bought crust that you like, or use it with the healthy pie crust recipe shared below!
This homemade pie crust is lighter on fat and carbs than a traditional pie crust, and it’s completely VEGAN! It’s delicious with the healthy pumpkin pie filling shared above, but you can also use it to create tons of other healthy holiday desserts. Just press the dough into your pie pan, weigh it down with pie weights or dry beans so it keeps its shape, and blind bake until its no longer raw. Once the crust has cooled, fill it however you like! Or, you can also press the dough into your pan and freeze this healthy pie crust to use later.
Try this VEGAN twist on pumpkin pie, that requires NO baking and has NO added sugars! The simple crust is made from all wholesome ingredients—just dates and nuts—and the filling is naturally sweet enough that you don’t need any sugar or sweetener. Plus, by cutting this pumpkin pie into bars, you’ll have healthy holiday desserts that are perfectly portion-controlled! Topped with candied pecans and coconut whipped cream, these treats are irresistible!
Here’s a smooth, silky, chocolaty pie that’s completely vegan and dairy-free! Rather than using milk-based chocolate, this recipe calls for cocoa powder and cacao nibs to create the scrumptious chocolate flavor. And, coconut cream and TOFU give this pie it’s silky smooth texture—along with nutritious fats and protein! This healthy holiday dessert can satisfy that sweet craving without the guilt. I recommend topping it with some coconut whipped cream!
Apple pie is a holiday-time classic. Lighten up the classic recipe with this recipe for apple crisps! Rather than an entire pie crust, these have a crisp topping made of oats and oat flour. They’re deliciously warm and full of comforting Fall flavors. By using a natural low-calorie sweetener, you can keep these treats sugar-free! Plus, baking them into individual ramekins is an easy way to portion control these healthy holiday desserts so you don’t go overboard. Best of all, you can make this apple crisp for under $1 per serving!
Cheesecake doesn’t have to be so heavy. With a few healthy substitutions, you can make all kinds of healthy holiday desserts! If you follow a low fat lifestyle, lighten up traditional cheesecake by using low-fat cream cheese, nonfat Greek yogurt, and egg whites. You still get the fluffy, creamy texture that you love, but you’ll have a dessert you can feel better about eating! Plus, this recipe is entirely gluten-free and calls for no added sugars!
You can make a delicious cheesecake WITHOUT the dairy! These are mini VEGAN cheesecakes, made with blended raw cashews and pumpkin puree for a creamy texture that’s totally dairy-free. Trust me—your family and friends won’t be able to notice the difference! And, you just need a gingersnap cookie as the crust for each mini cheesecake, making them SO easy to prepare. Serving them cupcake-style, you’ve got healthy holiday desserts that are naturally portion-controlled.
Okay, so this recipe was technically designed for Easter…but carrot cake is one of my FAVORITE desserts, and it’s full of Fall flavors and colors! These carrot cake cupcakes are moist, delicious, and PACKED with healthy fuel—like shredded carrots, grated zucchini, and Greek yogurt. A secret dose of veggies in a cupcake?? Yes, please! Portion control is a big deal when it comes to healthy holiday desserts, and cupcakes are a simple way to help with that. But, you can also bake this carrot cake into a standard cake pan (8 inches x 9 inches) if you prefer.
Plus, this recipe also includes a healthy frosting recipe that’s low in fat, high in protein, and can be made sugar-free! Cream cheese frosting is delicious on this carrot cake, but you could use the recipe with other healthy holiday desserts, too!
Pull-apart bread, a.k.a. monkey bread, is the perfect dessert for a holiday gathering! Everyone at your holiday dinner, party, or potluck can grab a bite (or a few) to enjoy. This Fall-flavored monkey bread is like a cinnamon roll with a hint of pumpkin, but without the guilt! The recipe calls for very little sugar, and can be sweetened with natural low-calorie sweeteners like stevia or erythritol for the most part! This particular dessert does require a bit more prep work, and I recommend using a stand mixer to get your dough just the right consistency. But, the extra work results in a super satisfying treat that you and your loved ones will go bananas for!
Here’s a seasonal twist on banana bread, that’s LOW CARB and filled with yummy pumpkin flavor! You only need 5 minutes to prep this easy recipe—just blend up your ingredients into a batter and bake. Plus, it’s sugar-free, made from wholesome ingredients, and loaded with healthy fuel. It’s got all the sweetness of a dessert, but this pumpkin bread is healthy enough to eat for breakfast!
These low carb cookies are a simple, Fall-time treat that’s SO easy to make! You only need a few ingredients—almond butter, an egg, sweetener, and salt—plus some cacao nibs, or any mix-ins that you like. Using erythritol or stevia as your sweetener, these beauties are sugar-free and perfect for a low carb lifestyle, with ZERO net carbs! Plus, once baked, these cookies are deliciously crispy but still chewy in the middle. They’re definitely deserving of a place at your healthy holiday desserts table!
Using almond flour as your base, you can make crave-able, LOW CARB scones that are gluten-free! And, you can easily make your own almond flour with some raw almonds and a food processor. The pumpkin flavor in these scones makes them perfect for the holiday season, but it’s the maple glaze that’s seriously addicting… If you choose a natural low calorie/low carb sweetener like erythritol or stevia, these healthy holiday desserts are sugar-free! Even for the maple glaze, you can use a sugar free confectioners sugar, or you can make your own sugar free powdered sugar.
Who knew BROWNIES could be low carb and sugar-free?? And, you only need a few basic ingredients to make these light and fluffy babes. You could bake this batter into a traditional square pan, then cut them into larger brownies. But, I’m a big fan of baking them in a silicone mold to make brownie bites, so every single brownie is crispy around the edge! Really, brownies are welcome any time of year—and you can be the hero who brings secretly healthy brownies to your holiday party.
Some of the best healthy holiday desserts are simple and sweet, like these cinnamon baked apples! Apples are in season during the Fall and Winter, making them a great choice for healthy holiday desserts. These baked apples have all the warm, sweet goodness of apple pie filling, but without the pie crust! And, you really only need apples, a bit of oil or lemon juice, coconut sugar, and some spices to make them. If you’re a bit patient while arranging your apple slices in each dish, you can serve beautiful desserts that look like roses and taste like Autumn!
Fruit salad is often a go-to healthy dessert option, but it can get boring. Make the most out of the delicious fruits in season with this winter fruit salad! Rather than turning to the same-old summer fruits like melons and berries, toss together some ripe mango, pomegranate arils, orange slices, and kiwi. It’s a cinch to make, you don’t need to sweeten it at all unless you’d like to, and you can serve it as a dessert or an appetizer. Feel free to adapt the recipe and use your favorite seasonal fruits!
No matter what sort of lifestyle you, your family, or your friends follow, there are SO many options for healthy holiday desserts! Maybe you’re vegan but the rest of your family isn’t, or you may have a guest coming for the holidays who’s been living a low carb or sugar-free lifestyle. Really, no one wants to be left out when it’s time for the sweets at the end of the feast…and not one has to be! I hope these recipes for healthy holiday desserts have given you some ideas or inspiration for your holiday plans this season.
Find more healthy holiday goodies in our 14 Healthy Christmas Treats post! And, because there’s more to the holidays than just dessert, don’t forget to check out my Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes & Christmas Dinner Recipes blog! It’s full of fuel-filled recipes for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, many of which are vegan, paleo, and gluten-free. Plus, all of the recipes are designed to make your holiday cooking EASIER and less intimidating!