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This post was first published on March 22, 2016. I rewrote it to reflect some of my more recent recipes on February 4, 2020. Enjoy!
Someone recently asked me to name my top 5 dessert recipes. I quickly realized that narrowing my favorites down to just 5 would be pretty much impossible, but I did manage to pare the list down to 10. 😛 Even with this extended list I had to leave out so many of my favorites! Sweet tooth, here. I’ve also included 5 honorable mentions that are cookbook exclusives. (I thought to be fair I should keep the Top 10 list to recipes available on my website.) These recipes are MY OWN personal favorites, not necessarily the most popular dessert recipes on my website, although many of these would make that list too. So here you have it – my personal top 10 favorite dessert recipes!
I listed the recipes in alphabetical order because coming up with a ranking was beyond my mental capacities AND would have been similar to naming a favorite child.
Valentine’s Day is coming up…
…so grab some inspiration from the list of yummy desserts below and make your sweetheart, your family, or yourself something deliciously healthy! For more inspo, check out these resources:
The Best Healthy Potluck Desserts
When making desserts for church potlucks or family gatherings where not everyone is on board with healthy eating and used to alternative flours and sweeteners, I gravitate towards desserts like cheesecakes that don’t rely on a large bulk of alternative ingredients. The texture of alternative baked goods can take some getting used to, so something like a cheesecake, ice cream, or cookie bars that have a thin crust and a topping of some sort are generally easier to get past the general public than something like cake. As you’ll notice from the list below, these are actually the types of recipes I prefer myself!
LOW GLYCEMIC SWEETENER TIPS:
- Less concentrated is generally more palate friendly. THM Gentle Sweet is perfect for people who are just coming off of sugar!
- However, the more concentrated sweeteners are usually more budget friendly. Since I don’t mind a little stevia, I usually use THM Pure Stevia Extract Powder and THM Super Sweet Blend in my recipes.
- Don’t know how to convert from one sweetener to another? Always, always, always sweeten to taste to get a result that you’re happy with! Taste buds vary A LOT when it comes to alternative sweeteners. Find what YOU like! I personally don’t like as much sweetener as most other folks because it leaves a bad aftertaste in my mouth, so when making someone else’s recipes I usually decrease the sweetener amount. Start small, then taste and add more until it tastes good to you. You can also use this sweetener conversion chart to help estimate how much sweetener you’ll need in comparison to another sweetener.
- Remember that sweetness will decrease a bit with baking.
- An extra pinch of salt can help balance out a stevia flavor.
- Desserts made with alternative flours and sweeteners typically taste better after overnight refrigeration. This improves the texture and gives the sweetness some time to “mellow out.”
- Less concentrated sweeteners pair better with chocolate and coffee (bitter flavors) than stevia does, but stevia does pretty well sweetening fruity or cream cheesy stuff. I generally use stevia to sweeten things like yogurt and shakes and use THM Super Sweet Blend for baking.
- For ice cream I prefer to use xylitol because of its effect on texture and freezing properties of ice cream. You can read more about that HERE.
Desserts in Moderation
Stuff like cheesecake is generally fairly calorie dense, so I don’t keep it around on the regular because I personally have to be careful with heavy desserts or else I start gaining weight, even if it’s all sugar free and THM-friendly. Probably has something to do with my lack of portion control…. I keep these desserts for special occasions or stick to small portions and try to give some of the dessert away. Back when I lived at home with my family and my mom and sister were around to help eat stuff, this wasn’t an issue…haha. My husband likes dessert, but not all the time, and in fairly small doses. He’s a good influence on me. 😉
Some of my favorite lower calorie “desserts” include
- fresh fruit! (THM E)
- sourdough or sprouted toast with a smidgen of butter and some all fruit jam (THM E)
- plain rice cakes with a smidgen of natural peanut butter and some all fruit jam (THM E)
- apple with low fat peanut butter made from defatted peanut flour
- low fat cottage cheese with THM Super Sweet Blend and cinnamon (THM FP)
- low fat cottage cheese or Greek yogurt with frozen berries and THM Super Sweet Blend (THM FP)
- 5 Ingredient Hot Chocolate (THM S)
- celery with natural peanut butter and some sugar free chocolate chips (THM S) – I do try to watch my peanut butter intake because it’s really calorie dense. Peanut butter made with defatted peanut flour could work here too to lower calories and increase protein.
- cottage cheese blended with frozen fruit or berries and sweetener, like Trim Healthy Mama’s Cottage Berry Whip or this Mango Soft Serve for One (which is a THM E)
Don’t forget to add protein if the dessert doesn’t include some already. I’ll tack these desserts onto the end of a meal that includes protein or enjoy with some Greek yogurt or cottage cheese (low fat in a THM E or FP setting) for a desserty snack. Or stir some collagen into the hot chocolate.
What would your Top 10 dessert list look like? Tell me what your favorite THM-friendly dessert is in the comments below! And if you have quick and easy no-recipe go-to desserts (especially on the smart calorie side), please share and give me some more ideas!
This has been my birthday cake for 3 years in a row now, so that should tell you something.
CF page 420
My husband loves this dessert! Perfect for a summer potluck.
CF page 413
If you calculated this list of favorites by the sheer number of times I’ve made a recipe, these would probably be at the top.
NF page 328
When is it NOT peppermint season? This ice cream is super creamy. Even my dad liked it – and he’s not a fan of alternative sweeteners or THM desserts in general.
CF page 304
This delicious dessert is on the lighter side because I replaced the typical cream cheese with…you guessed it…cottage cheese! Check out the blog post for fuel type info and use red raspberries for a lower carb version if you don’t have any nostalgic ties to sour cherries.
I couldn’t afford to put these into the list in their own separate slots because then I would’ve had to bump off one of the other recipes. 😛 They’re very similar, but one is full size and the other is a single serve recipe! This is my go-to mug muffin.
CF page 346/348
With ice cream, of course. This recipe is near and dear to my heart because it took SO MUCH WORK to get right.
This has been a fan favorite ever since I posted the recipe years ago – and why not? I mean, who doesn’t love a crispy fried pastry-like exterior filled with ooey gooey cream cheese and berries? This is my go-to dessert when I don’t have anything sweet in the fridge but I want something good. Sunday night post-church snacky food.
NF page 385
My mom is these squares’ biggest fan and has made them umpteen times.
NF page 332
I really like peppermint, and not just in December. I also love the amazing texture of this cheesecake. I just make it in an 8×8 pan because simplicity.
Top 5 Cookbook Exclusive Desserts
Bri’s Best Fudgy Brownies
These took a lot of work to get right. Like seriously, a legit brownie is one of the hardest things to make healthy, in my experience. This is the closest I have ever come, and I’m pleased.
CF page 391
Creamy Red Raspberry Sherbet
Dairy free and really, really, really good.
CF page 313
Extreme Chocolate Ice Cream
Chocolate ice cream with a fudgy chocolate swirl – loosely based off of one of my favorite Dairy Queen Blizzards.
CF page 298
Lemon Cheesecake Delight
Like the Blueberry Cheesecake Delight above, but lemon. Real lemon.
CF page 414
Turtle Praline Cake
If you want to go all out, this is it.
NF page 270
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What’s up with the NF and CF?
NF = Necessary Food, my first cookbook (2016).
CF = Convenient Food, my second cookbook (2018).
Recipes without book and page number notes are (surprise) not in either book, most likely because the recipe has been published since the books came out.
These are beautiful books, if I may say so myself. 😛 Each contains around 400 recipes, and they are SUBSTANTIAL. Matte finished hard covers that make me so happy and will make YOU happy with their durability and stability. Spiral binding so you can easily turn to the page you want and stay there while stirring this and adding that. None of this floppy, fall-over-on-the-counter or won’t-stay-open stuff. CLICK HERE to check them out!