100 Healthy Dessert Ideas

If you're searching for something sweet, you've met your match.

Rich Chocolate Pudding Pie Recipe

Photo: Anna Williams

Healthy Dessert Ideas

When it comes to satisfying your sweet tooth, our dessert recipes take the cake. Sweet and satisfying without the guilt—our confections are both scrumptious and healthy. Sit back and relax because you won't want to miss a bite.

Our first recipe is Rich Chocolate Pudding Pie.

Melted chocolate binds cookie crumbs for the crust—and makes it extra delicious. Substitute 1 teaspoon vanilla extract for the rum.

View Recipe: Rich Chocolate Pudding Pie

Chocolate-Mint Bars Recipe

Chocolate-Mint Bars

You'll love these Chocolate-Mint Bars if you're a big fan of the thin chocolate-mint Girl Scout cookies or Andes candies. Refrigerating the bars allows the mint layer and glaze to set properly. For a more grown-up taste, you can substitute dark chocolate chips for some or all of the semisweet chocolate chips in the glaze.

View Recipe: Chocolate-Mint Bars

Texas Sheet Cake Recipe

Texas Sheet Cake

With a presence as large as its namesake state, this humble, easy-to-prepare cake made it all the way to the finals for our best chocolate recipe bake-off. Since it first appeared in the magazine 12 years ago, it's been a staff and reader favorite. This recipe uses butter and buttermilk in quantities that give it the right indulgently moist texture and rich flavor, but keep a serving's fat at just 10 grams and calories at about 300.

View Recipe: Texas Sheet Cake

Pumpkin Pie Pudding Recipe

Photo: Jonny Valiant

Pumpkin Pie Pudding

No time to make pumpkin pie? Try this pudding instead—a faster, easier, and healthier alternative.

"Tastes just like the inside of pumpkin pie!" raves dtougas. "My husband and I both loved it and I'll definitely make it again."

View Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Pudding

Blackberry Merlot Granita Recipe

Photo: Romulo Yanes

Blackberry Merlot Granita

"This reminds me of summer after catching lightning bugs," says Chef Myers (Comme Ça, Los Angeles). "My family would eat fresh-picked blackberries like candy after dinner as the sun was going down."

View Recipe: Blackberry Merlot Granita

Last-Minute Tropical Sherbet

Photo: Nigel Cox

Last-Minute Tropical Sherbet

Frozen fruit and yogurt get whirred together to make a tangy sherbet that's the texture of soft-serve. You can make it ahead, but don't freeze overnight; the mixture will become icy.

View Recipe: Last-Minute Tropical Sherbet

Chocolate Chunk Bread Puddings Recipe

Chocolate Chunk Bread Puddings

Try not to chop the chocolate too finely so you'll have good-sized chunks to bite into. This pudding uses Hawaiian bread, which is a soft, sweet bread found in the bakery section of most grocery stores.

View Recipe: Chocolate Chunk Bread Puddings

Mexican Chocolate Cream Pie Recipe

Photo: Francesco Tonelli

Mexican Chocolate Cream Pie

We’ve done 30+ choco-pies in the last 15 years alone, but this silky and creamy pie trotted out a spicy note. ¡Arriba!

View Recipe: Mexican Chocolate Cream Pie

Nathan’s Lemon Cake Recipe

Photo: Randy Mayor

Nathan’s Lemon Cake

This is a namesake because the recipe developer’s mom baked it for his birthday every year. We've adapted this recipe to trim the fat and calories, and it's still a moist, lemony treat.

View Recipe: Nathan’s Lemon Cake

Double Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe

Photo: Francesco Tonelli

Double Chocolate Ice Cream

A combo of cocoa powder and melted chocolate makes for a rich, ultra-chocolaty dessert. We updated the recipe to use heavy cream in place of the half-and-half in the original. Note: If you’re using a 1 1/2-quart tabletop ice-cream maker, it’ll be pretty full.

View Recipe: Double Chocolate Ice Cream

Pumpkin-Almond Cheesecake

Photo: Levi Brown

Pumpkin-Almond Cheesecake

A deliciously dense almond cake rests underneath the cheesy spiced pumpkin layer. Almond brittle adds a spectacular finishing touch.

View Recipe: Pumpkin-Almond Cheesecake

Lemon-Scented Blueberry Cupcakes Recipe

Lemon-Scented Blueberry Cupcakes

Studded with plump, juicy fresh berries, these cupcakes are fun for birthdays and special occasions. Be as creative as you want when frosting the cupcakes. For a more homespun look, use a small, flat spatula. Want to be fancy? Pipe frosting onto cupcakes with a pastry bag fitted with a star tip for a fun, swirled appearance.

View Recipe: Lemon-Scented Blueberry Cupcakes

Espresso Crinkles Recipe

Photo: Randy Mayor

Espresso Crinkles

Unsweetened chocolate and instant espresso powder give depth of flavor to these sophisticated cookies. A dredge in powdered sugar before baking ensures sweetness, and also gives them a unique cracked surface and snow-covered look.

View Recipe: Espresso Crinkles

Bourbon-Pecan Tart with Chocolate Drizzle Recipe

Bourbon-Pecan Tart with Chocolate Drizzle

Pecan pie is often purely sweet with no undertones. But the bourbon, molasses, and chocolate in this beautiful centerpiece dessert all add complexity of flavor. It's also somewhat thinner than a pie, meaning you get more buttery, flaky crust in each bite.

View Recipe: Bourbon-Pecan Tart with Chocolate Drizzle

Raspberry-Rhubarb Pie

Photo: Randy Mayor

Raspberry-Rhubarb Pie

Though a beloved pie classic, rhubarb has a strong tartness that sometimes needs moderating. Sweet raspberries do that job perfectly here, while a splash of crème de cassis adds even deeper berry flavor. A slice of this pie absolutely screams for a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

View Recipe: Raspberry-Rhubarb Pie

Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream Recipe

Photo: Colleen Duffley

Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Cool off on a hot day with a big bowl of creamy homemade ice cream. Perfect for entertaining, this top-rated recipe makes enough for a crowd.

View Recipe: Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Carrot Cake Recipe

Photo: Randy Mayor

Carrot Cake

This lighter twist on traditional carrot cake features a tender cake packed with grated carrot, juicy pineapple, flaked coconut, and chopped pecans. Cream cheese frosting and a garnish of grated carrot top the cake.

View Recipe: Carrot Cake

Mint Julep Granita

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Mint Julep Granita

The classic cocktail provides relief from the heat of a Southern summer, so why not freeze and serve it for dessert? Mint-infused simple syrup and smoky-sweet bourbon combine in a slushy delight that's definitely not for kids.

View Recipe: Mint Julep Granita

Chocolate-Cherry Heart Smart Cookies Recipe

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Chocolate-Cherry Heart Smart Cookies

This reader recipe was developed by Marcie Dixon of Arlington Heights, Illinois, who recommends using bittersweet chocolate instead of milk chocolate for these decadent cookies. "Not only does it have less sugar," she said, "but it has a deeper flavor, too." Double the recipe and keep these 94-calorie cookies in the freezer for when you're in need of a healthy treat.

View Recipe: Chocolate-Cherry Heart Smart Cookies

Bourbon-Glazed Peaches With Yogurt Recipe

Photo: Johnny Autry

Bourbon-Glazed Peaches With Yogurt

If you have the willpower, keep this recipe in the files until July and August, when peaches are most delicious. Then, as the fruit hangs on the trees soaking up sunshine during summer's hottest days, all the magic happens. Crisp flesh softens, and sugar levels rise to balance the tart acidity. No question: Peak peach time is worth the wait. Creamy yogurt is brought to another level when scooped over these peaches.

View Recipe: Bourbon-Glazed Peaches With Yogurt

Pumpkin Ice Cream Torte Recipes

Photo: Ellen Silverman

Pumpkin Ice Cream Torte

Here’s the secret: You can make this pumpkin torte well ahead and freeze it. The sauce is jarred. The cook will be celebrated.

View Recipe: Pumpkin Ice Cream Torte

No-Cook Desserts: Blueberry-Orange Parfaits

Photo: Randy Mayor

Blueberry-Orange Parfaits

This easy dessert comes together in a few minutes if you purchase orange sections from the refrigerated part of the produce section. Prepare the parfaits in the morning and refrigerate, covered, for up to four hours; sprinkle with wheat germ just before serving.

View Recipe: Blueberry-Orange Parfaits

Lemon-Earl Grey Squares

Photo: Romulo Yanes

Lemon-Earl Grey Squares

Lemon squares are a tried and true summer classic, but you know we've got to mix it up. Try these decidedly different sweet treats and you won't look back.

View Recipe: Lemon-Earl Grey Squares

Chocolate-Cranberry Parfaits

Photo: Gentl & Hyers

Chocolate-Cranberry Parfaits

The cranberry steeping liquid clings to the berries and helps the sugar adhere for the sparkling, jewel-like effect. You can use the liquid drained from the cranberries in cocktails or over ice cream. If you can't find mascarpone cheese, use regular cream cheese.

View Recipe: Chocolate-Cranberry Parfaits

Vanilla Cheesecake with Cherry Topping Recipe

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Vanilla Cheesecake with Cherry Topping

In this rich cheesecake, we use the entire vanilla bean, so none of it is wasted: The seeds flavor the cheesecake, and the bean halves flavor the topping.

View Recipe: Vanilla Cheesecake with Cherry Topping

Classic Fudge-Walnut Brownies Recipe

Photo: Francesco Tonelli

Classic Fudge-Walnut Brownies

Decadently rich, this top-rated recipe was crowned the winner of our best chocolate recipes. Large chocolate chunks create big, luxurious pockets of melty chocolate in the brownies, but you can always substitute chocolate chips.

View Recipe: Classic Fudge-Walnut Brownies

Double Chocolate Soufflés with Warm Fudge Sauce Recipe

Double Chocolate Soufflés with Warm Fudge Sauce

These chocolate soufflés are an uber-decadent dessert and the perfect finishing touch to dinner parties or a quiet romantic dinner. You can even prepare the ingredients ahead, spoon the batter into soufflé dishes, cover, and freeze until you're ready to cook them. They can go straight from the freezer to the oven. Make the sauce ahead, too, and simply warm it before serving.

View Recipe: Double Chocolate Soufflés with Warm Fudge Sauce

Bourbon Caramel Truffles Recipe

Photo: Randy Mayor

Bourbon-Caramel Truffles

Truffles typically have the added richness of cream and butter. These ingredients help stabilize chocolate, which tends to scorch, separate, or become grainy if not heated carefully. We add corn syrup and evaporated milk for smooth, creamy confections.

View Recipe: Bourbon-Caramel Truffles

Apple-Cinnamon Bundt Cake

Photo: Levi Brown

Apple-Cinnamon Bundt Cake

A homey comfort classic made special with a dusting of sugar and a hidden filling of apples and nuts.

View Recipe: Apple-Cinnamon Bundt Cake

Chocolate-Hazelnut Mousse Recipe

Photo: Oxmoor House

Chocolate-Hazelnut Mousse

The custard base will be thick, but whipped topping is folded in to give it the classic airy texture of a mousse. Because this dessert needs time to chill, it is a terrific make-ahead option.

View Recipe: Chocolate-Hazelnut Mousse

Pumpkin Pie Cake Recipes

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Pumpkin Pie Cake

To lighten this stunning dessert, we cut out three-quarters of a cup of oil and combined whole eggs and egg substitute. Now with only 223 calories per slice, this centerpiece is a nutritional masterpiece.

View Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Cake

Amaretto Apple Streusel Cupcakes Recipe

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Amaretto Apple Streusel Cupcakes

Top tender apple cupcakes with a sweet and crunchy topping of brown sugar and almonds, then drizzle with a powdered sugar glaze. The amaretto adds an even more distinct almond flavor to the cupcakes, but if you don't have it, you can use almond extract instead.

View Recipe: Amaretto Apple Streusel Cupcakes

Minted Watermelon and Lemon Ice Pops

Photo: Gentl & Hyers

Minted Watermelon and Lemon Ice Pops

Juicy-tangy watermelon ice pops somehow taste more of melon than the fruit itself.

View Recipe: Minted Watermelon and Lemon Ice Pops

Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Instant coffee intensifies the chocolate richness of these cupcakes. If you're hosting a holiday or birthday party, top them off with themed candies or sprinkles. For thicker frosting, cover and chill for 10 minutes before spreading on the cupcakes. Refrigerate frosted cupcakes overnight; cover lightly with plastic wrap, or store them in an airtight container.

View Recipe: Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Lemon Cream Pie

Photo: John Autry

Lemon Cream Pie

Fluffy topping, silky filling, and crisp crust: This cream pie is a truly dreamy finish to any meal.

View Recipe: Lemon Cream Pie

Double-Ginger Pumpkin Flans

Photography: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Double-Ginger Pumpkin Flans

Unsweetened pumpkin and fresh ginger add an unexpected twist to creamy classic flan (also known as crème caramel).

View Recipe: Double-Ginger Pumpkin Flans

Healthy Apricot-Thyme Galette Recipes

Photo: Gentl & Hyers

Apricot-Thyme Galette

A sprinkling of fresh, fragrant thyme leaves on ripe apricots helps bring this flat cake to staff-favorite status. Food Editor Ann Taylor Pittman agrees: "The addition of thyme is an absolutely ingenious, delicious touch." 

View Recipe: Apricot-Thyme Galette

Chocolate-Frangelico Fondue Recipe

Photo: Francesco Tonelli

Chocolate-Frangelico Fondue

This is pure chocolate indulgence, with a whiff of hazelnut. Keep in mind that fondue is more versatile than you may think—it’s a warm sauce to drizzle over cake, ice cream, or yogurt. Be sure to start with a high-quality chocolate for the best flavor and texture.

View Recipe: Chocolate-Frangelico Fondue

Frozen Orange Tortes with Cranberry Compote

Photo: Levi Brown

Frozen Orange Tortes with Cranberry Compote

Our Frozen Orange Tortes with Cranberry Compote feature a jeweled cranberry topping that cascades down a fluffy ice cream filling that's a dreamy citrus cloud.

View Recipe: Frozen Orange Tortes with Cranberry Compote

Triple-Chocolate Cake

Photo: Levi Brown

Triple-Chocolate Cake

For those who say it's not dessert if it's not chocolate: Creamy milk chocolate mousse is sandwiched between intensely chocolaty cake layers.

View Recipe: Triple-Chocolate Cake

Salted Caramel Ice Cream Recipe

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Salted Caramel Ice Cream

It's hard to beat the sweet-salty goodness of this indulgent yet light caramel ice cream. Light ice cream has evolved from its watery ice-milk days. In the Test Kitchen, we like to get creative with ingredients and flavors, but we hold fast to settling for nothing less than smooth, creamy, rich results.

View Recipe: Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Canola Oil Pound Cake with Browned Butter Glaze Easter Dessert Recipe

Photo: Johnny Autry

Canola Oil Pound Cake with Browned Butter Glaze

Heart-healthy canola oil helps lighten this classic dessert. And an ingenious technique of soaking a vanilla bean in the oil adds deep, rich flavor. Serve this as a sweet finish to a delicious dinner.

View Recipe: Canola Oil Pound Cake with Browned Butter Glaze

Moroccan-Spiced Oranges

Photo: Lee Harrelson

Moroccan-Spiced Oranges

"Simple to prepare, this salad is a light and refreshing way to end a meal," said reader Liz Brown. "The cinnamon-orange combination is a great one. You can also serve this over ice cream or frozen yogurt."

View Recipe: Moroccan-Spiced Oranges

Fresh Coconut Cake

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Fresh Coconut Cake

Even though fresh coconut is sublime, you can use Goya brand coconut water in place of fresh coconut water and buy coconut flakes in the baking aisle. A cooked Italian meringue does big-time nutritional pinch-hitting for a high-fat cream-based frosting.

View Recipe: Fresh Coconut Cake

Banana Cream Pie Smoothie

Photo: Randy Mayor

Banana Cream Pie Smoothie

Frozen bananas, graham cracker crumbs, and vanilla extract are a few of the ingredients that make this smoothie a rich dessert in a glass. Because it calls for low-fat yogurt and fat-free milk, one serving of this drink gives you about the same amount of calcium as a glass of milk.

View Recipe: Banana Cream Pie Smoothie

Lemon Curd with Berries Recipe

Photo: Johnny Autry

Lemon Curd with Berries

In this custard, citrus juice stands in for milk as the base liquid, thickened by egg yolks. Butter gives the curd a glorious sheen. Garnish with mint leaves for a spot of green color.

View Recipe: Lemon Curd with Berries

Healthy Blueberry-Peach Cobbler Recipes

Photo: John Autry

Blueberry-Peach Cobbler

Our Blueberry-Peach Cobbler is like a blueberry muffin canoodling with fresh peaches. Be sure to use peaches that aren't superripe for this recipe so they'll hold their shape when cooked. The baking dish will be brimming with fruit and topping, so it's a good idea to place it on a foil-lined baking sheet before putting it in the oven.

View Recipe: Blueberry-Peach Cobbler

Caramel-Pecan Dacquoise

Photo: Levi Brown

Caramel-Pecan Dacquoise

A perfect dessert dialectic: crunchy and creamy textures, sweet and bittersweet flavors.

View Recipe: Caramel-Pecan Dacquoise

Tiramisu Recipe

Tiramisu

Tiramisu is Italian for "lift me up." And its indulgent creamy, mocha-tinged flavor is indeed uplifting. With layers of ladyfingers, coffee, mascarpone cheese, and shaved or grated chocolate, traditional tiramisu is a cross between a trifle and bread pudding. Our lightened version is less than 300 calories per serving, and makes for a sophisticated dinner-party treat.

View Recipe: Tiramisu

Roasted Banana Pudding

Photo: Randy Mayor

Roasted Banana Pudding

Many folks say banana pudding is best the next day, after the flavors have blended overnight and the cookies have softened. In our classic recipe makeover, roasting the bananas in the peel intensifies the flavor.

View Recipe: Roasted Banana Pudding

Fresh Mint Ice Cream

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Fresh Mint Ice Cream

This make-ahead creamy treat makes an ideal dessert for summertime entertaining. Not a mint fan? Substitute toasted coconut for mint.

View Recipe: Fresh Mint Ice Cream

Maple-Gingerbread Pots de Crème

Photo: Levi Brown

Maple-Gingerbread Pots de Crème

The crackly counterpoint to the silky custards occurs when you sprinkle a thin layer of sugar on top and broil to melt. The caramel hardens as it cools.

View Recipe: Maple-Gingerbread Pots de Crème

Chocolate Pudding Recipe

Photo: Francesco Tonelli

Chocolate Pudding

Custard-style puddings, like this one, often call for egg yolks because they possess thickening qualities and add rich flavor to the final dish. We also use corn starch in combination with the eggs because it adds a pleasing silky sheen in addition to thickening the mixture.

View Recipe: Chocolate Pudding

No-Bake Fresh Strawberry Pie

Photo: Romulo Yanes

No-Bake Fresh Strawberry Pie

Glorious spring berries are the focus here—tons of them, piled atop a layer of creamy filling and a chocolate wafer cookie crust.

View Recipe: No-Bake Fresh Strawberry Pie

Lemon Verbena Ice Cream Recipe

Photo: Romulo Yanes

Lemon Verbena Ice Cream

"I remember discovering lemon verbena one summer at the greenmarket in New York," says Chef Hatfield (Hatfield's, Los Angeles). "The smell is intoxicating, and it stays with you forever."

View Recipe: Lemon Verbena Ice Cream

Banana Snacking Cake

Photo: John Autry; Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine 

Banana Snacking Cake

Loaf cakes hold up well during shipping, and a slice can stand in for breakfast on a busy morning. This healthy version is made with potassium-packed bananas, canola oil, low-fat yogurt, and just 1/3 cup of sugar.

View Recipe: Banana Snacking Cake

Cherry-Almond Crisp Recipe

Photo: Anna Williams

Cherry-Almond Crisp

Fresh tart cherries can be hard to find, which is why we add some dried ones to boost the flavor of this crisp. If you have access to fresh tart cherries, use 3 pounds and omit the dried fruit. Serve with vanilla low-fat ice cream, if desired; a small (1/4-cup) scoop will add 55 calories and 0.5 grams of saturated fat to each serving.

View Recipe: Cherry-Almond Crisp

Warm Apple-Buttermilk Custard Pie Recipe

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Warm Apple-Buttermilk Custard Pie

Warm, cinnamon apples combine with a creamy custard for a fun twist on apple pie. Tip: The key to both a flaky piecrust and crisp streusel topping is to keep them as cold as possible before putting them into the oven.

View Recipe: Warm Apple-Buttermilk Custard Pie

Roasted Pear Crème Brûlée Tart Recipe

Photo: Randy Mayor

Roasted Pear Crème Brûlée Tart

"Since most people make an effort to save room for dessert, I came up with something special. This tart combines elements of every good dessert--flaky crust, crunchy caramelized sugar, creamy custard, and soft roasted fruit. You can make all the components ahead of time, but brûlée the pears just before serving." —SaBrina Bone, Test Kitchen Professional

View Recipe: Roasted Pear Crème Brûlée Tart

Limoncello Freeze Recipe

Photo: Nigel Cox

Limoncello Freeze

Mush together purchased ice cream, lemon curd (found near the jellies and jams), and limoncello, and you get a delicious lemony version of a Creamsicle—fruity-tangy and creamy-milky at the same time. Meringue cookies add welcome crunch.

View Recipe: Limoncello Freeze

Chocolate Shortbread Recipe

Chocolate Shortbread

A mighty fine cookie. Bittersweet edge, nice and rich. It's also easy to prepare and keeps for several days in an airtight container.

View Recipe: Chocolate Shortbread

Banana Split Ice-Cream Sandwiches Comfort Food Recipe

Photo: John Autry

Banana Split Ice-Cream Sandwiches

Crisp vanilla cookies add a textural twist to conventional banana split ingredients in this delightful sweet treat.

View Recipe: Banana Split Ice-Cream Sandwiches

Peach and Basil Shortcake Recipe

Photo: Romulo Yanes

Peach and Basil Shortcake

This company-worthy shortcake is both beautiful and delicious. We love the unexpected flavor that basil brings to the table.

View Recipe: Peach and Basil Shortcake

Giant Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Photo: Randy Mayor

Giant Chocolate Chunk Cookies

How do you improve the perfect chocolate chip cookie? Make it bigger! These ample treats bring out the little kid in everyone when paired with a glass of milk and a mug for dunking. Each batch makes only 6 cookies, so you might want to double the recipe for a crowd.

View Recipe: Giant Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Chipotle Peanut Brittle Comfort Food Recipe

Photo: Randy Mayor

Chipotle Peanut Brittle

This smoky-sweet brittle is a great snack; substitute pecans or almonds, if you prefer. For plain peanut brittle, omit the chile powder.

View Recipe: Chipotle Peanut Brittle

Strawberry-Almond Cream Tart Recipes

Photo: Lauren Rubinstein

Strawberry-Almond Cream Tart

Nestled in a creamy filling and crumbly graham cracker crust, strawberries shine in this delectable tart.

"OUTSTANDING!!!" said MegLee. "I made this as a birthday treat for my mother, everyone loved it, especially her!!! I can't wait for an occasion to make this again."

View Recipe: Strawberry-Almond Cream Tart

Sweet-tart grapes, a tangy goat cheese mixture, earthy walnuts, and a honeyed port sauce all layered between airy and crisp phyllo, who could ask for anything more?

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Sautéed Grape Napoleons with Port Reduction 

The layers of flavor in this dish add up to something incredible―with sweet-tart grapes, a tangy goat cheese mixture, earthy walnuts, and a honeyed port sauce all layered between airy and crisp phyllo, who could ask for anything more?

View Recipe: Sautéed Grape Napoleons with Port Reduction

Peach and Raspberry Pavlova Parfaits

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Peach and Raspberry Pavlova Parfaits

At home, mature peaches will continue to ripen at room temperature—increasing in juiciness and flavor, though not in sweetness. To make crumbs, place cookies in a plastic bag and gently crush with a rolling pin.

View Recipe: Peach and Raspberry Pavlova Parfaits

Rum-Spiked Grilled Pineapple with Toasted Coconut Recipe

Photo: John Autry

Rum-Spiked Grilled Pineapple with Toasted Coconut

Perfect for a backyard cookout with friends, just six ingredients make one delicious dessert in less than 10 minutes. Grilling caramelizes the sugars in the fruit for a light treat that is delicious on its own or served with low-fat vanilla ice cream.

View Recipe: Rum-Spiked Grilled Pineapple with Toasted Coconut

Grapefruit-Buttermilk Sherbet

Photo: Anna Williams

Grapefruit-Buttermilk Sherbet

Vodka keeps the sherbet from freezing rock hard, but it's optional. For a delicious garnish, boil julienne strips of grapefruit rind in simple syrup for 30 minutes; drain and toss in sugar.

View Reicpe: Grapefruit-Buttermilk Sherbet

Bittersweet Chocolate-Cherry Sorbet Recipes

Photo: Gentl & Hyers

Bittersweet Chocolate-Cherry Sorbet with Fresh Cherry Compote

Tart-sweet cherry and strong dark chocolate flavors meld beautifully in this surprisingly rich sorbet crowned with juicy fresh cherries. Use a high-quality jam for the sorbet, and be sure to start the process a day ahead for the best flavor and texture.

View Recipe: Bittersweet Chocolate-Cherry Sorbet with Fresh Cherry Compote

Marbled-Chocolate Banana Bread Recipe

Photo: Francesco Tonelli

Marbled-Chocolate Banana Bread

Melted chocolate chips add an elegant (and tasty) swirl to this gorgeous bread, making it a perfect candidate for gifts and guests.

View Recipe: Marbled-Chocolate Banana Bread

Chocolate Almond Cherry Crisps Recipes

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Chocolate Almond Cherry Crisps

These no-bake cookies taste like bite-sized candy bars and are terrific with a cup of coffee. Prepare them up to two days in advance, and store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

View Recipe: Chocolate Almond Cherry Crisps

Simple Strawberry Mouss

Photo: Romulo Yanes

Simple Strawberry Mousse

This light and airy dessert will leave you feeling satisfied and refreshed. It is the perfect way to showcase delicious strawberries.

View Recipe: Simple Strawberry Mousse

Coconut Cake with Buttercream Frosting

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Coconut Cake with Buttercream Frosting

This coconut cake recipe is one of our readers' all-time favorites. The frosting is also popular for several other cupcake and cake flavors like carrot, spice, and basic white.

View Recipe: Coconut Cake with Buttercream Frosting

Seared Figs and White Peaches with Balsamic Reduction

Photo: Randy Mayor

Seared Figs and White Peaches with Balsamic Reduction

Ripe figs and peaches have naturally high levels of sugar, which means they'll caramelize beautifully without additional sugar or copious amounts of fat. This simple yet elegant dessert is a great way to maintain the texture and floral flavors of these delicate fruits. Toasted whole black peppercorns add an interesting savory flavor to this dish.

View Recipe: Seared Figs and White Peaches with Balsamic Reduction

Sponge Cake with Orange Curd and Strawberries

Photo: Nina Choi

Sponge Cake with Orange Curd and Strawberries

Matzo and almond flour sponge cake is delightful—floral and sweet, with lemon, orange, and tangy berries.

View Recipe: Sponge Cake with Orange Curd and Strawberries

Gingered Blueberry Shortcake

Photo: Randy Mayor

Gingered Blueberry Shortcake

Crumbly shortbread and homemade whipped cream elevate a simple berry to a memorably indulgent treat. The components of this dish can be made in advance, then assembled just before serving.

View Recipe: Gingered Blueberry Shortcake

Hello Dolly Bars Recipe

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Hello Dolly Bars

These bar cookies—also known as seven-layer bars—take less than 30 minutes to make and call for just eight ingredients, making Hello Dolly Bars the perfect dessert for taking along, well, just about anywhere!

Reviewer dmpeace received a little help with these in the kitchen: "These were a fabulous treat and fun to make with my 2 1/2 year old. She got a kick out of sprinkling the toppings. Very rich, and very sweet."

View Recipe: Hello Dolly Bars

Strawberry Angel Cake

Photo: Howard L. Puckett

Strawberry Angel Cake

Make a store-bought angel food cake beautiful and utterly delicious by dressing it up a bit. Whether you are planning a large gathering or just serving a special dinner for two, this tasty creation must be on the menu.

View Recipe: Strawberry Angel Cake

Margarita Ice-Cream Sandwiches

Photo: Anna Williams

Margarita Ice-Cream Sandwiches

Fresh lime zest and coarse sea salt mimic the flavors of a margarita in this treat that kids and adults will love.

View Recipe: Margarita Ice-Cream Sandwiches

Cinnamon-Apple Cake Recipes

Cinnamon-Apple Cake

Originally appearing in an issue from 1997, this Cinnamon-Apple Cake is one of our most loved recipes and can be served as dessert or a breakfast coffee cake. The cream cheese in the batter gives the cake lots of moisture. We recommend using mild-tasting Rome apples.

View Recipe: Cinnamon-Apple Cake

Strawberries in Meyer Lemon Syrup

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Strawberries in Meyer Lemon Syrup

Meyer lemons, available through May, have sweeter, more aromatic juice than regular lemons. To ensure the dessert doesn't get too tart if substituting regular lemon juice, begin with 2 tablespoons juice, and taste; add more juice if desired. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs.

View Recipe: Strawberries in Meyer Lemon Syrup

Peanut Butter Pie

Photo: Lee Harrelson

Peanut Butter Pie

The reader who submitted this for the Reader Recipe column compared its flavor to a chocolate peanut butter candy bar. We agree, and also think this uncomplicated pie is such a snap to prepare that it's perfect for any occasion, from a birthday to an I-just-feel-like-pie day.

View Recipe: Peanut Butter Pie

Roasted Banana Bars with Browned Butter–Pecan Frosting Recipe

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Roasted Banana Bars with Browned Butter–Pecan Frosting

Put those ripe, speckled bananas to good use. This dish starts with roasting bananas, which adds caramelized notes to their tropical sweetness. The bananas flavor the light-and-fluffy bars, which are topped with cream cheese icing and chopped pecans for the perfect amount of tanginess and crunch.

View Recipe: Roasted Banana Bars with Browned Butter–Pecan Frosting

Bittersweet Chocolate Sorbet

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Bittersweet Chocolate Sorbet

The deep chocolate flavor and rich consistency belie this dessert's low-fat status. Freeze the sorbet up to two days in advance; let stand at room temperature 15 minutes to soften a bit before scooping.

View Recipe: Bittersweet Chocolate Sorbet

Strawberries with Orange-Ricotta Cream

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Strawberries with Orange-Ricotta Cream

Prepare the orange-ricotta cream early in the day; it is best served very cold over ripe strawberries. You'll have a half cup of the cheese mixture left over. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

View Recipe: Strawberries with Orange-Ricotta Cream

Chocolate Baklava Recipe

Photo: Francesco Tonelli

Chocolate Baklava

Baklava is a classic Mediterranean dessert that traditionally features layered phyllo dough, nuts, and syrup or honey. In this version, creamy chocolate-hazelnut spread adds rich, decadent flavor to this nutty, crowd-pleasing pastry.

View Recipe: Chocolate Baklava

Summer Berry Medley with Limoncello and Mint

Summer Berry Medley with Limoncello and Mint

Limoncello (lee-mon-CHAY-low) is a lemon-flavored liqueur from Italy's Amalfi coast. It's often savored after a meal. Store it in the freezer, and serve over ice. If you have trouble finding it, substitute an orange-flavored liqueur such as Grand Marnier. This recipe earned our Test Kitchens' highest rating.

View Recipe: Summer Berry Medley with Limoncello and Mint

Coffee-Drenched Ice Cream with Banana and Nuts Recipe

Photo: Nigel Cox

Coffee-Drenched Ice Cream with Banana and Nuts

This quick treat is a coffee-lover's dream. We used espresso, however feel free to substitute strong brewed coffee, or use instant coffee/espresso granules to make the coffee. A vegetable peeler is a great tool to make chocolate curls from a bar of chocolate.

View Recipe: Coffee-Drenched Ice Cream with Banana and Nuts

Ice Cream Treasures

Photo: Lee Harrelson

Ice Cream Treasures

Use any combination of cereals you like. This frozen dessert would also be delicious with chocolate ice cream and chopped walnuts instead of almonds.

View Recipe: Ice Cream Treasures

Triple-Chocolate Cheesecake

Triple-Chocolate Cheesecake

A little rum added to the melted chocolate puts this creamy, chocolaty cheesecake over the edge.

View Recipe: Triple-Chocolate Cheesecake

Meringue-Topped Cranberry Curd Tart Recipe

Photo: Randy Mayor

Meringue-Topped Cranberry Curd Tart

This amazing tart is definitely a show stopper. Serve in a beautiful pie dish for a winning dessert.

View Recipe: Meringue-Topped Cranberry Curd Tart

Tropical Sherbet

Photo: John Autry

Tropical Sherbet

Try this in a cocktail glass with a shot of chilled dark rum spooned over the top. FYI: Make sure you buy ripe fruit. Papayas yellow as they ripen: Look for full, yellowish skin with slightly soft flesh for the best musky melon flavor. The base of a pineapple should be red-orange in color. Smell it and check for a sweet aroma.

View Recipe: Tropical Sherbet

Piña Colada Sorbet Recipe

Photo: Anna Williams

Piña Colada Sorbet

Three kinds of coconut products—coconut water, coconut milk, and cream of coconut—offer the best flavor and texture. Look for coconut water by the fruit juices. For an adult treat, drizzle rum over your serving.

View Recipe: Piña Colada Sorbet

Watermelon-Jalapeño Ice Pops

Photo: Anna Williams

Watermelon-Jalapeño Ice Pops

The ice pop gets a decidedly grown-up spin: It’s made from fresh melon, chile, and lime—both juice and rind. A bit of pectin helps keep all the ingredients incorporated evenly; without it, they tend to separate.

View Recipe: Watermelon-Jalapeño Ice Pops

Peach, Plum, and Apricot Crisp

Photo: Gentl & Hyers

Peach, Plum, and Apricot Crisp

Stone fruits work their magic with this dessert. Serve warm with vanilla low-fat ice cream.

View Recipe: Peach, Plum, and Apricot Crisp

Spiced Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Spiced Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

Vegetable shortening gives this piecrust—which we've deemed our best ever—a delicious, flaky texture. Be sure to read the nutrition labels and buy a brand with no trans fats though.

View Recipe: Spiced Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

Vanilla Bean Shortbread

Photo: Randy Mayor

Vanilla Bean Shortbread

Use pantry staples and a flavorful vanilla bean to create these delicate cookies. Make them up to five days in advance, and store in an airtight container.

View Recipe: Vanilla Bean Shortbread

Tangy Ice Cream with Cashew Brittle

Photo: John Autry

Tangy Ice Cream with Cashew Brittle

This brittle is a delicious counterpoint to our Tangy Ice Cream. But, we can assure you, the ice cream is delicious on its own too.

View Recipe: Tangy Ice Cream with Cashew Brittle

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