100+ Lightened Chocolate Desserts
Hot Chocolate Fudge Cakes
These chocolate desserts are ideal for a celebration and can mostly be made up to two days ahead. Between their decidedly rich flavor and sumptuous textures that combine a crusty top with a molten interior, these cakes earned our Test Kitchens' highest rating.
Almond Butter Chocolate Truffles
Store-bought chocolates fall short compared to these homemade peanut butter and chocolate truffles. Made with almond butter and antioxidant-rich dark chocolate, you can add any toppings you like, such as coconut, chopped nuts, cocoa powder, or dried fruit. For only 6 grams of sugar per serving, the options are plentiful.
Rich Chocolate Mousse
A splash of coconut milk adds richness to silken tofu, the mousse's secret ingredient, while whipped egg whites give volume in place of heavy cream. Dates lend natural sweetness with notes of caramel and honey. Don't give in to temptation too soon—the mousse needs to chill at least 8 hours to set properly. Serve chilled with fresh berries.
Our light, decadent mousse saves 89 calories, 8.6 sat fat, and 13g added sugars over traditional.
Fudge Brownie Pops
These brownies are incredibly rich and moist, and impossibly easy to make: Just roll 'em, dip 'em, and stick 'em! For easier handling, push the finished pops, standing upright, into Styrofoam, and place in the refrigerator to chill.
Chocolate Stout Brownies
The typical brownie has nearly 20 grams of sugar, masking the rich flavor of cocoa in an overwhelming wave of sweetness. Here, we cut sugar in half for a richer, denser brownie that truly satisfies.
Milk Chocolate Crème Brûlée
A splash of nutty amaretto adds an extra layer of elegance to the milk chocolate in this decadently creamy dessert. If you don't own a kitchen blowtorch, simply sprinkle the chilled ramekins evenly with sugar and place on a baking sheet; broil close to heat source for 1 to 3 minutes or until sugar is melted and caramelized.
Individual Chocolate Soufflés
Impress your sweetheart with a restaurant-quality dessert in the comfort of your home. You'll never believe how easy it is to whip up a batch of our sexy, foolproof chocolate soufflés. Prepare for a taste of heaven.
The secret to these rich chocolate cookies is not to overbake them. For a gooey, creamy cookie center, pull them out of the oven when they are still a bit glossy.
Chocolate Java Lava Cakes
These sumptuous chocolate-coffee concoctions, with their rich molten interior, are a chocolate lover's dream.
Five-Ingredient Chocolate Cakes
A piece of chocolate cake doesn't have to ruin your healthy-eating habits. Our lighter versions of these sweet treats are indulgent, rich, and oh-so-tasty.
Believe it: This gorgeous dessert uses only five ingredients—sugar, butter, eggs, cake flour, and cocoa (we don't count water, salt, and cooking spray). The chocolate sauce that tops the individual cakes is luscious, thick, and glossy, with full-on chocolate flavor. Beaten egg whites go into the cake batter for a light, airy texture.
These cupcakes are easy to make, and because simple ingredients are used, it's best to purchase premium cocoa powder and dark chocolate. Since they're studded with dark chocolate chunks, just dusting them with powdered sugar is enough to decorate these treats.
Upside-Down Fudge-Almond Tart
Coarsely chopped almonds, two kinds of chocolate, and golden cane syrup help give Upside-Down Fudge-Almond Tart its rich flavor and our highest rating. "Easy and beautiful, this tart will satisfy every chocoholic's need for a chocolate fix," comments Test Kitchen Professional Deb Wise.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Store these Test Kitchen favorite cookies up to one week in an airtight container--if they last that long. We suggest keeping a dozen in the freezer for emergencies.
No mixer? No problem. You won't need one for this surprisingly easy, aptly named dessert. Antioxidant-rich chocolate makes three appearances here―as cocoa powder, unsweetened chocolate, and semisweet morsels. If you don't have ramekins, use muffin pans. The best part about this dessert: utter indulgence for a perfectly reasonable 315 calories. (Before we lightened it, this recipe contained 546.)
Cocoa Fudge Cookies
These "disappearing cookies" are so rich, soft, and chewy that they tend to vanish quickly. “They’re the perfect cross between cookie and brownie,” one reader says. “Moist and dense on the inside, like a brownie, but crusty on the outside, like a cookie, you'd never know they're light.” At only 78 calories each, feel free to make a few batches. Then watch them disappear!
Chocolate Bundt Cake
With a double shot of chocolate and hazelnut flavors, kids and adults will rave over these filled cookies. The espresso powder is optional, but it intensifies the chocolate flavor.
Creamiest Chocolate Pudding
This recipe earned our Test Kitchens' highest rating. A combination of cocoa powder and dark chocolate offers acidity and flowery notes. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator up to five days. For a pretty presentation, dip mint sprigs in water and gently dredge in sugar; let dry on a wire rack.
Dark Chocolate and Cherry Brownies
This rich dessert uses less fat than traditional brownies by substituting water and cherry preserves in place of some of the oil. The combination of unsweetened cocoa and semisweet chips makes for a rich, dark flavor.
Double-Caramel Turtle Cake
This decadent cake, which plays off the popular Turtle candies, boasts chocolate layers and a nutty caramel glaze.
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.
Chocolate Fudge Pie
This gooey, chocolaty treat is made from ingredients you may have in the pantry or refrigerator right now so you can get baking immediately.
If you need a reason to feel better about indulging your chocolate craving, remember this: Short-term studies have suggested that consumption of cocoa may provide cardiovascular benefits due to compounds known as flavanols. Generally, the higher the concentration of cocoa, the more flavanols are in the product, so splurge on the best. Rich Chocolate Shortbread is easy to prepare and keeps for several days in an airtight container.
Chocolate-Walnut Meringue Pie
This is a pie that's dressed up for the prom. Inside, it's an old-fashioned, dense, sweet chocolate pie, but it's encased in a refined walnut crust and topped with elegant toasted meringue.
Individual Chocolate Soufflé Cakes
Our simple directions make a properly risen soufflé a cinch. For easy variations in flavor, substitute almond, lemon, or orange extract for the vanilla.
Deep Dark Chocolate Biscotti
Fudgy Mocha-Toffee Brownies
Ooey-gooey and rich with chocolate and coffee flavors, these brownies have a dense and fudgy texture that's just right. A topping of toffee chips that melts into the brownies during baking sets them apart in a delicious way.
Chocolate-Berry Cream Pie
You can prepare this creamy pie a day in advance, just wait and spread the triple berry topping before serving.
For those who say it's not dessert if it's not chocolate: Creamy milk chocolate mousse is sandwiched between intensely chocolaty cake layers.
Truffles typically have lots of cream and butter. Our bite-sized treats forgo those riches while maintaining the soft, creamy texture.
Chocolate Walnut Tart
A riff on the classic pecan pie, this dessert is rich, chocolaty, and a little fancier with its freestanding fluted sides. Of course, you can use a 9-inch pie plate if you don't have a tart pan with a removable bottom.
Black Forest Cherry Cake
The original cake has many layers; our streamlined version is easy to assemble and doesn't sacrifice any flavor or presentation panache. The heavy cherry filling may cause the cake to sink slightly in the center once assembled, but it won't detract from the stunning presentation.
Salted Chocolate Ganache Cake
Choose a premium chocolate bar for this simple one-layer cake. Make up to one day ahead, and store in an airtight container.
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.
Chocolate Pots de Crème
Pots de crème are decadent, creamy custards served in tiny cups—and they’re a perfect ending to a cozy dinner. Make this dessert the night before, and chill until you’re ready to serve.
Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
Instant coffee intensifies the chocolate richness of these cupcakes. 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.
Baked Chocolate Mousse
Similar to a flourless chocolate cake, this sinfully delicious mousse has a superthin cake-like outer layer and a dense, fudgy center—it’s as rich and satisfying as any chocolate dessert you’ll find.
Dark Chocolate Sauce
Here’s a scrumptious way to dress up any simple dessert, such as ice cream, berries, or Banana Split Sundaes.
Chocolate Cake with Fluffy Frosting
Marshmallow creme mixed with cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla creates a light and fluffy filling for this layered cake.
Dark Chocolate Orange Cake
Dark chocolate and orange are a classic combination in this decadent dessert. With Triple Sec (orange-flavored liqueur), orange juice, and orange rind strips on top, this cake is zinging with citrus.
This is pure chocolate indulgence, with a whiff of hazelnut. Fondue is more versatile than you may think. Drizzle this warm sauce over cake, ice cream, or yogurt.
Classic Fudge-Walnut Brownies
You’ll love these if you’re a big fan of the Girl Scouts' Thin Mint cookies. The dense base layer is like a rich, fudgy brownie, so don’t overcook it or the dessert bars will be dry. Refrigerating the mint bars allows the chocolaty top layer to set properly. You can make the dessert up to one day ahead.
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.
A splash of rum added to the melted chocolate gives this chocolaty cheesecake an advantage.
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.
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.
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.
The chocolate and hazelnut coating adds textural interest to these airy, sweet treats.
No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Drops
Under 90 calories and packed with flavor, these no-bake goodies are a perfect chocolate treat for parties. We’ve cut out a lot of the unnecessary butter and added more chocolate chips to provide firmness, texture and a beautiful gloss to these cookies.
Chocolate-Cherry Heart Smart Cookies
Bittersweet chocolate and dried cherries lend the perfect amount of sweetness to hearty oatmeal cookies. Double the recipe and store extras in the freezer for whenever you need a healthy treat.
Chocolate Chip-Coffee Muffins
Every bite of Chocolate Chip-Coffee Muffins delivers a jolt of coffee flavor and chunks of chocolate.
Marbled-Chocolate Banana Bread
Melted chocolate chips add an elegant (and tasty) swirl to this gorgeous bread, making it a perfect treat for your Valentine.
Texas Sheet Cake
Chocolate Turtle Brownie Sundaes
Decadent, warm, and gooey turtle brownies meet creamy vanilla frozen yogurt drenched in a drool-worthy fudge sauce. Licking your screen yet? This dessert is perfect for any occasion and will always leave you begging for seconds.
Create a rich muffin for chocolate lovers with three different kinds of chocolate: bittersweet, cocoa, and semisweet chocolate chips.
Chocolate Hazelnut Bark
Dried cherries and crystallized ginger add a depth of flavor to this simple, four-ingredient chocolate bark. This recipe will satisfy your sweet tooth in a delicious way.
Chocolate-Peanut Butter Bars
A kid-favorite classic, these bars are fit for modern palates as well. Substitute light brown sugar for the dark if you are looking for a milder bar.
Crunchy Chocolate Hazelnut Sandwich
Our version of this quick dessert uses shaved bittersweet chocolate for added richness. Look for amaretti cookies at specialty or gourmet markets; they have a distinct almond-amaretto flavor and crunchy texture that make this dish memorable. In a pinch, you can substitute crumbled almond biscotti.
Make irresistible chocolate shop treats in your own kitchen. Just one or two of these delightful clusters will satisfy a sweet craving.
Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Fudge
Make the combination of peanut butter and chocolate even better by stirring in instant coffee granules and topping the fudge with chopped peanuts.
Barcelona Hot Chocolate
Indulgent as it may seem, a cup of rich hot cocoa can offer enough health benefits to dissolve any guilt. One cup has twice the level of antioxidant activity of a five-ounce glass of red wine and two to three times more than a cup of green tea. This version combines bittersweet chocolate and unsweetened cocoa with espresso, brown sugar, and orange rind for a pick-me-up that's enjoyed in Spain and Europe.
This lightened version of classic chocolate cream pie features a smooth, rich chocolate filling and a creamy topping, but has only 8 grams of fat per serving.
German Chocolate Mousse
A twist on a family favorite, this mousse is even more decadent and satisfying than a German chocolate cake. Top off the rich mousse with toasted pecans for a tasty and pretty garnish.
Chocolate-Cherry Pudding Cake
This gluten-free dessert separates into two layers as it bakes, a tender chocolate spongelike cake and a rich chocolate-cherry sauce, creating a warm and gooey texture.
Chocolate-Almond Cheesecake Bars
Toasted almonds and semisweet chocolate combine with cream cheese for a decadent, yet light cream cheese bar.