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.