Ultimate Reader Recipe Contest Winners and Finalists―Desserts
See the top recipes from past contests, and learn how to enter yours.
November 02, 2008
1 of 13Becky Luigart-Stayner
2009 Category Winner: Chocolate-Cherry Heart Smart Cookies
"I love chocolate and cherry flavors together, and I found great dried cherries from Maine for this recipe. I also used bittersweet instead of milk chocolate: Not only does it have less sugar, but it has a deeper flavor, too." ―Marcie Dixon, Arlington Heights, Ill.
2 of 13Becky Luigart-Stayner
2008 Category Winner: Roasted Banana Bars with Browned Butter–Pecan Frosting
"I have been baking banana bars with my mother since I was old enough to stir the batter, so I was pleased when I was able to lighten them for my family and still maintain the original flavor. I browned butter in a saucepan to enhance its richness, thus eliminating the need for full-fat cream cheese. This is a great way to use ripe, speckled bananas." ―Lindsay Weiss, Overland Park, KS
3 of 13Becky Luigart-Stayner
2008 Finalist: Deep Dark Chocolate Biscotti
"Whole-wheat flour, flaxseed, and almonds add fiber and antioxidants.” ―Linda Rogers, Manistee, Mich.
4 of 13Becky Luigart-Stayner
2008 Finalist: Garden Harvest Cake
Zucchini, carrot, and apples add moisture and flavor, eliminating the need for excess butter and oil. This simple cake only takes about 10 minutes to prepare the batter, and I love it for breakfast. ―Jennifer Dunklee, Medford, Mass.
5 of 13Howard Puckett
2007 Category Winner:Carrot Cake with Toasted Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
"I grind oats with flour in a food processor to make this cake more nutritious, and use only 1/4 cup canola oil and pureed baby food carrots to make it moist. This cake keeps for up to three days in the refrigerator and also freezes well." ―Christine Dohlmar, Valrico, Florida
"The cake has a delicate chocolate flavor, so it's not overpowering. I enjoy the special glaze the most. Although I wrote the recipe to say "cool completely," the cake tastes delicious served slightly warm about a half-hour after you have inverted it from the pan." ―Barb Combs, Fort Collins, CO
2007 Finalist:Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Honey Apple Cake
"I've been making oatmeal cake for my family for more than 45 years. Several years ago I revised the recipe, eliminating vegetable oil and using thick, chunky applesauce for added moistness. I replaced granulated sugar with honey, which gave the cake more flavor. The original frosting called for coconut, but I chose almonds, a more healthful option." ―Barbara Estabrook, Rhinelander, Wisconsin
"Cake is my favorite dessert―especially frosted cake." ―Anna Ginsberg, Austin, TX
12 of 13Howard Puckett
2005 FinalistBanana Rum Coconut Cookies
"I love oatmeal cookies, so I did my best to come up with a low-fat version." ―Christine Dohlmar, Valrico, FL
13 of 13Howard Puckett
2005 FinalistSour Cream Panna Cotta with Blackberry-Zinfandel Compote
"I developed this light but rich-tasting dessert for a get-together dinner for fitness instructors. I've made this for other entertaining events because I can prepare it ahead of time, which I love." ―Camilla Saulsbury, Nacogdoches, TX