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20 Healthy Dessert Recipes That Won’t Blow Your Diet

Looking for a sweet treat that’ll fit your macros and satisfy your inner “cleaner eater”? Check out these 20 healthy dessert recipes.

When you get “serious” about your meal planning, tasty desserts are usually the first thing to go.

But they shouldn’t be!

As these 20 healthy dessert recipes prove, you don’t need to cut out fun foods entirely. You simply need to tweak your recipes so that you can enjoy your favorite tasty treats without exploding your macros.

From chocolate-covered protein pretzels to healthy sweet potato fudge, you’re sure to find something in this list that you’ll love.

Enjoy!

Chocolate-Covered Protein Pretzels

Serves 4 / Makes about 14

Pretzels are such an easy snack to eat by the handful, especially when they’re dipped in chocolate. But then you’d probably be overloading on carbs, right?

Not with this innovative recipe for homemade pretzels, which use protein powder instead of flour. There’s no need to make a yeast dough, and they don’t require tricky twisting either. The only thing you need to make them the right shape is a pretzel cutter.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

244

Calories

16 g

Protein

12 g

Carbs

15 g

Fat

Ingredients

1/2 cup WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup almond milk

1.5 oz. dark chocolate

Get the Recipe

Healthy Sweet Potato Fudge

Serves 9

Fudge is one of the most classic chocolate desserts, yet the traditional version is a far cry from being nutritious. It’s not the dark chocolate that’s at fault, but the heavy cream, or sweetened condensed milk, and loads of sugar that are added.

This healthy fudge is made with totally different ingredients – including sweet potatoes, which account for over half the carbs. But it ends up with the same indulgent flavor and texture you’re used to.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

199

Calories

4 g

Protein

31 g

Carbs

9 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 cups sweet potatoes, cooked and pureed

1 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 cup almond flour

1/4 cup coconut oil

2 large eggs (or flax eggs)

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. sea salt

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Protein-Packed Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream

Serves 2

You can make low-fat ice cream at home without an ice cream maker, and you don’t even have to give up dairy.

Blend together cottage cheese and Greek yogurt with a cup of milk, and the result is an ice cream base that’s thick enough to just be left alone in the freezer. Stir occasionally, and in a few hours you’ll have healthy homemade ice cream.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

101

Calories

13 g

Protein

10 g

Carbs

2 g

Fat

Ingredients

1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese

1/2 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt

1 cup low-fat milk

5 packets stevia

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

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Cinnamon Roll Protein Bites

Serves 2

Satisfy your cinnamon roll cravings without turning on the oven (or driving to the mall). These protein truffles may not be real baked goods, but they do have the right look and flavor to trick your senses.

And the macros will make everyone happy, especially since you don’t have to swap out sugar for stevia. If you want to add the optional icing swirl on top, stir together vanilla protein powder with water until it reaches the desired texture. Put it into a plastic sandwich bag, and snip off the corner to make a piping bag.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

141

Calories

23 g

Protein

8 g

Carbs

2 g

Fat

Ingredients

1/2 cup WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

2 Tbsp. coconut flour

2 Tbsp. unsweetened coconut

1 Tbsp. coconut sugar

1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

Get the Recipe

Mini Chocolate Brownie Protein Donuts

Serves 4 / Makes 20

This protein-packed dessert satisfies two cravings: brownies and cake donuts.

In order to bake donuts and avoid the fryer, you’ll need the right kind of pan. But it’s surprising how many healthy donut recipes there are online, enough to make a new flavor every week. That’ll help boost your willpower when you have to drive by Dunkin’ Donuts or Krispy Kreme.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

152

Calories

12 g

Protein

19 g

Carbs

6 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 egg whites

2 Tbsp. almond butter

1/3 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk

1 scoop WHEY+ chocolate protein isolate

1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp. oat flour

3 Tbsp. xylitol (or sweetener of choice)

1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 tsp. baking powder

Get the Recipe

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Avocado Key Lime Pie

Serves 6

Like many other fruits, avocado is awesome in desserts when mashed up and mixed into the batter. It’s just too bad we didn’t realize it sooner. Avocado can be baked in cookies, made into a raw pudding, or even turned into healthy ice cream with frozen bananas.

In this recipe, the mellow fruit transforms into a creamy, rich pie filling sweetened with just a touch of honey. The key lime filling will work with any crust, but this one is easy to make by processing almond flour and dates.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

372

Calories

2 g

Protein

24 g

Carbs

33 g

Fat

Ingredients

Filling:

2 avocados

2 Tbsp. lime juice

1/2 cup coconut oil

2 Tbsp. raw honey

Crust:

1/2 cup almond flour

1/2 cup dates

Pinch of salt

Pinch of cayenne

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Peanut Butter Protein Balls

Serves 2 / Makes 4

Can’t stop yourself from eating peanut butter out of the jar by the spoonful? Those 100 calories per tablespoon add up fast.

Luckily, it only takes three ingredients and ten minutes to make a satisfying peanut butter dessert. It’s also a great snack to have post-workout, delivering a mix of protein, fat, and sugar.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

215

Calories

18 g

Protein

21 g

Carbs

8 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 scoop WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

2 Tbsp. honey

2 Tbsp. peanut butter

Get the Recipe

Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Protein Bites

Serves 5

Sometimes a dessert isn’t satisfying unless it’s smothered in dark chocolate. But while you’re covering everything in melted chocolate, you may as well add some protein.

These protein bites start out as pieces of fresh fruit, and then they’re coated in a mix of coconut flour and whey. Finally, they’re dipped in dark chocolate to become mini candy bars – only more nutritious.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

80

Calories

6 g

Protein

5 g

Carbs

4 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 scoop WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

3 Tbsp. coconut flour

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 oz. dark chocolate

2 large strawberries, chopped

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High-Protein Gelatin Snack Cups

Serves 8

Jello is a favorite for dieters, but it’s so low in calories because it has hardly any substance to it. Don’t we all want dessert to be a benefit to our diets?

Add Greek yogurt and protein powder, and gelatin becomes a healthy dessert that does more than fill in the gaps. It adds nutrients, especially since there’s fresh fruit in the mix too.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

109

Calories

11 g

Protein

6 g

Carbs

1 g

Fat

Ingredients

1/2 cup water

1 package (3 oz.) flavored gelatin

1 1/2 cups low-fat plain Greek yogurt

2 scoops WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

1 cup blueberries

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Maple Bacon Cupcakes

Serves 12

Can you believe these are low-calorie cupcakes? With some healthy substitutions, you can have dessert and bacon all in one – without actually going overboard.

It starts with a modification of yellow cake mix using egg whites, applesauce, and maple syrup. Then the frosting is made with cream cheese, whereas going with buttercream would be literally piling butter and sugar on top of the cupcake. By making everything a little leaner, there’s room for just enough bacon to taste it.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

162

Calories

3 g

Protein

26 g

Carbs

6 g

Fat

Ingredients

Cupcakes:

1 3/4 cups yellow cake mix

1/2 cup egg whites

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 Tbsp. lite maple syrup

3/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. maple extract

Topping:

1/2 cup reduced-fat cream cheese

1/4 cup light butter (like Brummel & Brown)

2 Tbsp. lite maple syrup

1/8 tsp. maple extract

1/3 cup powdered sugar

2 Tbsp. cooked crumbled bacon

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Protein Gingersnaps

Serves 12

Almost any cookie recipe can be made healthier by swapping out some of the flour for protein powder. It’s a good baking trick to know any time of year, but it’s particularly useful to know how to make protein cookies when the holidays roll around.

You can bring these gluten-free cookies to any gathering, and no one will be the wiser.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

119

Calories

5 g

Protein

12 g

Carbs

6 g

Fat

Ingredients

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 scoops WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

1/4 tsp. xanthan gum (optional)

1/3 cup coconut sugar

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 Tbsp. ground ginger

1/2 large egg, beaten

2 Tbsp. unsulphered molasses

5 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

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Chocolate Pear Dumpling

Serves 4

Although this dessert looks decadent enough to serve at a dinner party, it couldn’t be easier to make.

Scoop out the middle of the pear, and stuff it with walnuts, chocolate chips, and butter. Brush some prepared puff pastry sheets with melted butter, and wrap it around the pear. Sprinkle with sugar, and bake for about a half hour.

For a slightly healthier phyllo-wrapped pear dumpling, just don’t stuff the middle with chocolate.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

547

Calories

8 g

Protein

71 g

Carbs

27 g

Fat

Ingredients

4 pears

4 Tbsp. butter, softened

1/4 cup chocolate chips, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

2 Tbsp. butter, melted

8 phyllo sheets, divided

1 Tbsp. turbinado sugar (optional)

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Protein Angel Food Cake

Serves 4

Whether you want a simple strawberry shortcake or to assemble a more extravagant dessert, angel food cake is a delicious base.

But the premade and boxed versions are just not the same as homemade in terms of preservatives, artificial flavors, and nutritional value. And that’s especially true compared to this healthy angel food cake with egg whites and whey protein powder.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

49

Calories

11 g

Protein

1 g

Carbs

0 g

Fat

Ingredients

12 egg whites

2 tsp. cream of tartar

Pinch of salt

1 cup WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

1 cup powdered erythritol (or powdered sugar)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Get the Recipe

Baked Oatmeal Cups

Serves 12

This grab-and-go oatmeal doesn’t require a microwave or even a bowl. Instead it’s served up in muffin form, complete with bananas, milk, and peanut butter.

But these can be made gluten-free since they don’t use any wheat flour. Like regular oatmeal, you can easily adjust this to taste by mixing in spices, dried fruit, chopped nuts, or even chocolate chips.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

119

Calories

4 g

Protein

20 g

Carbs

3 g

Fat

Ingredients

3 large bananas, mashed

1 cup milk

2 egg whites (or 1 large egg)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups old-fashioned oats

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

3 Tbsp. PB2

1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (or other mix-ins)

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Sweet Potato Casserole Pie

Serves 8

The secret that takes this sweet potato pie to another level is cinnamon roll-flavored coconut butter, which contains pecans, but if you can’t pick up a jar substitute regular coconut butter.

Then, double the amount of ground cinnamon in the pie filling. This already has a pecan crust and topping, so this healthy sweet potato pie will be full of flavor – plus a touch of protein for good measure.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

182

Calories

5 g

Protein

8 g

Carbs

15 g

Fat

Ingredients

Crust:

3/4 cup pecans

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1 Tbsp. unsweetened applesauce

2 Tbsp. baking stevia

Pie Filling:

1/2 cup mashed sweet potato

2 Tbsp. Sweet Spread cinnamon roll coconutter (or coconut oil)

2 Tbsp. baking stevia

1 large egg

1/2 scoop WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. butter extract (optional)

Topping:

1/4 cup chopped pecans

1 Tbsp. Sweet Spreads cinnamon roll coconutter

1 Tbsp. baking stevia

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Strawberry Kiwi Tart with Chia Crust

Serves 3

Avoiding flour, butter, or added sugar? Then you’re going to love these berry tarts, which help you avoid all three while still getting the feel of a baked good.

And if you aren’t in the mood for berries, you can substitute any kind of fruit. Try a tropical combo like mango and pineapple, or welcome fall with sliced apples and pears.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

302

Calories

7 g

Protein

58 g

Carbs

7 g

Fat

Ingredients

Crust:

1/4 cup dates

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup dried figs

Filling:

1 large banana

2 Tbsp. chia seeds

Topping:

3/4 cup chopped strawberries

3/4 cup chopped kiwi

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Coffee & Cream Sorbet

Serves 4

For a low-calorie dessert, it’s hard to beat sorbet. However, the premade kinds are usually loaded with sugar.

This coffee sorbet doesn’t require much sweetness as long as you aren’t the kind to take two sugars with your morning cup. Speaking of, this sorbet is also a great pick-me-up in the morning. Just as with brewed coffee, you can add spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

79

Calories

2 g

Protein

13 g

Carbs

1 g

Fat

Ingredients

4 cups brewed coffee

1 cup soy milk

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

Get the Recipe

High-Protein Mug Cake

Serves 1

Never go to bed without dessert again. This chocolate cake takes about five minutes to make with pantry staples. You can even use a teaspoon of baking soda if you don’t have an egg.

And since it’s a single-serving cake, you won’t be tempted to overeat. There are a lot of mug cake recipes floating around, but this version delivers on both decadence and nutrition density.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

394

Calories

34 g

Protein

15 g

Carbs

22 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 scoop WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

1 Tbsp. raw cacao

1 Tbsp. dark chocolate chips

1 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted

1 large egg, beaten

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (or mashed banana)

1 tsp. ground coffee (optional)

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Protein Cheesecake

Serves 4 / Makes one 6” cake

Every kind of cheesecake has protein because of the dairy – even raw vegan cheesecakes contain tree nuts. But that doesn’t mean you can’t adjust the recipe to bump up the protein count even more.

To make a lean cheesecake, use fat-free cream cheese and Greek yogurt, and add a couple scoops of protein powder. The hardest part is waiting for it to be ready; it’s best to bake it the day before and let it chill overnight.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

337

Calories

35 g

Protein

42 g

Carbs

3 g

Fat

Ingredients

12 oz. fat-free cream cheese

12 oz. non-fat plain Greek yogurt

2 large eggs

3/4 cup light brown sugar (or other sweetener)

1/4 tsp. salt

2 scoops WHEY+ protein isolate (vanilla or chocolate)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Get the Recipe

Protein Carrot Cake

Serves 8

Don’t let the veggies fool you into thinking traditional carrot cake is healthy. It might have a few more nutrients than chocolate cake, but it usually has just as much fat and sugar.

This version swaps out the flour for protein powder, ground oats, and a touch of coconut flour for a healthier batter. Then the cake is packed with carrots, apples, and raisins for plenty of all-natural sugar. It’s finished with a protein-rich frosting with Greek yogurt, and if you can’t find quark, substitute as much cream cheese as it takes to reach the desired texture.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

320

Calories

34 g

Protein

27 g

Carbs

9 g

Fat

Ingredients

Carrot Cake:

1 1/3 cups rolled oats, ground

2 large eggs

3 egg whites

2/3 cup + 3 Tbsp. unsweetened almond milk

3 scoops WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

2 Tbsp. stevia powder

1/4 cup coconut flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 cup raisins

4 cups shredded carrots

1/4 cup dried apple (or pineapple) pieces

Orange zest to taste

Protein Frosting:

1 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt

2 cups quark cheese

2/5 cup unsweetened almond milk

2 Tbsp. stevia powder

3 scoops WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

Get the Recipe

OVER 100,000 PEOPLE HAVE USED MY COOKBOOK TO GET THE BODY THEY WANT EATING THE FOODS THEY LOVE. WILL YOU BE NEXT?

What if I told you that just about everything magazines and trainers “teach” you about dieting is wrong?

What if you could build muscle and lose fat eating “naughty” foods every week?

What if you didn’t have to suffer through low-carb dieting to get lean? In fact, what if you could eat all the carbs you wanted?

And what if you didn’t have to gorge yourself just to gain muscle and didn’t have to put on pounds and pounds of ugly fat, either?

In short, what if I told you that proper dieting--whether you want to maximize fat loss or muscle growth--is much simpler and more enjoyable than you’ve been led to believe?

Imagine eating delicious, filling meals every day...never feeling starved or stuffed...having great energy levels and workouts...and watching your body respond exactly as you desire, dropping fat or adding muscle each and every week.

And imagine finally understanding how proper dieting really works, never again falling for the BS, tricks, and gimmicks pushed by “gurus” and other shysters.

Well, I have good news.

All these “fantasies” can be a reality...if you know how to do a handful of “little” things correctly.

You see, when you know how to diet properly--and this doesn’t mean learning to eat boiled chicken and raw broccoli six times per day--getting lean and muscular becomes simple, convenient, and dare I say...enjoyable.

And this book will show you the way.

I'm Mike and I'm the creator of Muscle for Life and Legion Athletics, and I believe that EVERYONE can achieve the body of their dreams.

If you like my articles, then you'll love my bestselling books. They'll show you exactly what you need to do to build muscle and lose fat without hating your diet or living in the gym.

If you're a guy, check out Bigger Leaner Stronger, and if you're a girl, Thinner Leaner Stronger is for you.

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  • Kevin L

    Hi Mike,
    This has to be the best list of desserts I have seen in a long time, can’t wait to work through them.
    You do a terrific job on your site, your books / articles have been an inspiration to take me to another level of fitness / bodybuilding.
    Thanks.

    • Glad you like them!

      Thanks for the kind words man. I appreciate it.

      Enjoy them. 🙂

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