Whether you’re trying to eat low-carb, keto, gluten-free, or are following a diabetic diet, having an arsenal of sugar-free dessert recipes can come in handy.
Fortunately, these days, there are plenty of different substitute sweeteners for sugar that you can use in desserts without compromising flavor! Check out these awesome sugar-free dessert recipes!
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The Benefits of Going Sugar-Free
According to the Mayo Clinic, there can be many advantages to using sugar substitutes instead of sugar. Since they don’t contribute to dental decay and cavities like regular sugar, they’re definitely better for your teeth. Sugar substitutes also have virtually no calories and don’t increase your blood sugar.
Despite these benefits, it’s important to note that just because these recipes don’t contain sugar doesn’t mean that they’re healthy. Because artificial sweeteners contain extra-concentrated doses of sweetness, consuming too many might alter your sense of taste. So if you have too many artificial sugar substitutes, naturally sweet things like fruits might start to taste a bit more bitter. Keep in mind; there’s a big difference in the different versions of sugar substitutes, so stick with more natural variations when possible.
Of course, moderation is key! These recipes are a great way to have an occasional sweet treat while avoiding refined sugar. They’re also great diabetic-friendly alternatives for those who are avoiding sugar-filled sweets.
Sugar-Free Dessert Recipes: Cake
1. Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Chocolate Cake
This recipe uses one of my favorite substitute sweeteners, Swerve, and coconut flour, a great alternative to regular flour if you eat gluten-free, grain-free, or keto. And it only has 3g of net carbs per slice! Start by greasing the sides of a 9-inch springform pan and lining the bottom with parchment; set aside. Sift together 2/3 cup coconut flour, cocoa powder, and 2 tsp baking powder over a bowl. Stir until well-mixed. Set aside.
In a large microwave-safe bowl, add 3/4 cup chopped baking chocolate and 8 tbsp salted butter. Microwave until just melted in 30-second intervals, stirring in between. Add 8 oz. Swerve, 1 cup warm coffee, and 1 tsp vanilla to the chocolate mixture whisking them in until dissolved. Here is a list of quality coffee beans to help you find the perfect flavor for your cake.
Add eggs, whisking until smooth. Gradually add and whisk coconut flour mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Let it rest for about 10 minutes while you preheat the oven to 300 F. Bake at 300 F for 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Spread a layer of sugar-free ganache over the cake, slice, and enjoy!
2. Almond Flour Fig Cake
This is a great paleo recipe. Because almond flour has a natural sweetness, it requires less sweetener. If you’re avoiding sugar substitutes, this recipe uses honey instead! Start by preheating the oven to 300 degrees F. Use coconut oil to grease 2 6-inch cake pans. Dust the cake pans with arrowroot powder. In a large mixing bowl, mix 2 cups almond flour, 1/4 cup arrowroot powder, 3/4 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp baking soda, and 1 teaspoon salt.
In another bowl, mix 5 egg yolks (save the whites), 1/2 cup melted coconut oil, 1/2 cup honey, 2 tbsp almond milk, 3 tbsp orange zest, and 1 tsp almond extract. Beat the egg whites until stiff. Add the egg yolk mixture to the dry ingredients, and mix until no dry flour remains. Gently fold in the egg whites and 5 oz chopped figs until the whites are incorporated into the batter. Add cake batter to the prepared pans, and bake for 50 minutes. Allow the cakes to cool before removing them from the cake pans. Serve the cake plain, or frost it with sugar-free meringue frosting!
3. Sugar-Free Birthday Cake
Just because it’s a birthday doesn’t mean you have to eat a ton of refined sugar, and this can be a great alternative! Preheat oven to 350 and grease cake 3 cake pans. Add 6 large eggs and 2 egg yolks to a mixing bowl and mix on high for 2 minutes. Add 1 tbsp vanilla, 3/4 cup almond milk, 3/4 cup softened butter, 1 tbsp vanilla, and 2 tsp apple cider vinegar to egg mixture and blend until well incorporated.
Sift 3 cups almond flour, 1/2 cup coconut flour, 1 tbsp baking powder, 1 tsp Xanthan gum, salt, and 3/4 cup powdered erythritol in a large bowl. Gently add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients. Split the batter between two 9 inch cake rounds. Bake in a 350 F oven for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool for about an hour before layering with a sugar-free whipped cream frosting.
Naturally Sweetened Sugar-Free Dessert Recipes
4. Carrot Cake
Carrot cake is my go-to birthday cake of choice every year. With this recipe, I can enjoy it guilt-free more often than just once a year! Preheat the oven to 350 F, and greaser 8 sections of a mini muffin pan. In a medium bowl, combine the 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp baking soda, 1/8 tsp baking powder, and a pinch of salt. In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup grated carrot, 2 tbsp finely minced pineapple, 2-1/2 tbsp unsweetened coconut, one large egg white, 1 tbsp liquid coconut oil, 1/4 tsp vanilla, and 3 tbsp defrosted apple juice concentrate. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir. Divide the batter between 8 mini muffin cups and bake for 10 minutes. While cooling, beat together 3 oz cream cheese and 3 tbsp honey until light and fluffy. Frost the cakes and serve!
5. Mini Key Lime Pies
Line a muffin tin with paper cups. Start with the filling: In a blender, mix two avocados, the juice, and zest of 2 small limes, 1/2 cup coconut oil, and 2 tbsp agave syrup. Set aside. Next, for the crust: in a food processor, pulse the 1/2 cup pitted dates, 1/4 cup almonds, and 1/4 cup cashews together until smooth. Add a pinch of salt and stir well. Press the crust into the paper-lined muffin tins and pour in the filling. Cover with plastic wrap, and put in the freezer for 1-2 hours. Sprinkle shredded coconut, some lime zest, and perhaps a fresh raspberry on top. Enjoy!
6. Frozen Yogurt Fruit Bites
This is a sweet treat that even the kiddos will enjoy!
Line a 24 mini-muffin tin with paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk 3 5.3 oz containers of Two Good Greek Lowfat Yogurt (any flavor works), 9 Tbsp milk, and 1 Tbsp of agave or honey. Pour a small amount of yogurt mixture into each liner. Top yogurt with a piece of fruit, alternating between each type. Fill yogurt cups with remaining yogurt mixture and top with another piece of fruit.
Freeze until solid, at least 2 hours. Remove frozen yogurt bites from freezer, remove the cupcake liner, and serve frozen. They’ll be gone before you know it!
Sugar-Free Dessert Recipes: Cookies
7. Peanut Butter Cookies
In terms of simplicity, what can top a cookie recipe with only three ingredients? While regular peanut butter has a lot of sugar added to it, for this recipe, use sugar-free peanut butter!
Sugar-Free Peanut Butter Cookies
- 2 cups peanut butter no sugar added
- 2 cups Splenda or any sugar substitute that measures 1:1 with sugar
- 2 eggs
Sugar-Free Peanut Butter Cookies
- Preheat your oven to 325°F and prep your cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the peanut butter, sugar alternative and egg until blended.
- Drop spoonfuls of cookie batter on to the baking sheet, leaving at least 1/2inch between cookie edges. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
8. Pecan Crescent Cookies
Shortbread is one of my weaknesses. Because it’s not too sweet, I love it as an after-dinner treat with a cup of coffee. With coconut flour, almond flour, and Swerve sweetener, this is a sugar-free dessert you’ll love. In a medium bowl, combine 2 cups almond flour, 1 cup finely chopped pecans, 2 tbsp coconut flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder, and 1/4 tsp salt.
In a large bowl, combine 1/2 cup softened butter, 2/3 cup Swerve Brown Sugar, 1 large egg, and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Add almond flour mixture and beat until dough forms. Roll dough into 3/4 inch balls, then shape into crescents. Place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper and bake at 325°F for 15-18 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Not only are they delicious, but with 4g total carbs per serving, you can indulge guilt-free! You can also top with a glaze or powdered Swerve sweetener.
9. Keto Almond Butter Cookies
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray cookie sheet or line a large baking tray with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of almond butter (unsweetened), 2/3 cup of granulated sweetener (Swerve), and 1 large egg. If you’re using sugar-free chocolate chips, fold 1 cup in the dough.
Form 12 balls of cookie dough and place on the lined tray/cookie sheet. Place balls of dough 2 inches apart. Lightly press down on each ball. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are golden. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on the cookie sheet. Yum!
10. Sugar-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
The most classic cookie of all time deserves a spot on our list of sugar-tree treats!
Start by preheating your oven to 350 F and prepping a cookie sheet (with spray or parchment paper). In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together 2-1/4 cups of flour and 1 tsp baking soda. Set this bowl aside. Next, in a large mixing bowl, mix together 1 cup of butter, 1 cup of Splenda and 1/2 cup Swerve brown sugar. Stir in the dry ingredients from the medium mixing bowl (flour and baking soda) until just blended. Stir in 2 eggs and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Be careful not to over mix! Then, fold in 1 cup of sugar-free chocolate chips (I use Lily’s). Bake your cookies for 10-12 minutes or until they begin to brown. Then allow them to cool on a baking rack.
Sugar-Free Dessert Recipes: Chocolate Edition
11. Sugar-Free Brownies
When you’re trying to eat sugar-free, one of the biggest temptations can be chocolate. It seems there’s no escaping it. Fortunately, with this sugar-free brownie recipe, you won’t have to!
Preheat your oven to 325 F and line a 9×9 inch pan with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup all-purpose flour and 1 tsp baking powder, and gently add 3/4 cup cocoa powder. In a large mixing bowl, mix 1-1/2 cups of Swerve granulated sugar and 1 cup of melted butter. Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and mix. Add the eggs one at a time, gently stirring, and then add the vanilla. Fold in your sugar-free chocolate chips. Enjoy these as a sweet after-dinner treat!
12. Chocolate Mousse
Not only is mousse delectable and airy, but its light and fluffy texture make it the perfect summer dessert! Start by chilling a medium-sized mixing bowl in the fridge. Meanwhile, place 1 tbsp of cold water in a small bowl. Sprinkle with 1 tsp of unflavored gelatin and let it stand for 1 minute. Add 2 tbsp boiling water and stir until dissolved; set aside.
Grab the chilled bowl and combine 1 cup Splenda, 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/8 tsp salt, 1 cup heavy whipping cream, and 1 tsp vanilla extract. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the mixture until it stiffens. Be careful not to over-beat. Add the gelatin mixture and beat until it is combined. Spoon the mousse into dessert dishes and chill for at least 1 to 2 hours before serving. Top with whipped cream lightly sweetened with Splenda and a dash of cocoa powder if desired.
13. Double Chocolate Avocado Cookies
Whenever you have a chocolate craving, these healthy chocolate avocado cookies are the answer. And the good news is–these cookies are dairy-free and can be made vegan! Combine 1 finely mashed avocado, 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar, 1 egg (for a vegan version, substitute 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed and mix with 3 tablespoons of water. Mix well and set aside for about 10 minutes to thicken before using), and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract in a medium-sized bowl. In a separate bowl, combine 1/2 cup dark, unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/3 cup flour, and 1/2 tsp baking soda. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, then add 2 oz of 70% dark chocolate chunks. With an ice cream scoop, add heaping tablespoons of dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten the tops a bit, then bake at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes or until the tops have set. Let them cool on the pan for a bit, then transfer to a cooling rack! Enjoy!
Sugar Free Dessert Recipes You Need to Try
14. Strawberry Rosé Granita
You can’t make anything too much more simple than this light and refreshing granita! It’s like an adult slushie!
Place 500 g of fresh (or frozen) strawberries (stems removed), 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, and 1/4 cup of powdered Swerve sweetener in a blender. Add 1 cup of dry, rosé wine and blend until smooth. Pour into a container and place in the freezer until it becomes icy around the edges (about 30 minutes). Using a fork, scrape and mash the icy edges and combine with the unfrozen juices. Place back in the freezer and repeat up to 4 times, until the mixture is flaky. To make the granita very smooth, scrape more with a fork, or place in a food processor and pulse until it resembles smooth snow. To serve, place into serving glasses. Store any leftover granita in the freezer!
15. Sugar-Free Ice Cream
Plenty of ice cream brands have adapted their products to be sugar-free alternatives! BlueBell makes “No Sugar Added” country vanilla sweetened with Splenda. So Delicious makes a non-dairy coconut milk frozen dessert sweetened with monk fruit. Luna and Larry’s Coconut Bliss is organic, vegan, gluten-free, and sweetened with coconut sugar and agave syrup. Other brands with sugar-free alternatives include Edy’s, Breyers, Blue Bunny, Klondike, Skinny Cow, Turkey Hill, and Wink. These sugar-free ice creams could be delicious paired with your chocolate-y sugar-free brownies, or enjoy them on their own! If you’re eating low-carb or Keto, plenty of brands have low-carb products, including Enlightened, Halo Top, and Breyers. If you want to make your own at home, check out this recipe.
16. Keto Coconut Blondies
If you have dietary restrictions, these blondies are perfect! They’re not only low-carb but also nut-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free. Start by mixing 4.5 oz melted coconut oil, 4.5 oz coconut butter, 3 oz Natvia, 1 oz coconut flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and 2 large room temperature eggs. Pour the mixture into a 9×9 inch pan lined with parchment paper and top with 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes. Bake at 355°F for 15-20 minutes. Enjoy!
Are These Dessert Recipes Really Sugar-Free?
While these desserts are technically “sugar-free,” that doesn’t mean they’re not sweet. Most of these recipes derive their sweetness from sugar substitutes. Erythritol is a sugar substitute popular for people with diabetes or those on low-carb diets, as it doesn’t affect glucose or insulin levels. It’s also found naturally in some foods. Stevia is a plant that is a member of the chrysanthemum family.
The stevia you can buy at the store like Truvia or “Stevia in the Raw” is a no-calorie nonnutritive sweetener made from a highly refined stevia leaf extract called rebaudioside A (Reb-A). If you have diabetes, stevia can help keep your blood sugar levels in check. Check out the benefits of other sugar substitutes like Xylitol, Splenda, Monkfruit, coconut sugar, and honey. Find one that works best for you and your dietary needs!
If you’re trying to cut back or even eliminate refined sugar, you don’t have to give up your favorite treats! Try out these sugar-free dessert recipes, and don’t forget to share your favorite recipes with the people you love!