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35 Diabetic-Friendly Christmas Desserts

You can still indulge in sweet holiday treats while keeping to your diabetic diet. These light, healthy desserts are all nutritionist-approved!

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Holiday Meringue MiniaturesTaste of Home

Holiday Meringue Miniatures

My kids love these light, melt-in-your-mouth cookies, and have fun making them. These were always on our Christmas cookie plate when I was a kid, and now the tradition continues. —Susan Marshall, Colorado Springs, Colorado

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Pear Tart

Pear Tart

My sister-in-law brought this pretty pastry to dinner one night, and we all went back for seconds. It is truly scrumptious. —Kathryn Rogers, Suisun City, California

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Cherry Cranberry PinwheelsTaste of Home

Cherry Cranberry Pinwheels

With the combination of cranberries, cherries, orange zest and cinnamon, these festive cookies are as fragrant as they are flavorful. —Deb Perry, Bluffton, Indiana

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Pumpkin Pecan CustardTaste of Home

Pumpkin Pecan Custard

My family loves pumpkin pie flavor, but this is a delicious, creamy, healthier alternative, and we don’t miss the crust at all. It firms up as it cools. —Abby Booth, Coweta, Oklahoma

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Gingerbread Meringue BarsTaste of Home

Gingerbread Meringue Bars

For the best of both worlds, I combined my grandmother's gingerbread recipe with my aunt's special brown sugar meringue. The result? These lovable holiday-perfect bars that have become a new family tradition. —Eden Dranger, Los Angeles, California

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Citrus Gingerbread Cookies

Citrus Gingerbread Cookies

Orange and lemon zest give gingerbread cutouts a refreshing twist. Brushing a honey glaze over the top adds a subtle shine and an extra touch of sweetness. —Monique Hooker, DeSoto, Wisconsin

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Jellied Champagne DessertTaste of Home

Jellied Champagne Dessert

This refreshing dessert looks just like a glass of bubbling champagne. —Vickie McLaughlin, Kingsport, Tennessee

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Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake BarsTaste of Home

Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Enjoy this holiday dessert without worrying about calories. Plus it is so luscious that no one will guess that it is light! —Jean Ecos, Hartland, Wisconsin

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Snow-Puffed MeringuesTaste of Home

Snow-Puffed Meringues

My family and friends like a nice pick-me-up dessert after a big holiday meal. These feather-light morsels fit the bill perfectly. To make six dozen cookies, or to make them easier to ship, skip the Nutella and dust with cocoa instead. —Lorraine Caland, Shuniah, Ontario

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Chai-Spiced Bread PuddingTaste of Home

Chai-Spiced Bread Pudding

Nothing says the holidays to me more than the warming spices of chai. This bread pudding incorporates those flavors to make a dessert that everyone raves about. —Jessie Apfe, Berkeley, California

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Carrot Cookie Bites

Carrot Cookie Bites

This recipe is a longtime family favorite. The cookies are soft and delicious, and the aroma while baking is absolutely irresistible! I'm always being asked for the recipe. —Jeanie Petrik, Greensburg, Kentucky

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Cream Cheese Swirl BrowniesTaste of Home

Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies

I'm a chocolate lover, and these cream cheese brownies have satisfied my cravings many times. No one guesses the brownies are light because their chewy texture and rich chocolate taste can't be beat. My family requests them often, and I'm happy to oblige. —Heidi Johnson, Worland, Wyoming

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First-Place Coconut Macaroons

First-Place Coconut Macaroons

These coconut macaroons are my husband's favorite and earned me a first-place ribbon at the county fair. I especially like the fact that this recipe makes a small enough batch for the two of us to nibble on without lots left over. —Penny Ann Habeck, Shawano, Wisconsin

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Eggnog MousseTaste of Home

Eggnog Mousse

Guests will always find room for this light, fluffy, mouthwatering mousse. It makes an elegant, refreshing finish for heavier meals—and it’s also a great way to use up any extra eggnog in the fridge. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake Cookies

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake Cookies

I need to avoid gluten and have tried transforming my favorite recipes to fit my diet. I came up with these cakelike cookies, and no one ever guesses that they’re gluten-free.

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Chocolate Swirled Cheesecake

Chocolate Swirled Cheesecake

This cheesecakes looks and tastes indulgent, but it's a lightened up version you can feel good about serving your family. —Kathy Shan, Toledo, Ohio

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Gingersnap Cream Cookie CupsTaste of Home

Gingersnap Cream Cookie Cups

Whole wheat flour gives a rustic look to little tassies that are big on flavor. The velvety, rich filling is a delectable contrast to the cookie cup. —Rebekah Radewahn, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin

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Apple Frangipane Phyllo TartTaste of Home

Apple Frangipane Phyllo Tart

An almond-flavored frangipane creates a nutty bottom layer for my apple tart. Golden phyllo dough creates a delicate and crispy melt-in-your-mouth crust. —Jessie Sarrazin, Livingston, Montana

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Chipotle Crackle Cookies

Chipotle Crackle Cookies

I usually bake these special cookies for the holidays, but my family loves them so I bake them for their birthdays. The addition of ground chipotle chile pepper gives these cookies a little zing. The dough may be sticky, so I dip my hands in confectioners' sugar for easier handling. —Gloria Bradley, Naperville, Illinois

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Vanilla Meringue CookiesThe musical "Waitress"

Vanilla Meringue Cookies

Want to learn how to make meringues? These meringue cookies are super light and airy. They're the perfect fat-free treat. —Jenni Sharp, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Gluten-Free Peanut Butter BlondiesTaste of Home

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Blondies

I converted these blondies to be gluten-free so that my family could enjoy a comforting dessert. We were really craving brownies one night, and this cakelike treat hit the spot! They're a great spin on gluten-free peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. —Becky Klope, Loudonville, New York

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Orange Ricotta Cake RollTaste of Home

Orange Ricotta Cake Roll

I come from a big Italian family where my mom cooked and baked many delicious meals and desserts from scratch. Now I like to do the same for my family. This cake is my finale to our Italian Christmas Eve dinner. —Cathy Banks, Encinitas, California

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Gluten-Free Fig Cookies

Gluten-Free Fig Cookies

These special cookies definitely don’t taste gluten-free. For added appeal, I soak the figs overnight in a mixture of port and pomegranate juice. —Twinkle30, Tasteofhome.com community

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Chewy Cranberry Pecan BarsTaste of Home

Chewy Cranberry Pecan Bars

I've been making these for several years as I really enjoy the combination of flavors and the relative ease of preparations. They're not only great for the holidays, but year round if you have cranberries in your freezer. —Virginia Anthony, Blowing Rock, North Carolina

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Cinnamon Nut Bars

Cinnamon Nut Bars

Classic bar meets good-for-you ingredients in this updated recipe. If you have the patience, after the bars are cool, store them in a tin for a day to allow the flavors to meld…I think they taste even better the next day. —Heidi Lindsey, Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin

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Maple Walnut BiscottiTaste of Home

Maple Walnut Biscotti

Replace melted chocolate with more maple flavor by combining 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar with 2 tablespoons maple syrup; drizzle over biscotti. —Susan Rogers, Brattleboro, Vermont

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Best Angel Food CakeTaste of Home

Best Angel Food Cake

For our daughter's wedding, a friend made this lovely, angel food cake from a recipe she's used for decades. It really is one of the best angel food cake recipes I've found. Serve slices plain or dress them up with fresh fruit. —Marilyn Niemeyer, Doon, Iowa

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Dutch Apple Pie Tartlets

Dutch Apple Pie Tartlets

These adorable mini apple pie pastries make a delightful addition to a dessert buffet or snack tray. The recipe calls for convenient frozen phyllo shells, so they're surprisingly easy to prepare. The lemon curd filling adds a unique flavor twist. —Mary Ann Lee, Clifton Park, New York

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Mocha Nut RollTaste of Home

Mocha Nut Roll

I’ve enjoyed this dessert several times at a friend’s house, and it never ceases to be delightful. The tender, impressive cake is the ultimate indulgence for anyone who loves coffee or chocolate! —Susan Bettinger, Battle Creek, Michigan

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Gluten-Free Almond CrispiesTaste of Home

Gluten-Free Almond Crispies

Here’s a wonderful treat everyone in the family can enjoy. Ideal with milk or tea, these cookies have cinnamon and maple in every crunchy bite. —Jean Ecos, Hartland, Wisconsin

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Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Meringue Roses

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Meringue Roses

Eat these pretty treats as is or crush them into a bowl of strawberries and whipped cream. Readers of my blog, utry.it, went nuts when I posted that idea. —Amy Tong, Anaheim, California

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Chocolate and Raspberry CheesecakeTaste of Home

Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake

You’ll fall in love with this sweet treat. Each silky slice is topped with juicy raspberries. Yes, you can have cheesecake without breaking the calorie budget. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Almond Espresso Bars

Almond Espresso Bars

If you like coffee, you'll love these mocha morsels dressed up with toasted almonds. Save a few bars for afternoon snacktime or even breakfast, too. —Taire Van Scoy, Brunswick, Maryland

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Grossmutter's PeppernutsTaste of Home

Grossmutter's Peppernuts

Before Christmas, my grandmother would bake peppernuts and store them until the big day. When we came home from school, the whole house would smell like anise and we knew the holiday season was about to begin. —Marilyn Kutzli, Clinton, Iowa

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Sparkly Meringue Snowmen

Sparkly Meringue Snowmen

For my son’s first Christmas home from Iraq, I wanted everything to feel magical. He loves meringue cookies, so I made a big batch of minty snowmen and snowflakes. —Patricia Lindsay, Independence, Kansas

Hazel Wheaton
Hazel is a writer and editor who has worked in the publishing industry for over 25 years in the fields of travel, jewelry arts and food. As the editor of the Taste of Home Christmas Annual (among other titles), she's in the holiday spirit all year round. An enthusiastic baker, she's known for her cookies, cakes and other baked goods. And she still wishes she could cook like her mother.

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