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45 Lightened Up Desserts for a Crowd

Indulge in dessert without the guilt! These healthy dessert recipes have at least 12 servings or more which means everyone will be able to get a bite.

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Chocolate-Topped Strawberry Cheesecake

Creamy and airy, this gorgeous dessert is the perfect special something for a summer dinner party. I love the mix of smooth strawberry cheesecake and crumbly chocolate crust—and how elegant it looks on the table. —Kathy Berger, Dry Ridge, Kentucky
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No-Bake Peanut Butter Treats

Perfect for road trips, these peanut butter oatmeal balls won’t stick to your hands. Keep them in the refrigerator for portable snacks. —Sonia Rohda, Waverly, Nebraska
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Pear Bundt Cake

Next time you make cake from a mix, try my easy and delicious recipe. The pears and syrup add sweet flavor and prevent the cake from drying out. And since there's no oil added to the batter, this tender fall-perfect cake is surprisingly low in fat. —Veronica Ross, Columbia Heights, Minnesota
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Chocolate Macaroon Cupcakes

A delightful coconut and ricotta cheese filling is hidden inside these chocolate cupcakes. —Dolores Skrout, Summerhill, Pennsylvania
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Ice Cream Cone Treats

I came up with this recipe as a way for my grandkids to enjoy Rice Krispies treats without getting sticky hands. You can also pack the cereal mixture into paper cups and insert a wooden pop stick to create cute pops. —Mabel Nolan, Vancouver, Washington
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Black Bean Brownies

You’d never guess these rich, velvety chocolate treats contain a can of black beans. Who would have thought black bean brownies would be so amazing? —Kathy Hewitt, Cranston, Rhode Island
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Molasses Crackle Cookies

You can treat yourself to one or two of my crackle cookies without guilt. Most molasses cookies are loaded with butter and have way too much sugar, but not mine. You would never know these are so low in fat.— Jean L. Ecos, Hartland, Wisconsin
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Makeover Fruit Pizza

There’s nothing better than a guilt-free dessert, especially when it’s topped with refreshing and colorful fruit. We skimmed the calories and fat from a traditional fruit pizza to create one with about half the calories, fat and cholesterol. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Makeover Lemon Pound Cake

For this lovely golden cake, I use fat-free yogurt to trim the calories. It's a comforting dessert for days when it's warm enough to dine outside. —Lauren Gilmore, Pennington, New Jersey
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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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Meringue Shells with Lemon Curd

We love a dazzling dessert of meringue shells filled with sunny lemon curd. It’s sweet and tart, crunchy and fluffy. Top this lemon curd dessert with whipped cream and berries. —Kris Brill, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Nana's Chocolate Cupcakes with Mint Frosting

Even though Nana is no longer with us, her treats bring me so much joy every time I bake them. For a more indulgent version, double the frosting and pile it on high! —Chekota Hunter, Cassville, Missouri
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Glazed Chocolate Angel Food Cake

A drizzling of rich chocolate glaze lends an elegant touch and will keep guests wanting more. With only 3g of fat per slice, this is one treat you'll want to see year after year! —Mary Relyea, Canastota, New York
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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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Peach Melba Trifle

This dream of a dessert tastes extra good on a busy day—you can make it ahead of time! If you don't have fresh peaches handy, subbing three cups of the canned ones works, too. —Christina Moore, Casar, North Carolina
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Birthday Cake Freezer Pops

On my quest to find birthday cake ice cream—my favorite flavor—I came up with these easy ice pops. Now, instead of going to the store whenever a craving hits, I just head to my freezer. —Dawn Lopez, Westerly, Rhode Island
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Sweet Potato Cranberry Cake

This convenient recipe uses items you have in your pantry, like sweet potatoes, cranberries, coconut and chocolate chips. Everyone will enjoy this delicious dessert! —Amie Valpone, New York, New York
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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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Chocolate-Dipped Phyllo Sticks

Looking for a little something special to share with friends or family? Try these crunchy treats. They’re wonderful with coffee or a glass of milk. —Peggy Woodward, Shullsburg, Wisconsin
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Gran's Apple Cake

My grandmother occasionally brought over this wonderful cake warm from the oven. The spicy apple flavor combined with the sweet cream cheese frosting made this recipe one that we treasured. Even though I've lightened it up, it's still a family favorite. —Lauris Conrad, Turlock, California
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Moist Lemon Chiffon Cake

This fluffy cake is a real treat drizzled with the sweet-tart lemon glaze. —Rebecca Baird, Salt Lake City, Utah
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Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

When I baked this moist, fudgy chocolate crinkle cookie recipe for the first time, my three preschool children went wild over them! But I like them because they're lower in fat and easy to mix and bake. —Maria Groff, Ephrata, Pennsylvania
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Banana-Pecan Sheet Cake

A dear friend of mine gave me this recipe, and I make it often, especially for potlucks. Sometimes I make it ahead, freeze the cake and then frost it before the party. —Merrill Powers, Spearville, Kansas
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Peppermint Meringues

Peppermint Meringues

Peppermint lovers won't be able to get enough of these light and airy delights. They make terrific Christmas gifts or lovely treats to pass around when guests drop in. —Dixie Terry, Goreville, Illinois
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Frozen Chocolate Monkey Treats

Everyone needs a fun, friendly way for kids to play with food. These rich bites are nutty and yummy. Just coat bananas in chocolate and dip them into peanuts, sprinkles or coconut. —Susan Hein, Burlington, Wisconsin
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Chocolaty S'mores Bars

One night my husband had some friends over to play poker and he requested these s'mores bars. They polished off the pan and asked for more! I shared the recipe, and now their families make them, too. —Rebecca Shipp, Beebe, Arkansas
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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

This soft and chewy low-carb cookie recipe, developed by our Test Kitchen, calls for canola oil instead of butter to reduce the saturated fat. It's hard to eat just one!
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Apple-Spice Angel Food Cake

I dressed up an angel food cake mix with some nuts, spice and applesauce to make an easy and light dessert. I serve it with a dollop of whipped topping mixed with a half cup of sour cream. —Joan Buehnerkemper, Teutopolis, Illinois
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Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

These soft banana cookies have a cakelike texture and lots of flavor that everyone seem to love. It's one of the best banana cookie recipes I've found. —Vicki Raatz, Waterloo, Wisconsin
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Date Oatmeal Bars

In no time at all, you'll be able to share these treats with your family. They'll be surprised at how light and tasty the snacks are. —Helen Cluts, Eden Prairie, Minnesota
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Sue's Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Our family absolutely loves zucchini, especially when we grow it ourselves. We’ve found many ways to use it, including this spiced cake that’s super moist and chocolaty good. —Sue Falk, Warren, Michigan
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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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Pumpkin-Citrus Tube Cake

I was determined to make a healthier version of this pumpkin- and spice-laden cake. Judging by the compliments, it worked. Even a picky 4-year-old eater asked for more.—Krista Frank, Rhododendron, Oregon
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Peppermint Kisses

These are fun, refreshing and low in fat! —Lynn Bernstetter, Lake Elmo, Minnesota.
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Banana Chocolate Cake

This light-as-air chocolate cake has a yummy banana flavor. It’s scrumptious as is, but you can also dress it up with nuts or light frostings. —Tina Bellows, Racine, Wisconsin
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Chocolate-Coconut Angel Cupcakes

My guests are never satisfied with just one of these, but that's OK because they are so light. The meringue-like tops make them different, and the chocolate and coconut make them memorable. —Bernice Janowski, Stevens Point, Wisconsin
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Low-Fat Peanut Butter Cookies

When you bite into one of these yummy cookies, you'll never guess it's low in fat. This is my family's favorite healthy peanut butter cookie recipe. —Maria Regakis, Saugus, Massachusetts
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Vanilla Bean Angel Food Cake

Angel food cake is everyone’s favorite blank slate for making awesome desserts. Serve it with a simple glaze or pile on fresh fruit, chocolate sauce or nutty sprinkles. —Leah Rekau, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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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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Easy Lemon Berry Tartlets

These fruity, flaky tartlets filled with raspberries and topped with lemon-tinged cream cheese are a sweet ending to any weeknight meal. They are elegant yet come together quickly and easily. —Elizabeth Dehart, West Jordan, Utah
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Old-Fashioned Pear Cake

Old-fashioned pear spice cake is a wonderful ending to a meal. It's not too heavy or rich, but the moist treat is brimming with flavor.—Audrey Golden, Cary, North Carolina
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Chunky Apple Snack Cake

We enjoy this cake as a snack, packed in lunches or as a scrumptious dessert when warmed and topped with a scoop of low-fat ice cream. If the batter seems really thick, don't worry: Once you stir in the apples it loosens up. —Cindy Beberman, Orland Park, Illinois
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Lemony Cream Cheese Bars

Anytime I can take a recipe that has been handed down two generations and lighten it up while keeping the delicious flavor memories intact, I’m a happy girl. —Patti Lavell, Islamorada, Florida
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Light Cheesecake

Our family adores cheesecake, but I wanted to serve something healthier. I came up with this lighter version that I make for both holidays and everyday. —Diane Roth, Adams, Wisconsin
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Raspberry Rumble

My guy is a raspberry fan, so that’s what I use in this cake with a classic fluffy frosting. Freeze the berries so they don’t stain the batter. —Lorraine Caland, Shuniah, Ontario

Caroline Stanko
As Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.

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