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28 Lightened-Up 13×9 Desserts

Sweets that are lower in calories, made in a 13x9 pan, AND dietitian approved? Yes, please.

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Coconut Cream CakeTaste of Home

Coconut Cream Cake

No one who’s ever eaten a piece of this mouthwatering cake can believe it’s lower in fat! —Deborah Protzman, Bloomington, Illinois

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Easy Pecan Pie BarsTaste of Home

Easy Pecan Pie Bars

I'm always searching for fast and easy recipes to take to the teachers lounge. The staff goes nuts for these shortcut pecan pie bars. —Kathro Yoder, Defiance, Ohio

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Gran's Apple Cake

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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Humble Bumble Crumble BarsTaste of Home

Humble Bumble Crumble Bars

While developing a treat for my bingo group, I asked my husband for ideas. He suggested a fruity bar. This berry bar is lightly sweet and so easy. —Nancy Phillips, Portland, Maine

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Yummy Zucchini Chocolate CakeTaste of Home

Yummy Zucchini Chocolate Cake

As a confirmed chocoholic, this is my all-time favorite treat. I found the original recipe more than 20 years ago, but have lightened it up quite a bit. Everyone asks for the recipe, and no one suspects that it's lighter than most chocolate cakes. —Carleta Foltz, Sunrise Beach, Missouri

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Chunky Apple Snack CakeTaste of Home

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 BarsTaste of Home

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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Chocolaty S'mores BarsTaste of Home

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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Raspberry RumbleTaste of Home

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

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White Chocolate Cereal BarsTaste of Home

White Chocolate Cereal Bars

A friend shared with me this fresh take on traditional crispy treats. My husband loves them, and I feel so efficient with their quick prep time. —Anne Powers, Munford, Alabama

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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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Reese's Chocolate Snack CakeTaste of Home

Reese's Chocolate Snack Cake

My family constantly requests this cake is constantly. I don't mind making it because it's surprisingly low-cal. And its yellow and orange toppings make it the perfect dessert for a Halloween party. —Eileen Travis, Ukiah, California

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Fruity Cereal BarsTaste of Home

Fruity Cereal Bars

With dried apples and cranberries, these crispy cereal bars are perfect for snacks or brown-bag lunches. —Giovanna Kranenberg, Cambridge, Minnesota

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Chocolate Zucchini Snack CakeTaste of Home

Chocolate Zucchini Snack Cake

I like to make this when the zucchini in my garden gets ahead of me. It’s a great way to get children to eat their veggies! —Margo Seegrist, Shelton, Washington

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Autumn Harvest CobblerTaste of Home

Autumn Harvest Cobbler

Saying goodbye to summer peach crisp doesn’t have to be sorrowful when there’s a delicious fall cobbler waiting to comfort you. —Nancy Foust, Stoneboro, Pennsylvania

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Pumpkin Oatmeal Bars

Pumpkin Oatmeal Bars

It took me a long time to develop this quick-and-easy recipe, but I’m so happy with how it turned out. These bars have it all—sugar and spice and a light, creamy-rich pumpkin layer that’s especially nice! —Erin Andrews, Edgewater, Florida

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Devil's Food Snack CakeTaste of Home

Devil's Food Snack Cake

My husband and his friends request this devil's food cake for camping trips because it’s easy to transport. To create a fun motif on the plates, trace a shape onto paper and cut out. Hold the stencil over a plate and dust with cocoa powder. —Julie Danler, Bel Aire, Kansas

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Baklava with Honey SyrupTaste of Home

Baklava with Honey Syrup

Baklava is a sweet, buttery Greek treat. The honey syrup drizzled on top gives this classic dessert a delicious twist. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho

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Sweet Potato Cranberry CakeTaste of Home

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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Cran-Apple CrispTaste of Home

Cran-Apple Crisp

Cranberries, walnuts, brown sugar and orange peel help give this apple-packed crowd-pleaser its rich flavor. After the first taste, guests will be asking for the recipe...and a second helping. —Diane Everett of Newtown, Connecticut

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Easy Chocolate Chip Pumpkin BarsTaste of Home

Easy Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bars

This dessert is super easy to pull together and the flavorful results will win you nothing but rave reviews. — Aimee Ransom, Hoschton, Georgia

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Nut-Licious Peanut Butter Bars

Nut-Licious Peanut Butter Bars

My friends were astonished to find out these bars were not button-busting. We nick named them bamboozled bars! —Hannah Wolters, Culleoka, Tennessee

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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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Orange Cashew BarsTaste of Home

Orange Cashew Bars

Two of my favorite ingredients, oranges and cashews, make a fantastic combination for a holiday bar—especially when you use fresh-squeezed orange juice in the glaze. —Anna Wood, Cullowhee, North Carolina

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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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Pear-Cranberry Gingerbread Cake

Pear-Cranberry Gingerbread Cake

I love the warm, spicy flavors and festive fall fruits in this upside-down gingerbread cake. It's simple enough to whip up for lunch boxes, but also has a place at any holiday buffet. —Christina Metke, Calgary, Alberta

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Upside-Down Berry CakeTaste of Home

Upside-Down Berry Cake

This cake is good warm or cold and served with whipped topping or ice cream. It's very moist with loads of flavor and can be whipped up in just minutes. Enjoy! —Candy Scholl, West Sunbury, Pennsylvania

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White Chip Cranberry Granola BarsTaste of Home

White Chip Cranberry Granola Bars

Tasty and nutritious, these chewy high-energy snack bars are great for road trips, lunch boxes, late-night snacks or to get college kids through exams and into the Christmas spirit! —Janis Loomis, Madison, Virginia

Peggy Woodward, RDN
Peggy is a Senior Food Editor for Taste of Home. In addition to curating recipes, she writes articles, develops recipes and is our in-house nutrition expert. She studied dietetics at the University of Illinois and completed post-graduate studies at the Medical University of South Carolina to become a registered dietitian nutritionist. Peggy has nearly 20 years of experience in the industry. She’s a mom, a foodie and enjoys being active in her rural Wisconsin community.

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