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55 Healthy-ish Cake Recipes

Have your cake and eat it, too! These decadent sweets may be lower in calories and/or fat, but they're so delicious, no one will notice. Bon appetit!

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Grilled Angel Food Cake with Strawberries

One night I goofed, accidentally using the balsamic butter I save for grilling chicken on my pound cake. What a delicious mistake that my entire family loved! For a patriotic look, add a drizzle of blueberry syrup. —Tammy Hathaway, Freeman Twp, Maine

BONUS Recipe: Healthy Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

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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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Moist Lemon Angel Cake Roll

Tart and delicious, this pretty cake roll will tickle any lemon lover's fancy. Its feathery, angel food texture enhances its guilt-free goodness. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Hot Fudge Cake

Here's a wonderful way to top off a great meal—a rich chocolaty cake that's not overly sweet. Mom served it with a scoop of ice cream or cream poured over. I'd always have room for a serving of Hot Fudge Cake. —Vera Reid, Laramie, Wyoming
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Plum Upside-Down Cake

Since my husband liked pineapple upside-down cake, I decided to give this recipe a try one night when we were expecting guests for dinner. Everyone pronounced this cake "Delicious!" and asked for seconds.—Bobbie Talbott, Veneta, Oregon
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Applesauce Spice Cupcakes

I began making these moist cupcakes in grade school and still bake them today. —Edna Hoffman, Hebron, Indiana
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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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Apricot Upside-Down Cake

My Aunt Anne, who is a great cook, gave me a taste of this golden upside-down cake and I couldn't believe how delicious it was. Apricots give it an elegant twist from traditional pineapple versions. —Ruth Ann Stelfox, Raymond, Alberta
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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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Almond Fudge Cake

People are amazed that this luscious, moist and tender cake is a light dessert. I love the rich chocolate flavor and fruity sauce. —Mike Pickerel, Columbia, Missouri
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Makeover Peach Upside-Down Cake

Makeover Peach Upside-Down Cake

This peachy delight has charmed folks for years. Our lightened version is even better with less fat and calories than other similar recipes.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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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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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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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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Streuseled Zucchini Bundt Cake

Inspired by an abundance of zucchini, I found a new way to use it up in this spiced and lightly sweet cake. It even won a blue ribbon at our county fair! —Regina Stock, Topeka, Kansas
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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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Apple Butter Cake Roll

This is a new take on a pumpkin roll. Her spicy gingerbread cake might make you think back fondly to Christmas at Grandma's! —Debbie White, Williamson, West Virginia
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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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Flourless Dark Chocolate Cake

Here’s a simple cake that’s rich, elegant and over-the-top chocolaty. For finishing touches, add powdered sugar, cocoa or liqueur-flavored whipped cream. —Marie Parker, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Orange Dream Angel Food Cake

A basic angel food cake becomes a heavenly indulgence, thanks to a hint of orange flavor swirled into every bite. The orange color makes slices of the cake look so pretty when arranged on individual dessert plates.—Lauren Osborne, Holtwood, Pennsylvania
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Lemon-Berry Shortcake

This simple lemon shortcake is tender and not overly sweet. Enjoy this summertime classic with a generous layer of whipped topping and berries. —Meryl Herr, Overland Park, Kansas
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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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Makeover Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Both of my boys loved this makeover version of a family favorite, and even my husband, who is a bit picky, wants a piece in his lunch tomorrow! —Mary Lou Moeller, Wooster, Ohio
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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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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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Cran-Apple Praline Gingerbread

Start with a spice-rich batter poured atop apples and cranberries in a creamy caramel sauce, then invert when done baking for a topsy-turvy dessert that’s a real beauty. The old-time holiday taste will delight family and friends! —Jeanne Holt, Mendota Heights, Minnesota
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Picnic Berry Shortcakes

You can make the berry sauce ahead of time and chill it. Then assemble the entire dessert right before the picnic or party. —Frieda Bliesner, McAllen, Texas
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Family-Favorite Peanut Butter Cake

My grandmother and aunts made this for family gatherings to go along with fresh homemade ice cream. I now share it with my family and friends during special gatherings. —Keith Gable, Goddard, Kansas
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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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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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Cranberry Cake Roll

This low-fat angel food cake roll is a guilt-free indulgence, which is much-appreciated during the Christmas season. —Paige Kowolewski, Topton, Pennsylvania
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Irish Cream Cupcakes

If you're looking for a grown-up cupcake, give these a try. You'll have a hard time limiting yourself to one! —Jenny Leighty, West Salem, Ohio
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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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Makeover Red Velvet Cake

I’ve had this recipe for over 45 years and it has become our family’s favorite cake, but I would love to see it get a light makeover. —Betty Selchow, White Bear Lake, Minnesota
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Peppermint Cake Rolls

With angel food cake, fudge sauce and peppermints, this cake roll is easy and pretty. —Suellen Calhoun, Des Moines, Iowa
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Blackberry-Topped Sponge Cakes

The recipe for my blackberry cakes is easy to play with. You can replace the sponge cake with angel food, pound cake or ladyfingers. And any fruit that has liquor with the same flavor can be used. —Karen Robinson, Woodbury, Connecticut
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Strawberry-Hazelnut Meringue Shortcakes

In summer the strawberry farms are open for picking. I serve strawberries with a crunchy hazelnut meringue cookie. —Barbara Estabrook, Rhinelander, Wisconsin
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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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Mocha-Hazelnut Glazed Angel Food Cake

I love this recipe because it combines three of my favorite flavors: coffee, hazelnuts and cherries. —Joan Pecsek, Chesapeake, Virginia
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Rosy Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

Here’s a cake that gets its rosy hue from the rhubarb topping. It’s moist on top and light as a feather on the bottom. —Dawn Lowenstein, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania
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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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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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Cranberry-Pumpkin Spice Cake

Even though this is a light dessert, my kids love it. Since it's so popular, I stock up on canned pumpkin in the fall when it's on sale so I can make it all year long. —Cami LaForge, Murray, Utah
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Chocolate Peppermint Log

What a great make-ahead treat! This cake log is perfect for the holidays because you can make it when you have time, store it in the freezer and scratch dessert off of your to-do list. —Brenda Sinclair, Princeton, Missouri
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Mocha Frosted Snack Cake

Here's a lighter version of a chocolate mocha cake I've been baking for my family for over 30 years. I replaced part of the sugar with a lower-calorie sugar blend and some of the oil with applesauce. It turned out just as delicious.—Donna Roberts, Manhattan, Kansas
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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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Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I love to serve lighter desserts that will satisfy those with a sweet tooth. I make these every Christmas Eve, but they're marvelous any time of the year. —Sara Pleso, Sparta Tennessee.
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Pumpkin Chip Cake with Walnuts

Pumpkin Chip Cake with Walnuts

My grandmother gave me this family recipe. After a few changes, I made the treat even healthier and tastier. Holidays wouldn’t be the same without it!—Amy Bridgewater, Aztec, New Mexico
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Lemon Blueberry Cornmeal Cake

Lemon Blueberry Cornmeal Cake

I lightened up this quick and easy dessert by making a few substitutions. Because the treat is so sweet, no one will know it's healthy, too.—Roxanne Chan, Albany, California.
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Makeover Lemon Pound Cake

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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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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Upside-Down Pear Pancake

There’s a pear tree in my yard that inspires me to bake with its fragrant fruit. This upside-down pancake works best with a firm pear, not one that is fully ripe. —Helen Nelander, Boulder Creek, California
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Nana's Chocolate Cupcakes with Mint Frosting

Even though she is no longer with us, Nana’s 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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Spiced Carrot Cake

My mom made this cake for my birthday one year because carrot cake is her favorite. Turns out, it's my favorite, too! Now when I make it, I love it with lots of spice. The pumpkin pie spice is a perfect shortcut, but you could use a custom blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. —Jaris Dykas, Knoxville, Tennessee
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Apple-Pumpkin Upside-Down Cake

We love the combination of classic fall fruits in this cake. I bake the apples on the bottom to keep them plump and moist, then flip the cake so they're on top. This is best served warm with vanilla ice cream, but we enjoy digging in any time of day. —Christina Yahraes, San Francisco, California

Kristin Sutter
A big fan of homegrown cooking, Kristin has been a writer and editor for nearly 20 years. She has mastered the art of learning from her inexpert riffs on other people's truly good recipes.

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