Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes -
Less Calories but (thankfully!) Delicious

Everyone needs great Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes - ones that cut calories and fat but not the enjoyment of the Thanksgiving feast.

thanksgiving pumpkin mini cupcakes

Mini Pumpkin Cupcakes

What's more fun than a wonderful little pumpkin cupcake? A carrot cake mix gives you wonderful spices and a great base for making pumpkin cupcakes.

I'm always looking for lower fat icings. No one misses a fattening cream cheese icing with this crunchy cinnamon and sugar topping.

Pumpkin is super nutritious. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to enjoy it. Now let's remember pumpkin all throughout the year!

holiday cranberry sugar cookie pie

Holiday Sugar Cookie Pie

This little masterpiece has holidays written all over it - Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day. You could add blueberries and change the nuts to sliced almonds for the perfect 4th of July dessert.

You can easily keep ingredients stocked to make this dessert anytime. Cranberries freeze very well, lemons last a long time in the refrigerator, and pistachios and the cookie mix can sit in your pantry.

The cranberries get balanced really well in this recipe by the lemon zest, sugary cookie and nuts. I love putting nuts on top a dessert like this - it's beautiful, and people who don't prefer nuts can avoid them.

cranberry spice bundt cake recipe

Cranberry Spice Bundt Cake

Cranberries are so delightfully tart, but they benefit from being paired with the spice and sweetness in this cake. The glaze icing "tops" it off perfectly as the last way to balance the fruit; it also is much more figure-friendly than butter-filled frosting. You get the sweetness without the fat.

thanksgiving pumpkin trifle recipe

Pumpkin Trifle

A great make-ahead dessert. Make the cake and filling the day before. Assemble the trifle and serve immediately or the next day.

Cook & Serve pudding mix is better than an instant mix. It will be richer, creamier, and most importantly, custardy without the fat.

Trifles look spectacular - a real "wow" dessert. It's also your secret weapon when a cake falls apart or you need to revitalize leftover cake. Make a trifle in a big trifle dish, individual parfaits, or even a clear flower vase - dessert for two!

apple dessert recipes

Apple Dessert Recipes

Let's not forget apples at Thanksgiving time. Enjoy this whole webpage of our Apple Dessert Recipes.

Tips for Healthier Thanksgiving Desserts

The cake mix is our best friend for thanksgiving dessert recipes. Hey, I'm already roasting a turkey, making gravy from the drippings, peeling and mashing potatoes - it's ok to find some shortcuts somewhere. Add a few nutritious ingredients to a cake mix, and it still tastes homemade. Maybe better!

Thanksgiving offers several great seasonal ingredients which are extremely nutritious. Pumpkin is a super vegetable. Cranberries are cited in studies for improving health. Pecans and apples are great ways to make desserts that taste rich and are good for you. "Add nutrition" wherever you can to your menu.

I've come up with several ways cut the fat out of icing.

  1. Make a dusting of powdered sugar on top a dessert. This only works when the dessert has cooled; otherwise the heat will melt the powdered sugar. You also have to make the dessert the same day. Often, the dry crunchy coating of your cake or bread will be gone the next day; it will be soft or even greasy, which also melts powdered sugar.
  2. Make a glaze. It has no fat and usually less sugar than regular frosting. You can make it thin so it soaks into your cake or beat it longer to make it thicker, more like a traditional frosting. I really like this option.

  3. Make a crunchy cinnamon and sugar topping. This works well with muffins and cupcakes. While they're still warm, dip them in melted butter then roll in cinnamon and sugar. It's way less fat than a streusel topping, and everyone likes a little crunch. This method works well the day before your holiday.

Look forward to your holiday feast with Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes.

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