18 Desserts That Are Low in Added Sugar — but Still Surprisingly Decadent

18 Desserts That Are Low in Added Sugar — but Still Surprisingly Decadent

If you’re trying to eat less added sugar, you might assume dessert is (literally) off the table for the foreseeable future.

After all, the FDA recommends limiting added sugar intake to 50 grams per day. To put that into perspective, just one Starbucks latte can put you over the limit.

And according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025, added sugar should account for no more than 10 percent of your daily caloric intake.

So what exactly is added sugar? Unlike the natural sugars found in fruits, certain veggies, and dairy products, added sugars are used to enhance sweetness. Eating too many added sugars can make it easy to rack up empty calories.

But cutting back on added sugar doesn’t have to mean missing out on your favorite flavors and sweet treats! Here are 18 low-added-sugar desserts that’ll satisfy your sweet cravings without putting a major dent in your daily sugar allowance.

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1. Mint Chocolate Protein Bar

This recipe replaces refined flour and butter with almond flour and coconut oil for a healthier take on shortbread. The creamy chocolate topping is made with LADDER Chocolate Whey Protein, and peppermint extract adds festive flavor.

Get the recipe at Openfit.


2. Healthy Peanut Butter Chickpea Cookies

Vegan and gluten-free, these peanut butter chickpea cookies are made without refined sugar. Chickpeas stand in for flour, and ripe banana provides the sweetness. Each soft and chewy cookie only contains 60 calories and 2 grams of sugar, and they can be ready in under 30 minutes!

Get the recipe at This Healthy Kitchen.


3. Double Chocolate Protein Mug Cake

chocolate protein mug cake | low sugar desserts

Made with unsweetened soy milk and chocolate-flavored LADDER Plant-Based Nutrition Shake, this chocolate mug cake has just 9 grams of sugar — and no added sugars — and provides 22 grams of protein per serving.

Get the recipe at Openfit.


4. Chocolate Blackberries

chocolate blackberries | low sugar desserts

These chocolate-covered blackberries are bursting with fruity flavor, and you only need two ingredients to make them! Choose dark chocolate that contains at least 85 percent cacao in order to keep this dessert low in sugar.

Get the recipe at A Sweet Alternative.


5. Black Bean Brownies

black bean brownies | low sugar desserts

These flourless black bean brownies have no added sugar and just 120 calories per serving. The natural sugar comes from nutritionist-favorite Medjool dates and unsweetened applesauce.

Get the recipe at iFood Real.


6. Chocolate Mocha Protein Ice Cream

chocolate mocha protein ice cream | low sugar desserts

This dairy-free, Sugar Free 3-approved ice cream is made with LADDER Plant-Based Nutrition Shake and brewed espresso for a rich mocha flavor — plus 22 grams of protein and a caffeine kick. It’s the perfect afternoon pick-me-up.

(And while 17 grams of sugar may not normally fit the description of a “low-sugar dessert,” the sweetness in this recipe comes from the bananas, so there’s no added sugar.)

Get the recipe at Openfit.


7. Cinnamon Sweet Potato Cookie

cinnamon sweet potato cookie | low sugar desserts

These cookies are made with just three ingredients: sweet potato, almond flour, and cinnamon. With 3 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, and just 2 grams of sugar per cookie, this low-sugar dessert can even pull double duty as a quick grab-and-go breakfast!

Get the recipe at Any Reason Vegans.


8. No Bake Carrot Cake Balls

no bake carrot cake cookie ball | low sugar desserts

Sweetened with dates and just a touch of honey, these no-bake bites are a healthier alternative to traditional carrot cake. Make a batch on Meal Prep Monday and enjoy this low sugar dessert all week!

Get the recipe at Served From Scratch.


9. Easy Vegan Pain au Chocolat

vegan pain au chocolat | low sugar desserts

This easy vegan version of pain au chocolat is made with puff pastry, vegan chocolate chips, and a vegan egg wash substitute, such as oil or aquafaba. And each flaky pastry has just 37 calories! (Not vegan? You can also sub in dark chocolate chips.)

Get the recipe at Wow It’s Veggie.


10. Coconut Flour Orange Cake

coconut flour orange cake | low sugar desserts

This cake recipe is made with coconut milk, orange zest, and orange juice for a delicious citrusy treat. Plus, it has just 4 grams of sugar and 107 calories per serving!

Get the recipe at Living Healthy With Chocolate.


11. Healthier Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

chocolate chip banana bread | low sugar desserts

Our chocolate chip banana bread recipe replaces refined sugar with unsweetened applesauce and bananas. Skip the chocolate chips if you’re looking for a recipe that’s Sugar Free 3-approved!

Get the recipe at Openfit.


12. Vanilla Mug Cake

vanilla mug cake | low sugar desserts

Made with unsweetened almond milk and unsweetened applesauce, this vanilla mug cake recipe is the perfect warm and cozy dessert-in-a-mug. Store-bought mug cake mix tends to be loaded with added sugars, but this healthier homemade version has just 5 grams of sugar per serving and provides 13 grams of protein.

Get the recipe at Openfit.


13. Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies

gluten free peanut butter cookies | low sugar desserts

Made with oat flour and all-natural peanut butter, these cookies have a perfectly chewy, crumbly texture — and just 143 calories and 7 grams of sugar per serving.

Get the recipe at Openfit.


14. Spiced Chocolate Almond Shake

spiced almond shake | low sugar desserts

Made with almond butter and almond milk, this protein-packed almond chocolate shake makes an excellent low sugar dessert — or breakfast!

Get the recipe at Openfit.


15. Chai Latte Chia Seed Pudding

chai chia seed pudding | low sugar desserts

This rich and creamy chia pudding is made with cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger for the perfect mix of sweet and spicy flavors. Best of all, each serving has just 7 grams of sugar and provides 23 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber.

Get the recipe at Openfit.


16. Fresh Cantaloupe Berry Nice Cream

cantaloupe berry nice cream | low sugar desserts

Ice cream fanatics, rejoice! Blend a bit of lime juice and light coconut milk with frozen fruits and voilà — you’ve got a fruit-filled non-dairy ice cream with no added sugar.

Get the recipe at Melissa Traub.


17. Healthy Baked Pears

Sprinkled with cinnamon, these baked pears are soft and sweet with a bit of spice and no added sugar. Plus, you can easily customize them with your favorite topping — just be sure to choose toppings that are low in sugar, like chopped nuts or no-sugar-added yogurt.

Get the recipe at Running on Real Food.


18. Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cookies

pumpkin cookies | low sugar desserts

Pumpkin spice may be the official flavor of fall, but these chewy cookies are the perfect low-sugar dessert any time of year! Made with pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice blend, and sweetened with banana and maple syrup, each cookie has just 70 calories and 4 grams of sugar.

Get the recipe at Openfit.