6 Recipes Giving Classic Bakery Foods a Nutritious Makeover

Eating healthy doesn’t mean you need to deprive yourself of moist muffins, gooey cookies, and sweet coffee cakes. Bakeries and traditional recipes often use unhealthy ingredients, resulting in baked goods that are riddled with fat, calories, and sugar, but with a few healthy swaps, you can make them diet-friendly. Replace white flour with whole-wheat and rye flour, add oats to your cookies, and include nutrient-rich ingredients, such as walnuts and berries, whenever possible. Thanks to these 6 recipes, you can stick to your diet and still enjoy your favorite bakery items.

Source: iStock

1. Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

A medium-size blueberry muffin, on average, contains about 426 calories, 148 of which come from sugar, according to Livestrong. Adding oats, whole-wheat flour, and low-fat buttermilk to your muffins is an easy way to make them more nutritious, and including grated lemon rind and cinnamon allows you to use less sugar. Cooking Light’s recipe yields 16 servings; each contains 190 calories, 5 grams of fat, and 2.4 grams of fiber.


  • 1⅔ cups quick-cooking oats
  • 3 ounces all-purpose flour (about ⅔ cup)
  • 2.33 ounces whole-wheat flour (about ½ cup)
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups low-fat buttermilk
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups frozen blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place oats in a food processor; pulse 5 to 6 times or until oats resemble coarse meal. Place in a large bowl. Weigh or lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add flours and next 5 ingredients to oats; stir well. Make a well in center of mixture. Combine buttermilk and next 3 ingredients.

Add to flour mixture; stir just until moist. Toss berries with 2 tablespoons flour and gently fold into batter. Spoon batter into 16 muffin cups coated with cooking spray; sprinkle 2 tablespoons granulated sugar evenly over batter. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove from pans immediately; place on a wire rack.

Source: iStock

2. Oatmeal-Flax Chocolate Chip Cookies

Dieters, beware! A chocolate chip cookie from Starbucks will cost you 310 calories, 15 grams of fat, and 27 grams of sugar. Instead of indulging in this sugar- and fat-riddled treat, prepare Food Network’s Chocolate Chip Cookies, which are chock-full of nutritious ingredients, such as oats and flaxseed. One serving has 151 calories, 7 grams of fat, and 14 grams of sugar. The Dr. Oz Show notes that flaxseed is a great source of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and lignans, which can reduce your risk of breast and prostate cancer.


  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • ¼ cup flaxseed, finely ground in a spice grinder, or pre-ground flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, oats, flaxseed, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl. Beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

Reduce the mixer speed to low; add the flour mixture and beat until just combined, scraping down the bowl as needed. Stir in the chocolate chips. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake until golden-brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool 3 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

Source: iStock

3. Walnut Coffee Cake

Nutritious Walnut Coffee Cake will make mornings seem much sweeter. The cinnamon gives Health’s recipe warm flavors, while the walnuts and health benefits add a satisfying crunch. Best Health explains that walnuts are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and phytosterols, which may help reduce the risk of breast cancer. In addition, they  can improve your heart health and may lower your risk of diabetes.


  • ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3¼ cups all-purpose flour (about 14½ ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 10 tablespoon butter, softened
  • ¾ cup egg substitute
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups nonfat buttermilk
  • Cooking spray

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine brown sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Combine sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium-high speed until well combined, about 3 minutes. Add egg substitute; beat 3 minutes or until combined. Beat in vanilla.

Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating well after each addition and scraping sides of bowl. Spoon half of batter into a 10-inch Bundt pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle half of brown sugar mixture evenly over batter; spoon remaining half of batter into pan. Top with remaining brown sugar mixture. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

Source: iStock

4. Healthy Cream Cheese Danish

Healthy flours and nonfat ingredients create a diet-friendly Cream Cheese Danish. Food.com’s recipe yields 6 servings, with each containing 74.7 calories, 4 grams of fat, and 0.2 grams of sugar.



  • ½ cup whole-rye flour
  • ½ cup whole-wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons dry non-fat buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons light margarine
  • ½ tablespoon Sweet’N Low (or a similar sugar substitute)
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup water


  • 2 ounces fat-free cream cheese
  • ½ teaspoon light margarine
  • ¼ teaspoon Sweet’N Low (or a similar sugar substitute)

Directions: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease baking sheet. Mix dry ingredients. Cut the margarine into small pieces. Slowly add ¼ cup water to the dry ingredients, gently stirring with a fork; continue adding water 1 teaspoon at a time until no more dry ingredients remain. Shape the dough into 6 biscuits, make a slight indentation in the middle of each, and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes. Mix the filling, and divide it among the pastries. Bake another 5 minutes.

Source: iStock

5. Cranberry-Orange Scones

Livestrong notes that a cranberry scone, on average, has 420 calories, 100 of which are from sugar. In addition, 32% of its calories are from fat, 6% are from protein, and the remaining 62% are from carbs. A much healthier option is Hungry Girl’s Cranberry-Orange Scones, which are filled with nutritious ingredients and zesty flavors. Each serving contains 187 calories, 5 grams of fat, and 13.5 grams of sugar per serving.


  • ⅓ cup light whipped butter or light buttery spread
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup no-sugar-added applesauce
  • 3 tablespoons low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup sweetened dried cranberries, roughly chopped

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread butter into a ¼-inch-thick layer on a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil. Freeze until solid, at least 2½ hours. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray. To make the scones, in a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, oats, baking powder, orange zest, and salt. Mix well. Cut frozen butter into very small cubes. Using two forks, quickly and thoroughly mash butter into the flour mixture, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Add applesauce, buttermilk, orange juice, and vanilla extract, and stir until uniform. Fold in cranberries. Form dough into a circle on the baking sheet, about 6 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick. Evenly slice into 6 wedges, but don’t separate the wedges. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a scone comes out clean, 14 to 16 minutes. Let cool completely. Once cool, separate wedges and enjoy.

Source: iStock

6. Mini Pineapple Pound Cakes

Create moist and delicious Mini Pineapple Pound Cakes using white whole-wheat flour, pineapple, and coconut oil. White whole-wheat flour is lighter in color and flavor than regular whole-wheat flour, but Eating Well notes that both have the same nutritional properties. The recipe yields 12 servings; each has 147 calories, 4 grams of fat, and 8 grams of sugar.


  • 1 cup white whole-wheat flour
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups chopped pineapple, fresh or canned, divided
  • 1 tablespoon water or pineapple juice
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line the bottoms of three 6-by-3-inch nonstick mini loaf pans with parchment paper; coat with cooking spray. Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Pulse ¾ cup pineapple and water in a mini food processor or blender until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Beat sugar, coconut oil, and vanilla in a bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until combined.

Beat in the puréed pineapple and eggs. Finely chop the remaining ¾ cup pineapple and fold it in. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients; fold until combined. Divide the batter among the prepared pans. Bake the cakes until the tops are golden and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in the pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Loosen the edges and turn the loaves out onto the rack to cool completely before slicing.

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