Skinny Versions of Restaurant Desserts: 5 Healthy Recipes
Filled with gratifying glazes, rich and creamy fillings, and heavenly ingredients, restaurant desserts are the ultimate indulgence. Unfortunately, they are often packed with fat and calories, making many of them a dieter’s worst nightmare. Luckily, you don’t need to visit a restaurant in order to enjoy a delicious-tasting dessert. You can prepare healthier versions of your restaurant favorites in the comfort of your own kitchen, ensuring you have toothsome treats to indulge in guilt-free. Here are 5 healthy alternatives to your favorite restaurant desserts.
1. Lemon Cream Cake
Olive Garden’s Lemon Cream Cake is filled with a lemon cream filling and light and zesty flavors. It is also packed with unwanted fat and calories; Calorie King notes that just one slice of cake contains 610 calories, 35 grams of fat, and 69 grams of carbs. Rather than opting for this unhealthy restaurant dish, we suggest making All Day I Dream About Food’s low-carb and gluten-free Lemon Cream Cake. The recipe yields 10 servings, with each containing 7.7 grams of carbs.
- 2 cups almond flour
- ¼ cup granulated erythritol
- ¼ cup whey protein powder
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 ounces Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- 3 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 10 drops stevia extract
- ¼ cup almond milk
Lemon Cream Filling:
- 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ¾ cup powdered erythritol
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 8 drops stevia extract
- ¾ cup whipping cream
- ¼ cup almond flour
- 3 tablespoons powdered erythritol
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1½ tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
Directions: For the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease an 8-inch round cake pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, erythritol, xanthan gum, protein powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, breaking up any clumps with the back of a fork. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat yogurt and butter together until smooth. Add eggs, vanilla, and stevia and beat until just combined. Add half of almond flour mixture and beat until combined, then beat in almond milk.
Beat in remaining flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Spread batter in prepared pan and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until edges are golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan 10 minutes and then flip out onto a wire rack to cool completely. When cake is completely cool, cut in half horizontally with a serrated knife. For the cream filling, beat cream cheese in a medium bowl until smooth. Beat in erythritol, lemon zest, lemon juice, and stevia extract until combined.
In another bowl beat cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture until combined. Spread all but ½ a cup of filling onto one half of cake, then gently top with the other half of the cake. Spread remaining filling over the top of assembled cake. For the crumb mixture, combine almond flour, powdered erythritol, and vanilla in a small bowl. With a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles crumbs. Sprinkle over the top of the cake and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
2. Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake
My Fitness Pal states that one slice of the Cheesecake Factory’s Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake contains 740 calories, 32 grams of fat, and 95 grams of carbs. If you’d like to enjoy the same fabulous flavors without ruining your waistline, we suggest preparing Spark People’s recipe. It yields 8 servings, with each containing 96.3 calories, 0.1 grams of fat, and 9.6 grams of carbs.
- 3 (8-ounce) packages of fat-free cream cheese
- 1 cup of sugar substitute
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 cup of canned pumpkin
- 4 egg whites
- ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon of ground allspice
Directions: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine cheese, sugar, and vanilla in large bowl. Mix until smooth with an electric mixer. Add pumpkin, eggs, and spices. Beat until smooth and creamy. Pour into a 9-inch pan or a pie crust. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until the top begins to turn dark. Remove from oven and allow to come to room temperature. Refrigerate. After it has thoroughly chilled, remove the pan sides and cut. Serve with fat-free whipped cream or cool whip.
3. Healthy Molten Chocolate Lava Cake
Healthy Indulgences delivers a sugar-free, gluten-free, and low-carb Healthy Molten Chocolate Lava Cake. This recipe, which was adapted from Allrecipes.com, is a great replacement for Chili’s Molten Chocolate Cake. Calorie King states that just one slice of Chili’s molten cake contains 1160 calories, 63 grams of fat, and 145 grams of carbs.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) organic unsalted butter, cut into chunks
- 8 ounces 85% cacao chocolate, broken up
- 5 eggs
- 1 cup erythritol, powdered
- ½ teaspoon pure stevia extract
- Pinch of unrefined sea salt
- 4 teaspoons gluten-free flour
Directions: Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Set out eggs to bring to room temperature. Section out 3 chocolate bars into 7 pieces each. Chop up chocolate. Melt butter and chocolate together for 30 seconds in the microwave, and stir. Melt mixture for 15 second intervals, and stir until smooth. Whisk together eggs. Add beaten eggs, erythritol, stevia, and salt to chocolate mixture.
Stir in gluten-free flour. Pour into 12 silicone muffin cups and bake for about 14 minutes, or until puffed up and still a bit moist-looking on the tops. Do not overbake. Let cakes sit in muffin pans for one minute, and then invert cakes on to individual serving dishes. Dust with powdered erythritol, or top with fresh whipped cream and berries, if desired.
4. Skinny Frozen Hot Chocolate
Filled with fudgy flavors, ice cream, and whipped topping, a small Dairy Queen’s Double Fudge Frozen Hot Chocolate contains 391 calories, 29 grams of fat, and 79 grams of sugar, according to its nutrition facts. We suggest bypassing this unhealthy dessert, and making Recipe Diaries’ Skinny Frozen Hot Chocolate instead. It was adapted from Skinny Taste and only has 111 calories and 1 gram of fat per serving.
- 1½ cups fat free milk
- 1 cup ice
- 4 tablespoons Ovaltine rich chocolate (You can also use Ovaltine’s chocolate malt flavor.)
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons fat free whipped topping (optional)
- Drop of peppermint extract (optional)
Directions: Pour the milk and ice into your blender. Add in the Ovaltine, cocoa powder, and whipped topping. Blend 3 to 4 minutes until the ice is completely chopped and the mixture is thick and icy. Pour into two glasses, and serve immediately.
5. Healthier Carrot Cake Cheesecake
My Fitness Pal explains that just one slice of the Cheesecake Factory’s Craig’s Crazy Carrot Cake Cheesecake contains 986 calories, 62 grams of fat, and 102 grams of carbs. Instead of dining out and ordering this calorie- and fat-riddled dish, we recommend making Texanerin Baking’s Healthier Carrot Cake Cheesecake, which has whole grains, less sugar, and plenty of nutritious and delicious ingredients. The recipe yields 8 servings.
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons granulated or unrefined sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 egg
- ⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt
- ½ cup whole spelt flour or whole wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil or canola oil
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons unsweetened apple sauce (or more oil)
- ¼ cup unrefined sugar or brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- ¾ cup peeled and grated carrots
- 2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- ⅓ cup granulated or unrefined sugar
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
Directions: Lightly grease a 6½-inch springform pan and set aside. In a medium mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the salt, vanilla, and egg and beat until smooth. Stir in the Greek yogurt and set this bowl aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare the cake batter by mixing together all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. In another medium mixing bowl, mix together the oil, apple sauce, sugars, and egg. Add the dry mix to the wet and stir just until combined.
Fold in the carrots. Pour half of the cake batter on the bottom of the prepared pan. Dollop large spoonfuls of half the cheesecake batter over the carrot cake batter. Do not swirl or mix it together. Dollop the remaining carrot cake batter over the cheesecake batter layer. Evenly spread the remaining cheesecake on top. Bake for 30 minutes or until the middle of the cheesecake is still jiggly but appears to be almost set. The cake will rise and crack, but don’t worry as you’ll be covering the cake with frosting.
Let the cheesecake cool completely and then refrigerate for 3 hours. After the cheesecake has cooled thoroughly, prepare the frosting by mixing together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the Greek yogurt, oil, vanilla, and salt and mix until thoroughly combined. Spread the frosting over the top of the cheesecake and chill for another hour until the frosting firms up just a bit. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days.