10 Amazing Desserts with Smart Baking Swaps

Created January 10, 2017
With a few simple ingredient swaps, we show you how to make your favorite desserts a little healthier without sacrificing flavor. MORE+ LESS-
No-Bake Key Lime Yogurt Pie

No-Bake Key Lime Yogurt Pie

Ingredients like fat-free cream cheese and tangy key lime pie yogurt make this take on the Florida classic better for you than the original. We’re talkin’ only 200 calories per serving!

Chocolate Oat Bars

Chocolate-Oat Bars

Using less butter and more canola oil in its place in these chocolaty-oat bars helps to reduce saturated fat, making this recipe more heart-healthy.

Healthified Carrot Cake

Healthified Carrot Cake

Simple substitutions like skim milk and fat-free egg product help to lighten up this classic cake.

Applesauce Cake

Applesauce Cake

Applesauce is a great ingredient to substitute for butter in classic cakes, like in this delicious recipe. The cake is still moist and maintains amazing flavor, while keeping calories per serving low.

Ginger Cake with Caramel Apple Topping

Ginger Cake with Caramel-Apple Topping

Whole-wheat flour and a creamy yogurt topping in place of icing help make this updated take on ginger cake totally guilt-free.

Healthified Banana Nut Bread

Healthified Banana Nut Bread

Swap eggs whites for whole eggs and skim milk for buttermilk in this skinny take on fan-favorite banana bread.

No Bake Lemon Mousse Tart with Fresh Berries

No-Bake Lemon Mousse Tart

Combining some Yoplait Greek 100 yogurt with whipping cream lightens up this no-bake mousse recipe that’s perfect for spring celebrations!

Healthified Strawberry Shortcake Squares

Healthified Strawberry Shortcake Squares

Substituting applesauce for butter in these strawberry shortcake squares takes out 60% of the fat compared to the original recipe.


Skinny Ricotta Cheesecake with Apple Topper

This rich cheesecake gets its creaminess from part-skim ricotta cheese and reduced-fat cream cheese for all the texture you love in traditional cheesecakes with half the fat.

Skinny Carrot and Zucchini Bars

Skinny Carrot and Zucchini Bars 

Unsweetened applesauce substitutes for part of the oil in these moist bars to cut the fat nearly in half.

Test Kitchen Tips for Simple Ingredient Swaps:

  • Applesauce and plain yogurt are good fat substitutes in most recipes. For the best texture and flavor, replace no more than half the amount of the fat listed in the recipe. For example, if a recipe calls for a ½ cup of butter, you can substitute ¼ cup of applesauce.
  • Mashed ripe bananas work well as fat substitutes in carrot and banana cake or muffins.
  • Replace one whole egg in a recipe with ¼ cup of fat-free, cholesterol-free egg product substitutes or with 2 eggs whites—you’ll save more than 10 grams of fat and 100 calories.
  • When baking a cake, sprinkle nuts on top of the batter instead of stirring them in; the nuts toast as they bake, releasing more flavor, so there’s no need for frosting!