10 Healthy Dessert Ideas for the Holiday Season

Christmas is just around the corner.

But if you are one of those people who tend to over-indulge in the sweet stuff during the festive period,  it may well be a challenging time for you. 

For sure, you’ll want to enjoy a nice amount of chocolate, cakes, desserts and puddings. Yet doing so may well result in your waistline expanding and you needing to buy bigger clothes in the January sales.

Thankfully not all sweet treats are bad for you, however. This is why we have scoured the net to come up with these awesome 10 healthy dessert ideas for the holiday season.

Tuck into any of these bad boys and you will get to enjoy something sinfully delicious, without any of the calorie-ridden guilt.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

When it comes to healthy holiday season desserts, it is hard to go past chocolate-covered strawberries.

A great dessert option that is guaranteed to please any guest you invite over, these delectable treats are very easy to make.

Simply rinse and pat the strawberries dry and then melt them into a bowl of melted chocolate, which is formed by placing it over a saucepan of boiled water.

Indulgent, impressive and rather classy, the key to making them healthy is to use good quality dark chocolate such as Green & Blacks or Pana. You can often find both of these on special at Coles.

Lattice-Topped Cranberry-Raspberry Pie

Looking for a ‘wow’ dessert to have after Christmas dinner? Then how about this delicious lattice topped cranberry-raspberry pie?

Providing a festive pop of colour to your sweet options, this tangy fruit pie is the perfect way to follow the turkey.

This pie can be made with gluten-free flour. For the extra aesthetic appeal of a cute rickrack lattice pattern, be sure to cut the dough with a fluted pastry wheel.

If you find the combination of cranberry and raspberries a bit tart, you can cut this with a serving of good-quality vanilla bean ice cream.

Soft and Chewy Paleo Gingerbread Cookies

Who doesn’t love gingerbread cookies? Especially when they can be made vegan, gluten-free and paleo!

That is exactly what this healthy Christmas cookie recipe offers you, should you want to make them during the holiday season. 

What is brilliant about these cookies is that they are made from sweet potatoes. So rather than crumbs flying everywhere when you bite into them – which is often what happens when you eat a hard gingerbread version – they have a very soft and slightly chewy quality to them instead.

Healthy Chocolate Truffles

Chocolate truffles are one of the ultimate Christmas desserts!

Whether you have them with coffee straight after the main meal, or just at various times during the Xmas break, they are a must for any household.

Comprising just half a dozen ingredients, they are very easy to make and have the bonus of being vegan, gluten free and paleo too.

To make the best version of them you possibly can be sure to use a bar of top-quality chocolate. The aforementioned Green & Blacks or Pana work very well.

If you have been invited around to someone’s place for dinner, they are also a terrific item to make up and take with you as an additional dessert option.

Cranberry Coconut Trifle

Nothing screams Christmas dessert quite like a trifle.

But if the very mention of a trifle breaks you out into a cold sweat at the thought of putting thousands of calories into your body, then this Cranberry Coconut Trifle should change your opinion.

Perfectly festive on account of its vibrant crimson layers of antioxidant-rich cranberries, the custard derives from a mix of light coconut milk and low-fat milk.

The brown butter sponge cake, which is made from scratch with whole-wheat pastry flour, only adds to its healthy constitution. 

For this dessert to work, try to make the cranberry and custard filling a couple of days before you put it all together.

You could even add a few crushed or flaked almonds as a garnish for texture and extra visual appeal.

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark

Another simple Christmas dessert to make is this Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark.

Delightfully moreish, it features only three ingredients – dark chocolate chips, candy canes and peppermint extract. Which renders it a very inexpensive sweet treat to make.

Given how decadent this minty chocolate treat is, you’ll be surprised at how healthy it is in comparison to many other staple festive desserts.

It is also vegan and gluten-free, which is a real bonus for those who have these dietary requirements.

To make this confection a winner, make sure you use pure peppermint extract. As opposed to flavouring.

If you wrap it in cellophane and put it in a nice Christmas bag, they make a lovely take-home gift for your guests as well.

Maple-Date Bars

For something a little different why not try these delicious maple date bars?

Slightly chewy and delightfully moist, these are a great thing to have when you’ve overdosed on chocolate or cake, yet you still want something sweet.

Featuring a topping or crumbled cookie, these fruity, gooey bars should be wrapped individually to avoid sticking together. Alternatively, place them in a biscuit container interspersed with layers of parchment paper or wax.

Perfect with black coffee, it is almost impossible to have just one of these bars.

Sour Cream Cocoa Cupcakes

Cupcakes are always great to have at Christmas. But instead of indulging in the usual chocolate variety, why not enjoy whipping up these healthier sour cream cupcakes instead?

Ladened with cocoa, the sour cream makes this version of cupcakes a lot more dense than other versions. It makes them much more moist as well.

As the sour cream doesn’t add anything in terms of flavour, its presence allows the chocolate taste to shine. This provides a very comforting and satisfying experience for those who enjoy this kind of sweet treat.

Despite calling for all-purpose flour, you can switch to gluten-free flour if you want.

Once baked, these cupcakes can be made with a festive red and white frosting which you can either make from scratch or buy from your local Coles.

Mascarpone with Raspberry and Pineapple

If you are looking for something that is easy to make for Christmas but has a distinct wow factor, then look no further than this awesome Mascarpone with Raspberry and Pineapple.

This dessert is super easy to make. Simply fill phyllo cups with a mix of mascarpone, sweet pineapple chunks and creamy raspberry yoghurt and then top it with shavings of dark chocolate.

Aside from this simplicity, one of the best things about this dessert is that it is not heavy at all. In fact it has a light body and delicate flavour which can be further sweetened and enhanced with honey.

The mascarpone cheese also provides a creamy element, which is perfectly complemented by the freshness of the pineapple.

Gluten-Free Christmas Pudding

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a good old Christmas pudding.

This version is an excellent recipe to make, especially for those who have gluten-free requirements. Not least because it will give you a respite from other heavy desserts you might have available too.

Bursting with nuts and dried fruit and topped with a rich brandy sauce, this pudding can be made up to three months in advance.

Indulging a slice of it is the perfect way to enjoy Christmas day.