5 Indulgent Dessert Recipes That Won’t Derail Your Diet

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vegan gelato
Photo: Courtesy of Gypsea Lust

Dieting is such a buzzkill. From turning down fun dining opportunities with friends to foregoing all your favorite cheat meals, being on a diet can feel akin to a punishment. As we speak, there are multitudes of people falling off the wagon because of cravings for “sinful” foods, but we’re here to reassure you that you can have your cake and eat it, too.

With simple swaps, substitutions, and adaptations, you can fix your desires by indulging in sweet but healthy versions of your favorite cheat foods. From ice cream to cookies and cake, we’ve rounded up five of the tastiest ways to satisfy your sweet tooth without derailing your diet.


Chocolate Cake

Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free

What if we told you you could make a single serving of “cake” in a coffee mug in the microwave in under five minutes total – including prep time? Sound like a game-changer? It is! The diet world is obsessed with mug cakes, which can be prepared by tossing a few ingredients into a mug and zapping it for less than two minutes. And thanks to a finish of fat-free whipped cream and a little melted peanut butter, your taste buds will be in heaven.

Find the recipe here.


Ice Cream

Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan

Ice cream is one of the biggest cravings that people on a diet report having, but indulging could spell disaster for your waistline and intestinal system since it’s packed with lactose. However, The New York Times stumbled across one of the easiest ways to mimic ice cream, and it uses only one ingredient: frozen bananas. Whipped to a creamy, delightful consistency and topped with anything from sugar-free chocolate syrup and whipped cream to fruit and nuts, this is one substitute that won’t disappoint.

Find the recipe here.

Photo: Courtesy of Simple Vegan

Peanut Butter Cookies

Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free

We’ve been trained to associate cookies with indulgence and reward since we were children, so it’s hard to break the habit of reaching for a cookie when the craving strikes. And considering cookies are the ultimate comfort food, there aren’t many ways of making them in a way that is both delicious and healthy without omitting everything that makes them, well, delicious.

Fortunately, the smart people who launched the Atkins diet cookbook formulated a peanut butter cookie recipe that is decadent, filling, and packed with protein. Also, if your children are cookie fiends and you’re trying to deter them from eating too much sugar, these low-carb, sugar-free cookies will do the trick.

Find the recipe here.


"Crack" Bars


There is a huge variety of “crack” bar recipes on the internet to choose from, so named for their addictive properties. Typically, these are layered bars so rich that it proves hard to eat more than one. However, with this paleo-adapted version of coconut “crack” bars, you don’t have to fear the indulgence any longer. Bonus: this no-bake recipe contains just five ingredients, which means the effort required is minimal, while the reward is amazing.

Find the recipe here.




We’re going to make you a promise right now: if you eat these brownies, you absolutely will not believe that they’re actually healthy. Made with an unusual mix of sweet potatoes (yes!), date paste, avocado purée, and other incredibly beneficial ingredients, these brownies are some of the tastiest we’ve ever tried – including those packed with sugar, flour, and butter.

Find the recipe here.

sweet potato brownies
Photo: Courtesy of The Healthy Foodie
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