There are plenty of reasons why you’d want to cut back on sugar, namely that it’s
highly addictive and detrimental to our health. And for some, too much of the stuff can cause highs and headache-riddled crashes. Whether you’re looking to curb the craving for health reasons or just because you don’t like the taste, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite dessert recipes with a (relatively) low sugar content per serving.
Up the fruit content of your desserts to get some natural flavors in the mix: tropical
summer desserts play especially well. Asian desserts also tend to be less cloying, especially when made with rice-heavy, starchy ingredients that absorb the sweetness. From simple grilled strawberries to Korean rice cakes, here are the low-sugar desserts to help satiate your sweet tooth without drowning you in sugar.
Bright shiso leaves and a touch of earthy sesame oil enhance this stone fruit and berry salad.
Get the recipe for Blueberry, Nectarine and Shiso Salad »
At once rustic and refined, this technique amplifies the inherent sweetness of the fruit. The mascarpone-mint leaf combo brings a rich yet uplifting twist. The more ripe your fruit, the better it will caramelize. Look for freestone peaches that will let you remove the pits easily. Mallmann says: “Let them burn a bit without touching them. Don’t flip and flop.”
Get the Recipe for Burnt Peaches and Plums with Mascarpone and Hazelnuts »
This pleasantly tart soup is a welcome break from super-sweet desserts. The accompanying ice cream is made from kaymak, a traditional Turkish dairy product; crème fraîche makes a good substitute.
Get the recipe for Black Mulberry Soup with Kaymak Ice Cream »
Though this recipe takes some advanced planning (you need to allow around 2 weeks for the bananas to ferment), it’s well worth the wait. The fermented, sweet tang of bananas blends with bitter chocolate for a tropical spin on the classic pudding. It’s easier, too, as the pudding is set with gelatin rather than egg yolks, which also lets the banana flavor shine through.
Get the recipe for Fermented Banana Chocolate Pudding »
Sweet apples are roasted until caramelized in honey and butter, then marinated in their cooking juices along with Calvados and sesame for a simple but surprisingly complex quick weeknight dessert.
Get the recipe for Honey-Roasted Apples with Sesame and Calvados »
Korean rice cakes, known as
songpyeon, are half moon-shaped dumplings that are stuffed with fillings like sweet potatoes, chestnuts, red beans, or nuts, and then steamed and served with honey. Get the recipe for Korean Rice Cake »
Roasting strawberries over mellow, barely glowing embers turns them from bright red bulbs to plump crimson pillows of deeply sweet juice.
Get the recipe for Grilled Strawberries »
Nutty, sweet almonds are used four ways in this super-simple frozen dessert.
Get the recipe for Almond Granita »
Roasting cherries caramelizes their sugars and gives them a deeper flavor; they’re perfect on ice cream, cheesecake, or yogurt, or even mixed into cocktails.
Get the recipe for Roasted Cherries »
Emily Luchetti makes this simple sauce for topping pancakes, waffles, or a scoop of ice cream. Get the recipe for Blueberry Sauce »
In this elegant dessert, cantaloupe is grilled until it caramelizes and is then dressed with agrodolce, a sour-sweet Italian sauce made by reducing vinegar and sugar.
Get the recipe for Grilled Cantaloupe with Peach Agrodolce »
Taking poached pears to the next level, in this dessert, whole Bosc pears are cooked in a red wine syrup, with succulent prunes adding complexity to the sauce.
Get the recipe for Baked Pears and Prunes with Red Wine Sauce »