Our Favorite Low-Sugar Desserts for a More Subtle Sweet

Don’t have a sweet tooth? These treats have more restrained sweetness for a different palate

By SAVEUR Editors

Published on July 11, 2018

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.

Blueberry, Nectarine and Shiso Salad
Blueberry, Nectarine and Shiso Salad

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 »

Peaches and Strawberries Mascarpone
Burnt Peaches and Plums with Mascarpone and Hazelnuts

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 »

Black Mulberry Soup with Kaymak Ice Cream
Black Mulberry Soup with Kaymak Ice Cream

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 »

Fermented Banana Chocolate Pudding

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 »

Korean Rice Cake (Songpyeon)
Korean Rice Cake

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 »

Grilled Strawberries
Grilled Strawberries

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 »

Almond Granita
Almond Granita

Nutty, sweet almonds are used four ways in this super-simple frozen dessert. Get the recipe for Almond Granita »

How to Pit Cherries
Roasted Cherries

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 »

Blueberry Sauce
Blueberry Sauce

Pastry chef Emily Luchetti makes this simple sauce for topping pancakes, waffles, or a scoop of ice cream. Get the recipe for Blueberry Sauce »

Houston, Chris Shepherd, Grilling, Cantaloupe
Grilled Cantaloupe with Peach Agrodolce

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 »

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