^
Muscle for life

20 Desserts Under 250 Calories That You Need to Try

By
20 Desserts Under 250 Calories That You Need to Try

Don’t listen to the naysayers–desserts and healthy dieting can go together! These delicious low-calorie recipes are perfect for indulging your sweet tooth.

 

If you’re skeptical whether 250 measly calories can actually qualify as a dessert, I understand.

I love calorie-laden confections as the next person, but let’s face it–ain’t nobody got macros for that. 😉

That’s why I’ve turned to small-portion, low-calorie dessert recipes like these. They’re easy to make, delicious, and extremely “diet-friendly.”

So if you want to be like me and eat dessert every day without exploding your macros, then you’ve come to the right place.

Enjoy!

Low-Calorie Brownies

low calorie brownies Picture courtesy of Bromia Bakery

Brownies can fit into anyone’s meal plan when each square is 50 calories. And these are full-size brownies, not those bite-sized cubes that are all too easy to scarf down. If you want to bake a fresh batch and then eat a couple for dessert, that’s not going to wreck your goals.

Take a look at the ingredients list, and you’ll see these brownies are mostly Greek yogurt and oats. If stevia baking sweetener isn’t your thing, substitute an equal amount of applesauce.

Serves 9

Ingredients

3/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

1/4 cup skim milk

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup Truvia baking blend

1 large egg

1 tsp. baking powder

Pinch of salt

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 51

Protein: 5 grams

Carbs: 7 grams

Fat: 2 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE 

 

 

Salted Caramel Snickerdoodle Protein Bites

low calorie protein bites recipe Picture courtesy of Cotter Crunch

Most bite-sized snacks are no better for you than a candy bar or slice of bread. They seem innocent in a smaller portion, but they can add up to lots of calories that you don’t want in your diet. Make these healthy snickerdoodle bites to munch on instead.

With a base of peanut flour (PB2) and vanilla protein powder, they’re a great post-workout treat to have when you get home from the gym.

Serves 30

Ingredients

3/4 cup PB2

2 scoops (1/2 cup) WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

1/2 cup caramel chips (or chopped caramels)

1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. butter extract (optional)

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup pure honey (or maple syrup)

1/2 cup almond butter

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 71

Protein: 4 grams

Carbs: 9 grams

Fat: 3 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE 

 

 

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars

low calorie cheesecake bars Picture courtesy of Sally’s Baking Addiction

These yummy bars satisfy several dessert cravings in less than 150 calories. They’re like a cheesecake with a graham cracker crust, made for chocoholics, served up in baked bar form.

The best part is these chocolate cheesecake bars will keep for a week when refrigerated in an airtight container. Extras can also be frozen for a couple months and thawed in the fridge overnight before enjoying.

Serves 16

Ingredients

3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 5 sheets)

2 Tbsp. butter or coconut oil, melted

8 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt

2 large egg whites

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 135

Protein: 3 grams

Carbs: 13 grams

Fat: 7 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE 

 

 

Chocolate Amaretti Peaches

low calorie peach dessert Picture courtesy of Emiko Davies

It’s hard to stop at just one cookie, but the trick is to use that one cookie as part of a bigger but healthier dessert. One way to stretch it is to crumble it for a topping, as with this broiled peach recipe.

Ripe peaches are sliced in half and the centers hollowed out to make room for cookie crumbs to be stuffed in the middle. Sprinkle with shaved chocolate once they’re warmed in the oven.

Serves 8

Ingredients

1/2 cup crushed amaretti cookies (about 8 cookies)

2 Tbsp. brown sugar

4 large ripe peaches, halved and pitted

Cooking spray

8 tsp. butter

1 oz. bittersweet chocolate, shaved

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 117

Protein: 2 grams

Carbs: 17 grams

Fat: 5 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE 

 

 

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

low calorie dessert muffins Picture courtesy of Amy’s Healthy Baking

With a base of coconut flour and whey protein powder this recipe makes muffins sweet enough for dessert but healthy enough for breakfast.

As an added bonus, this paleo-friendly recipe is very changeable. Feel free to mix things up by folding in chocolate chips, seeds, or fruit. You can even use your favorite nut butter instead of yogurt for an entirely new flavor.

Serves 8

Ingredients

1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. coconut flour

1 tsp. xanthan gum

3/4 tsp. baking powder

3/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. poppy seeds

1 Tbsp. lemon zest

1 Tbsp. coconut oil (or unsalted butter), melted

1 large egg, room temp.

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

1/4 cup agave syrup (or honey)

Juice of 1 medium lemon (about 2 Tbsp.)

1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

2 scoops WHEY+ vanilla protein powder

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 161

Protein: 13 grams

Carbs: 16 grams

Fat: 5 grams

GET THE RECIPE

Healthy Homemade Donuts

low calorie donuts recipe Picture courtesy of Chocolate Covered Katie

Rather than satisfying your donut craving with those stale, flavorless pucks found at the grocery store or 7-11, it’s possible to make nutritious donuts at home.

These whole-wheat donuts use yeast to rise, so you won’t need a special pan for baking like with cake donuts. After rising for half a day, the dough is cut out and then fried.

The amount of fat per donut will depend on the temperature of the oil, so be sure to keep it between 350 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Serves 36

Ingredients

3 cups warm filtered water

2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

6 cups whole-wheat flour

2 heaping tsp. instant yeast + 1/4 cup water

1/2 cup coconut sugar

2 tsp. sea salt

Arrowroot powder, for dusting

Coconut oil, for frying

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 100

Protein: 2 grams

Carbs: 19 grams

Fat: 2 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE 

 

Want to know how to build muscle and lose fat eating delicious foods like these?"Dieting" doesn't have to suck. You CAN eat foods you like and have the body you want!
 

Bread Walnut Ice Cream

low calorie ice cream recipe Picture courtesy of Dish Maps

Low-calorie ice cream doesn’t have to taste like a compromise. This one is made from skim milk and low-fat cream; yet it has rich flavor thanks to the toasted whole-wheat crumbs and crushed walnuts.

You don’t even need an ice cream maker, just enough patience to wait for the mixture to set in the freezer for a few hours. Then, blend until it’s thick and creamy, stir in walnuts, and dig in.

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 cups low-fat milk

4 tsp. skim milk powder

1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch

2 tsp. light cream

2 tsp. erythritol (or granulated sweetener of choice)

6 Tbsp. toasted brown bread crumbs

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 Tbsp. crushed walnuts

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 139

Protein: 7 grams

Carbs: 18 grams

Fat: 5 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE 

 

 

Blueberry Lemon Pudding Pops

low calorie pudding pops recipe Picture courtesy of Super Healthy Kids

You can make frozen treats out of fresh fruit or fruit juice alone. Yet they’re even more nutritious when you mix in other ingredients like milk or yogurt.

The dairy makes it creamy while adding a couple grams of protein that isn’t usually found in low-calorie popsicles. The result is a bright lemon dessert with the luscious texture of a fudge pop.

Serves 8

Ingredients

2 cups milk

2 Tbsp. cornstarch

2 Tbsp. pure honey

1 tsp. lemon extract

3 tsp. lemon zest

3 cups blueberries

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 86

Protein: 2 grams

Carbs: 17 grams

Fat: 1 gram

 

GET THE RECIPE 

 

 

Low-Calorie Chocolate Mousse

Low Calorie Chocolate Mousse recipe Picture courtesy of Low-Calorie Desserts

This chocolate mousse isn’t just a low-calorie dessert; it’s also an extremely easy way to satisfy your sweet tooth. Make whipped cream, and then fold in Nutella and a splash of brandy.

Since this recipe uses chocolate hazelnut spread, there’s no need to melt chocolate, and this recipe also doesn’t require eggs. It’s great to serve to guests when you have time, energy, or the desire to bake but don’t want to serve something store-bought.

Serves 4

Ingredients

1/2 cup light whipping cream

2 Tbsp. chocolate hazelnut spread

1 tsp. brandy

Ground cinnamon to taste

8 raspberries

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 113

Protein: 1 gram

Carbs: 10 grams

Fat: 8 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE 

 

 

Ultimate Unbaked Brownies

low calorie brownie recipe Picture courtesy of Eating Bird Food

If desserts and healthy eating are both important to you, there’s one name you need to know. Katie Higgins, better known as Chocolate-Covered Katie, is an expert at creating desserts that taste sinful yet are nutritious.

These nutritious brownies are made raw with a mix of dates, walnuts, and maple syrup. This recipe can be found in The Chocolate-Covered Katie Cookbook, which also includes lemon donuts, brownie waffles, and PB pudding pops.

Chocolate-Covered Katie

Serves 16

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups loosely packed pitted dates

1 1/2 cups walnuts

1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tsp. vanilla extract

3/8 tsp. salt

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

2 Tbsp. vegetable or coconut oil, melted

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 207

Protein: 4 grams

Carbs: 29 grams

Fat: 10 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE 

 

 

Strawberry Freeze

low calorie strawberry freeze Picture courtesy of Food Faith Fitness

This might not be the prettiest dessert, but it may be the best one you’ll have all summer. And it’s great to serve when hosting a gathering because it takes less than 10 ingredients to make and just a half hour to assemble.

And, like an ice cream cake, you can make this in advance and just leave it in the freezer until it’s time to serve.

Serves 12

Ingredients

3/4 cup butter, melted

1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

3/4 cup pecans, finely chopped

2 egg whites

3/4 cup granulated sugar

15 oz. frozen strawberries, partially thawed

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 229

Protein: 3 grams

Carbs: 33 grams

Fat: 10 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE 

 

 

Dark Chocolate Avocado Truffles

low calorie dark chocolate truffles Picture courtesy of Apple of My Eye

A low-calorie dessert that never fails to satisfy, truffles are rich enough to knock out chocolate cravings despite their small size. However, they’re usually made with heavy cream, so a handful of truffles can have more fat than a bar of milk chocolate.

Loading up on fat isn’t always a bad thing, but it’s better to be strategic about the source. These healthy truffles replace the heavy cream with avocado, which has monounsaturated fat, potassium, and fiber.

Serves 20

Ingredients

1 ripe avocado

5 oz. dark chocolate, chopped

2 Tbsp. brown sugar

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

1/8 tsp. salt

2 1/2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder, divided

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 59

Protein: 1 gram

Carbs: 8 grams

Fat: 4 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE 

 

 

German Chocolate Bites

low caloie german bites Picture courtesy of Plaid and Paleo

When you love rich ingredients, the best approach is to savor every little bite. So don’t just chow these down. Let the chocolate melt in your mouth before you sink your teeth in.

This dessert is stored in the fridge, so you can also be mindful by taking a couple at a time. That way to get another taste, you have to make a decision to walk back to the kitchen.

Serves 12

Ingredients

12 pitted Medjool dates (about 1 cup)

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 cup pecan halves

1 tsp. water

1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

1 tsp. coconut oil

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 137

Protein: 1 gram

Carbs: 24 grams

Fat: 5 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE 

 

 

Cocoa-Dusted Almonds

low calorie Cocoa Dusted Almonds recipe Picture courtesy of Greatist

To ensure your dessert includes a bit of protein, why not coat your favorite snacks in chocolate? These cocoa almonds don’t even require you to melt any chocolate.

Simply mix them with agave syrup or honey, plus a touch of sea salt. Then they go in the oven for just 10 minutes. Stir halfway through, and when the toasted almonds come out, coat them in cocoa powder.

Serves 4 / Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

2 cups whole raw almonds

2 Tbsp. agave syrup

2 tsp. sea salt

2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 128

Protein: 4 grams

Carbs: 13 grams

Fat: 8 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE

 

 

Chocolate Cardamom Plum Clafoutis

low calorie clafoutis recipe Picture courtesy of Bon Appetit

Dessert can be low-calorie yet delicious, rustic yet decadent. For all of the above, try clafoutis, a French egg custard that’s thick enough to hold big chunks of fresh fruit.

The clafoutis custard is often flavored with vanilla, but this one includes cocoa powder for a unique chocolate dessert. Fresh plums (or any fruit that’s in season) make it extra special. Best served warm and freshly dusted with powdered sugar.

Serves 8

Ingredients

1 tsp. butter, for greasing

4 to 5 large firm plums, pitted and sliced

3 large eggs

1 1/4 cups milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 tsp. ground cardamom

Pinch of salt

1/4 cup powdered sugar, for dusting

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 160

Protein: 5 grams

Carbs: 28 grams

Fat: 3 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE

 

 

Slow Cooker Pecan Pie

low calorie pecan pie recipe Picture courtesy of Skinny Ms.

To make a low-calorie pie, do less work. Yes, really! This healthier pecan pie can be made in a Crock Pot. Just be sure to pick up parchment paper because you’ll need it to line the bottom so that you can get your pie out of the slow cooker.

Then mold the crust in a pie plate or, after rolling it out, press it into the bottom and sides of the crock. Pour in the pecan pie filling, and let cook for 4 hours on low.

Serves 16

Ingredients

1/2 cu pure honey

3 egg whites, whipped with a fork

2 cups chopped pecans

4 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

3 Tbsp. cornstarch

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 205

Protein: 4 grams

Carbs: 20 grams

Fat: < 1 gram

 

GET THE RECIPE  

 

 

Frozen Peanut Butter Pie

low calorie peanut butter bites Picture courtesy of Crazy for Crust

This slimmed-down peanut butter pie is the perfect dessert for several reasons.

First, they’re easy to make by crushing up graham crackers and whipping the filling.

You’re making individual servings, which can help your willpower, and since they’re frozen you won’t have the excuse of eating them all in a few days before they go bad. But if you have to go back for seconds, at least they’re low-fat.

Serves 12

Ingredients

8 low-fat graham crackers, crushed (about 1 cup crumbs)

5 Tbsp. butter, melted

4 oz. fat-free cream cheese

1/2 cup fat-free sweetened condensed milk

1/3 cup peanut butter

1 1/2 cups fat-free Cool Whip

6 tsp. mini chocolate chips

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 190

Protein: 5 grams

Carbs: 21 grams

Fat: 10 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE 

 

 

Pumpkin Spice Mug Cake

low calorie mug cake recipe Picture courtesy of Eat Yourself Skinny

Fix your fall cravings in a flash with this microwave mug cake.

Instead of relying on oil or butter, this single-serving cake uses a mixture of applesauce and pumpkin puree. It takes less than 5 minutes to make, and that includes the time needed to measure out ingredients and even grate fresh nutmeg, if you have it.

There will be a lot of leftover pumpkin puree if you’re opening a can, so freeze the rest for future cakes, muffins, or smoothies.

Serves 1

Ingredients

4 Tbsp. white whole-wheat flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Pinch of nutmeg

1 tsp. pumpkin puree

2 Tbsp. unsweetened almond milk

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 182

Protein: 4 grams

Carbs: 35 grams

Fat: 1 gram

 

GET THE RECIPE

 

 

Pistachio Cake with Citrus Glaze

low calorie cake recipe Picture courtesy of Desserts with Benefits

When you look for pistachio cake recipes, too many of them start with a box of instant pudding mix. Instead of artificial food dyes, this cake gets the green color from spinach.

And for a texture similar to pudding cake, this batter incorporates silken tofu. That boosts the protein along with a few scoops of whey isolate.

Serves 9

Ingredients

Cake:

1 cup spinach, packed

6 1/2 oz. lite silken tofu

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

2 Tbsp. pure honey

2 Tbsp. coconut oil

2 tsp. stevia extract

1/2 tsp. lemon flavor

1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour

3/4 cup (3 scoops) WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

1/4 cup sucanat (or granulated sweetened of choice)

3 Tbsp. arrowroot starch

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1/4 cup chopped pistachios

Glaze:

1/4 cup pure honey

1 Tbsp. orange juice

1/4 tsp. lemon zest

1/4 tsp. orange zest

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 210

Protein: 11 grams

Carbs: 30 grams

Fat: 5 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE

 

 

Berry Cheesecake Trifle

low calorie Strawberry Cheesecake Picture courtesy of Jeanette’s Healthy Living

Yes, you can make a crowd-pleasing dessert without using a whole box of butter.

An upgraded strawberry shortcake, this trifle uses real whipped cream but keeps the macros lean with non-fat cottage cheese and sour cream. Chunks of angel food cake are coated in the cheesecake whipped cream and then layered with fresh strawberries and raspberries.

Serves 16

Ingredients

1 cups non-fat cottage cheese

2 cups powdered sugar

1 cup non-fat sour cream

3 tsp. vanilla extract, divided

1/2 tsp. almond extract

1 cup whipping cream

3 Tbsp. granulated sugar, divided

1 angel food cake, cut into 1” cubes

1 quart fresh strawberries, sliced

1 quart fresh raspberries (plus more for garnish)

3 Tbsp. amaretto

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 210

Protein: 6 grams

Carbs: 39 grams

Fat: 3 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE 

 

 

What did you think of these low-calorie desserts? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

admin admin

I'm Mike and I'm the creator of Muscle for Life and Legion Athletics, and I believe that EVERYONE can achieve the body of their dreams.

If you like what I have to say, sign up for my free newsletter and every week I'll send you awesome, science-based health and fitness tips, delicious "diet-friendly" recipes, motivational musings, and more.

OVER 100,000 PEOPLE HAVE USED MY COOKBOOK TO GET THE BODY THEY WANT EATING THE FOODS THEY LOVE. WILL YOU BE NEXT?

What if I told you that just about everything magazines and trainers “teach” you about dieting is wrong?

What if you could build muscle and lose fat eating “naughty” foods every week?

What if you didn’t have to suffer through low-carb dieting to get lean? In fact, what if you could eat all the carbs you wanted?

And what if you didn’t have to gorge yourself just to gain muscle and didn’t have to put on pounds and pounds of ugly fat, either?

In short, what if I told you that proper dieting--whether you want to maximize fat loss or muscle growth--is much simpler and more enjoyable than you’ve been led to believe?

Imagine eating delicious, filling meals every day...never feeling starved or stuffed...having great energy levels and workouts...and watching your body respond exactly as you desire, dropping fat or adding muscle each and every week.

And imagine finally understanding how proper dieting really works, never again falling for the BS, tricks, and gimmicks pushed by “gurus” and other shysters.

Well, I have good news.

All these “fantasies” can be a reality...if you know how to do a handful of “little” things correctly.

You see, when you know how to diet properly--and this doesn’t mean learning to eat boiled chicken and raw broccoli six times per day--getting lean and muscular becomes simple, convenient, and dare I say...enjoyable.

And this book will show you the way.

Want more awesome stuff like this? Enter your email address to get the weekly newsletter.
LIKE MUSCLE FOR LIFE? Let Google know!
Leave a Comment!
Comment!
  • Thanks for stopping by and checking out my article! I hope you enjoyed it.

    Feel free to comment below if you have any questions. I do my best to check and reply to every comment left on my blog, so don’t be shy!

    Oh and if you like what I have to say, you should sign up for my free weekly newsletter! You’ll get awesome, science-based health and fitness tips, delicious “guilt-free” recipes, articles to keep you motivated, and much more!

    You can sign up here:

    http://www.muscleforlife.com/signup/

    Your information is safe with me too. I don’t share, sell, or rent my lists. Pinky swear!

  • T

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for these, they all look great, can’t wait to try them. Curious about the Low-Calorie Brownies.The site has it as 37 calories or 65 calories if you add the 1/4 cup chocolate chips, so I thought maybe the 75 calories mentioned is the is “higher-end “estimate with the chocolate chips add on, but I noticed that the chocolate chips aren’t included in the ingredients. I’m a little confused, any clarification would be much appreciated.
    Thanks for all your amazing recipes. A while back you had one on a pepper-crusted pasta carbonara that my boyfriend and I just can’t get enough of.
    Oh, and I just wanted to say amazing job on the new Whey+. I bought the 3-pack (chocolate and vanilla) and all I can say is absolutely delicious. 🙂

    • Thanks!

      Hmm I’m going to check this out. I’ll get back to you.

      And awesome! Really glad you’re liking my picks. 🙂

      Perfect on the protein! We’re getting a LOT of good feedback on it, so we’re excited. Would you mind dropping a review on Amazon for it?

      • T

        As always, your commitment to your followers/clientele is amazing. Thank you!
        I did respond to some review via an email I got requesting feedback, but I don’t think it was through Amazon. I’ll go back and make sure I do one there too just to make sure. 🙂 My friend’s tease me saying I should be on your marketing team for the LA area, haha. I’ve recommended your TLS and BLS books to well over a dozen people by now and have personally bought three as gifts. Dropped a review on them too, because, well, they are that damn good! 😉
        Oh, and this weekend I tried another one of your recent recipe recommendations, Lemon Chicken with Asparagus….sooooo good, another keeper!

        • Thanks for the kind words. Happy to help. 🙂

          Ah okay. I appreciate it!

          Thanks a ton for spreading the word too. Everything helps!

          Awesome to hear you enjoyed the recipe!

          Thanks again for everything!

          Talk soon.

Sign in to Muscle For Life
or use your MFL Account