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Healthy holiday dessert recipes

The holidays are notorious for overindulgence, so rather than destroying your diet as the year comes to a close, check out a few healthy dessert recipes for quick weight loss!

Red Velvet Cupcakes




8 ounces cake flour (about 2 cups)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

1/2 cup butter, softened

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1 1/4 cups sugar

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2 large egg yolks

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1 teaspoon vanilla extract

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1 cup whole buttermilk

1 (1-ounce) bottle red food coloring

3 large egg whites

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Baking spray with flour


3 tablespoons butter

1 (8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese

2 cups powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

Red food color paste


Preheat oven to 350°. To prepare cake, weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cocoa. Place 1/2 cup butter and 1 1/4 cups sugar in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until well blended.

Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture, and beat just until combined. Stir in red food coloring. Using clean, dry beaters, beat 3 egg whites and 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar at high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold one-third of egg whites into batter. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites.

Line 24 muffin cups with cupcake liners; coat with baking spray. Spoon batter into cups. Bake at 350° for 23 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into centers comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

To prepare frosting, place 3 tablespoons butter and cream cheese in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium-high speed until smooth. Add powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, and 1/8 teaspoon salt; beat until smooth. Add red food color paste to icing; stir. Place frosting in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Snip a 1/4-inch hole in 1 corner of bag. Pipe on top of cupcakes.

Mascarpone with Raspberry and Pineapple

From Food Network


3 sheets phyllo dough (or 12 store bought phyllo cups)

1/4 cup mascarpone cheese

1/4 cup finely chopped pineapple, canned or fresh

1/4 cup raspberry yogurt

Small block chocolate, for garnish

Special equipment: 2 1/2 to 3-inch cookie cutter, mini muffin tin


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Layer the phyllo sheets on top of each other. Using the cookie cutter, cut out 12 rounds and press them into the mini muffin tin. Bake until golden brown and crisp, about 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Meanwhile, combine the mascarpone, pineapple, and raspberry yogurt in a small bowl and stir to combine. Spoon the mascarpone mixture into the phyllo cups. Using a vegetable peeler, shave some chocolate onto the top of the mascarpone mixture and serve.

Roasted Grape and Pear Kuchen



1/2 cup warm 2% reduced-fat milk (100° to 110°)

2 1/4 teaspoons dry yeast

1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided

2 tablespoons canola oil, divided

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 large eggs

9 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 cups)

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and divided

Baking spray with flour

1 1/2 cups seedless red grapes

2 firm peeled pears, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

1/4 cup chopped pecans

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 1/2 cups frozen reduced-calorie whipped topping, thawed


Combine milk, yeast, and 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Let stand 5 minutes. Add remaining granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon oil, vanilla, rind, salt, nutmeg, and eggs; beat with a mixer at low speed until well combined. Add flour; beat at low speed 5 minutes or until batter is smooth. Add 5 tablespoons butter, 1 table­spoon at a time, beating after each addition. Smooth batter into a 9-inch springform pan coated with baking spray. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat oven to 450°. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon oil, grapes, and pears; arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 450° for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender. Cool completely. Reduce oven temperature to 350°. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Combine grape mixture, butter, pecans, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Arrange mixture over dough. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from pan, and place on a serving platter. Serve with whipped topping.

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