For those who want to sneak vegetables into everything (and can’t look at another green smoothie), it’s time for a new approach: Put that good stuff into your favorite dessert. The trick with these treats is not to hide the veggies under layers of butter and sugar, but to embrace their natural sweetness… and sometimes add a sizable handful of chocolate for good measure. Trust us, you’re gonna love ’em.
1. Chocolate Zucchini Cake
We wouldn’t be disappointed if this bad boy showed up on a dessert table. The chocolate cake manages to be Paleo as well as hide a whole lot of grated zucchini. And did we mention those chocolate frosting swirls are the product of whipped avocado?
2. Carrot Cupcakes
Remember apple butter? It’s that sticky stuff your healthy aunt likes to slather on multigrain toast. Turns out, the spread makes a killer sugar and fat replacement in baked goods. Take these carrot cupcakes, for example. The apple butter gently sweetens these whole wheat, raisin-studded cakes for a dessert you can totally eat for breakfast. Just make sure to buy an apple butter with no additives or corn syrup.
3. Raw Vegan Beet Cashew Cake
Vegan cheesecake? You betcha. Not only is this magenta stunner made with a sweet, fresh beet, it’s completely raw, vegan, and gluten-free. But we bet if you put it on a dessert table no one would suspect it’s actually good for you.
4. Chocolate Beet Cake With Chocolate Avocado Frosting
The last time you saw beets and avocado together in a recipe, it was probably a salad. Not this time! For a nutrient-packed spin on chocolate cake, grab a big forkful of this dessert, which just happens to be vegan and gluten-free.
5. Healthier Carrot Cake
If you don’t already love carrot cake, you will now. Recipes that hide naturally sweet carrot flavor with way too much butter and sugar aren’t doing themselves any favors, so we present to you an alternative. With whole-wheat flour, coconut flakes, and a few pinches of fall spices, you won’t miss that bakery cake one bit. Plus it’s sweetened entirely with fruit.
6. Chocolate Spinach Muffins
You wouldn’t know from the look of them, but these cocoa-brown muffins are packed with fresh baby spinach. With added flavor from whole-wheat (or spelt) flour, banana, and a dollop of coconut oil, these muffins are just as exciting to have for breakfast as they are for dessert.
7. Chocolate Eggplant Torte
We’ll admit it: We thought eggplant wouldn’t make it on this list, but lo and behold, the chocolate eggplant torte proves us wrong. The fat purple veg blends with banana, dark chocolate, and almond flour to form this super-fudgy vegan and GF cake.
8. Pumpkin Brownies
Oozing with chocolate and oh-so fudgy, these pumpkin brownies make it almost impossible to stop at one bar. Enhance the richness of the batter with a shot of strong espresso and top with an extra handful or two of chocolate chips.
9. Avocado Brownies
We all know about the power of avocado on toast, but just wait ’til you see what it does to brownie batter. This coconut flour-based recipe relies on avocado for fat (the good kind!), and applesauce and maple syrup for sweetness. Skeptics will call them “health brownies,” but just wait until you take a bite.
10. Zucchini Brownies
Sometimes we imagine zucchinis sitting around crying “it’s not easy being green.” But once they’re baked into brownies, they’ll sing a different tune. The coconut oil and maple syrup-based brownie has a rich cocoa powder base, and grated zucchini lends just the right amount of moisture—and did we mention they’re oozing with chunks of dark chocolate?
11. Chocolate Beet Dougnuts
Not only are these vegan doughnuts baked instead of fried, they’re chock-full of shredded beets! While we’re all about the melted chocolate topping, we think the best part is that shiny fuchsia-colored glaze.
12. Cucumber Basil Sorbet
Looks like salad, tastes like ice cream—talk about the best of both worlds! This fresh-tasting cucumber and basil sorbet is thick and creamy without a lick of dairy. With a touch of sweetness from honey (or maple syrup), this is the healthy dessert you’ve been waiting for. Bonus: There’s no ice cream maker needed.
13. Paleo Cauliflower Rice Pudding
We all know about cauliflower rice, but have you thought about using it in rice pudding? Typically made with tapioca or white rice, this GF- and Paleo-friendly rice pudding uses mild cauliflower instead. The recipe calls for stevia, but we think a teaspoon or two of honey would work just as well, adding subtle flavor as well as sweetness.
14. Zucchini Bread Breakfast Cookies
These little treats are like your favorite zucchini bread, but instead of butter and sugar, they’re packed with raw honey and creamy peanut butter. Enjoy them with a large coffee for maximum tastiness.
15. Carrot Quinoa Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
If you’re an oatmeal-for-breakfast kind of person but also love carrot cake, stop right here: We present to you: the carrot cake oatmeal cookie that’s 100 percent acceptable to have for your morning meal. You’re welcome.
16. Avocado Chocolate Truffles
Spoiler alert: Avocados are basically butter in a green disguise. And we couldn’t be more happy about it, because it means when mixed with melted chocolate, they become decadent cocoa truffles. Add instant class to your next party by serving these instead of cake… or just curl up with a couple of truffles (and maybe a glass of red) tonight.
17. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Ditch your PSL and embrace the real vegetable. Pumpkin purée is sweet and so easy to bake with, especially in these chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. Sweetened with maple syrup and delicately flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, these soft and chewy cookies taste like a crisp fall morning.
18. Carrot Cake Quinoa Truffles
Grated carrots get cozy with puffed quinoa and date syrup in these colorful truffles. Use your favorite nut butter to make the ingredients stick together and pop a few whenever you need a boost of energy.
19. Raw Vegan Pumpkin Pie
Classic pumpkin pie is delicious but sometimes overly sweet. Embrace pumpkin’s flavor with this raw, vegan pie, sweetened with just a few dollops of coconut nectar. You won’t miss the saccharine alternative. This recipe calls for raw pumpkin, but pre-sliced butternut squash may be easier to find at the market and works just as well.
Want more? Can You Become Addicted to Chocolate? Science Explains