Candy seems to be the only thing on everyone's mind when Halloween rolls around, but there are plenty of healthier (and frankly, more interesting) sweets that you can enjoy during this festively spooky time of year. Check out these great recipes for healthy Halloween desserts that will satisfy you and your family's sweet tooth without packing on the pounds.
Low-Fat Pumpkin Cake
Since jack-o-lanterns are one of the highlights of this holiday, pumpkin cake can be a popular treat during Halloween. With this recipe, you'll get all the great beta-carotene, potassium and zinc from the pumpkin with fewer calories and much less fat, saturated fat and cholesterol compared to most other pumpkin cake recipes.
- 15 ounces of canned solid-pack pumpkin
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup egg substitute
- 1 and 2/3 cups of sugar
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- ½ cup of buttermilk
- ½ cup of canola oil
- ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 3 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- ¼ cup of chopped pecans
- Cooking spray
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- ¼ cup of butter, softened
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Beat together the pumpkin, sugar, eggs, egg substitute, buttermilk, canola oil, applesauce and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a large bowl.
- Combine the flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda in a second bowl and slowly beat into the pumpkin mixture.
- Stir in the pecans.
- Coat a 13-by-9 inch pan with cooking spray. Add in the cake batter and smooth until the surface is even.
- Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 35-to-45 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
- Beat the cream cheese and butter together in a small bowl.
- Add the sugar and vanilla and beat together until smooth.
- Frost the cake and then place in the refrigerator to set.
This is one of the best treats for adults and kids alike at Halloween. Apples are already great for your health since they contain plenty of nutrients and can help prevent certain types of cancers. Plus, this recipe contains a healthy formula for creating caramel which does not contain white sugar, corn syrup or melted pre-made caramels.
- 6-to-8 small apples, cold
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1 cup of honey
- Lollipop sticks
- Insert a lollipop stick into each apple through the stem area. Place these on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Set a large bowl filled halfway up with ice water to the side.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the cream and salt until it is about to simmer.
- Stir in the honey and bring the mixture up to a boil.
- Once it has boiled, bring the heat back down so that the mixture simmers again. Stir constantly as the mixture continues to simmer for about 15-to-20 minutes.
- Carefully set the saucepan in the ice water bowl to prevent the caramel from cooking further.
- Continue stirring the mixture until it is a little thicker, which will help it stay on the apples.
- Dunk each apple into the caramel until it is fully coated. Place each apple on the parchment paper to cool.
Popcorn Ball Monsters
Not only are these little monsters fun to make and look at, they are tasty as well. These are a great dessert for kids to make since they can decorate their monsters however they like. Plus, they'll get lots of great fiber, whole grains and B vitamins from the popcorn in this recipe
- ½ cup of butter
- 2 ½ cups of brown sugar
- 1 cup of light karo syrup
- 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup of popcorn kernels
- Candy corn, icing, sprinkles, sugar eyeballs or any other decorations you prefer
- Pop the popcorn using a large pot or an air popper. You'll want this type of fresh-popped popcorn because microwave popcorn is much less healthy due to all of the additives.
- Spread the popcorn out on a large tray. You may want to line the tray with aluminum foil for easy clean-up.
- Combine all the remaining ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring them to a boil, being sure to stir occasionally as the ingredients heat up so the bottom doesn't burn.
- Allow the mixture to boil for 5 ½ minutes, continuing to stir occasionally.
- Once the time is up, take the mixture (which is now caramel) off the heat and let it cool for one minute.
- Pour the caramel over the popcorn so that all the pieces are coated.
- Once the popcorn is cool enough to touch, form the popcorn into balls which are about the size of your hand when cupped.
- Add on icing as fur, sugar eyeballs, candy corn noses and any other creative decorations that will make your popcorn balls look like little monsters.