Tired of feeling guilty every holiday season for indulging in your favorite traditional treats? This curated list of mouth-watering recipes are lower calorie/sugar, gluten-free and more!
1. Gluten-free Mocha Log (Recipe from EatingWell)
Chocolate sponge cake
- 5 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla extract (see Tips)
- 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose baking flour
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- ⅔ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
Filling and frosting
- ⅔ cup agave nectar (see Tips)
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder or coffee granules
- 4 teaspoons dried egg whites (see Tips), reconstituted according to package directions (equivalent to 2 egg whites)
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract
- ½ cup brewed coffee, room temperature or cold
- ¼ cup half-and-half
- To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a large (12-by-16½-inch) rimmed baking sheet (half sheet pan) with parchment paper; coat the paper and pan sides with cooking spray. Place eggs (in the shell) in a stand mixer bowl or large mixing bowl, add very warm tap water and set aside to warm the eggs and bowl.
- Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, swirling occasionally, until the white flecks of milk solids in the bottom of the pan start to turn golden brown, 4 to 8 minutes. Scrape into a medium bowl. Let cool to room temperature, then add 2 teaspoons vanilla. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, whisk gluten-free all-purpose baking flour (or baking blend) and ¼ cup cocoa in a medium bowl; set aside.
- Drain the water and break the eggs into the warmed mixing bowl. Add sugar and ½ teaspoon salt and beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until thick and pale light yellow, 5 to 15 minutes (depending on the power of your mixer). To test if it’s beaten well enough, lift the beater from the batter: as the batter falls off the beater into the bowl, it should mound for a moment on the surface.
- Gently fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture with a whisk, in two additions, until just incorporated. Gently fold about 1 cup of the batter into the reserved butter. Then gently fold the butter mixture into the bowl of batter with a whisk until just incorporated, being careful not to overmix. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared baking sheet, spreading completely to the sides.
- Bake the cake until puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 8 to 12 minutes. Cool in the pan on a large wire rack for 10 minutes. Gently run a knife around the edges and turn the cake out onto the rack; remove the parchment and let cool completely. Once cool, cover with 2 overlapping pieces of plastic wrap and a clean, damp kitchen towel to prevent it from drying out. (The cake can be held this way for up to 4 hours before assembling the Yule Log.)
- To prepare filling & frosting: Bring 2 inches of water to a simmer in the bottom of a double boiler. (No double boiler? See Tips.) Combine agave nectar, instant coffee, reconstituted egg whites, cream of tartar and ¼ teaspoon salt in the top of the double boiler. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined, about 1 minute. Place over the simmering water and beat on high speed until the frosting is glossy and has the texture of very thick shaving cream, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla until just combined.
- Leaving the towel and plastic wrap over the cake, invert it onto a work surface with a long edge nearest you. The towel will now be on the bottom, with the plastic wrap directly beneath the cake. Combine coffee and half-and-half in a small bowl. Brush the top of the cake with the coffee mixture; let it soak in and continue brushing on more until all of it is absorbed.
- Spread about two-thirds of the frosting evenly over the cake. Using the plastic wrap, lift the long edge and roll the cake into a log lengthwise. Cut a 3 to 4-inch “branch” off one end at an angle. Place the longer log on a serving platter, seam-side down. Use a little frosting to attach the branch to the main log. Cover the cake and branch with the remaining frosting. Make decorative ridges in the frosting with a fork to resemble bark. Let the cake stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. Or refrigerate, uncovered, for up to 1 day.
- Just before serving, garnish the serving platter with Sugared Rosemary and Meringue Mushrooms, if desired.
2. Low-Calorie Gingerbread (From Amy’s Healthy Baking)
For the cookies:
- 1 cup + 6 tbsp (165g) white whole wheat flour (measured like this)
- ¾ tsp cornstarch
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- 1 ½ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
- ⅛ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp (28g) unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup (60mL) molasses
- 1 tsp vanilla crème stevia
For the icing (optional):
- 10 tsp confectioners’ style stevia
- 2 tsp nonfat milk
- To prepare the cookies, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the butter, egg, and vanilla extract. Stir in the molasses and vanilla crème stevia. Add in the flour mixture, stirring just until incorporated. Transfer the dough to the center of a large sheet of plastic wrap, and shape into a 1”-tall rectangle. Cover the top with another large sheet of plastic wrap. Chill the dough for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F, and line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
- Leaving the cookie dough between the sheets of plastic wrap, roll it out until ⅛” thick. Lightly flour your cookie cutter, and press it into the dough, making sure each shape lies as close to its neighbors as possible to minimize unused dough. Peel the unused dough away from the shapes, and place them onto the prepared baking sheets. Reroll the unused dough, and repeat.
- Bake the cut out cookie dough at 325°F for 8-10 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- To prepare the icing, stir together the confectioner’s style stevia and milk in a small bowl. Spoon into a zip-topped bag, and snip off the corner. Pipe onto the cooled cookies.
3. Paleo Fruit Cake (From Paleo Leap)
- 1 ½ cups almond flour;
- ½ cup tapioca flour;
- ½ tsp. baking powder;
- 5 eggs;
- 1 cup raw honey;
- 1 cup clarified butter or ghee;
- 1 tsp. ground cloves;
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon;
- 1 tsp. ground nutmeg;
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract ;
- 1 cup dates, chopped;
- 2 cups raisins;
- 1 cup dried cherries;
- 1 cup assorted dry fruits of your choice; (mango, apricots, cranberry)
- ½ tsp. sea salt;
- Preheat your oven to 350 F.
- In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, tapioca flour, salt, and baking powder.
- Add the ground cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg to the almond flour and mix again.
- In another bowl, mix the eggs, butter, honey, and vanilla.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine until smooth.
- Add the dried fruits to the mixture and stir again.
- Empty the mixture into a greased loaf pan and bake for 45 min. to 1 hour.
4. Vegan Triple Chocolate Peppermint Bundt Cake (From OneGreenPlanet)
- 2 cups soy milk
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 2/3 cups canola oil
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoons peppermint extract
- 2 cups pastry flour
- 2/3 cups cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons arrowroot powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 3/4 cups dark chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons almond milk
- 3 candy canes
- Preheat to 350°F. Mix the soy milk and vinegar together and let it curdle for a few minutes. Then and oil, sugar, and extracts. Stir to combine.
- Then sift in flour, powder, leaveners, and salt. Mix well. Pour into a pre-greased and floured bundt pan and bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Melt 1 cup of dark chocolate chips with 2 tablespoons coconut oil in the microwave for 3:00 minutes at 75% power.
- Stir well and add 1 tablespoon of almond milk and 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract.
- Allow this to cool for a few minutes before applying it to your cooled cake.
- When the ganache is cool you may go ahead with the final peppermint/candy cane drizzle.
- Use 1 cup of powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract, and 1 teaspoon almond milk.
- Crush the candy canes and sprinkle them on top.