I don’t know about you, but even following a healthy low sugar diet I sometimes need a quick sweet fix. But most cake recipes are overly sweet for my taste buds and just not that healthy. Where do you turn when you want a low-sugar cake recipe?
Well, you’ve come to the right place! In this roundup, you’ll find low-sugar cakes and treats that will please everyone – from low-fat plant-based eaters to gluten-free or keto diet followers. No matter what your dietary preferences are, we have a cake recipe for you.
I’ve even found some recipes for special occasions from a sugar-free pumpkin pie to a decorated sponge cake and a healthy version of Christmas cake – all made with less sugar!
We all know sponge cakes, brownies, and muffins are never going to be the healthiest items on the menu, even homemade ones, but making your delicious cake from scratch with nutritious ingredients helps justify an occasional indulgence.
My favorite cake recipes use whole wheat flour, oats, fresh fruit, and vegetables and they still taste super delicious! If you’re just curious about cutting back on sugar and want to know more, find out how to quit sugar and what to expect when you quit sugar for a month! If you’re looking for more treats try my vegan dessert recipes.
15 Healthy Low Sugar Cakes Recipe
I’ve had a lot of fun researching and testing these yummy cake recipes! My family has been more than happy to act as guinea pigs when healthy chocolate cake is on the menu.
I’ve sometimes tweaked the menus to reflect my own eating preferences and I’ve added some notes for each recipe in case you choose to do the same.
#1 Date-Sweetened Vegan Zucchini Brownies By Fat-Free Vegan
These brownies are made with zucchini, so you can have your cake and veggies too!
The low sugar cake recipe works best with white whole wheat flour and I like to add chopped pistachio nuts instead of walnuts to the cake batter.
The brownies are sweetened with Medjool dates and there’s the option of choosing vegan sugar or stevia if you need the extra sweetness.
Maple syrup also works well but of course, it’s still sugar. I tend to leave the extra sweetener out unless I’m cooking for strangers who don’t have my low-sugar tastebuds!
The recipe uses unsweetened applesauce to bind the dry ingredients together and cocoa powder for the chocolatey taste.
You can choose to leave off the chocolate frosting. I only add some for special occasions.
#2 Healthy Flourless Chocolate Cake By Detoxinista
In our house, this is a popular choice for a birthday cake. Let’s face it, healthy chocolate cake is always going to be a firm favorite. This one is delicious and naturally sweetened with honey.
Honey of course still acts as sugar so I tend to use stevia as a substitute. A little stevia goes a long way and just 1 teaspoon is needed in this recipe.
Without the honey, the mix can be a little dry so I add a little plant-based milk. As a vegan, I use extra pumpkin puree as an egg substitute.
If you like your cakes super indulgent, it may not be the best chocolate cake but you can always make a second cake and layer with low sugar frosting. This low-carb keto version is lush! (I switch the butter for a plant-based alternative).
#3 Healthy Banana Bread By Cookie & Kate
One of the things I really like about this recipe is you can use just about any flour. Gluten-free, oat flour, whole wheat flour, or just plain white flour – they all work.
The banana bread uses the natural sweeteners maple syrup or honey and the amounts are not excessive. However, for a low-sugar cake option, you can always swap these out for stevia.
You can make the recipe vegan using plant milk and flax eggs. If your bananas are very ripe, you may find the banana bread is perfectly sweet with less maple syrup.
Banana bread may be a little too healthy for special occasions but I always find it makes a welcome treat when walking in the hills.
Be careful when you’re following the recipe to use baking soda and not baking powder – they’re not the same and will give you a different bake.
#4 Healthy Carrot Cake Recipe By A Sweet Pea Chef
This is such a delicious recipe. I don’t think anyone ever tires of carrot cake. This traybake version looks amazing yet it’s still a healthy cake!
The sweet flavors of carrot, cinnamon, and raisins work perfectly together and you can always replace the maple syrup with stevia for a sugar-free cake. Another less sweet option is coconut sugar – just add a little water or plant milk if the mix is too thick.
The cake mix and frosting use plain greek yogurt. If you prefer to use healthy fats, plant-based yogurt works perfectly well as a substitute.
As a tip – you’ll need a large bowl to mix all these ingredients together!
#5 Chocolate Beetroot Muffins By Qulu Co
Beetroot? In a muffin! If you want a healthy cake, these must come top of the list!
The beetroot is undetectable in the finished low sugar cake but it makes these muffins really nutritious.
There is some added natural sugar – you can choose from coconut sugar or honey, or even brown sugar. (Refined sugar is also an option but I don’t advise it).
The recipe uses a cup of almond meal which makes it a very dense bake. For a lighter version try substituting almond flour.
I like to bake mine in cupcake tins lined with parchment paper.
#6 Sugar-Free Angel Cake By Food Faith Fitness
Angel cakes named for their lovely light texture normally have way too much sugar! But this one comes sugar-free with zero refined sugar!
Just like all angel cakes, the recipe uses a crazy amount of egg whites – 12 in total and these must be at room temperature. If you’re a vegan, simply substitute the egg whites with aquafaba.
The free-from sugar cake recipe uses monk fruit as a sweetener but just about any natural low sugar sweetener will work. You will need a food processor to spin the monk fruit and make sure it’s super fine.
This cake is baked in a tube cake pan with a removable bottom but you could easily use a bundt cake tin.
It does take a bit more effort than most of the cake recipes but my cake tester definitely approved! It makes a wonderful cake for entertaining on a summer afternoon. Decorate with whipped cream and fresh berries.
#7 Sugar-Free Blueberry Muffins By Food Faith Fitness
Everyone loves a muffin, especially when they’re this good and sugar-free!
This recipe uses fresh berries but you can use frozen ones – just add them straight from the freezer.
This low-sugar cake recipe uses baking powder and baking soda to make the muffins perfectly light. They’re completely Keto and gluten-free.
For a vegan version increase the applesauce to one cup and use a little plant milk to get the batter to the right constituency. Or try using flax egg instead.
#8 Healthy Orange Loaf Cake By Hint Of Healthy
This orange loaf cake is perfect for snacking on during the day. It’s low in sugar but full of flavor! Using whole grain flour, this low-sugar cake fills you up quickly.
The orange zest adds a lovely citrus taste to this recipe and helps to naturally sweeten the mix. The recipe uses just a half cup of honey as an added sweetener.
For a low sugar healthy alternative, try coconut sugar instead – it’s a great low glycemic alternative – or go sugar-free with a little stevia.
#9 Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Crumb Bars By Joy Filled Eats
Keto and low-carb followers will love this sugar-free recipe with its crust made from almond flour and coconut flour! The crumb mix makes the bars a little lighter than a full-blown cheesecake.
It’s a versatile dish that will be an instant favorite at potlucks, brunch, barbeques, or any social gathering where you need to take along your dessert cuisine and you’re struggling to think of something to take.
#10 Single Serve Cookie By Joy Filled Eats
This should have been in my life earlier! How often do you think “I’d just like a little sweet snack but if I make a whole batch of cookies it’s tempting to eat too many?”
These single-serve sugar-free cookies are the answer. Just 6 ingredients and 3 minutes to make. It’s a sugar-free cookie you can make in the microwave! How awesome is that!
Vanilla extract makes the cookies really yummy and you can adjust the ingredients to include your favorite flavors.
Don’t forget – you’re supposed to let them cool completely before eating. That’s what your wire rack is for!
#11 Sugar-Free Flapjacks By Naturally Sweet Kitchen
I think flapjacks are the first baked goods I ever made. Yes I know in North America flapjacks have a completely different meaning – it’s just another name for a pancake, but here in the UK a flapjack is a yummy filling snack made with rolled porridge oats.
There can be a lot of sugar in flapjack recipes, so these sugar-free flapjacks are a welcome find. Sweetened with Medjool dates and finely chopped dried apple, these flapjacks are free from refined sugars to make wonderful power food for long hikes!
A top tip with flapjacks is to let them cool in the baking tin rather than on a wire rack. Otherwise, you end up with a crumbled mess.
#12 Millionaire Shortcake By Naturally Sweet Kitchen
Did you think Millionaire Shortbread was too indulgent for a low-sugar cake list? So did I until I found this recipe!
It does contain natural sugars in the form of honey and coconut sugar so it’s still a treat for special occasions.
It’s a small-batch recipe with just 5 portions so you won’ be tempted to over-indulge!
#13 Fig And Yogurt Tarts By Beyond Sweet And Savory
Simply delightful! These fig and savory tarts will wow any guests. Plus they’re easy to make with a small list of ingredients.
I don’t find it’s a particularly low sugar recipe but you can easily use less refined sugars by swapping the powdered sugar, (castor sugar), for stevia.
Sliced strawberries make an alternative to figs and I used hazelnuts instead of pistachios.
#14 Sugar-Free Pumpkin Pie By Wholesome Yum
It’s the time of year when everyone in North America is obsessed with all things pumpkin and until I tried pumpkin pie I had no idea why.
For my UK readers give pumpkin pie a go. If you like custard tarts, pumpkin pie will seem familiar. It tastes like a rich custard tart. YUM!
This pumpkin pie recipe is sugar-free and Keto but some readers will prefer to swap the cream for a dairy-free option. The recipe also works perfectly well if you leave out the eggs for a vegan version.
#15 Healthy Christmas Fruit Cake By Nourish Every Day
All the sweetness in this Christmas cake comes from the dried fruit mix. There’s no need for added sugar. The recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, and grain-free.
To make a vegan version, try replacing the eggs partly with unsweetened applesauce and partly with chia seed gel. Apple cider vinegar is another egg replacement option with the apple-y taste adding to the flavor.
It’s a rich cake that keeps very well in an airtight container. I like to decorate mine with some sugar-free frosting – after all, it is Christmas!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this roundup of healthy cake recipes. Whether you’re following a keto diet, vegan, sugar-free, or gluten-free lifestyle, there is something here for everyone to enjoy!
Leave me your comments below – I’d love to know which cake recipe you liked best. Happy baking!
The healthiest cakes are low sugar and full of nutrition – unrefined ingredients including fruits, whole grains, dark chocolate, nuts, and even vegetables.
Yes, you can simply reduce the amount of sugar you use in a recipe to suit your tastes or make simple swaps for more healthy options such as unrefined natural sugars or low sugar sweeteners such as stevia.