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Lightened Up Easter Desserts You Can Feel Good About Eating

You don't have to celebrate Easter with a sugar rush. Try lightened up versions of all of your holiday favorites, including carrot cake, berry-topped cheesecake and meringue.

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Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Meringue Roses

Eat these pretty treats as is, or crush them into a bowl of strawberries and whipped cream. Readers of my blog, utry.it, went nuts when I posted that idea.—Amy Tong, Anaheim, California

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Spiced Carrot Cake

My mom made this cake for my birthday one year because carrot cake is her favorite. Turns out, it's my favorite, too! Now when I make it, I love it with lots of spice. The pumpkin pie spice is a perfect shortcut, but you could use a custom blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. —Jaris Dykas, Knoxville, Tennessee
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Makeover Traditional Cheesecake

Though softer than a full-fat cheesecake, this lightened-up dessert has all of the original's delectable flavor. It's sure to make any special event more festive. —Anne Addesso, Sheboygan, Wisconsin
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Moist Lemon Chiffon Cake

This fluffy cake is a real treat drizzled with the sweet-tart lemon glaze. —Rebecca Baird, Salt Lake City, Utah
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Chocolate Macaroon Cupcakes

A delightful coconut and ricotta cheese filling is hidden inside these chocolate cupcakes. —Dolores Skrout, Summerhill, Pennsylvania
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Grapefruit Yogurt Cake

We eat grapefruit for breakfast and in winter fruit salads—why not for dessert? Here's a sweet-tart cake that's easy, delicious and one of a kind. Oh, and healthy, too! —Maiah Miller, Montclair, Vermont
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Rosemary & Thyme Lemon Pudding Cakes

These simple little cakes are absolutely divine and are perfect with hot tea. Think English tea party! Your guests will love them. — Crystal Jo Bruns, Iliff, Colorado
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Cookies 'n' Cream Berry Desserts

This sweet berry dessert makes an especially pretty final course in the spring. With berries, a creamy topping and a sprinkle of meringue cookies, it always earns praise. —Lily Julow, Lawrenceville, Georgia
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Rosy Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

Here’s a cake that gets its rosy hue from the rhubarb topping. It’s moist on top and light as a feather on the bottom. —Dawn Lowenstein, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania
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Carrot Cookie Bites

This recipe is a longtime family favorite. The cookies are soft and delicious, and the aroma while baking is absolutely irresistible! I'm always being asked for the recipe. —Jeanie Petrik, Greensburg, Kentucky
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Meringue Shells with Lemon Curd

We love a dazzling dessert of meringue shells filled with sunny lemon curd. It’s sweet and tart, crunchy and fluffy. Top this lemon curd dessert with whipped cream and berries. —Kris Brill, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Yogurt-Ricotta Cheesecake

I have always liked Italian ricotta cheesecakes, but they have too much sugar for me. I made a light version, and my family couldn’t even tell the difference! I serve mine with sugar-free strawberry ice cream topping and fresh strawberries. —Diane Shipley, Mentor, Ohio
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Orange Buttermilk Cupcakes

Simple and delicious, this is our all-time favorite low-fat dessert. You'll be surprised how well the citrus flavor comes through in every bite.
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First-Place Coconut Macaroons

These coconut macaroons are my husband's favorite and earned me a first-place ribbon at the county fair. I especially like the fact that this recipe makes a small enough batch for the two of us to nibble on without lots left over. —Penny Ann Habeck, Shawano, Wisconsin
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Dutch Apple Pie Tartlets

These adorable mini apple pie pastries make a delightful addition to a dessert buffet or snack tray. The recipe calls for convenient frozen phyllo shells, so they're surprisingly easy to prepare. The lemon curd filling adds a unique flavor twist. —Mary Ann Lee, Clifton Park, New York
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Makeover Lemon Pound Cake

For this lovely golden cake, I use fat-free yogurt to trim the calories. It's a comforting dessert for days when it's warm enough to dine outside. —Lauren Gilmore, Pennington, New Jersey
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Grapefruit, Lime & Mint Yogurt Parfait

Tart grapefruit and lime are balanced with a bit of honey in this cool and easy parfait. —Lois Enger, Colorado Springs, Colorado
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Plum Upside-Down Cake

Since my husband liked pineapple upside-down cake, I decided to give this recipe a try one night when we were expecting guests for dinner. Everyone pronounced this cake "Delicious!" and asked for seconds.—Bobbie Talbott, Veneta, Oregon
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Lemony Cream Cheese Bars

Anytime I can take a recipe that has been handed down two generations and lighten it up while keeping the delicious flavor memories intact, I’m a happy girl. —Patti Lavell, Islamorada, Florida
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Apple Rhubarb Crumb Pie

My family and friends always ask for my apple rhubarb pie for birthdays and get-togethers. Everyone loves the unique flavor that the rhubarb adds to this pie. —Sherri Moon, Decatur, Indiana.
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Orange Dream Angel Food Cake

A basic angel food cake becomes a heavenly indulgence, thanks to a hint of orange flavor swirled into every bite. The orange color makes slices of the cake look so pretty when arranged on individual dessert plates.—Lauren Osborne, Holtwood, Pennsylvania
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Chocolate-Topped Strawberry Cheesecake

Creamy and airy, this gorgeous dessert is the perfect special something for a summer dinner party. I love the mix of smooth strawberry cheesecake and crumbly chocolate crust—and how elegant it looks on the table. —Kathy Berger, Dry Ridge, Kentucky
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Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I love to serve lighter desserts that will satisfy those with a sweet tooth. I make these every Christmas Eve, but they're marvelous any time of the year. —Sara Pleso, Sparta Tennessee.
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Vanilla Bean Angel Food Cake

Angel food cake is everyone’s favorite blank slate for making awesome desserts. Serve it with a simple glaze or pile on fresh fruit, chocolate sauce or nutty sprinkles. —Leah Rekau, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Light Cheesecake

Our family adores cheesecake, but I wanted to serve something healthier. I came up with this lighter version that I make for both holidays and everyday. —Diane Roth, Adams, Wisconsin
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Apricot Upside-Down Cake

My Aunt Anne, who is a great cook, gave me a taste of this golden upside-down cake and I couldn't believe how delicious it was. Apricots give it an elegant twist from traditional pineapple versions. —Ruth Ann Stelfox, Raymond, Alberta
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Two-Berry Pavlova

Here's a light and airy dessert that I first tried in Ireland. When I got home, I made this berry pavlova for my kids, who loved to build their own with their favorite fruits. The whipped cream makes for icing on the cake! —Norma Stevenson, Eagan, Minnesota
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Pear Bundt Cake

Next time you make cake from a mix, try my easy and delicious recipe. The pears and syrup add sweet flavor and prevent the cake from drying out. And since there's no oil added to the batter, this tender fall-perfect cake is surprisingly low in fat. —Veronica Ross, Columbia Heights, Minnesota
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Makeover Fruit Pizza

There’s nothing better than a guilt-free dessert, especially when it’s topped with refreshing and colorful fruit. We skimmed the calories and fat from a traditional fruit pizza to create one with about half the calories, fat and cholesterol. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake

You’ll fall in love with this sweet treat. Each silky slice is topped with juicy raspberries. Yes, you can have cheesecake without breaking the calorie budget. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Moist Lemon Angel Cake Roll

Tart and delicious, this pretty cake roll will tickle any lemon lover's fancy. Its feathery, angel food texture enhances its guilt-free goodness. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Fluffy Key Lime Pie

For a taste of paradise, try this no-bake Key lime pie recipe. It's low in fat, sugar and fuss. It truly is the best Key lime pie recipe ever! —Frances VanFossan, Warren, Michigan
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Mocha-Hazelnut Glazed Angel Food Cake

I love this recipe because it combines three of my favorite flavors: coffee, hazelnuts and cherries. —Joan Pecsek, Chesapeake, Virginia
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Berries with Vanilla Custard

What a simple, delectable way to enjoy fresh raspberries. For a change, also try the custard with strawberries or peaches. —Sarah C. Vasques, Milford, New Hampshire

Katie Bandurski
Katie is an Associate Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in writing and email newsletters. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and combing through antique shops.
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