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52 Light Summer Desserts That are Kind to Your Waistline

A delicious, summery dessert for less than 350 calories per serving? You bet! These light summer desserts offer big taste and no guilt.

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Banana Pudding

I didn’t see my son, Lance Corporal Eric Harris, for more than two years after he enlisted in the Marines after high school. And when I saw him arrive at the airport, I just grabbed hold of him and burst out crying. When we got home, the first thing he ate was two bowls of my easy banana pudding recipe. He’s a true southern boy! It’s a dessert, but you can have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. —Stephanie Harris, Montpelier, Virginia

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Star-Spangled Parfaits

The best time for this dessert is midsummer, when the blueberries are thick in our northern woods. Red raspberries can be added to the mixed berries, too, to brighten the patriotic colors.—Anne Theriault, Wellesley, Massachusetts
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Watermelon Rice Krispie Treats Exps Tohas21 261266 B04 09 4b 2

Watermelon Rice Krispies Treats

Not only do these watermelon Rice Krispies Treats look like your favorite summery fruit, they taste like 'em, too! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Peach Melba Trifle

This dream of a dessert tastes extra good on a busy day—you can make it ahead of time! If you don't have fresh peaches handy, subbing three cups of the canned ones works, too. —Christina Moore, Casar, North Carolina
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Quick Mango Passion Fruit Sorbet Exps Tohfm20 238674 B09 20 3b 4

Quick Mango Sorbet

Last summer I decided to try my hand at making a passion fruit and mango sorbet. But fresh fruits require more prep and are difficult to find ripened at the same time, so I experimented using frozen fruit and juice. And voila! Both are readily available and inexpensive, too. —Carol Klein, Franklin Square, New York
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Blueberry Pie With Graham Cracker Crust Exps Bdsmz17 33096 C03 03 5b 2

Blueberry Pie with Graham Cracker Crust

We live in blueberry country, and this pie is a perfect way to showcase these luscious berries. A neighbor first made this pie for us when we had a death in the family several years ago. Our whole family enjoys it. —R. Ricks, Kalamazoo, Michigan
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Yogurt Ricotta Cheesecake Exps Thfm19 229041 B09 27 5b 4

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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Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love using zucchini in the summertime. This recipe reminds me of a zucchini bread my aunt makes, but I wanted to make cookies for a family get-together because they would be easier to grab and eat. These taste better if you make them the day before. —Melissa Obernesser, Oriskany, New York
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Apricot Dessert Bruschetta

Years ago, my mother took a trip to Italy, and this recipe reminds her of the sun-kissed fruits from the orchards there. It's a lovely apricot dessert that's not overly sweet or heavy. —Deborah Biggs, Omaha, Nebraska
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Very Blueberry Clafouti Exps Tohfm20 69037 B09 26 7b 2

Very Blueberry Clafouti

This blueberry clafouti is somewhere between a fruit-filled pancake and a fruity egg custard. Wrong season for fresh berries? Use frozen berries thawed in a colander and discard the juice. —Ken Hulme, Venice, Florida
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Ginger-Glazed Grilled Honeydew

If you've never grilled fruit like this before, you're in for a real treat! I love the idea of cooking everything from appetizers to desserts on the grill. This grilled honeydew recipe is sweet and really light. —Jacqui Correa, Landing, New Jersey
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Healthy Blackberry Cobbler Exps Qebz20 17593 B01 28 4b 2

Healthy Blackberry Cobbler

This tasty treat has helped my family stay healthy, lose weight and still be able to enjoy dessert! Other kinds of berries or even fresh peaches are just as delicious in this cobbler. —Leslie Browning of Lebanon, Kentucky
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Strawberry Lemon Trifle Exps Mtbz20 7959 E02 28 6b 1

Strawberry Lemon Trifle

This refreshingly fruity dessert is one of our favorites. It looks so beautiful layered in a glass bowl that people will think you fussed. The secret is starting with a purchased angel food cake. —Lynn Marie Frucci, Pullman, Washington
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Spiced Peach Cobbler

When you tuck into this warm and comforting fresh peach cobbler, you won’t miss the extra fat and calories a bit! —Mary E. Relyea, Canastota, New York
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Frosty Lemonade Pie Exps26468 Lt10592c03 09 2b Rms 4

Frosty Lemonade Pie

Crushed lemon sandwich cookies give this creamy pie extra flavor. It's a wonderful dessert to store in the freezer for nights when you need a low-sugar treat in a hurry. —Emma Overby, East Prairie, Mississippi
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Makeover Peach Upside-Down Cake

Makeover Peach Upside-Down Cake

This peachy delight has charmed folks for years. Our lightened version is even better with less fat and calories than other similar recipes.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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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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Banana Pudding Exps170808 Th2847295d03 01 2bc Rms 6

Banana Pudding

I didn’t see my son, Lance Corporal Eric Harris, for more than two years after he enlisted in the Marines after high school. And when I saw him arrive at the airport, I just grabbed hold of him and burst out crying. When we got home, the first thing he ate was two bowls of my easy banana pudding recipe. He’s a true southern boy! It’s a dessert, but you can have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. —Stephanie Harris, Montpelier, Virginia
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Fudge Sundae Pie

My son always asks for this guilt-free frozen yogurt pie for his birthday. Complete with peanut butter, fudge topping and nuts, it tastes ice cream parlor-good…but it's healthier. —Margaret Hanson-Maddox, Montpelier, Indiana
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Slow Cooker Peach Cobbler Exps Ft19 244260 F 0724 1 5

Slow-Cooker Peach Cobbler

Unlike conventional cobblers, the "topping" of this Crock-Pot peach cobbler is on the bottom. Placing the batter underneath the peaches helps it cook through evenly in the slow cooker. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Watermelon Sorbet

Summertime and watermelon go hand in hand. My melon sorbet is fresh, fruity and without the gluten and eggs you get in many other frozen desserts. —Rachel Lewis, Danville, Virginia
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Fluffy Key Lime Pie Exps Dsbz17 36450 D01 13 6b 7

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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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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Makeover Fruit Pizza Exps Dsbz17 31841 B01 19 1b 7

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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Buttermilk Peach Ice Cream

My mother's family owned peach orchards in Missouri. I live in Tennessee, a top consumer of buttermilk. This summery ice cream combines my past and present. —Kim Higginbotham, Knoxville, Tennessee
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Almond Cherry Cobbler

This bubbling cherry cobbler is one of my favorite dishes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. —Melissa Wagner, Eden Prairie, Minnesota
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Glazed Chocolate Angel Food Cake Exps Hc17 32987 D11 02 6b 4

Glazed Chocolate Angel Food Cake

A drizzling of rich chocolate glaze lends an elegant touch and will keep guests wanting more. With only 3g of fat per slice, this is one treat you'll want to see year after year! —Mary Relyea, Canastota, New York
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Rhu-berry Pie

I cook in a coffee shop, so I'm always looking for new and unique pies to serve my customers. The combination of blueberries and rhubarb in this recipe caught my eye and it was an instant best-seller. —Karen Dougherty, Freeport, Illinois
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Patriotic Frozen Delight

My husband and I pick lots of fruit at berry farms in the area and freeze it to enjoy all year long. This frozen dessert showcases both blueberries and strawberries and has a refreshing lemon flavor. —Bernice Russ, Bladenboro, North Carolina
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Picnic Berry Shortcakes

You can make the berry sauce ahead of time and chill it. Then assemble the entire dessert right before the picnic or party. —Frieda Bliesner, McAllen, Texas
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Frosty Watermelon Ice Exps Hcka19 15091 D10 20 3b 1

Frosty Watermelon Ice

Here's a fun twist on watermelon. It's so refreshing on a summer day, and you don't have to worry about seeds while you're enjoying it. —Kaaren Jurack, Manassas, Virginia
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Contest Winning Fresh Blueberry Pie Exps10457 Bs3149327b02 26 1bc Rms 4

Contest-Winning Fresh Blueberry Pie

I've been making this blueberry pie recipe for decades since the ingredients for the filling are readily available in Michigan. Nothing says summer like a piece of fresh blueberry pie! —Linda Kernan, Mason, Michigan
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Moist Lemon Angel Cake Roll Exps Hrbz16 39665 C09 07 3b 7

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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Streuseled Zucchini Bundt Cake Exps Sdjj18 24323 C02 16 5b 2

Streuseled Zucchini Bundt Cake

Inspired by an abundance of zucchini, I found a new way to use it up in this spiced and lightly sweet cake. It even won a blue ribbon at our county fair! —Regina Stock, Topeka, Kansas
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Cake With Peaches Exps23513 W101973175a10 06 3bc Rms 1

Cake with Peaches

This springtime layer cake is peachy and creamy. My mom gets requests for this cake from my brother for his April birthday. —Tamra Duncan, Decatur, Arkansas
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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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Tropical Crisp Exps36893 Sd143204c12 06 3bc Rms 7

Tropical Crisp

One bite of this sweet, juicy, crunchy crisp, and you just might hear the crash of the ocean and feel warm sand under your toes! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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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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Skillet Blueberry Slump

My mother-in-law made a slump of wild blueberries with dumplings and served it warm with a pitcher of farm cream. We’ve been enjoying slump desserts for 60 years. —Eleanore Ebeling, Brewster, Minnesota
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Makeover Lemon Pound Cake

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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Upside Down Berry Cake Exps48172 Sd1785603d37c Rms 2

Upside-Down Berry Cake

This cake is good warm or cold and served with whipped topping or ice cream. It's very moist with loads of flavor and can be whipped up in just minutes. Enjoy! —Candy Scholl, West Sunbury, Pennsylvania
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Root Beer Float Pie Exps Sscbz18 147321 D10 18 2b 4

Root Beer Float Pie

This is the kind of recipe your kids will look back on and always remember. And you don't even need to use an oven. —Cindy Reams, Philipsburg, Pennsylvania
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Raspberry Sorbet

With an abundant crop of fresh raspberries from the backyard, it's no wonder why I rely on this dessert for a tasty, no-fuss frozen dessert. —Karen Bailey, Golden, Colorado
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Grilled Angel Food Cake with Strawberries

One night I goofed, accidentally using the balsamic butter I save for grilling chicken on my pound cake. What a delicious mistake that my entire family loved! For a patriotic look, add a drizzle of blueberry syrup. —Tammy Hathaway, Freeman Twp, Maine
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Mango Rice Pudding

Mangoes are my son's favorite fruit, so I was ecstatic to incorporate them into a healthy dessert. You can also use ripe bananas instead of mango, almond extract instead of vanilla, or regular milk in place of soy. —Melissa McCabe, Victor, New York
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Watermelon Vodka Sorbet

This icy granita is a cooling delight on a hot summer day. This is an adults only goody. You can use watermelon vodka for plain vodka if you like. —Rebekah Beyer, Sabetha, Kansas
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Black & Blue Berry Grunt

If you’re looking for something different from the usual cakes and fruit pies, try this old-fashioned dessert. It features a delicious combination of blackberries and blueberries with homemade dumplings on top. —Kelly Akin, Johnsonville, New York
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Mixed Berry Sundaes for 2

Before serving yogurt sundaes, get ready for requests for seconds. Our family enjoys them for breakfast, but they're sweet enough for dessert. What an easy way to get our fruit and calcium. —Edie DeSpain, Logan, Utah
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Sonoran Sunset Watermelon Ice Exps Thjj17 165858 B02 07 3b 1

Sonoran Sunset Watermelon Ice

If you didn’t think watermelon and cilantro could go together in a dessert, this recipe will give you a pleasant surprise! Sprinkle pomegranate seeds and a sprig of cilantro on top for extra flair. —Jeanne Holt, Mendota Heights, Minnesota
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Sherbet-Filled Angel Food Cake

Here’s a cool way to treat angel food cake: Fill it with sherbet or ice cream. We finish this cake with a tart, sweet lime glaze. —Leah Rekau, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Raspberry Peach Tart

There’s no shortage of fresh peaches and raspberries where I live. I use the fruit I grow to bake up this sweet and special fruit tart.— Mary Ann Rempel, Southold, New York
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Cookies N Cream Berry Desserts Exps Cwjj18 35342 B01 26 5b 2

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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Orange Dream Angel Food Cake Exps45551 Hcka143243d08 28 1bc Rms 4

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

Dana Meredith
Dana is an editor and writer who shares her passion for travel, food and the beauty of American landscapes. When she's not wielding her red pen, she can be found tending her flower gardens, remodeling her house, creating one-of-a-kind jewelry or dancing to "Uptown Funk."
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