Enjoy all the classic Christmas treats you love—cookies, chocolate, pies—without all the refined sugar.
There’s a time and a place for kale smoothies, and this isn’t it. December calls for gingerbread cookies, chocolate treats, and everything sweet. We’ve rounded up 18 festive recipes that deliver delicious baking smells and mouth-watering flavours—but skimp on white sugar. Natural sweeteners for the win!
1. Oatmeal Date Cookies
Cookies are the holy grail of holiday baking. Like all the best oatmeal cookies, these ones are super soft and chewy, with just a touch of chocolate.
2. Orange and Poppy Seed Lace Cookies
These whisper-thin wafers are light and refreshing. If you’re tired of heavy peanut butter or chocolate chip cookies (it happens), turn to these lovelies.
3. Cranberry Chocolate Cookies
On the other hand, you might be in the mood for more chocolate chip cookies. These gluten-free versions have a fruity sweetness thanks to some apricot purée.
4. Peanut Butter Cookies
They’re a classic for a reason. This recipe uses unsalted, organic peanut butter to get that rich, buttery taste. Enjoy with milk for the ultimate cookie-eating experience.
5. Almond Butter Maple Cookies
Like peanut butter, almond butter is packed with high quality protein and healthy fats. These cookies, sweetened with maple syrup, are the perfect mix of sweet and crunchy.
6. Carrot and Date Cupcakes
You’d never know these spiced cupcakes contain carrots and dates. Although kale might be out of the question, you can definitely pack naturally sweet fruits and vegetables into healthy holiday baking.
7. Red Velvet Chocolate Muffins with Raspberry Sauce
Way easier than making a red velvet cake, these chocolate muffins are also blissfully free of food colouring; they owe their reddish hue to beets.
8. Wholesome Strawberry Thumbelina Cookies
Thumbprint cookies are a must at this time of year. This recipe features almond butter and just the right amount of festive spices.
9. Miniature Apple Crisps in Mason Jars
When baking a pie seems like too much work, this vegan, gluten-free recipe is just the thing. You can bake the apple crisps right in the Mason jars.
10. Cherry Chocolate Pies
These muffin-sized pies offer portion-controlled decadence (though you might be tempted to have two—or five). You really can’t go wrong with the combination of cherry and chocolate.
11. Gingerbread Chews
Ginger has heaps of health benefits, like aiding digestion and easing migraines. Gingerbread cookies? Not so much. These chews have that classic ginger flavour, but they’re better for you.
12. Coconut Goji Berry Snowballs
If quick and easy is your baking MO, look no further. In these six-ingredient no-bake truffles, coconut provides healthy fats, and goji berries bring a pop of vitamin C.
13. Spiced Blueberry Pie Truffles with Quinoa
Paired with the Coconut Goji Berry Snowballs, these would make a sweet DIY gift for friends and family. These truffles taste similar to store-bought chocolates with a fruit cream filling (but, you know, better).
14. Licorice and Fig Biscotti
If savoury is your holiday jam, this one’s for you. Plenty of eggs, nuts, and figs make these biscotti dense and flavourful. Pair with a cup of coffee for the ultimate midmorning snack.
15. Almond Espresso Bark
Who doesn’t love chocolate mixed with delicious things like nuts and dried fruit? If planning to give this easy bark as a gift, you can make it one week ahead of time and keep chilled.
16. Amaretti Cookies
Dusted with brown sugar, these almond-flavoured cookies are gluten free and full of goodness.
17. Green Matcha Tea Cookies
What these cookies lack in appearance (they turn out a yellowish green), they make up for in cool factor. Matcha tea in cookies? That’s sure to impress any friends or family who get to try one.
18. Carrot Cranberry Loaf
Now this is a fruitcake you might actually like to receive. Slather with Cranberry Honey Butter for an indulgent, yet still nutritious, treat.