Must-Try

15 Desserts That Won't Put You in a Food Coma

By Veronica Meewes  |  May 4, 2016
Credit: Barley Swine

Swimsuit season is fast approaching, but that doesn't mean you have to skip dessert. Here are 15 healthy options that are full of flavor but easy on the excess sugar and calories.

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  • Credit: Julia Keim/Launderette

    Creamsicle at Launderette
    Dining at Launderette without dessert would be nothing short of a tragedy. For a lighter ending, choose pastry chef Laura Sawicki's creamsicle creation, made with tangerine pudding cake, raspberry fluff, marigold ice cream, poppyseeds, rapsberries and tangerine.

    2115 Holly St.; 512-382-1599

  • Credit: Thein-Y Hoang/COUNTER 3.FIVE.VII.

    Carrot dessert at COUNTER 3.FIVE.VII.
    By using the flowers, greens and ends of vegetables, the talented staff behind the chef's counter of this aptly named concept reduce waste with super inventive pastry creations. This recent carrot dessert features long pepper panna cotta, sable-carrot crumble, carrot caramel, crystallized carrot greens and black lime. Eating your veggies was never so much fun!

    315 Congress Ave.; 512-291-3327

  • Credit: Bullfight

    Almond torrija at Bullfight
    For this play on a popular Spanish dessert, pastry chef Erica Waksmunski soaks a housemade baguette overnight in almond custard, then fries and serves it with white chocolate coconut mousse, cherry pâté de fruits and saffron helado.

    4807 Airport Blvd.; 512-474-2029

  • Credit: Veronica Meewes

    Rocky Road at Nightcap
    You would never guess that this decadent-looking creation at the West Sixth Street dessert bar is vegan. It's made with chocolate avocado mousse daubs, a scoop of toasted almond ice cream, a scattering of crunchy nuts and melt-in-your-mouth aquafaba meringue medallions (made with chickpeas instead of eggs).

    1401 W. 6th St.; 512-628-0144

  • Credit: Dos Mundos Creative/Blenders and Bowls

    Bowl of Paradise at Blenders and Bowls
    For an antioxidant-rich treat, this dessert bowl features a delicious blend of pitaya (dragon fruit), mangos, pineapples, bananas and coconut water, topped with hemp granola, strawberries, goji berries, coconut shreds and local honey. 

    Multiple locations

  • Credit: Veronica Meewes

    Matcha cream puff at Cream Whiskers
    Light-as-a-feather cream puffs are the specialty at this campus-area cafe. This one features whipped matcha cream sandwiched with adzuki bean paste between two airy pâte à choux halves.

    2222 Rio Grande St. b120; 512-394-7657

  • Credit: Amira Jensen/Sway

    Jasmine panna cotta at Sway
    The perfect way to end a flavorful Thai dinner, this fresh and fragrant jasmine panna cotta is accompanied by coconut-lychee sorbet, red grape, lychee, palm sugar, Thai basil, Japanese shiso and crunchy amaranth.

    1417 S. 1st St.; 512-326-1999

  • Credit: Prelog's

    Piña colada dessert for Prelogs
    The dessert form of this summery drink is best enjoyed on Prelogs' lush patio overlooking Shoal Creek. A pineapple semifreddo is topped with a crumble of light lemon pound cake and served with a coconut ice cream quenelle and dehydrated lavender.

    360 Nueces St. #10; 512-350-2895

  • Credit: Veronica Meewes

    Sgroppino​ at CANTINE Italian Café & Bar
    This Lamar Union eatery features an off-menu treat that's half cocktail and half dessert. The sgroppino features a twirl of vanilla soft serve, topped with vodka, housemade limoncello and Prosecco for a sweet, tart, fizzy happy ending.

     1100 S. Lamar Blvd #2115; 512-628-0348

  • Credit: Barley Swine

    Grapefruit sorbet at Barley Swine
    Pastry chef Susanna Querejazu's latest spring creation is this bright grapefruit sorbet with jasmine cream, beet granita, dehydrated beet chewies and a drizzle of olive oil. Not only is it a great palate cleanse, but you'll feel healthier just ordering it.

    6555 Burnet Rd.; 512-394-8150

  • Credit: Café No Sé

    Strawberry limeade paleta with "fun dip" at Café No Sé
    At the California-inspired cafe inside the South Congress Hotel, pastry chef Amanda Rockman has mastered treats ranging from buttery croissants and kouign amman to light endings like this strawberry limeade paleta with a "fun dip" made from freeze-dried strawberries, lime zest, sea salt, vanilla and Pop Rocks.

    1603 S. Congress Ave.; 512-942-2061

  • Credit: Jessica Fradono

    Mango sticky rice at Dee Dee
    This new Eastside trailer specializes in Northern Thai cuisine, and there's no better ending than the mango sticky rice. The salty-sweet rice is topped with a fresh, sliced mango half and drizzled with just the right amount of sweetened condensed milk.

    1906 E. Cesar Chavez St. 

  • Credit: Matt Lankes/Andiamo

    Zabaglione at Andiamo Ristorante
    The elegant dessert at this Northside Italian restaurant begins with farm eggs which are whipped into a slightly sweet cream using sugar and Marsala, then served in a dark chocolate shell topped with fresh fruits.

     2521 Rutland Dr.; 512-719-3377

  • Credit: Erica Wilkins

    Olive Gelato at Uchiko
    Get all the health benefits of kalamata olives (healthy fats, antioxidants, iron), which are infused into a white chocolate gelato base, then served with texturous brownie bits and candied Marcona almonds over toasted lemon curd with dots of chocolate ganache.

    4200 N. Lamar Blvd.; 512-916-4808

  • Credit: Ashley Cheng

    Chai sundae at SPUN Ice Cream
    This innovative Eastside ice cream shop freezes organic ingredients into ice cream right on the spot using liquid nitrogen, which results in a super-rich texture without needing as much cream. They always offer at least one non-dairy option — right now it's a Chai ice cream that's gluten-free and vegan. Top it with a dark chocolate shell (made just from organic coconut oil, sea salt and chocolate) and "strawberry confetti" made from organic, local strawberries, organic egg whites, sugar and a pinch of sea salt.

    1912 E. 7th St.; 512-524-1768