Healthy (and allergy friendly) swaps for low calorie, healthy baking!

There are two common ways of altering or adjusting a recipe to help make it healthier and more nutritious for you and your family.
Share this article

How many times have you been asked to bake for a cake sale at school or asked to ‘bring a dessert’ if you are going over for dinner? Too many is probably the answer.

There’s nothing worse than deciding to bake your favourite recipe, pulling out the ingredients and realising just how much sugar/butter/wheat/dairy it actually contains when you are trying to be healthy and lose a little weight.

There really are so many healthy alternatives when it comes to sweet treats, so you don’t have to miss out AND you can improve the nutrition of the end product. It’s a win win situation really!

This is how we build our healthy recipes for The Healthy Mummy app; that is to swap in healthier ingredients to ensure your baking still tastes great and is better for you.

There are two common ways of altering or adjusting a recipe to help make it healthier and more nutritious for you and your family…


Reducing high calories ingredients

The first way is simply by reducing the high calorie, less nutrient dense ingredients. For example, if a cake recipe calls for 1.5 cups of white sugar, you could try swapping white for the less refined brown sugar or a natural sweetener like Natvia or Stevia (but be sure to check the correct amount to swap ie 1 cup sugar = 1 teaspoon of Stevia).

If the recipe calls for dried or fresh fruit and veggies (carrots, banana, sultanas, berries) you may be able to reduce the sugar content even further as these ingredients are quite sweet in their own right.

A banana bread recipe that requires 2 cups of sugar and 2 ripe bananas can be reduced to ¾ – 1 cup of sugar alongside the fruit and the change to the taste will be minimal.

We prefer not to use sugar at all at the Healthy Mummy as there are so many healthy swaps.  Find all you need to know about sugar right here.


Try this Healthy Banana Loaf recipe.

You can also ‘straight swap’ (where you don’t have to adjust quantity) ingredients like white flour for wholemeal or spelt flour and dairy milk for nut or soy milk.

Ingredient swapping

The second way to alter a recipe is by swapping out ingredients for a different, healthier alternative. This can be a little trickier as you need to make sure that the swaps you make still provide the sweetness/texture/creaminess/binding capabilities of the original.

For example, gluten free flours like coconut flour require extra moisture to be added to recipes that they are being used in as they are quite a ‘dry’ flour that absorbs a lot of liquid.


Try these delicious Orange Coconut Cremes which call for coconut flour.

Here are some healthy alternatives to common ingredients.


1 cup white flour – 1 cup wholemeal or spelt flour

1 cup white/wholemeal/spelt flour – 1 cup nut flour/meal + ½ tsp baking powder

1 cup white/wholemeal/spelt – 1/3 cup coconut flour + 1 extra egg + 1-2 tbsp water (using more than ½ cup of coconut flour is generally not advised as it can make the end product quite coarse and bitter).


Try these Peanut Butter Oreos which are made with spelt flour.


  • 1 cup sugar – ¾ cup honey or pure maple syrup + 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup sugar – 1 cup unsweetened apple puree
  • 1 cup sugar – 1 tsp liquid stevia or 2 tbsp powdered stevia

Try these Apple Quinoa Muffins which are made with apple puree and almond meal.


  • 1 cup butter – ¾ olive oil
  • 1 cup butter – ½ cup Greek yoghurt
  • 1 cup butter – ¾ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup butter – 1 cup mashed banana
  • 1 cup butter – 1 cup coconut oil


  • 1 egg – 1 tbsp chia seeds + 1 cup water (mixed and left to sit to form a paste)
  • 1 egg – 1 tbsp flaxmeal + 3 tbsp water (mixed and left to form a paste)
  • 1 banana

Try this delicious Chocolate Mousse made with chia seeds and is super healthy and delicious!!

Healthy dessert recipes – 5 sweet snacks for after dinner

Healthy chocolate Weet-Bix slice

This delicious recipe for the Healthy Chocolate Weet-Bix Slice is one of the 6,000+ recipes in The Healthy Mummy app.  This is the most popular recipe amongst our mums as it’s totally yummy, full of guilt-free chocolatey goodness and it’s only 190 calories per serve! Get the recipe here.

Peanut bubble crunch

peanut bubble crunch

With rice bubbles, peanut butter and chocolate, you can’t go wrong! The kids will also absolutely adore crunching this scrumptious slice in their school lunches, or as an afternoon tea treat.

Get the recipe here.

Chocolate chip muffins

Chocolate Chip Muffins

We love a recipe makeover and this Choc Chip Muffins Recipe is a so sample directly from your meal plan as part of the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge.

With dark chocolate bits, these healthy muffins are a great snack and perfect for the whole family.

Get the recipe here.

Banana, raspberry and chocolate chip muffins

Banana, Raspberry And Chocolate Chip Muffins

For a healthy snack under 100 calories, these Banana, Raspberry And Chocolate Chip Muffins are perfect.

There’s no need for a muffin to contain vast amounts of sugar like the ones you find in cafes or at the supermarket – check the label as often there is as much sugar as there is flour.

These muffins are sweetened with fruit and a small amount of maple syrup, making them a much healthier choice.

Get the recipe here.

Healthy choc chip mini cheesecakes

Healthy dessert recipes

These Healthy Choc Chip Mini Cheesecakes are vegan friendly and taste as good as they look.

They’re packed full of protein and antioxidants due to their nutritious ingredients.

Get the recipe here.

5 healthy desserts for when you’re entertaining guests

Chocolate carrot cake

8 Ways To Enjoy Chocolate While Losing Weight

The Guilt Free Chocolate Treats and Baking Cookbook is full of sweet treats, baking ideas, and show stopping desserts such as this one. A must for anyone with a sweet tooth.

And these recipes are so healthy that you can lose weight on our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge while enjoying such tasty indulgences!

Get the recipe here.

Show stopping chocolate berry layer cake

Healthy dessert recipes

Need a cake for the centrepiece of your table? Look no further! Not only does this layer cake look fantastic, it also serves 16 so you’ll have enough to feed a crowd!

Prepare the cakes the day before you need them, and then just decorate on the day of serving. This will reduce the hands on time needed when you’ve got other things to get on with.

This recipe comes from our Healthy Mummy Christmas and Entertaining Cookbook.

Get this recipe here.

Delicious 5 ingredient cheesecake only 160 calories

5 Ingredient 160 Calorie Cheesecake Recipe

Here’s a delicious and healthier option for a cheesecake recipe, that is so tasty you just won’t believe it has only 160 calories per serve.

The best part is you only need a handful of ingredients to make it and it’s the perfect treat for when you have friends over.

Get the recipe here.

Easy mango and passionfruit trifle

Easy Mango And Passionfruit Trifle

A healthy trifle? Yes, such a thing does exist! Trifles are usually packed with lashings of cream and custard (not to mention the sponge cake and brandy) and can clock in at over 400 calories per serve.

Our Easy Mango and Passionfruit Trifle is just 275 calories per serve and is to be enjoyed as part of your meal plan.

This Easy Mango and Passionfruit Trifle uses natural Greek yoghurt, homemade pancakes and plenty of fresh, seasonal fruit for a fresh take on this classic.

Chocolate raspberry ripple cake

This delicious recipe comes from the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge, a combination of chocolate and raspberries will make this gluten-free, vegan-friendly cake a family favourite for all occasions.

Get the recipe here.

5 healthy frozen desserts

Banana & frozen yoghurt sundae

Banana Frozen Yoghurt Sundae

Enjoy a Healthy Mummy style “Fro-Yo”! It’s absolutely delicious and one the whole family will enjoy.

If you really want to ramp up the flavour and cut the calories you can swap in the Healthy Mummy Smoothie mix for some cacao/cocoa powder and a little maple syrup to make the chocolate sauce.

Get the recipe here.

Frozen raspberry cheesecake slice

Frozen Raspberry Cheesecake Slice

Try this healthy alternative to the classic cheesecake.

It serves 10 so you can feed a crowd, or store leftovers in the freezer for up to a month. The kids will love this one too!

Get the recipe here.

Healthy cherry cheesecake frozen popsicles

Cherry Cheesecake Frozen Popsicles

One of the things we love most about the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge is that you don’t have to miss out on sweet treats and desserts.

Who doesn’t love a healthy ice-block??

Get the recipe here.

Frozen “Snickers” mousse bites – only 65 calories

Frozen Snickers Mousse Bites

Who needs to buy commercial treats when you can make something as delicious as this with just FIVE healthier ingredients?

Get the recipe here.

5 ingredient frozen coconut ice chocolate treats

5 Ingredient Frozen Coconut Ice Chocolate Treats

Here is a DELICIOUS treat for a hot day, made with just a handful of ingredients. Don’t they look amazing? And just 75 calories each!

If you haven’t already got one, you can usually find silicon ice cube trays at the supermarket. They make it easy to pop the frozen chocolates out when needed.

Get the recipe here.

Are you ready to become a Healthy Mummy?

Want to lose weight, and improve your energy and health?
Access 600+ guided & personalised Fitness Programs (Beginner to Advanced)

Know what to cook every meal
With family-friendly weekly meal plans & over 6,000 easy recipes developed by nutritionists

Get motivated, stay motivated
With support from MyCoach and MindPower features

Feel Supported 24/7
In our private support groups with other mums just like you

Join Now
Share this article

Be part of our friendly and supportive community

Want FREE delicious recipes, fitness tips and great specials?