Helpful info for a healthier lifestyle
Thanksgiving dessert recipes

Our Favorite Less Added Sugar Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes with SPLENDA® Sweeteners

November 11, 2015

I have been compensated for my time by Heartland Food Products Group, the maker of SPLENDA® Sweetener Products. All statements and opinions are my own. I have pledged to Blog With Integrity, asserting that the trust of my readers and the blogging community is vitally important to me.

When you say “Thanksgiving dinner,” what comes to mind? The smell of a turkey roasting in the oven since dawn? That Grandma Grace’s amazing Fluffy Salad may be gone before you get a portion? That you would rather start with dessert since it is your favorite part of the meal? Yes, all three of the above would describe me, especially the latter. Although I did not coin the following phrase, I should have: “Life is short. Eat dessert first.” And I know I’m not alone!

As times change, so do many of our traditions. One difference (being the dessert person that I am) is that we said goodbye to the usual heavy, calorie-laden pumpkin pie as the dessert of choice on Thanksgiving. We still have a pumpkin-y dessert but because so many members of my family have made health-related lifestyle changes, desserts have taken on a lighter, less sugary profile.

In this blog, I’d like to share with you some popular dessert recipes consumers discovered at All of them use SPLENDA® Sweetener Products that will reduce the amount of added sugar in the recipe. We think you’ll want to give some of them a try as they would make delicious additions to any Thanksgiving meal.

Of course, if you wish to reduce the amount of sugar in your own Thanksgiving dessert recipes, here are the guidelines you will want to follow to use SPLENDA® in place of sugar.

Gingerbread Cake Recipe 

Who can resist a warm freshly baked gingerbread cake? This version will let you enjoy that rich gingerbread flavor without all of the added sugar.
Makes 18 servings


  • 2 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves


  1. Preheat oven to 350o F. Spray Bundt pan with butter-flavored cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Pour applesauce, molasses, and vegetable oil into a large mixing bowl. Add eggs. Stir well.
  3. Blend remaining dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Mix well.
  4. Add dry ingredients to the applesauce mixture. Stir well.
  5. Pour cake batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated 350o F oven 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack approximately 20 minutes. Invert cake onto serving plate. Serve warm or cool; may be garnished with non-dairy topping or sautéed apples. For a special garnish: Place 1/2 cup SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated in a blender. Blend covered, on high approximately 30 seconds. Sprinkle over the cake like powdered sugar.

Nutrition Info

Pecan Pie Recipe
Less added sugar than the traditional version, but still deliciously rich!
Makes 8 servings


  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup SPLENDA® Brown Sugar Blend, firmly packed
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups pecan halves
  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pastry shell


  1. Preheat oven to 350o F.
  2. Combine eggs, SPLENDA® Brown Sugar Blend, corn syrup, butter and vanilla, mixing until blended; stir in pecan halves. Pour filling into pastry shell.
  3. Bake for 50 minutes or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean.
  4. Cool on a wire rack. Serve warm.

Note: Cover crust edges with strips of aluminum foil for the first 25 minutes of baking to prevent over-browning.

Nutrition Info

Harvest Pumpkin-Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Recipe
All the flavors of fall packed into a cookie - irresistible!
Makes 48 cookies


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup SPLENDA® Sugar Blend
  • 1/2 cup SPLENDA® Brown Sugar Blend, firmly packed
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup raisins


  1. Preheat oven to 350o F. Spray baking pans with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
  2. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in medium bowl. Beat butter, SPLENDA® Sugar Blend and SPLENDA® Brown Sugar Blend in large bowl at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract; mix well. Add flour mixture; mix well. Stir in walnuts and raisins. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets.
  3. Bake 14 to 16 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned and set in centers. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Nutrition Info

Rich-a-licious Sour Cream Pound Cake Recipe
Make an extra so you can keep a pound cake in the freezer. Then you’ll have a delicious dessert for your next get-together! Toast or grill slices of this pound cake and top with fresh fruit or your favorite dessert sauce.
Makes 18 servings


  • 3 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups SPLENDA® Sugar Blend
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 325o F.
  2. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan or a 12-cup Bundt pan; set aside.
  3. Combine flour, SPLENDA® Sugar Blend for Baking, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture with a fork or a pastry blender until crumbly. (This procedure may be done with a mixer at the lowest speed. Cover mixing bowl with a clean tea towel to prevent spattering).
  4. Combine eggs, sour cream, and vanilla in a small mixing bowl; add 1/4 of the egg mixture to flour mixture. Beat at low speed with an electric mixer until blended. Beat at medium speed for 30 seconds or until batter is smooth, stopping to scrape down sides of the bowl. Repeat procedure 3 times.
  5. Spoon batter into prepared pan.
  6. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on a wire rack.

Nutrition Info

Chocolate Cream Pie Recipe 

Deliciously rich chocolate cream pie without all the added sugar- so you can definitely treat yourself to a few of those chocolate shavings on top!
Makes 8 servings


  • 2/3 cup SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
  • 1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups 2% reduced fat milk
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (6 ounce) reduced-fat prepared graham cracker crust
  • 1 (8 ounce) container reduced-fat frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • Optional Garnish: chocolate shavings


  1. Combine SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together milk and egg substitute in a medium saucepan. Gradually add SPLENDA® Granulated Sweetener mixture, whisking until blended. Add butter and vanilla.
  3. Cook over medium heat whisking constantly until mixture begins to boil; boil one minute, whisking constantly. Remove from heat.
  4. Pour filling into piecrust. Cover filling with waxed paper; chill 2 hours.
  5. Spread whipped topping over pie; garnish with chocolate shavings, if desired.

Nutrition Info

Sweet As Sugar Cookies Recipe 

This sweet treat will bring forth childhood memories of holiday enjoyment.
Makes 30 cookies


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup SPLENDA® Sugar Blend
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Optional Garnishes: decorative candies and colored sugars


  1. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer in a medium mixing bowl until creamy. Gradually add SPLENDA® Sugar Blend, beating well. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate mixing bowl. Gradually add flour mixture to SPLENDA® Sugar Blend mixture, beating until blended. Do not over-mix.
  3. Place dough on a lightly floured work surface. Divide dough in half; pat each half into a circle and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill cookie dough for one hour or until slightly firm.
  4. Preheat oven to 325o F.
  5. Remove dough from refrigerator. Work with one portion of dough at a time. Roll each portion to 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut with a cookie cutter, and place on lightly greased cookie sheets. Sprinkle with decorative candies or colored sugars, if desired.
  6. Bake in preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes or until edges of cookies are lightly browned. Cool slightly on cookie sheets; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Nutrition Info

Other Less Added Sugar Thanksgiving Recipes

Here is an array of other seasonal recipes that you might consider. Since Thanksgiving Day is usually filled with highly caloric food and snacks, cutting back on added sugar is one additional way to make your family and friends thankful!

We hope you enjoy these recipes over the Thanksgiving holidays. Don’t see a recipe you want to try? Check out other dessert recipes that use SPLENDA® Sweetener Products by visiting this part of the website. And next week be sure to visit SPLENDA LIVING® to check out the delicious lower sugar recipes for Thanksgiving appetizers we will be featuring.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sue Taylor is a consulting nutritionist with more than 35 years of experience. She is passionate about sharing her nutrition knowledge and fondness for good, healthy food. Sue will put relevant information in consumer terms and provide valuable perspective to clear up misinformation and confusion about nutrition and food safety.

For more information about cooking and baking with SPLENDA® Sweetener Products, visit the Cooking & Baking section of this blog.

November 11, 2015  |  POSTED BY: Sue Taylor, MS  |  IN: Healthy Lifestyle, Cooking & Baking


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