The Absolute Best Desserts Of 2016

Photo: Matt Armendariz

It's been a good year for healthy desserts. We've swapped refined sugar for raw honey, bleached flour for buckwheat, and butter for coconut oil. We're rethinking classics in ways that honor flavor and boost nutrition. While it was tough to narrow our favorites down to 12, these recipes stood out as the top of their class. Haven't made them yet? Fire up the oven! The year 2017 will bring with it a whole slew of new recipes you'll need to try.

Raw Superfood Oreos

Chilled coconut milk forms the sweet, creamy filling of these power-packed sandwich cookies. Raw, gluten-free, and dairy-free, they're a healthy treat that get an extra nutritional boost from flaxseeds.

Cardamom Tahini Cookies

The plant-based fats and fiber in these cookies make them a satisfying snack. The cardamom and rose water make them feel deeply indulgent.

Superfood-Packed Raspberry Rose Tart

If flavors can be pretty, in this tart that's just what they are. Raspberry, rose, rhubarb, and pistachio blend together into a tart as delicate as a fresh flower bouquet.

Chocolate Coconut Macaroons

Himalayan pink sea salt pushes these classic cookies over the top. And there's no refined sugar, to boot.

Vegan Avocado Mint Ice Cream

Avocados for dessert? Yes, please! The creaminess of our favorite fruit lends itself naturally to plant-based ice cream.

Cinnamon Chocolate Paleo Cupcakes

The lightest hint of thyme and olive oil add a savory edge to these otherwise sweet treats.

Vegan Pistachio Pear Pudding

All things green and good (ripened pear and avocado with fresh pistachios) blend beautifully in this modern take on pudding.

Vegan Chocolate Cake

This vegan chocolate cake is better than the classic we grew up on. You don't need to be vegan to appreciate it its tender crumb.

Chocolate-Covered Almond Butter-Filled Sandwich Cookies

These cover every base: they've got the melted chocolate, gooey filling, and crunchy bite of your dream cookie.

Vegan Chocolate Pie

Acorn squash is the surprising star of this decadent dish.

Raw Blueberry Lavender Cheesecake

Blueberry, lavender, and matcha in one dessert? No wonder it's one of the very best of the year. The pastel colors of this cheesecake make it as gorgeous as it is delicious.

Raspberry Pistachio Semifreddo

If anything can beat ice cream, it's semifreddo. This cold, coconut-based treat is an artful addition to any meal.

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