5 Better-for-You Cobblers and Bettys


If there’s one thing I’m a sucker for in the summertime, it’s a piping-hot fruit dessert cloaked in buttery, sugary dough or a crackly crumble. While downing freshly picked peaches or bushels of berries is a veritable seasonal rite, those fruits are rendered even sweeter when warmed in a casserole dish or cast-iron pan, their juices melding irresistibly with the caramelized sugar of the topping. But there are two things that don’t mix well in the summertime: sugar and bathing suits.

In reality, the natural sugars in fruits lend baked and grilled treats plenty of sweetness, so you can get away with less sugar, less butter, and better-for-you flours and oats without sacrificing the flavor of these oh-so-craveable desserts. So enjoy your summer fruit treats — and pool time — with these five better-for-you recipes.

Mixed Berry Cobbler

Ellie Krieger coats her baking dish with cooking spray — not butter — before tossing berries with whole-wheat flour, sugar and zest to thicken and brighten the fruit mixture. Her cobbler topping incorporates both whole-wheat and all-purpose flours to lighten the dish while keeping some of that original biscuit flavor.

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Individual Peach Cobblers

Single-portion sweets are always a good idea — because who can stop at just a couple of scoops from a big baking dish? These cobblers created by Food Network Kitchen have a higher fruit-to-topping ratio, so you get just enough of the sweet cobbler topping without overdoing it. Flax seeds in the dough add fiber and nutty flavor to the dish.

Gluten-Free Rhubarb Cobbler

Topped with oats, this sweet spring cobbler contains no flour, so it’s a solid substitute for those avoiding gluten. If you can’t tolerate gluten-free oats, either, Gluten-Free Girl Shauna James Ahern suggests trying quinoa flakes, which would add an unexpected dose of protein to your dessert.

Healthy Peach Betty

The combination of walnut-raisin bread, butter and maple syrup is delightful over roasted peaches in this dessert. Starting with bread rather than oats or flour enables you to use less topping, but the nutty, earthy flavors hold up to ripe peaches’ sweet flavor.

Apple-Berry Brown Betty

Who can keep these silly named desserts straight? A betty is like a crisp, but it contains a layer of the crumbs beneath the fruit in addition to on top. This recipe gets its crunch from almonds (no oats or flour) and contains four layers of apple-berry mixture and sweet sugar topping.