Natural-Sugar Dessert Recipes

Desserts made with natural sugars can improve the nutritional value (and even the taste) of your favorite baked goods. Learn more about natural sweeteners like coconut sugar and muscovado with these five dessert recipes from cookbook author Shauna Sever.

Beyond Basic Sugar

Cookbook author and baking blogger Shauna Sever proves that baking with sugar alternatives can be a less processed way of eating that's just as delicious. Try these five sweets that feature alternatives like coconut sugar, muscovado, turbinado, honey and more.

Coconut Sugar Carrot-Banana Cupcakes with Coconut Sugar Meringue Frosting

Coconut sugar comes made from the evaporated sap of the coconut palm tree (which means it's not coconut flavored) and has a bold, exotic sweetness, lending these cupcakes their sweet and robust flavor. Coconut sugar also makes for the most-glorious, creamy meringue frosting, giving the topping a hint of salted caramel flavor, without your having to make caramel.

Get the Recipe: Coconut Sugar Carrot-Banana Cupcakes with Coconut Sugar Meringue Frosting

Muscovado Cocoa Chip Cookies

Molasses-heavy muscovado sugar and intense bittersweet chocolate create an insanely fudgy texture in these craveworthy cookies. The secrets to perfecting these cookies are: Avoid overmixing the dough; and, to avoid overcooking, bake it straight from frozen and pull the cookies from the oven when they're almost underdone.

Get the Recipe: Muscovado Cocoa Chip Cookies

Honeyed Lemon-Berry Snack Cake

Honey not only pairs beautifully with citrus and berries, but it also is hygroscopic, which means that it pulls moisture from the air. This property helps create the cake's moist, dense, almost-pound-cake-like texture and will continue to improve the texture in the days after baking.

Get the Recipe: Honeyed Lemon-Berry Snack Cake

Turbinado Creme Brulee Tart

This tart marries classic creme brulee with an orange-scented cheesecake, all finished with a shiny, caramelized cap of turbinado sugar.

Get the Recipe: Turbinado Creme Brulee Tart

Soft Maple Cookies

Liquid sweeteners like maple syrup help create soft-baked cookies. Jazz up this simple, satisfying treat with a handful of dried fruit, chopped toasted pecans or bittersweet chocolate chips.

Get the Recipe: Soft Maple Cookies