Counting Macros

18 Macro Friendly Desserts and Sweet Treats

macro diet desserts and sweet treats

Here are 18 macro-friendly desserts and treats that will prove helpful if you’re following a macro-focused diet.

Often desserts are challenging since some desserts are really dominant in just one macro, or are just really high in calories overall. This can make enjoying a sweet treat and staying within your macro goals challenging.

My macros coaching clients often ask me for a list of good sweet treats to choose from or things that they can turn to when they get that craving for something sweet.

Here are some great options to have ready when your body craves something sweet.

Macro Friendly Sweet Treats and Desserts

There’s been a lot of innovation in the way of low or zero-calorie sweeteners that are also natural, plus many recipes are just as delicious with a little less fat or sugar. Here’s a good combination of grab-and-go items and homemade goodies.

Project 7 Candy

project 7 macro friendly candy

This gummy candy is perfect for those that love gummy bears or sour gummies. Each plant-based serving only has 3 g of sugar and 6 net carbs. A similar serving of Sour Patch Kids™ is 44 grams of sugar!  I’ve tried their sour worms and their sour apple rings and they taste great. Their secret is using allulose which is a natural sweetener that only provides 1/10 of the energy that sugar does.

Macro breakdown per 1.8 oz bag

  • 60 calories
  • 37 g carbs (all but 6 grams don’t provide energy)
  • 18 grams fiber
  • 0 g protein
  • 0 g fat

Their website

Nuts.com

macro chocolate

If you like chocolate and chocolate candy, Nuts.com has a whole line of sugar-free, yet delicious varieties. I’ve tried their pecan clusters, peanut butter cups, and chocolate-covered pretzels. They use sugar alcohol and sucralose to sweeten.

Macro breakdown per 1 oz serving

  • 120 calories
  • 13 g carbs (6 net carbs)
  • 1 g fiber
  • 2 g protein
  • 10 g fat

Their website

Halo Top Ice Cream

macro ice cream halo

This brand of ice cream allows you to eat a whole pint for the calories/macros of what is usually just a 1/2 cup of traditional ice cream. Plus, for a dessert, it’s high in protein as well. I reviewed Halo Top a few years back and it’s only gotten better since with even more flavors and varieties including dairy-free options.

Macro breakdown per 1 pint of Strawberry 

  • 270 calories
  • 62 g carbs (42 net carbs)
  • 17 g fiber
  • 18 g protein
  • 6 g fat

Their website  But, this is available in most grocery stores.

Smart Sweets

smartsweets sweet fish

This is another reduced sugar candy company that has lower sugar/calorie versions of a lot of your favorites. I reviewed this brand too and I really liked their version of Swedish Fish®. It’s perfect for movie nights!

Macro breakdown per 1.8 oz bag 

  • 100 calories
  • 42 g carbs (25 net carbs)
  • 13 g fiber
  • 0 g protein
  • 0 g fat

Their website

Hu Dark Chocolate

Hu Dark Chocolate

This healthy dark chocolate brand is perfect for macro counters that have dark chocolate cravings. They have a full range of chocolate products and I loved their sea salt 70% dark chocolate. This dark chocolate is all-natural and sweetened with coconut sugar.

Macro breakdown per 1/2 a 70% cacao bar 

  • 180 calories
  • 13 g carbs
  • 3 g fiber
  • 2 g protein
  • 13 g fat

Their website

Purecane

 

purecane

Purecane is a natural sugar substitute that tastes like real sugar and behaves like real sugar in baking. Therefore it can be used to greatly reduce the carb and sugar content when making your favorite cookies, cakes, or homemade goodies. It’s made from sugarcane Reb M and Erythritol.

Macro breakdown for 1 tsp of Purecane  

  • 0 calories
  • 4 g carbs (0 net carbs)
  • 4 g fiber
  • 0 g protein
  • 0 g fat

Their website

Dried Mango Strips

dried mango

Dried mango strips offer a great, yet nutritious sweet treat. They have a chewy texture with a sweet/tart flavor and 1 serving will keep your mouth busy and your sweet tooth satisfied. When choosing a brand, look for ones that are unsulfured and have no sugar added.

Macro breakdown for 1.5 oz  

  • 150 calories
  • 36 g carbs
  • 2 g fiber
  • 0 g protein
  • 0 g fat

Suggested brand on Amazon

Freeze-Dried Fruit Snacks

crunchies fruit snacks

If you like sweet and crunchy treats, freeze-dried fruit is a great option. It has no sugar added and still offers most of the nutrition of fresh fruit. There are many different brands but I’ve featured the Chruchies brand here. There are also a lot of different varieties but here’s how strawberries stack up.

Macro breakdown for one .8 oz  package

  • 90 calories
  • 19 g carbs
  • 4 g fiber
  • 2 g protein
  • 1 g fat

Crunchies’ website

Larabar

lara bar

Larabars are great because they contain about 6 simple ingredients but taste like a cookie. They are a little more fat dominant so they also keep you satisfied longer. I’ve tried many different varieties and one of my favorites is Lemon Bar. I often find them discounted at Grocery Outlet which is even better.

Macro breakdown for one Lemon Bar

  • 200 calories
  • 24 g carbs
  • 3 g fiber
  • 4 g protein
  • 10 g fat

Larabar on Amazon

Mug Cake

mug cake

credit: Patty Catalano

Do you ever crave a piece of cake but know if you bake one, you’ll eat the whole thing?! Mug cakes offer a perfect solution. They allow you to make one serving of cake quickly in the microwave. There are tons of recipes but I like the ones that incorporate some fruit and are lower in the calorie department.

Macro breakdown for Banana Walnut Mug Cake

  • 390 calories
  • 76 g carbs
  • 4.8 g fiber
  • 11.7 g protein
  • 5.5 g fat

Here’s the recipe.

Edible Cookie Dough

cookie dough

Who doesn’t love cookie dough? This recipe is made to be safely eaten raw and can be stored in the freezer for a delicious treat when your macros have room for it. There are many different flavors but here’s a traditional chocolate chip flavor to try. You can make it more macro-friendly by using Purcane mentioned above.

Macro breakdown for 1/7 of the recipe

  • 338 calories
  • 42 g carbs
  • 1 g fiber
  • 2 g protein
  • 17 g fat

Here’s the recipe.

Snack Size Peppermint Patties

york peppermint patties macro friendly candy

These are great to have on hand for a quick treat. Peppermint and chocolate are a delicious combination and 2 snack size patties are one serving. You get a lot of enjoyment for your calorie buck! They also make a sugar-free variety as well but they are only 20 fewer calories per serving.

Macro breakdown for 2 patties.

  • 100 calories
  • 22 g carbs
  • 0 g fiber
  • 0 g protein
  • 2 g fat

Get them on Amazon.

Sugar-Free Gelatin

gelatin dessert

Gelatin had its heyday back in the 60s and 70s and even though it’s a bit old fashion, let’s not overlook its good qualities.  It can serve as a low-calorie dessert that also delivers a small dose of protein. Having some gelatin blocks on hand in the fridge can be a great way to help with the sugar cravings and help you hit your protein macro.

Macro breakdown for 1 package.

  • 20 calories
  • 0 g carbs
  • 0 g fiber
  • 4 g protein
  • 0 g fat

Get it on Amazon.

Blackberry and Greek Yogurt Parfait

blackberries and greek yogurt

This super quick dessert combines antioxidant-rich blackberries with the protein power of Greek yogurt.  Use 1 cup of frozen blackberries and 3/4 cup of low-fat vanilla Greek yogurt to create a satisfying and nutritious dessert.

Macro breakdown for 1 serving.

  • 190 calories
  • 30 g carbs
  • 8 g fiber
  • 17 g protein
  • 1 g fat

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

chocolate covered strawberry macro friendly

This is a great snack to enjoy during strawberry season and is super easy to make. All that you need is some ripe strawberries and some dark melting chocolate. Using your microwave, heat the melting chocolate using a microwave-safe bowl for 30 seconds at a time until melted. Dip and use a spoon to coat each strawberry.

Macro breakdown for 3 strawberries and 1 oz dark chocolate.

  • 164 calories
  • 19 g carbs
  • 2 g fiber
  • 2 g protein
  • 10 g fat

Homemade Kettle Corn

kettlecorn

Making your own kettle corn is a great salty-sweet snack that is perfect for movie night. It’s actually pretty easy to make if you do it right. Here’s a trusted recipe.

Macro breakdown for 1/2 the recipe above.

  • 310 calories
  • 44 g carbs
  • 3 g fiber
  • 3 g protein
  • 14 g fat

Toaster Pastries

toaster pastries

Toaster Pastries (Pop-Tarts®) are a horrible breakfast idea, but as a quick sweet treat, they are pretty satisfying. When I want to use toaster pastries as a sweet treat I have just one and save the other for another time. There are also healthier varieties out there that only use natural ingredients so choose those if you can.

Macro breakdown for 1 pastry.

  • 200 calories
  • 38 g carbs
  • 1 g fiber
  • 2 g protein
  • 5 g fat

Here’s a healthier brand on Amazon.

Ice Cream Sandwich

Ice cream sandwich

Ice cream sandwiches offer a great portioned ice cream treat. Plus, the chocolate wafer and the vanilla ice cream are a delicious flavor combination. You can choose the reduced-calorie ones like Skinny Cow® but in reality, they are only about 30 calories less than the much more affordable store brand ice cream sandwiches.

Macro breakdown for 1 ice cream sandwich (Kroger Brand).

  • 170 calories
  • 27 g carbs
  • 1 g fiber
  • 3 g protein
  • 6 g fat

There you have it, 18 macro-friendly desserts that you can use to satisfy those cravings or to use as a sweet treat reward for all the hard work you’ve been putting in at the gym or in your fitness pursuits. Life is too short to never enjoy something sweet so don’t deprive yourself of that pleasure. Just be smart about it.

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Ted Kallmyer is an ISSA certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition and is our lead macro coach. If you need help reaching your weight loss/fitness goals see our personal coaching options.
Last Updated: April 30, 2021

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