My husband and I both have a major sweet tooth, so that means dessert every night. While he wouldn’t gain a single pound if he ate the entire recipe, I certainly would, so the recipe in this post needed to be lightened up.

The original post called for butter, white sugar, brown sugar, almond butter, chopped almonds, and shredded coconut. All of these ingredients were either omitted or substituted with something else:

  • You can typically replace butter in desserts with unsweetened applesauce. I have never had a problem substituting it cup-for-cup. However, if this were a shortbread recipe, the applesauce method definitely wouldn’t work – the butter is necessary, because you need to chill the dough before you cut cookies out of them. Applesauce won’t hold stuff together when cold; butter will. Long story short: Applesauce is okay for this recipe. I make my own, which gives me complete control over the ingredients – I know exactly what goes into it.
  • Erythritol is a fairly decent substitute for white sugar, with the added bonus that it measures cup-for-cup just like sugar. If the recipe calls for sugar, I substitute a majority of the sugar with erythritol, then add a bit of real sugar to avoid the slight cooling effect that I get if I were to use just erythritol. However, if you’re good with substitute sweeteners, feel free to use all erythritol or another cup-for-cup substitute.
  • I know that dark muscovado sugar is a version of brown sugar, but when a recipe says “brown sugar,” I typically think “store-bought.” That’s fine, and I actually do use that…but today, I only had muscovado on hand. It’s processed less, anyway.
  • I have almond butter, but I just made peanut butter over the weekend. I wanted to use the peanut butter because, well, it was there, and it tastes good.
  • Chopped almonds and shredded coconut would both add calories to the final product. I didn’t feel like chopping almonds. I hate coconut. These are three good reasons to leave those out of the final product.

The end result still feels indulgent, with the chocolate chips melding perfectly with the peanut butter. At 331 calories per serving, you can afford to indulge once in awhile.

Get the recipe (including nutrition information) after the jump!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip “Tart” (vegetarian)

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 14 minutes

Total Time: 19 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Calories per serving: 331

Fat per serving: 15.0g

Saturated fat per serving: 3.9g

Carbs per serving: 54.0g

Protein per serving: 11.0g

Fiber per serving: 4.2g

Sugar per serving: 33.8g

Sodium per serving: 250mg


  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup erythritol (or other sweetener that measures like sugar)
  • 1/2 cup sucanat or evaporated cane juice
  • 1 egg (or flax egg: 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed + 3 tablespoons water)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips (use something like Enjoy Life or Sunspire brand for vegan)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and prepare a 9- or 10-inch tart pan with baking spray.
  2. Combine the following ingredients in a large bowl: applesauce, peanut butter, erythritol, sugar, egg, and vanilla extract.
  3. Add in flour, baking soda, and salt and mix until just combined. Carefully fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Pour mixture into prepared tart pan and spread as much as possible. Don't worry if you can't spread it out too well; the dough will spread itself out in the oven as it bakes. Just try to make it an even layer in the pan.
  5. Bake for 14-19 minutes or until lightly golden around the edges but still soft in the center. Allow to cool a bit before eating.


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