Healthy Holiday Dessert (or Breakfast) Fit for a Crowd

Healthy Holiday Dessert (or Breakfast) Fit for a Crowd

The holidays are in full swing, and your dance card is probably pretty full with all the festive parties going on. This also means you’re probably pretty in need of some recipes, maybe a healthy holiday dessert, that is crowd worthy. No need to fret. We’ve got you covered!

This Winter Crisp healthy holiday dessert is a fantastic dish to make for all those holiday potlucks and parties. It’s so easy. You can even assemble it ahead of time and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to bake it. Or, to take it one step further, you can bake it ahead of time and just reheat it when needed.

The apples and cranberries combined with cinnamon definitely give this warm winter crisp a holiday vibe. In addition, it isn’t terrible for you like most holiday desserts are. The rolled oats give it a nice protein and fiber kick, and the cranberries and cinnamon offer their own health properties, including helping to lower blood pressure and build up your immune system, which is a plus during these winter months.

This recipe is so versatile, and it doubles as a great breakfast dish. What other healthy holiday dessert can you serve for breakfast?! If you don’t like apples or even cranberries, swap for whatever fruit you do like. Blueberries make a great addition if you have those on hand.

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Winter Crisp

Prep time        Cook time       Yields               Serving Size

10 minutes      50 minutes      6 servings        1¾-inch × 2-inch piece


For filling:

½ C sugar

3 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1 tsp grated lemon peel

¾ tsp lemon juice

5 C apples, unpeeled, sliced

1 C cranberries

For topping:

⅔ C rolled oats

⅓ C brown sugar, packed

¼ C whole-wheat flour

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 Tbsp soft margarine, melted



  1. Preheat oven to 375 °F.
  2. To prepare the filling: In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, flour, and lemon peel. Mix well. Add the lemon juice, apples, and cranberries; stir to mix. Spoon into a 6-cup baking dish.
  3. To prepare the topping: In a small bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, whole-wheat flour, and cinnamon. Add the melted margarine; stir to mix.
  4. Sprinkle the topping over the filling. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until the filling is bubbly and the top is brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe courtesy of National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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