They say that good things come in small packages – though, if you have a sweet tooth, you might not agree! But moderation is the key to a healthy, happy life, and there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the occasional sweet treat. Yet, when you’re tucking into a particularly delicious dessert, it can be tricky to stick to just one slice or portion…

That’s why mini desserts are so great. Not only do they look lovely, but they’re ideal for entertaining – and, because they’re bite-size, they’re perfect for portion control too.

So, if you fancy something rich and chocolatey or sweet and syrupy, rather than deny yourself, why not just keep your portions small? After all, when it comes to sugar, less is definitely more and your body will thank you.

If you’re looking for some inspiration, here are nine miniature desserts for perfect portion control.

1. No-bake mini cheesecake

No-bake mini cheesecake

Cheesecakes are among the most delicious mini desserts around. They look beautiful in jam jars or glass ramekins, and are creamy and rich while also often being refreshingly fruity. And while there are hundreds of miniature cheesecake recipes online, we like the no-bake ones best – as it doesn’t make much sense to put the oven on for such a small dessert!

If you’re looking for something particularly indulgent, why not try this mini no-bake cheesecake recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction? The cheesecakes are made with cream cheese, double cream, and yoghurt or sour cream, and they’re so velvety and decadent that one is definitely enough!

Alternatively, if you’re watching your cholesterol or don’t eat dairy, why not try this equally indulgent no-bake mini Biscoff cheesecake recipe from The Banana Diaries? Not only is it entirely vegan, but it also serves two people, so it’s ideal if you’d like to share a sweet treat with your partner or a friend, but don’t want to have any leftovers.

Or, for something lighter and less sugary, why not try this seven-ingredient mini cheesecake recipe by Minimalist Baker? With a date and walnut crust, and a filling made from soaked cashew nuts, coconut milk, coconut oil, lemon juice, and agave nectar, these mini cheesecakes are gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, and vegan – and absolutely delicious!

2. Mini trifles

Mini trifles

Mini trifles are the perfect make-ahead dessert. The individual layers look beautiful in elegant glasses, so they’re a great choice if you have guests over and want to impress – but equally, because they’re super simple to whip up and assemble, you don’t need any excuses to make them.

If you’d like to make a quick and convenient mini trifle, why not try this mini English sherry trifle recipe from Confessions of a Baking Queen? Not only does it use shop-bought sponge cake, but it also features a retro twist with the addition of an old favourite: Bird’s custard powder!

Or, if you like the idea of a traditional British trifle but would like to put a modern, chocolatey spin on it, what about this raspberry and white chocolate mini trifle recipe from Only Crumbs Remain? The layer of sweet, creamy white chocolate custard is beautifully offset by the tartness of raspberries, and it’s so moreish you’ll be glad you can’t go back for seconds…or even thirds.

3. Banoffee cups

Banoffee cups

Banoffee pie is one of our nation’s favourite desserts and, if you love caramel, cream, bananas, and buttery biscuit crumbs, it’s probably safe to say you’re already a fan. Thanks to all its layers, banoffee pie makes an excellent individual dessert, although it’s also fancy enough to serve as a dessert at dinner parties.

This banoffee cup recipe from Every Little Crumb is easy to make, taking only 10 minutes to prep and a further 10 to cook. This recipe is also much easier to make than a traditional banoffee pie recipe, as you don’t need to boil the can of condensed milk to make caramel; just cook it in a pan for a few minutes. Plus, unlike classic banoffee pie, you get double layers of everything.

If you want to tuck into a mini banoffee pie but would prefer to try a more health-conscious recipe, why not try this recipe from Be Good Organics? It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free – and also contains health-boosting ingredients like chia seeds, maca powder, walnuts, and dates. Plus, these pies freeze beautifully, so you can keep a stash in the freezer and defrost one when the mood strikes.

4. Tiramisu cups

Tiramisu cups

Tiramisu is one of the most indulgent and grown-up desserts around. Sponge fingers are soaked in espresso coffee and alcohol (usually rum, marsala wine, amaretto, or coffee liquor), and layered with a delightfully fluffy mix of whipped mascarpone, eggs, and sugar, topped off with a generous dusting of cocoa.

If you’re in the mood for this sophisticated dessert, why not make this mini tiramisu cup recipe from Marcella in Cucina? While these mini tiramisu treats look impressive in dessert glasses, they use only a few ingredients and can be whipped up ahead of time. Plus, it’s easy to double up if you’re eating with a friend or partner.

Simply mix the cooled coffee with marsala wine, and whip up cream, sugar, and instant coffee until soft peaks form. Then, mix the mascarpone with vanilla, add this to the cream, and whisk until stiff peaks form. Finally, soak the sponge fingers in the coffee mix, line your glass, top with the cream mix, and repeat until the glass is full.

5. Mini apple pies

Mini apple pies

There’s something about apple pie that’s innately comforting and homey – and while it’s often seen as having roots in the US, apple pie originated on our own shores! So, if you’d like to pay homage to this delicious traditional dessert but don’t want the temptation of a whole pie, why not make a batch of mini pies, and freeze some?

This latticed mini apple pie recipe from Just a Taste uses muffin tins to make prep faster, and using shop-bought pastry can speed things up even more. Although, for maximum flavour, you might want to give the recipe’s fabulous rosemary-infused pastry a go, as it beautifully complements the sweet yet tart apple filling.

Or, for something a little simpler, you can have a go at this mini apple pie recipe from Baked by an Introvert. Again, you can buy pre-rolled pastry to make things easier for yourself – and all you need to do is cut circles out, spoon on some of the spiced apple mix, fold the pastry over, and seal. The result will resemble a mini cornish pasty – the ideal bite-size snack.

6. Silken tofu chocolate mousse

Silken tofu chocolate mousse

If you’re a fan of chocolate, this next recipe is for you. Rich and creamy, yet also delightfully light and fluffy, chocolate mousse is a top dessert if you’re craving chocolate. Yet because, traditionally, it involves whipping up eggs, sugar, cream, and butter, it can often feel like too much effort if you want a quick chocolate fix for just one person.

But some of the tastiest recipes don’t use any of those ingredients. This silken tofu chocolate mousse recipe from As Easy as Apple Pie takes five minutes to prepare, and uses only three ingredients: silken tofu, dark chocolate, and maple syrup. Silken tofu is mild, smooth, and creamy, and, when mixed with chocolate, is the perfect base for your mousse. If you don’t believe us, why not give it a try?

Plus, silken tofu is low in fat and high in protein so, if you think you can’t have a healthy chocolate mousse, think again. Maple syrup adds extra sweetness, although you can always substitute it for sugar or another natural sweetener. For the best-tasting mousse, use good-quality chocolate; 70% dark chocolate works well. Top with chocolate shavings, berries, and fresh mint to be extra fancy.

7. Mini strawberry ice cream pies

Mini strawberry ice cream pies

If you’re a fan of strawberries, you’ll probably want to have a go at this next recipe. While roasting strawberries might sound a little odd, it concentrates their flavour – and the flesh becomes wonderfully sweet, soft, and melt-in-your-mouth.

This recipe for mini strawberry ice-cream pies by Pure Wow is incredibly simple – but it looks and tastes sensational. To make the pie crust, just blitz up some graham crackers (digestive biscuits make a good alternative) with some melted butter and a pinch of cinnamon and salt. Then, press the mixture into a mini pie tin and bake for 15 minutes.

You can roast your strawberries at the same time and, when they’re done, simply spoon the berry mix into the cooled crusts and add a scoop of ice cream on top. If you don’t have a mini pie tin, you can use a muffin tin – although individual ramekins also work.

8. Lemon posset

Lemon posset

Another dessert that’s surprisingly speedy to prepare is lemon posset. Posset has been enjoyed in this country for hundreds of years, and Shakespeare references it in several of his plays. If you’ve never had posset before, it’s rather like panna cotta, although posset uses the acid found in citrus to help it set rather than gelatine.

To make this simple yet delicious dessert, all you need to do is bring cream and sugar to a boil, then stir in the lemon juice and zest. Once it’s cooled, pour it into individual ramekins, cover it with cling film, and pop it in the fridge until it’s set into a rich and wobbly, pudding-like consistency.

When you’re ready for dessert, top the posset with fresh berries (blueberries go deliciously with the lemon) or fresh mint. To make this simple lemon posset, try this recipe from What a Girl Eats – and if you prefer limes to lemon, why not make lime posset instead?

9. Baklava cups

Baklava cups

Want something chewy, sticky, and crispy instead of smooth and creamy? This baklava cup recipe from Gimme Some Oven should be right up your street! Made from layers of filo pastry and chopped nuts, and drenched with syrup or honey, baklava is incredibly moreish. Once you bite through the shatteringly crisp pastry and into the crunchy, sticky-sweet nuts, it can be difficult to stop.

Thankfully, though, you can make individual baklava treats. Traditionally, baklava is made in large pans or oven dishes and then cut into slices, but a quicker and easier alternative is to make baklava cups, where your delicious nutty filling is spooned into filo cups. All you need is filo pastry, nuts, syrup, and honey, or another natural sweetener.

To make your filo cups, simply brush filo pastry with oil or butter, cut into circles or squares, press into a muffin tin and bake (check out this recipe from Not Enough Cinnamon for more details). Then, blitz or chop your nuts, stir in your sweetener, and spoon into your cups. Your baklava cups are ready to be eaten – though you might want to stick them back in the oven to make them extra gooey.

Final thoughts…

Whether you’re watching your weight, sugar intake, or cholesterol – or you’re just trying to eat more healthily in general – there are many reasons why you might want to keep an eye on the amount of sweet treats you’re consuming.

But while it’s important to be mindful of what we’re putting into our bodies, life is far too short to deny yourself the food you’re craving. And, for many of us, there are few things more satisfying than tucking into a rich chocolate mousse, a sweet and creamy cheesecake, or a sophisticated tiramisu.

So why not strike the perfect balance, avoid the temptation of leftovers, and make some of these mini desserts? Not only is every recipe on this page delicious, sweet, and satisfying, but they’re also quick and easy to knock up – and absolutely worth the effort!

For more tips, why not check out our article; 9 tips to prevent overeating and encourage portion control?

Will you be trying any of these mini dessert recipes? Or do you have a recipe of your own that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.