Sweet Sensations, Healthy Dessert Creations

February 21, 2024
freezer full of pints of browndog creamery ice cream

Photo courtesy of Browndog Creamery

You can view dessert as an exclamation point at the end of a meal or a pick-me-up during a long day; either way, it’s supposed to make you feel good. In a world where indulgence often comes with a side of guilt, finding a sweet treat that doesn’t make you feel bloated or groggy afterward can feel like striking gold. There are plenty of Metro Detroit bakeries and treat shops that offer healthy desserts that are not only made with healthy ingredients but taste good too! From artisan ice cream to plant-based delicacies, local businesses are redefining dessert with innovative offerings that promise pleasure without guilt. Let’s delve into these delights…


135 Pierce Street, Birmingham

As Michigan’s first cheesery and dessert bar made entirely from plants, Planthropie is quite the destination. They promote organic, plant-based bites that are 100% vegan, ethically sourced, mostly free of gluten, and completely free of refined sugars. Choose between the signature or salted caramel cheesecakes, made with a sweet cashew cheese, almond crust, and a hint of caramel. The signature is topped with a triple berry compote, while the salted caramel features sea salt flakes atop decadent caramel. Other desserts include a lemon cake, with a cashew crust and lemon-infused white chocolate cream, the Rose Pistachio with a rose-infused cream layered on a pistachio crust, and the Tirawmisu, Planthropie’s version of tiramisu that’s made with cashew cheese, coffee sauce, and a delectable crust. 

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12930 Capital Street, Oak Park

120 East Main Street, Northville

Browndog Creamery stands out with its commitment to crafting small-batch, craft ice cream that’s as unique as it is delicious. “From Fireside Vanilla to Basil Stracciatella and Yellow Snow, our creations are unparalleled in their uniqueness,” says Paul Gabriel, CEO/co-founder. Browndog prides itself on using locally sourced Michigan dairy and premium ingredients, with a menu that includes vegan and gluten-free options. “Explore guilt-free indulgence with our diverse dessert offerings tailored to accommodate your dietary needs,” Gabriel adds, “And for those moments when you just crave a sweet escape, we advocate for moderation as the key to a healthy lifestyle.” Notably, Browndog Creamery is the first and only ice cream manufacturer licensed to create Faygo ice cream, offering innovative flavors like Choc & Rye and Groovy Grape. Pick up a pint, like blood orange coconut sorbet or PB&J ice cream, from one of the Browndog shops, at a Barlorwhere it’ll be combined in a cocktail for your enjoyment, at a local grocery, or shipped nationwide.

super dog browndog creamery gluten free ice cream - healthy desserts
Photo courtesy of Browndog Creamery


204 West 4th Street, Royal Oak

Cacao Tree Cafe champions the power of high-quality ingredients to create desserts that are not only healthy but also incredibly tasty. Their menu features an array of sweet treats that are free from refined sugars, offering a guilt-free way to satisfy your sweet tooth. The raw chocolates are house-made from raw cacao paste and cacao butter, with natural sweeteners like maple or honey, and other superfoods and super-herbs. The avocado pudding is a blend of house-made almond milk, raw cacao powder, Michigan pure maple syrup, avocado, and vanilla. Another yummy treat from Cacao Tree Cafe is the Cacao Orange Bites, made from cashews, dates, cacao powder, and oranges. 


Multiple locations in Metro Detroit

Treat Dreams is known for its creative approach to ice cream, with a range of unique flavors that can also cater to health-conscious dessert lovers. Their menu includes dairy-free and vegan options, ensuring that everyone can find something to enjoy without compromise. Each location’s menu varies slightly and changes regularly, but you can bet on there being sorbet and vegan flavors available. Locate the closest Treat Dreams to you, and follow its corresponding social media pages for flavor updates. 


316 East 11 Mile Road, Royal Oak

Marilyn’s Detroit adds a touch of fun to the healthy desserts scene with its organic smoothies and superfruit bowls. Focusing on quality and flavor, Marilyn’s Detroit crafts liquid desserts that are perfect for those looking to indulge, featuring organic ingredients, no added refined sugars, unsweetened nut milks, and innovative recipes. The Mint Royale smoothie, for example, features peppermint, cacao nibs, banana, cashew, spinach, avocado, vanilla, and almond milk for a delicious combination that won’t make you feel groggy afterward. Marilyn’s Detroit can be found at the Royal Oak Farmers Market on the weekends, or be scheduled for an event. 

Tasty appetizing smoothie acai bowls. Top view.  Served in bowl. Healthy life clean eating concept

For even more delicious smoothie bowl options, check out our list here.


310 West 4th Street, Royal Oak

iFreeze Creamery brings innovation to the dessert table with its liquid nitrogen ice cream. Customers can enjoy custom-made ice cream creations that are not only a spectacle to watch being made but also offer healthier options, including dairy-free and vegan varieties. Start by choosing a size, select a house mix or your own flavor, and then add in your favorite mix-ins. Some of the non-dairy house mixes include Biscoff, java chip, and salted crunch varieties. As for building your own flavor combinations, pick from chocolate, vanilla, peanut butter, or coffee non-dairy ice cream, and then toppings like almonds, bananas, chocolate chip cookies, strawberries, and more. 


5838 Schaefer Road, Dearborn

Cheat Treats Cafe is a haven for those who love to indulge without breaking their diet. Specializing in healthy desserts that are as nutritious as they are delicious, the cafe offers a range of options that cater to various dietary restrictions, including vegan and gluten-free treats that don’t skimp on flavor. Choose from favorites like triple berry or double chocolate cake, coconut cake pops, or pecan pie cookies. From cookies and cakes to cheesecakes and smoothies, Cheat Treats Cafe has sweets for everyone.

This article has been updated to include new information. The original article was published on February 13, 2019.