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High Calorie Recipes

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Feels like forever since my last post.

Really, though, it’s only been two days. I left the last post up for a bit because of its important message, and also because this gave me a chance to thoroughly read through all of the heartfelt and personal comments so many people took time to leave.

It was especially wonderful seeing readers responding to and encouraging each other in the comment section with ideas for high calorie recipes or just with support in general. Please, always feel free to respond to other commenters on my posts. If someone asks a question and you know the answer, share your knowledge! I don’t have all the answers, and so I’m happy when someone more knowledgeable speaks up.

Today’s post is a follow-up to Thursday’s. It was written for anyone who’d like some higher calorie recipes and is tired of resorting to so-called junk food all the time. I once tried the junk food route to gain weight. (For more about that, see the following post: My Junk Food Phase.)

It did not work for me, and I felt awful. No way could I continue to scarf down pints of vegan ice cream every day, or eat two slices of cake as a daily snack—I was beginning to hate dessert! I finally had to take a good look at my diet and try something new. That “something new” was adopting a healthy, but still high-calorie, diet.

Many of my favorite recipes on this blog are the high calorie recipes (or the ones that can be high in calories if you employ some of the optional ingredients or substitutions). For example: One of my favorite “weight gain” recipes is actually a recipe I specifically highlight as being low in calories:

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Low Calorie Peanut Butter

Yes, the recipe has half the calories of peanut butter… So if you eat 1 or 2 tablespoons on a sandwich, you’ve saved calories. But I like to eat the entire recipe in a serving, which makes it closer to 500-600 calories. It’s one of my favorite high calorie recipes, and it’s not made with hard-to-find ingredients. Just peanut butter and banana… what could be easier??

And if you use a frozen banana (I highly recommend you do!), it’s like ice cream. So incredibly delicious! Other recipes on my blog that are—or can be—higher in calories:

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Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Shake

Seriously, forget Boost. This shake is way better. Actually, I’ve never tried Boost since it’s not vegan… For awhile I did drink some weight-gain-type shakes (called Power Dreams) from the Imagine Foods company. I liked the chocolate ones best. (Surprise!) But then the company went and discontinued those drinks. Oh well; I like my own better anyway.

(People with peanut allergies can easily sub almond butter or an allergy-friendly alternative like sunbutter or soynut butter.)

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Blueberry Pie Pancakes

I always always always add the optional oil when I make these pancakes for myself. And if you can spare the calories, I highly recommend you do the same. Using coconut oil makes them taste like buttery shortbread, bursting with giant blueberries.

Darn it, now I’m craving pancakes.

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Coconut Melties

Another one of my favorite things to eat. These little candies are absolutely addictive. You cannot eat just one two seventeen. Thankfully, they’re also incredibly easy to make. I prepare a huge amount at once… but, even still, they disappear so fast!

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Chocolate-Raspberry Fudge Cake

Yet another personal favorite. Ok, so I have a lot of favorites. Since first creating the recipe a few years ago, I don’t think a week has gone by where I haven’t had a slice of this fantabulous fudge cake. For extra calories, eat more than one serving. You can do that, right?

I certainly always do! And yet, it doesn’t leave me feeling gross and sluggish like when I used to eat those sugary layer cakes every day.

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Homemade Larabars

Those are “Oatmeal-Raisin Cookie” Bars in the photo. They’re one of my favorite high calorie recipes on the blog. (How many times have I said “my favorite” now in this post? Sorry, can’t help it.)

I don’t really like the crunchy texture of granola, but I sometimes use this recipe as one would use granola– sprinkled over other foods, or just eaten straight from the food processor. Really, why bother shaping into bars? That just burns calories ;).

 high calorie recipes

Four-Ingredient Ice Cream

This ice cream has just 50 calories per serving… If you use almond milk, that is. Opt for the super-creamy version made with creamer or canned coconut milk and you can easily (painlessly!) take in some extra calories.

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Chocolate Frosting Shots

A glass of nothing but frosting? Heck yes! This recipe is very high in healthy fats. And none of the sugar or processed ingredients found in that Pillsbury stuff. Which means… go ahead and eat the whole glass. You know you want to!

What are some of your favorite high calorie recipes?

If you can’t tell from this post, mine include coconut, peanut butter, and really dark chocolate. Also, most raw nuts, and olive oil (on things, not plain lol!). Every now and then, I give avocado another chance because I want to like it; it’s so healthy! But alas, I just can’t see what everyone else seems to love about it.

For more, see the following: How to Gain Weight on a Healthy Diet.

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. Steph says:

    Not that I need extra calpries, but I love peanut butter, raw desserts, and raw cashews! Anyways your ice cream looks so marshmallow-y! My blender is a weak little guy so mine always comes out icy.

  2. High calorie foods are best in the form of nuts! AND your Chocolate-Banana Fudge Cake 😀

  3. Your banana peanut butter is SO good. I love it on toast.

    My favorite good fat source is avocado. They are really good in smoothies – you don’t detect the taste, but you get all the creaminess. Maybe you could try a chocolate-banana-avocado shake? :)

  4. Lisa says:

    fav high calorie food? PEANUT BUTTER. eat it all day, every day<3 :)

  5. Hi Katie! I feel bad that you feel you have to do this, but I’m glad you can be a resource for other girls out there who have trouble gaining weight. My mom and I are the same way – we eat thousands of calories every day, but still manage to stay thin. I’m positive that “having a little fat on your bones” is really just a societal thing that is totally unnecessary. Keep up what you do here, because I’m sure your low-calorie desserts help so many girls enjoy what they eat while trying to maintain or lose weight.

    1. Amy says:

      Yes, I feel like “having a little fat on bones” doesn’t apply to those who are naturally quite thin and still eat well. I feel like people whose bodies naturally have a bit of fat though should not feel overly pressured to lose it, if they have been eating right and exercising already.

  6. Mara says:

    I don’t like avocado on salads or sandwiches but I love guacamole! Have you tried it? I’m going to try the smoothies people are recommending you although I don’t need extra calories!

    1. Yeah, guac is pretty much a staple around here (Texas). We probably have the best guac outside of Mexico… and yet I still don’t like it :(.

  7. As I sit here – a plump vegan – I marvel. My MIL always tried to gain weight, too, and my body always was in awe. :) The problem is that I love all those precious foods that are for you who need to gain weight. My current favorite is coconut cream! Oh, man. Friday I made a “cheesecake” that was mostly nuts (walnuts and almonds in the crust and cashews in the body) and coconut cream. I seriously could have eaten the whole thing BY MYSELF. Thankfully, none of my family was going to allow that! lol The other thing I am addicted to are the peanut butter shakes. Hmm…no WONDER I’m not skinny! LOL Keep up the good work, Katie. I tell lots of people about your site.

    1. Aw thank you so much! And lol I wish I lived near you… I’d have helped you eat that cheesecake. Coconut cream is incredible!

  8. Krista says:

    I am certainly not one to need to add calories to my diet. I’m not overweight, but I could probably stand to lose a few pounds to be in better shape to jog, etc. I do admit liking the higher calorie yummies you make, too. A little note about avocados: I love them in any shape or form, and I will share a secret with you about a nice way to hide their flavor. I throw a combo of different frozen fruits in the blender with an avocado to make a deliciously creamy ice cream treat even my avocado hating daughter loves. One of my favorite combos is banana, mango, raspberry, avocado. Frozen figs are another nice addition when our tree over-produces and leaves me with tons of frozen figs (which are pretty high in calories, as well). Oh, another high calorie snack I grew up with (that disgusts some people when they just look at the fat content involved)… My great aunt used to mix margarine with peanut butter and maple syrup to make a creamy spread for toast. It is one of my favorite comfort foods I crave when stressed. I’m sure there are ways to make it healthier with something other than margarine. Some kind of healthier oil might be interesting. Sounds gross to add oil to the peanut butter, but the creamy texture is amazing. Your banana peanut butter spread with the addition of maple syrup might do it. It is the peanut butter/maple syrup combo that is the good part in my opinion. I use that in oatmeal, too. A pinch of salt added makes one of my all-time favorite breakfast foods. Hmmm. I must be hungry. Could probably go on and on here…

    1. Thanks, Krista! I’m excited to try making avocado ice cream now! :)
      I’m also jealous you have a fig tree. I love fresh figs… I’m just sad their season is so short.

      We have a banana tree… but it never yields any fruit!

  9. my fave high calorie food is peanut butter! i tried to give it up for lent. who was i kidding?!?!?! i couldn’t last 12 hours. i’m actually baking some peanut butter oatmeal butterscotch cookies right now. :)

  10. Audrey says:

    Dang, now I wish I had to gain weight! 😀

  11. jenn a. says:

    I am so incredibly jealous that you get to enjoy the full fat yummy buttery tasting recipes. I look at fat and I gain weight.

  12. Catalina Maya says:

    For breakfast this morning, I decided that I’d use up the rest of my strawberries and whip up your Strawberry Shortcake Pancakes – sans fat, per usual. Upon reading this post, however, I took your advice and whipped up said pancakes, but this time with a tablespoon of coconut butter.
    Oh my goodness – it’s amazing how that mere tablespoon transforms the pancakes from being a little dry and scarce into a luscious, incredibly rich, and profuse stack of pancakes!

    I’m quite happy to report that my stomach is replete with this outcome! Thank you so much :)

    1. So glad you tried them with the oil! Really, I think it’s what MAKES the pancakes. But then again, I think I’d like ANYthing if it included coconut oil ;).

  13. My favorite high calorie foods is peanut butter and granola! I could eat them endlessly!

  14. Sheree says:

    Your food photos are just so pretty. I haven’t been here long enough to know if that is what you do for a living, but if you don’t, you should! Food stylist extraordinaire!

    1. Aw thank you so much! This actually is my job… but food styling is just one part of it. I’ve always wondered how professional food stylists landed that job!

  15. Shina says:

    I love all your recipes that I’ve tried, but I’m scared to try the ones with banana’s, because I hate the taste of bananas! I was wondering, can you taste the bananas that are in your recipes? Everything else looks amazing to me…except that one ingredient! Thank you!

    1. Shelley says:

      if you use a ripe banana, you most definitely can taste it. Katie advised me once to use a greener banana if I didn’t want to taste the banana as much. I haven’t tried it yet though b/c I have so many frozen ripe banana pieces lol. I like banana, but sometimes I’d like it not to be the primary taste in what I’m eating/drinking.

      1. Mya says:

        I sometimes use a banana that has a little bit of green on each end when I don’t want to taste as much banana flavor. Chocolate and or cocoa are the best banana flavor cover-ups. But… I still would use a less ripe banana if you really can’t stand the taste and add a bit of sweetener to the recipe (unless you like unsweetened things) because less ripe bananas are nowhere near as sweet.

        1. Shina says:

          Thanks, Shelly and Mya! I’ll try that!

  16. Moni'sMeals says:

    We really think alike Katie, this whole time since I have found your blog, I have been making banana/pb and had NO idea you had the same exact recipe/idea! So good, I like with frozen bananas too. :)
    my go to is avocado, nut butters, muffins, granola just to name a few.

    Have a great day!

  17. Michaela says:

    I think it is so weird, bc my weight stays the same, no matter how many fatty calories I consume. However, if I increase my carb-intake, I gain weight within seconds. Like, I just have to look at pasta and gain weight.
    So strange.
    I love almonds as my no 1 fat and protein source.

    1. Shelley says:

      I’m the same way, which is such a shame b/c I LOVE BREAD. So much. Science says that a calorie is a calorie but I beg to differ.

      1. Michaela says:

        I trained myself not to eat it anymore, as I do love it, too!
        Oh, I have never believed that a calorie is a calorie, definitely not!
        We are the proven example, right? 😉

        1. Shelley says:

          haha yes!

          1. Lyza says:

            I have to beg to differ!! If I use anything fatty like nuts I will gain weight, but since I switched over to adding white rice in my diet and breads and things, I’ve been dropping. I have an extremely hard time digesting food in general though, so maybe you guys just have healthy digestive tracts and need that fat for the fullness factor, otherwise you just feel hungrier later on? Whereas I just eat the fat and get addicted and want more and eat more and then get stomach aches all day (that’s probably also a food-intolerance…that’s pretty common amongst people with food-intolerances…getting addicted to what they’re intolerant to and then not being able to digest it properly and it making them feel physically even worse). Anyway–Interesting…I definitely have seen a lot of trend with people who eat lots of fats–they tend to feel pretty sleepy/sluggish if they aren’t burning them all. I guess it’s all about balance and what works for you personally.

          2. Nikki says:

            I think the case in point is that every-body is different. Having different needs, and responding differently to different foods (and this can even change over time for one person). That is why there are people who claim that low carb/high protein diets work great, yet others feel the complete opposite is best.
            You find similar truths in many dietary approaches (ie: think about how Ayurveda divides people into doshas – each of which thrive on different foods, and do poorly with others.)

  18. Aja says:

    and the best part is peanut butter and dark chocolate are really good for you. Coconut is depending on who you ask, too. Love all these recipes!
    Frozen bananas into soft serve or milkshakes or even that better peanut butter is the only way I can eat bananas and they are delicious!

  19. Jessica says:

    I’m in love with avocado and hummus sandwiches, that’s my favourite way to to eat avocado. It’s so rich and buttery, I can’t help myself. I must try your coconut melties though, they look so cute!

    1. Lana says:

      Oh wow I absolutely must try that!

  20. Shelley says:

    Ice cream and olive oil. Not together though lol. Hummus is definitely a runner up! Best veggie dip ever. Excuse me, I need to go to the kitchen.

    1. Catalina Maya says:

      I tried ice cream and olive oil together after seeing it in a cookbook…. and yes, it’s as disgusting as it sounds!