Peri-conceptional exposure to maternal obesogenic nutrition is associated with in utero programming of later-life overweight and metabolic disease in the offspring. We aimed to investigate whether dietary intervention with a modified fatty acid quality in an obesogenic high-calorie (HC) diet during the preconception and gestational phases can improve unfavourable effects of an adipogenic maternal environment. In NMRI mice, peri-conceptional and gestational obesity was induced by feeding a HC diet (controls), and they were compared with dams on a fat-modified (Fat-mod) HC diet of the same energy content but enriched with medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) and adjusted to a decreased ratio of n-6 to n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs). Effects on maternal and placental outcomes at delivery (day 17.5 post coitum) were investigated. Despite comparable energy assimilation between the two groups of dams, the modified fatty acid composition of the high-caloric diet induced lower maternal body weight, weights of fat depots, adipocyte size, and hepatic fat accumulation compared to the unmodified HC diet group. Further, there was a trend towards lower fasting glucose, insulin and leptin concentrations in dams fed the Fat-mod HC diet. Phenotypic changes were accompanied by inhibition of transcript and protein expression of genes involved in hepatic de novo lipogenesis comprising PPARG2 and its target genes Fasn, Acaca, Fabp4, whereas regulation of other lipogenic factors (Srebf1, Nr1h3, Abca1) appeared to be more complex. The modified diet led to a sex-specific placental response by upregulating PPARG-dependent fatty acid transport gene expression in female versus male placentae. Qualitative modification of the fatty acid spectrum of a high-energy maternal diet, using a combination of both MCFAs and n-3 LC-PUFAs, seems to be a promising interventional approach to ameliorate the adipogenic milieu of mice before and during gestation.