We think being vegan is pretty sweet. But when it comes to vegan desserts, it can be tricky to understand what confections and ingredients align with plant-based dietary choices. Before you toss out your grandmother’s apple pie recipe or swear off the dessert cart at your favorite restaurant, let us be your guide and share answers to your top three vegan dessert questions.
1. What Kind of Sweets Can Vegans Eat?
In short, vegan diets exclude any animal-based products. When you think about main ingredients in desserts, animal products like butter, milk, cream cheese, and eggs are typically included. Sweeteners like honey and white sugar (due to how it’s filtered to achieve the color), as well as thickeners like gelatin found in many sweets, should also be avoided.
Vegans may have been limited with their vegan dessert options decades ago, but today there are many plant-based and cruelty-free ingredients, specialty eateries and bake shops, and conscious food manufacturers, as well as social media influencers who create sweets vegans can eat.
If candy is your hustle, check out this list of vegan-approved gummy and chocolate varieties to satisfy any sweet tooth. If you scream for ice cream, feast your eyes on this exhaustive and well-curated guide to vegan ice cream. If you’re seeking baked goods, you’re likely to find vegan desserts at local bakeries or grocery stores, especially if you’re located in an urban area. However, if your “vegan bakery near me” Google search is coming up null, check out this list of bakeshops that ship!
2. What Does Vegan Baking Mean?
If you’re committed to baking your own vegan desserts, what does that look like? Like we mentioned, common ingredients found in most recipes need plant-based alternatives. New to vegan eating? No problem – check out this handy chart of items to stock in your pantry when baking vegan treats:
- Instead of butter, there are many vegan butter options, and in baking, you can often use fruit purees like applesauce, pure pumpkin (especially in the fall!) or mashed bananas, coconut oil or vegetable shortening.
- Instead of milk, try dairy-free milk options like almond, coconut, soy, or oat.
- Instead of eggs, try vegan egg replacers, or flax eggs – made of one tablespoon milled flaxseed and 3 tablespoons of warm water – to successfully mimic eggs in how they thicken and stabilize.
- Instead of white sugar, agave nectar and maple sugar work well as sweeteners, but from a texture perspective, Sugar in the Raw is a healthy choice.
- Instead of gelatin, algae-based agar and fruit pectins serve to get that jelly-like feel, just be sure to substitute ratio-wise appropriately (not always 1:1).
- White flour is typically vegan, however lots of vegan recipes use healthier alternatives like almond, whole wheat or coconut flour; once again, be sure to look up the right substitution ratios.
- Instead of cream cheese, swap in Vevan UnCreamCheese, offering the same texture and creamy goodness you know and love, but none of the dairy.
Your best bet is to follow actual vegan dessert recipes, as they take into account all ingredients used to make up the entire dish. When you try to augment a favorite non-vegan recipe, you may find yourself struggling to get the desired consistency. However, these alternatives are useful when you just need to make one or two substitutions to accommodate plant-based and vegan diets.
3. Are Vegan Desserts Healthier?
Vegan desserts certainly can be healthier, as they’re often made with more nutritious, less processed ingredients. However, many ingredients can be high in calories, especially when using nut-based butters or milks. Also, while not refined sugars, fructose is still present in alternative ingredients like fruit, and thus even vegan desserts should still be enjoyed in moderation.
Vevan’s Favorite Vegan Desserts
What’s one way to make vegan desserts 100% and 0% dairy? Add Vevan cheese! Check out our tops favorite sweet plant-based concoctions:
- Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites With Vevan Maple Vanilla UnCreamCheese Topping – did we have you at pumpkin? If so, this is sure to become a new go-to! With a spiced cookie crust, vegan cheesecake filling, and a maple-infused topping using our UnCreamCheese, these are a treat to fall in love with.
- Awesome Apple Bread Pudding – This is not your grandma’s bread pudding! With a savory twist, the addition of Vevan Ched-Shred, the combination of tart apples and cardamom maple-butter sauce make this a crowd pleaser. Be sure to top with your favorite plant-based whipped topping!
- Mini Cookie Sandwiches With Vevan Caramelized Peach & Maple UnCreamCheese – This no-bake dessert is a no-brainer and ready in just ten minutes. Grab a bag of your favorite
vegan or gluten-free cookies and a tub of Vevan Caramelized Peach & Maple UnCreamCheese and you have everything you need for a light, yet satisfying indulgence.
How to Enjoy Vegan Desserts
There are many ways to indulge and still follow a vegan diet. Our favorite way to enjoy vegan desserts? After one of our insanely delicious, outrageously awesome cheesy mains.
Armed with answers to your top questions, may your adventures in consuming and preparing vegan desserts be as easy as pie, a piece of cake, a… you get the picture.