5 Simple Vegan Dessert Recipes

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Written By: Suzanne Kvilhaug

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” -Elizabeth Barrett Browning and me about vegan bakeries. Whenever I’m in a vegan bakery, I feel like shouting out “abracadabra” repeatedly while ordering one of everything.

People quickly realize the genius of vegan baked goods and find that in most cases they are better than their non-vegan counterparts. If you’re new to vegan baking, want to add some new vegan recipes to your list, or looking to bring some vegan dessert recipes to holiday parties, here are 5 recipes that capture the vegan magic. The best part? None of the recipes are too difficult to make, and there aren’t ingredients that’ll send you on a wild goose chase to find. All are crowd favorites veganized and the odds are high that people will ask you the classic question that goes along with vegan desserts, “are you sure these are vegan?!”

1. Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gimme gimme gimme! A traditional favorite made with a progressive take, this Vegan Chocolate Chip cookie recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie looks as good as it gets. Soft and chewy in texture, with that irresistible freshly baked look that you can’t pass on no matter how healthy you’re trying to eat. In reality, I’m not drooling over here but for descriptive purposes, I’m drooling over here! And whoever you make these for will be too. No pastry chef experience required, and you only need one bowl to make them. You can also choose to make extra cookie dough balls and freeze them to bake at a later date. Keep in mind that chocolate can sometimes be made with milk, so read the labels to see if they are vegan. Here’s a brand of vegan chocolate chips that I’ve seen in stores and other brands can be found online.

2. Vegan Baked Apple Cider Gluten-Free Doughnuts

Ok, writing this article hungry was a BAD idea! These vegan baked apple cider gluten-free doughnuts from Minimalist Baker is the kind of dessert you look at and can’t get out of your head. Made with aquafaba, the liquid from a can of chickpeas (keep an open-mind) whips nicely and mimics the properties and texture of egg whites. It not only acts as a binder, but also helps the donuts stay light and fluffy. The batter itself is made with wholesome ingredients like almond flour, maple syrup, coconut sugar, and a gluten-free flour blend. Described as tender, perfectly spiced and easy to make….judges are holding up a 10/10 across the board.

3. Vegan Banana Bread

And the award for the ideal banana bread recipe goes to the vegan banana bread recipe from Oh She Glows. Judging by the reviews, this is THE banana bread to make omnivores, vegans, vegetarians,  pescatarians and...well, you get the point. Vegan, nut-free, refined sugar-free and soy-free, this wholesome recipe includes light/white spelt flour, plant-based milk, pure maple syrup, pure vanilla extract and only takes 10 minutes to put together. Top with sliced banana and walnuts and if you want to add a little something else, use cinnamon, nutmeg or dark chocolate chips.

4. Vegan Vanilla Bean Cupcakes With Chocolate Ganache

I was so pumped up when I first went vegan that I did what most newly vegans do --bought a bunch of vegan recipe books and went to town in the kitchen. Flour everywhere, dishes overflowing in the sink and a whole lot of enthusiasm about my creations. One of the books I picked up was Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World by vegan chef and author Isa Chandra. I was blown away at how good everything was and went on a cupcake making spree. These vegan vanilla bean cupcakes with chocolate ganache by Isa Chandra are made with real vanilla bean, unsweetened almond milk, apple cider vinegar, pure vanilla extract and pure maple syrup. The chocolate ganache is made with almond milk, semisweet chocolate chips and pure maple syrup. If these are for a holiday party, here’s some ideas for vegan toppings.

5. Vegan Fudge Brownies

I’ve never met a vegan brownie I didn’t love. These vegan fudge brownies from Del’s Cooking Twist are rich, fudgy, decadent and get an A+ for presentation. The main difference with vegan brownies vs. non-vegan brownies is the use of a flaxseed “egg” instead of regular eggs. A flaxseed egg is made of ground flaxseed that you combine with water until you get a thick and fluffy viscous texture making it look like an egg. As for the chocolate part, be sure to get a high quality unsweetened cocoa powder. Look for a dutch-processed one (Valrhona, Droste) as it has more fat content than the natural one, bringing more moisture. With a prep time of 20 minutes and very detailed instructions and helpful tips, these are a sure bet for any occasion.