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Vegan Dessert Recipes and Tips!


The best vegan dessert recipes from my kitchen to yours. Cherry Torte, Fudge, Baklava, Mousse Pie, Chocolate cake and more. Plus the perfect egg substitute.

Droolworthy vegan desserts. 'Nuf said!

Desserts have come a long way in the past few years. With new foods now readily available, like organic powdered sugar and non-ydrogenated/non-dairy butter, it's now easy and fun to whip up desserts you can be proud of.

If you're anything like me you grew up with a HUGE sweet tooth. I remember eating Ho-Ho's and Coca-Cola for lunch in high school, Twix candy bar for an afternoon snack, and ice cream for a late-night dessert. It's a wonder my teeth didn't fall out of my head from all that sugar!

But over the years (ahem...) my sweet tooth is no longer as prominent as it used to be. But that doesn't mean I don't enjoy delectable desserts. Oy, no way! The only difference is that now I'm a little more picky -- they have to be near perfection in order for me to enjoy them to the maximum.

Which is why you'll only find those dessert recipes that pass my very picky inspection. They've been changed and tweaked over the years and have passed the ULTIMATE test: Thumbs-up from my non-vegetarian dinner guests. I hope you'll find one or two ideas that you can call your own.

Please note: There seems to be some sort of belief rolling around out there that desserts that are vegan are good for you, versus non-vegan desserts which are not good for you. Please be assured, desserts (whether vegan or not) are not, generally, health foods.

So please be sure to limit the number of desserts you have to no more than once or twice per week. Why? Because for every dessert you have, you're squeezing out room for the healthy foods your body needs, like whole grains, beans, veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds. Eat a balanced diet each and every day so you can enjoy the occasional sweet treat without any feelings of remorse.

Happy cooking!

p.s. If there's a recipe you'd like to see, please drop me a request through the VeganCoach.com contact page. Thanks!


Baklava

So this really should be called "Baklava...kind of", because while it is very similar, I'm quite sure those who make traditional Baklava would burn me at the stake for making the comparison.

That said, this was my first attempt at baklava, with the ingredients I had on hand, and it received a big thumbs up from a gaggle of girlfriends, most of whom do not like traditional baklava. They liked that this version was not as sticky and super sweet as baklava normally is.

So here is the recipe for you to play around with. I used date sugar, which made for a darker and richer topping.

READ ALL INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE YOU BEGIN.

Photo of Baklava
  • 16 ounces phyllo dough, defrosted (usually takes 1-2 days to defrost)

FOR THE SAUCE:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups date sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3/4 cup coconut nectar or pure maple syrup (or liquid sweetener of choice)

FOR THE FILLING:

  • 2 cups nuts (I used a mix of walnuts, pine nuts, and macadamia nuts)
  • 1 cup organic Earth Balance (non-hydrogenated margarine)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Make the sauce first. In a medium pot, heat water and sugar over medium-high heat, stirring often, until sugar is mostly melted. Remove from heat (very important or you will have a lava flow on your hands!), and add remaining ingredients. Return to a low heat, uncovered, for 20 minutes, whisking occasionally.

Set aside to let cool, then place in fridge for a while to ensure it is chilled thoroughly. (In the cooler months, you can place the pot outside.)

2. In a large frying pan, place walnuts, pine nuts, and coarsely chopped macadamia nuts. Heat until toasted, remove from the pan, finely chop, toss with cinnamon, and set aside.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Melt organic Earth Balance in a small saucepan. Pour into a bowl. Set aside.

4. Prepare your work space. Using a bit of the melted EB, butter the bottom and sides of a 9"x13" baking pan. Set EB within close reach with a basting brush. Place cinnamon nuts within easy reach.

5. From here on out, you will work VERY quickly because once you open your phyllo dough, it will begin to dry out...

You will use the entire package of phyllo. You will start with 8 sheets of phyllo, followed by layers of nuts and phyllo, ending with 8 sheets of phyllo for the top layer.

Here's how you do it...

Drape the left half of the phyllo long-ways over the baking pan. Count out 8 sheets from the bottom of the right half of the phyllo and place a piece of waxed paper over these sheets so you know when you have come to the top layers.

Lift the left half of the phyllo and lightly drape over the right half so you are looking at your empty baking pan. Carefully grab two sheets of phyllo from the left half, place these sheets over the bottom of the pan, and lightly baste with butter. Grab the next two sheets from the left half of the phyllo and lightly butter this as well. Repeat until you have 8 half-sheets buttered.

Add 3 Tablespoons nuts. As before, cover with two sheets of phyllo and lightly butter. Add 3 more Tbsp of nuts. Cover with two sheets of phyllo and lightly butter. At some point you will switch from the left half of the phyllo to the right half of the phyllo. Continue until you reach the waxed paper. All the nuts should be gone at this point.

Then, just as you did at the beginning, carefully peel two sheets, butter, two more sheets, butter, etc, until all the phyllo is incorporated into the baklava.

Cut the baklava into desired sized-pieces, making rectangles or cutting on an angle to make triangles.

6. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until baklava is browned. Pour COLD sauce over HOT baklava. Allow to cool.

7. Leave baklava uncovered or it will get soggy.

Yield: Can make up to 30 individual slices of baklava (I made 16 big slices). Serve in individual cupcake liners, if desired.

RAW Fruit Cobbler

A delectable raw food vegan dessert that is good for you! Enjoy to your heart's content. Compliments of my good ol' pal from Chicago, vegan chef Vanessa Sherwood. (Thanks, Vanessa!)

Photo of Raw Blueberry Cobbler

FOR THE CRUMBLE TOPPING

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts (Optional: Soaked and dehydrated to make them dry and crispy. If you don't have a dehydrator, then simply toast in the oven at 400 degrees for 5 minutes or so, but F.Y.I. -- the recipe will no longer be raw.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup pitted dates (Medjool)

FOR THE FILLING:

  • 3 cups blueberries, cherries, or strawberries, frozen, thawed and drained
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Make the crumble topping: Process all ingredients in a food processor except the dates. Add dates one at a time to form coarse crumbs.

2. Make the filling: In a strong blender, combine 1 cup cherries with dates, lemon juice and cinnamon. Then toss in a bowl with the remaining 2 cups cherries.

3. Put cherry mixture in a square glass baking dish. Top with crumble topping. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Alternatively, you can put the cherry mixture directly into serving dishes and top with crumble topping.

Serves 3 -- recipe can be doubled.

Cherry Torte

I adapted this recipe from Mom's famous Cherry Torte, my FAVORITE dessert growing up. Now it's been magically transformed into a vegan dessert that's ready for you to devour! OMG!

Photo of Cherry Torte

This recipe originally called for 1 package of Dream Whip Whipped Topping, made according to package directions. But it was recently brought to my attention that Dream Whip is no longer vegan (it contains casein and whey).

Soyatoo Soy Whip

For a vegan version of Dream Whip, use Soyatoo Whipping Cream (made with organic soy). Please note this is found in a small aseptic-type box (like the one on the right) that you whip up with a mixer, not the stuff in the spray can. Whole Foods usually carries this in their refrigerated section, but call ahead. If not, you can almost certainly special order it.

I also love the options for the dairy-free whipped topping shared by the amazing Alisa Fleming over at GoDairyFree.com, especially her recommendations for the homemade versions.

No matter which route you go, you want to look for a whipped topping that's on the thick side so it holds up to the weight of the fruit on top (which is why the stuff in the spray cans don't work for this recipe).


FOR THE CRUST:

  • 2 sticks non-dairy butter (preferably non-hydrogenated too)(1 cup)
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Sucanat, or other granulated sugar

FOR THE FILLING:

  • 1 package Dream Whip -or- 2 packages Soyatoo Soy Whip, made according to package directions* -or- equivalent of another dairy-free thick whipped topping
  • 1 (8 oz.) package dairy-free cream cheese*
  • 1 cup organic powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 can prepared cherry

1. Crust: Combine ingredients in a bowl. Pat into 9x13 baking dish. Bake at 350 F for 20 min.

2. Mix cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla.

3. Prepare whipped topping according to package directions. Fold into cream cheese mixture.

4. Spread cream cheese/whipped cream combo over cooled crust. Cover with cherries. Refrigerate overnight, or at least several hours. Cut into squares and serve.

Serves: 16

Variations:

  • Try it with blueberry or other fruit filling;
  • Sprinkle dairy-free chocolate chips over the just-from-the-oven warm crust -- OMG!!!

Chocolate Cake

This dessert is an oldie but goodie, which always turns out perfect. The coconut oil makes it very moist, and refrigerating makes it more solid, reminiscent of chocolate cheesecake. You'll find my favorite frosting recipe below.

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup Sucanat, or other granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup organic coconut oil (or use organic Safflower or organic Canola)
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons vinegar (Apple Cider Vinegar or Brown Rice Vinegar)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Sift dry ingredients into a bowl. Add liquids (except vinegar) and whisk until batter is smooth. Pour into an 8" square or 9" round baking pan. Add vinegar and stir quickly, until it is evenly distributed.

2. Bake 20 minutes and test with toothpick in center of cake. If it doesn't come out clean, then continue to bake, but check for doneness every 3 minutes.

3. Cool and frost.

Yield: One 8" or 9" cake.

Variations:

  • Add non-dairy chocolate chips to the batter;
  • Add sun-dried cherries;
  • After frosting, press sliced and toasted almonds along the sides of the cake, and sprinkle a few on the top for a pretty presentation.

Fluffy Buttercream Frosting

From the absolutely fantastic cookbook Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. If you want to learn how to make the absolute best and most delectable cupcakes and frostings, check out this book!

  • 1/4 cup non-dairy and non-hydrogenated shortening*
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy and non-hydrogenated margarine
  • 1 3/4 cups organic powdered sugar, sift, if clumpy
  • 3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Sucanat, or other granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 cup plain non-dairy milk or non-dairy creamer

Beat the shortening and margarine together until well combined and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat for about 3 more minutes. Add the vanilla and non-dairy creamer, beat for another 5 to 7 minutes until fluffy.

Yield: 2 cups. (I've halved the original recipe. Freeze leftovers, or double the recipe for a double layer cake.)

Chocolate Chip Meltaways

Photo of Chocolate Chip Cookies

The best chocolate chip cookies I've ever created. Seriously. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Use the amount of butter called for if you want a slightly chunky cookie. A little more for a thin and very crispy cookie. Includes recipe for a healthy and fun vegan egg substitute!


  • 2 1/3 cups unbleached white flour (you can use 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 unbleached white too)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup non-dairy butter (preferably non-hydrogenated too)(2 sticks)
  • 1 scant cup organic cane sugar, or other granulated sugar
  • 1 scant cup organic powdered sugar
  • 2 flax eggs (recipe below)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 12 ounces non-dairy chocolate chips

Flax Eggs:

  • 1/3 cup flax seeds
  • 1 cup water

1. To make the flax eggs: Grind flax seeds in a strong blender or food processor. Slowly add water and blend until it produces a gooey mixture. This makes 6 flax "eggs". Refrigerate unused flax eggs in refrigerator for up to 6 days. (Be sure to clean out blender immediately!)

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3. Sift together flour and baking soda, set aside. Beat together butter and both sugars. Beat in egg replacer (6 Tbsp flax goo = 2 eggs) and vanilla. Add flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.

4. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 13 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove cookies to racks to cool completely -- they'll firm up considerably.

Yield: 2 dozen

Variations:

  • Add chopped macadamias or walnuts;
  • Make Chocolate Chip Bars - Spread mixture in a very lightly oiled 9"x13" pan, bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in several places comes out clean. Let cool slightly, and cut into squares.

    Chocolate Chip Bars


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Chocolate Coconut Cream Pie

This is a comforting and fun dessert.

  • 2 cups non-dairy chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup vanilla non-dairy creamer*
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut

FOR THE FILLING:

  • 1 pound (16 ounces) organic silken tofu, firm
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 2 cups non-dairy chocolate chips, melted
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

1. Coat 9-inch pie plate with nonstick cooking spray. Heat non-dairy creamer in a small pan until hot, but not boiling. Add chocolate chips slowly and stir until melted, keeping heat on low. Stir in coconut. Pour into prepared pie plate, smooth out, and refrigerate until shell is hardened.

2. While shell is in the refrigerator, prepare the filling. Place tofu in a food processor and blend until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Add sugar and coconut extract.

3. Melt chocolate chips in microwave or double boiler. Pour melted chocolate into food processor and process until combined. Stir coconut in by hand. Pour into prepared pie shell. Sprinkle with more coconut if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve (at least 8 hours is best for it to hold its shape.)

Serves 6-8

Chocolate Shake

This reminds me of a Wendy's frosty, which used to be one of my favorite treats. Now that I'm vegan, this healthy shake made with cashews is a winner.

NOTE: You will need a strong blender that can completely liquefy hard ingredients such as ice and nuts.

Photo of Cashew Chocolate Shake
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 3 cups ice
  • 3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 dates, pits removed
  • 3/4 cup coconut water, with or without the coconut pulp
  • 1/4 cup coconut nectar or pure maple syrup (or liquid sweetener of choice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Add ingredients to a strong blender in the order listed. Process until completely smooth. If you have a blender with a tamper it will be really helpful to use it to push the ingredients down into the blades. Otherwise, stop and scrape sides every so often.

Serves: 2

Variations:

  • Instead of the coconut water, you can use your favorite non-dairy milk. But the results will be considerably thicker, so I recommend 1/2 non-dairy milk and 1/2 coconut water (or plain water);
  • Add 1 teaspoon maca powder or Barley Malt Syrup to add a delicious malt flavor;
  • Add 1 Tablespoon natural peanut butter;
  • Add 1/2 cup fresh raspberries.

RAW Chocolate Silk Decadence

This is a delectable chocolate pudding made from RAW ingredients. It makes for a totally healthy dessert because it's filled with good fats. Totally delish too. Once again, many thanks to my friend Chef Vanessa, raw food chef extraordinaire from Chicago, IL!

  • 3 avocados
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons cocoa
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Up to 1 1/2 cups water to thin

1. Process all of the ingredients except the water in a food processor. Add water to thin to desired consistency.

2. Great served with sliced strawberries or raspberries.

Serves: 6

Variations:

  • Serve with fresh strawberries, raspberries or blueberries;
  • Freeze to make a chocolate gelato.

Fudge

Very rich and delish!

  • 8 ounces dairy-free cream cheese*
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips, melted
  • Chopped walnuts, to taste

1. Place the cream cheese in a large bowl and with a hand blender, blend until smooth. Blend in powdered sugar and vanilla.

2. Melt chocolate chips in microwave or double boiler. Pour into bowl and whip until completely blended.

3. Fold in chopped walnuts.

3. Pour into 8-inch square pan that has been lined with wax paper. Refrigerate until firm. Pull wax paper out of pan. Cut fudge into bite-size pieces. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container.

Variations:

  • Use chopped macadamias or almonds instead of walnuts;
  • Add shredded coconut;
  • Add sun-dried cherries;
  • Whip in 1/4 cup non-dairy milk and pour into a graham cracker crust to make Creamy Chocolate Fudge Pie! (Super yum!!) Refrigerate. Top with Coconut Whipped Cream, if desired.

    Vegan Chocolate Fudge Pie

Krispy Cream Pie

Scarfed down in minutes at a dinner party filled with my beautiful non-vegetarian friends.

  • 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 cups rice cereal (I like Crispy Brown Rice)
  • 1/2 quart So Delicious Vanilla ice cream (or your favorite organic or non-GMO vegan ice cream)*, softened
  • 1 quart So Delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream (or your favorite)*, softened
  • organic chocolate syrup

1. Mix together the peanut butter, syrup and cereal. Pat into bottom of a 9" pie plate.

2. Mix softened ice cream together in a bowl, and spread into crust. Freeze. Drizzle with warmed chocolate syrup before serving.

Variations:

  • Use any flavor of vegan ice cream you'd like*;
  • Use your favorite nut butter -- almond, cashew, etc.

Strawberry Cobbler

This is a heavenly vegan dessert and perfect for strawberry season. Feel free to switch out the strawberries for your favorite fruit.

Filling:

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour, divided
  • 8 cups fresh organic strawberries
  • 1 1/4 cup Sucanat, or other granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup Sucanat, or other organic granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 7 tablespoons non-dairy butter (preferably non-hydrogenated too)
  • 2/3 cup non-dairy milk mixed with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. For the filling: Mix 1/4 cup of the wheat flour with the berries, the 1 1/4 cup sugar, and the lemon juice directly into a baking dish (I use a 9x13). Let stand while making the topping.

3. For the topping: Combine 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and the 1/2 cup unbleached flour with the baking powder, baking soda, 1/4 cup sugar, and salt in a bowl. Mix in the butter, cutting it in with the dry ingredients. (It will be coarse and crumbly.) Add the milk with the lemon juice and stir until moist.

4. Pour dough on top of the filling mixture to create a top crust. You will probably need to just spoon it out into several globs. Don't worry, it all comes together in the baking process. Bake in your preheated oven for 20-30 minutes or so, until it's lightly browned and bubbly.

5. Let stand for a few minutes before serving. Tastes wonderful served warm with vanilla non-dairy ice cream.

Serves: 6


Note: An asterisk (*) denotes a "fun food" and should be used sparingly. Not recommended as part of a healthy everyday vegan diet.



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