One common misconception about a vegan diet is that it’s about depriving yourself. This doesn’t have to be true at all! It’s easy as (vegan) pie to whip up cruelty-free desserts that even your omnivore friends will drool over.
When I think “decadent dessert,” chocolate almost immediately springs to mind, so several of these desserts are deliciously chocolatey. When I tell folks that I’m vegan, they often marvel that I had the willpower to give up chocolate. In fact, many good-quality chocolates don’t contain any animal products at all. You don’t need milk to make dark chocolate, and there are even companies that make vegan milk chocolates, if that’s your preference.
There are lots of vegan chocolates out there, you just need to do a little bit of label-reading to make sure the chocolate you’re buying doesn’t contain milk, milk fat, butter fat, or other animal ingredients that chocolate makers sometimes sneak in. Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips are vegan, for example, and Endangered Species dark chocolate bars are vegan (and delicious!)
Does all of this talk about chocolate have you craving some dessert? Here are 5 recipes for delicious sweet treats that don’t call for animal ingredients!
>>Next: Coconut Milk Ice Cream
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by Vegan Baking
1. Coconut Milk Ice Cream
If you’ve got an ice cream maker, coconut milk makes for a delicious, creamy dessert. You can substitute full fat coconut milk 1:1 for the milk and cream in any ice cream recipe you like! Just follow the directions on your ice cream maker and get ready for the deliciousness. Here are some coconut milk ice cream combos that my sister and I really dig:
- Chocolate and mango – add cocoa powder and diced mango to a basic ice cream recipe
- Mixed berry – toss in a few handfuls of whatever berries are in season
- Lime in the coconut – squeeze the juice from a fresh lime and add a teaspoon of lime zest to your ice cream
Before you devour all of that coconut milk ice cream, set some aside to use in this next recipe!
>>Next: Ice Cream Sandwiches
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by SingChan
2. Ice Cream Sandwiches
Take your coconut milk ice cream to the next level by sandwiching it between two cookies! Here’s my favorite cookie recipe and instructions on how to make your own ice cream sandwiches:
1/2 cup oil (or softened margarine)
2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup water
2T almond or coconut milk
1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 bag vegan chocolate chips
1/2 cup cashew pieces
handful of dried cranberries
1 cup sugar
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Mix all of the wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix the dry.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet to them, mixing it really well. I suggest using your hands.
Shape the cookies and place onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes (depending on the cookie size), and let them cool before gently moving them over to a plate.
Let the cookies cool completely before assembling. To make the sandwiches, turn one cookie upside down, add a generous scoop of ice cream, then top with another cookie, pressing gently. You can store these in a sealed freezer container for up to a week.
>>Next: Chocolate Covered Cherries
Image Credit: Photo by Becky Striepe
3. Chocolate Covered Cherries
Chocolate covered cherries are one of my favorite sweet treats, and they’re much easier to make than you’d think! Here’s how to make your own:
12 pitted cherries, stems intact
1/2c vegan chocolate chips
Line a cookie sheet with wax paper and wash and dry the cherries.
In a double boiler, melt the chocolate.
Dip each cherry into the chocolate by its stem, then set onto the cookie sheet. Once all of your cherries are done, transfer the sheet to the refrigerator, and let them cool completely (about 1 hour).
>>Next: Vegan Truffles
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by jayneandd
4. Vegan Truffles
Nothing says decadent like a chocolate truffle, and the fun thing about truffles is that you can modify a basic recipe in all sorts of ways! Try adding 1/4t cayenne and 1t cinnamon, for example, to create Mexican hot chocolate truffles. You can add other herbs and spices, ground nuts, or dried fruit, as well. Here’s a very basic chocolate truffle recipe to get you going:
1/4c coconut milk
2c vegan chocolate chips
1/4c + 2T coconut oil
1/3c cocoa powder, ground nuts, or coconut flakes
Heat the coconut milk in a double boiler, then stir in the chocolate chips and coconut oil until everything is completely combined.
Transfer the mixture to a shallow bowl and refrigerate until it’s cooled all the way through.
Use a spoon or melon baller to create your truffles, and roll each one in cocoa powder, nuts, or coconut before transferring to a storage container. Your truffles will keep in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.
>>Next: Vegan Pie
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by Vegan Baking
5. Vegan Pie
Who doesn’t love pie? This peach pie recipe is sure to please, but you can also substitute apples, nectarines, or fresh berries if peaches aren’t your thing.
8 peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced
1c brown sugar
1T lemon juice
2 vegan pie crusts
In a large bowl, toss the peaches with the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Let this sit until the peaches get nice and soft, at least 10 minutes.
Pour your peach filling into one of the pie crusts.
Use the second crust to top the pie. Either slice into strips to create a lattice top, or just layer it right on. If you go for the latter, make sure you cut a few small holes in the center of the crust to let steam escape.
Bake at 350F for 30-40 minutes, or until the peaches are soft.
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by stebulus