Vegan desserts get a bad rap for many reasons. Too dry, dense, or crumbly, or simply “too healthy” to qualify as dessert (I’m looking at you cauliflower brownies and chia pudding!).
But I’m determined to share how delicious and even indulgent vegan desserts can be (when made right, of course). From fudgy brownies to classic banana bread to celebratory layer cakes, there’s an enormous variety of mouthwatering plant-based desserts that’ll rock your world (whether you’re vegan or not).
Below I’ve rounded up 40 of the best vegan dessert recipes, including some of my own recipes and lots of fabulous sweet treats from around the plant-based internet.
Table of Contents:
1. Brownies and Bars
3. No-Bake Desserts
5. Pies, Tarts and Pastries
6. Crisps, Crumbles and Cobblers
Brownies and Bars
A mix of chocolatey brownies and fruity bars that have two things in common: they’re easy to make and SO tasty.
The Absolute Best Vegan Brownies
Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars
Vegan Maple Pecan Bars
Vegan Cheesecake Brownies
Apple Blondies with Caramel Glaze
Creamy Vegan Lemon Bars
Cakes and Breads
A mix of easy quick breads and more elaborate cakes with a variety of flavors, from evergreen classics like chocolate and lemon to seasonal delights like pumpkin and gingerbread.
The Absolute Best Vegan Banana Bread
Pumpkin Sheet Cake
Lemon Olive Oil Cake
Vegan Funfetti Cake
Vegan Apple Cinnamon Bundt Cake
Fudgy Vegan Chocolate Cake
Fluffy Vegan Gingerbread Cake
Vegan Gluten-Free Carrot Cake
The Best Vegan Pumpkin Bread
When your sweet tooth knocks but you don’t have the patience or energy to bake something, these no-bake desserts are a godsend!
Super Simple Chocolate Mousse
Edible Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Healthy Samoa Cookies
Fudgy Vegan Chocolate Truffles
Healthy Snickers Bars
No-Bake Cookie Dough Bars (Vegan & Gluten-Free)
A mix of vegan cookie recipes, including the classic chocolate chip, holiday cookies, and even more wholesome cookies you can even eat for breakfast!
Chocolate Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies
Vegan Oatmeal Cookies
Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
The Best Vegan Sugar Cookies
Vegan Gingerbread Cookies
Vegan Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
Vegan Linzer Cookies
Chocolate Chunk Vegan Pantry Cookies
Pies, Tarts and Pastries
These recipes are proof positive that vegan pastries and pies are not only possible but absolutely delicious!
Vegan Salted Chocolate Cream Tart
Bubbling Cinnamon Blueberry Pie
Easy Vegan Pumpkin Pie
Vegan Chocolate Croissants
Vegan Italian Macarons with Aquafaba
Warm Apple Fritters
Vegan Gingersnap Pumpkin Cream Tart
Crisps, Crumbles and Cobblers
Whether it’s stone fruit season or apple picking season, a fruity dessert with a crisp topping or cobbler cake is always appreciated (and easy to make)!
Gluten-Free Apple Cobbler
Vegan Fruit Crumble
Vegan Gluten Free Apple Crisp
Vegan Brown Butter Peach Cobbler
Have a special event coming up? Try this showstopping vanilla layer cake with raspberry jam and buttercream!
Vegan Dessert Recipes: Vegan Vanilla Layer Cake
- 1/2 cup (1 stick / 112g) vegan butter, softened at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups + 2 tablespoons (330 mL) unsweetened plant-based milk (I used this oat milk)
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) lemon juice
- 1/2 cup (120 mL) aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas)
- 3 1/2 cups (420g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup (112g) sunflower oil, or melted coconut oil*
- 1 1/4 cups (240g) organic cane sugar
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice (optional)**
- 1 tablespoon orange zest (optional)
- 2 cups (240g) fresh raspberries***
- 1 batch Raspberry Jam (recipe below)
- 1 batch Tangy Buttercream Frosting (recipe below)
- Take the vegan butter out of the fridge to soften.
- Make the vegan buttermilk. Combine the plant based milk and lemon juice and stir. Set aside to curdle.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C. Make three parchment paper rounds for three 6×2-inch (15 x 5 cm) round cake pans and line each pan. Alternatively, you can use two 8-inch (20 x 5 cxm) round pans. Ensure your oven is calibrated or that you’re using an oven thermometer (see notes above in the “equipment needed for baking a vegan layer cake” section).
- Prepare the aquafaba. Pour 1/2 cup of the liquid from a can of chickpeas into a small bowl. With a handheld electric mixer (or stand mixer), beat the aquafaba on medium speed until it‘s foamy throughout, about 60 seconds.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder to a medium bowl and whisk well to ensure the leaveners will be evenly distributed throughout the cake.
- Cream the wet ingredients. Add the softened butter, oil, and cane sugar to a large bowl. Using the mixer, beat until the ingredients are well incorporated and starting to get fluffy, 60 seconds or so. Add in the whipped aquafaba, vanilla extract, orange juice (if using), and orange zest (if using). Mix until just combined, 15-20 seconds.
- Add half of the flour mixture into the butter-sugar mixture, beating on low speed until just combined, taking care to not over beat. Then add the vegan buttermilk and beat until just combined. Finally, add in the remaining flour mixture until you have a mostly smooth batter, but do not overmix. It’s okay if there are a few flour pockets remaining. Overbeating can cause the cake to become dense or dry. The batter should be fairly light and fluffy at this point.
- Divide the batter equally in the prepared pans, using a digital scale to measure each pan so each cake is equal in size. The batter in each of my three 6-inch pans ended up weighing 440 grams each. Scatter the raspberries evenly over the top of each cake, but do not press them down.
- Bake 6 x 2 inch (15 x 5 cm) cakes for 30 minutes, or until the center is set and the cake has puffed up a bit and just started to pull away from the pan, and a toothpick inserted comes out with only a few moist crumbs. If you are using two 8 x 2 inch (20 x 5 cm) cakes, bake for 30-35 minutes.Note: I recommend checking 5 minutes before the time is up, as every oven is different and it might be done sooner.
- Cool the cakes in their pans for at least 30 minutes, then carefully invert them onto a cooling rack. Cool completely before adding assembling the cakes.
- Assemble the cakes: If you have the time, I recommend refrigerating the cakes and frosting (see the section above called “Assembly”).a. Place one layer cake on a cake platter or plate. Spread a thin layer of the Raspberry Jam on top. Then add 1/4 of the Tangy Buttercream Frosting and smooth with an offset spatula. Top with the next layer cake. And repeat the process, adding more jam and frosting. Finish with the final layer cake, adding jam and frosting on top.b. Using the offset spatula, apply the remaining buttercream to the sides of each cake layer, starting at the bottom, working your way up to the top. For a naked cake look, you just want a thin layer.c. When the sides are covered, use a bench scraper to smooth the sides and to achieve the naked cake look.d. Using the offset spatula, smooth out the top layer of frosting until it’s level. You can serve now, or refrigerate for 1-2 hours to set the cake.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days.
- 1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries 180g or frozen raspberries (200g)
- 2 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cold water
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Add the raspberries to a saucepan over medium heat. If using frozen raspberries, stir occasionally until they’re thawed. Mash down the raspberries with a fork.
- Meanwhile, dissolve the cornstarch or arrowroot powder with the cold water to create a slurry.
- Add the slurry, maple syrup, and lemon juice to the pan. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, until the jam has thickened. Take off the heat, and once cool, refrigerate. It will thicken even more as it rests in the fridge.
Tangy Buttercream Frosting
- 1/2 cup (1 stick / 112g) vegan butter, softened at room temperature
- 4 ounces (113g) vegan cream cheese, softened at room temperature*
- 2 1/4 cups (~ 265g) organic powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- To a large mixing bowl, add the softened vegan butter. Beat on low speed with an electric handheld mixer (or stand mixer) until smooth and fluffy. Add the vegan cream cheese and beat until creamy and smooth and well incorporated.
- Gradually add the sifted powdered sugar in four turns, and mix on low speed until well combined and fluffy, scraping down the sides. Add the vanilla, salt, and lemon juice and beat until smooth. If the frosting is too thick, add a tablespoon of plant milk until you reach your desired consistency. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to make it easier to frost the cake.
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