No matter how you eat, these delectable plant based and vegan desserts will please everyone at the table, from fudgy brownies to chocolate chip cookies!
Vegan desserts can be some of the most rich, creamy, chocolatey and decadent desserts out there! When you’re feeding a crowd, sometimes it’s hard to find something that fits with everyone’s diet choices. So we’ve collected our best crowd pleasing plant based desserts that are sure to please everyone! Each one is a tried and true recipe that readers have been making for years.
Why vegan desserts? While Alex and I eat a mostly plant based diet, we don’t eat exclusively vegan. However, we’ve found that plant based desserts are some of our favorites to eat because they’re so tasty and nutrient dense. And, we found that you readers agree! Vegan desserts are also super versatile for serving to eaters of a variety of diets. So: let’s get to the recipes!
Bliss bites are by far our most popular of vegan desserts! They’re basically a homemade peanut butter cup combined with a no bake cookie, and people all over the world make and love them! Made with maple syrup, coconut oil, and oats, they’re naturally sweet, vegan, and gluten-free.
Keep them in the freezer or refrigerator and nibble all week long. When we served them to guests as a sweet treat at the end of a meal, our guest pronounced they were “literally heaven”.
This vegan chocolate pudding is so creamy and rich, you’ll think it’s the real thing! The flavor is pure rich chocolate, and it gives you all those nostalgic Snack Pack-style vibes. (It did for us, at least.) The best part: there are no weird “tricks” to this dairy free chocolate pudding. Ever made pudding with avocado or tofu and while it’s good, deep down part of your brain is not quite convinced? This one tastes like the real thing — and it’s made with real ingredients, just like a traditional pudding.
Next up in our vegan desserts....chocolate cake. This incredible, decadent vegan chocolate cake is fully plant based, from the rich, moist chocolate cake to the light and fluffy buttercream filling. Oh, and did we mention a dark chocolate ganache topping? You’re going to want to stop what you’re doing and run to the kitchen to make this: NOW! This legitimately incredible plant based chocolate cake is dark chocolatey, just sweet enough, and a soul-mate type of chocolate cake.
When it comes to dessert, what’s your ultimate cookie? These vegan peanut butter cookies are where it’s at for us! They’re soft but perfectly crumbly, and salty sweet. Decorated with the classic criss-cross pattern, they’ve got a sparkle of sugar. And a chocolate icing drizzle makes them look even more festive.
Baking for a vegan and gluten free crowd might sound hard. But hey: apple crumble to the rescue! Fruit crumbles and crisps are easy to make both vegan and gluten free: they don’t need gluten for structure and they don’t need butter for flavor. Basically, they’re the perfect dessert for feeding a crowd of different diets! This is really best apple crumble: cinnamon and fresh ginger make the filling irresistible. And, it makes a big cozy 9 x 13 pan!
What’s a list of vegan desserts without chocolate chip cookies? These deliciously chewy cookies are made of almond flour: a flour made of finely ground almonds, so they’re also gluten free. A mix of coconut oil and almond butter is used instead of butter, and a flax egg holds the dough together.
What results are vegan chocolate chip cookies that are super chewy, salty sweet, and perfectly delicious. They’re a bit on the smaller side, which is perfect since small-ish sweet treats keep the serving size moderate.
These chocolate cherry dessert bites are a rich and chocolatey vegan dessert using natural sweeteners and just a few whole food ingredients! The chocolate filling is made of just three ingredients: coconut oil, maple syrup and cocoa powder. They come together into the creamiest liquid chocolate that you’d swear had gobs of dairy and refined sugar. Add to that a crust of almonds and oats and a topping of sweet cherries, and it’s truly heavenly.
Next in the vegan desserts lineup: more cookies! These vegan no bake cookies are an even simpler version of our bliss bites and oh so delicious! Featuring dark chocolate, tahini (sesame paste), maple syrup, and sea salt, they’re a salty sweet combination that you’ll go crazy over. We’ve served them at parties and this plant based dessert disappears in a flash!
Pro tip: both no bake cookies recipes require the cookies to stay cool, so they’re best right out of the refrigerator. You can also freeze them for instant vegan dessert bites throughout the week.
We promise that this chewy pumpkin oatmeal cookies recipe will quickly become a favorite for your family! These cookies are perfectly chewy, decorated with a simple powdered sugar icing. They taste like an oatmeal cream pie (hello, nostalgia!) and they’re vegan oatmeal cookies so eaters of all kinds can enjoy them.
The trick to plant based oatmeal cookies is using coconut oil instead of butter, and pumpkin instead of eggs. These pumpkin oatmeal cookies are full of pumpkin spices: cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. And of course the vegan icing drizzled in a lacy pattern takes them over the top.
These fudgy vegan brownies are insanely fudgy. And they’re filled with good for you ingredients! These brownies are filled with almond butter and applesauce to make them extra fudgy, then they’re topped with chopped almonds and chocolate chips! (You could substitute another nut if you’d like.)
After they’re baked, pop them in the refrigerator to get them extra fudgy. Take it from one of our readers: “I’m somewhat of a brownie snob. These are better than any brownie recipe I’ve tried, classic or adapted. Simply delicious!”
And we’ve got to have an ice cream recipe in our vegan desserts! This salted chocolate vegan ice cream is impossibly creamy. The secret to this creamy non-dairy ice cream? Full-fat coconut milk and cornstarch. Simmering the mixture until it is thick and using liquid sweetener like agave or maple also helps for a creamy texture. And the flavor? Salty, chocolatey, and delicious.
And last in our vegan desserts: millionaire bars! We’ve transformed these 3-layer millionaire bars into an easy vegan dessert recipe that’s a bit lighter than the original! And the best part is that instead of a caramel layer, it’s got caramelized pecans.
This maple pecan butter filling is so tasty, and more nutrient dense than the typical caramel layer. It makes for a sort of maple pecan bars that’s a cross with shortbread millionaire bars. Whatever the case, it’s an incredibly crowd pleasing vegan dessert!
Looking for more plant based desserts?
Outside of these vegan desserts, here are a few more favorites:
Place 9 muffin liners into a mini muffin tin (or a mini-muffin tin for 18 smaller bites).
In a small saucepan over low heat, melt 5 tablespoons coconut oil and stir together 2 tablespoons peanut butter, ¼ cup maple syrup, ¼ cup cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 pinch kosher salt. When fully combined, remove from heat and stir in 1 cup rolled oats. Spoon into cupcake liners. Refrigerate while making the peanut butter topping.
In a small saucepan over low heat, stir together ¼ cup peanut butter, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, and 1 tablespoon coconut oil. Spoon the warm peanut butter mixture over the chocolate oat mixture. Freeze for 15 to 20 minutes until set, or refrigerate until serving. Store refrigerated.
Keywords: Vegan Desserts, Vegan Dessert Recipes, Vegan No Bake Cookies
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.