’Tis the season for warm and comforting desserts to accompany the warm and comforting main dishes we crave this time of year. Yet, the same old pecan pie can only do the trick for so long before you and your family are ready for something different. How about a seasonal brunch of apple pie pancakes? A treat made from the unique quince fruit? Or a sweet and spicy spin on the traditional pumpkin dish? We have rounded up six plant-based dessert recipes that will not only impress your guests, but likely leave them asking, “Are you sure this is vegan?”
1. Apple Pie Pancakes
Dessert isn’t just for after dinner. Staying in your pajamas and whipping up Kelly Peloza’s Apple Pie Pancakes for brunch is the perfect way to spend a chilly winter morning. All the magic of traditional apple pie is swirled throughout the pancakes themselves, as well as piled on top in a caramelized, brown-sugary serving of apple pie filling. Don’t forget the dollop of sweet whipped topping – made from aquafaba.
2. Vegged-Up Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting
The grocery list includes black beans, beets, and tofu – surely chocolate cake would not be your first guess as to what recipe this is meant to create. Yet, these ingredients add both texture, color, and wonderful health benefits to a dessert that is usually seen as sinful. Your family won’t even notice the healthy additions, as the cake itself is deliciously moist and the frosting whipped to perfection. Sneaking veggies into food has never been easier.
3. Self-Frosting Speculoos Pumpkin Cake
Speculoos, better known in the western world as cookie butter, is a creamy, spicy dream of a spread. Its flavor profile gives Hannah Kaminsky’s pumpkin cake a delightfully warm pop. The base also uses aquafaba, or the brine from cans of chickpeas, to fluff it up. And the addition of walnuts gives the treat a toothsome texture. Traditional “pumpkin spice” has nothing on this flavorful dessert.
4. Apple-Pear-Quince Galette with Spiced Rum
This spicy-sweet treat is literally prize-winning. Amey Mathews created this dreamy galette using local fruits, including quince from a friend’s backyard. It beat over 20 different desserts in a blind taste test – probably from its spiced rum and tangerine zest notes. Amey says the quince is optional (just sub an extra apple), yet recommended for its fruity and floral flavors. This galette will truly surprise and impress any guest expecting the same old holiday desserts.
5. Plum and Blackberry Crisp
For those yearning for the tastes of summer, snatch up the last of the plums and blackberries at the market (or raid your freezer, if you’ve been saving some for a special occasion) and bake up this light and refreshing crisp by Gena Hamshaw. The filling is tart and satisfying, while the ample crumble topping – everyone’s favorite – sweetens the dish wonderfully. Top with a scoop of dairy-free vanilla ice cream and you’ve got a perfect bowl of summer nostalgia.
6. Old-Fashioned Coconut Pie
If you’d rather make your seasonal dessert tropical, Bianca Phillips’ Old-Fashioned Coconut Pie is just the ticket. Using just a few basic ingredients and plenty of shredded coconut, a plain old pie crust becomes the vehicle for a sweet treat straight from the islands. The recipe is adapted from her grandmother and given a plant-based twist. For anyone who would appreciate a classic for the holidays, this pie is sure to please.
Lead image © Gena Hamshaw (modified)