Vegan chocolate desserts are one of the food groups of plant-based eaters. Here’s a selection of easy recipes and treats for special days and everyday.
Not only are they delicious, but as we’ve come to learn, chocolate in its pure form is a good-for-you food. Chocolate’s caffeine-like components contribute to quick energy bursts, perfect for athletic and intellectual effort.
It’s encouraging to learn about the virtues of chocolate, but wise to be choosy about what kind you consume. Dairy-free dark chocolate is the way to go, whether in bars for snacking on, or for chips or cocoa powder (or raw cacao) for baked or unbaked treats.
It’s important to choose fair trade chocolate in any form. Many major chocolate companies will not confirm that they comply with fair trade laws. These protect against unethical growing and harvesting practices, child labor, and even child slave labor (which has been documented in Ivory Coast, a major exporter of cocoa). Pleasing your palate should not come at the cost of human suffering.
So please consider fair trade chocolate both for all of the types of chocolate — chips, cocoa powder, etc., in the following recipes.
Vegan Chocolate Brownie Cake: This cake-like brownie recipe brings a classic dessert up to date with applesauce to replace much of the dairy and sugar.
Unbaked Fudgy Vegan Chocolate Brownies: You won’t believe how easy it is to make these unbaked vegan chocolate brownies (just above and at top), rich with nuts and sweetened with dates. There’s no need for added sugar, and these treats are flourless, gluten-free, and altogether rich and yummy. There’s no need to blather on and on here. Just make these chocolate treats; you won’t regret it!
Triple Seed Chocolate Energy Bars: You can make your own homemade chocolate energy bars in minutes using seeds, pureed dates, and dark chocolate — no baking required! If you’re tired of overpriced energy bars that taste like cardboard, these are a great alternative.
Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies: Using both chocolate chips and cocoa powder, these delectable vegan chocolate chip oatmeal cookies are an easy-to-make treat. Instead of using a lot of fat of any kind, these cookies make use of one of my favorite baking tricks — applesauce. Its sweetness reduces the amount of sugar needed, and also acts as a fat replacer.
Vegan Lace Florentine Cookies: Here’s a simple recipe for vegan lace Florentine cookies from Sweet Vegan Treats by Hannah Kaminsky, who says: “Simple, sweet, and shatteringly crisp, each elegant caramelized cookie could make a gorgeous accompaniment to fresh berry parfaits or scoops of ice cream. Smear a thick layer of chocolate between two of those dainty disks, and now you’ve suddenly got a solo showstopper on your hands.”
Chocolate Chunk Muffins: Vegan chocolate chunk muffins are a treat any time of day — even breakfast. They’re low in sugar and made with whole grain flour.
Vegan Black Bottom Cupcakes: Fran Costigan’s vegan black bottom cupcakes are, like all her sweet treats, lovingly crafted, and tested and retested, to yield the best results. It’s not for nothing that Fran Costigan has been crowned “The Queen of Vegan Desserts.” Fran says: “The following easy vegan version of the beloved retro recipe for Black Bottom Cupcakes is from Vegan Chocolate. It is irresistible!”
Vegan Black Bottom Blondies: Another black-bottom treat, these luscious two-tone blondies speak to what Hannah Kaminsky’s recipes are all about: easy, approachable, and irresistible. Black-Bottom Blondies turned out perfectly both times I made them. And I’m sure my sweets-loving family will be enjoying many more of Hannah’s recipes from Sweet Vegan Treats.
Mini Unbaked Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies: When you crave a sweet homemade treat but don’t feel like turning on the oven, these little unbaked vegan chocolate oatmeal cookies might just be the thing. With just five ingredients (plus optional sesame seeds), these come together in a flash. You can also vary this recipe by rolling into round truffles.
Vegan Chocolate Mousse Pie: Silken tofu is the secret to this vegan chocolate mousse pie —it has just the right consistency to create a smooth and creamy texture. If you’re more ambitious, use your favorite homemade pastry or cookie crust. Otherwise, any good-quality prepared plant-based pastry or graham cracker crust works fine.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie: This richly flavored no-bake vegan chocolate peanut butter pie is a luscious high-protein dessert created by Robin Robertson. Bonus — it’s gluten-free.
Caramel Chewies: Caramel chewies — aka nut butter-stuffed dates with chocolate drizzle taste like mini candy bars, yet they take minutes to make, need only 5 ingredients, and are actually good for you!
No-Bake Chocolate-Dipped Figs: There are few desserts that are more sensuous than chocolate-dipped figs. And they take almost no time to make, need no baking, and are 100% vegan. Ilene Godofsky Moreno, who created this recipe, writes: “Is there anything more delicious than summer’s first fresh figs? Maybe a fresh fig dipped in chocolate! This recipe keeps things simple by using my three-ingredient no-bake chocolate, so it’s a breeze to put together.
Vanilla Cream – Chocolate Pudding Parfaits: These simple but elegant vegan parfaits by Laura Theodore are beautiful to look at and lovely to eat. They’re designed to please vanilla and chocolate lovers alike. These creamy treats make and excellent close to a fancy dinner party, or a yummy dessert for weeknight family fare. This is so easy to make, and chances are you may already have the common ingredients on hand for this uncommonly good dessert treat.
Silken Tofu and Avocado Chocolate Mousse: Another chocolate dessert in a glass, this luscious and easy silken tofu chocolate mousse and avocado chocolate pudding is a mash-up of two contemporary classics. Avocado chocolate pudding is usually made with dry cocoa or cacao, and is a staple in the raw vegan repertoire. Here we use dairy-free dark chocolate chips, making an extra-rich chocolate pudding.
Deep Dark Truffle Chocolate Pudding: Laura Theodore says: “Wow your guests with a vegan chocolate pudding that tastes as decadent as a rich chocolate truffle.” And if it’s a Laura dessert, it’s guaranteed to be great!
Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream Shell: Looking toward warm weather treats, Fran Costigan’s vegan chocolate ice cream shell couldn’t be easier to make, and it’s a delicious way to embellish your favorite kind of store-bought or homemade nondairy ice cream. You’ll find a mint variation at the end of the recipe, for example.
Easy Peanut Butter Chocolate Truffles: Naturally vegan and easy to make, these truffles, with just 4 essential ingredients, are an energy treat that adults and kids alike will love.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles: Chef Sara Boan of Catskill Animal Sanctuary writes: “Whether at a special event, staff lunch, or cooking class, these vegan chocolate chip cookie dough truffles have always been a crowd-pleasing and compassionate indulgence that are deceptively simple to make. They’ll remind you of sneaking bites of raw cookie dough from the bowl as a kid, but because they’re egg-free, they’re completely safe to eat without any baking.”
If you’re too busy to make your own vegan, fair trade chocolate treats …
Order some goodies online! My personal favorite: Lagusta’s Luscious, with its flagship store in New Paltz, NY, is just one company representing a growing concern about the ethical sourcing of chocolate.
Lagusta’s Luscious chocolates are not only divinely decadent, but also beautiful to behold. The barks look like miniature abstract artworks, dotted with dried fruits and bursts of sweet, smoky, and savory flavors. My personal favorite is the strawberries and cream bark (above), with swirls of homemade white chocolate — something nearly nonexistent in the plant-based realm.
Read more about Lagusta’s Luscious.
See lots more vegan desserts & sweets