For those of us who may have different dietary preferences than our relatives, the holidays can be a little less jolly to say the least. I remember plenty of family gatherings where I just tried to grab whatever vegetables didn’t have bacon on them and skipped dessert altogether. What a waste! Before long, I wised up and started bringing my own goodies because being conscious about what you consume does NOT mean that you have to miss out on all the festive treats of the season. As a matter of fact, I’m a major fan of seasonal delights and I wasn’t about to not enjoy some of my favorite flavors forever. Pumpkin spice donuts, hot cocoa cupcakes, faux caramel truffles, and snicker doodle cookies, oh my! Enter four delicious desserts that will have all your relatives saying, “this is vegan!?!” And more importantly, you enjoying every last bit of your holiday dinners and parties. So B.Y.O.D. (bring your own dessert) this holiday season and borrow a recipe from me!
- 2 cups of trader joe’s whole grain baking mix ( you can use any baking /biscuit mix – for gluten free try Bob’s Red Mill’s!)
- 1 cup of organic pumpkin puree
- ?3 tbsp of coconut oil
- 2 flaxs -’eggs’ (2 tsp flaxseed meal + 6 tsp of water whisked)
- 3 tsps of pumpkin pie spice (or to your taste, I like a lot of spice!)
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
*dust top with coconut sugar + pumpkin pie spice*
Super easy to make! Whip all ingredients together in your mixer, place in a pastry bag or a Ziploc baggy that you cut a corner off of for the easiest dispensing into your doughnut pan. Bake in the oven on 375 degrees until golden on the edges. Plop out onto a cooling rack and sprinkle your dusting ingredients to your liking! Enjoy!
- 13 oz container of dates (standard package)
- 1 bag of vegan chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life)
- 2 tables spoons of almond butter
- 1 tbsp of coconut oil
*unsweetened coconut flakes or crushed cashews for topping* (optional)
In a food processor, combine all your dates with 2 tablespoons of almond butter. Pulse till the dates are becoming one with the almond butter and you see that caramel consistency. Take your faux caramel out of the processor, pack it in a nice little chunk and put it in the freezer for 5 minutes. I usually clean the food processor while it’s chilling and by the time I’m done, they’re ready! So go get them out, and start rolling little baby balls and placing them on a plate or baking sheet with parchment paper. Put them back in the freezer when you’re all done, so they will stay firm while we’re getting the chocolate ready!
For the chocolate, in a small saucepan add approx. half the bag and tbsp of coconut oil. You can stir this constantly on a very low heat or I prefer to double boil it, which just means that I put a small soup pan of boiling water on the stove and THEN place my saucepan with chocolate on top of that. This helps the chocolate melt properly without burning as easily as it does on the stove. Either way, stir that chocolate till it’s almost completely melted and turn off the burner. Let the final little chunks melt themselves.
Now the fun part! Go get your frozen balls out of the freezer and stick toothpicks in them so that you can easily dip them in your chocolate. I used really pretty festive ones, so I kept mine in but you can always toss these after the chocolate hardens so don’t be afraid to use a normal toothpick. Dip your faux caramels in the chocolate and if you’ve decided on a topping, now is the time to sprinkle it on or roll your chocolates in it after they’ve been dipped. This particular batch I used unsweetened coconut flakes but you can get as creative as you want with it!
Once they’re all dipped, place them back in the freezer for 10-20 minutes for the chocolate to harden and leave them there or in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve! These babies are best enjoyed firm and cold!
- 2 cups of Garbanzo Bean Gluten Free Flour
- 3/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder (or your favorite vegan hot choc!)
- 1/2 cup cane sugar
- 2 tsp of baking powder
- 2 tsp of baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon ( I also like to add 1/2 tsp of nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice to give it a little extra kick)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup agave
- 4 oz of unsweetened apple sauce
- 2 cups of chocolate soy milk (which you’ll add 2 tsp of apple cider vinegar to)
- 1 tbs of vanilla extract and 1 tsp of almond extract (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350 and stick your cupcake liners in your pans. I always bake using mini cupcake pans because I love the portions of the tiny cupcakes! Next, add your apple cider vinegar to your chocolate soy milk in a separate bowl/measuring cup and combine all your dry ingredients in your bowl or mixer. Now, add oil, agave, apple sauce and extracts to the dry ingredients. Pour your slightly curdled soy milk into the bowl and proceed to mix for about 30 seconds in a stand mixer or a couple minutes by hand until the mixture is the consistency of regular cake batter, but not a second longer! You don’t want to over mix. At this point, I have a mini sized ice cream scooper that I use to evenly scoop the batter into the cupcake holders but a tablespoon will work as well. Watch them while they’re baking – their size will depend on how long they need to stay in. Use a toothpick if you’re unsure if they’re done!
Now for the icing! While they’re cooling, check out my favorite butter cream recipe here. As I said before, marshmallows are a great little touch if you’re not concerned about the dish being vegan or if you can get your hands on vegan marshmallows. If not, I like to just dust a little cocoa powder over the top of the icing. I even piped the icing to look like a dollop of whipped cream! Have fun with it!
- 1 cup non hydrogenated earth balance (softened)
- ?1 1/4 cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons non dairy milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ?1 2/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- ?1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl, cream the margarine and sugar together for a couple minutes until they are mixed well. Add your non-dairy milk and vanilla, and beat until they’re also combined. Now sift in flour, cornstarch, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt and mix until a soft dough forms. Chill dough for at least 30 minutes (so its easier for you to work with). Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and get out your cookie sheets. In a small shallow bowl or tray combine sugar, cinnamon, and a pinch of nutmeg. Drop a tablespoon of dough in your cinnamon sugar mix and roll it into a ball. Place the balls on your cookie sheet and lightly sprinkle some cinnamon sugar both before and after it goes in the oven. Cookies should take 10-12 minutes to cook, they’ll get puffy in the oven but will deflate once you let them cool.