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What are the top 10 vegan desserts?

Vegan desserts
Vegan desserts Copyright Getty via Canva
Copyright Getty via Canva
By Emilia Jansson
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From pumpkin pie to plant-based macarons, these are the best vegan baked treats you can make at home.


A new year is upon us, and with fresh opportunities come challenges. Perhaps this is finally the year to switch to a plant-based diet?

Veganism continues to grow all around the world, with an estimated 2.6 million Europeans currently going meat-free. Many people are doing it for health reasons, as research shows that following a plant-based diet can reduce your risk of acquiring severe illnesses like cancer.

Anthea Cheng is a vegan baking blogger based in Canberra, Australia. Over the years, she has noticed the surge in popularity for vegan desserts.

“Comfort classics, which people feel good about baking, eating and sharing,” are the most in demand, she says.

So what are the most sought after sweet treats on the vegan market? To find the top ten, Dr. Oetker tracked an array of baking hashtags on Instagram.

Here are the big hitters in 2021:

1. Pumpkin Pie

Take a leaf out of the Americans’ book, and try your hand at this festive dessert. Although usually eaten at Thanksgiving, this is a great pie for all year round - and is especially comforting in the cold weather.

By replacing dairy ingredients with a flavourless oil, plant-based milk, and syrup, vegans can enjoy yummy pumpkin pie no problem.

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Pumpkin pieGetty via Canva

2. Fruity Crumbles

What can go wrong with quintessentially British crumble?

A classic, yet simple, dessert to enjoy any day of the week. Swap the butter for a dairy-free alternative.

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Berry crumbleGetty via Canva

3. Sweet Sugar Cookies

The ability to craft cookies into whichever shape you want is all part of the fun. Maybe try making snowflakes for this chilly time of the year?

Vegan recipes replace butter with a dairy-free spread and eggs with a dash of plant-based milk.

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Sweet sugar cookiesGetty via Canva

4. Macarons

These cheery, colourful confections are a delight both to look at and to eat. Wondering how you can achieve that beautiful, smooth meringue without using eggs in the mix?

To make them vegan, replace the egg whites with aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas).

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Colourful macaronsGetty via Canva

5. Flaky Croissants

An important component of many Europeans’ breakfast, a vegan version of croissants is sure to be a hit. Although mainly associated with France, the flaky pastries are actually from Austria.

Look out for a vegan-friendly or plant butter, rather than margarine or olive oil spread, to get a flavour almost like a traditional croissant.

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Flaky croissantsGetty via Canva

6. Red Velvet Cake

So elegant, so delicious. Originating from Maryland, USA, in the early 20th century, it took until the 1940s for red velvet cake to start gaining mainstream attention.

To make it vegan, swap buttermilk for a dairy-free substitute like soy. Use plant-based spread instead of butter and be sure to source a vegan-friendly food dye. It's easy to find vegan cream cheese too, like our cream cheese buttercream.

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Red velvet cakeGetty via Canva

7. Spiced Gingerbread

Christmas may be over, but who says we still can’t enjoy the holiday cheer? These classic festive treats are a delight, no matter the season.

Swap the butter for a plant-based alternative. Some gingerbread recipes also call for golden syrup or honey, which is not vegan! Some golden syrup is, though, so look for a brand that suits.

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GingerbreadGetty via Canva

8. Lemon Cake

When life gives you lemons, instead of making lemonade, why not bake a cake?

Just swap the butter and eggs for dairy-free spread and vegetable oil.

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Lemon cakeGetty via Canva

9. Mug Cakes

Easy and fun to make, mug cakes are exactly what you need when you’re feeling tired after a long day at work. Simply mix the ingredients and pop in the microwave for a few seconds.


Mix the dry ingredients, usually flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and cocoa - then add the wet ingredients, like oil, non-dairy milk, and vanilla.

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mug cakesGetty via Canva

10. Sticky cinnamon buns

The Nordic delights that no one can resist. Satisfy your inner Swede with some delicious sticky buns whilst drinking coffee to experience the ultimate 'fika'.

Simply exchange dairy milk for a plant-based alternative and regular butter for a vegan version. Vegan dough recipes don't use eggs, so you won't need to worry about a dairy-free replacement.

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Sticky cinammon bunsGetty via Canva

For more plant-based content, check out Earthling Ed's video on the 4 reasons veganism is going to explode in 2021 here.

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