Vegan Desserts Made Healthy: 10 Tasty & Easy Recipes

Following a vegan diet doesn’t mean you must forgo sweet treats. There are endless options for vegan healthy desserts!

vegan-brownies-with-fruit-and-nuts
by
Chelsea Rae Bourgeois, MS, RD
— Signos
Health writer
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Updated by

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Science-based and reviewed

Published:
April 23, 2024
July 26, 2023
— Updated:

Table of Contents

Looking for ways to satisfy those sweet tooth cravings while being true to your vegan lifestyle? We’ve got you covered. The vegan diet can include endless dessert options, and we’ve rounded up a list of some of our favorites. Some of these vegan healthy desserts exclude animal products naturally, while others have been made vegan-friendly through simple ingredient swaps.

If you’re searching for the best vegan dessert, this list is for you.

Are Vegan Desserts Healthier?

Since vegan desserts are entirely plant-based, they are often perceived as healthier than their non-vegan counterparts. Without animal-derived products like butter, eggs, and dairy, vegan desserts are often lower in saturated fat and cholesterol. Vegan desserts also tend to incorporate whole foods like fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, and seeds, which offer beneficial dietary fiber and other essential nutrients. Veggie desserts? Don’t knock it until you try it!

Still, it’s important to remember that being vegan does not always equate to being healthy. Even though many of these healthy, easy vegan desserts are considered low-sugar desserts, vegan recipes still include refined flour and added sugars, so it’s important to be mindful of your portion sizes. As with any dessert, vegan treats should be enjoyed with your individualized nutrition needs in mind.

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Vegan Chocolate Desserts

Let’s be real — chocolate is one of the most decadent and versatile treats on the dessert menu. But, unfortunately, decadent doesn’t always translate to nutritious. Some chocolate isn’t even real chocolate at all. Not to fear, dark chocolate is here!

Compared to milk and white chocolates, dark chocolate tends to offer more health benefits. Because dark chocolate contains more cocoa solids, it typically contains more flavonoids and less added sugar. These flavanols can support heart health and offer antioxidant properties that protect against cell damage. It’s also rich in essential minerals and dairy-free.

1. Date Vegan Brownies

With just five ingredients, these nutritious, no-bake vegan brownies are easy to prepare.1 Sweetened with dates and held together with nut butter, this sweet treat provides energy and high-quality protein.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped Medjool dates
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup almond butter or a different nut butter
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Soak the dates in hot water in a medium bowl for approximately 10 minutes. Drain and reserve the water.
  2. At the same time, line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Leave extra hanging over two sides and lightly coat with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. In a food processor, process the oats until they are finely ground. Add the drained dates, nut butter, cocoa powder, and salt. Continue to process until the ingredients are very finely chopped. If the mixture seems dry, add one tablespoon of the reserved soaking water at a time.
  4. Spread the mixture evenly in the pre-prepared baking dish and refrigerate until cold, about one hour.
  5. Remove the brownies by lifting the overhanging parchment paper. Cut into 16 squares before serving.

2. Creamy Avocado Chocolate Pudding

Looking for a dairy-free, not-so-sweet chocolate dessert? Creamy avocados make this delectable dessert a must-try!2

Ingredients:

  • 16 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk beverage
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup or agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt

Directions:

  1. In a cup of hot water, soak dates for approximately 5-10 minutes or until soft. Drain.
  2. Process the dates, avocados, plant-based milk, cocoa, maple syrup, oil, vanilla, and sea salt in a food processor. Continue until the mixture is finally smooth and creamy.
  3. Refrigerate for approximately three hours until cold.
  4. Serve cold. Garnish with extra sea salt as desired.

3. Fudgy Vegan Truffles

Who doesn’t love truffles? These vegan-friendly truffles incorporate the power of beets while satisfying your sweet tooth with chewy fudge.3

Ingredients:

  • 12 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 small beet, cooked and peeled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons raw cacao powder, divided
  • 1/4 cup oat flour
  • 3 ounces of dairy-free dark chocolate

Directions:

  1. In a bowl of hot water, soak the dates until soft. Drain and remove excess water.
  2. Chop up the cooked beets.
  3. Process the beets, dates, vanilla extract, salt, and 4 tablespoons of cacao powder in a food processor. Continue until the ingredients are well-combined and forming a sticky paste.
  4. Add the remaining cacao powder and oat flour to the food processor. Blend again until a dough has formed. Add more salt as desired.
  5. Move the dough to a bowl and cover. Place it in the freezer for 1-2 hours.
  6. In a large bowl, melt the dark chocolate using the double boiler method or with short intervals in the microwave. Allow it to cool for approximately five minutes.
  7. Remove the truffle dough from the freezer. Using a small or mini ice cream scoop, scoop the dough into evenly-sized balls and transfer them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  8. Dip one truffle at a time into the melted dark chocolate, coating the truffle entirely. Transfer it back to the baking sheet and sprinkle it with toppings of your choice.
  9. Repeat with the remaining truffles, but remember to work swiftly as the melted chocolate will set quickly.

4. Chocolate Mousse

If you’re searching for a vegan chocolate mousse, look no further. This delicious Chocolate Mousse is seriously decadent, and you can even pair it with a raspberry compote if you want!4

Ingredients:

  • 5 ounces dairy-free dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 12 ounces of silken soft tofu
  • 2 soft Medjool dates
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt

Directions:

  1. In a double boiler, melt the dairy-free dark chocolate in the microwave. Heat it in short intervals, whisking the chocolate frequently until it’s fully melted.
  2. At the same time, cover the dates with freshly boiled water and allow them to soak for approximately 15 minutes. Drain the water and remove the pits from the dates.
  3. Blend in the tofu with about 3 tablespoons of water in a high-powered blender or food processor.
  4. Next, add the dates, maple syrup, cocoa, vanilla, cinnamon, and sea salt. Blend until the ingredients have been mixed in.
  5. Add the melted and cooled chocolate. Blend until the mixture is finally smooth and creamy. Add more salt to taste.
  6. Divide the mixture among 6-8 small dessert dishes and let them chill for approximately one hour.
  7. Let the chocolate mousse rest at room temperature for a few minutes before serving.

Vegan Fruity Treats

Incorporating fruit into your recipes can elevate your favorite desserts' taste and nutritional value. To start, fruits provide a natural sweetness, reducing the need for added sugars. Fruits also provide an array of essential vitamins and minerals, not to mention dietary fiber.

So, while your favorite fruits can add a pop of color and taste to your favorite vegan dessert recipes, they also support your digestion and overall health. Check out these easy vegan dessert recipes packed with delicious fruit:

1. Pink Coconut Bars

These Pink Coconut Bars put a fun spin on healthy vegan desserts.5 They’re vibrant in color and packed with nutrients.

Ingredients:

  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon coconut honey or liquid sweetener of your choice
  • 200 grams of shredded coconut
  • 3 teaspoons pink pitaya powder
  • 200 grams of dark chocolate

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, combine the coconut milk, oil, and honey until combined.
  2. In a mixing bowl, stir the shredded coconut and pink pitaya powder together. Then, pour it over the melted coconut mixture, stirring until evenly combined.
  3. Once mixed and combined, pour the mixture into a lined container and press it down firmly.
  4. Freeze for approximately 2-4 hours until it is firm.
  5. Remove the container of treats from the freezer and let it thaw for 15 minutes before cutting it into 15 individual bars.
  6. Melt the chocolate and cover each bar in chocolate. Return the bars to the freezer and allow them to set for approximately 20 minutes before serving.

2. Pink Lemonade Ice Cream

Pre-made vegan ice creams are available, but preparing your own ice cream at home is more satisfying. This Pink Lemonade Ice Cream is a delectable treat and oh-so-easy to prepare!6 Plus, it’s refined sugar-free!

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium ripe bananas, sliced and frozen
  • ⅔ cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Process your frozen bananas, raspberries, lemon zest, and juice until smooth in a food processor.
  2. That’s it! Serve and enjoy!

3. Frozen Banana Bites

When it comes to easy vegan recipes, Frozen Banana Bites might be the MVP.7 With just three ingredients and a few short steps, you can enjoy this nutritious, easy-to-make dessert!

Ingredients:

  • 3 large bananas, peeled
  • ¼ cup natural peanut butter
  • ¾ cup vegan chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Cut your bananas in half, lengthwise.
  2. Spread crunchy or smooth peanut butter on each half and combine the halves back together.
  3. Cut eight rounds from each banana and place them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Freeze for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  4. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips in the microwave on high in 15-second increments. Continue until melted.
  5. Delicately dip half of each frozen banana bite in the melted chocolate. Allow the chocolate to set before serving.

Additional Vegan Sweet Treat Ideas

If you follow a vegan lifestyle, your dessert menu isn’t limited to pre-made vegan desserts. You can easily swap out traditional animal-based ingredients for vegan-friendly options. You can create vegan versions of almost any dessert, meaning you can savor the sweetness of your favorite treats without compromising your lifestyle.

Plus, adding in a little plant-based magic offers numerous health benefits. For example, including legumes and nuts in vegan desserts provides rich flavors and abundant nutrients. Simple plant-based substitutions can increase the nutrient value of your dish, providing healthy fats, important vitamins and minerals, and essential dietary fiber.

Here are some of our other favorite healthy vegan dessert recipes:

1. Peanut Butter Cookies

Vegan chocolate chip cookie recipes get a lot of hype, but who doesn’t love Peanut Butter Cookies?8 If you’re searching for a crispy cookie with a nutty flavor, these scrumptious cookies will surely hit the spot! This recipe uses ground flaxseed, coconut oil, cane sugar, vanilla extract, and creamy peanut butter to put a vegan spin on a classic cookie dough.

2. Chia Pudding

Chia seeds are packed with nutrition, offering a multitude of health benefits. These tiny seeds are rich in magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, and omega-3 fatty acids, meaning they can amp up several delicious, vegan-friendly recipes. This Chia Pudding recipe pairs the nutrient-dense seed with almond milk and cardamom to make a filling and nutritious dessert you can enjoy any time of the day.9

chia-pudding-with-fruit

3. Vegan, Gluten-Free Carrot Cake

Chocolate cake usually steals the show, but let’s not forget about carrot cake. This delicious one-bowl Vegan, Gluten-Free Carrot Cake is a breeze to make, and it is oh-so-yummy.10 This recipe includes almond flour, flaxseed meal, maple syrup, and unsweetened applesauce — many vegan-friendly substitutes.

Of course, the list doesn’t end here. Many other vegan desserts are available to you, such as vegan cheesecake, popsicles, oatmeal cookies, and pies.

Choosing a Healthier Option

Whether you follow a vegan diet for health reasons or animal welfare concerns, it’s essential to remember that balance is key. Healthy eating includes a variety of foods from various sources to meet your nutrition needs.

Thankfully, vegan substitutes have revolutionized the plant-based menu, making it easier than ever to prepare your favorite dishes without animal-based products. Some common vegan substitutes include, but are not limited to:

  • Non-dairy milk like cashew, almond, soy, and oat milk in place of cow’s milk.
  • Coconut creams and yogurts in place of heavy cream.
  • Plant-based butter, coconut oil, or vegetable oil in place of traditional butter.
  • Applesauce in place of eggs.

So, whether you’re baking your mom’s famous banana bread, trying a new black bean brownie recipe, or whipping up some vegan-friendly sorbet, consider these ingredient substitutes in your quick and easy desserts!

Learn More About Nutrition and Healthy Diets with Signos’ Expert Advice 

Whether you follow a vegan diet or not, Signos’ continuous glucose monitoring can help control blood sugar spikes and help you understand how your body responds to the foods you eat – especially those easy, healthy dessert recipes!

Learn how Signos can improve health by providing you with data in real time, helping you to navigate the many nutrition choices you face each day. Find out if Signos is a good fit for you by taking a quick quiz, and learn more about nutrition and healthy habits on Signos’ blog!

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References

  1. Casner, C. (2018, October 2). No-bake vegan date brownies. EatingWell. https://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/267765/no-bake-vegan-date-brownies/ 
  2. Mraz, J. (2016, November 12). “Chocomole” pudding. EatingWell. https://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/251076/chocomole-pudding/ 
  3. Vora, N. (2022a, February 28). Fudgy Vegan Chocolate Truffles. Rainbow Plant Life. https://rainbowplantlife.com/vegan-chocolate-truffles/#wprm-recipe-container-6620 
  4. Vora, N. (2022c, December 14). Vegan chocolate mousse. Rainbow Plant Life. https://rainbowplantlife.com/vegan-chocolate-mousse/#recipe
  5. Lanza, A. (2022, January 5). Vegan pink bounty bar recipe - vegan dessert recipes recipes. Vegan Food & Living. https://www.veganfoodandliving.com/vegan-recipes/vegan-pink-bounty-bar-recipe/
  6. Casner, C. (2020, July 17). Pink lemonade nice cream. EatingWell. https://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/280638/pink-lemonade-nice-cream/
  7. Casner, C. (2020a, April 11). Vegan chocolate-dipped frozen banana bites. EatingWell. https://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/265883/vegan-chocolate-dipped-frozen-banana-bites/
  8. Donofrino, J. (2021, March 5). Best peanut butter cookies. Love and Lemons. https://www.loveandlemons.com/peanut-butter-cookies/ 
  9. Serdarevic, Z. (2023, July 3). Chia pudding with almond milk. Hurry The Food Up. https://hurrythefoodup.com/chia-pudding-with-almond-milk/ 
  10. Baker, D. (2023, July 21). 1-bowl vegan gluten-free carrot cake. Minimalist Baker. https://minimalistbaker.com/1-bowl-vegan-gluten-free-carrot-cake/

About the author

Chelsea Rae Bourgeois is a registered dietitian nutritionist with several years of experience working in the clinical setting. Once a track and field athlete on a competitive stage, she now finds joy in combining her passions as a health writer to help people embrace their wellness through nutrition and fitness.

View Author Bio

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