Although most holidays have a way of bringing people around a table to share a well-prepared meal, no holiday is more centered around food than Thanksgiving. Home cooks everywhere will prepare their menus with their best holiday dishes in the weeks leading up to the yearly tradition: Opulent main courses, plentiful side dishes, and tasty desserts.
Speaking of desserts, while there are classics like pumpkin and pecan pie, there's no reason you can't stray from tradition and serve a sweet treat with a twist, especially if you're planning on providing a vegan-friendly option.
When it comes to vegan Thanksgiving desserts, there's an astounding number of mouthwatering recipes to whip up, and we've curated 14 of them to try. Most also happen to be gluten-free, too, making the job of hosting people with dietary restrictions that much easier. Plan your final course around a dessert that doesn't sacrifice on flavor with these vegan desserts ideas below.
Vegan Peach Cobbler Crumble
The Recipe: Vegan Peach Cobbler Crumble
Why We Love It: This classic peach cobbler just got a Paleo, vegan makeover thanks to Food Faith Fitness. It takes a mere 20 minutes to prep and calls for peaches, coconut sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vegan butter.
Pro Tip: Let sit for at least 30 minutes before serving.
6-Ingredient No-Bake Chocolate Chip Cookies
The Recipe: 6-Ingredient No-Bake Chocolate Chip Cookies
Why We Love It: If there's one thing that's better than chocolate chip cookies, it's no-bake chocolate chip cookies that require just six ingredients. This easy, vegan dessert recipe from Half Baked Harvest requires roasted cashews, pitted Medjool dates, coconut oil, vanilla extract, old-fashioned oats, vegan chocolate chips, and sea salt. Use a food processor to blend up all the ingredients and then mold the combination into cookie shapes to set in the freezer until firm.
Pro Tip: Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
The Recipe: Raw Vegan Gingerbread Cookie Sandwiches
Why We Love It: Few desserts are as festive as gingerbread cookies, and these raw vegan gingerbread cookie sandwiches from Wu Haus maintain those traditional flavors with a healthy twist. They're made of chewy gingerbread macaroon cookies filled with a rich cashew buttercream filing.
Pro Tip: Alison Wu's recipe uses a dehydrator to dehydrate cookies, however in lieu of one, "I would bake at 200° F (or your oven’s lowest temperature setting) for 15 minutes, turn off the oven and allow to sit in the oven for another 10-15 minutes," Wu writes.
Pumpkin Spice Paleo, Vegan Pecan Pie Bars
The Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Paleo, Vegan Pecan Pie Bars
Why We Love It: These vegan pecan pie bars from Food Faith Fitness are perfect for serving a crowd. The crust is made of maple syrup, coconut flour, and pumpkin pie spice, and is finished with a pecan and pumpkin topping.
Pro Tip: "Weigh your flour as different brands can weigh differently for the same cup measurement," advises Food Faith Fitnesses, Taylor Kiser.
The Recipe: Pumpkin-Miso Pie
Why We Love It: Not for traditionalists, this pumpkin-miso pie with a black sesame nut crust from Wu Haus is made for those with sophisticated taste buds. The dessert is mostly raw thanks to its healthy, natural ingredients like nuts, sesame seeds, white miso, coconut milk, maple syrup, sunflower lecithin, and vanilla extract.
Pro Tip: If storing in the freezer, remove 30 minutes before serving to thaw.
Winter Bliss Balls
The Recipe: Winter Bliss Balls
Why We Love It: Another bite-sized creation, these winter bliss balls from Half Baked Harvest take just 10 minutes to make. Simply add ingredients like dates, cashews, cacao powder, hemp seeds, chia seeds, maca powder, and orange zest into a food processor then roll up into tablespoon-size balls. Top with melted chocolate, nuts, seeds, or anything else you can think of for the final touch.
Pro Tip: This recipe will last up to 1 week in an airtight container in the fridge.
Caramel Apple Cheesecake Tart
The Recipe: Caramel Apple Cheesecake Tart
Why We Love It: It takes just 10 ingredients to whip up this seasonal, plant-based treat from Minimalist Baker. The base is made of rolled oats, almonds, and natural sweeteners like coconut sugar and maple syrup. For the filling, you'll need coconut yogurt, soaked cashews, maple syrup, and lemon, then top with cinnamon baked apples.
Pro Tip: Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.
No-Bake Peanut Butter Cookies
The Recipe: No-Bake Peanut Butter Cookies
Why We Love It: These no-bake cookies from Hummingbird High only require a food processor and a 1-tablespoon cookie dough scoop. Blend dates, raw almonds, lemon juice, peanut butter, and vanilla extract. Scoop dough onto a cookie sheet, and let them form in the fridge for 1 hour before serving.
Pro Tip: These cookies will last up to 10 days in the fridge.
Vegan and GF Maple Doughnuts With Salted Almond Butter Glaze
Why We Love It: If you're looking to stray from tradition, try your hand at these vegan and gluten-free maple donuts with a salted almond butter glaze, from The First Mess. The recipe calls for ingredients like oat, coconut, and rice flour, natural sugar, ground flax seed, cinnamon, almond milk, applesauce, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. They're also baked instead of fried for a far healthier treat.
Pro Tip: Make sure you have a doughnut pan ready before making this recipe. Alternative doughnut toppings could include cacao nibs, or chopped dried cherries, for example.
Raw Carrot Cake With Tangy Citrus Frosting
The Recipe: Raw Carrot Cake With Tangy Citrus Frosting
Why We Love It: This raw vegan carrot cake from The First Mess will easily please a crowd. The dessert is comprised of a cashew-based frosting and a cake made with pitted Medjool dates, almond flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, finely grated carrots, and a splash of orange juice and zest.
Pro Tip: Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Apple Crisp Crumble
The Recipe: Apple Crisp Crumble
Why We Love It: What would the holidays be without an apple crisp crumble? For this vegan, gluten-free variation from Food Faith Fitness, you'll whip up flavorful apples with coconut sugar, almond flour, cinnamon, and lemon juice and top with rolled, old-fashioned oatmeal, almonds, and coconut sugar before baking.
Pro Tip: Top with dairy-free ice cream to serve.
Pumpkin Pie Dream Bars
The Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Dream Bars
Why We Love It: Instead of serving a traditional pumpkin pie, try your hand at these vegan pumpkin pie dream bars from Wu Haus. They're filled with pumpkin and maple flavors for a seasonal treat that's easy to serve to a crowd. Their striking appearance in both color and shape will have everyone ready to try a bite.
Pro Tip: "If you have two blenders, simply make the pumpkin layer in one blender and the vanilla layer in the other. If you have one blender, make one layer at a time and rinse the blender between uses," writes Wu.
Almond Butter Vegan Brownies
The Recipe: Almond Butter Vegan Brownies
Why We Love It: If you want to serve up a moist, chocolatey, rich dessert on Thanksgiving, these almond butter vegan brownies from Joyful Healthy Eats are for you. They're so fudgy and flavorful, and thanks to the almond butter, no one will realize they're vegan. Gather up ingredients like almond butter, cocoa powder, almond milk, applesauce, honey, and dark chocolate chips to mix and bake to perfection.
Pro Tip: "Top them with a scoop of vanilla coconut milk ice cream for a[n] extra punch of deliciousness," writes Krista, of Joyful Healthy Eats.
Vegan Pumpkin Pie
The Recipe: Vegan Pumpkin Pie
Why We Love It: Pumpkin pie is a perpetual Thanksgiving classic, and this vegan recipe from Sweet Potato Soul is no exception. Have these ingredients on-hand: Pumpkin puree, butternut squash, sugar, cloves, cinnamon, vanilla extract, soy milk, arrowroot powder, and vegan pie crust.
Pro Tip: "Let cool for at least 30 minutes, then set in the fridge to chill for 6 hours or overnight," writes Jenné Claiborne, of Sweet Potato Soul.