18 Proudly Vegan Thanksgiving Desserts

From pumpkin pie to chocolate cake to gooey-sticky halva.

November  8, 2021
Photo by James Ransom

So you’re planning a classic Thanksgiving finale (hello, pumpkin pie) or a dessert that will soon become a classic in your home. Will it vegan? On this list of our all-time favorite plant-based desserts, you can bet your bottom dollar that—yes, it sure will.

18 Best Vegan Thanksgiving Desserts

Pies & Tarts

1. You Won't Believe it's Vegan Pumpkin Pie

The title says it all. This was the pie that made Gena Hamshaw realize her pumpkin pie days were not over at all, especially with cashews subbing heavy cream for a truly dreamy filling.

2. Vegan Apple Pie

Pocket this vegan pie crust recipe for all future vegan pie endeavors, sweet or savory—with both oat milk and coconut oil, it provides a nutty texture. Bonus: oat milk makes an excellent substitute for egg wash.

3. Raw, Vegan Pecan Pie

Skip the oven with this date filled and sugar-free pecan pie you can make way ahead of time.

4. Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Tart

It looks like a regular chocolate tart, then you cut into it and, well, wow. It’s the kind of dessert people will keep bringing up at all your other dinner parties.

5. Mocha Whiskey Mousse Tart with Pretzel Crust

Take your favorite chocolate mousse recipe (there are vegan ones here and here) and turn it into this holiday masterpiece.

6. Vegan Chocolate Pie

Make this not-too-sweet pie ahead and there’s pretty much nothing you need to do besides take it out of the fridge and onto the table. A dusting of powdered sugar would make a lovely finish, though.


7. Margaret Fox's Amazon Chocolate Cake

No mixer is needed for this lush cake, which is just as good for a late night craving as it is for a Thanksgiving feast.

8. Vegan Carrot Cake with Coconut Cream Frosting

The king of autumnal cakes—not that we’d say no to it in July. Naked sides mean less work for you and no sacrifice in terms of aesthetics.

9. School-Party Sheet Cake

Disclaimer: This cake calls for (dairy) buttermilk, but you can easily sub it for 3/4 parts plant-based yogurt thinned out with 1/4 non-dairy milk alternative for a great result (plant-based milk plus a teaspoon of lemon juice or neutral vinegar also works a treat). The star here is the vegan sweet potato frosting, which is one to save for all future cakes.

10. Sticky Rice Cake with Coconut, Ginger & Condensed Coconut Milk

This Burmese rice cake is gluten-free too.

11. Fudgy Vegan Banana-Brownie Cake You Can Eat for Breakfast

Somewhere between cake and brownie sits this recipe, which will make excellent leftovers.

12. Vegan Coconut Tres Leches Cake With Strawberry Sauce

With or without the strawberry sauce, this tres (plant-based) leches cake is very much worth the effort.

13. Yuzu Coconut Cake With Caramelized Sugar Crust

Is there a bad time for a bundt? Not in this universe. If you can’t find yuzu zest, sub in lime, lemon or orange zest.


14. Vegan Apple Crisp

Apple crisp is basically apple pie that needs the structure of a bowl in lieu of crust. Thus I’ve put it in this category of spoon desserts, AKA desserts that are just huggable.

15. 5-Minute Bittersweet Chocolate Pudding

Arrowroot powder replaces eggs in this five-minute and five-ingredient pudding, which you can vary to make Mexican or ginger-y.

16. Avocado Chocolate Mousse

This mousse comes together so quickly that if you excuse yourself to make it, people will just think you’ve gone to the powder room.

17. Baked Halva

Now’s the time to bring out those party ramekins. No mixer and just one bowl needed.

18. Coconut Milk Rice Pudding with Citrus & Ginger

Serve this wintry rice pudding warm or chilled.

What's your go-to vegan dessert? Let us know in the comments.
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Former Associate Editor at Food52; still enjoys + talks about food.