We tend to think of dairy and eggs as the key foundational elements of most desserts. However, pastry chefs are using clever workarounds to nix the animalistic elements to create sweet finales that are just as memorable. Here are six top vegan desserts that won’t leave you wanting for anything.
Matcha Moments at Culina, Los Angeles, California(Above)
You’ve never had an affogato quite like this. A dainty cup full of matcha comes with green-tea infused coconut-cashew ice cream and matcha meringues. As energizing as it is delightful. Make a reservation at Culina.
Coconut Tapioca at 1313 Main, Napa, California
Coconut creates creaminess, while kaffir lime leaves and ginger add depth to the ivory pearls. The tapioca is topped off with shaved tangerine ice, candied carrots, and carrot sorbet. The results are tropically sweet and beautifully bright. Make a reservation at 1313 Main.
Banana Split at Plant Food + Wine, Miami, Florida
Not exactly a classic rendition of the sundae. Chocolate, strawberry, and its namesake fruit are all involved. As are goji, hemp, and maca. In other words, you can feel good about eating this — because it’s actually good for you rather than a sheer indulgence. Make a reservation at Plant Food + Wine.
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookie at Trademark, New York, New York
With a backbone of flax meal and rolled oats, these hearty rounds are sweetened with brown sugar and maple syrup and accented with plenty of peanut butter. They’re great on their own or as bookends for a whipped banana sandwich. Call it a PB&B. Make a reservation at Trademark.
Passion Fruit Colada at Requin, Fairfax Virginia
Here’s the scoop. Boozy, passion fruit colada ice cream is forged from coconut milk, passion fruit puree, pineapple juice, orange juice, Goslings Black Seal Rum, Absolut vodka, and more. The orange orbs are topped with candied kumquat rings. As if that wasn’t enough, you can request an extra shot of rum (or the liquor of your choosing). Make a reservation at Requin
Halvah Sundae at Gather, Berkeley, California
Derived from the Arabic word halwā, which means sweet confection, halvah is forged from tahini (sesame paste). Chunks of the Middle Eastern treat are accompanied by pistachio and rosewater ice creams, as well as orange caramel and cherries. Plus, a dollop of whipped cream for good measure. Make a reservation at Gather.
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Nevin Martell is a Washington, D.C.-based food and travel writer and the author of several books, including Freak Show Without A Tent: Swimming with Piranhas, Getting Stoned in Fiji and Other Family Vacations. Find him on Twitter @nevinmartell and Instagram @nevinmartell.