Vegan Holiday Dessert Ideas

By: Meg Foster ’20

There is nothing worse than smelling your aunt’s famous chocolate chip cookies and apple pie on a holiday and realizing that your ethical obligation to not exploit animals prevents you from having any. Trust me, my first holiday season as a new vegan of only about 6 months was a learning process. Luckily for those of you out there who may be in the same boat, or those of you who are just looking for some new delicious dessert recipes, I have two that are absolutely to die for- without any cruelty!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

For this recipe you will need:

  • ½ cup of vegan butter (such as Earth Balance)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk (I use almond)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt (about 1/4 tsp)
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips (Enjoy Life brand, or Trader Joe’s semi-sweet chips in the red packaging)


  1. Add your ingredients into a bowl, minus the chocolate chips, and use a hand mixer to combine. 
  2. Fold in the chocolate chips. 
  3. Depending on the hardness of the vegan butter you used, it may be best to chill the dough for 15 minutes before baking. 
  4. Taking 1 Tbsp of dough, roll into a ball and place on a non-stick silicone matt, or grease cookie sheet. 
  5. Bake on 350 degrees for 9-12 minutes, depending on how hard or soft you like them. I tend to take them out a bit earlier, as I like a softer cookie. 
  6. Allow to cool and enjoy! Seriously, these are my families absolute favorite cookies.

Chocolate Trifle

For this recipe you will need:

  • Chocolate Almond Milk based Pudding (365 brand from Whole Foods)
  • Cocowhip 
  • Strawberries
  • Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake mix
  • 1 can of regular Coke
  • Oreos
  • Trifle dish


  1. Start by making your cake. Combine the cake mix with the can of regular Coca-cola. Mix well and pour into a lightly oiled cake pan and bake according to package instructions. The soda will replace the egg and other ingredients you would typically add to the mix. 
  2. Once cooked, take the cake out and allow to cool. You will notice the cake will be much more moist than typically, but should hold its form. Allow to cool fully.
  3. Once the cake is completely cooled, begin to assemble the trifle. Begin with a layer of the coco-whip followed by crumbled up cake pieces, chocolate pudding, oreos, strawberries, and then more coco-whip. 
  4. Continue to add in this manner until you reach the top or run out of ingredients. The top layer should be coco-whip with some decorative Oreos and strawberries.
  5. Store in fridge until ready to serve.

Note: This dish is unbelievable and so easy to make. It never lasts more than a day in my house, and my sister always begs me not to make it, because she knows she can’t stop eating it! It requires very little thought or preparation, besides the cake. I bet you didn’t know that cake mix was vegan! Its true, a lot of pre packaged baking mixes are vegan because they require you to add the eggs and butter when preparing. Be careful though, some do contain milk ingredients. If you’re not a fan of chocolate, you are more than welcome to make this recipe using vanilla cake, pudding and cookies. I think that perhaps adding a butterscotch pudding and cinnamon cookies, such as the Cinnamon Bun Oreos, would complement that variation quite nicely!

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