Hats Off! The Sweet Vegan Roundup

In the movie Year of the Dog, the lead character Peggy, played by the incredible Molly Shannon, turns into an animal rights activist- and a vegan- after the unexpected death of her beloved dog. Peggy, a lonely woman, is used to pleasing her colleagues with treats like donuts every morning. But when the treats become vegan, no one wants them anymore. In fact, they turn away before even tasting them when they hear the V word.

As a vegan, I often run into such skepticism from people I’ve just met, who believe I must surely live on salads alone. As for sweets, there are not many out there who believe it is possible to cook amazing sweets without eggs and dairy products.

Here’s a news flash. I was an omnivore just a few years back, as were most vegans at some point in their lives, and we do know what your food tastes like. And not many of us would dream of settling for food that’s sub-delicious. In fact, this belief that vegans, somehow, sacrifice taste for their beliefs or health and settle for barely-edible food is not just an annoying one but also one that smacks of ignorance.

Ergo, Sweet Vegan! I wanted not only to create a great resource for anyone (including myself!) looking to make great desserts and snacks that do not rely on animal products, but I also hoped to get some very amazing cooks out there thinking about the fact that products like milk, butter, cream, ghee and eggs (and yes, honey too) are not really indispensible in sweet-making as we often believe them to be.

Still, while cooking everyday vegan food, especially Indian, is not in itself a tough job, conjuring up a vegan sweet does take creativity and quite a bit of experimentation. Baked goods rely on the chemistry of eggs and on products like butter and cream for taste, while Indian sweets depend heavily and often exclusively on dairy products. To stray from these time-tested traditions can be difficult, not to mention a little scary. Will my bread rise? Will my cookie be as chewy or crumbly? Will my kheer taste as rich? These are legitimate worries, and not easy to overcome.

But with your amazing entries, you talented cooks proved that the only limitation to delicious veganism is imagination. There is every kind of sweet in this collection, from delicious burfis to traditional goodies like adhirasam to puddings and breads and even a beautiful maple cake.

Today, on World Vegan Day, I salute all of you amazing cooks, and hope your recipes provide food for inspiration to every foodie out there. Here, without further ado, are the gorgeous recipes sent in by you.

Coconutty goodness: Thengai Paal Kesari from Amma’s Special

A feast for the eyes: Aparna’s Spiced Pear Galette

Creamy dreaminess: Bex’s Butterscotch Pudding

An Indian classic: Cham’s Boondi Ladoo

Fruity and fun: Divya’s Spiced Mango Bread

Wholesome and inspiring: Divya’s Healthy Laddus

Colorfully fragrant: DK’s Lavender Strawberry Sorbet

A time-tested favorite: Jayasree’s Athirasam

A tantalizing medley of jaggery, bananas and coconut milk: Jayasree’s Pazha Pradhaman

Just carrots, sugar and a whole lot of deliciousness: Kamalika’s Carrot Halwa

A sweet blend of lentils and coconut: Kamalika’s Soiyam

Eye candy: Vegan Stawberry Milkshake from Kitchen Flavors

Unusual and gorgeous: Madhuram’s Oats and Coconut Milk Pudding

A traditional treasure: Madhuram’s Rice Flour Puttu

Sparkling morsels: Mansi’s Thumbprint Cookies

A delicacy from India’s west coast: Meera’s KhaparPoli

A mouthful of nutrition: Pallavi’s Whole Wheat Vegan Banana Nut Bread

A twist on flavors: Priya’s Vegan Ragi Cookies

Gorgeous yet guilt-free: Priya’s Eggless Maple Cake

Easy and Tasty, for sure! Priya’s Vegan Choco Almond Shake

A musical-sounding delight: Radhika’s Naanu Maanu

Sinlessly delicious: Rajee’s Moong Dal Kheer

Yummy and handy: Ramki’s 10 Easy Indian Chikkis (Brittles)

A tall glass of bliss: Tilslørte Bondepiker / Veiled Peasant Girls from Seitan Is My Motor

A riot of traditional flavors: Shreya’s Unni Appam

Delicious festival eats: Sia’s Banana Appams

Four-ingredient wonder: Puttu from Simple Indian Food

Easy and fun: Sunshinemom’s No Cook Ooey Gooey Vegan Chocolate Pudding

A nutty find: Supriya’s Almond, Walnut and Cashew Burfis

Simply delicious: Ujwal’s Rava Payasam

A tasty marriage of coconut and tofu: Uma’s Coconut Pudding

And here are my own contributions:
Vegan donuts

Vegan carrot halwa

Tarte Tatin
Banana Pecan Cookies

Mango bread

If you sent me an entry and do not see it here, please, please let me know asap. If it is not included, it is not intentional; blame it instead on my inexperience with hosting an event and rest assured I’ll add it.

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(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

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  1. says

    hi Vaishali, grt round-up! i love the news flash:-) This post is bookmarked, and I hope to be baking soon to help me make some of the delicious recipes.

  2. says

    Awesome how many people took part in this! There are a lot of great pictures and recipes, I am sure I will make something from this lost, soon.

  3. says

    Interesting array of sweet treats Vaishali. I actually missed sending you a mail for the Vegan Pumpkin Cookies I posted last week (before the 31st). I linked it to your post in my post, but somehow missed sending the mail.

  4. says

    Oh Vaishali! I so wanted to participtate in this one and I even made something- a burfi. Never got around to actually posting it!

    A great theme and a wonderful round-up, Vaishali.:)

  5. Anonymous says

    hi, thanks for the wonderful recipes. I am vegan and have been languishing for some vegan Indian dessert recipes. One question, what is a good susbtitute for ghee? So many Indian desserts call for roasting cashews or raisins lighly in ghee – what is a good substitute for this? Thanks!

  6. says

    Hi Anonymous,
    I usually just use canola oil as a substitute and it works very well. Of course it doesn’t have the same flavor as ghee, but I get around this by adding flavor to the rest of the recipe with, for example, nut pastes or milks, like almond milk.
    If you have a recipe in mind I’d be able to advise you more specifically. Feel free to write and ask anytime.

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