20 Vegan Desserts to Help You Survive Veganuary

Going vegan for the month doesn't mean all the joy has to get sucked out of desserts.

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Apr 26 2018, 7:00pm

Photo by Alicia Kennedy.

The Veganuary challenge might already be a little daunting if you otherwise eat meat and dairy the other 334 days of the year. You might have powered through last week foregoing milk in your coffee and resisting that drunk dollar slice at 2 AM Saturday night, but you're losing steam now. Three more whole weeks of this??? My god, what will you do with yourself before you go absolutely mad??? (First step: chill the fuck out, my guy.)

If you're just an occasional dabbler in the plant-based pool of virtue, you may have discovered that doing things the vegan way can be a bit of a crapshoot for the uninitiated. There's a learning curve here. Baking, in particular, becomes a bit of a minefield. Can you just use any ol’ non-dairy substitute for milk and butter? And what the hell do you use for an egg? (Also, little unfriendly reminder that chocolate isn’t vegan because it almost always has milk or butter in it, unless it’s 100 percent raw cocoa.) We thought we’d help you out by rounding up some of our best animal-product-free desserts, lots of which are vegan all on their own with no need for contortionist feats of substitution. Who said Veganuary couldn't at least have a little something sweet to keep you dedicated to the cause?

First things first: if you’re going to be substituting dairy milk with coconut milk, you might as well use the best, freshest coconut milk you can. So you should learn how to make it yourself. See the whole process here with Louis Tikaram of L.A.'s E.P. & L.P.

Who actually has an at-home ice cream maker anyway? With this dairy-free granita, all you need is a freezer and a fork.

Alright, so without an ice cream maker to do the churning for you, you’ll have to get a bit of an arm workout in with all the shaking to make this sorbet. But it’s worth it, we promise!

You can drizzle these black sesame dumplings with a little extra honey instead of condensed milk for serving. Unless you’re on the side of the debate that says honey isn’t vegan, in which case, pretend we didn’t suggest this recipe at all.

Raines de valles strawberries are kind of hard to come by, but macerating any old berry with champagne vinegar would be a nice accompaniment to this lemony, floral granita.

You of course don’t have to use any cannabis in this hot chocolate, but... why not?

So chewy. So fudgy. So hard to believe they’re actually vegan.

Hell, we might be on the tail end of pumpkin pie season, but now is as good of a time as any to learn how to substitute silken tofu for eggs in order to achieve that ideal custardy texture for this holiday favorite.

All the flavors of the all-American classic, with none of the butter. And who needs vanilla ice cream on the side when your apple pie is already in frozen form?

We have to say, our watermelon cake is way more exciting than this sad-looking thing Victoria Beckham had for her 44th birthday.

Learn the technique of making a sourdough starter with apples and flour as a substitute for blooming packaged yeast in warm milk with this version of the traditional sweet for Día de Los Muertos.

You can’t be a vegan baker worth their salt if you don’t have a solid chocolate chip cookie recipe. Vegan food writer and recipe developer Alicia Kennedy is here for you.

Use this coconut milk dulce de leche hack for a perfect ice cream topping any time.

That’s right, Waka Flocka Flame is not too hard to bake his own blueberry muffins. Watch him go to work in his own kitchen in our series How-To.

This would be delicious on top of some coconut milk yogurt, if you don’t end up eating the whole batch with your hands first.

Applesauce takes the place of eggs in this recipe, and adds even more moisture and sweetness for a perfectly chewy brownie.

You could use lard as a fat in this dried fruit-filled rice pudding, but coconut milk tastes even better, tbh.

Surprise! Churros actually don't have any dairy in them at all, despite their fluffy, airy interiors. Can you believe???

If you can get your hands on a vegan gelatin substitute, like agar agar or Vegan Jel, this avocado semifreddo is a luscious, refreshing dessert that otherwise leans on coconut milk and pureed avocado only for its creaminess.

Is a mangonada a dessert? A drink? A street snack? We suppose its a little bit of all three, but it's certainly a refreshing, fruity treat, balanced with a healthy amount of spice and a savory kick to round it all out. Let the mangonada transport you from the cold, dreary North American winter to the sunny streets of Mexico City while you wait out the end of your Veganuary resolution.