Finals Treats: Easy Vegan Dessert Recipes

Image Provided by Isabel Nguyen

After all your hard work during finals week, you deserve a treat. Why not try making your own from scratch? Here are three of my favorite easy vegan dessert recipes. 

  1. Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are probably one of the first bakes you’ll add to your recipe book. They’re a classic comfort food and easy to share. This recipe makes cookies that are crispy on the edges and soft inside. 

For these bakes to be 100% vegan, be careful to buy vegan sugar. Most conventional sugar is whitened with bone char. Organic sugar usually does not use bone char and will explicitly state so on the package. Remember to use vegan chocolate chips as well! Check the ingredients list for dairy. 

I’ve experimented with coconut oil and vegan butter before (Earth Balance brand) and both work, however, vegan butter is a bit easier to use because coconut oil is very sensitive to temperature. 

This recipe uses applesauce as an egg replacer, which may sound odd but I promise it works and you cannot taste the apple. The applesauce binds the dough together like an egg would. Just make sure to use unsweetened applesauce. 

Finally, this recipe states that it makes 12 cookies but using about 2 tablespoons of dough per cookie, I usually produce 18 cookies. Don’t over-bake and let them rest as the instructions state, no matter how tempting it may be!

  1. Brownies 

Brownies were one of the more tricky vegan desserts for me to nail, but this recipe produces perfectly fudgy brownies. Don’t take any shortcuts with this one; you have to use hot, melted vegan butter to get the texture right. Personally, I skip the step of rubbing softened butter on top of the parchment paper because it makes the brownies too greasy. Instead of 1 cup of chocolate chips, I like adding ¼ cup of chocolate chips and ¾ cup of chopped walnuts.

The best thing about home baking is that you know exactly what ingredients and how much of each are in your bake. You can reduce the amount of sugar to your taste without issue. I prefer 1 cup of sugar instead of 1½ cups. Rinsing your knife between each cut is a great tip from this recipe. 

  1. Banana Bread

Baking banana bread should be considered a household skill. Instead of throwing away ripe bananas, you can make them into a delicious treat! This is my parents’ favorite bake. 

I have never gotten aquafaba (water from a can of chickpeas) to fluff up for me, so instead I use 2 flax eggs, which equates to 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds and 5 tablespoons of water. I recommend using lemon juice to curdle the oat milk for fluffy banana bread. Again, I like adding ¾ cup of walnuts for texture and ¾ teaspoon of cinnamon instead of ½ for extra flavor. Feel free to add more spices like nutmeg to your preference.

Have fun baking and treat yourself!