It’s Halloween month, the season of sweetness and fright! But how about we eschew the lanes of sugary fluff in the supermarkets and go straight for the gourmet options instead? We’ve gone and tested the best vegan sweets in town to round up the top 7 treats that prove tasting good and doing good can be one and the same. With a cherry on top.
Red Velvet Cupcake
at Sophie Sucrée
The cupcakes at Sophie Sucrée at a sight to behold, but they’re just one of the dozens of tempting treats. What a feeling to walk into an emporium like this and know that everything is vegan! From the chocolate chip cookies to the almond and caramel cakes to the pies and tarts and brownies, it’s all sweet heaven here. But the red velvet cupcakes, oh Lordy—rich, chocolatey goodness topped with a cream-cheesy cloud.
Lime and Coconut Pie
Crudessence in an all-raw, all-vegan local restaurant chain that’s an amazing success, with cooking classes, a line of kombucha, a line of macaroons and a bunch of desserts distributed in supermarkets too. This pie is the best of their many sweets though, and the fresher it’s eaten the better—i.e. get it on the spot, and lap up every bite. Made with avocado, coconut cream, lime juice and agave, it’s pure, frothy, sweet and sour delight. Honourable mention: the raw chocolates (OMG).
It’s tantalizing in appearance as well as flavour: this vegan take on tiramisu stands tall and proud in the display case, like a work of art. Its layers of creamy, cakey, soft and dense goodness make homage to the Italian classic in true form, with even a little amaretto kick. It’s rich like you wouldn’t believe, so order one piece and a couple of forks to share! If you’re looking for something lighter, this popular vegan chain also makes amazing cookies (the cranberry macadamia one is a favourite).
at Lola Rosa
There’s no doubt about it, chocolate loves coconut like peanut butter loves jelly. This tart, crunchy on the bottom, thickly smooth and chocolaty on top and then crowned with the glorious dollop of coconut whip, is a stellar conclusion to any meal at this vegetarian eatery, known for its hearty burritos and crunchy polenta fries. The almond quinoa mix of the crust is a much lighter, crunchier and more flavourful alternative than regular pastry. Yay, vegans for the win!
Uncheesecake with Berry Topping
at Aux Vivres
You don’t get more dairy-ish than cheesecake, so it’s generally the vegan Holy Grail—every pastry chef tries their hand at it, but few actually succeed to make a truly delicious alternative. Well, this is it. Aux Vivres is a vegan restaurant that makes amazing savoury goodies (including a delicious weekend brunch, by the way), as well as a number of sweets: a chocolate apple cake that’s really popular, among others. But this is the hands-down winner. It’s sultry, smooth, comforting, with a fruity, refreshing topping and a crumbly graham crust.
at Chu Chai
Hush hush, I know you’re thinking you don’t like tapioca pudding—but that’s because you’ve never tasted this one. First of all, it’s green. Second of all, there’s no vanialla pudding unctuousness—the tapioca balls are stuck together and rich with coconut flavour. And best of all, there’s a sweet coconut cream topping over the whole thing… yowza! You’ve really got to try it to believe it, but trust Chu Chai—makers of meatless Thai magic in their restaurant on St-Denis—to come up with imaginative twists on the ordinary.
They’re beloved for their cashew-cheese grilled cheese with smokey homemade ketchup and the free live music that plays there most nights of the week, but this cute nook on Parc avenue is also a maker of delectable vegan sweets. There’s a spongy, moist banana bread, a creamy-topped carrot cake, cookies of various sorts and, last but certainly not least, a chocolaty, gooey, sinful chocolate and coconut macaroon that will feed your need and inspire greed.