5 Store-Bought Vegan Desserts That Are (Almost) Better than Homemade

published Nov 25, 2021
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Credit: Megan Gordon

While growing consumer demand for plant-based foods has led to a steady wave of new products popping up across grocery stores, not every dairy-free or meatless item is necessarily vegan. When I’m browsing the latest desserts to hit shelves, I always scan the packaging. The first thing to check for is the “Certified Vegan” label. It’s also a good idea — when buying sweets, in particular — to review the full list of ingredients to make sure they’re free of dairy byproducts such as whey powder, casein, lactose, gelatin, collagen, and/or honey.

The desserts below are made by allergen-friendly brands committed to ensuring vegans have plenty of delicious options to choose from. From a candy bar-flavored ice cream, to a cookie that’s two desserts in one, these are the vegan treats I buy on repeat.

Credit: Rachel Werner

1. Halo Top Creamy Non-Dairy Vegan Frozen Dessert

Ice cream enthusiasts will be thrilled with Halo Top’s wide assortment of choices available in pints. My personal favorite (at the moment) is Candy Bar — a chocolate base, filled with bits of peanuts and caramel swirls — but Sea Salt Caramel, Peanut Butter Cup, and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough are quite scrumptious, too.

Buy: Halo Top Creamy Non-Dairy Vegan Candy Bar Frozen Dessert, $5.99 for 16 ounces at Instacart

Credit: Rachel Werner

2. Charm School Chocolate Bars

Chef Joshua Rosen deconstructed ingredients commonly used in chocolate making (milk, refined sugar) and replaced them with non-dairy, vegan alternatives — without compromising the rich, silky texture or familiar flavors. Case in point: This Vanilla Bean White Chocolate Bar is stone-ground in small batches from pure organic cocoa butter and it tastes just like vanilla ice cream! You can’t exactly serve this as a dinner party dessert, but it’ll hit the spot for you on a random weeknight.

Buy: Vanilla Bean White Chocolate Bar, $8.99 for 2.1 ounces at Charm School Chocolate

Credit: Rachel Werner

3. Enjoy Life Double Chocolate Brownie Soft Baked Cookies

Haven’t quite mastered the art of vegan baking? No problem! Enjoy Life’s Double Chocolate Brownie Soft Baked Cookies are essentially two of the best desserts in one. Are they brownies or are they cookies? They’re both! They also make an ideal sweet treat for households with multiple food allergies or individuals who need to closely monitor their daily nutritional intake (I’ve found they contain less sugar than other pre-packaged options).

Credit: Rachel Werner

4. Siete Churro Strips

Staying true to its mission of making tasty “grain-free Mexican food” readily available to the public, these cinnamon-flavored chips (like the rest of Siete’s products) are dairy- and soy-free. Coated in coconut sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla bean powder, they taste surprisingly similar to handmade churros. Another weeknight dessert win for you!

Buy: Siete Churro Strips Grain Free Cinnamon Chips, $4.78 for 5 ounces at Walmart

Credit: Rachel Werner

5. Abe’s Lemon Pound Cake

It’s very hard to pick which of Abe’s cakes you should buy. You could narrow it down based on the number of expected guests: Pound cake loaves like Ultimate Lemon and Ginger Spice serve four to five people (or one person over a few days), while the Chocolate square cake serves nine and the larger Carrot celebration cake can feed 11. You can’t go wrong, though — all of Abe’s cakes are ridiculously moist.

Buy: Abe’s Ultimate Lemon Pound Cake, $9.19 for 14 ounces at GTFO It’s Vegan

What’s your favorite store-bought vegan dessert? Tell us in the comments below!