I can’t remember all of the cool, tech-y presents I was given growing up, but I can definitely remember the holiday desserts people have made me over the years.
I remember being in middle school when my sister’s boyfriend’s mom gave my family a tin filled with all sorts of German cookies she’d made from scratch. Or the chocolate chip ones my friend Megan gave me in high school—along with a homemade Christmas ornament with my name on it. And I remember spending hours with my mom in the kitchen, using cookie cutters shaped like Christmas trees and Santas to make dozens of red, green, and white sugar cookies for all our relatives.
This year, gifts that are simple and sweet take on extra meaning. But if you’re giving someone a homemade gift, you want to make sure they can fully enjoy it—which isn’t exactly easy given all the different eating plans people follow these days (not to mention any potential allergies and food intolerances). It can be especially hard to find holiday dessert recipes that don’t require eggs or heaps of sugar. But in reality, you don’t need either to make delicious cookies, cakes, and other holiday classics.
All of the vegan holiday desserts featured here are also low in sugar, too. So whether you want to give one of your favorite holiday desserts a twist or are looking for something to make for the very first time, we’ve got you covered. Consider it our gift to you.
Keep reading for 11 delicious vegan holiday desserts
Snickerdoodles are a classic cookie—and thankfully can be easily made without eggs or other animal products. They feature cinnamon, maple, and vanilla to add lots of holiday flavor to each bite. Besides being vegan and low-sugar, they’re also gluten-free and nut-free.
Get the recipe: Snickerdoodles
Incorporating matcha powder into your sticky buns gives them a festive green hue. Matcha and chocolate taste delicious together and what better way to enjoy the pairing than in the form of hot sticky buns? It’s perfect for a Christmas morning breakfast.
Get the recipe: Chocolate matcha sticky buns
Another way to incorporate matcha into your holiday baking is by folding it right into your chocolate chip cookie batter. You don’t need to use any eggs to make this recipe; a banana helps bind the ingredients together instead. Just add an extra tablespoon or two of water to the batter to help with the moisture.
Get the recipe: Matcha chocolate chip cookies
4. Chocolate peanut butter balls
Chocolate and peanut butter go together like Rudolph and his red nose. These holiday balls are sure to be a crowd-pleaser and they only take six ingredients to make. Guess what’s not on the list? Yep, eggs—you don’t need ’em. In the video, honey is used as a sweetener but maple syrup works just as well.
This dessert is made with nuts, fruit, spices, and cocoa, all of which add their own layer of flavor and texture. The end result is a rich, chewy cake that isn’t too overly sweet. In addition to being vegan, it’s also gluten-free and Paleo.
Get the recipe: Panforte Italian Christmas cake
If you have a lot of people you’re making cookies for, this recipe is truly lifesaving. Not only is the end result super downright stunning, the cookies only take 30 minutes to make and the dough doesn’t require any chilling. Plus, you only need six ingredients to make them.
Get the recipe: Gluten-free vanilla cookies
These holiday energy balls are sweet in every sense of the word and the recipe is simple enough that if you have kids, they can easily get in on the baking fun, too. All you need is a banana, gluten-free rolled oats, maple syrup, and chocolate chips.
Get the recipe: no-bake holiday energy balls
Japanese sweet potatoes‘ vibrant purple hue makes them so fun to incorporate into vegan holiday desserts. They taste absolutely delicious when blended with coconut cream, which is exactly how the filling for this show-stopping tart is made. The crust consists of almond flour, cashews, Medjool dates, and coconut oil. Not only is it gluten-free, but the ingredients are full of protein and fiber.
Get the recipe: Gluten-free sweet potato tart
Who wouldn’t love these little snowballs you can actually eat? Made with high-protein foods almonds and walnuts, they’ll give you the energy you need to play outside in the snow (or just get through your workday). They only require five ingredients and 10 minutes to make, too.
Get the recipe: Coconut lemon energy balls
Rich cocoa powder, winter fresh peppermint, naturally sweet coconut cream…there are so many layers of delicious flavor to these brownies. The end result is rich and fudgy without tasting sickly-sweet.
Get the recipe: No-bake candy cane mint brownies
Vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free…this dessert checks all the boxes. They’re also made with just four ingredients and take just 15 minutes to make. The end result is a holiday version of classic Crunch bars.
Get the recipe: 4-ingredient peppermint chocolate crunch bars
Get more holiday recipe ideas—and share your own—in Well+Good’s Cook With Us Facebook group.
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