This Thanksgiving, I am cooking my first ever holiday dinner – all on my own.
We’ll have a Tofurkey, vegan gravy and stuffing, potatoes, squash casserole, and cranberries – all of the tradition with none of the animal-derived ingredients like meat, milk, butter, and eggs.
As a relatively new vegan, I’m still very much in an experimental stage of baking – which is really fun, and I rarely make the same thing twice. Of course with my sweet tooth, I’d like to share the most important part of the meal: dessert !
The cookies I came up with myself from scratch; the pie and cake are modified from common recipes I’ve found online. All contain pretty basic ingredients, and the only things that might be missing from the average non-vegan kitchen are tofu and Ener-G egg replacer powder. I’ve gotten egg replacer from Whole Foods and online, and tofu can be found in almost any grocery store (even in middle-of-nowhere Oklahoma).
These recipes have all passed taste tests with my non-vegan friends and family. I myself prefer less sweet desserts, but these are calibrated to what seems to be the more usual palate.
Only 3 ingredients – how easy is that!
This recipe makes two 8-inch pies, using a ready-made or your own homemade crust.
1 ¼ cups cashews, soaked overnight in water
8 oz Tofu (choose the least firm variety)
1 large can (about 30 oz) Pumpkin Pie Mix (with sugars/spices included)
Directions. Pre-heat oven to 375. Blend all ingredients thoroughly in a food processor. Pour into 2 pie shells, smoothing the tops. Bake for 30 minutes, cool, and allow to firm in the refrigerator.
This is especially good the next day, after spending a night in the fridge.
Many vegan recipes (in my opinion) use too much oil, and this version is perfectly moist without the excess. Add a can of cherry pie filling on top for a decadent dessert.
1 ¼ cups flour
1 cup sugar (I use organic)
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup warm water
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup oil
1 tsp vinegar
Cherry pie filling or icing (ingredients below)
Directions: Preheat oven to 350. Thoroughly mix dry ingredients, then add the wet ingredients in order, stirring well. Pour into 8x8 pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. Don’t overbake! If you prefer icing to the cherries, mix together ½ cup sugar, 4 tbsp vegan margarine, 2 tbsp soymilk, 2 tbsp cocoa powder, and 2 tsp vanilla for a delicious icing, and pour on the cake after it has partially cooled.
Cookies- any flavor
I have used different boxed cake mixes (I check to be sure they contain no dairy ingredients), and my most-quickly-eaten ones are Spice (I add an extra ½ tsp of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger for extra flavor) and Lemon (replace soymilk/water with lemon juice).
You can add raisins, nuts, etc for more interesting cookies. They freeze well, and I make them in bulk ahead of time. These are not healthy cookies by any means, but are so convenient when I need to bring something that everyone will like, because they have so much flavor.
18 oz (approximately) box of cake mix, your choice of flavor
2 egg replacements (3 tsp Ener-G egg replacer and 4 tbsp water, mixed well)
4 ounces tofu, blended in food processor
¼ cup oil
1/8 cup soymilk – or water, in a pinch
Directions: Pre-heat oven to 375. Mix wet ingredients, then slowly add the boxed cake mix. The dough should be stiff, but moist enough to stick together. Add either flour or water if the mix is a bit too wet or dry (all mixes vary slightly). Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet - I use a mechanical ice cream scoop for consistently sized cookies. They bake for about 10-12 minutes, but watch them closely, as they vary in cooking time.