Food

Holiday Classics Veganized

This holiday season, indulge in all of your favorite traditions with these cruelty-free renditions of winter's most-anticipated treats.

Sigh no more at the notion of spending the holidays without your favorite treats of the season—veganized versions of every imaginable winter sweet are plentiful and guilt-free. From gingerbread to fruitcake and mincemeat to nog, holiday indulgence comes in myriad merry forms that will make you and your guests as holly jolly as can be. A few quick steps in the kitchen, and vegan indulgence awaits.

Home Sweet Home
One of the best ways to spend a December afternoon is gleefully affixing candy to a gingerbread house with a generous smear of fluffy frosting. Don’t deprive yourself of this activity just because you’ve gone dairy-free—vegan gingerbread and frosting recipes are easy to come by. For starters, try VegNews’ own Vegan Gingerbread recipe. It works just as well for making the walls and roof of a Lilliputian fortress as it does for cutting into cookie shapes. A kick of spice and swirl of molasses pack it with flavor, so be forewarned that you might end up munching on your majestic creation. You’ll need icing for decorating your pint-sized gingerbread palace, so try Vegan Dad’s recipe for Vegan Royal Icing, which is derived from a Goodbaker recipe. Are you bogus at building? Check out The Gluttonous Vegan’s step-by-step tutorial for achieving a picture-pretty house complete with sugary icicles. Vegansaurus also has a guide that is as valuable for its hilarious house-making narrative as it is for its baking and assembling tips. 

Yule Love This
One of the most quintessential holiday desserts, a chocolate yule log makes an impressive centerpiece for the conclusion of a seasonal feast. Dotted with faux mistletoe and covered in rich frosting, this Christmas creation begs to be veganized, and don’t worry—several baking whizzes have stepped up to the plate. For starters, try the three-part recipe from London-based blog Hasta La Vegan, which has you covered (in chocolate) on all components: sponge cake, frosting, and topping. Sweet Vegan also whipped up a cool yule, featuring a silken-tofu based chocolate mousse. And while it’s sadly recipe-free, take a gander at Walking the Vegan Line’s nine-layer log—is there such a thing as too much chocolate? We doubt it. If you are dying for a Buche de Noel but don’t have the time or baking pizzazz to whip up your own, order Violet Sweet Shoppe’s ready-to-eat version, complete with two cake varieties, three filling options, and marzipan decorations.

Festive Fruitcake
Because of this divisive dessert’s notoriously long shelf life and tendency to be re-gifted, talk show host Johnny Carson once joked that there is really only one fruitcake in the world—people just keep sending it to each other. While it may get more than its fair share of flak, fruitcake has charmed holiday tables for centuries, and can certainly be as enjoyable as it is ridiculed. Better yet, it can be a healthier option for filling the dessert void that inevitably creeps up after every savory entrée. The Vegan Feast Kitchen’s Low-Fat Vegan Carrot Fruitcake is richer and moister than traditional fruitcakes, and is studded with colorful dried fruits, making it more like a fresh-baked fruit bread than a boxed brick of a cake. Blog Nom! Nom! Nom! has also done the honors of rendering this traditional treat cruelty-free, so next time someone calls you nuttier than a fruitcake, you can take it as a compliment—and then give them one as a gift.

Merry Mincemeat
Deceptively enough, mincemeat is much more than simply minced … meat. In fact, it’s easy to lose the animal products for this surprisingly sweet fruit-based pie filling, ice cream topper, or stuffing substitute. VegWeb’s Vegetarian Mincemeat has just a few ingredients, and makes a unique DIY gift for friends and family. Are you a next-level mincemeat master? Try Yummly’s Meatless Mincemeat Pie or The Gluttonous Vegan’s bite-sized Cream Cheeze Mince Pies, which are as adorable as they are scrumptious.

Whether you choose to construct an ornate gingerbread house or meat-free mincemeat appetizers for a holiday party, options are plentiful for veganized seasonal treats. Share these holly jolly recipes with your friends and family to bring compassionate cheer to all of your celebrations.

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