What’s Really in Vegan Desserts?
A few tips for planning a dairy-free, egg-free, or vegan birthday celebration with dessert!
What should you do when sorbet is the only dessert on the menu, fruit is the only vegan dessert your family knows how to make, and a birthday is approaching?
I recently came across a Twitter thread about vegan birthday desserts served at restaurants. Some were hilarious, others kind of sad. The whole things was started by Yazisalright , she was out at a restaurant for her birthday and was served a single slice of a banana with a candle in it.
So many people questioned the validity, she posted the video of the waitress presenting it inside the restaurant as proof. It was real. Or unreal? It sounds like she had a great sense of humor about it!
People with special nutrition needs or preferences are familiar with this scene. Anyone who enjoys a dairy-free, gluten-free, or vegan diet by preference or allergy is familiar with this scene. You show up at a restaurant or party and you can only trust eating maybe 2 things, with sorbet for dessert.
When you do find delicious sounding vegan food, you instantly turn into a private investigator looking for hidden clues. Is the chocolate sorbet organic, are the fruit preserves made with lactic acid, does the vegan red velvet cake use natural food coloring?
Just because it is labeled vegan doesn’t mean it is made well, or even vegan for that matter.
I was sitting around a table drinking tea with friends when someone brought up a local (ish) bakery’s vegan treats. Another whispered the question -- have you seen what they make their vegan treats with? White sugar (usually not-vegan), partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, and frostings made with whipped palm oils, powdered sugar and food coloring.
Egads. Holy Cow. OMGG.
Once you pay attention to ingredients , it is impossible to ignore
When I set out to make the best vegan birthday cake, that can ship anywhere in the US -- I revisited my Grandmother’s recipes. Women in the 1930s and 40s were experts at whipping up desserts with few ingredients. They were dealing with egg shortages, or a grocery budget that ran low on dairy. But cocoa, flour, sugar and vinegar were common pantry staples -- and the sum of these ingredients spark some kind of fudgy magic that makes the perfect vegan birthday cake, without any weird gum or fillers. It also happens to be vegan, egg-free, dairy-free, and really delicious.
We didn't want to just make vegan cakes for vegans to enjoy. We set out to make vegan birthday cakes for cake lovers and birthday celebrators who love delicious desserts. It’s exactly why we go through the time consuming process of topping each cake with a vegan marshmallow -- a confection made with hot sugar, agar (powdered red-algae), non-gmo soy protein isolate, and Madagascar vanilla. Plus, a whole lot of time whipping.
Dairy-free, egg-free, and food coloring free
Our vegan treats are great choices for people who are dairy-free, egg-free, and want to avoid food coloring in everything from cake to frosting and sprinkles.
Wait, what? Sprinkles aren’t vegan?
Nope, not even close. I was as bummed as you must be right now. Most sprinkles and decorative toppings are coated in confectioner's glaze or colored with insect derived ingredients. Depending on the color, food coloring used in frostings and even red velvet cake is made with similar insect derived ingredients, and are known to be frequently tested on animals. That is a big thumbs down for our bakery.
The bottom line is this -- If you are about to celebrate a birthday of someone who is vegan, dairy-free, egg-free, or even gluten-free, double check the menu carefully before their big day and make sure there is something for them to enjoy on their birthday with a candle... hopefully something more festive than a slice of banana. If there isn’t anything worthy of a celebration, order a six-pack of chocolate vegan birthday cupcakes dipped in chocolate or a single vegan super birthday cupcake and tell us when it should arrive. Then just like magic, their vegan birthday cake will arrive on their doorstep in time for the big day. Or have it delivered to your doorstep & bring it to the restaurant with you.
Ready to celebrate?