I am both a devout vegan and a devout chocolate lover. These things are not contradictions. In fact, because there is a higher power, dark chocolate (aka the only kind worth eating if you're serious about your love for chocolate) is completely vegan. Because I also love baking, I spend way, way too much time browsing Pinterest for healthy vegan chocolate dessert recipes — and man, are there a lot of good ones to choose from.
One of the best things about vegan baking is that it's often also (though not always, of course) healthier. Several of the recipes I've tried out here incorporate everything from banana to avocado to tofu to black beans — and you'd never know it. Seriously, I've had non-vegan friends polish several of these off, only to find out later that they were vegan, or made with coconut oil instead of butter. You can always modify these recipes with more or less sugar, but the great thing about dark chocolate cocoa powder is that it can pack a real punch without any added sweetness getting in the way of its flavor.
In my opinion, the best dessert is one that tastes super-chocolaty, isn't so sweet that it overpowers the cocoa flavor, and is both dense and light enough to make a satisfying snack, anytime of the day. Not all of the options on this list meet that criteria perfectly, but several of them are healthy enough (or can be modified) so that you could safely eat them for breakfast without feeling gross after. Here are my picks for the best "healthy" vegan chocolate dessert recipes I've found — so far.
1. Fudgy Gluten Free Chocolate Cake
God, this cake is so good. I made this Minimalist Baker recipe (without gluten free flour, which also works) for a group of friends, and they polished it off in five minutes flat. I made it a tiny bit less sweet because that's how I like it, but the recipe is pretty healthy as it is — it uses avocado and banana to get that fudginess, and plenty of coconut oil and cocoa powder to make the chocolatey richness come through. What I love about this cake is that it's light enough to have a few pieces without feeling sick in the slightest — yet it tastes super rich and fudgy and chocolatey. Seriously, trust me. Make this, and don't feel bad about eating the whole thing.
2. No Churn Raw Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream
As soon as the weather is warm enough, I fully plan to try making this decadent, chocolatey coconut milk ice cream by Connoisseurus Veg that also uses banana and avocado for that added creaminess.
3. Flourless Black Bean Chocolate Brownies
It sounds crazy, I know — but like many vegan and healthy baking recipes, it's genius. This is one of Cookie Covered Katie's most popular recipes, and for good reason — you could eat half the batch and consider it lunch, in an emergency. Black beans and dark chocolate, FTW.
4. Peanut Butter Balls
What's better than chocolate and peanut butter? Nothing, that's what. I want these raw balls from Oh She Glows in my mouth, stat. (And yes, I know how that sounds, and I'm OK with it.)
5. Chocolate Cake With Almond-Pumpkin Buttercream
I'm always deterred by having to add a layer to a cake, but this Half Baked Harvest recipe looks doable and worth it. Plus, you know, almond butter has protein, so this is practically a power bar.
6. Overnight Chia Chocolate Pudding
Chia pudding is easy to make — if you can wait overnight for the results, that is. Make this Minimalist Baker recipe the next time you have some leftover almond milk, and enjoy your day's worth of fiber in chocolate-form.
7. Gooey Pumpkin Spice Latte Pudding Cake
I almost made this Oh She Glows beast for Thanksgiving (and opted for an awesome vegan pumpkin pie instead) but I still want to try this. It looks like caramel — but it's pumpkin, which in my opinion, is way better.
8. 2-Ingredient Dark Chocolate Truffles
The Minimalist Baker lives up to her name with this simple recipe using just dark chocolate and coconut milk. You had me at "two ingredients". (Though you can also add vanilla extract and cocoa powder if you're feeling ambitious.)
9. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Freezer Fudge
Because let's be real: sometimes you just want to eat the cookie dough. And since it's vegan, you won't even have to worry about this Oh She Glows recipe giving you salmonella poisoning! This recipe also uses bananas and almonds, so you'll be eating some real food too. See? Healthy.
10. Chocolate Mousse
OK, this is really practically a health food because it's made with silken tofu, the secret weapon of vegan bakers. Get the easy recipe at Connoisseurus Veg.
11. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Whenever you make a recipe that calls for canned pumpkin, there always seems to be a little bit leftover — the perfect excuse to bake something. These chocolate chip pumpkin cookies from Chocolate Covered Katie are great for those of us who could never choose between our love for chocolate and all things pumpkin.
12. Almond Butter Mocha Chocolate Chip Brownie Bites
Not quite fudge, not quite a brownie, not quite cookie dough, this delicious-looking hybrid from Ari's Menu is just a hit of chocolate goodness for your mouth, packed with almond butter and almond meal for protein.
13. Mint Chocolate Fudge Pie
Chocolate Covered Katie promises that this is for serious fudge lovers only, and it looks just dense enough to pass the chocolate-addict test to me. (It's also made with tofu.)
14. No Bake Oatmeal Cookies
Easy and super healthy, these chocolate-craving satisfiers from Oh She Glows are pretty much a breakfast cookie, if you want them to be.
15. Dark Chocolate Sweet Potato Crisps
Because sometimes, you want your sweet potato chips to be covered in dark chocolate. This is why the Minimalist Baker is my favorite. (I also recommend putting popcorn on your ice cream sometime. Just sayin'.)