7 Vegan, Nutrient-Rich No-Bake Desserts That Taste Like a Ray of Sunshine

Photo: Stocksy/Giada Canu
Whether it’s the beads of sweat accumulating on your upper lip or your back glistening like the misty air that radiates from a waterfall—these, my friend, are dead giveaways that summer's sweltering heat has officially entered the chat. As everyone claws their way outdoors to celebrate the sunshine and warmer days, poolside festivities and outdoor BBQs quickly become all the rage. Next thing you know, you’re tasked with bringing a supersized pasta salad, a dip for the masses to munch on, and a dessert fit for the entire friend group.

If the last thing you want to do is crank on the oven to bake a cake meanwhile simultaneously transforming your house into the Saharan desert, we’ve gathered the best no-bake (and very *cool*) vegan desserts to bring to your next shindig. From vegan brownie bites to creamy flan to matcha swirl cheesecake, we’ve got you covered. Best of all, you won’t even break a sweat— literally. Granted: These no-bake vegan desserts come in handy no matter the time of year (and not just in the summertime), especially if your oven is piled high with pots and pans.

7 no-bake vegan desserts for summer (or any time of year)


1. Brownie Bites

no-bake desserts
Photo: Minimalist Baker

Just like a great BOGO deal, this recipe combines energy bites and dessert all into one. Made with just seven ingredients, one food processor, and a quick 15 minutes, you can enjoy this luscious and chocolatey brownie bites recipe by Minimalist Baker in no time. Rich in antioxidants (from the chocolate) and omega-3s (from the hemp seeds, walnuts, and almond butter), this recipe is one of the most delicious and easy no-bake desserts that's perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth all summer long. BTW, on the hunt for the best vegan chocolate? We've got you covered.

Get the recipe: No-Bake Brownie Bites 

Puddings and Custards

2. Flan

no-bake desserts
Photo: Minimalist Baker

Feel as though you’re on a tropical island getaway with this vegan flan by Minimalist Baker that’s eggless and dairy-free but still creamy, smooth, and entirely delicious. For the iconic caramel layer, recipe developer Dana Schultz uses coconut sugar in the place of refined sugars for the deep, rich, and golden sweet topping. Best of all, these flans can be made in individual-sized portions, so sharing is totally optional (and most definitely *not* a requirement).

Get the recipe: Easy Vegan Flan 

3. Bananas Foster Chia Pudding

no-bake desserts
Photo: Feasting on Fruit

Nutrient-rich sweets on your mind? Say no more. This drool-worthy bananas foster chia pudding recipe by Feasting on Fruit features layer upon layer of decadent goodness. From a creamy chia seed pudding to a gooey caramel sauce to caramelized cinnamon bananas, each bite of this no-bake vegan dessert will leave you smiling even bigger than the bite before. With vegan desserts this pretty, you can guarantee they'll be plastered all over your friend’s newsfeed with requests demanding how to make it.

Get the recipe: Bananas Foster Chia Pudding 

Cookie Bars

4. Cookie Dough Bars

no-bake desserts
Photo: Rainbow Plant Life

Bring back the childhood memories of sneaking a few bites of raw cookie dough right out of the bowl while your mom looked away with this cookie dough bars recipe by Rainbow Plant Life that’s parent-approved and just as delicious as you remember. Plus, with the help of a food processor, whipping it together for a last-minute event (that you completely forgot about) is really NBD.

Get the recipe: No-Bake Cookie Dough Bars 

Tarts and Pies

5. Fragrant Pandan Coconut Tart

vegan pandan tart
Photo: Vegamelon

Enjoy the pristine summer vibes with fruits like coconut and pandan year round with this tasty no-bake tart recipe by Vegamelon. Just like the name implies, this fragrant and no-bake recipe comes together with tasty ingredients like pandan, a tropical plant known for its sweet taste and mild aroma. The best part? The majority of the “cooking” time spent making this recipe involves chilling in the freezer. Pretty cool, right?

The gluten-free (and vegan) recipe features a coconut almond crust, layered with a smooth and creamy coconut milk and pandan filling and garnished with fresh blueberries for a beautiful pop of color to brighten any tablescape. (BTW, if you're having a hard time sourcing pandan powder, you can also swap it for matcha powder which will yield similar results in terms of the gorgeous green hue that makes this no-bake dessert such a showstopper.)

Get the recipe: Fragrant Pandan Coconut Tart 

6. Matcha Swirl Cheesecake

no-bake desserts
Photo: Minimalist Baker

If the thought of making cheesecake might seem like a cumbersome task, this no-bake matcha swirl cheesecake recipe by Minimalist Baker will quickly change your mind. Between the bright green hue that screams summertime to the matcha-infused filling that will help perk you up, this easy cheesecake recipe is the perfect crowd-pleasing dish to bring to any party. Best part? No bain-marie (hot water bath) in sight.

Get the recipe: Vegan Matcha Swirl Cheesecake 

7. Lemon Tart

no-bake desserts
Photo: Bianca Zapatka

If the sun were a pie, it definitely would look like this vegan lemon pie by Bianca Zapatka. Bright like sunshine, sweet and tangy like summer, and filled with tons of bright, zesty fruit, this show-stopping vegan dessert will turn heads the moment it enters the room. And if you’re wondering if this recipe calls for any artificial food coloring to achieve the vibrant yellow color, the answer is surprisingly no. With the help of turmeric (which is loaded with anti-inflammatory properties and helps make this one of our all-time favorite healthy fruit desserts and anti-inflammatory desserts), you can quickly achieve this bright, beautiful hue of yellow to wow everyone in sight.

Get the recipe: Vegan Lemon Tart 

A few vegan-friendly baking swaps

What do vegan bakers use instead of eggs?

When it comes to baking, you'll come to find that most recipes include eggs. Good news is that there are tons of vegan-friendly egg substitutes to choose from. A few of our favorites include bananas, applesauce, flax (which is used to make this delicious vegan Dutch baby recipe), and tofu. Here's a quick guide on ratios for replacing an egg.

  • 1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water
  • 1/2 mashed banana
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds + 3 tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup silken tofu
  • 1/4 cup applesauce

Which frosting is vegan?

Most frosting recipes, including American buttercream and Swiss meringue, star lots of butter and/or eggs. However, there are tons of vegan-friendly ingredients to make delicious, decadent frosting that's fully plant-based. With a little help from vegan butter + vegan cream cheese + powdered sugar, you'll be able to make the smoothest, richest, and creamiest vegan frosting of your dairy-free dreams (much like the one featured in this easy vegan spice cake recipe, which gets topped with a decadent vegan cream cheese frosting).

No time to whip together a batch from scratch? No problem. You can find tons of store-bought, premade options at the market, like Miss Jones Baking Organic Buttercream Frosting. It's ideal for icing and decorating, vegan-friendly (made with all-organic ingredients like coconut oil), and comes in various tasty flavors like chocolate, vanilla, cream cheese, and our personal favorite, Confetti Pop. Tasty vegan desserts, here we come!

Hold up. Did someone say vegan, gluten-free, and *no-bake* s'mores pie? Sign me up.

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