As a vegan, it can be tough to avoid feeling left out of the foodie fun. While Melbourne plays home to some of the best vegan restaurants in Australia—dare we say it, the world!—finding cutting-edge, creative and down-right delicious cuisine that’s 100% animal-friendly can be a challenge, especially when it comes to decadent vegan desserts.
Listers, we’re tired of being lumped with the fruit salad. So to help all you sweet-toothed, cruelty-free foodies, we’ve rounded up the best vegan desserts in Melbourne in this handy hit-list. Without futher ado, welcome to the very first TUL vegan dessert awards*!
Best for Frozen Desserts | Yo-Chi
Frozen yogurt emporium, Yo-Chi, serves a whole host of vegan flavours and toppings, making it the best place to indulge in vegan desserts in Melbourne if chilled treats are your thing. The coconut flavour is deliciously refreshing (we topped ours with the passionfruit coulis and a handful of juicy raspberries—zing!), while dark chocolate and chocolate hazelnut flavours make for a vegan fro-yo combo rich in decadence. An all-round amazing animal-free dessert experience.
Best for Birthday Cakes | Mister Nice Guy
The selection of vegan birthday cakes on offer from cruelty-free bakery Mister Nice Guy is overwhelming—there are over FIFTY flavours to choose from and all can be ordered as a ‘giant cupcake,’ which is precisely as good as it sounds. They’re beautiful for any occasion, and made all the better by the fact they are organic and fair trade. We reckon the red velvet is our favourite vegan cupcake classic, with the rainbow cake winning points for novelty value. Wait, there’s a booze-infused coconut and pineapple Pina Colada cake?! We’re yours, Mister Nice Guy.
(Not exactly a dessert, they also do a killer cornbread and jalapeno muffin. Heat, top with nut butter, and go.)
Best for Chocolate | Pana Chocolate
Pana Chocolate, who make raw chocolate in Melbourne suburb Richmond, won this vegan dessert category outright. Each of their amazing flavour combinations is a winner: The rose petal is beautifully delicate; the fig and wild orange, a blend of sweetness and zest; the sour cherry and vanilla, a puckering delight; and the 80% cacao, just OMG-give-me-more. If you can’t make it to Pana Chocolate’s kitchen café in Richmond, you can also order online via their website.
Best for Cheesecake | Pavlov's Duck
With its almonds, dates and vanilla bean base and topped with a stack of fresh berries, Fitzroy's Pavlov's Duck won us over with its raw raspberry and white chocolate cheesecake. The sharpness of the organic raspberries and sweetness of the vegan white chocolate meld together faultlessly in your mouth—never too saccharine or too sour, we immediately wanted a second slice of this guilt free treat!
Best for Tiramisu | Yong Green Food
Yong Green’s tiramisu is legendary in certain Melbourne vegan circles. Although not as syrupy as traditional tiramisu, its cacao shavings and creamy texture make up for what it lacks in hard booze. Accompany this with a coffee and enjoy every last mouthful! One of Melbourne’s best vegan desserts, hands down.
Best for Custard Tarts | Smith & Daughters
When it comes to vegan desserts in Melbourne, and vegan food in general, the expertise of the team behind Smith & Daughters is second to none. We love everything that comes out of their Brunswick Street vegan kitchen, but their Mexican custard flan really takes the biscuit. Alright, so it’s not exactly a custard tart, but it is mouth-wateringly moreish. Rich, simple and oh so tasty.
Best for Sweet Treats to Go | Life Seeeds
Firstly, these caught our eye quite literally! Listers, rumour has it that we eat with our eyes, and Life Seeeds' incredible range of vegan, plant-based dessert slices and cakes look amazingly cute. Decorated with vibrant natural colours, they taste great too and are the perfect vegan picnic dessert or afternoon tea snack. The triple 'e' stands for 'eat, enjoy, embrace'—don't mind if we do! You can pick up Life Seeeds' vegan dessert slices at Aunt Maggies health food stores around Melbourne, or at a host of Melbourne's best vegan cafes including Patch and Mastic (two of our Fave 5 clean eating cafes).
Best ‘Veganisation’ of an Existing Dish | The Nutrition Bar
As a Melbourne vegan, you’re often forced to give up the things that you love for the greater good. Some, you don’t miss that much, but the confectionary champion that is the Bounty bar? That we miss. Clean eating hub Nutrition Bar’s raw equivalent is better than the real thing—the perfect balance of cacao and coconut. Dessert gurus at Nutrition Bar Windsor, Richmond and St Kilda Road, we salute you.
The Wild Card | Sister of Soul
Nothing blew us away quite like the black sticky rice with caramelised coconut, fresh sorbet and coconut cream served by Sister of Soul, St Kilda’s best vegan café. We’ll admit that we were hesitant at first, but this is definitely one we will be reordering again and again. Creative, delicious and animal-friendly—everything we love about the Melbourne vegan dessert scene!
*Totally a legit awards ceremony
Image credit: Pana Chocolate via Instagram