6 Stellar Sweets Minus the Dairy and Eggs

Brutus Bakeshop’s Pop-Tart. Photo: Jaclyn Warren/Star Chefs

As New York’s vegan dining options have expanded in recent years the city’s pastry and dessert menus have followed suit. Here are six of our favorites.


Brutus Bakeshop’s Guava–Passion-Fruit Pop-Tart

$8; at Ursula, 724 Sterling Pl., Crown Heights

Lani Halliday’s sprinkle-spangled Pop-Tarts debuted at a 2020 Maison Yaki pop-up to much-deserved fanfare. These days, devotees of their snappy pastry (Halliday cuts the pie crust with coconut yogurt, which crisps up the texture and imparts a subtle hint of coconut flavor), bright and balanced guava filling, and breezy passion-fruit glaze can find them in the pastry case of the vegan-friendly café Ursula.


Erin McKenna’s Bakery’s Iced Lemon Tea Cake

$5 per slice, $40 per loaf; 248 Broome St.

Photo: Adam Whyte

The lemon tea cake at this pioneering Lower East Side vegan and gluten-free bakery has a slightly crackly exterior that conceals a plush, citrus-forward crumb. (Applesauce swirled into the batter is the secret behind the decadent texture.) And the hot-pink confectioners’-sugar glaze has all the mouth-puckering, sweet-tart appeal of pink lemonade.


Dun-Well Doughnuts’ Cinnamon-Roll Doughnut

$4; 222 Montrose Ave., East Williamsburg

Photo: Courtesy of Dun-Well Doughnuts

Merging the most delicious aspects of a yeast doughnut (fluffy, tender) and a cinnamon roll (gooey, rich), Dun-Well’s Cinnamon-Roll Doughnut is a hybrid-dessert lover’s dream. The coiled pastry is draped with a Ceylon-cinnamon-speckled glaze. Next comes a swirl of silky tofu-based cream cheese as mesmerizing as a hypnotist’s spiral. Flavors rotate regularly, but if the cinnamon roll isn’t available, the shimmering cinnamon-sugar doughnut makes a very worthy stand-in.


Tagmo’s Kaju Katli

$2 per piece, $50 for a 16-piece box; 226 Front St.

Photo: Courtesy of Tagmo

Chef Surbhi Sahni’s mastery of mithai (Indian sweets) is apparent in her sparkling take on kaju katli (literally “cashew slice”). Powdered cashews, sugar syrup, and cocoa butter, standing in for the more common ghee, combine to form a dense confection with a texture somewhere between halvah and fudge. Cardamom lends an earthy-spicy counterpoint to the sweetness, and the otherwise homely beige squares are festively bedazzled with iridescent pink glitter. A variety of Sahni’s sweets, both vegan and dairy, are on the menu at (and sold at the front of) her new regionally inspired Indian restaurant in the South Street Seaport.


Blue Marble’s Bread & Roses Ice Cream

$6 for a scoop; multiple locations

Photo: Courtesy of Blue Marble Ice Cream/Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.

In a crowded field of extraordinary nondairy ice creams, Blue Marble’s Bread & Roses flavor (the name alludes to a 20th-century labor-movement slogan) stands apart. The rich coconut-cream base is shaded a delicate pink (thanks to beet juice, not red dye No. 40) and perfumed with just enough rose extract to evoke a stroll through a garden without skewing into soap-shop territory. Crushed shortbread woven throughout brings bursts of vanilla flavor and milk-dunked-cookie softness.


Glur’s Khanom Tuay

$8; 144 W. 19th St.

Photo: Courtesy of Glur

It is hard to glam up custard, but Glur’s coconut version makes up for its plain looks with unadulterated comfort. Served warm from the steamer basket in two tiny ceramic dishes, it has a top layer of lightly salted coconut cream that gives way to the slow wobble of a rice-thickened, gently sweetened, deeply satisfying pudding. Spooning to the bottom of the bowl is a reminder that desserts don’t always need flash to dazzle.

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6 Stellar Sweets Minus the Dairy and Eggs