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Vegan Holiday Desserts to Bring to a Thanksgiving or Christmas Potluck

As a newly confirmed vegan, I have found a few recipes that are excellent and make me feel great. I'd love to share my findings with you.

Me with my vegan gingerbread

Me with my vegan gingerbread

Being Vegan During the Holidays

When I’m home, I really don’t have to worry about what I’ll fix for lunch. There is always something vegan I can whip up. My dilemma occurs when I am going out or visiting family. First, I don’t want to see the eye-rolls and hear the "what’s wrong with you" comments. Second, it’s better if I make something so wonderful and tasty without using any animal products that I astound my friends and family into silence.

So the question now is what shall I bring to the holiday potlucks I know are around the corner? Below are two vegan dessert recipes I love to prepare for potluck-style gatherings. I've also included links to three additional holiday dish recipes from vegan chefs across the web that I have made and enjoyed in the past.

You don't have to become a vegan. You can become a plant-passionate, plant-inspired bean lover!

— Kris Carr

These are my no-bake peanut butter chocolate oat bars. They're delicious, vegan, don't require any cooking, and are enticing for vegans and omnivores alike.

These are my no-bake peanut butter chocolate oat bars. They're delicious, vegan, don't require any cooking, and are enticing for vegans and omnivores alike.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Oat Bars

These no-cook treats are perfect for breakfast on the go any day, but I also like to make and bring them to potlucks and other gatherings as a dessert/snack item. They're festive and flavorful, so they're perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other holidays.

Ingredients (Peanut Butter Oat Layer)

  • 2 ½ cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup

Ingredients (Chocolate Topping)

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, soft but not liquid
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon agave nectar, plus more to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Line a square brownie pan with parchment paper.
  2. Put the peanut butter and maple syrup into a medium saucepan and stir over medium heat until thoroughly combined.
  3. Add the rolled oats and stir until the oats are coated.
  4. Remove from heat and transfer to lined brownie sheet, pressing down to cover the bottom as level as possible.
  5. Whip the chocolate topping ingredients together, pour onto the peanut butter oat layer, and spread evenly.
  6. Chill at least 30 minutes or until set.
  7. Slice and serve.

Being vegan is one of the most effective decisions we can make to bring about world peace.

— Unknown

Vegan Sweet Rolls

My sweet rolls, which are always very popular with my family while they wait for their turkey to cook, are made with whole-wheat flour, vegan butter, and lots of cinnamon. This is my own recipe for whole-wheat rolls that I created when my doctor said I should stay away from white bread. These were a big hit when I first introduced them to my family. Everyone tried one, and no one knew or cared that they were vegan.

Ingredients for Whole-Wheat Dough

  • 1½ cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1½ cups unbleached flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon active bread yeast
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground flax meal (as an alternative to one egg)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Ingredients for Toppings and Icing

  • 1/2 cup melted vegan butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1 cup walnuts (optional)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Place the warm water, sugar, and yeast into the bread maker mold and allow to stand for 10 minutes until the yeast has softened and activated.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and set the bread maker for dough only.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  4. When the dough is ready, roll it out about 1/2 to 5/8-inch thick and drizzle the vegan butter over the top.
  5. Sprinkle generously with brown sugar and cinnamon mixture, then add raisins and walnuts if desired.
  6. Roll up the dough into a long hotdog shape and cut 1-inch thick slices.
  7. Place slices into a greased rectangular pan cut-side down.
  8. Brush with vegan butter and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven.
  9. While cooling, brush with vegan butter.
  10. Prepare the frosting by mixing the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk together until you have a thick but creamy mixture. Add more powdered sugar if the mixture is too thin. Add more milk if the mixture is too stiff.
  11. Once the rolls are cooled, drizzle the frosting over them in decorative spiderweb designs or frost overall as desired.

Every person I have met who has gone vegan says it is the best decision they have ever made.

— Lewis Hamilton

Vegan Entrées, Sides, and Desserts From Around the Web

  • This stuffed and roasted butternut squash by Sam Turnbull from It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken looks like a traditional roast and tastes great, too. It makes the perfect entrée for any holiday gathering.
  • These melting cinnamon-roasted sweet potatoes by Melanie McDonald from A Virtual Vegan make a fantastic side dish for a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal. The tasty, sticky, and caramelized sweet potatoes go perfectly with the rest of the holiday fare. This recipe includes hints of thyme and pecans.
  • This cranberry apple pear crumble by Melanie McDonald has just the right amount of sweet and tart—it's almost like an apple pie without the crust. This holiday dessert is perfect if you are cutting back on those carbs.

Going vegan would be a big missed steak.

— Unknown

Parting Thoughts

I may add more to this list eventually. It makes me happy to have time to prepare my shopping list and plan ahead for my cooking day. Some of these items keep well when frozen, which is great for bake-ahead preparation. Wish me luck!


Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on November 19, 2019:

Lynne Samuel,

Yes, those PB Oat bars are very addicting. I think you will love them. Thanks for commenting.



Lynne Samuel from Malaysia on November 18, 2019:

These are great, I like your ideas. May I say, the no-bake PB Oat bars in particular looks appetizing and I can actually make those *chuckles*. I have a sweet tooth... I also love the potatoes side dish.

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on November 17, 2019:

Mary Norton,

I agree. Although some look good but don't have a lot of flavor. So I'm being very particular about the ones I share. I've been researching these recipes for a while now. I found a vegan bologna recipe that I thought I would try before recommending it to anyone. I don't have a food processor so I just used a regular mixer to mix up the ingredients this morning and although it didn't come out as smooth as the pictures show, it did come out tasty and better than I expected. I'll have to write a new hub on sandwich makings and include this find. Thanks for commenting.



Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on November 17, 2019:

I love the look of that stuffed butternut squash. Actually, all the recipes are something I would enjoy.

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on November 16, 2019:

Linda Crampton,

I think you are right about that. I took some of these to a potluck already and had nothing to bring home. Everyone loved it and some didn't even know it was vegan. Thanks for commenting.



Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on November 16, 2019:

These all sound and look like delicious holiday dishes. I'm sure many people would love them, whether or not they are vegans.

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on November 16, 2019:

Bill Holland,

Gosh, thanks. I am enjoying avoiding meat of all kinds as well as dairy and eggs wherever I can. Thanks for the kudos.



Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on November 16, 2019:

Linda Lum,

Yes, I think you are right. I could stuff this same stuffing in an Acorn squash too. Thanks for commenting.



Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on November 16, 2019:

Lorna Lamon,

Well, it's more self-preservation than timing. My first potluck was today and I brought the Cranberry Lentil Loaf and the No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Oat Bars. I don't have any left to bring home. I went over very well even with my non-vegan friends. Thanks for commenting.



Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on November 16, 2019:

Eric Dierker,

That is one way to look at it...go to a party to meet eligible men. Hmmm. Thanks for the comment.



Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on November 16, 2019:

One of Bev's kids is a vegan. I'll pass this along to him. In advance to him using it, thank you!

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on November 16, 2019:

I'm having my morning cup of coffee as I read this; I'll have one of the cinnamon rolls please. They look really good!

I'm not terribly into sweets so what I like best in this article is the roast. I'll bet you could use that same stuffing in acorn squash. White and wild rice, walnuts, and cranberries plus herbs and spices. You've got all those sweet/savory flavors that I love. Thanks for a great (and timely) article.

Lorna Lamon on November 16, 2019:

What a wonderful collection of tasty vegan treats. I will certainly be using these ideas for my Christmas celebration, both for family and to bring to friends. Perfect timing Denise.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on November 15, 2019:

Cool. My momma would say that you don't bring hamburger to a potluck. She always went all out. She would have us young one present them.

(Of course she was also admonishing about bringing a girl to a party where we might meet someone better -- that lady was cold -- love her)