Dessert should never be an afterthought, but there is no shame in outsourcing this final course on Thanksgiving. Whether you’re tasked with bringing goodies to a Friendsgiving or preparing to host the entire Thanksgiving fête yourself, having a vegan pie or plant-based sweet treat ready to go will greatly reduce your day-of stress, clear room in the oven, and decrease the chances of something going wrong (even the best bakers burn cookies from time to time, and there’s always the off chance of a pumpkin pie not quite setting). From thick and gooey plant-based pecan pie to an impressive Piecaken, consider these shippable, delectable desserts as sweet back-up for a flawless vegan Thanksgiving feast.
Vegan Thanksgiving dessert ideas
The classic quintet of pies that traditionally round out any Thanksgiving meal—apple, pumpkin, sweet potato, pecan, and pumpkin—are rarely vegan by default. Unless, of course, you’re using a vegan recipe or miraculously grew up in a plant-based household. Pumpkin, sweet potato, and pecan classically call for eggs in the filling for structural integrity. While apple pie is often devoid of eggs (though always beware a top crust brushed with egg wash), dairy-based butter crusts are all too common. There are a few exceptions with apple pie. Some recipes call for pure shortening instead of butter. When you come across this kind of apple pie, order two slices!
Despite the heavy use of eggs and dairy in these iconic holiday pies, vegan versions do exist. Countless recipes online and a solid handful of store-bought fresh and frozen options offer plant-based solutions to the “what’s for dessert” question on Thanksgiving.
Whole Foods starts churning out its vegan pumpkin and apple pies around this time of year, and plenty of animal-free options can be found in the freezer section (try Raised Gluten-Free or Wholly Wholesome). In a pinch, Marie Calendar’s, Sarah Lee, and Claim Jumper’s frozen fruit pies also happen to be vegan.
Vegan dessert, delivered
Consider these shop-bought pies a backup plan, though, because the tempting treats below are worthy of the shipping costs. For truly unique, crowd-pleasing vegan Thanksgiving desserts, keep reading to discover the sweet possibilities that can be delivered to your door.
1. Giselle’s Vegan Kitchen
Let’s give thanks to an exceptional allergen-friendly bakery that opened and survived the pandemic. This storybook-themed, adorably pink Orange County, CA bakery took the leap at a brick-and-mortar in September 2020, and it’s now shipping delectable pies and other delightful treats nationwide. We simply cannot choose between the Apple Crumble, pumpkin, or pecan pie.
2. Sticky Fingers Bakery
Cupcakes, brownies, and frosting-filled sandwiches—you can have it all when you order from this Cupcake Wars champion baker. We love the idea of ending the Thanksgiving meal with a bit of a DIY dessert. Baker Doron Petersan’s decorating kits encourage consumers to frost their own brownies, cupcakes, and cookies with her finger-licking-good peanut butter, mint, or vanilla buttercreams. Rather not get too involved? The DC bakery’s November Cookie of the Month features an Apple Butter Oat cookie sandwich filled with pumpkin cream cheese. They’re the perfect autumnal finish to a hearty meal.
3. Achatz Handmade Pie Co.
This vegan-friendly pie shop nails the classics. The five vegan options—Northern Spy Apple Pie, cherry, blueberry, strawberry rhubarb, and Michigan 4-Berry—all feature a buttery and flaky double crust and a generous amount of sweet fruit filling. They’re incredible on their own and only improve with a mound of vegan vanilla ice cream.
4. Maya’s Cookies
Expecting a crowd this Thanksgiving? Give them cookies. While not a traditional Thanksgiving dessert, cookies are arguably the most shareable sweet out there. Maya’s Fall Collection features classic fall flavors with a delicious twist. Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip, Chai Snickerdoodle, and Apple Crumble offer just a taste of this cozy collection.
5. Dear Bella Creamery
A sweet and crumbly graham cracker crust serves as the vessel for this indulgent ice cream pie. The filling is made with Dear Bella’s luxurious Turtle Cheesecake ice cream, laced with caramel and fudge ribbons, chocolate-covered pecans, and more graham cracker crumbs. The pie is completed with a final drizzle of caramel and dotted with toasty pecans. And thanks to some Thanksgiving miracle, it can survive the postal service and land on your doorstep in pristine condition.
6. Erin McKenna’s Bakery
Need a pie for the allergen-averse? The queen of allergen-friendly baked goods (seriously, she launched in 2005) is shipping her holiday pies across the United States. Both the pumpkin and Dutch apple are vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free. You can’t taste it, though—we can tolerate gluten just fine and will go out of our way just for a slice of Erin McKenna’s mouthwatering pies. For the cake aficionados, drop an Apple Crumb Cake in your virtual cart so every guest is satisfied.
7. Karma Baker
Home of the legendary vegan PieCake, this dedicated gluten-free and vegan bakery places an emphasis on equally delicious and show-stopping desserts. Introduced in 2020, the towering PieCake consists of a pecan pie, pumpkin pie, and apple spice cake plastered together with luscious cinnamon buttercream frosting. Apple crumb, chocolate pecan, pumpkin, and pecan pies are also available for nationwide shipping for the traditional types who prefer their pies to “not touch.”
8. Bourke Street Bakery
Cutting into a pie is never a clean affair. Even if you cut the first slice perfectly, the dessert is bound to disintegrate into a mess of fruit and crumbs six slices in. The solution: everyone gets their own (mini) pie. Each pack of Bourke Street Bakery’s Vegan Apple Berry Crumble pies comes with 12 well-portioned pie tins, allowing each guest to feel special and sidestepping the woes of splitting a full-sized pie.
9. Shortbread Society
A delightful mash up between a cookie and a pie, these Vegan Pumpkin Pie Shortbread Bars are perfect for feeding a large family gathering. The three-layer treats feature a melt-in-your-mouth, tender and crumbly shortbread base slathered with a delicately sweet and warm pumpkin pie filling, sandwiched by a thick layer of rich crumble topping. Serve with a generous scoop of non-dairy ice cream to tame the richness of these bars.
10. Foxship Bakery
Weighing in at a full quarter pound, these cookies are a meal in themselves. You may have to play a round of touch football after dinner to make room for these thick Vegan Apple Butter and Salted Pumpkin Pecan hockey-puck-sized cookies, but they’re well worth the wait. Pro tip: serve warm from the oven with a scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream. Can’t finish it all? The leftovers freeze beautifully.
11. Frankie & Joe’s Ice Cream
Even if you’re adamant about having pie on Thanksgiving, every pie could use a scoop of decadent vegan ice cream riding shotgun. This vegan, woman-owned scoop shop in Seattle has created a medley of inventive, fall-themed flavors that would perfectly accompany a thick slice of apple pie (or be suitable by themselves). Stock your virtual cart with a pint of Brown Sugar Vanilla and a jar of the legendary Moon Goo (addictively good salted caramel sauce with activated charcoal).