EASY VEGAN PARFAIT

This easy vegan parfait is not only delicious but also very easy to make and ready in 20 minutes. It’s a perfect no-fuzz recipe dessert layering cashew cream, cherries, and vegan cookies.

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This recipe is what I make when I crave a fancy fruit dessert but don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. While this vegan parfait is nothing like the traditional dessert and nothing like the vegan versions with granola, yogurt, or coconut cream, it is irresistible.

WHAT IS PARFAIT?

In French, parfait means perfect. So, what does ‘’perfect’’ taste like? Originally parfait was a frozen custard-like puree made with boiling cream, eggs, sugar, and syrup. But these days, you might know parfait as a layered dessert served in a glass.

The American spin on the recipe is a yogurt parfait, which layers of yogurt, fruit, granola, and sometimes topped with whipped cream. It technically could be an (albeit fancy) breakfast.

This vegan parfait is a dessert without vegan whipped cream or coconut cream—an easy and delicious dessert requiring less than 10 ingredients. Once you have found the perfect cookies, this recipe comes together in less than 20 minutes. 

Ingredients for vegan parfait in small bowls on a grey backdrop.

VEGAN COOKIES

While this cherry parfait is delicious with Lotus Speculoos Biscoff cookies (accidentally vegan), you don’t have to use this specific cookie. You can make your shortbread cookies, such as this cookie recipe, with the addition of ½ teaspoon of gingerbread spice.

Any vegan snappy, gingerbread shortbread cookie will make a good cookie layer for this cherry parfait.

If you want to make this recipe more wholesome, you can replace the cookie layer with (homemade) granola or a mixture of nuts and seeds. But a crunchy cookie will provide a sweet crunch to this parfait.

Ingredients for vegan parfait in three small bowls on a silver serving tray.

HOW TO MAKE VEGAN PARFAIT

The first layer is crumbled crunchy cookies. In a small food processor, pulse the cookies until they are crumbled.

Crumbled cookies in a small food processor on a light grey backdrop.

For the cashew cream layer, blend the cashews with thick yogurt, lemon juice, and a sweetener. It is essential to soak the cashews in hot water and drain them before using the cashews. The soaking will make the cashews softer, creating a smooth texture for the cashew cream.

Cashew cream in a small food processor on a light grey backdrop.

The next layer is the layer with cherries. Heat the cherries in a small pot on medium heat with a sweetener, cornstarch, and water. Before the cherries cool down, serve the cherries in a glass with the crumbled cookies and the cashew cream. Don’t forget about the cherries because once they cool down, the cornstarch will make the cherries a relatively thick texture, and it will be harder to layer the cherries in the glass.

Warm cherries in a small stainless steel pan on a light brown napkin.

Finish the dessert with a final layer of crumbled cookies.

The flavor combination is so delicious! Crunchy, sweetly tangy, creamy, and simply irresistible.

You will love this vegan parfait recipe if you love:

  • A perfectly sweet dessert
  • Creamy desserts
  • Crunchy elements in a desserts
  • Contrasting flavors
  • Easy to make, but fancy looking
  • Subtly spiced with gingerbread

I find recipes like this one perfect for many occasions, from a simple Saturday evening at home to the winter holiday season and other festive gatherings.

VEGAN PARFAIT SUBSTITUTIONS

For this recipe, there are a few possible substitutes. However, since this recipe is already so simple, the more changes you make, the less it will taste like this delicious vegan parfait with cherries.

Instead of cherries, you can use any (frozen) fruit. I can recommend any berries such as raspberries or strawberries.

If you are allergic to nuts, you can double the amount of yogurt and skip the cashews.

To make this recipe whole food plant-based, you can use granola instead of cookies to layer the parfait. And you can use coconut sugar instead of regular white vegan sugar.

Two tall glasses with vegan parfait on a white wooden board with a wooden spoon next to it and a small bowl with crumbled cookies.

Are you going to make this vegan parfait with cherries? If so, I would love to read your comments below and rate it once you have tried it. You can also tag #thegreencreator @thegreencreator on Instagram. I love seeing your recreations!

Two tall glasses with vegan parfait on a white wooden board with a wooden spoon next to it and a small bowl with crumbled cookies.
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Two tall glasses with vegan parfait on a white wooden board with a wooden spoon next to it and a small bowl with crumbled cookies.

EASY VEGAN PARFAIT

  • Author: Bianca
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1 portion (or 2 small) 1x
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This easy vegan parfait is not only delicious but also very easy to make and ready in 20 minutes. It’s a perfect no-fuzz recipe dessert layering cashew cream, cherries, and vegan cookies.


Ingredients

Scale

Cashew Cream Layer

  • 1/3 cup (50 grams) cashews, soaked in boiled for 1 hour then drained
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 6 1/2 tablespoons (100 grams) plain thick vegan yogurt
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons raw vegan sugar (or another sweetener)

Cookie Layer

  • 6 vegan biscoff/ speculoos cookies (or shortbread vegan cookies with ½ teaspoon gingerbread spice)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Cherry Layer

  • 1 cup (150 grams) cherries, frozen
  • ½ tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) water
  • 2 tablespoons raw vegan sugar

Optional:
Cinnamon
Cacao powder
More sweetener if you want a sweeter dessert


Instructions

Cookie Layer

To a small food processor, add the cookies and the vanilla. Pulse until the cookies are crumbled, but not entirely. You don’t want to create a flour consistency, and keeping a few chunks is ideal. Set the crumbled cookies aside for later.

Cashew Cream Layer

In a medium bowl soak, the cashews in boiling water for at least an hour or overnight. If you have a powerful blender or food processor, 30 minutes might be enough to create a smooth, creamy texture.

When the cashews are soaked, drain them well and place them in a small food processor (or blender) together with the yogurt, salt, and sugar. Pulse until you have a smooth, creamy consistency and set aside.

Cherry Layer

In a small pot on medium heat, add the frozen cherries and stir. Add the cornstarch, water, and sugar when the frozen cherries have warmed up a bit. Stir until the cherries are almost all falling apart. Remove the pot from the heat and set it aside.

Parfait Layering

In a tall glass, start with a layer of crumbled cookies, followed by a layer of cashew cream, and then a layer of cherries. Continue until you have no more cashew cream or cherries left. Top with crumbled cookies for serving.

This vegan parfait is best when served immediately. If you want to make this ahead, you can do so a few hours before and keep the parfait in the fridge.



Notes

Sweeteners: you can use any granulated vegan sugar, such as coconut sugar, for this recipe.

To make this recipe gluten-free, use a gluten-free, vegan cookies brand or granola.

If you can’t find speculoos cookies, you can make your own with the addition of ½ teaspoon gingerbread spice.

Be sure not to keep the cherries too long aside before layering them in a glass, as the cherries will become more solid/thick when they cool down.

Keywords: sweet, dessert, parfait,

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