Wednesday, October 18The Voice of London

Vegan Alternatives: Will They Ever Match Up To Our Favourite Sweet Treats?

Veganism has been the trendiest ‘thing’ of 2015. For year’s vegans were sandal wearing, flowers-in-their-hair hippies, but now its cool to shun animal products to help save the planet and be a little healthier.
Words: Shannon Cowley, Subeditor: Gemma Smith

Whether you believe it or not, there are tons of health benefits to adopting a vegan lifestyle. Its better for the environment, you’ll feel healthier, and no animals are harmed in the process. So, why isn’t the nation turning vegan?

If you’re scared of missing your favourite sweet treats in quest of a plant-based diet, think again. With the craze taking over, there is now a huge range of vegan alternatives to all the sugary foods we love. And they’re much healthier too.

But, can these vegan dupes ever match up to the real thing? We did a taste test to find out.

 Mr Kipling Cherry Bakewell Vs. Bakewell Tart Nakd Bar

Mr Kiplings Cherry Bakewells Source: Shannon Cowley
Mr Kipling Cherry Bakewells Source: Shannon Cowley
Nakd Bar- Bakwell Tart Source: Shannon Cowley
Bakwell Tart Nakd Bar Source: Shannon Cowley

Cherry Bakewell’s are a classic English treat, a trip to your grandparent’s house isn’t complete without one. If you’re not ready to let them go for a plant-based lifestyle, don’t panic. Nakd’s Bakewell tart snack bars taste just like the real thing.

Of course, a snack bar won’t give you the same experience as a cake, and you might miss the crumbly base of a Mr Kipling Cherry Bakewell, but the taste is exactly the same. A Bakewell tart Nakd bar is made of only dates, cashews, raisons, and a tiny bit of natural flavouring. The bars have a chewy texture, and are perfect to carry in your bag if you fancy a quick snack. Plus, they’re completely vegan and incredibly healthy.

Winner: Bakewell Tart Nakd Bar

 

Milles Cookie Vs. Cashew Cookie Nakd Bar

Millie's Cookies- Pecan and Salted Caramel Source: Shannon Cowley
Millie’s Pecan and Salted Caramel Cookie Source: Shannon Cowley
Nakd Bar- Cashew Cookie Source: Shannon Cowley
Nakd Bar- Cashew Cookie Source: Shannon Cowley

Millie and her cookies have been winning over sweet lovers since 1985, but can they match up to a vegan alternative?

Another dupe from Nakd is the cashew cookie bar. But this time it’s a little disappointing and leaves a nasty taste in your mouth. Made with only cashews and dates, this bar has a satisfying, crunchy texture, but it sadly tastes nothing like a cookie. The dates are overpowering, and with only cashews to crunch on it doesn’t come close to the real thing. Millie’s pecan and salted caramel cookie was always going to be a hard one to beat, with its soft base, and sticky texture. A snack bar just doesn’t cut it.

Winner: Millie’s Pecan and Salted Caramel Cookie

 

Tesco Brownie Bites Vs. Bioglan Cacao and Quinoa Raw Bites

Tesco Brownie Bites Source: Shannon Cowley
Tesco Brownie Bites Source: Shannon Cowley
Bioglan Superfoods- Cacao and Quinoa Bites Source: Shannon Cowley
Bioglan Cacao and Quinoa Raw Bites Source: Shannon Cowley

Everyone loves a brownie. Whether it’s in an ice cream sundae, or covered in chocolate sauce, they are the ultimate sugar-filled treat. But what if you could enjoy a brownie bite and be vegan? Apparently you can.

Bioglan have created a selection of raw bites, all are filled with superfoods, and all are 100% vegan. These cacao and quinoa bites are so moreish, and their soft and sticky texture makes them the perfect bite sized treat. They feel much lighter than a brownie, and less sickly. Although they may not taste exactly like chocolate, they’re close enough.

Winner: Bioglan Cacao and Quinoa Raw Bites

 

Reeces Peanut Butter Cups Vs. Cupcakes and Shhht Peanut Butter Slice

Reeces Peanut Butter Cups Source: Shannon Cowley
Reeces Peanut Butter Cups Source: Shannon Cowley
Source: Shannon Cowley
Cupcakes & Shhht Peanut Butter Slice Source: Shannon Cowley

Reeces chocolate is yet another wonder brought to us from the world of American candy. Their peanut butter cups are nothing short of mouth watering, and they’re totally worth the sin. So, what if you could get the taste without the dairy products?

Cupcakes and Shhht have tried, and succeeded.

Their peanut butter slice tastes far more authentic, has a lighter feel, and is without the nasty sugary feeling. With the strong taste of peanuts seeping through the crumbly, oat base they are the perfect indulgent treat. These are made with real peanut butter, and this mixed with the chocolate layer on top means these slices are a strong contender for the best vegan dupe ever.

Winner: Cupcakes and Shhht Peanut Butter Slice

 

Mr Crimbles Cocount Macaroons Vs. Cupcakes and Shhht Coconut ball

Mrs Crimples Giant Choc Macaroon Source: Shannon Cowley
Mrs Crimbles Giant Choc Macaroon Source: Shannon Cowley
Source: Shannon Cowley
Cupcakes & Shhht Coconut Ball Source: Shannon Cowley

Mrs Crimbles Giant Choc Macaroons have us dreaming of trips to Paris, with their centre’s stuffed with sticky coconut flakes; they are a hard one to beat. We praise Cupcakes and Shhht for trying, but they have sadly failed.

Cupcakes and Shhht’s raw coconut ball has slightly different ingredients consisting of only, dates, cacao, almonds and coconut.

Unfortunately the light dust of coconut flakes simply just isn’t enough. The taste of dates is overpowering meaning there is no chance for the coconut flavouring to get through, and obviously thats the best bit. There generally isn’t much flavour in these balls, but on the bright side they do make the perfect Instagram post.

Winner: Mrs Cripling’s Giant Choc Macaroon

 

Gu Lemon Cheesecake Vs. Cupcake and Shhht Blueberry and Lemon Cheesecake

Gu Lemon Cheesecake Source: Shannon Cowley
Gu Lemon Cheesecake Source: Shannon Cowley
Source: Shannon Cowley
Cupcakes & Shhht Blueberry and Lemon Cheesecake Source: Shannon Cowley

Cheesecake is the staple of all family dinners. Cheese and cake; who would of thought it worked? But it does and we love it. Although very delicious, they are filled with dairy products to create the creamy texture, so if you’re going vegan a cheesecake is definitely off the list.

That is until Cupcakes and Shhht hit us with yet another vegan alternative. A blueberry and lemon cheesecake slice, totally raw, totally vegan, and absolutely amazing. It literally tastes like yoghurt, the blueberry is so strong and the lemon gives you that sharp kick. With the crumbly, oat bottom it’s exactly like a real cheesecake, just without the animal products. So whether you’re a fan of lemon, strawberry or blueberry- this cheesecake is definitely for you.

Winner: Cupcakes and Shhht Blueberry and Lemon Cheesecake

So, there you go. You can go vegan and still enjoy a selection of your favourite naughty treats. Although some can never be replaced by their vegan alternatives, others proved to be better than the real thing. It can be difficult to hunt down vegan dupes and they do set you back a few pennies in the money department, but it could all be worth it to find a sustainable, healthier lifestyle.

 

 

 

 

 

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