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Baba au Rhum Punch

Chef Paola Velez's take on baba au rhum adds layers of dark rum and fresh fruit flavor to homemade brioche. With almost a cup of top-shelf dark rum between the cinnamon-spiked rum soak and the strawberry-peach Rum Punch Coulis, this opulent dessert is only for adults. Serve warm or at room temperature with scoops of vanilla ice cream to round out the sweet spice notes in the rum.

Blackberry-Cardamom Cupcakes with Lemon Frosting

These lightly spiced, fruity vegan cupcakes have a tender and delicate crumb with a soft texture from the full-fat oat milk and a blend of baking soda and baking powder. The frosting is soft after beating but will pipe beautifully and is surprisingly stable. Its bright lemon flavor and light, melt-in-your-mouth quality are similar to Swiss or Italian meringue buttercreams.

Double-Chocolate Rye Cookies

A mix of unsweetened cocoa and bittersweet chocolate bars gives these fudgy cookies a deep chocolate flavor. Dark rye flour adds a lightly savory note that balances the sweet intensity of dark chocolate well and plays off the crunchy sea salt garnish. The addition of light brown sugar makes these cookies extra chewy and helps to extend their shelf life. Don't skip the chilling time; the dough will be soft when first mixed and will spread too much if baked immediately. The cookies are a treat on their own, but they can also be filled with Vegan Vanilla Bean Ice Cream to make vegan ice cream sandwiches. (To assemble, scoop about 1/3 cup ice cream onto flat side of 1 cooled cookie; top with a second cookie, flat side down. Wrap in plastic wrap; freeze until ice cream is firm, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately, or freeze up to 3 days.)

Vegan Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

After meticulous testing, the Food & Wine test kitchen discovered the surprising key ingredient for the creamiest vegan ice cream: pea milk. With the right balance of unsaturated fat and protein and a relatively mild, neutral flavor, it's the perfect base for this sweet, vanilla-flavored treat. Xanthan gum doesn't require heat to activate its thickening properties; it starts working as soon as it touches liquid, so the ice cream base will be slightly gelatinous after chilling. Whisk it well to create the best texture before churning. This vegan ice cream is a treat on its own, but is also lovely atop vegan Sour Cherry and Black Pepper Pie, or as a filling for vegan ice cream sandwiches using Double-Chocolate Rye Cookies.

Sour Cherry and Black Pepper Pie

Chilling pie dough is standard practice, but it's especially important for this recipe because vegan butters remain soft even at cooler temperatures. The pie crust is flaky and tender, while the sweet-tart cherry filling gets a mild warmth from black pepper. Bake the pie on a preheated baking sheet to help the bottom crust cook through and to catch any syrupy filling that bubbles over during baking. If you like, serve slices topped with a scoop of Vegan Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.

Summer Fruit Cobbler with Vanilla-Mascarpone Biscuits

Let the farmers market be your guide when it comes to this cobbler—any mixture of fresh summer stone fruits and berries can be cooked down to make the perfectly sweet-tart, jammy filling. Aim for 2 1/2 pounds (about 10 cups) of fruit total, using any combination of the following: blackberries, blueberries, or raspberries; Bing or Rainier cherries (stem and pit them first); stone fruit (pitted and sliced into 3/4-inch wedges; you can leave the skin on plums or apricots but should peel peaches and nectarines). Tender vanilla-mascarpone biscuits have a shortcake-like texture and a delightfully crunchy top from the turbinado sugar. They're also highly customizable: You can swap the mascarpone in the biscuit topping for crème fraîche or sour cream if that's what you have, and trade the semolina for fine cornmeal for a more crumbly texture.

More Desserts

Blueberry Panna Cotta with Blueberry Chia Pudding

Start with blueberry panna cotta, top it with a blueberry and chia seed pudding, and finish it with a pile of fresh blueberries for a blueberry trifecta. If you haven't had chia seeds yet, here's a delicious way to give them a try. They add crunchy pops of texture to this creamy dessert, and they're good for you, too.

Hummingbird Cream Puffs

Cream puffs go next level when topped with a buttery cookie before baking. The cookie creates a textured crispy top on these tropical treats filled with pineapple, coconut, and a banana whipped cream. The banana is whipped into the cream, adding both flavor and sweetness - no sugar needed. 

Guava and Cheese Bread Pudding

Bey and Jay. PB&J. Platano con salami. They're all iconic duos and pastry chef Paola Velez has one more to add to the canon: guava and cheese. This classic flavor combo takes a star turn in a dessert that Velez describes as "if flan and bread pudding had a baby, and it's delicious." This particular budin de pan recipe—which Velez calls "history in a bowl"—originated with Velez's husband's 101-year-old grandmother, and features a lavish custard made with what might seem like an excess of evaporated milk, but makes for an utterly dreamy texture in the final product. Mastering the homemade caramel portion calls for some close attention and meticulous stirring—Velez notes that even one undissolved grain of sugar may cause the whole mass to solidify—but the reward is sweet and filled with plenty of tropical vibes, especially if you opt for chopped mango on top.