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    Vegan panacotta or gluten-free Cocoa Buckwheat Cake? Birthday and party treats no longer have to be predictable with our alternative baking specialists.

    Whether it is a matter of adopting a healthier lifestyle or genuine allergies affecting your eating habits, going vegan, gluten free or even lactose-free has its challenges in our city. But if you have been suffering from the lack of options at parties, read our top picks from both home bakers and top hotelsa��these sweet treats will make converts of just about anybody.

    Vegan Frozen Dessert Cups@ Catalyst Foods
    Since 2010, Marieen Vijay has been dishing out vegan alternatives in everyday comfort food fare. Using milk and cream from almonds, coconut and cashew nuts, Vijaya��s layered frozen desserts are epic.A� Also enticing are her vegan chocolate candy with brandied fruits. Look out for her flavoured bottled cashew milk for everyday use. Rs 100 onwards. Details: 9884213332

    Gluten, dairy-free Brownies@ Bombay Bizarre Baker
    Using gluten-free flours like almond, rice and millets along with dairy-free dark cooking chocolate and cocoa powder, Mumbai-based Tara Kapura��s festive brownies are divinely gooey. She uses oil and apple cider vinegar as vegan substitutes. Rs 800 (including delivery). Details: 9820006440

    Vegan Birthday Cakes@ Cake SquareA�Cake Square
    Ideal for your little onea��s ultimate birthday cake is this familiar huba��s speciality cakes that are made sans any dairy and are completely vegan. Suitably using an eggless sponge recipe and oil instead of butter, natural fruit crush for fruit based flavours apart from blackforest and butterscotch, the cake is complete with lush soya cream frosting. Rs 800 per kilo. Details: 9952052333

    Chia Seed Cookies@ The Beauty ReelA�unnamed (4)
    Creator of the popular beauty and wellness blog, Ishika Sachdev will now deliver to your doorstep healthy guilt-free nibbles like the gluten-free Choco-Chia cookies made with almond flour along with the goodness of coconut sugar and chia seeds. Making for an interesting bite are Coconut or Vegan Date Pops, also with almond flour. Rs 640 onwards.
    Details: 8939021622

    Salted Caramel French Parfait @ The Parfait Co.
    Making French parfaits in gluten-free versions, The Parfait Co in Mumbai has flavours like Belgian Chocolate, Espresso or Blueberry, Pomegranate and more. For delivery to Chennai, minimum order of eight tubs. Rs 455 onwards. Details: 9920029229

    Chocolate cupcakes@ Kuki Jar
    Seasoned home-baker Kuki Ravindran also has 100 per cent vegan and lactose-free treats. Moist and decadently fudgy, these are laden with rich Belgian cocoa powder. For a guilt free version, the Mixed Millet cupcakes will do, complete with jaggery, almonds and virgin coconut oil. Rs 1,200 per batch. Details: 9841090592

    Chocolate Pops@ Choco Kisses
    Going completely vegan is this Mumbai-based outfita��s range of all day snacks including cookies in flavours of Walnut & Almond, Choco Chip and more, that are made eggless, with coconut and olive oils, mixed flours and dark chocolate compound. The two-year-old enterprise also has Chocolate Bites made with cocoa, coconut oil and jaggery. Their gluten-free pancake premixes come handy; simply add milk or water if vegan. Rs 300 onwards (including delivery). Details: 9820029065

    Truffe au Chocolate @ Fresh Baked Goodness
    Made on order at this local enterprise is a Dark Chocolate Theobroma a�� a soft textured dairy free chocolate mousse cake. While there, dona��t miss the the Vegan Truffe au Chocolate a�� a decadent dairy free cake with an eggless sponge and coconut milk frosting. Rs 1,100 onwards.
    Details: 9962104626

    Creamy Bread Pudding@ Sandya��sA�OMBC2
    Nothing like warm bread pudding to cheer you up. Gluten-free seekers need not feel left behind with this version at Chennaia��s favourite chocolate lab, Sandya��s. Made to order, the rice flour bread is paired well with a creamy sauce. At entrepreneur Sandesh Reddya��s new Radio Room, order their Vegan Panacotta. One can also pick up a dairy-free Banana Bread and Carrot Cake at his Old Madras Baking Company. Rs 175 onwards. Details: 42144000

    Amaranth Ladoo @ Warm Brown Studio
    While the gluten free Cocoa-Buckwheat Butter Cake freckled with cocoa nibs and Thinai Banana Cake is a crowd pleaser, sweeten your party further with traditional Vegan Amaranth Ladoos made with Himalayan millets and jaggery. For those partial to millets and other grains, their Quinoa Cookies, Nankhatai and Barley-Red Rice biscuits are promising. Rs 80 onwards. Details: 9884060652

    Cocoa Avocado Mousse @ Terra Earth
    Terra Eartha��s latest gluten and casein free products will win you over. The Cocoa Cheesecake is raw, vegan and uses cashewnuts, dates and dairyfree dark chocolate. Their Cocoa Avocado Vegan Mousse will delight. Try the lactose-free Beetroot Kathli. Rs 120 onwards. Details: 42821088

    While butter is the essence for a traditional crisp and golden Baklava, Chef Santhosha��s take with good quality olive oil brushed between multiple layers of filo pastry along with aromatic toasted nuts is just as fine. For an attractive colour pop, choose the Vegan Fruit Mini Tarts also made sans butter but with fresh seasonal fruits in abundance. You can also place your order for gluten-free cakes in umpteen flavours using almond flour and modified to vegan with soya cream too. Rs 360. Details: 42064306


    Vegan Macaron Sandwich@ AhavaaA�Ahavaa
    New cafe on the block, Ahavaa has launched their take on alternative desserts. Scoring high on taste, Chef Arun Munuswamy creates meringues using aquafaba and sugar. The piped little domes sandwiched together with tangy strawberry puree infused in delicate coconut cream is an enjoyable feast. Pre-order at Rs 160.
    Details: 7092040556

    Star update
    1. Taj Coromandel: Find an occasion to pre-order Chef Sujan Mukherjeea��s gluten-free pies and cupcakes. He uses not only rice flour or millets but also polenta and quinoa flour to create delicious flavours in coffee, mocha and fresh fruit short-crust pies and cupcakes. They can also be made vegan using olive oil and soya cream. Rs 2,500 onwards per kilo. Details: 66002827

    2. Courtyard Marriott: Vegan Chocolate Citrus Torte; what is not to love about this fudgy eggless torte with orange tang? Equally seductive is the gluten-free / flourless Mud Cake in all its glory with a thick dark chocolate treacle. Pre-order at Rs 325. Details: 66764290

    3. Hilton Chennai: With a generous dip in Kahlua, the flourless sponge with cream cheese filling in the gluten-free Tiramisu Roulade is tasty. If you are in the mood for something light and fresh, pick up the Vegan Fruit Trifle, also made with an eggless sponge, soy vanilla custard and fresh seasonal fruits. Pre-order at Rs 585. Details: 22255555

    4. The Park: Try the Vegan Coconut Mousse; hard to resist with its play on local and familiar flavours using coconut milk and the humble jaggery. Pre-order at Rs 395. Details: 42676000

    -Preeti GT


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