It’s often believed that in order to follow a plant-based diet, you have got to sacrifice all of the dairy-packed sweet confectionary and delectable desserts that are widely loved. These five local businesses prove that you can live healthily and sustainably, without having to lose your favourite treats. Plant-based confectionary businesses in Cape Town are sending a clear message: you can now enjoy your guilty pleasures without the guilt. You can care about the earth and your health, but you don’t have to stop caring about flavour and the unbeatable joy of a good treat. After all, you deserve it.
Pop Secret ice cream kicks convention to the curb with their delicious dairy-free popsicles and scoops. Pop Secret replaces dairy milk with creamy coconut milk and locally-made nut milks. You can be sure that this ice cream is preservative-, artificial colourant- and flavourant-free. Of course, there are also no refined sugars; sweetened instead with coconut sugar or raw local honey.
These plant-based beauties come in a selection of vibrant flavours, from ‘Strawberry Dream’ to ‘Peanut Butter Choc Chip’. One thing is certain: all the flavours celebrate the work Mother Nature has already done to make these great tasting ingredients. Freshness packed in distinctly local flavours is key.
Run by a Cape Town-based sister duo, the business promotes both plant power and girl power. Pop Secret offers dairy-free and gluten-free ice cream fit for all occasions, from large events to just a casual weekend walk on the beach. Either way, this locally-made ice cream allows you to bring out your inner child with innovative interpretations of some well-loved flavours, as well as more cutting-edge profiles bound to become firm favourites.
Pop Secret offers a variety of flavours for almost every occasion. Its regular line includes combinations like ‘Lemongrass, Lime & Basil’, and ‘Granadilla Gone Rogue’. Pop Secret also makes a range of seasonal and limited-edition products in gourmet dessert flavours like ‘Rooibos Chai Fig’ and ‘Salted Caramel’. And who doesn’t love a classic chocolate popsicle? Have you tried their latest scoops in ‘Miso Salted Caramel’ or ‘Mango Sorbet’?
This new take on ice cream offers an array of flavours that are not only sophisticated and interesting but also celebrate the earth and its beautiful bounties.
Pop Secret is stocked by a number of local stores across the Western Cape. To see a full list of stockists, visit their website.
Rooibos has firmly cemented its place within the global health conversation with its status as a ‘superfood’. As well as its immense health benefits, the tea’s distinctly South African flavour has made it unique and internationally sought-after. This is no secret to locals though. RedBushed is a plant-based company taking rooibos to new heights with creative products to satisfy any sweet tooth.
Inspired by a hike in the Cederberg mountains about fourteen years ago, the philosophy of RedBushed truly lies in celebrating natural flavours with a local personality. Its range of one-of-a-kind products provides a South African sweetness steeped in the smells, flavours and breathtaking feelings of the Cederberg region: the only place in the world where rooibos can grow.
You can try their range of fruity spreads, from Ginger and Rooibos, to Apricot. These jars of quality and care are crammed with only the most natural and organic ingredients. RedBushed products are not only vegan and gluten-free, but they also have no added sugar, no preservatives and no artificial additives. No sweetener, no flavourants and no colourants too. The products are made from materials sourced from local farmers, and the rooibos is 100% organically certified. With RedBushed, what you see is what you get.
Made right at home in the Southern Suburbs, RedBushed products are manufactured to use as much of the fruit ingredients as possible. Their waste policy is a remarkable contribution to their sustainable standpoint.
They even offer a vegan ‘hunny’, created with a blend of raisins and rooibos. It’s high in fibre and is easy to pair with your favourite vegan ice cream or in your bowl of cereal. No bees, but plenty of an equally sweet and delectable natural plant-based spread. RedBushed’s vegan ‘hunny’ now comes in an exciting offering of new flavours, including Blueberry Rooibos, Ginger and Rooibos, and Choc Rooibos. Quench your thirst on the side with Redbushed’s range of iced teas. They are the ideal sweet beverage that is fruity and refreshing when chilled, and equally as nice heated for the upcoming chilly winter months.
Skip the scary-sounding additives with these deluxe combinations of South Africa’s finest rooibos and fruit.
Products can be purchased through their website.
Most people agree that nature is beautiful, but these vegan cakes and confectionary from DVG Bakehouse elevate this concept through their luxurious baked goods with intricate piping decorations .
This local vegan bakery offers colourful and playful cakes, cupcakes and other baked goods that are masterfully decorated and decadent to eat. Their products feature exquisite hand-piped ‘succulent gardens’ made entirely from icing. A cupcake can easily be mistaken for a dusty-pink rose in full bloom or a golden chrysanthemum at the height of summer. Eye-candy takes on an entirely new meaning with these vegan bakes.
Alternatively, customers can personalise their cakes with words from the heart, or perhaps a cheeky message for a friend or special someone.
DVG Bakehouse offers cupcakes and cakes for order. Sponge flavours come in an array of choices, from classic Vanilla, to Orange Zest and Coconut. Cupcakes can also be ordered with a rich surprise filling in the centre. These include Berry Compote, Salted Caramel, Cinnamon Apple Compote and Chocolate Ganache.
Cake-Aways are another ordering feature that shares the vegan love. Cake-aways include a mini-cake meant for one, and are the perfect gift or surprise delivery. An added personalised message on top makes this the ideal fun treat that is bound to make anybody’s day.
This bakery located in the heart of Observatory offers a range of vegan bakes in a cafe with a distinct neighbourhood feel. Those sticking to a plant-based diet may feel that their diet choices ensure a lack of options and variety. Dolce Bakery and its recently revamped space offer vegan treats in a vast selection of meals and bakes, offering many choices and many good flavours.
Whether it’s for an early morning pick-me-up or a hearty lunch, Dolce Bakery offers confectionaries and bites that will feed any craving you may have. Breakfast options include a cashew nut ‘cream cheese’ bagel, a vegan Mediterranean wrap, or an ‘Over The Top’ avo on toast. Its lunches also include their creative spin on plant-based eats, including their Vegan Chyken pesto wrap or sandwich, made with their homemade basil pesto.
If you’re looking for something sweet, try their ‘chooey gooey’ American-style cookies made with Belgian dark chocolate that will ensure happy mouths and tummies. Otherwise, try their vegan and gluten-free brownies, or their signature delectable peanut butter pies and apple crumbles, which have received a high status amongst many Capetonians. All can be enjoyed with a coffee or beverage in hand, gladly made with oat, almond or soy milk substitutes.
Dolce Bakery offers the ultimate friendly space for vegans and health-lovers to enjoy a hearty meal or sweet dessert. Its new space invites all plant-based foodies to join in on the fun with their inviting cafe popping with rich greens, greys and a breath-taking floral mural.
Dolce Bakery is on the corner of Rochester and Lower Main Road, Observatory.
7.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday | 8am to 2pm Saturday
POPCO’s handmade ice cream and sorbet popsicles pioneer the endless possibilities of vegan desserts. The team of ten launched in 2018 with a goal to do good: to create meaningful employment opportunities in addition to creating the ultimate dessert lollies.
These popsicles offer healthy and vegan alternatives to the universal ice creams produced at a large, industrial scale. Besides the health benefits, POPCO products are also handmade, meaning that each bite has been made with love.
These pops are created with only the finest and freshest ingredients. They are jam-packed with fresh whole fruit and natural ingredients. No fruit concentrates or pastes can be found in their manufacturing process. Of course, there are also no artificial colourants or flavourants.
Try their Creamy Vegan range, which offers a plant-based ice cream alternative popsicle. It boasts flavours like Oatmilk Chocolate, Avocado Lime, and a zesty Coco Pine. POPCO also houses pure vegan sorbet popsicles. You can find flavours like Watermelon (packed with lemon, cucumber and mint), or Pineapple Chilli (with a citrusy kick of lime), alongside classic fruity sorbet favourites like sugar-free Mango and Berry Grape.
POPCO offers a rainbow of popsicle flavours as a fun and energetic alternative to ice creams and dairy-dessert products available on the shelves.