There are two reasons why you should visit Vegan Heaven in Taipei; the first is to try what are possibly the best vegan cakes in the world, the second is to meet Li Ting, owner, baker, creator of vegan magic and absolutely one of the nicest people on planet earth.
Two bold claims perhaps but after 2 years of travel and 12 years of veganism we’ve met a lot of people and eaten a lot of vegan cake, so we feel qualified to make statements like this.
If you think you know a nicer person who makes more delicious vegan delights, then feel free to tell us and we’’ll come check it out. After all what better reason to travel than to eat cake and meet friendly people?
Anyway, we digress, let us tell you about Vegan Heaven…
Located just around the corner from Taipei 101, Vegan Heaven is a teeny tiny vegan cake shop. It’s tucked away in an alley, waiting for you to come and buy cakes, biscuits, tarts, coffee, smoothies and rainbow coloured macarons.
Li has been perfecting her art for making these little gifts of vegan joy for years and the cabinets are filled with beautifully crafted, sophisticated tarts and cakes (all 100% vegan). They aren’t just beautiful, they taste amazing too, with flavour combinations to make you salivate at the counter.
Make your choice, watch her package them in the cutest boxes and bags and then take a bite of your very own vegan heaven.
The labels are mainly written in Chinese and every time visited we got far too excited by talking to Li (including a lot of hugging and we confess a bit of squeeing because she’s just so beautiful and joyful). It means we didn’t do too well at remembering the names of the cakes or all of the flavours.
And then when we sat down to eat them they were just so good that they seemed to disappear in a blur of cake-fuelled bliss.
We’re basically admitting to falling under the spell of these cakes and not doing our job as vegan food bloggers very well (sometimes really good vegan food does this too us).
Sorry. We’re human and we’re suckers for vegan cake
All is not lost though dear vegan cake lovers. We enlisted the help of fellow vegan food and travel blogger, Stephie from The Caffeinated Vegan. Stephie told us about Vegan Heaven in the first place and she is a regular cake consumer there. She helped us fill in the gaps created by our cake frenzy and even shared some of her fabulous pictures with us.
Aren’t vegan friends lovely?
Stephie’s take on Vegan Heaven?
“Vegan Heaven hand crafts their desserts everyday with locally sourced ingredients. This is one of the rare places on earth where you can actually taste the love and effort the owners put in creating these cakes. It is as if these cakes were really created in heaven, they are not only aesthetically appealing but also extremely delectable”.
We have to say that we wholeheartedly agree.
The cakes (oh the vegan cakes!)
The first cake we tried was Li Ting’s favourite, the ‘Apple Cinnamon Caramel Crème’ cake. Stephie tells us that “while this cake doesn’t looks as colourful as the others, it is more than it meets the eye and it’s full of surprises deep within”. “There are so many layers and textures to this seemingly simple cake. On the first bite you will notice how soft and spongy the base is, then you are surprised by the pudding like texture of the apple filling, then before you know it the sweet crème and caramel syrup begging to melt in your mouth. The sweetness and the spices accompanying it give it extra amazing flavour “.
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
Actually, the only thing we can really remember was that it was delicious and that Caryl declared it her favourite cake of all time. Several times. For about 3 days after.
Then we tried the ‘Radiant! Raspberry Mousse’, a fruity, gel covered mousse cake. There was a fruity zingy creamy light mousse inside, bursting with raspberry flavour making it smooth and indulgent.
Next in line was the ‘Mamma Mia Lemon Tart’, a biscuit tart case filled with lemon curd that was perfectly sour and sweet and creamy (all at the same time). It was almost refreshing to eat and reminded us of lemon pie from our non-vegan days.
Our friends Stephie and James told us that our next cake choice, the ‘Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart’ was legendary. We ate it and loved every bite of that rich chocolate with those caramel undertones. We savoured the combination of the crunchy crumbly crust and smooth chocolatey filling. The touch of salt really set off the caramel and dark chocolate flavours. This indeed was a legendary vegan cake.
We popped back to the shop for more and ate lemon drizzle cake as we waited, it was soft and light, covered in a juicy lemon icing, full of aromatic lemon, sweet and sour flavours working in perfect harmony. We imagine that if angels exist, they like eating cake like this one.
We collected more cake to go and the first we tried was this creamy chestnut swirl topped one. Crunchy, biscuit pastry case filled with something that resembled a crème patisserie then another layer of soft white cream that was like eating a cloud; a sweet, creamy, fluffy, vegan cloud.
We polished off a pear tart too. It uses that same biscuity sweet pastry case, but has cake batter inside before being topped with a delicately sliced pear. It’s a sweet cake-tart with a soft fruity finish and went perfect with a cup of tea.
Somewhere along the line we also acquired a banana and walnut loaf and a traditional Taiwanese pineapple cake. The Taiwanese Pineapple cake is more like pineapple shortbread with a sweet and chewy pineapple-y interior and a buttery crumbly crust. Stephie tells us that vegan Taiwanese Pineapple Cake are hard to acquire, the ones Vegan Heaven make is especially exquisite in our humble cake-filled opinion.
Our final Vegan Heaven cake pleasure came in the form of the ‘Blueberry Chocolate Tower’. Stephie loves this cake and we have to say we do too. “This is another cake that is full of surprises” says Stephie. “Underneath the fresh blueberry you’ll find a velvety chocolate mouse filled with fresh pineapple and passion fruit sauce. The dark chocolate mousse pairs perfectly well with the slightly tangy fruit sauce. It is extremely satisfying and indulgent”.
Mmm… chocolate mousse and tangy, fruity, saucy, vegan heaven
So, there it is, our cake filled run down on the best vegan cake shop in the world. Let us guess, you’re booking your ticket to Taipei right now?
In the meantime here is the lovely Li telling you how “one day vegan cake will take over the world” (we kind of hope she’s right!).
The Caffeinated Vegan is a vegan travel and lifestyle blog run by Stephie Lin. She is an aspiring food photographer and certified vegan food and coffee addict. Her inability to resist trying new things in unusual places has led her to some interesting life adventures. Stephie is all about finding exciting places to eat and drink. She makes an extraordinary effort to locate the best vegan food the city has to offer, from local treats to fine dining and she is always on the hunt for good coffee. The Caffeinated Vegan documents Stephie’s food and coffee adventures around the world, and from time to time, food adventures in her own kitchen.