A decadent and totally delicious treat directly from Germany. Westphalia is a region of Germany where pumpernickel originated. The pumpernickel seems like  a surprising ingredient, but it tastes delicious in this dessert.

Vegan Westphalian Ambrosia

Serving Size: 4


Cherry Layer:

  • 1 lb. sour cherries, pitted
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cognac
  • lemon peel (about 2 inches)

“Cream ” Layer:

  • 1 container soy whipped topping (e.g. Soyatoo), cold
  • 1 container heavy coconut cream, cold
  • 2-3 slices pumpernickel bread
  • 2-3 vegan amaretto cookies or vegan biscotti
  • 2 ounces hazelnuts, finely chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • 2 tablespoons grated chocolate
  • 4-6 cherries
  • chopped hazelnuts

Vegan Westphalian Ambrosia


  1. Place the pitted cherries, sugar lemon peel and water in a small pot, bring to a boil and then cook on low heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Mix the cornstarch with a bit of cold water and add to the cherry mixture.
  3. Stir until the juice thickens and becomes clear.
  4. Remove from the heat and allow to slightly cool.
  5. Add the cognac to the mixture.
  6. Place the cherries and sauce in the bottom of 4-6 parfait glasses.
    (Alternatively you can use cherry pie filling bought from a store, then thickened with the cornstarch and then the cognac added. I would suggest only cooking the cherry juice in that case, and adding the cherries after it has thickened, as there is no need to double cook the cherries.)
  7. Toast the pumpernickel. This is best done in the oven, as it may crumble in a toaster. Toast until it is completely dry and slightly toasty.
  8. Put the dried pumpernickel and other cookie (amaretti, biscotti ) in a food processor and process to fine crumbs.
  9. Add the finely chopped hazelnuts to the crumbs.
  10. Place the cold soy whipped topping and coconut cream in a large bowl and whip until light and fluffy.
  11. You will want about 1 & 1/2-2 cups of whipped topping.
  12. Add the sugar and vanilla and whip once more.
  13. Gently fold in the crumb mixture into the whipped topping.
  14. Place 1-3 tablespoons of the whipped topping on top of the cherry mixture.
  15. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
  16. Serve the treat dusted with grated chocolate, a cherry and a few hazelnut pieces.

We found the mixture to be even more flavorful after 2 hours and even the next day. The crumbs, mixed with the whipped topping became softer and more flavorful with time, rather than the ones made and eaten right away. All of them were a delicious treat.