As of late, I have had a thing for making raw vegan desserts. It is relatively quick to make and perfect for making in advance (because it is usually stored in the freezer). This particular recipe was inspired by my previous raw dessert, Blueberry Lemon Layered Cheesecake, in the fact that this is also a layered cake. Unlike a lot of other raw recipes though, mine are always free from oils and so-called “health foods” such as agave syrup, and instead made simply from whole plant-based foods. The bottom layer is just unroasted nuts, dates, raw cacao powder and a pinch of maldon salt. Then comes the “ice cream” layer, filled with cashews, dates, cacao powder and infused with vanilla. Finally comes the chocolate glaze, which is simply my Raw Vegan Chocolate Icing recipe. Even though the ingredient list is so easy this actually tastes really complex and perfectly balanced, especially when served with some light raspberries on top. Sounds tempting does it not?
For those who have never attempted making a layered cake before, let me just say it is a lot easier than it looks. I avoided making it for ages because it both looked and sounded incredibly complicated, when in reality it is far from that. One of the many positive sides of making layers is that it looks so decadent that will fool people into thinking you are actually an amazing cook regardless of how good you actually are! So, what are you waiting for?
Remember to read the final notes about substituting the ingredients marked with a star (*)!
Ingredients, makes one medium-sized cake:
- 2 cups raw nuts *
- 1 cup dates
- 4 tbsp cacao powder (certified raw)
- a pinch of maldon salt
Chocolate “ice cream” layer:
- 3 cups raw cashews *
- 2 cups dates, pitted
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 – 1 cup cacao powder (certified raw)
- 1/2 cup freshly made Homemade Coconut Butter *
- pinch of maldon salt
- 2 tsp vanilla essence (not raw, and an optional ingredient)
- 1 cup dates
- 1/4 cup raw cacao (cocoa) powder
- 1/4 cup freshly made Homemade Coconut Butter *
- 3/4 – 1 cup water
- Raw cacao nibs (or shredded dark chocolate, not raw)
- Fresh or frozen raspberries
1. We are going to start off with making the crust. Process the nuts and dates in your food processor until crumbly and the mixture sticks together when you press it between your fingers. Add in the cacao powder and maldon salt before pulsing until everything is combined. Press this into the bottom of a medium-sized springform pan using your hands and put in the fridge for now.
2. Then we proceed to the chocolate ice cream layer. This is done by blending all the ingredients in a food processor/high speed blender until very smooth. Start with 1/2 cup cacao powder and add in more if you want it to have a richer chocolate taste. Also add in more water if necessary to get it completely smooth. For me, 2 cups were the perfect amount. Spread this over the crust, and place the cake in the freezer while making the glaze.
3. For the glaze, place all the ingredients except for the cacao powder into a food processor, and process until you have a smooth mixture. Start out with using 3/4 cup water and add in more later if it is necessary. Now add in the cacao powder and pulse until the icing is creamy and smooth. If you want the icing to be slightly thinner, add in another 1/4 cup water for a total of 1 cup. Spread this carefully over the ice cream layer and place back into the freezer.
4. Keep the cake in the freezer for 4+ hours (preferably overnight) before transferring it to room temperature about 1 hour before you plan on serving it. This will let the cake melt enough making it easy to slice and eat, while still having a frosty ice cream consistency. If you want it to be more like a chocolate “cheesecake” you can let it sit at room temperature for longer, until you are satisfied with the texture. Drizzle on some raw cacao nibs (I shredded up sugar-free dark chocolate instead), fresh or frozen raspberries and optionally some raspberry sauce. Any left-overs can be refrozen within a few hours or stored in the refrigerator overnight (but not longer).
- For the crust you can use any raw nuts you want, but I would be careful with using too much cashews since the filling utilizes a lot of it. I used equal parts of raw almonds, hazelnuts and cashews, which tasted amazing!
- For the chocolate ice cream layer the best result comes if you use cashews, however I had just made a batch of Homemade Almond Milk when I decided to make this. I substituted 1 cup of cashews for 1 cup of almonds pulp and it worked perfectly, so that is always an option!
- If you cannot get your hands on the ingredients to make coconut butter, you can substitute it for the same amount of coconut cream. Coconut cream is essentially just full-fat coconut milk that has been stored in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (preferably over-night). Take it out of the fridge and scoop out the hardened coconut cream that you find on the top of the can. The reason for doing this is to allow the added water and coconut mass to separate. All of the water will have gathered at the bottom of the can, which is not going to be used when a recipe calls for coconut cream. This is NOT raw so only do this if you do not care if the cake is not 100% raw.
Wait… what is that sound?! The sound of your chocolate cravings being crushed!! Mwaahaha, go ahead and eat this with a smile on your face because this is completely guilt-healthy. Wiii!
Yeah… perhaps I need to go easy on the cake. Sugar-rush alert. Anyways, Enjoy!