When you’re hosting dinner parties this month, chances are there will be some newly minted vegetarians and vegans around the table, or at least a number of folks who are trying with all their might to clean up their diets. But what’s dinner without dessert? To avoid weighing everyone down post-meal, prepare a raw, vegan cake that will provide everyone with a sweet treat while still helping them stay true to their resolutions.
If the words “raw” and “vegan” don’t bring to mind a luscious dessert, give this recipe a try and you’ll be a quick convert. With the inspired use of nuts, dates, and coconut cream, contributor Ellen De Meulemeester riffs on a fruit-topped cheesecake without the use of white sugar, dairy, or eggs. Soaked nuts and dates are blended to make a sticky sweet crust, and a decadent coconut-based cream is the filling. Fresh sliced passion fruits and red berries layered atop the cake create a jewel box effect, and add a welcome jolt of tropical color and flavor.
Vegan Passion Fruit Cake
Recipe by Ellen De Meulemeester
Total Cooking Time: 8 hours, 55 minutes (includes cashew soaking and cake freezing time)
Active Cooking Time: 30 minutes
- 1 ½ cup cashews, soaked in water for at least 4 hours
- 1 cup pecans, almonds, or walnuts
- 1 cup large medjool dates, pitted, soaked in warm water for a few minutes
- 6 passion fruits, plus 4 extra for topping
- 1/3 cup honey (Cook’s Note: Can substitute with agave nectar!)
- 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
- Juice of 1 large lemon
- ½ cup rich coconut cream (use only the thick part)
- Berries for topping
- Baking sheet or nonstick 9 cake pan
Using a blender or food processor, blend together dates and the nuts until loose dough forms. If it is too dry, add more dates. If too wet, add more nuts.
Scoop dough into a standard baking sheet lined with wax paper or lightly greased. Press with fingers to make the crust of the cake.
Add passion fruits, honey, coconut oil, lemon juice, and coconut cream to blender until a silky cream consistency. Taste and adjust if needed.
Spread filling evenly over crust and tap a few times with a spatula to remove air bubbles. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4 hours. Before serving, let the cake sit out in room temperature for 20-25 minutes. Decorate the cake with fresh passion fruit and red berries.