You know what the beauty of edible plants is? You can eat them (obviously), and you can create beautiful stuff with them. No need for animal products that cause so much pain and suffering to other beings (and to yourself! I’m gonna do a series of posts about this topic this year.)
I’ve always been fascinated by the variety and beauty of all the food plants out there. There are literally hundreds of thousands of them, spread across the planet. And all we have to do is take what we have where we are, and create interesting combinations with them. Have you ever thought about how incredibly lucky we are to be able to do that? Just think about it, we might as well be constipated to ever only eat one single food type that contains all the nutrients we need, but we’re not. I think that deserves to be called a miracle in itself.
So i made this birthday cake for a wonderful young vegan activist i got to know while doing activism with Anonymous for the Voiceless (if you’ve never heard of this before, go and google it NOW. Find a chapter near you, go vegan if you not already are, and join them. It’s mind- and life-changing.) When she asked me if i could make her a healthy vegan birthday cake, i of course said yes! I was so excited for this one, i think it was the biggest cake i ever made so far. It was so much fun creating this (especially the decorating part – that’s my favorite one), thank you so much Lea for giving me the chance!
To get it straight now: It’s a raw vegan cherry chocolate cheesecake with a brownie base. And then i put more chocolate on top, and flowers, and coconut, and pistachios, cinnamon stars and pomegranate. I just love how simple things can be with this, yet the combination of it all looks so beautiful together. If you want the recipe to make your very own raw vegan layer cake (for someone special, or a special occasion, or just to celebrate life <3), all you have to do is scroll down.
raw vegan cherry chocolate layer cake
for the hazelnut brownie base:
- 400g ground hazelnuts
- 5tbsp cacao powder (raw & organic if possible)
- 200g soft dates
- 1/2 cup maple syrup (add more if the dough’s too crumbly)
- 2tbsp coconut oil
for the chocolate layer:
- 400g cashews, soaked in water overnight (or at least 4hrs)
- 5 tbsp cacao powder
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 5tbsp maple syrup (you can also add dates if you want)
- 50g cacao butter, melted
for the cherry layer:
- 200g cashews, soaked (see above)
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 300g cherries, fresh or frozen (i used frozen ones, but take them out of the freezer some time before)
- 3-5 tbsp maple syrup to taste
- 3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
for the decoration (all optional):
- 200g dark vegan chocolate, melted (or make your own, you can ask me in the comments for the recipe)
- coconut flakes
- chopped pistachios
- pomegranate seeds
- vegan cinnamon stars
- cacao nibs
- edible flowers (mine weren’t though, but they were from our garden, just take them off before eating if you do that haha)
- For the brownie base, mix all ingredients in a bowl and knead with your hands until a dough forms (or use a food processor instead). Press 2/3 of the dough down on the bottom of a normal springform and 1/3 on the bottom of a smaller springform, both lined with parchment paper. Place both in the fridge.
- For the chocolate layer, mix all ingredients in a high blender until really creamy. If your coconut milk has been in the fridge, add the melted cacao butter last and blend again (after the other ingredients are already blended, otherwise the cacao butter might harden again and you’ll have tiny cacao butter fragments in your cream.) Pour the chocolate cream evenly on both cakes and place in the freezer for at least 30mins before making the next layer.
- For the cherry layer, put all ingredients in your blender (after you cleaned it :P), except the coconut oil. Blend until very creamy and add the melted coconut oil last (this is important when using frozen cherries – make sure to defrost your cherries for an hour or so beforehand.) Also be careful with the maple syrup, my tip is to add it last and try for yourself until the cream has reached your desired sweetness. Pour the cherry cream on top of both chocolate layers and put in the freezer again for an hour or so. Or leave in a few hours longer just to be sure it’s firm enough.
- Once the cakes are firmed up, Take them out of the freezer and out of their springforms, using a knife to scrape around the sides first so the cream doesn’t stick there.
- Carefully place the small cake on the big one. You’re almost done now, just decorate a bit and you’re good to go! Either do it now or put the cake in the fridge and do it shortly before wanna eat it, or just leave the decoration and only drizzle melted chocolate on top. You decide!
Okay i admit, this is a little bit time consuming and the mess you’ll have to clean up afterwards could be rather big (if you’re anything like me). But it’s soo worth it. I promise.
What would your dream birthday cake look like? Maybe i can even create one for you too!