the taste space

Raw Raspberry Cashew Dreamcake

Posted in Desserts, Favourites by Janet M on July 1, 2011

June has been a busy month.

It started with a trip to Vancouver (where I was so happy to meet up with Ashley!).

Next, there was the bike ride of the century. Or 3.6 (metric) centuries.

Then, the following weekend, there was the move. From separate apartments to a single house. Combining of lives. Living out of boxes and boxes.

The weekend after the move also happened to be my birthday. Apparently, turning 30 is a big deal. Not just any birthday.

Thus, our new home, bricks and mortar only, housed my birthday bash. A small gathering of both immediate families.

My mom was the host, though. She transplanted most of the food, serving dishes and even flowers from her backyard in Ottawa, as we are still unpacking boxes.  I can work in my kitchen, but it is not up to its full capacity just yet (where is my second set of measuring spoons?? Or the bicycle chain lube?- not that I need that in the kitchen, btw).

My mom came up with a delicious menu, catering to my “vegan on steroids” diet, as she puts it. I know she is cooking out of her own comfort zone, but she was easily able to combine my bean and grain dishes with meat and dairy-dishes for everyone else.

While Rob and I contributed baklava as a late Father’s day gift for the shindig, since it was for my Dad, I opted not to try a vegan recipe. I went with his favourite Turkish baklava recipe, complete with a pistachio-only filling.

I couldn’t back out of  a birthday cake, though. I knew what I wanted: a vegan cheesecake. I have gushed over ones I have eaten at restaurants in town, but had yet to try making it at home.  I picked out a recipe and my mom, thankfully, obliged.  Her closest Loblaws actually carried all of the ingredients once she started to look (although they were more expensive than what I pay from natural food stores in Toronto, so I will have to hook her up next time). She made it the night before, froze it overnight, and brought it to Toronto in a cooler. Her only change to the recipe was using a 9″ springform pan, but that didn’t change how great it tasted!

Just as I had hoped, this was a delicious cake. Silky, creamy and smooth with a strong burst of raspberry in the cake.  This doesn’t taste like cheesecake, but it has a similar consistency. It is not as heavy. Light and fruity. Smooth and creamy.  A dreamcake.  It needs its own name because it is a shame to even compare it to cheesecake.  If you didn’t tell people it was vegan, all they would know is that they were eating a delicious cake.  It took longer than half an hour to thaw, but we ate it chilled anyhow. Personally, I preferred it straight from the fridge, when it was more creamy. Thankfully the baklava was a hit, which meant there was more leftover birthday cake for me!! :)

The great thing about this cake? Once you have the ingredients, soak your cashews, you just whip everything in your food processor. No oven required. Freezer space necessary, though. :)


This is my submission to this month’s Simple and in Season, and to Cara’s coconut round-up.

Raw Raspberry Cashew Dreamcake
Adapted from My New Roots

Crust
1/2 cup raw almonds (pecan or walnuts will also work)
1/2 cup soft Medjool dates
1/4 tsp sea salt

Filling
1.5 cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 5 hours, overnight is best
juice of 2 lemons
the seeds of 1 whole vanilla bean (or 1 tsp alcohol-free vanilla extract)
1/3 cup raw coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup agave nectar (or honey if not vegan)
1 cup raspberries (thaw completely if using frozen)

1. Place nuts and dates in a food processor with sea salt and pulse to chop until they are to your desired fineness (process a finer crust longer than a chunky one). Test the crust by spooning out a small amount of mixture and rolling it in your hands. If the ingredients hold together, your crust is perfect. Scoop out crust mixture in a 7” spring-form pan (if you don’t have a spring-form pan, use a pie plate lined with saran wrap — Note: I used a 9″ pan which is why mine is more flat), and press firmly, making sure that the edges are well packed and that the base is relatively even throughout. Rinse food processor well.

2. Warm coconut oil and agave nectar in a small saucepan on low heat until liquid. Whisk to combine.

3. In the most powerful food processor / blender you own (you decide which one has the most torque) place all filling ingredients (except raspberries) and blend on high until very smooth (this make take a couple minutes so be patient). If you have a Vita-Mix, absolutely use it.

4. Pour about 2/3 (just eyeball it, you can’t make a mistake!) of the mixture out onto the crust and smooth with a spatula. Add the raspberries to the remaining filling and blend on high until smooth. Pour onto the first layer of filling. Place in freezer until solid.

5. To serve, remove from freezer at least an hour prior to eating. Run a smooth, sharp knife under hot water and cut into slices. Serve on its own, or with fresh fruit. Store leftovers in the freezer if it will be a while until you eat it, but if you will eat it the following day, the fridge is great! (what leftovers?)

Serves 8-10.

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31 Responses

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  1. Rob said, on July 1, 2011 at 7:05 AM

    /like
    /superlike
    /superduperlike

  2. Grace@ FoodFitnessFreshair said, on July 1, 2011 at 8:32 AM

    Happy belated birthday! That cake sounds like heaven. I just brought a bunch of raspberries home from the CSA I work at. The delicate little things are the best.

  3. Peggy said, on July 1, 2011 at 9:54 AM

    Oh this sounds so good! And I love that it’s no-bake – perfect for summer and this holiday weekend =)

  4. Ricki said, on July 1, 2011 at 10:02 AM

    Happy belated birthday! It does look like a dream cake–and I love that name! I always thought they didn’t *really* taste like cheesecakes, either–but absolutely delicious in their own right. And yours sounds incredibly creamy and fruity–and red and white, perfect for Canada Day! Hope you have a wonderful long weekend. :)

  5. foodblogandthedog said, on July 1, 2011 at 11:07 AM

    Happy Birthday! This cake is indeed a dream, I have seen a few recipes using cashew cheese but they have all been a lot more complcated than this. I am not scared to try this and I love raspberries, delicious!!

  6. Joanne said, on July 1, 2011 at 1:37 PM

    Happy birthday!!! I had no idea or I would have sent you something! Need your address. ASAP. I’m serious.

    I would never have guessed that this cheesecake was raw and vegan…it looks so perfectly textured. I will definitely be trying this.

  7. Caitlin said, on July 4, 2011 at 11:11 PM

    dream cake for sure! looks delish!

  8. Dawn said, on July 6, 2011 at 4:55 PM

    Yay! I can comment again! Oh my gosh this looks so wonderful and happy belated!

  9. [...] is when it becomes exciting, because the experimentation in raw foods has created some luscious treats, perfect during the hot summer when you don’t want to turn on your stove or [...]

  10. Ashley said, on July 31, 2011 at 12:01 PM

    Yaey!! I was so happy to meet you too. :D Your birthday shindig sounds like a success and what a gorgeous cake. Your mom did an amazing job!

  11. Fabulicious Food! (@RenBehan) said, on August 8, 2011 at 6:41 AM

    Such an intersting vegan recipe – I really can’t wait to try it. Thank you so much for entering it into Simple and in Season. Round up to follow.

  12. [...] see, I have been learning from the master. I consulted my mom about her recommendations for feeding [...]

  13. [...] have become smitten by her food, instead. So far, her recipes have not let me down: the raspberry dream cake, the sultry peaches and blueberries, the 11-spiced lentil salad, the raw tacos with walnut meat, [...]

  14. Cara said, on August 29, 2011 at 8:30 AM

    how awesome of your mom to make this especially for your birthday bash! my mom has started to try to cook more like me too, it’s so sweet :) Thanks for sharing this in my coconut oil linkup!

  15. Nicolette @ Momnivore's Dilemma said, on September 2, 2011 at 1:14 AM

    I had something similiar here in Chicago at a lil place called Karyn’s raw. Divine. This makes me want to eat my computer screen!

    I love these types of desserts, as they scream health as well…

    If you so wish…please share this with my readers @Creative Juice. Hope to see you there!

  16. [...] Vegan Raspberry Cheesecake: Better named the delicious birthday Raspberry Dreamcake (yes, I preferred Sarah’s [...]

  17. [...] I just want to have some nutrients packaged with it, too. A healthier option. I simply adore raw desserts, but often they are nut-based or sport a heavy dose of agave or coconut [...]

  18. [...] Raw Raspberry Cashew Dreamcake [...]

  19. [...] Raw Kale and Beet Salad with Raisins and Almonds, followed by Mushroom Bourguignon with a decadent Raw Raspberry Cashew Dreamcake for dessert. Or maybe Spinach, Orange, Yam Soup, followed by Chickpea Piccata with mashed parsnips [...]

  20. [...] recipe for Raw Brownies and figured a rich chocolate dessert would appeal to the masses. While a cashew-based dreamcake would have been nice, too, I wanted to try something different.. and gasp, something even easier to [...]

  21. [...] am loving these quick-and-easy no-bake desserts. Here, you make a quick almond-date crust (I used the same one from my Raw [...]

  22. [...] of Canadian seasonal produce. Wow, is all I can say!   Following all of this this, for dessert Taste Space shared a Raspberry Cashew Dream Cake – a really lovely vegan cheesecake using cashews and [...]

  23. [...] year, my Mom made a killer raw raspberry cheesecake for my birthday. This year, there ain’t no party, but I thought it would be nice to continue [...]

  24. Ellen Lederman said, on September 9, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    This was absolutely amazing! Thanks so much for posting this. I’m going to make it for a friend who is convinced that raw food is yukky—I’m almost positive this will make her change her mind!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on September 10, 2012 at 7:59 AM

      Awesome! Cashew cheesecakes are a great way to introduce people to raw cuisine. Who doesn’t like spreading dessert awesomeness? :) Please let me know how they like it!

  25. Ellen Lederman said, on September 24, 2012 at 8:34 AM

    She absolutely loved it. Didn’t realize it was raw. When told that it was, she replied, “Well, raw is okay for desserts.”

  26. [...] night, we celebrated my brother’s 30th birthday. Just as when I tipped into my thirties, my Mom was adamant about hosting a party for close family. Like last time, she transported [...]

  27. […] way to go. No stranger to decadent raw desserts (Raw Key Lime Pie, Better Than Nutella Cheesecake, Raspberry Cashew Dreamcake), sometimes they go thump with the richness from nuts and coconut. It hasn’t stopped me from […]

  28. […] 6. My New Roots: One of my first blog crushes was on Sarah. You know, before she became the big-time blogger. All her recipes have been delicious. I seem to discover new ingredients while reading her blog but have no fear, some of her recipes are simple. I highly recommend her Raw Chocolate Milkshake, Mojito Smoothie, Warm Balsamic Rosemary Cabbage Salad, Crunchy Cabbage Salad with Orange-Tahini Dressing, Raw Tacos, Chickpea Salad with Mexican Mango Dressing, Grilled Balsamic Portobello Mushrooms, The Best Lentil Salad Ever, Raw Brownie, Mexican Chocolate Spiced Black Bean Brownies, Raw Raspberry Cashew Dreamcake. […]

  29. […] our favourite vegan cheesecake of all time. Very rich in a non-heavy sense, which can happen with raw cheesecakes, relying on cashews and coconut oil. However, sadly, after chilling in the fridge, it was no […]


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