virtual vegan potluck: raw strawberry cream cake at last!

Virtual Vegan Potluck

Guess what today is everyone? It’s finally here: the Virtual Vegan Potluck! A day where 66 bloggers (I think I counted right?) are coming together to link up recipes for 8 different courses for a virtual vegan feast! Here is the lovely organizer’s, Ann, little blurb on it:

Bringing vegan food bloggers together to share a virtual potluck, linked by a blog circle – and our love of cooking, eating and sharing. Participating bloggers will post recipes – from appetizers to desserts – and photos on the day of the event. Non-vegans welcome as long as they prepare a cruelty- and animal-free dish.

A big shout out to Ann at An Unrefined Vegan for organizing this event. She has put so much time into it and it is such a fantastic way to connect bloggers and readers from all over the world to share food when otherwise we would not be able too. You rock Ann!

This potluck acts as a sort of chain where there is a beginning and an end, starting with appetizers and finishing with desserts. If this is your first stop make sure to scroll to the end of the post to find links to the beginning of the potluck, the post before mine and the one that follows!

Now for my contribution, those of you who know me well, could probably predict what I was contributing. Dessert of course. What else? I think though next time I will challenge myself to contribute something savoury. I mean there is obviously going to be a next time and I’m sure it will be even bigger and better!

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This was a long awaited recipe, I got so many requests for it following this teaser post, that I almost felt bad for not immediately sharing it with you. But I knew I wanted to save it for this blog event because it deserves a special recipe. And this, my friends, is a very special recipe.

I made this cake for my mom’s birthday at the end of April, when I was still knee deep in the first week of my cleanse. This meant no added sweeteners except stevia and dates, no soy, no grains, no chocolate. Bonus points if I made the cake raw as well, since high raw was/is the name of the game! This meant most traditional cakes were simply not an option. Even most raw cakes posed a bit of a problem, requiring agave as a sweetener. Sure I could have made my mom something more traditional, but then I wouldn’t get to enjoy it and where’s the fun in that?? I was determined to make my mom a cake she would love and that I could eat, and all my hard work and planning paid off.

This cake was inspired by the Raw Cashew Dreamcake from Sarah at My New Roots. I had to play around with proportions since I was making a larger cake as well as substitute for the raw honey she used as the sweetener. I also wanted to challenge myself to lighten up this cake a bit. Yes a complete cake made with cashews and coconut oil would be absolutely fantastic, but was there a way to lighten it up just a bit, maybe even sneak in some extra fruits and veggies? Wait a second who am I asking here, of course there was! And the results are amazing :)

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Raw Strawberry Cream Cake (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Raw)

This cake DOES NOT taste like it fits within my cleanse principles. It is rich, creamy, sweet, decadent and so special tasting. The crust adds an earthy sweetness and crunch to the cake which has 2 layers: one akin to a cheesecake, the next a strawberry cheesecake. Topped with strawberry coulis it is the perfect cake for a celebration, be it a birthday or potluck!

This can be enjoyed completely frozen for an more ice cream cake type dessert, or my preferred method, thawed from frozen, but still chilled, as a “cheesecake”. It’s all up to you!

Crust:

  • 3/4 cup almonds
  • 3/4 cup medjool dates
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Cake:

  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 frozen banana, sliced before freezing
  • 1 peeled, roughly chopped zucchini
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 10 drops vanilla stevia
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup strawberries, fresh or frozen (thawed if using frozen)

Strawberry Coulis:

  • 1 cup strawberries, fresh or frozen (thawed if using frozen)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 medjool date, soaked and pitted

For the crust, pulse the almonds in a food processor until finely ground then add the dates and sea salt and process until the mixture will stick together when you press it. Press the mixture into an 8-inch spring-form pan and place in the refrigerator while you make the filling

First, pulse the chopped zucchini in the food processor until finely shredded. Next add the rest of the crust ingredients except the coconut oil and the strawberries. Start running the food processor and while it’s going slowly poor the coconut oil in and process until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

Take the spring-form pan out of the fridge and pour about 1/2 – 2/3 of the mixture into the pan. Just eye-ball it, it doesn’t matter too much! Smooth it out and put it back in the fridge. Take the remaining cashew mixture and process it with the 1 cup of strawberries until smooth. Carefully pour this mixture into the pan and spread until even, being careful not to let the layers mix as you do this. Put in the cake in the freezer for45min-1hr to firm up or for longer for an “ice cream” cake.

To make the coulis, just blend up the 3 ingredients until smooth.

Take the cake out of the freezer a few minutes before serving so it thaws a bit. If it’s been in the freezer for longer and is completely frozen, make sure you give it a good amount of time to thaw if you want a cheesecake-like cake. Remove the side from the spring-form pan, slice and serve with a spoonful of strawberry coulis on top!

Store in the fridge or freezer for up to a week, if it lasts that long!

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I hope you all enjoyed feasting your eyes on my potluck contribution. Now, do yourself a favour and go and check out all the other recipes that are contributed! For your convenience, we have some handy buttons you can click:

go back

to the recipe before mine at The Veg Bar

go forward

to the next lovely dessert recipe at Veggie 4 a Year

Virtual Vegan Potluck

Or go to the beginning at Vegan Bloggers Unite and enjoy the entire feast! (Make sure you see all of them no matter what order you follow)

Enjoy the rest of the festivities and have a lovely weekend!

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69 thoughts on “virtual vegan potluck: raw strawberry cream cake at last!

  1. Ooh, this looks delicious! I’ll definitely be trying it as soon as our strawberry plants start producing – I have a certain weakness for raw cashew cakes.

  2. Wow, no bake? Amazing. I’ll make this for my boyfriend, he loves strawberry cream cake but I never dared to make it coz I’m not a good baker. Now I’m excited to try this. Thanks!!!

  3. I love this idea of a Virtual Potluck! Your contribution is so beautiful and creative! I love that you lightened it up a bit too, that is so smart to add zucchini! Thanks for another beautiful recipe :)

    • You are probably one of the sweetest people EVER! The zucchini was a good choice for sure- I love raw desserts and their richness but sometimes you just want something light and springy you know?

      The Potluck was so fun! Next time it comes around you should join! I’d love to see what you com up with. I think I’m going to challenge myself and do an appetizer or main next time :) My creativity juices flow really well when it comes to breakfasts, baked goods and sweets but not as well with other things. I need to change that!

  4. This is breathtaking! It just looks so rich and so healthy at the same time! And the strawberry coulis! You have outdone yourself!

    If my mom lived closer, I would definitely be making this for her today! Have a great weekend! :-)

    • The strawberry coulis really makes it. I love the pop of colour it gives.

      Thank you for such a lovely comment :) If I could send you a whole cake of it I would! Hope you’re getting lots of fantastic weather. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  5. Pingback: happy mother’s day and a round-up! | the veggie nook

  6. Yes please, I will take the whole cake.

    WOW this looks incredible Gabby, I love the changes you made – I have made the original version from My New Roots and I cannot wait to test out yours!

    • Right away, ma’am- will whip one up and send it promptly!

      If only!.

      But seriously, thank you Heather :) I hope you test it out and love it! I definitely did. It might be tough to compete with the original recipe, but I’ll do my best :)

  7. Damn, I was sure I already commented. Weird. Anyway, this is STUNNING. Presenation is so gorgeous and it must taste amazing, I wish I could have a real-life bite! Maybe sometime soon!

  8. seriously…. I have to take a break from this lol theres just something about cheesecake that speaks to my soul. Dishes like this make me absolutely LOVE being a vegan haha so yummy looking and that Strawberry Coulis is seriously the “icing on the cake” awesome post! can I come over and get a slice now? lol

    • I know right? Being vegan is so rewarding and when you can have food this delicious, how can anyone not want to do it? lol. But seriously, thank you for the lovely comment. You come on up and visit me anytime and there will be an entire cake here waiting for you :)

  9. Wow Gabby – this is just gorgeous! I love the way you challenged yourself to improve this in your own way – and the results look incredible!! Gorgeous! I bet your mom was thrilled!! :) She is one lucky lady….
    xox

    • Thanks Shira! I love challenging myself with recipes, especially raw dessert ones. They are my favourite for some reason! Both my parents were quite happy with this one, it was gone within 2 days :)

      Hope you have the same lovely sun in Van that we do here!

  10. And this was so worth the wait…looks great! About how many dates is 3/4 cup? I am going to try to make a date crust for a dessert I’m making tomorrow…hopefully it works out!

    • Thanks girl! I just checked for you and 3/4 cup dates is 8 medjool dates packed in there :)

      I hope yours turns out too, can’t wait to see what you’re making! They’re pretty fool proof- too much date, add more nuts. Too crumbly, add more dates :)

      • Thanks for checking for me…unfortunately, I will not be using those today, as I had planned…my brain led me in a different dessert direction yesterday that I will hopefully get posted later today!

  11. Wowee, girlie!! I’m making me some of this! It’s not only beautiful, it’s healthy, light – all the good stuff! I was expecting a stellar contribution and here it is! Thank you and hugs, Gabby!

  12. Oh. Wow.
    I’m not a huge dessert person and I hardly ever drool over sweets this early in the morning, but I’ve decided to make an exception for your cake ;)

  13. It is a truly special dessert! Looks and sounds amazing. And I can’t believe you’ve put a veggie in there!! Way cool. :)

    The Virtual Vegan Potluck sounds like an excellent idea! Am gonna go check it out now and read all about it.

  14. Gorgeous! I LOVE that you snuck zucchini in there too – just brilliant, I am totally going to try your trick. This looks absolutely wonderful, Gabby… this has been my favourite dessert post :)

    • Wow thanks Lou! I bet cucmber would go in there easily as well! I love raw dessert but they can be heavy, so I love that the zucchini and banana added some lightness and bulk at the same time!

      Such a lovely compliment :) you’re awesome!

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