I knew, the moment I opened my eyes in the early am hours, that this was going to be one of those cake for breakfast kind of days.
Well, to be truthful, I knew full well when I went to bed last night that I would be having cake for breakfast. It was sort of planned. There is something about the simple act of eating cake for breakfast that mysteriously triggers my lazy-mode, setting the tone for the rest of the day. We have a long weekend, an extra day at home, nowhere to go, no one to see…why not? Let me eat cake!
It has been quite a while since I last made a raw, vegan dessert and I was in the mood for healthy sweets. I had a beautiful bunch of pears sitting on the counter waiting, ever so patiently, for the weekend. Waiting for that human to have some free time, so she can produce something special starring those perfectly pretty pears. Pears always put me in an autumn mood. And since autumn is nowhere near around the corner, it wouldn’t hurt to pretend, for just a few spiced pear moments, that it is.
I decided to try incorporating some fresh pears into a basic raw cake base made with walnuts and dates. And how about a creamy vanilla cashew frosting and sliced pears to top it off? Mmmm. Truth be told, I would have gladly gobbled my cake for dessert that very night, as any proper foodie would, but it was going to require a few hours in the dehydrator. So, I would have to wait for breakfast.
Let’s start with the cake. Raw cakes are so easy to make. A few simple ingredients tossed together in the food processor, formed into any shape you like and dehydrated for a few hours. You can even skip dehydrating, but it does give your cake a little bit of that “baked” texture. You can use just about any kind nut you like for the base. I thought walnuts would compliment the pears and spices nicely.
Raw Spiced Pear Cake:
- 1 cup walnuts
- 2/3 cup dried, shredded coconut
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- a dash of salt
- 1 cup moist medjool dates (about 10-11)
- 1 cup fresh pears, grated
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
First pulse the walnuts, coconut, spices and salt together until coursely ground. Then, with the processor running, add the dates one at a time and process until well-blended. Add the lemon juice and pears and pulse a few times to incorporate the pears.
Press the mixture into a cake pan and place in the freezer for a few hours to firm up. I used silicone muffin molds to form individual round cakes. Putting them in the freezer for an hour or so allows them to become firm enough to be easily removed from the muffin mold, then placed on the dehydrator tray. Dehydrate at 115 degrees for 4-5 hours. These cakes can be stored in the fridge for about a week.
And that creamy cashew frosting…who needs sugar and butter? It is simple to make, healthy and absolutely delicious to eat! I find my cashew creams are smoother if I soak the raw nuts for a few hours first.
Vanilla Cashew Cream:
- 1 cup organic, raw cashews (soaked for at least 2 hours)
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon maple or agave syrup
- 1/4 cup water (more or less depending on the desired consistency for your cream)
Place all ingredients in the food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. I wanted my cream to be a bit thicker this time, sporting more of a “frosting” style, so I added just enough water to cream the cashews.
When my cakes were dehydrated and my cashews creamed, I put us all to bed. My food friends slept soundly in their cool refrigerated air, while I tossed and turned in this swampy summer heat. But what a treat to wake knowing cake awaits you! With my beloved morning brew in hand, all that remained was simply to assemble my breakfast sweets and enjoy my decadently healthy day.
Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too? Enjoy your weekend :)