I have released four recipe books so far:

The Best of the Sunny Raw Kitchen
The Best of Raw Freedom Community
Delightfully Raw and
Deliciously Raw

These feature some of the most delectable creations to have come out of my raw kitchen and will appeal to anyone interested in a healthier diet, regardless of their level of knowledge and experience. From easy one-step everyday fare to more elaborate and involved gourmet dishes and layered cakes, they offer something for everyone and every occasion. Incredibly tasty smoothies, creamy and comforting warm soups, sexy salads, delicious nut cheezes, satisfying entrees and scrumptious guilt-free desserts...

Healthy food never tasted so good!

To learn more about my recipe books, click here!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Recipe of the Week: Layered Blueberry & Cream Cake

There was a serious shortage of coconut oil in my cupboards for the past few weeks as I was anxiously waiting for a raw food order to arrive. You know how it goes: "It might arrive in the mail tomorrow so no point in buying some at the local HFS for twice the price, right?" Talk about creating havoc in a kitchen though; the list of dessert recipes I wanted to try was getting longer by the day, I tell ya!

When the order finally made it to my neck of the woods (hee haa), I decided to celebrate with Mishka's Blueberries and Whipped Cream Cake - an ingenious variation of my Strawberry Shortcake that she made using blueberries. Since I still have tons of blueberries in the freezer (yay!), how could I resist? (Ahhhhh! Me and desserts...)

I was in the mood to get fancy, so I assembled my cake in several layers. Unlike Mishka, I used only one batch of whipped cream and opted for the blueberry filling from my Bliss-full Blueberry Cheesecake recipe.

All I can say is "Wow!" The Strawberry Shortcake is one of my personal favorites so I admit that I wasn't the most objective of recipe testers. (I just LOVE the cake layer - so light and subtly flavored.) But even Manu was impressed! I figured he deserved an extra big piece since he did such a good job with presentation.

Layered Blueberry & Cream Cake

This recipe is for a 7" diameter springform pan

3/4 cup well packed soft dates, chopped
1 cup loosely packed left-over pulp from making milk (wet pulp is fine) or ground almonds*
1 cup dried coconut
1/2 cup cashews, ground
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Pinch salt

* If using ground almonds, you may need to add a little water for moisture.

Blueberry Layer
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (thawed)*
1/2 cup dry cashews, finely ground
2 tbsp melted coconut oil
1 tbsp melted cacao butter
1/8 cup raw honey or agave nectar (I used both)
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
Pinch salt

*If using frozen blueberries, make sure they are well thawed and at room temperature to avoid the honey turning rock hard during blending.

Whipped Cream
1 cup cashews
1 cup + 2 tablespoons fresh coconut milk (simply blend 1 part dried coconut with 3 parts water in high speed blender)
3 tablespoons raw honey or agave nectar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon lecithin*

*Lecithin acts as an emulsifier. Look for lecithin (preferably non-GMO), in granules or powdered form, at your local HFS. If using granules, make sure to grind them up in a high speed blender of coffee grinder.

If you don't have access to lecithin, you can replace it with 1 tbs + 1 tsp psyllium flakes (less if you're using powder). Please note that the consistency won't be as fluffy and hold its shape as well at room temperature.

Blueberry Sauce:
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
3 or 4 small soft dates, soaked

To make the Cake:
Place dates in food processor and process until a smooth paste forms. You may need to add a little water. Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix until smooth.

To make the Blueberry Filling:
Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until completely smooth. Pour into a container and set aside in fridge or at room temperature until ready to assemble.

To make the Whipped Cream:
Blend all ingredients except coconut oil and lecithin until smooth. Add coconut oil and lecithin and blend until thoroughly mixed. Pour into a container and set aside in fridge or at room temperature until ready to assemble.

To make the Blueberry Sauce:
Blend blueberries and dates in high speed blender until smooth. Add soaking water until desired consistency is reached.

Layered cakes always look so impressive, but don't be fooled; they aren't that hard to assemble at all. All it takes is a bit of patience (and of course time) while the mixtures set in the freezer before proceeding with the next layer.

10 Easy Steps for Assembling this Layered Cake

Step 1 - Grease a springform pan with a little coconut oil or line a large margarine tub with plastic film.

Step 2 - Begin by evenly pressing half of the cake mixture on the bottom of the pan. (At this point, you might want to have a look at my friend Mosaica's tip to save on assembly time!)

Step 3 - Top with 1/2 of the blueberry mixture. Set in freezer.

Step 4 - When firm, pour 1/2 of the whipped cream mixture and set in freezer.

Step 5 - When completely firm, form another cake layer. (This is particularly key at this stage, as you will need to slightly press the cake batter unless you're using Mosaica's trick explained further down.)

Step 6 - Top with the rest of the blueberry mixture and set in freezer.

Step 7 - Lastly, when firm, pour the remainder of the whipped cream filling and return to freezer.

Step 8 - When the cake is set, gently remove it from the springform pan.

Step 9 - Cut pieces with a sharp knife and place on a serving plate. (See Notes)

Step 10 - If desired, decorate with blueberry sauce and a few blueberries.

Mosaica's Tip:
My good friend, Mosaica, just gave me a super trick to save on assembly time. (Thanks, dear!) Once the bottom layer (cake) has been pressed, simply loosen your pan and gently take out the cake layer. Set aside (you can wrap it in a foil and put it in the fridge). This will later become the second cake layer. Next, tighten the hinges on your pan and press the second half of the cake mixture on the bottom. Top with the blueberry and whipped cream fillings, as per the instructions. Once the latter has firmed up, you can then place the cake layer that you have already pressed on top and proceed with the rest of the cake. She says this method really cuts down on freezer time and makes the second cake layer more even.

Carmella's Notes:
~ Leave the mixtures in the fridge or at room temperature during the assembly process so that these can pour easily and evenly. If the fillings have set too much, simply melt down over a hot water bath while stirring.

~ In order to obtain distinctive layers, it's key to let each set in the freezer before applying the next layer.

~ To help keep the layers 'clean' while cutting the cake, put your knife under running hot water then dry it with a towel. Proceed to make a cut. Repeat this step between each cut. (Yah, yah, I know it sounds like a lot of work, but hey, remember that we taste with our eyes first!)

~ For a simpler version of this, put the cake layer, followed by the blueberry layer. Let set in the freezer. When firm, top with whipped cream. (In other words, skip steps 5, 6 and 7 and use the entire mixture for each layer.) Set in the freezer until ready to serve. If desired, decorate with blueberry sauce and fresh blueberries. Perhaps not as impressive but definitely still as delicious!



  1. This looks absolutely divine, Carmella! I can't wait to try it.
    Thank you for being such a huge source of inspiration and knowledge.

    With love,

  2. yummers Carmi! Can I please come over for a piece (if you guys haven't eaten the whole thing already, of couse) :D

  3. yummers Carmi! Can I please come over for a piece (if you guys haven't eaten the whole thing already, of couse) :D

  4. Oh please...seriously, would you just tell me what you will charge for rent to have me come up there and live? I really need to know because the commute from Seattle would be counter productive, and I need that in ma belly now! ;)

  5. This is soooo good--the best raw dessert I've had (and I've had a few!). I showed it to my husband (we sell blueberry plants for a living) just as "look how good this looks". He made it as a surprise for me!! We did a 1/2 recipe, and only made the first 3 layers. Excellent. Thanks so much.

  6. This looks and sounds amazing! Yum!!! I'm hungry now :)


  7. Your Raw cake looks so good! Yummy and I love reading your blogs and seeing the new raw things you make!

  8. Thanks for your kind comments everyone! We had some more of this cake yesterday and boy... I have to admit this one is right up there for sure. ;-)

    Heathy girl, you know we always keep a big piece just for you, my dear. ;-)

    Hum, of course you're more than welcomed except our little cabin is getting a bit crowded with all the adoption requests I've been getting lately. ;-)

    How sweet of your hubby to make this cake for you! I'm so glad you enjoyed it, especially if you have access to so many blueberries. (lucky you!!!)

  9. hola...hello...i've just started doing the "Fresh raw" thing...and i must say...u make EVERYTHING look WONDERFUL!!!....such and inspiration.....i hope i can stay w. this....and now i'm thinkin i can! thank u for ur inspiration!

  10. Tag, you're it. That means you need to tell 5 things we don't already know about you in your next post and then tag 5 more bloggers. Check out my blog for more details :-)

  11. I am very new to raw food and decided to make this as a birthday cake for my friends 17 year old son. I was in a hurry so I cheated a little by taking plastic plates, lining them with waxed paper,filling the layer, then covering with waxed paper, stacking them up and putting them all in the freezer at once. The next day I made an extra batch of whipped cream and assembled the frozen layers in the morning with some fresh whip cream in between each. Also, I used blackberries instead of blueberries. I also used psyllium powerder and felt like the results were, well, not like whipped cream but still delicious. We decorated the cake with blackberries, strawberries, orange flowers and little soccer ball candles. Everyone seemed to enjoy it.

  12. hi carmella! looks awesome:) before i attempt this, can you tell me if it is possible (or recommended) to freeze the cake if i want to make it in advance? i've done this quite successfully with lemon cheesecake - can't tell the difference at all! not sure if it would work with this one, though. thanks!

  13. I'm glad you're all enjoying this cake so much. I should make it again myself now that blueberry season has started.

    Good point. Yes, you can totally freeze this cake (as for virtually all desserts actually!) From what I understand, the only type of desserts that doesn't respond so well to the freezer is those that contain Irish moss.

    Hope you like it! ;-)

  14. This cake looks absolutely breathtaking, especially the whipped cream part. Well done...

  15. Thanks, Carmi! The amazing cake froze perfectly. I was able to slice pieces of the frozen "leftovers" to serve whenever I wanted and it tasted absolutely the same as when I first made it:)

    Hope your trip is going well:)

  16. Having recently introduced more raw foods into our diet (I commented a while ago about this but you probably don't remember me!), I made this as a treat this week. OH MY GOODNESS! It's SO good! As it's so rich, I've sliced it and stored it in the freezer, so I can have a slice whenever I wish.

    For the record, my 15 month-old son absolutely loves it too, though I have to ration his sweet foods so his tastebuds don't get too addicted. It would be far too easy to become hooked on desserts like this! Thanks so much for your inspiration, Carmi. :-)


    Edinburgh, Scotland.

  17. Hi all!

    I was really exited when I made this cake. Wow, it taste brilliant. But its a little expensive though... I sat the other day and figured out how much it costed to make this cake. Wow, what an eyeopener. Here in Denmark it is really expensive to buy nuts, so the price I got was way out of what a normal SAD cake would cost. 38 US dollars!!! What!

    What is the price in Canada or the US for nuts, dates, agave etc.?

    Could you try to make another equation?

    Thanks a lot for all your divine recipes.