Think the creamiest, freshest lemon ice-cream cake of your dreams with a sweet delicious biscuity crust.
Recently my daughter turned the big ONE year. Having made a fair few 1st birthday cakes to order and for family and friends bubbas, I was excited to make something special & simple for her.
I have always loved the beautiful colours you can make with simple, wholefood ingredients like berries, avocado and turmeric. Back when we had the Natural Harry smoothie & raw dessert caravan I enjoyed experimenting with making rainbow cakes using these ingredients to not only flavour but also create beautiful colour. Fun fact: One of the most popular sliced was called ' Unicorn fart '.
For this one I thought it would be cool to experiment with a different method to try and find a way to simplify the process even more. Instead of freezing layers I thought it would be cool to try and make the whole thing in one go and at the same time play around with a baked crust.
Now, of course having a baked crust as part of this cake means that it is no longer a 'raw dessert'. However, you can totally use my usual base recipe which you can find in the raw desserts basics section of Natural Harry on page 116.
Adding coconut oil to the filling is totally optional too. Technically not considered a wholefood by many, coconut oil helps to create a really super smooth texture. We don't tend to consume much coconut oil on a day to day basis and, being one for balance in every area of my life I am more than OK to add it to a special occasion cake.
You could do so much with this cake. You could change up the colours making them lighter or stronger. You could make little cupcakes or a slice, and you could experiment with different foods such as cacao powder to colour and flavour the cake.
More on all of this in the cooks note section!
This guide combines 2 recipes from my first book, Natural Harry and a new recipe for a baked 'biscuit' crust which I share in this post.
Natural Harry - Delicious summer plant-based recipes is full to the brim with my tips and tricks for the perfect raw dessert and the best sellers from my caravan.
Makes: 1 medium cake
Prep time: 30 minutes (+ overnight soaking time)
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Freezing time: Overnight
Equipment: High speed blender (I used a Vitamix), food processor (I used a Thermomix) & spring form cake tin (I used a medium sized 18cm diameter spring form cake tin).
CAKE FILLING (Recipes in Natural Harry):LEMON LAYER ONLY - 'Passion & Lemon Love Cake' Page 98
LIME LAYER ONLY - 'Lime & Blackberry Layer Cake' Page 90 + **1 extra large or 2 small avocados**
Approx 1 teaspoon each:
Yellow - Turmeric powder
Pink - Beetroot powder
Blue - Blue spirulina ( I used mermaid latte )
Purple - Blue spirulina & beetroot powder
Green - Avocado
White - Nothing
3/4 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup raw almonds
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
Using the ingredients and methods on pages 90 & 98 of Natural Harry, Soak cashews in filtered water for a minimum of 8 hours. I find it easiest to just do this overnight. This is key to achieving the smoothest texture. For a short cut: soak them in boiling water for 10 minutes. Once ready to use them, drain and rise well. Soaking them overnight will achieve the creamiest texture.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius fan-forced. Line the base of a 18cm spring form cake tin with baking paper
Combine oats, almonds, salt and coconut sugar in a food processor. Blend until a meal is formed.
Add melted coconut oil. Pulse until a loose dough is formed. Spread evenly across the base.
*Tip* Once most of the mixture is pressed down, lay a sheet of baking paper over the top, use a jar or glass to roll over the baking paper. Remove baking paper to reveal a nice smooth surface.
Bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Keep an eye on it. It should brown slightly. Set aside to cool completely.
While your base is cooling, follow the steps for the lemon layer of the 'Passion and Lemon Love Cake' on page 98 of Natural Harry.
Evenly divide between smaller bowls for as many colours as you wish to include in your cake. I had 6 (one being avocado which you will do shortly, and one being white, which I created by not adding any colour to this mixture).
Add a 1/4 teaspoon of your colours to each bowl at a time. Mix well and add a pinch more, mixing again, until you achieve your desired strength of colour.
*Tip* When adding the colour keep in mind that when this cake sets the colour will darken slightly. The more of each colour you add the more flavour it will add. I only added a maximum of 1 teaspoon of each colour.
Follow the steps for the Lime Layer of the 'Lime & Blackberry Layer Cake' on Page 90 of Natural Harry.
Now you have your colours all ready. Let's have some fun!
Grab your baked biscuit base in your spring form cake tin. Begin to spoon 1 to 2 teaspoons at a time of each colour randomly around the base, switching between colours regularly. Until you have used up all of your filling mixtures.
To remove as many air pockets as possible, I simply gently tap the cake tin against the bench or tabletop as well as gently shuffling it back and forth to create a more level surface. See video included.
Place in the freezer to set overnight.
To remove from the tin, take the cake from the freezer and let it sit for a few minutes before releasing the springform gently. Place in the refrigerator to thaw for a minimum of 4 hours before slicing. **Thawing in the refrigerator will even out the thawing process slightly. As the cake thaws further it will become softer and easier to cut. Sing happy birthday and enjoy!
COOKS NOTESRaw dessert tips - I have so many tips and tricks in my book Natural Harry. I have also popped some extras in THIS post.
Cashews - I like to provide swaps for any common allergens like nuts. Although they are full of good nutrition I know some people don't have the best time with them. When it comes to raw desserts cashews really are king so you will not get the same consistency or flavour but you can exchange these with sunflower seeds and treat them the same (soak and rinse).
Natural Colours - As I mentioned up the top of this post, I experimented with some powders (from whole sources like beetroot & spirulina) this time round. All of these are from my local bulk wholefood store, Valerie's Pantry. So I was able to get all of these packaging free by taking my jars in and filling up. Another upside of doing this is that I was able to buy really small amounts of these ingredients which can be expensive and you do not need much of! Side note: I am excited to experiment with these as natural colours to make some easy finger paints with coconut yoghurt for bubba!
Storage - I would only thaw this cake out when you are going to serve it. Once you have thawed it, slice any remaining cake (if there is any. lol) and refreeze between layers of baking paper in a freezer suitable container. Then you are able to individually thaw slices as you would like them. Store for up to 2 months.
As a slice - To make this beautiful cake as a slice (think Natural Harry caravan days) simply use a square or rectangular medium slice tray. Following all of the same steps. Once set in the freezer, thaw for 10 minutes, remove from the tray. Slice into desired portions and return to the freezer in a container. Store for up to 2 months.
Sweeteners - I am not a huge fan (to say the least) of artificial sweeteners hence why I usually use either organic maple syrup, whole medjool dates or, sometimes, coconut sugar. Maple syrup and coconut sugar are considered a minimally processed food and all of the above still contain other nutrients on top of the naturally present sugars. Which is why I go for them. If you want a lower natural sugar option you could reduce the amount used.
Oats - If you would like to skip the oats you can replace with more almonds or even the same amount of buckwheat kernels. I would try to find activated buckwheat if you can as it lends a nicer crunch and you can skip the phytic acid that exists in many nuts and seeds and is greatly reduced in the soaking and rinsing process of activating.