Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Raw Pecan Spice Cake with Vanilla Bean Frosting


I was all excited...I had picked out an oatmeal spice cake in one of my cookbooks for my Mother's Birthday.  I pictured it in my head...a magnificent looking layer cake with moist flavorful layers and creamy fluffy cream cheese frosting.  I had never made a layer cake before, but it couldn't be that hard right?  I lovingly gathered the ingredients, beat them together, poured them into the pan, and baked the cakes.  They smelled wonderful when they immerged from the oven as I set them on the cooling racks.  But...few hours later when they were cool, I went to unmold them and...they were stuck to the pans!  I rapped on the bottom in hopes that they would come out, and they did.  In crumbly pieces!  I could have cried.  I was so upset that I had ruined my Mom's birthday cake.  But, she walked into the kitchen, gave me a hug, and told me it was alright because they would taste good reguardless of if they were pretty or not.  We ate them anyways, with the frosting gobbed on top, and I had learned a valuable lesson...always grease and line the pans!  I have since baked many cakes, and they have never again stuck to the pan. 


I hadn't made a spice cake in a while as of this past weekend, but it sounded really good to me.  So I thought I would make a raw one using pecans and coconut for the base.  No need to bake, and no need to worry about the cake sticking to the pan! 


I used a spice mix that I always use in my spice cakes, of cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and nutmeg.  It is so fragrant, and it reminds me of the spice cakes my Mom used to make when I was little.  I wanted it to have a simple fluffy frosting laced with vanilla to allow the spices and the pecan flavor of the cake to shine through.  It was delicious, and I was pleased that my first attempt into making a raw cake was a success!  No crumbly layers falling apart to cry over like my first attempt at a layer cake, only beautiful layers and luscious frosting. 



Raw Pecan Spice Cake with Vanilla Bean Frosting
Makes one 4 inch 3 layer cake

Cake:
2 cups raw pecans
3 cups finely shredded dried coconut
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup agave nectar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp ginger
1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
seeds of half a vanilla bean (other half reserved for frosting) or 2 tsp pure vanilla extract


Frosting:
2 1/2 cups raw cashew pieces soaked at least 3 hours but preferably soaked overnight, drained

1 cup filtered water
1/4 cup agave nectar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract and seeds of half a vanilla bean
1/2 cup coconut oil (warmed to liquid)

2 Tbsp lemon juiceFor the cake, in a food processor, combine pecans, coconut and sea salt in a food processor and process until finely ground, the consistency of almond flour. Add agave nectar, coconut oil and vanilla bean and spices and process until smooth, well combined and holding together when squeezed. If not holding together add a little more coconut oil by the tsp. until it does. Divide the mixture into 3. Shape into 3 4 inch cakes (I used a 6 inch cake pan lined with plastic wrap to do so, then lifted it out and shaped the other two).  Place on a sheet pan lined with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge to firm up, for a couple hours (to make assembly easier). 
Meanwhile, to make the frosting, combine all ingredients in the food processor and process until smooth. Place in the fridge for about 1-2 hours until pipeable.
When ready to assemble cake, place one layer on a serving plate and top with about 3 Tbsp frosting.  Spread to the edges, and top with another cake layer.  Top with another 3 Tbsp frosting, then another cake layer.  Spread frosting on the top and down the sides of the cake, and smooth out.   Place remaining frosting in a pastry bag and pipe around the sides and bottom of the cake.  Chill a few hours before serving to make slicing easier.  When ready to slice, use a warm knife, which will cut through the cake easier. 

48 comments:

  1. Very pretty ! I've yet to venture into raw baking. It's a whole new world ....

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    1. Thank you :)! It is delicious, you should definately try it, and the best part is no oven needed!

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  2. This looks absolutely wonderful....what a beautiful cake for your mom. I never tried raw baking, but it sounds really good :)

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    1. Thanks :)! This one wasn't for my Mom, although I did share some with her ;)! I was just telling a story at the beginning of a baking disaster I had making a spice cake when I was younger ;).

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  3. This is just beautiful Amy. I love pecans. I can just imagine how good a slice would smell too! Great job making it RAW!!

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    1. Thank you Angela :)! It did smell pretty good ;)!

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  4. I love spice cake! Pecans make the best raw desserts in my opinion. Have you tried almonds in place of the cashews? Cashews don't seem to agree too well with me. :o(

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    1. I have tried almonds, the frosting texture isn't quite as smooth, but it still tastes delicious!

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  5. your cake look absolutely stunning! so tall and smooth!

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  6. What a pretty cake! The inside looks so moist and tasty!

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  7. Wow this looks so good. What beautiful presentation!

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  8. You always make the most delicious looking desserts. I'm coming to your house to eat ;) This cake sounds absolutely delicious.

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    1. Thanks Jennie for the sweet comment :)! If only you lived closer, we could share desserts!

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  9. This is gorgeous! I have yet to try to make a raw cake. This may have to be the first one I try! Yum!

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    1. Thank you :)! They are actually easier than they sound to make, and no heating the oven in the hot summer ;)!

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  10. SO stately and elegant, Amy! And spice cake pairs so well with vanilla bean icing...marvelous combo, my friend!

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    1. Thanks Liz :)! You make it sound more beautiful than it actually was ;)!

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  11. You are on a roll with the raw goodies! This cake looks so tasty!

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    1. Thanks Stephanie! It is something that I have gotten hooked on in a short period of time...I just keep wanting to experiment more with raw!

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  12. Marvelous cake, Amy! The vanilla bean frosting is making me salivate! As usual, your aesthetic taste is non-nonpareil.

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    1. Thanks so much Viviane :)! Your food is always beautiful as well!

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  13. Raw cake! that looks very good!!! I'm loving experimenting with raw desserts recently. I will have to try this!

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    1. Thanks Sarah! Raw desserts become addicitive once you try them ;)!

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  14. This looks like such a beautiful, delicious cake! Is there any way to replace the shredded coconut? My stomach can't stand coconut. :(

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    1. Thanks :)! You could replace it with almond meal (ground up almonds).

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  15. Oh wow! I absolutely love this. I know exactly where to come when I'm craving something sweet :)

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    1. Thanks :)! This would definately cure a sweet craving ;)!

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  16. I can't believe this is RAW!! It looks incredible!

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    1. Thanks Steph :)! It helps to have a good food processor to get smooth frosting ;)!

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  17. Just to let you know i have nominated you for an award. Check it out at my blog :)

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    1. Thanks so much! Heading over to check it out :)!

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  18. This cake is exceptionally beautiful :D
    I cannot believe it is raw!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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    1. Thank you :)! Having a good food procesor makes it easier ;)!

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  19. Oh yummy! Trying this tomorrow. I think I am going to substitute real maple syrup for the agave nectar.

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    1. That sounds even better than the agave! Love maple with spice cake :)!

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  20. Your raw cake looks amazing. It is on my list to try. Thanks

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  21. An elegant cake with excellent choice of flavors! :)

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  22. Yet another stunning creation from you - and my does it sound delicious!

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  23. The cake looks amazing.... I am totally intrigued with raw desserts these days. I just did a juice cleanse for 3 days and the 3 days pre and post I ate raw only to prep my body and make the most of my cleanse. I did a lot of searching on the internet for raw recipes to mix things up but seriously no one had a kick butt cake like this listed.... thank goodness it wouldn't have probably helped me with cleansing lol.

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    1. Thanks so much :)! I am too, they are just so wonderful when you start making them that it is hard to make anything else ;)! You definately feel different eating this versus regular cake :)!

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