Valentine's Day | Vegan Neapolitan Cake | Heart Healthy Recipe

February 11, 2017

This 4 Layer Raw Vegan Neapolitan Cake is a perfect addition to make Valentine’s Day (or any occasion for that matter) even more special!

I first made a full blown vegan Neapolitan cake last April and took it to Portland to celebrate our dear (vegan) friends’ birthdays! That was the first time I ever made a vegan cake and realized just how delicious and healthy a vegan dessert could be. Despite everyone enjoying every bite of the cake they ate, I knew there was something missing in my recipe and that I could have done a few things differently to make the cake taste even better. So as soon as we got back from that weekend’s shenanigans, I wasted no time in getting back to work and once again made this 4 layer raw vegan neapolitan cake with the changes I had in mind! And it turned out exactly how I had wanted it to, smooth, creamy, chocolatey and full of healthy-goodness…


However, I never got around to writing its recipe for the blog, tch tch! Now that I was planning a few recipes for Valentine’s Day, I couldn’t help but go back to these old pictures (which I clicked last year, when I was still a very amateur photographer - not that I am an expert now but I think I do a better job now than I did back then; you will agree with that, won’t you? ;)). Unfortunately, I don’t seem to have any pics of the cake before I cut it into slices (maybe a hint I need to make this again soon).

Who knew a vegan cake could be so mouthwateringly-tempting-and-delicious!!! Being a vegan or even taking it one step further and going raw are two of the biggest food and diet trends these days. But as much as I enjoy an occasional vegan or all raw vegan food, I am too much of dairy person to convert from a vegetarian to a vegan. I believe that as long as one is eating healthy, there is no need to change their diet, unless of course, it is due to allergic or moral reasons.



So let’s get to making some guilt-free-goodness this Season of Love…

Prep time: 30-45mins
Makes one 6 inch round cake, about 8-10 servings

Ingredients:
Base Layer, Crust
  • 1 cup almond powder
  • 2 spoons cacao powder (not cocoa)
  • ½ cup mejdool dates (add more if you feel that the cacao powder makes the layer bitter)
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Vanilla Base, Filling
  • 1 ½ cups cashews, soaked overnight (or even 4-5 hrs) and drained
  • ½ cup natural sweetener, I used agave nectar but you can also use honey* or maple syrup
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Juice of 1 small lemon (optional)
  • A pinch of salt (optional)
Chocolate Layer (you will use ⅓rd of the prepared vanilla base, plus the below ingredients)
  • 2 tablespoon cacao powder (not cocoa)
  • ½ tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • More natural sweetener to taste if you feel that the cacao powder makes the layer too bitter
Berries Layer (you will use ⅓rd of the prepared vanilla base, plus the below ingredients)
  • 1 cup frozen berry of your choice (strawberry, raspberry or blueberry)
Ganache

  • ½ cup cacao powder
  • ½ cup agave nectar or maple syrup (you can use more to even out the bitterness from the cacao powder)
  • 2 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

Instructions:
  1. Crust (Bottom Layer): In a food processor, blend the dates, powdered almonds and cacao powder  until they break down to crumbs. Now add coconut oil and run the processor again to combine the mixture. Take a 6 inch springform cake pan, fill the bottom of the pan with the crust mixture and press it down with a spatula. Set aside.
  2. Vanilla Base: Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend well until smooth and creamy. Separate this into 3 equal parts - vanilla layer, chocolate layer and berry layer.
  3. Chocolate Layer: Combine cacao powder and coconut oil (more sweetener if required), mix well and add it to 1 part of the separated vanilla base. You can either blend in a food processor to mix well or stir manually until well combined. Pour this mixture evenly over the crust and put it in the freezer for 15 mins.
  4. Berry Layer: Add frozen berry and 1 part of the separated vanilla base to a food processor and blend until smooth. Take out the pan from the freezer and pour this mixture evenly over the chocolate layer and put it in the freezer for another 15 mins.
  5. Vanilla Layer: Take out the pan from the freezer and pour the remaining 1 part of the separated vanilla base and put it back in the freezer until set for a few hours (I let it freeze overnight).
  6. Ganache: Make the ganache when you are ready to decorate the cake. Add coconut oil and honey to a food processor and blend well, to this add cacao powder and blend until smooth. Pour this ganache over the frozen cake and spread evenly. You have got to be quick with this process so as to not let the ganache harden before you have had a chance to spread it. Let the cake thaw for a few minutes before serving.
  7. Garnish: You can add fresh berries as I have or sprinkle chopped nuts or really anything else you fancy!



*Honey: I just learnt from one of the readers that honey is not vegan (thanks Aruna) and wanted to make a note here. If you are looking for a purely vegan recipe then either use agave nectar or maple syrup and not honey. I am off to do some research about honey now :)

Note 1: I use cacao powder (mind you, in its purest raw form, it is quite bitter) because it is a superfood with plenty of benefits but you can replace it with cocoa powder too. 2 tablespoon cacao powder = ¼ cup of cocoa powder.

Note 2: Get creative and experiment with the layers as you please - switch up the order of the layers, make two different berry layers instead of one or even try a different layer altogether.

And Voila, there you have it - the most delicious vegan cake you have ever eaten (or so I would like to think, haha)!

Do you have any favorite vegan dessert recipes? If so, do share it with me as I would love to give it a whirl.


“Behind every good woman is a lot of chocolate.”
xoxo,
Kusum

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