If you can say cinnamon carob marble fudge protein-packed cake backwards three times, I'll personally send you three of these cakes. Ok, maybe I won't... But I dare you to try -- what a mouthful of a name, huh?! :) Sometimes my taste buds get carried away and not always in a very recipe title-friendly way... But hey, what's important is the taste, right? And this fudgey cake tastes AMAZING.
... Plus it's packed with wholesome, gluten-free, and plant-based protein, so I'm really giving you an excuse to eat cake liberally throughout the day, you know, say... post-workout, as running fuel, as a filling snack, a pick-me-up little something something, dessert for breakfast, or just a good ol' delicious fudgey, swirly dessert. See, I'm really looking out for your interest here and want to make sure you can fit dessert into your day someway, somehow... ;) And a good extra dose of protein to keep you fueled and full longer is always a welcome way to do that (at least for me it is).
I've had it in my mind to make a protein powder-based cake for the blog for a while now. It just seemed logical. Sure there are bars you can buy, and you can make a smoothie, or put it in your nicecream... even bake some squares with it (I've seen it done, but never tried it yet). But what about cake!? Surely some days I'd love to enjoy a slice of cake without it cutting into my snack / meal plan... So why not achieve both in one go: have your cake & your protein boost in one. I'm in!
So to satisfy this protein cake plan of mine, I've even picked up some protein powders before, all eager to get to work, but *sigh* I really, really disliked the very pronounced stevia flavor in all of them. That's why I stopped for the longest time having protein smoothies, etc. I know for many it's not an issue, and I really tried to like stevia... but nope. My taste buds just don't agree :/ So I've been struggling to find a good brand of protein powder that is gf, refined sugar-free, clean & non-GMO, and is not based in whey... and most importantly, one that doesn't taste like stevia. I've been on a laid back hunt... Checking out some of your recommendations, looking out for new brands of my own, etc., for some time now.
So... when Devenee from About Time bumped into me on Instagram and let me know about her powders and wanted to know if we could collaborate on some recipes, I was curious to check them out, but honestly not tooooo curious because I sort of lost hope with protein powders by now. But then I made this cake with her cinnamon spice vegan protein powder and it all fell into place -- no overwhelming stevia taste detected, delicious protein-packed cake achieved. Bingo!
I shared this cake with two massive non-stevia fans (the kind that wouldn't have even come close to this cake if they knew there was stevia in there): my husband and one of my best friends. Both detected NOTHING. They didn't even have a clue there's some sneaky protein hiding somewhere inside this cake. Seconds requested. That's a pass my friends. That's when I knew this is the protein cake I want to share with YOU.
Although this recipe is a collaboration of mine with About Time protein powders, rest easy -- I'm positive you can make the cake with another protein powder of your own choice if you prefer or if this one is out of reach for you in your corner of the world (just be sure to throw some cinnamon in there to make up for the spiced cinnamon element in this cake -- it's an important yum factor!). But if you are within reach of the About Time powders, I recommend giving them a try. I love supporting good brands that bring healthy to the table, and I love About Time's commitment to wholesome nutrition-driven protein products. As I mentioned before -- all gluten-free, all refined sugar-free (stevia sweetened), and there's a vegan line that's not based in whey that I've been enjoying exploring. AND you can make this cake out of them, so they must be good, right?! :)
But most importantly, I really like Devenee herself, the architect behind the powders and the product. You know me, I'm a chatter box and love getting to know people, so I couldn't miss out on an opportunity to get to know the lady behind the powders a little. Here's a little of what I discovered about her and her vision in her own words:
We'll I am a foodie at heart. As a kid I spent a great deal of time with my gram- we didn't have a play room or toys, gram was Italian, my mom being the oldest of 9. We watched gram cook, bake, make candy, she never had anything less than 6 desserts in the fridge. All meals were cooked from scratch but most of all what I loved was when my gramps came home for lunch and dinner, he sat at the head of the table and ate and my gram sat to his right (with no food) and they talked. I loved every moment of it. His frosted mug for a beer at dinner or for water at lunch, his 3 cloves of garlic on a side plate, plus a few hot peppers.
Under age 4 we had a small kid table where we were given dough or whatever she was making- to play with. After 4 we graduated to the kitchen island. Starting out learning to roll cavatelli, ate pizzelles, rum cookies, pizza every Friday! Every Easter all of the homemade chocolates, bunnies peanut butter cups oh my, it was like being in a candy store. Homemade hard tack Italian candy- once a year my gramps was in the kitchen helping make this. So long story short, I spent my childhood and teenage years learning from the best. I graduated valedictorian from cooking school, have cooked for U.S. presidents, vice presidents, many athletes, and so on.
Now, I create the food products for company and handle most of the marketing. I truly believe people can enjoy food, eat everything that they want -- but in a healthier way. Hence, why all my products are made with simple ingredients, nothing artificial and sweetened with stevia.
So there you go, isn't it a lovely backstory?! I love it when people are passionate about making healthy and wholesome options available for others, and I've definitely felt that in talking to her back and forth about the different About Time products -- it's not just a brand, but there's care in there for others. And as a side note I can't help but smile at grams' description -- I wonder if that's what I'm going to be like when I'm older?! No less than 6 desserts in the fridge at a time -- me in a nutshell :) I've got at least 20 cakes going on in the freezer at the moment... >.<
Devenee mentioned she was drawn to reach out to me because she loved my photography & creative recipes, so I felt inspired to offer the many extra angles of this cake for this recipe, especially because truly you get a different lovely "marble" in every slice. I absolutely love carob, and it worked so perfectly in this cake with the cinnamon spice powder. This cake is fudgey, sweet, rich, and very satisfying. And a tiny slice keeps you full and fueled and balanced!
Oh, and on that last and final note, I made a small version of this cake -- it's protein packed from the powder and the nuts, and additionally energy packed from the dates and agave, so really a tiny slice goes a long way. So I used my 5" springform for this one. To jump a size to the usual 6" tall cakes I share, triple the recipe (I know it seems odd to triple when there's only an inch of a difference, but trust me -- the extra inch plus the additional tallness of the 6" pan will eat up the extra ingredients). Alternatively, you can just make this in a small square tupperware container that's lined with parchment (so you can extract the cake easily).Print
Cinnamon Carob Marble Fudge Protein-Packed Cake
A fudgey, protein packed vegan cake accented with spiced cinnamon.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 5" cake
- Category: Cake
- Method: No-Bake
- Cuisine: Dessert
- ½ cups raw cashews (not soaked)
- 1 soft medjool dates, pitted
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- ½ tbsp agave (or maple syrup, etc.)
- 8 tbsp cashew butter
- 4 tbsp About Time Cinnamon Spice Protein Powder (or a similar protein powder of your choice)
- 3 tbsp coconut oil, liquefied
- 3 tbsp agave (or maple syrup, etc.)
- ¼ cup warm water
- ¼ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ⅛ tsp salt
Additional Carob Filling:
- 8 soft medjool dates, pitted
- 2 tbsp toasted carob powder (or raw if you prefer)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, liquefied
- 1 tbsp agave (or maple syrup, etc.)
- 2 tsp unsulphured blackstrap molasses
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ½ tsp salt
- cacao nibs, shaved chocolate, hemp seeds, ½ tablespoon extra carob powder to form the balls (if making). Other ideas: chopped nuts, extra molasses for drizzling (delicious!)
- Process cashews, dates, and coconut oil into a crumble in a food processor. Add agave and pulse to combine. Optional: if making decorative balls for topping, leave behind about 2 tablespoon of the crumble in the processor. Transfer the remaining mixture into a 5" springform pan (or a lined dish of a similar size), and press down to shape into a crust. Place the pan in the freezer while working on the next step.
- Blend all base filling ingredients into a smooth mixture in a high-power blender. Remove half the mixture and set aside. Add all the additional carob filling ingredients and blend once again into a smooth uniform mixture.
- Remove the pan out of the freezer. Pour the carob mixture into the pan, trying to keep it all to one side as much as possible (don't worry if it's not perfect, just keep pushing it to stay more or less on just one half of the pan with a spoon). Pour the base mixture you've previously set aside onto the other side. Tap the pan on the counter to smooth out the two fillings and get rid of any air bubbles. Then use a skewer to swirl the two mixtures together and mix them up to your liking in the pan.
- Decorate with any toppings you're using. If you wanted to make the little decorative balls for this, just mix the crust mixture you left behind with ½ tablespoon carob powder by hand and knead into three little balls to top the cake with.
- Pop the cake into the freezer for 6 hours (or overnight) to chill and set. Enjoy! Keep leftovers frozen. Thaw out on the counter for about 10-20 minutes at room temp for a softer & fudgier version, or enjoy straight out of the freezer for an ice-cream cake-like treat.
Disclaimer: this post has been sponsored by About Time protein powders.
Protein Clubs says
It's great recipe. Thanks for sharing.
You're welcome :) Enjoy it!
I love that you give alternatives. So often I get really excited about a recipe when I have access only to my store cupboard only to find I am without one ingredient. Thank you. I have only just found you. I will be back
Hi Pam. Thanks very much. Glad you're enjoying the recipes and welcome to the blog, of course :)
This is such a great dessert! My mum and my brother both said this is the best dessert I've made (and I've made a lot :D) . I really don't know how you come up with these. And I love the way you use carob in your recipes since I have a big bag of it and don't quite know what to do with it. Thanks for this great recipe !
Aw, I'm so glad you and your family liked it, Lily! I know exactly what you mean about carob too -- I think it triggers something similar for me as well, which is why using just enough is right. It's not like cacao where you can add more and just get a stronger / darker flavor. With too much "more" carob you get something that's just ??? But a little of it can be so delicious.
Amanda B says
Wow the pictures are amazing ! And this is so delishious sounding ? my husband would love this always wanting to get more plant proteins in ??
Thanks so much, Amanda! Sneaking extra protein where I can these days :)
Kyra @ Vie De La Vegan says
Audrey, I love all these shots of this cake! I saw it on Instagram of course, but seeing all these different angles really makes me say "WOW!". I love the marbling, so perfect - whenever I try marbling, I end up over-mixing and it just becomes one colour, haha.
Oh, yes, been there done that with the marbling :D What I do is always keep a tiny bit of each mixture as extra. So that if I happen to overmix and things lose their pigment, I just add a bit more of say the "darker" mixture and swirl, or the "lighter" one, etc. to add that extra color back in. Some days though I just sprinkle some cacao on top and call it a day ;)
Yes!!! Now I can eat cake all day long and actually feel good about it :D well, maybe I'll have a salad for dinner but otherwise cake cake cake please <3 I love the cinnamon and cashews and carob and pretty much everything about this, amazing job as always! I have to look into those powders, it's so hard to find wholesome once that don't taste like powdered soap :D
Hehe. Thanks Lucie. Yes, cake all day.. especially if it has extra protein... or secret veggies hiding in there ;)
It is the bomb! So delicious and full of goodness! I wanted to eat it with a big spoon :) It's so amazingly delicious and melt-in-your mouth goodness. Thank you for such deliciousness!
Thank you for your feedback, Lana! I can't wait to share your beautiful photos soon as well. So glad you enjoyed this cake!
Audrey, for the dates in crust. Is it one cup or just 1 date? Thanks!
Just 1 date -- it's a small cake :)
Audrey, your pictures are amazing. Do you take them yourself? I take my own but they don't look that good! Maybe I'll work up to it. Lol. Can't wait to try the recipe by the way!
Thanks very much! Yes, I do all my own photography. I think I enjoy that more than eating some days :) I definitely didn't start out that way though -- just a lot of practice and a good cam (and a lot of cake eating in between ;) )
Melissa @ vegan does it says
Beautiful as always, Audrey! The flavors sound wonderful! I find a strong stevia flavor off-putting as well. I've been curious about this brand of protein powder so I'm glad to hear your thoughts too!
Thanks Melissa! Yes, strong stevia taste is just :S for me...
Natalie | Feasting on Fruit says
So I think I'm gonna need a slice of pre-workout cake, and some post-workout cake, and maybe an afternoon slice just to power through till dinner! Sorry guys nope can't share any cake, I gotta get my protein in ;) Oh I love this idea and the name and the flavors <3 And your timing is perfect, I'm just starting to really love protein powders too and find some that taste good. It's nice to have an easy way to get in protein. Although I might have to try the About Time brand now because Cinnamon spice flavor sounds amazing!
Oh and 3 times backwards: ekac dekcap-nietorp egduf elbram borac nomannic. ekac dekcap-nietorp egduf elbram borac nomannic. ekac dekcap-nietorp egduf elbram borac nomannic. (yes I did copy paste that haha :D)
lol. You just made me crack up! Thanks Natalie. Yes, cinnamon spice is a really nice flavor <3
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine says
Wow! Could you pack any more glorious things in this cake? What a beautiful idea for the protein powder too! I didn't know you would even ever use protein powders! A pleasant surprise!
Thanks Rebecca. And oh yes, I'm trying to cram protein powders all kinds of places these days :)
Audrey, I hope your man realizes how lucky he is having you: he can just test everyday different recipes which are, above all, full of nutriments! I only wish I had you as neighbour :)
I love carob and I add it to my, almost everuday , chocolate-turmeric milk :). This cake sounds like divine, really!
Oh, your comment sounds dreamy, Natalia! Unfortunately reality couldn't be further from the truth :D My man doesn't like dessert :S There are very few things I make that he'll enjoy, otherwise he prefers to have tortilla chips as a dessert and maybe a square of chocolate. He's kind enough to test things out for me though at least :)
I'm so making this! Looks absolutely stunning and delicious. Which model of the blender are you using? Looking to buy one for raw desserts. Thanks!
Hi Lana. Thank you :)
I use a Vitamix and absolutely love it. It was a very worthwhile investment for me and it honestly makes the best desserts. Blendtech is a good comparable. And I've also used and loved a friend's Froothie blender. All I'd say are good choices, though they are higher end blenders. But you can make so many things with them and they blend like nothing else. If it's in your budget, I definitely recommend a Vitamix.
Thanks for your quick response! Is there a model to a Vitamix you would highly recommend? There are so many of them and if I am going to make an investment, want to do it right the first time :) Thank you so much!
Just realized I never responded to you here! I use an older Vitamix but love it more than the newer ones -- I added a section to my FAQ page here detailing the model I use and why I prefer it. It's definitely an investment you will NEVER regret :) My most prized possession!
FAQ page is here: https://www.unconventionalbaker.com/faq/