Bringing you today a wonderfully fruity and fluffy pomegranate and hazelnut mousse cake.
It's a raw cake recipe that's delightfully sweet with a hint of pomegranate tartness and hazelnut chewiness, thawed out to a mousse-like consistency / a very creamy cheesecake.
I love the pomegranate and hazelnut combo. They complement each other beautifully in this fruit and nut cake. The raw hazelnuts I used were quite tender, adding a nice texture to balance out the softness of the filling, and a pretty golden hue to the cake.
The pomegranates were layered into this cake in two ways: fresh (clear) juice for the filling, and pom arils for the topping. You can use freshly squeezed or pure store bought pom juice if you prefer / are short on time.
The juicy arils just add a pretty jewel-like topping and intensify the pom flavor.
The flower topping is entirely optional. The cake looked pretty with or without it :)
The thing that makes this cake truly special is its soft and creamy consistency, which requires a little prep ahead and a bit of careful timing. Here are a few notes to help you ensure the cake texture is served just right:
- I find this particular raw cake straight out of the freezer / lightly thawed out is just a bit too firm. Thawing it out longer brings out the flavors of the cake much more and makes for a much more enjoyable creamy texture. But thawing it out too much can lead to melting. I therefore recommend thawing it out a bit longer than most raw cakes, but in the fridge, so that the cake keeps its shape better.
- Per the recipe, the cake needs to be initially frozen in order to set. Prior to serving it though I recommend thawing it out for about 2 hours in the fridge. I suggest first pulling it out of the freezer, thawing it on the counter for 5 minutes so that it's easy to remove the springform ring off, transferring the cake onto a serving plate, then placing it in the fridge to further thaw for a few hours before serving.
- You can choose to slice the cake either while it's fully solid (once unmolded) before thawing it out in the fridge, or after thawing. Keep in mind that if it's thawed out too much and becomes too soft it might be a bit challenging to get neat clean slices. So ideally it needs to be sliced while it's still somewhat firm (either straight out of the freezer, or after thawing in the fridge for 2 hours).
- It can thaw out in the fridge longer than 2 hours if need be. I had it up to 4 hours and it was still wonderful, though definitely becomes soft / a bit more challenging to slice / handle. In the event you feel the cake became too soft for your needs for any reason, you can always pop it back in the freezer for a bit to help it solidify once again.
- Naturally, be mindful of the room temperature you are serving it in. If it's super hot, you might not want to thaw it out too long prior to serving / if it's cold where you are it can be thawed out longer...
- Keep the cake (or any leftovers) frozen and thaw out as needed prior to serving.
As you can see, this requires a little bit of planning ahead to ensure you have time to thaw the cake out in the fridge ahead of serving time. However, I can assure you it's not at all a complicated process, and the end result -- the creamy, fluffy, mousse-like texture and flavor of the cake -- is worth every bit of effort here.
So far, every person this cake has been shared with immediately requested the recipe, and that tells you this one is a winner and a beautiful crowd-pleaser.
Pomegranate and Hazelnut Mousse Cake
Fruity, creamy, and fluffy pomegranate and hazelnut mousse cake -- a raw cake that's delightfully sweet with a hint of tartness.
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 6" cake
- Category: raw cake
- Method: raw, no-bake
- Cuisine: raw vegan
- Diet: Vegan
- 1 cup hazelnuts
- 3 soft medjool dates, pitted
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp coconut oil (unscented)
Make sure all ingredients are at room temp before starting*
- 1 ½ cups raw cashews, pre-soaked and strained**
- ¾ cup pomegranate juice
- ½ cup coconut cream***
- 6 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp lemon juice (from 1 med-large lemon)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil (unscented)
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup pomegranate arils
- ½ cup hazelnuts, crushed / ground
- fresh flowers, optional
- Process all crust ingredients into a fine sticky crumble in a food processor. Transfer into a 6" springform pan and press down into a flat crust along the base. Freeze while working on the next step.
- Blend all filling ingredients into a completely smooth consistency in a power blender. Transfer this mixture into the prepared cake pan over the crust. Tap the pan down on the counter to smooth out the top, and even it out further with the back of a spoon as needed.
- Freeze for 10-15 minutes to allow the top to firm up slightly (so as to make sure the toppings in the next step don't sink in too much while the top is too liquid). Remove the cake from freezer and sprinkle the perimeter / edges of the cake with the ground hazelnuts. Then sprinkle the pomegranate arils in the center. Lightly tap the pan on the counter once again to help the toppings set into the filling a little.
- Freeze the cake for 5-6 hours or overnight. Then thaw out on the counter for 5 minutes or so, so that the springform ring can be removed. Transfer the cake onto a serving plate and place in the fridge for 2 hours to soften to a more creamy consistency prior to serving. Otherwise keep the cake frozen for longer term storage. See notes above recipe for more tips and details on thawing / freezing.
*Everything needs to be at room temperature, as cold ingredients will cause the coconut oil to solidify prematurely and not blend through into a uniform smooth mixture in the blender.
**To pre-soak nuts: place in a glass bowl, cover with water, and leave to soak for 4 hours (or overnight in the fridge). Then strain and discard the water. For a quick pre-soak, cover with boiled water and soak for 15 mins, then strain and discard water. (Note: this technique doesn’t preserve the nutrition of the recipe as well as the traditional soaking technique above). Note: the purpose of soaking the nuts is to re-hydrate them and plump them up for blending into a smooth, creamy consistency. Proper soaking techniques also maximize nutrition and digestibility. If you’re interested in learning more about nut soaking and other dessert prep tips and tricks, I delve into these subjects in detail in my book Unconventional Treats.
***The thick creamy layer skimmed off the top portion of a can of full fat coconut milk.
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Made this cake for a birthday party. It was gone in an instant and everyone wanted the recipe. It was so delicious. I followed the recipe exactly (used Pom brand pomegranate juice). Definitely earmarking this one for future events, but next time I'll make more of it, so there's seconds!
Hi Dusty. So happy your party enjoyed the cake! Thanks for the great feedback.