Where to begin with this cake...? I made this cake on New Years day (yep, that's five months ago, I know ?). It was something I made completely unplanned, on a whim, just because I felt like I needed to go bake something (one of those moods). I was not intending this recipe for the blog, or for any other purpose really, so I just improvised the whole way through and ended up with these INCREDIBLE creamy, dreamy, rich, and full-flavored raw espresso layer Slices-O-Joy. I think in my mind I had something like an opera cake envisioned as the end result, and while this certainly isn't an opera cake, it's equally decadent and delicious.
When I took my first bite, I knew this recipe was destined to make people happy. But, darn it! No ingredient measurements were taken... So I quickly jotted down some notes from memory, and snapped a few photos of the slices that were not served up yet. You might be able to see my hazy mood from the few pics I managed to capture of this cake..
Improvization is one of the most important things in the creative process for me, and perhaps that is why this cake turned out so good. I made this without any "pressure"of keeping certain things out--like having this contain no nuts, or no grains, keeping the ingredients short, etc. So without trying to make this "free" from certain common allergens, they all ended up in this recipe! (Although of course there's still no dairy, gluten, and refined sugar...just sayin). Oh yes, coconut found its way in here too! And it has espresso...so probably not the best recipe for kiddos.
Anyways, leave me to my own devices on New Year's Day and this is what happens. I even usually stay away from too many layers just to keep things simple and less fussy....yep, that flew out the window! BUT, what can I say? This cake happened. And it happened to be insanely delicious ? It has a very deep flavor, it's creamy, fudgy, comforting, and complements a cup of coffee most beautifully. And, despite the layers it's truly easy to make (no baking = hard to mess up!)
The first time around I made it in a small rectangular tupperware container with tall walls. The second time I made (to figure out exact measurements) it was in a tall round 6" springform pan. Both worked great -- so the shape of the cake is up to you. Just make sure the container you use is tall enough to fit it all in :) (at least 2½"). Also as a side note, while I love, love, love the look of the little square slices, you do have to trim the uneven edges off so you lose some of the cake (well not lose, but, ya know...), whereas in the springform pan you get to keep it all intact.
Last note is that if you want to shorten the making time you can just do 3 layers -- Base + Cream + Chocolate -- and not worry about adding the extra chocolate layer under the cream. But it does look quite good when you tuck in with that extra little bit of a chocolate stripe on inside the cake....sure to impress ;)
Raw Espresso Layer Cake
Layers of chocolatey espresso and cream meld together in this vegan, gluten-free raw espresso cake.
- Prep Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 6" cake
- Category: Cake
- Method: Raw
- Cuisine: Dessert
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1 cup gluten-free quick oats (or just under 1 cup oat flour or almond flour for a grain-free option)
- 5 tbsp almond butter
- 6 tbsp maple syrup
- 3 tbsp coconut manna
- 1 tsp instant espresso powder
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ¼ cup blanched almond flour
- 6 tbsp coconut butter
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp non-dairy milk or water
- ½tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp instant espresso powder
- ⅛ tsp salt
- Have a 6" springform pan handy (or line a similar-sized tupperware container with tall sides with some parchment paper for square slices) and set aside. Process all base ingredients into a uniform mixture. Transfer into the prepared pan / container and flatten into a smooth base layer with the back of a spoon (I like to cover with a small piece of parchment paper and press down with a flat-bottomed object to make the layer top smooth and even). Freeze while working on the next step.
- Blend all cream layer mixture ingredients until smooth. Transfer into a separate bowl and set aside.
- Add all chocolate layer ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth.
- Assembly: pour ⅓ of the chocolate mixture over the prepared chilled base layer. Tap down to smooth out. Return to the freezer for about 20 mins to set a little. Then carefully evenly spoon the cream layer on top. Tap down on the counter to smooth out, and freeze for another 20 mins. Top with the remaining chocolate mixture and freeze once again for 5 hours or overnight for the cake to set. Allow the cake to thaw out bit before slicing and serving. Enjoy! Keep leftovers frozen.