I'm not sure why I waited so long to share this recipe with you, but I'm so excited to share this raw vegan and gluten-free black and white chocolate cake recipe with you this week. I've made it several times now for dinner parties, and each time it was received with high applause and encore requests, so I figured it's time I shared it on here with you as well so you can see for yourself what all the fuss is about with this cake. It's super decadent, has a deep and rich flavor, it's moussy or ice-creamy (depending on how you make it), smooth, and super delicious! Best of all, it's made with healthy wholesome ingredients and is refined sugar-free and paleo. It also looks really impressive, but is in reality very easy to make.
To swirl or not to swirl: if you're feeling intimidated by the swirl pattern on top, don't be. It's actually a very easy look to achieve. Here's one simple tutorial on how to do a similar swirl. However, I've made it on other occasions without the swirls, and just sprinkled it with cacao nibs, and it looked equally beautiful and the cacao nibs really enhanced the flavor, so I actually preferred that over the swirl.
Note: This cake solidifies really strongly in the freezer. If you prefer to have this cake as an ice-cream cake, you'll need to thaw it out for about 30 minutes out of the fridge, or for at least an hour in the fridge for easier cutting and plating. I personally keep this cake entirely refrigerated and that way it has a consistency that's closer to a cheesecake/mousse cake. I love it both ways, but my vote is for the softer and smoother texture from the fridge.Print
Black and White Chocolate Cake
Gluten-free raw vegan chocolate cake that's super decadent, has a deep rich flavor, is moussy or ice-creamy (based on how you make it), smooth, and super delicious!
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 8-12 servings (6" cake)
- Category: Cake
- Method: Raw
- Cuisine: Dessert
- 1 cup almonds
- ¼ cup cocao butter, melted
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp water or non-dairy milk of your choice
- 2 tbsp liquid sweetener of your choice (I used maple syrup)
- ⅛ tsp raw ground vanilla bean
White Chocolate Layer Ingredients:
- 1 ½ cups raw cashews, pre-soaked and strained*
- 6 tbsp liquid sweetener of your choice (I used maple syrup)
- 6 tbsp cocoa butter, melted
- 5 tbsp non-dairy milk of your choice (I used almond milk)
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp raw ground vanilla bean
Additional Dark Chocolate Layer Ingredients:
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp non-dairy milk of your choice (I used almond milk)
- Optional -- some cacao nibs for garnish
- For swirl -- see notes in step 3
- Place all base layer ingredients into a food processor and process until mixture is combined. Transfer contents into a 6" round springform pan and press down with a spatula to form an even base layer. Place the pan in the freezer while working on the next step.
- Place all white layer ingredients into a blender (I used my Vitamix for this recipe as a stronger blender creates a smoother consistency), and blend until mixture is smooth and uniform.
- Pour HALF of this mixture into the springform pan over the base layer. Place the pan in the freezer and freeze for at least 15 minutes prior to adding the next layer (so that it hardens slightly and doesn't mix with the next layer when you pour it on top).
- NOTE: If you are planning on creating a swirl patter, RESERVE 3 tablespoon of the remaining white mixture. Leave the remainder of the white mixture in the blender.
- Add the additional dark chocolate layer ingredients into the blender and blend to combine and create a chocolate mixture. Carefully pour the chocolate layer mixture over the white chocolate layer.
- NOTE: If you are creating the swirl pattern, place the reserved white mixture (from step 3) in a small blender (I used my magic bullet). Add an additional 1-2 tablespoon non-dairy milk and mix quickly to combine. Drizzle this mixture (I used a little squirt bottle for that) over the chocolate layer to create a swirl pattern of your choice (see notes above for a how-to). Alternatively, you can just skip this step.
- Freeze the cake for at least 2 hours. Then either keep it frozen and thaw out before serving, or transfer and keep refrigerated (see notes above).
- Optional: garnish with some cacao nibs prior to serving. Enjoy the ooohs and aaaahs you'll get for serving this cake! :)
*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). Additional Note: the purpose of soaking the nuts is to re-hydrate them and plump them up for blending into a smooth, cheesecake-like 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.
Hi, I’m allergic to cashews, do you think I can substitute this with almonds or macadamia or Brazil nuts or just the hard part of full fat coconut cream..?
Hi Fil, you can use another nut, but I find that the flavor and texture are not going to be as satisfactory as with cashews, so you might need to adjust some things to your taste and experiment a little. Alternatively, I've got tons of cashew-free cakes and other recipes on the blog that might just work better for you: https://www.unconventionalbaker.com/all-recipes/ -- just select the "cashew-free" tab up at the top + "cake" (or whatever else you are interested in).
It's delicious! Super easy to make and the directions were simple. Thanks for sharing! I do have a question about the "whiteness" of your cashews. Mine always appear very off white - nothing like how white and bright yours looks. Any suggestions?
Hi Katie. I'm glad you enjoyed the cake. Thanks for the feedback! :)
Are the cashews you're using raw or roasted? Both can work in the recipe, for the record, but I use raw cashews because they are lighter in color. Other possibilities for why the white filling might be darker is perhaps the sweetener you're using (if you've made any substitutions).
Are you melting the cocoa butter in the white chocolate layer?
Hi Sharin, yes, it should be melted. I'll clarify that in the recipe as well -- thanks for pointing that out.
I did this today for my mother and she liked it! Thank you for taking the time to develop these recipes!
Hi Stefano, that's wonderful! I'm so glad your mother enjoyed the cake. Thank you for sharing.
I love your GF Raw Vegan Black and White Choclate Cake recipe. I've featured it in our website GreenThickies, for the 10 Best Raw Vegan Chocolate Recipes post.
I have not posted the actual recipe, but only used one image from here and a small quote and linked directly back to this recipe page.
Thanks a lot
Hi Katherine. Thanks for sharing! I appreciate it :) Shared it on my facebook page just now.
I love the ingredients of this recipe, just have one question for you, what is the benefit of pre-soaking the cashews? Thank you.
Hi Nadia. The purpose of pre-soaking the nuts is to rehydrate them and plump them up so that they blend into a smooth creamy consistency. I just added a note in the recipe as well on how to soak the nuts, if you're curious (I've been adding it to all my recipes, but this one is super old so lacked the directions for soaking).
How long can I comfortably keep this outside at room temperature ? I want to see if I can use this for a vegan wedding . Client has mentioned no oil, no agar agar for the cheese case. So I cannot use coconut oil too. This cocoa butter one sounds ideal.
Hi Smitha. I know we already talked through email about this, but just wanted to share here as well in case anyone else is wondering the same reading your question -- the cake would probably last about 30 mins max unrefrigerated (at room temp). Cocoa butter is a type of oil though (it's the oil of the cocoa bean), so if the cake is to be oil-free not sure if cocoa butter will work.
Have read through the recipe a few times - with the swirl on top, the white is from the left over white layer with some added almond milk. To create the dark "swirl", I assume is from some left over mixture from the dark layer with again added almond milk? Looking at the photograph, there are 2 definite liquid mixtures to create the swirl effect.
If you could please clarify, thank you!
Hi Lynette. The 2 tone effect is just the result of the white "swirl" mixture being incorporated into the top chocolate layer of the cake. How it works is that you put the white layer in the pan, then the chocolate. Then you use the swirl mixture and draw evenly-spaced parallel vertical lines over the top chocolate mixture (like this llllllll). Then use a skewer and drag it across the lines horizontally -- the dragging is what creates the pattern. You can drag them all in one direction, or alternate going up and down (that's what I did here).
Hope that makes sense -- hard to describe in writing :) If you're curious, there's a video tutorial in the video pack of Unconventional Treats showing how to create different patterns.
Is a spring pan a must? If I were to use a deep round dish, do you think i could flip the cake out or would that be a total mess?
Funny, I just answered something similar on another recipe, so just reposting some options below :)
You won't be able to flip the cake out, so you need to make sure you have an easy way to get it out of whatever pan you use. That said, a lack of a springform pan is really not an issue. Here are some alternatives you can try:
1. Use silicone liners in a muffin pan to make mini cakes (the silicone liners are key for getting the mini cakes out and intact)
2. Use any tupperware container or regular cake pan of a similar size, but make sure to line it with parchment paper (I just take one larger sheet and stuff it in to fit the pan as best as I can — make sure the sides are taller than the pan so you can pull the entire cake out with ease just by lifting the edges). The only thing with this option is that you won’t have the smooth sides — but the wrinkly / rustic edges are a look some people like anyways.
3. Use a tart pan with a removable bottom of a similar size.
I have made several of your raw cheesecakes and they are always a hit! Your strawberry one is everyone's favorite! I added some vanilla bean infused balsamic vinegar to the cheesecake part of that one to add a whole new depth of flavor! Thank you so much for your amazing recipes.
A couple of questions on this one. Can I use cacoa butter in place the cocoa butter? Is the 6 tbsp also melted or in the solid state?
No, I'd use coconut oil instead of the cacao butter (coconut butter will be too dense and add a strong new flavor -- which might be fine for a cake idea, but wouldn't be this cake :) ). The only thing is that if you swap out the cacao butter from the recipe you're going to lose a lot of the richer chocolate flavor. So just a trade-off to consider. It would still be delicious though. And yes, that amount is melted.
P.S. I'm so glad to hear you're enjoying the recipes :)
Made this today and it's awesome! Tastes just like chocolate mousse. Thanks for sharing the recipe :D
So glad you liked it, Rachel! :) Thank you for sharing.
Keep in refrigerator or freezer?
It should be kept frozen. You can thaw it out in the fridge for an hour (or out on the counter for 10-20 mins) to get a creamier consistency if you prefer though.
The cake looks amazing, thanks for sharing!
You're welcome, Moran. Enjoy it!
Hi, what do you recommend as a substitute for the cashews? This looks amazing for my son who has a dairy allergy, but he is also allergic to cashews (almonds are ok).
The closest substitute would be macadamia nuts. Would those work? If not, let me know and I'll think of something else.
Oh my.. didn't noticed this one until now.. totally awesome.. love the top, it looks so elegant .. guess I know which my next raw vegan cake is:)
Thanks Ella! :) I'd love to see it if you do give it a try, especially given your gorgeous results with the raw Neapolitan cake!
Hi! can the cocoa butter be replaced? In Chile we don't have it :(
You can use coconut oil instead -- the texture will be the same, but you'll lose the wonderful cocoa butter flavor. So if you do that, I recommend maybe adding some chocolate extract, chocolate flavor, or chocolate liqueur and that should do it :)
Laura@Baking in Pyjamas says
Audrey, this dessert looks so decadent! Thanks for linking up to Sweet and Savoury Sunday, stop by and link up again. Have a great day!!
Thanks Laura! See you over at Sweet and Savoury Sunday :)
This looks so amazing! I'm allergic to almonds; can another nut be substituted for them?
Hi Dee. Thank so much! The almonds can definitely be substituted. I would personally use walnuts, pecans, or brazil nuts as a substitute. Enjoy it!
Julia @ Swirls and Spice says
What a cake! I keep seeing cashew based cakes and wanting to try making them. This may be the first one! It looks so good! Pinning!
Thanks so much, Julia! Cashew based cakes are really good. I hope you get tot try one out sometime soon to see what all the fuss is about ;)
Danielle @ Poor and Gluten Free says
This looks amazing!! Thanks so much for sharing it on WNWNW, I'm featuring it this week :)
Thanks so much Danielle! Hopping over to WNWNW now :)
This is the most gorgeous dessert - it looks incredibly creamy for a vegan dessert. Pinning to my "Raw" board and trying this out soon!
Thanks so much, Jen. Enjoy it! :)
Looks absolutely scrumptious! I have been looking for cocoa butter for quite some time now, none of the stores in our town covers it. Is there an online place to purchase? Any particular brand recommended? Thanks
Hi Brenda. I really like JK Gourmet's cocoa butter. I buy it at a local health food shop, but you can also order it online -- they have a US and Canada website, but the cocoa butter only seems to be available online in Canada. You can get it here: http://www.jkgourmet.ca/products/cocoa-butter. There are also lots of cheaper options on Amazon (see here). I used various brands before, but they usually came from a health food shop and I didn't pay attention to the brands too much so can't recommend any specific ones. If I had to choose from Amazon, I'd go with this one or this one, as they are most similar to what I had used before. Cocoa butter is so delicious -- once you try it, you'll be tempted to add it to everything. The hunt for it is totally worth it ;)
Thank you so much... can't wait to get some and try this recipe!
Wow, this is beautiful! I don't know if I could make it look that pretty but it sounds too delicious to not attempt! Thanks for sharing! Stopping by from Lets Get Real party. Have a great weekend!
Thanks so much, Emily! Don't be intimidated. Like I said, I've made it before where I just topped it with some cacao nibs and called it a day, and it still looked beautiful and was even more delicious in a way. The recipe is actually really simple to make, but tastes incredible. I hope you get to try it out some time :)
Shirley @ gfe & All Gluten-Free Desserts says
Absolutely amazing, but I'm used to that from you now, Audrey! Sharing later today. :-)
Thanks Shirley! :) I'm so happy people are liking this recipe. I've been a bit lazy with uploading it, but my husband has been nagging me to share it since it's one of the few desserts he really loves. Glad he got me to finally take the time and put it up here :)
This looks great! I can't wait to try it out :)
Thanks, Megan! Enjoy it :)
This looks delicious Audrey. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks so much, Michelle! I was just browsing through your site and you've got some seriously delicious looking stuff on there! :) I hope you have room to try this cake out in between your amazing desserts sometime ;)
Wow. Oh my wow. This looks amazing :) I need to try it.
Thanks, Liane! :) I think EVERYONE needs to try it ;)
By the way, I love the new layout of your blog! Looks great.
Do I need a food processor to do this? Could I use a blender for eveything?
Hi Ali, a blender can work, but you just have to be careful not to over-process as it will make it more of a mushy base as compared to the food processor. Enjoy it! :)