Back by popular demand, I bring you another cauliflower cake. When I first started sharing cauliflower dessert recipes on the blog a while back I had no idea how they would go over. The recipes were delicious of course — I knew that. But I didn’t know if a recipe would be convincing enough for others to give it a go — it takes a lot more than someone’s word to break down a mental barrier sometimes. To my amazement, the cauliflower cakes took off like a rocket, with so much incredible feedback and so many requests for more. And when people request more cauliflower cakes from you, I think it’s safe to say it’s more than “a pass” for the idea ;) So I had another go at a new flavor of cauliflower cake, this time also making it oil-free and coconut-free… And packed with another secret veggie for good measure… :P
The cauliflower in this recipe acts as a beautiful substitute for nuts — something many raw cakes (my own included) are rich in, and also something many people cannot tolerate (or afford sometimes…). It also lightens up the cake considerably (meaning more cake, naturally!). The second veggie hidden in here is avocado, which lends the cake a beautiful creaminess without any added oils (and without coconut — something many of my readers ask for alternatives for due to allergies as well). And 2 veggies in one cake means you can have this cake for like lunch and dinner, no? :)
The one tricky thing about using those ingredients in a cake though is that you have to get the flavors and texture right. Nobody wants to taste cauliflower in their cake, right? The lemon, poppy seeds, and pineapple gave this cake just the right flavor balance to make it enjoyable with zero veggie taste. In fact, nobody ever believes me when I tell them those cakes are made with cauliflower (phew!).
One tip I will share on the subject though is to use fresh / good quality cauliflower. When veggies start to go off their flavors intensify quite a bit. Fresh cauli doesn’t have a natural strong flavor, which makes it a great blank canvas of a veggie to work with. Another quick tip is to steam the cauliflower — for my first few cakes I boiled it, but in this recipe I just steamed it and it worked faster (plus you get to keep more nutrients in, so win-win). Oh, and don’t forget to enjoy the shock on people’s faces when you tell them the main ingredient after they had a taste ;) — arguably the best part of the whole experience.
If you’re curious about other cauliflower cake flavors, check out these two cakes as well — they’re a blog darling for many:
Plus there’s always the cauliflower breakfast bowl, or all the avocado cakes… If you’re into sneaky veggies in your desserts, be sure to browse the recipes section and check off the “secretly veggie” tab (along with any other things you’re looking for) and you’ll get a good lot of recipes to play around with…
But now back to this cake at hand. A final quick note: I made it in my 6″ pan, so it’s a larger cake than my latest 5″ norm. It’s also a fairly tall cake. So to make a 5″ instead, use a 1/3 of the recipe instead. To make a 9″ double the recipe. Enjoy!
- 1½ cups pumpkin seeds (or sunflower seeds, or any nut of your choice if not nut-free)
- 8 soft medjool dates, pitted
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 cups steamed cauliflower florets
- 2 medium avocados, peeled and de-seeded
- 1 cup chopped pineapple (fresh or thawed out)
- 8 tbsp maple syrup
- 6 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp lemon extract (or zest of 1 lemon or more to taste)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- optional: a pinch of turmeric for a yellower color (I didn't use)
- ¼ cup poppy seeds
- a few handfuls of pumpkin seeds, poppy seeds, and fresh flowers
- Process all crust ingredients into a sticky crumble in a food processor. Transfer the mixture into a 6" springform pan with tall walls. Press down to compact into an even crust along the base. Freeze while working on the next step.
- Blend all filling ingredients, except poppy seeds, into a smooth mixture in a power blender. Add in the poppy seeds and pulse briefly to blend them in without crushing them (or can stir them into the mixture by hand if you prefer). Transfer this mixture over the prepared crust and smooth out the top. Sprinkle with any desired toppings (except fresh flowers) and freeze for 5-6 hours or overnight. Decorate with fresh flowers prior to serving if using. Thaw the cake out on the counter a few minutes and enjoy!