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
A fudgey, protein packed vegan cake accented with spiced cinnamon.
- 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 tbsp 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 tbsp 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 tbsp 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.