Yep, you read that one right again… Still not done cramming cauliflower into all kinds of places over here… and in this cake it turned out to be an absolute star — most especially because it enabled me to make a really awesome nut-free and lightened up raw-ish cake — something I know will be a very welcome option for some of you and a very curious option for the adventurous rest ;)
And on a somewhat unconventional note… who would have ever thought that cranberries & cauliflower would be sharing a spotlight in a cake one day…? :) I mused at that for a moment and launched myself into a very long train of thought about what exactly is conventional these days anyways..? Go on Instagram and search for healthy recipes and you’ll find a million and one wholesome treats that people whip up on a daily basis out of anything under the sun. At least amidst my circle of friends on there that’s quite a natural occurrence (some crazy crafty people they are!).
Anyways… I digress.. back to cauliflower in cake… it makes perfect sense. The cauliflower gives this cake a nice creamy, ice cream cake-like texture (replacing the function of cashews in many of my cakes). And if there are veggies in it, you’ve got more of an excuse to enjoy an extra slice ;) . The cranberries and cinnamon give it a nice flavor and a vibrant color, and mask any hint of cauliflower quite beautifully. And feel free to go with other berries too. Raspberries or strawberries will work great here instead of the cranberries. Rest assured, I worked hard to ascertain no cauli flavor can be detected in this treat!
This cake technically isn’t raw because you need the cauliflower to be softened. So steam it or boil it first until it’s soft enough, even mushy, for blending. If you’re eating mostly raw, than steaming is a good way to go in this case…
I threw in pumpkin seeds into the cake itself to give it a bit of extra texture and fell in love. So delicious with this flavor pairing. For the base I used them as well. I also used dried cranberries in the base, though I think next time I’m going with my usual medjool dates. They’re easier to work with and make a softer base. So I shared the medjool date version in the recipe below. If you prefer to give it a try with dried cranberries, make sure they are a bit soft and use about a ¼ cup of them in place of the few dates.
To finish things off, I sprinkled the top of the cake with extra pumpkin seeds, some halved fresh cranberries (they make pretty “flowers”, don’t they?), and some dried cornflower petals for a burst of color.
Lastly just wanted to say as you can see from the photos the cake I photographed is very small — I used my 4″ pan for the occassion. The recipe below is for a 6″ cake however as that’s a more reasonable size for most occasions and for sharing. If you wanted to make a small 4″ version just for yourself, use only a third of the ingredients listed.Print
A nut-free vegan cheesecake that sneaks in a healthy dose of vegetables along with tangy cranberries.
- 1½ cups pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 3 soft medjool dates, pitted
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp agave (or maple syrup, or a similar sweetener of choice)
- 3 cups boiled or steamed cauliflower florets
- 1½ cups fresh cranberries (raspberries or strawberries will work too instead)
- 9 tbsp coconut oil, liquefied
- 9 tbsp agave (or maple syrup, or a similar sweetener of choice)
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract (or 1 tsp raw ground vanilla bean)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¾cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- a few tbsp extra pumpkin seeds (pepitas), a few extra sliced fresh cranberries, dried cornflower petals.
- Process the pumpkin seeds, coconut oil, and dates in a food processor into a sticky crumble. Add the agave and process once again briefly to combine. Transfer this mixture into your prepared 6″ springform pan (or a parchment-lined dish of a similar size), and shape into a crust with your hands. Place the pan in the freezer while working on the next step.
- Ensure all filling ingredients at at room temperature before starting. Blend everything except for the pumpkin seeds into a smooth mixture. Add in the pumpkin seeds and stir to fold them in (or blend very briefly for just 1-2 seconds to mix them in without blending them down). Pour this mixture into the springform pan over the crust. Place back into the freezer for 5-10 minutes to let it chill very slightly, then decorate with any toppings.
- Freeze the cake for 6 hours or overnight. Keep frozen until serving time, then slice and enjoy! Freeze any leftovers straight away.