Strawberry Chocolate Swirl Cake

a raw vegan chocolate layer cake with strawberry jam -- grainfree, gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free

One layer of strawberry jam, a layer of chocolate, more layers of creamy white chocolate, plus a pretty swirl… and we’ve got the perfect little celebration cake.

What are we celebrating? Oh, I don’t know.. life, a birthday, anniversary, a brunch, tea time, successfully making it through a day ?… Just kidding.

What I wanted to convey is that even though this cake looks a bit fancier than usual, it’s quite easy to assemble and fun to play around with, which makes it equally suited for occasions that require an elegant treat or something casually delicious.

raw vegan cake with layers of strawberry and chocolate -- dairy-free, coconut-free

There are a few tips and tricks that will help you with this one though. Let’s start with the crust… See how it subtly curves towards the outer edge of the slice above? Take note! You’ll want to raise the edges just a tiny touch so that the jam layer can fit snugly inside the crust and not touch the actual rim of the cake.

The reason for this is because that layer is more fragile, and a touch more delicate than the remaining layers, so you want it to be padded with the crust around the edges.

a raw cake with layers of strawberry, chocolate, and white chocolate -- made without dairy, gluten, eggs, grains, refined sugar, soy, or coconut

Speaking of that jam… although this could very well be a raw cake in every way, I actually made it using a commercial fruit-sweetened jam instead because I had some to use up. Feel free to use a raw chia jam if you prefer.

Also feel free to swap the jam flavor — the main thing is you’ll want the color of it to pop, so reds are a good choice here (think raspberry, strawberry, etc.). A bit of tartness is nice too, which is why I added a hint of lime juice, though it’s optional.

raw strawberry chocolate swirl cake -- vegan and gluten-free

Then there’s the swirl… this one is a bit tricky to explain how to do in writing, but it’s so easy a child could do it once you understand the steps. I tried to outline it as simply as I could in the notes to the recipe, but if you’re more of a visual learner and need more guidance, check out my book Unconventional Treats, especially the video tutorials  — I show how to make this pattern and many others. Pinky swear it’s as easy as it comes and you’ll be able to make patisserie-style desserts to impress in no time.

Same goes for working with cacao butter — there’s a whole chapter and video on how to work with it in there, how to pick the right one, etc., if you need more guidance.

a strawberry chocolate layer cake raw vegan dessert recipe

Last but not least, this recipe makes a small 5″ cake. If you want help multiplying this recipe for a larger cake, see the downloadable cake multiplication guide at the bottom of this post.

Strawberry Chocolate Swirl Cake
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook/Chill Time: 
Ready In: 
Makes: 5" cake
 
Ingredients
Crust:
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • 1 soft medjool date, pitted
  • ½ tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ tbsp melted cacao butter
Strawberry Layer:
  • 5 tbsp strawberry jam* (see notes), at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp melted cacao butter
  • 1 tbsp lime juice (optional)
White Chocolate Layer:
  • ¾ cup raw cashews, pre-soaked and strained**
  • 5 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
  • 5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp melted cacao butter
  • 1½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt
Chocolate Layer:
  • just under half of white layer mixture (see step 3)
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder (I recommend using alkalized***)
  • 2 tbsp melted cacao butter
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Process all crust ingredients in a food processor. Transfer into a 5" springform pan and press down into a flat crust along the base, and going a tiny touch up the sides. Freeze while working on next step.
  2. Place the jam and melted cacao butter in a small bowl and mix together thoroughly with a fork to combine. Spoon this jam mixture in an even layer inside the crust, keeping it a touch away from the walls of the pan. Freeze while working on next step.
  3. To make the filling, make sure all ingredients are at room temperature before starting. Blend all white layer ingredients in a high power blender until completely smooth. Pour just under half of this mixture into a little pitcher or small bowl and set aside.
  4. Add the chocolate layer ingredients to the remaining mixture in the blender and blend to combine. At this point draw out a little bit of this mixture (1-2 tbsp) into a cake icing pen (or spoon some into a piping bag), and set aside.
  5. To layer the cake, carefully spoon half of the white mixture over the jam layer in the cake pan. Tap the pan lightly on the counter to even the layer out. Freeze for 15 mins. Then carefully and evenly spoon the chocolate layer over the white layer, tap the pan lightly on the counter to even the layer out, and freeze for another 15 mins. Then carefully spoon the remaining white layer over the chocolate layer. Use the icing pen to create swirls or patterns of your choice (see notes*****).
  6. Freeze the cake for 5-6 hours (or overnight) to set. Remove from pan, thaw out 5-10 minutes, slice and enjoy! Keep leftovers frozen.
Notes
*I used a commercial fruit-sweetened version (by St. Dalfour) but you can use a simple raw chia jam if you prefer.

**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).

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.

***Note: I recommend going with alkalized cocoa powder over raw cacao powder for raw cakes, as sometimes raw cacao powder can react with other ingredients and spoil the cake.

****To create the pattern on top of the cake, draw vertical parallel lines on top of the cake (all going same way). Then use a skewer and drag it lightly over the cake going horizontally. Alternate the direction of the lines as you go along. If you're a visual learner, there's a video tutorial for how to do this pattern and many others in the Unconventional Treats video pack.
Happy caking!

x Audrey

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This post contains affiliate links to the following products used to make it: cacao butter, fruit-sweetened strawberry jam, 5″ springform pan, and cake decorating pen. 

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