It’s a “you’ll never guess what’s in it” sort of recipe today.
Like those black bean brownies from The Everything Beans Book (Buy 1, Get 4 this week only!), it’s almost unfathomable that a frosting recipe could have no dairy, no sweeteners, no egg…and still taste pretty darn awesome.
In the past, I’ve only made two kinds of frosting: this one adapted from my childhood to be slightly healthier but still packed with sugar, and a yogurt cheese frosting with a bit of maple syrup and almond extract like I put on my healthy fruit pizza. Since my husband doesn’t care for the latter, which is actually the healthy one, it was exciting to come across something totally new.
I was quite skeptical that it would be any good and then pleasantly surprised.
I’ve been referring to my review copy of Nourishing Meals by Ali Segersten and Tom Maltere, MS, CN, quite often since I received it last summer. Many of the recipes are very out of the box for me, and it’s pushed me to (finally) get into some gluten-free baking beyond stuff with coconut flour or almond flour.
This First Communion cake that I introduced in today’s Real Food Party Menu Plan was the blackberry buckwheat cake on p. 467, if you have the book, except I cut the spices, scraped a vanilla bean into it instead, and used raspberries. So it was a raspberry vanilla bean cake, I suppose, but I couldn’t have made it without Tom and Ali’s help!
I modified the Cashew Date Frosting on p. 470, although I made the test batch the week prior and used some of the leftovers to help cover the entire layer cake.
The color of the frosting in the photos is the way it is naturally; I’m not sure you could make it any other colors, especially not with any natural food coloring. The white part is actually a bit of yogurt cheese frosting, since I was making yogurt cheese for the dip at the party anyway and had to have something of another color to write words in.
I added the raspberries (frozen) that morning because I knew they would bleed pink (and they did). It was fun to have raspberries both in and on the cake.
- You'll need a high-powered blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec for this one; I really can't imagine a regular blender or food processor making it through the dates and nuts this way. (See my Blendtec review)
- Soak the cashews and dates in the water for 3-4 hours. Measure carefully because you're not going to drain the water. If you're cooking anything during this time, set your jar of coconut cream on the stovetop to soften.
- Before you begin the rest of the process, make sure your coconut cream concentrate is soft. If it's not almost fluid from sitting near a hot pot, you'll want to measure the half cup and gently warm it in a pan over low heat until quite creamy.
- Blend the soaked nut and dates on high for 30 to 60 seconds until very smooth and creamy. Add the softened coconut cream, vanilla and salt. Blend again until smooth and fully incorporated.
- Scrape the frosting out into a bowl and refrigerate overnight; it will thicken up quite a bit once chilled. If you want a very soft frosting, either don't refrigerate it or allow it to warm on the counter for an hour before spreading. You can also whip it up a bit with a spoon or fork. Only frost cakes once entirely cooled.
* The frosting will do fine at room temp for a day or two when it's on a cake that can't be refrigerated.
* You should be able to frost at least 12 cupcakes, a 9x13 cake, or, if you stretch it, a whole 2-layer cake, especially if the center layer is nut butter or something else.
* The original recipe called for ¾ c. melted coconut oil instead of the coconut cream, in case you don't have any on hand. I have a feeling that version was quite runny to begin with.
Maybe everyone in the world knows this one, but if you’re frosting a cake on a pretty plate or stand, put parchment or waxed paper underneath all the edges, and then you don’t have to be super careful at the bottom:
Just slide it right out when you’re finished frosting (and maybe lick it before tossing it, if you’re that kind of person). Other cakes we love:
- Elmo cake and one-year-old cupcakes (decorating ideas)
- Healthy birthday cakes (coconut cake and classic whole grain butter cake)
- Sourdough chocolate cake (this is amazing for all ages, with red wine for the adults!)
Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post to Amazon, Tropical Traditions, Honeyville Grain and GNOWFGLINS from which I will earn some commission if you make a purchase. See my full disclosure statement here.