Chocolate and salted caramel cake

Chocolate and salted caramel cake (raw)

We try not to make a big deal about my birthday around here. Correction: I try not to make a big deal about my birthday around here. Mostly because I’m hard to please (read: very, very picky) and partly becuase reminding myself that I’m only getting older isn’t all that fun anymore. So I make a small cake, convince a handsome man to make me a healthy, hearty dinner and take it easy. Except this year I’m not doing so well on the taking it easy part.

I crawled out of bed at 5AM and decided to go on a (almost but not quite) 12 mile run. I returned – legs sore, feet smelling like rotting squirrel flesh (Vibrams have a tendency to do that) – and I climbed into Thom’s claw foot tub with a mug of my favorite coffee. Then soaked for a half hour. I can’t help but feel like I’m kind of living my dream life. Except in my dream I’d be in Paris. And Thom would have a French accent and dress in a button down shirt with a striped bow tie. And I’d ride my bike to the market to fetch fresh baguettes, every morning. Because in my dream life I’d be able to tolerate gluten. And I’d probably have a really fat ass (as a result of eating baguettes every morning).

Salted caramel cashew frosting

What I’m trying to say is.. this day has been swell. And I’m only a quarter of the way into it. I’m heading downtown in a few short hours to sign a lease on the new loft and after that I’m going to come home and watch reruns of The Office. Or maybe those videos of Charlize Theron, again. Just.. watch them. And if you don’t laugh at at least half of them, we probably can’t be friends.

Ha, just kidding. Maybe.

Chocolate and salted caramel cake (raw)

This cake – although lacking typical cake ingredients – is so, so, so, so delicious. I made a similar version last year, but I wanted to change it up this year. And changing it up meant ditching the coconut frosting and replacing it with a salted caramel frosting that I’ve been wanting to make for months. And what the birthday lady wants, the birthday lady gets. Especially when the birthday lady is in charge of making the cake.


3 cups raw almonds
1/2 cup cacao powder
1/2 tsp raw sea salt
15 medjool dates, pitted
3-4 tbsp raw nut milk
Cashew cream frosting
5 medjool dates, pitted
1 1/2 c. raw cashews, soaked overnight
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/4 tsp raw sea salt
Line the bottom of three 4″ spring form pans with parchment paper; set aside. In a food processor fitted with the S blade, blend the almonds, cacao powder and salt until the mixture resembles a fine meal; about 1-2 minutes. Add the dates and nut milk; pulse until the mixture forms a smooth (but slightly crumbly) dough. Divide the dough evenly between the prepared pans and press; chill in freezer for 45-60 minutes.
Place the dates in a small bowl and cover with water; soak for 10-15 minutes. In the container of a high powered blender, such as a Vitmix, blend the soaked cashews, vanilla bean and sea salt for 1-2 minutes. Add the soaked dates and blend until extremely smooth; about 2 minutes. You can continue mixing for several minutes if you want the frosting to be ‘whipped’. Transfer frosting to a small, air tight container and refrigerate until ready to use. If you’re going to refrigerate if for a few days, I suggest adding 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice, to help preserve the frosting.
To assemble the cake, carefully remove the cake layers from the pans. Place one layer in the middle of a cake stand (or plate) and smother, generously, with frosting. Add the remaining layers and do the same. Transfer to freezer for 45 minutes, so the cashew cream hardens; this will make it easier for you to ice the entire cake. Smooth remaining frosting onto the cake. Serve immideately or transfer to an air tight container and store in the freezer for up for 2 weeks.
Yield: 1 4″ triple layer cake

34 thoughts on “Chocolate and salted caramel cake

  1. Happy Birthday! The cake looks divine, I wish I had had something like that yesterday on my birthday…which turned out to be a bit of a disaster 😦 Might just have to make your cake for a belated bday present to myself!

  2. Happy birthday ! 🙂 wow! your cake is sooooooo beautiful, I am celebrating my sisters birthday on friday…and I think I have the perfect cake to make her ;)!! thank you:) xxx Lysa

  3. HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY! You are seriously like my idea of a superhero! So glad Cara posted about you on her blog. I am very new to this grain free, sugar free, and raw cooking and baking thing. People like you make me feel way less overwhelmed by it!

  4. Happy Birthday Miss Lady – my dream man would also wear a bowtie (so sexy isn't it!?) and I sometimes do eat baquettes everyday.This cake looks absolutely amazing – pure genius all around in every layer and especially in the frosting!I hope you ate at least half if not the whole cake after your 12 mile run 🙂

  5. Happy Birthday!!! Sounds like you had an amazing day! Awesome job running 12 miles, that's pretty damn intense! Your cake looks awesome, maybe I'll have to make it for my bday this year! 😉

  6. This cake looks beautiful!! I may have to try it. Hope you had a lovely birthday :)Love your blog by the way. Photos are lovely and the layout is perfect. I'm just getting into the world of blogging, but my blog isn't half way near as good as yours!Oh, and the 12 mile run explains how you get away with doing all that baking…!

  7. Happy Birthday! That cake looks gorgeous.. I think i have stopped dreaming about what it could be for a while now.. it never makes me happy.:) i dream baout food!

  8. That cake looks awesome! I totally want to give it a try… dates and cashews are an amazing combo, and salt makes everything taste better 🙂 HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

  9. I don't know, Ashlae … if "living the dream" would mean you wouldn't get to eat this cake, then your current life is probably better than the dream one. 🙂 The cake is so pretty! I just made a very similar raw cake mix (minus the frosting, which someday I must try) that I pressed into my tiny chocolate molds and will serve as part of a dessert tonight. The only difference was it contained walnuts instead of almonds. It's from a great little book called Raw for Dessert, that you might like. Happy Birthday.p.s. I especially like the Paris part of the dream — the bike would be a touring bike with a big basket on the front!

  10. First of all, I love your blog name and how it looks! Second, this cake looks so yummy! Salted caramel frosting, even more yum! And your birthday activities sound like something I might do…baths are amazing and reruns of The Office…even better 🙂 Happy Birthday! I hope it is a pleasant one.

  11. Fat ass. *shaking head* Of course. Hope you had a beautiful day, stinky feet. I want that cake now. You are amazing with your raw talents. Cannot wait for the day the bakery opens so I can buy all the goodies I want from you 🙂

  12. Thanks so so much. i've recently stopped eating all grains and legumes, following a basic paleo diet, but still eating dairy at this stage, but will be working towards eliminating it sooner or later. Anyway, I have really missed the feeling of eating "constructed sweets" eg. cakes, processed sweets etc… however I cannot stomach the thought of consuming such filth now that I understand what it actually does to the body. Thank you again, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY for all those months ago 🙂

  13. Thanks, Kelza! I'm in the process of building up an arsenal of raw desserts around here, so hopefully you can find a few things that satisfy your sweet tooth 🙂

  14. I've made the layers so far and they are in the freezer as I type this! It's all very exciting but so hard not to eat it all as I was preparing it. Sadly I have to wait for my cashews to soak another 8 hours or so, but I don't know if I can wait that long. What happens if I use them now?

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