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Gingerbread Toffee Cake (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

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With Christmas right around the corner, I’ve been on a total gingerbread kick! I’m not a big fan of baking though, unfortunately, since I don’t enjoy sticking to exact measurements. I just love the flexibility and creativity that comes with “unbaking”.  That’s why at a time when everyone else is baking cookies, I’m leaning more towards raw or no-bake desserts, as usual. But to put a festive twist on treats, I created this delicious gingerbread toffee cake, which happens to be one of the best raw cakes I’ve ever tried!!

The not-so-secret ingredient that gives this cake its incredible texture and buttery flavor is raw cacao butter (or cocoa butter). Most raw cakes use coconut oil, which is fine but comes with 2 issues. First, there are many people who simply don’t like the taste of coconut oil. Then there is the texture problem. Since coconut oil melts at warmer temperatures, desserts made with coconut oil have to be frozen for the most part and can’t sit outside for too long. Otherwise, they turn into a messy mush. That’s why I highly recommend using cacao butter, which is solid at room temperature. So when serving the cake to guests, you can store it out for a while with peace of mind, without worrying that it would melt!

Since cacao butter is solid, to use it in recipes you have to melt it first. I’ve learned the hard way that heating it up directly on the stovetop, even on the lowest setting, does not work well with cacao butter, as it tends to alter its delicate flavor. So, it’s best to use the double boiler method explained in the recipe notes below and melt it over steam.

You can purchase cacao butter online or at health food stores. However, if you have trouble finding it, feel free to use coconut oil instead. Just beware that the cake will be softer in this case and shouldn’t be left outside the fridge for too long.

Further Food Commentary:

Cocoa is rich in polyphenols, which have significant health benefits, including reduced inflammation and improved cholesterol levels. Studies reveal that cocoa is rich in flavanols, which lower blood pressure by improving nitric oxide levels and blood vessel function.

By Anna Lee

Gingerbread Toffee Cake (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

  • Prep Time:2 Hours (to soak cashews)
  • Cook Time:N/A
  • Servings: 8

Ingredients

Crust:

1 cup gluten-free oats (steel-cut or rolled)

1/2 cups pecans

1/4 cup dates, pitted

2 tablespoons raw cacao powder

2 tablespoons water

Pinch of pink Himalayan salt

Topping:

2 cups raw cashews, soaked for 2+ hours

1/4 cup cacao butter (or coconut oil), melted

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses

2 teaspoons cinnamon, ground

2 teaspoons ginger, ground

1 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly ground

1/2 teaspoon cloves (or allspice), ground

Optional: 1/4 cup pecans for topping

Instructions

  1. For the Crust: Add the oats and pecans to the blender and blend until you get a flour-like consistency. Add the rest of crust ingredients and blend to thoroughly combine. Press onto the bottom of a 7-inch spring-form pan lined with parchment paper and place in the freezer to firm up while you prepare the cheesecake layer
  2. For the Topping: Rinse and drain the soaked cashews and add them to the blender with the remaining ingredients (except pecans). Blend until smooth and pour over the crust. Place back in the freezer for about 2 hours until completely firm
  3. To Serve: Take out the cake and let it thaw at room temperature for 10-15 minutes. Decorate with pecans if desired and enjoy! Store leftovers in the fridge for about 2 weeks or freeze for long-term storage
For the Crust: Add the oats and pecans to the blender and blend until you get a flour-like consistency. Add the rest of crust ingredients and blend to thoroughly combine. Press onto the bottom of a 7-inch spring-form pan lined with parchment paper and place in the freezer to firm up while you prepare the cheesecake layer For the Topping: Rinse and drain the soaked cashews and add them to the blender with the remaining ingredients (except pecans). Blend until smooth and pour over the crust. Place back in the freezer for about 2 hours until completely firm To Serve: Take out the cake and let it thaw at room temperature for 10-15 minutes. Decorate with pecans if desired and enjoy! Store leftovers in the fridge for about 2 weeks or freeze for long-term storage

Nutrition Information

Per Serving: Calories: 349; Total Fat: 23 g; Saturated Fat: 6 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 7 g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 10 mg; Potassium: 183 mg; Carbohydrate: 28 g; Fiber: 3 g; Sugar: 10 g; Protein: 7 g

Nutrition Bonus:

Vitamin C: 0%; Vitamin A: 0%; Iron: 22%; Calcium: 15%;

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