Before you jump ahead and read the ingredient list on this cake and get pissed at me for adding a vegetable to your dessert – please, please hear me out and give it a chance! This cake is life changing. It is creamy, thick, rich and so decadent.
I know I tell you guys this all of the time, but the true litmus test to a successful gluten-free dessert or baked good that I create – is the reaction of my husband. As a man that literally can and will eat just about anything, the gluten-free treats that I get so excited for are oftentimes totally unappealing to him. He likes traditional sweets, the sweeter the better – that man most times would prefer a cookie from a tube, than a less than perfect homemade gluten-free cookie fresh from the oven. The same also goes for (and usually more-so) the vegan creations I develop. I can’t blame him though – he literally can eat anything, no food intolerances, no responses or reactions. Just a stomach of steel!
The thing is, when I can create something gluten-free, that isn’t made with refined sugars, that uses an alternative to cream and butter that he actually goes nuts for – nothing makes me happier and that’s how I know I’ve created something amazing. He really loved this one and he cannot stop talking about it, he actually ate a piece for breakfast today. That’s a WIN!!
I’ve been obsessed with cashew cream cakes a while now, I love the versatility and how it appeals to all eaters, vegan or not. The No-Bake Vegan “Cheesecake” I made last summer is something I have made for many of our friends and every single one has always been impressed that the creaminess is all from soaked cashews.
This cashew cream cake has the perfect amount of subtle mint flavor, both from the fresh mint and the mint extract and the chocolate of the crust and the chocolate chips on top compliment it so well. I love serving it with a little whipped coconut cream on top. Plus, rather than the beautiful green color coming from an artificial dye, it comes from some fresh baby spinach! Whether you want to believe it or not, there isn’t a bit of flavor from the baby spinach – just a beautiful, fresh and natural green hue.
I decided this year I would create a recipe that would be perfect for St. Patrick’s Day. Not a holiday I usually give a single care or thought about, but it was a really great excuse to get creative in the kitchen and to make something naturally green, sweet and still healthy. I think the Shamrock Shake has been recreated enough, if you ask me, so this is another fun play on that creamy minty flavor. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
[print_this]Mint Chocolate Chip Cashew Cream Cake – Gluten-free, Grain-free, Vegan, Refined-Sugar Free
Makes 9″ Springform Pan
Serves 8 to 12
- 10 medjool dates
- 1 1/2 cups raw nut(s) of your choice (pecans, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, macadamia or any combination of these will work, too)
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup raw cacao powder (regular cocoa powder will work, too)
- 2 1/2 cups raw cashews (soaked overnight, or at least 4 hours)
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, in liquid state
- 1/2 cup maple syrup (honey would also be really nice, just not vegan)
- 4-6 tablespoons water (you may want a little more if it is too thick)
- 1/2 cup organic coconut cream (as is, or scooped from the top of a chilled can of organic coconut milk)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup fresh mint
- 2 large handfuls organic baby spinach
- 1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
- 1/4 cup vegan mini chocolate chips (I like this brand)
Optional for topping: Whipped coconut cream
**DO AHEAD** Soak the cashews overnight the night before you are making this. If the dates are really dry and hard, soak them for about 1 hour before you make the crust.
Line the bottom of a round 9″ springform pan with parchment paper; set aside. In a food processor fitted with the S blade, process the nuts, salt, coconut, cacao powder until you have an almost flour-like consistency, leaving some bits of the nuts make for a nice texture. Add the dates and pulse until combined into a sticky and chunky mixture. You aren’t looking for this to be smooth, you should still see flecks of dates and the raw nuts. Press mixture into the prepared springform pan, then cover with plastic or foil and freeze until ready to use.
Once the cashews have soaked, discard the soaking water, give them a quick rinse and add the cashews to the container of a high speed blender or food processor. Add the coconut cream, coconut oil, maple syrup (or other sweetener), vanilla and water. If the mixture is too thick, add just a little more water, one teaspoon at a time. It should be a very thick mixture so don’t add too much. Add the fresh mint, mint extract and baby spinach, adding a little more water if necessary. It should be smooth and creamy and you will see some small flecks of green. Once blended, pour the cashew mixture over the crust, cover in plastic wrap or foil and freeze overnight, or until solid. Once the filling has set a bit, sprinkle the mini chocolate chips over the top.
When ready to serve, allow the tart to thaw for 15 minutes, then slice and serve. Add a little whipped coconut cream, if you’d like.
You can store the leftover cake in the fridge or the freezer, whichever you prefer. I prefer the fridge, myself. Easier to cut and much creamier.[/print_this]
I am ALL about hidden veggies in dessert. That means extra servings are approved, right? 🙂
My husband is the same way! This sound so yummy! I’m going to try it as soon as I gather all the ingredients. 🙂
This made me laugh. Whenever Matt raves about one of my desserts, I get all puffed up and stuff. I giggle because every time he likes it he will say, “Sooooooo *this* is gluten, egg, AND dairy-free too?” That’s my stamp of approval. Oh and hey, if you need any more compliments over your desserts, feel free to ship a slice to me 🙂 I can come up with all sorts of happy adjectives to say to you! PS This sounds (and LOOKS!) incredible…
This looks super yum! Mint and spinach with chocolate…an adventurous and beautiful combo!
It’s such a beautiful green, I love that you hid some veggies in there too!
This literally looks mouthwatering! I love how nutritious the ingredients are 🙂
This creation looks ah-mazing!!
This is awesome Beth! I love that you added spinach, i was going to guess avocado. And I love the fresh mint! I don’t use that enough. This is my first visit Beth, your site is adorable!
Looks good and am going to try it.
I plan on trying this recipe.
Going to try this recipe.
This is a great recipe. I didn’t want to have to use the freezer, so I added about a tablespoon of gelatin to help it firm up. Next time I’ll increase the amount. I did not use any of the water the recipe called for because my cashews had soaked two days before I got to them and were saturated. I also used a bit too much spinach (trying to use the last of it) so there is just a hint of an under flavor so next time I’ll stick with the two handfuls. ;^) I’ll probably add a squirt of lemon juice to see if it can have more of the ‘cream cheese’ flavor undercurrent as well. The crust on this is beyond decadent. I may just make it as an energy bar (ball) recipe for my next road trip. Yummy. Instead of chocolate chips on top, I made a nice ganache using 70% dark chocolate. It’s delicious from top to bottom and pretty and very very worth your time. Now I’m looking for a chocolate peanut butter cashew based cheesecake……. ;^) Anyone know of a recipe?
Holy frick’n crap. I just made this, and it blew me away. Spinach as food coloring – great idea. Super minty. Tastes like it’s made with powdered sugar.
Another new favorite. Thanks so much, Beth. Seriously. …changing my life.
Hi! I am so excited to try this recipe. I was planning to make it tomorrow, but upon reading the recipe I noticed that it should be put into the freezer overnight or until set. How long do you think it might take to set if I made it earlier in the day? Thanks!
I would say about 4 hours should probably be enough, I actually find this cake is better not totally frozen, so even just an hour or two will likely be enough. Hope that helps and I hope you like this when you make it. Thanks!
Oh, that is so good to hear! I was worried that I missed my opportunity to make this on time. Thanks for the quick reply! 🙂 -Lisa
Hi! I’m planning to do this cake at my birthday but I have a question. How large is one cup in your measurements? I mean, is it as big as a coffee mug or about quarter a litre or something else? It’s always quite confusing in different recepies 😀
BTW! It looks absolutely fantastic!! 🙂
Kadri, one cup as in standard US measurements. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cup_(unit)#United_States_customary_cup
Thanks alot! 🙂
I made this today — it was a hit! So tasty and guilt free! I’m dreaming of an egg nog version for Christmas next year! Thanks for the wonderful new staple!
Yay Mari Jo, so glad you liked it so much!! It’s funny you mention that, I had planned to make an egg-nog version this past holiday season and never got around to it. Next year I guess 😉 Thanks for the comment.
My son and I were talking about this pie, still (it’s been gone a few days). Anyway, he said we should make a Lady Bug pie (he’s four) and it got me to thinking that a strawberry version would also be delicious!
[…] Mint Chocolate Chip Cashew Cream Cake from Tasty Yummies ~ gluten free, grain free, dairy free, egg free, refined sugar free, vegan, […]
So I have seen mint chocolate brownies made with avocado, and I was sure that was going to be the sneaky ingredient here….was I surprised to see spinach! LOL! What a good idea! So healthy and such a nice color too. Pinning and printing this one for sure. I’m intrigued by Mari Jo’s comment to try a strawberry version so I might just attempt that…maybe throw in a little bit of beet, to stay true to the theme! 🙂
I don’t have a food processor (nor a springform pan), so I had to make some adjustments. As it turns out, there’s a grocery store near me that specializes in food from India and the Middle East, and they sell date paste for just about the same price as the dates, whole. I thought it might be a bit dense, almost too solid, but I found that mixing the crust ingredients by hand worked pretty well. Then I used a hand-held mixer (which I usually use for liquidating soups) for the filling–and replaced store-bought ground almonds for the cashews. These seem like major adjustments but it still tasted amazingly rich. By luck I found peppermint flavoured dark chocolate to top it off. Thanks for a great recipe, I’ll be making that one again and again!
Are you whipping up an egg nog version this Christmas?
Made this for my husband’s birthday. His favorite thing was always mint chocolate chip icecream cake from Carvel, but we’ve been eating vegan for a few years now. This was AMAZING. It came out delicious, he loved it and so did I!
Do you think this would work OK in just a regular glass pie plate? I do not have a springfoam one.
Hmm, I cannot say for sure. It probably would, yeh. It would be served more like a pie but I am sure it will still be incredible!
I made this cake tonight and it was great! My husband loves dark chocolate with mint so I wanted to make this as a surprise, but I waited until the last minute and had to cut a few corners. I was only able to soak the cashews for about an hour but it was still very good. I didn’t have coconut cream so I used coconut milk and did not put any of the water that the recipe called for. I was also only able to freeze it for about 3 hours but it was still very firm. We all loved it (even our foster daughter ate it and she usually hates our vegan surprises). Next time I make this, I think I will make a couple minor adjustments. I think I will use a little less spinach (I put two HUGE handfuls and it tasted a bit veggie-like). I would also put double the amount of mint extract because the mint flavor was just a little too subtle for us. Lastly, I think I’ll mix the chocolate chips in the mixture and not just put them on top. Overall though, this recipe was amazing! Thank you!!!
So glad you enjoyed it Angelo and glad it still came out good with your substitutions. Thanks for the comment.
I made this yesterday for my husband’s birthday and he loved it!
It is extremely rich though. As it was so yummy, we both decided to have another slice, and lesson learnt 1 is quite enough!
Thanks for this. I think next time I will also put some chic. chips in the mixture and maybe a few more mint leaves to enhance the minty taste.
Thank you for this wonderful recipe!
This looks and sounds wonderful. I’m a little concerned about cost. How much does one of these cost, approximately?
Donna, I am not sure I can answer that. There are a bajillion factors that would go into it. Best to locate the ingredients in your area or online, that you would purchase and price it out for yourself.