I’ve been having a lot of fun experimenting with different types of raw vegan cakes lately! I wanted to make a dairy-free mint chocolate chip cake that’s a healthier take on the classic ice cream flavour. Instead of using sugar-laden chocolate chips, I’ve used cacao nibs, which are partially ground cacao beans and the natural source of chocolate, in the filling of the cake and for garnishing. I buy Navitas Naturals Cacao Nibs which are raw, organic, antioxidant-rich and a source of iron and magnesium. The gluten-free crust of the cake is made with almonds, cacao, unsweetened shredded coconut, and medjool dates. The filling is made with cashews, almond milk, maple syrup, mint and if you can believe it… spinach! I swear you can’t taste the spinach and it’s an excellent and easy way to eat your greens and a healthy dose of iron. Don’t tell your guests about the spinach until after they’ve had their slice. I bet you they will be shocked! To top off the cake, add a layer of chocolate sauce made with cacao, maple syrup and a little bit of coconut oil. I’ve used maple syrup as my sweetener, which is technically not raw, but I prefer to use it in this recipe over coconut sugar/nectar because I find coconut sugar/nectar makes the filling colour darker than I would like. I’ve written before about why I don’t use raw agave in my desserts anymore. As a recap, the reason for this is because agave has a very high percentage of fructose. The amount of fructose in agave can decrease the hormone leptin, the ‘satiety hormone,’ which helps keep you feeling full longer, and increase ghrelin, the ‘hunger hormone,’ which will lead to increased hunger and cravings.
Mint Chocolate Chip Cake
A delicious and nutritious raw, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free dessert! Recipe uses a 6" spring-form pan.
1 cup almond milk (or coconut milk or other nut milk of your choice)
1 cup spinach
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup fresh mint
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup cacao nibs
Couple pinches of pink himalayan salt
1/2 cup cacao powder
1/3 cup natural sweetener (maple syrup or coconut nectar)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup water (or more for thinning)
1/4 cup cacao nibs (or more)
Sprig of fresh mint
For the crust
In a food processor, process the almonds until chopped. Add remaining crust ingredients and pulse until everything is completely combined and sticky. Press the crust mixture into the bottom of a 6" spring-form pan then set aside in a freezer.
For the mint filling
Combine all ingredients except for the cacao nibs in a food processor. Process until the filling is completely combined and a bright, minty colour. After you've finished with the food processor, stir in the cacao nibs so that they are evenly distributed in the filling. Pour the filling on top of the crust and freeze until set for 2 or more hours.
For the chocolate layer
Process all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Add additional water if the chocolate is too thick (you want it to be able to easily spread on top of the cake). Once it's ready, add the chocolate layer on top of the mint layer and freeze until ready to serve. Garnish with additional cacao nibs and mint. Enjoy!