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Dani VennPlant Based Vegan, Raw-Some, Sweet Treats

I originally created this recipe with the intention of it being a healthy alternative to a traditional ice cream cake for kids, one that isn’t loaded with the refined sugars, fake colourings, emulsifiers and palm oils. Even through this cake doesn’t contain any of these things and all the colourings used are completely natural, it does contain cashew nuts which I have recently discovered my daughter is allergic to. So whilst this might be healthy alternative to most, sadly it isn’t for Harlow.

I never wanted to be one of those parents whose kids have allergies. In our mothers group we even celebrated that out of our seven babies none of ours had allergies (one in twenty babies will have a food allergy in Australia) and gave ourselves a little tap on the back. So when Harlow blew up in instant hives, coughed and vomited after having the tiniest amount of cashew nuts in a dip at a wholefoods café in Bali, you might say that it was one of the scariest things to go through as my initial thought was what if her reaction is anaphylactic, she stops breathing and we are in Bali with limited emergency services and incredibly bad traffic? Thankfully it wasn’t that severe.

I couldn’t help thinking that somewhere along the line during my pregnancy or those first few months of Harlow’s life, I had done something wrong to cause this allergy. I’ve made sure that Harlow plays outside and gets her hands in the dirt, we live in the country with exposure to animals and dogs, I always ate a variety of wholefoods when I was pregnant and kept healthy and active (apart from the occasional jam doughnut!), I breastfed exclusively for at least 7 months, I introduced her to solids at four months and was never afraid of her trying new things and I certainly don’t keep an overly clean, bacteria free house (my mother can vouch for that!)… where did I go wrong?

I’m not sure if this a common feeling amongst mothers, that they have done something to cause their child’s allergy? Maybe it’s just a part of the ongoing mother guilt I have become familiar with and that I am trying to kick. But no one, not even medical professionals, really knows why allergies have become so common these days. It really is bewildering to me but I do have a feeling that it is connected somehow to the increased use of chemicals and pesticides in our food as well as the genetic modification of crops, which can be attributed to the most evil company in existence and the root of most of the problems with the health of the environment and ourselves today – Monsanto.

So perhaps it isn’t something that I have done to directly affect the health of my daughter, maybe it has something to do with the food I grew up eating as a kid that had weird stuff added to it. Just like the ice cream cakes we used to eat at Macca’s birthday parties…!

Somewhere, something has gone terribly wrong in our food system, when a cashew nut and other wholefood allergens (peanuts, eggs, fish to name a few) present more danger than food that is loaded up with artificial additives and preservatives. It just doesn’t make sense to me.

But I hope that you can enjoy this cake for me with your tree nut allergy free friends and family, because it is rather pretty. I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you think causes allergies, you can leave a comment below or connect with me on social media. Enjoy x


Serves a crowd, this cake is huge!

It’s best to allow a few days to prepare and make this cake as there is a bit of soaking and setting.



1 cup fresh Medjool dates, pitted (about 20 dates)

2 cups almonds

Pinch of sea salt


8 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight or for at least 4 hours

3/4 cup lemon juice

2 ½ cups melted coconut oil

1 ½ cups coconut cream, thickened part only – from chilled coconut cans

1 cup pure maple syrup

2 teaspoons vanilla powder or 2 vanilla beans, seeds scraped 

Layer One

2 cups frozen raspberries

Layer Two

10g matcha (green tea) powder OR 2 ripe avocadoes, pit removed, flesh scooped out

Layer Three

2 cups frozen blueberries

Layer Four

2 teaspoons saffron threads (soaked in ½ cup extra coconut milk) or saffron powder

Vanilla Bliss Balls

1 cup Almonds

1 cup fresh medjool Dates

1 teaspoon vanilla powder or 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped

2 cups desiccated coconut


Line a 20 – 25cm spring form cake pan with baking paper

To make the cake base, using a high-powered food processor blitz almonds into almond meal, remove and set aside. Then blitz dates until sticky and smooth, add back in the almond meal and pinch of salt and pulse until the mixture comes together and you could roll into a smooth ball. Add extra dates if too dry or nuts if the mix is too wet. Press firmly into the base of your cake pan and store in the fridge.

I like to make one big batch of creamy cashew and coconut mixture then divide the mix into four batches, which I then spike with various colours and flavours. So to make the cake, ensure that your cashews have been soaking for at least 4 but ideally 8 hours or overnight, drain them and add to your food processor.. depending on the size of your food processor you might have to do this in two batches.

Add lemon juice, coconut oil, coconut cream, maple syrup, vanilla bean and a pinch of salt to the processor and blitz on high until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed. Divide this mixture into four batches.

For the first raspberry layer, return your creamy cashew mix back to the food processor, add in your frozen raspberries and blitz till smooth and pink. You can choose to add more raspberries if you’d like a more vibrant colour. Pour the mix into your prepared cake tin and set in the freezer.

To make the second layer, repeat the above process but use matcha powder or avocadoes. Once the raspberry layer is firm, you can add the second layer.

To make the third layer, repeat the above process but use frozen blueberries. Once the green layer is firm, you can add the third layer.

To make the fourth layer, you will need to steep the saffron threads (if using) into warm coconut milk – just use the excess you will have after scooping the thickened part of the coconut cream out of the can. Allow to steep for 15 minutes before adding to the cashew mixture. Alternatively you could use saffron powder. Repeat the same process as above and once the blueberry layer is firm you can add the last layer.

For the world’s simplest bliss balls (you can trick them up with other things if you’d like but they still taste great!) blitz together dates, almond meal, vanilla and salt, roll into balls and then roll into desiccated coconut. Keep in the fridge until you are ready to decorate your cake.

Dani Venn




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