Today I present this sweet, creamy Cherry Vanilla Swirl Cake Bites with Chocolate for my first challenge with Recipe Redux. I feel honored to be included among the other food bloggers making delicious healthy recipes.
This challenge is to help celebrate their 6th birthday with healthy recipe re-dos with mini bites of cake goodness.
Although the Recipe Redux challenges are no longer active, they were a great motivation to try something new. Here was the challenge for the month of December.
This version of a “cheesecake” is made without eggs or dairy and is actually quite easy, although it looks like a lot of work. No baking, just a little soaking of raw cashews and the use of your blender, and you’re halfway there. The use of nuts helps to make it creamy, but it does add fat, so that’s why just a little bite will do ‘ya.
The addition of cacao or cocoa in the crust adds a touch of chocolate, as do the cacao nibs on top. These have no added sugar, and it’s not missed in this combo. You could use mini chocolate chips instead, but that would be adding more fat.
Otherwise, these yummy little bites have healthy nuts as their base, with some sweetness from maple syrup and dates. Each little bite is rich, so you don’t need many to get your fill, and this whole dish serves up 64 one-inch pieces. Enough to feed 16 people, 4 pieces each.
This Cherry Vanilla Swirl Cake reminds me of Cherry Garcia Ice Cream. It’s sure to please a crowd, and it won’t keep you in the kitchen long. I like that it’s sitting ready in the freezer for your guests. If you take it out about 15 minutes before you’re ready to serve, it’ll be easy to slice.
The crust is made in the food processor, and you don’t need to soak the raw almonds. It comes together quickly with several whirls of the blade.
Pinch the crust dough to make sure it holds together, then press it into the bottom of a square 8 x 8″ baking dish, preferably with straight sides. If you don’t have one with straight sides, you can trim off the edges to make it straight (and munch the little bits for yourself).
Your sweet tooth will thank you later with these plant-based recipes:
- Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookies
- Easy Peach Crisp with Oats
- Pumpkin Chia Pudding
- Avocado Tofu Chocolate Mousse
- Baked Apples with Cashew Cream
The creamy filling is made with soaked raw cashews, which you can find at most health-food stores. I’ve also seen them at Costco. The filling ingredients are thrown into your high-powdered blender and whirred to creaminess.
Then, you split off a portion of the filling to blend with the cherries and almond extract. Lay down a layer of cherry-flavored filling, then the vanilla filling, and top with dollops of cherry. Swirl these through with your spatula after you’ve sprinkled on a few cacao nibs.
Cherry Vanilla Swirl Cake with Chocolate
- 1 ½ cups rolled oats
- 1 ½ cups raw almonds
- 2 soft Medjool dates pitted
- 3 Tbl maple syrup
- 3 Tbl unsweetened cacao or cocoa powder
White Vanilla Layer:
- 3 cups raw cashews pre-soaked in hot water for 15 minutes and drained
- 5 Tbl unsweetened almond milk or MALK brand
- 5 Tbl maple syrup
- 1 ½ tsp pure almond extract
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- Use just under half of white layer mixture
- ½ cup frozen cherries
- 2 Tbl maple syrup
- ¼ tsp sea salt
For the Crust
- Line the bottom of an 8 x 8” baking dish with parchment or plastic wrap after spraying a little oil onto the bottom of the pan to help the plastic stock stick. Process all crust ingredients in a food processor until you have uniform pieces less than 1/8” in size. Don’t over process or you’ll have almond butter. Transfer into the 8 x 8” baking dish and press down evenly to the edges.
- Blend all of the filling ingredients in a high-power blender until completely smooth. Pour about half of this white mixture into a 2-cup measuring cup or a bowl. Set aside.
- To the cake ingredients remaining in the blender, add the cherry layer ingredients and blend to combine.
- From your blender, carefully pour the cherry layer over the crust in the pan, saving about 3/4 cup for the swirl
- Tap the pan lightly on the counter to even the layer out. Freeze for 15 mins.
- Then carefully and evenly pour the white layer over the cherry layer, smoothing the top with a spatula and/or tap the pan lightly on the counter. Freeze for another 15 mins.
- Drop dollops of the reserved Cherry filling and the cacao nibs on top of the white layer. Swirl the cherry dollops through the cake with your spatula. You can't really mess it up.
- Freeze the cake for at least an hour to set. Remove from pan, thaw about 15 minutes, slice and enjoy! Keep leftovers frozen.