Raw chocolate orange and coconut cake

Part one of my birthday cake bonanza is my very exciting first experiment with raw cake. Why did I make a raw cake?? Well, although by no means a raw foodie I'm very interested in the whole raw food approach. If I only used raw, natural and preferably organic ingredients (so obviously no refined sugar or artificial flavours) I concluded that it must be healthy and thus guilt free, as well as cruelty free of course. Well, who could refuse the prospect of guilt free cake?! Also, I was curious to see what sort of taste I could create from a non cooked cake and the answer is a really rather delicious one. I gave it a good chance by choosing my favourite flavour combination of chocolate and orange and throwing in some coconut for added texture and interest.

I love the raw Nakd bars and it probably wont surprise you to know my favourite is 'cocoa orange'. I can honestly say that my creation was not dissimilar in taste and it took less than 20 mins to put together. A good result.


For the cake
  • 2 handfuls of raisins/ sultanas
  • 25 pitted chopped dates
  • Juice of 1 orange (~1/2 cup)
  • Roughly 50g cacao beans (or nibs or raw cocoa/carob powder)
  • 250g walnuts ~ 2 1/2 cups
  • 2 handfuls of raw coconut
  • Zest of 1 orange
For the Orange frosting (From 'Raw food for Real People' by Rod Rotondi)
  • Juice of 1 orange (~1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
  • 1 1/2 cups cashews soaked for 2 hours
1. The first thing I did was to soak the chopped pitted dates and 1/2 of the sultanas in the juice of 1 orange. Initially I thought if I bought some fresh orange juice such as Tropicana this would be raw but it looks like most fresh juices are pasteurised i.e. heated so to be extra sure and stick with the raw thing I bought an orange and squeezed it instead!

 2. I then whizzed the cacao beans using a stick blender (not necessary if you've got raw cocoa/carob powder and if you're using cacoa nibs you can either choose to blend them or leave whole).

3. Next I blended the walnuts in the food processor (be careful not to over-blend or the nuts will become oily) adding the cacoa bean powder and drained dates and sultanas. I also added the orange juice the fruit had been soaking in bit by bit until I had the desired consistency, sticky but not too wet.

If your blender's not great or you didn't chop the dates (as I didn't) you may have to finish this stage off with the stick blender.

4. Once nicely blended I then stirred through the orange zest (leaving a small bit for the top), the rest of the sultanas and the coconut slices (again leaving a few for the top). Have a taste and see if you want more orange/ whatever flavour you're using. Some complimentary spices would probably be good for adding flavour without making the mixture wet.

5. Once I had finished putting the mixture together I simply shaped it on a plate into a cake like shape and sprinkled coconut and orange zest on top. (I also sprinled some coconut on the plate first so the mixture wouldn't stick to the plate and would come off in nice slices).

6. I then decided I wanted to do a little more as the whole process had been so quick and easy so I consulted my 'Raw food for Real People' book and found a recipe for orange frosting as part of a raw carrot cake recipe. Perfect (I like this book a lot, although I have only actually made one recipe from it so far,  but I feel I should mention that although for 'real people' this book will make you want a food dehydrator if you don't have one already)

7. I soaked the cashews for 2 hours and then blended them with the dates and orange juice adding the cashews in bit by bit. Halfway through this frosting was tasting gooood, at the end it tasted a bit grainy and far too nutty for me. Next time I shall probably try half as many cashews or a different frosting perhaps using coconut milk. Anyway, it was still pleasant and I decided to pipe on the frosting in a pattern rather than spread it all over the top as I had initially envisioned which looked pretty good.

All in all I was very chuffed with the outcome and it went down very well with everyone yesterday - despite having to compete with banoffee fudge cake! I have just enjoyed the last slice with lunch and the flavours seem to taste even better today. I will definately be making more raw cake and experimenting with different flavours. I'm also hoping to be the proud owner of a food dehydrator in the near future so I will be experimenting with lots of other healthy raw dishes too, watch this space :)


  1. Looks gorgeous! I adore the Nakd raw bars... didn't know they made choc orange though! As I always say to myself after reading your recipes, "I might have to give this one a go..." :)

  2. @Molly Laurel Thanks, I had only ever seen the choc orange bars in the odd health food shop much to my dismay as they are amazing - but now they stock them in the free from section at Tesco's along with the cashew cookie flavour :)

  3. I need to investigate... I've only ever seen the ordinary cocoa, cherry (I think - it was red) and apple. :) Cashew cookie sounds fascinatingly delicious!

  4. Oooh, this does look good! I've only recently discovered those raw Nakd choc orange bars and love them so I think this would be right up my street!! :)

  5. I love the nakd bars! And they're a great, ethical company (and they're based in wales so I'm biased). Anyway, can't wait to try out this recipe. I keep changing my mind as to which bar's my fave. x