Raw Cake Pop Challenge

Raw Cake Pop ChallengeWhen Nicole and Lisa posted a raw cake pop challenge, and it just so happened to fall during April in the Raw, I knew I had to join in the…um…fun. Yes, that’s what it’s been. Fun.

Well. Sort of.

Let’s call it a good learning opportunity.  Let’s see. What did I learn?

  1. Trader Joe’s Dried Mango slices are tougher than shoe leather, can not be re-hydrated, and refuse to be chopped up by my food processor.
  2. Mango SOUNDS like it would be good in a cake pop. It’s not.
  3. White chocolate is hard to make. And expensive. Never did get that right.
  4. Agave syrup makes coconut butter congeal/emulsify/do something weird texture-wise. (But, I think it might wind up being a yummy truffle center….. Stay tuned.)
  5. Cake crumbs fresh from the dehydrator are warm enough to melt coconut oil-based frosting. Oops.

Despite all the foibles. I think I managed to create two good recipes. Why two? Well, because the first one, though it technically counts as a raw cake pop, is really more like a raw lara bar pop. Or a raw cookie truffle pop. And, darn it, if I was gonna work this hard, I wanted a cakey cake pop. Happily, the second one fits the bill. (Both use the same coating, though. I swear I’ll learn how to make raw chocolate yet.)

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cake Pop

That one in the front? That's the coconut chocolate chip one.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Sort-of-Cake Pop

1/2 cup (85 g.) whole raw almonds
2 T. unsweetened shredded dried coconut
2 T. raw palm sugar
2 T. almond milk
1/4 cup (30 g.) coconut flour
1/8 t. salt
2 T. raw cacao nibs

In a food processor, blend almonds until they’ve turned into almond butter (approximately 6-8 minutes). Add the rest of the ingredients, except cacao nibs and pulse until well combined. Stir in cacao nibs. You may need to knead this dough a few times to get it to all come together. Divide into 8 pieces and form into balls. Insert a stick in each ball and pop into the fridge to chill. Dip chilled balls into warm Coconut Butter Coating (recipe below.) Twirl and shake to get rid of excess coating, and then place upright in plastic-wrapped floral foam or in a bowl filled with rice and covered with plastic wrap.

German Chocolate Cake Pops

German Chocolate Cake Pops

German Chocolate Cake Pops

Cake Part
1 t. ground agar *
2 T. warm water
8 dates (60 g.)
2 T. (28 g.) melted coconut oil
1/4 cup almond milk
2 T. (10 g.) raw cacao powder
2 T. (10 g.) raw carob powder
1/3 cup (30 g.) fine ground pecans
2 T. shredded coconut
1 t. vanilla (or seeds from 1/4 vanilla bean)
1/2 t. salt

Soak the agar in the water for 15 minutes, until softened. Place agar, dates and coconut oil in a food processor and blend until creamy. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend well. You should have a fudgy, spreadable brownie-esque batter. Spread thinly on teflex sheet or fruit leather tray. Dehydrate at 115° for 2 hours. Crumble cake batter. (I used my fingers. And then I licked them. Yum.) Continue drying until cake batter is more crumbly than sticky. It took about 5 hours for me. It will vary based on the thickness of your batter and the powerfulness of your dehydrator. Cool thoroughly.

*Note: I am far too cheap to buy agar powder. So, I buy it in packages of long strands at the Asian grocer and grind it in my coffee grinder. It’s courser than powder, and finer than commercial agar flakes. Honestly, I’m not entirely sure it does anything in this recipe, and I ran out of time to do a comparison recipe without it. I’m HOPING that it helps maintain a cake-like texture. Have you heard all the hub-bub about Irish Moss? Well supposedly, agar is derived from Irish Moss. And, it’s all of 2 bucks at my local Asian store. Woot!

Filling
2 T. (28 g.) coconut oil
2.5 T raw powdered palm sugar (I make my own in a coffee grinder.)
1 T. coconut cream (from the top of a can of coconut milk
2 T. chopped pecans

In a small bowl, beat the coconut oil with electric beaters until smooth and fluffy. Add the sugar. Beat well. Add the coconut cream. Beat again. Stir in pecans. Try not to just eat this with a spoon.

To Assemble

Crumble dry, cooled cake crumbs into the bowl of filling. Mix well. Get your hands right in there and squish it all around. It’s fun! Divide cake goo into 8 equal portions. Form into balls. Put sticks into balls and pop the balls into the freezer. When frozen, make coating (below). Dunk the balls into the coating. Be sure to completely cover the ball and make sure that the coating touches the stick where it enters the ball. Twirl and shake to remove excess. Sprinkle covered balls with more chopped pecans and shredded coconut. Place in plastic-wrapped floral foam or bowl filled with rice and covered with plastic wrap.

Coating

1 cup reduced fat shredded, dried coconut (Note – if you don’t have reduced fat, you may just need to reduce the coconut oil by a tablespoon or two.)
1/4 cup (56g) coconut oil
1/4 cup powdered raw palm sugar
Place all ingredients in a food processor. Process until it becomes liquid, scraping sides as needed. This takes a while. It really will happen. I promise. Don’t be discouraged, just grab a magazine or something and wait it out. If your coating starts to solidify while using it, just process it a bit more to melt it again.

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33 Responses to Raw Cake Pop Challenge

  1. veganlisa says:

    Wow! I am so impressed by your creativity and perseverance. You came up with some amazing flavour combinations and pushed through the challenges to create something truly satisfying. You are a culinary pioneer.

    Thank you for entering the challenge. I know you learned a lot through the process. I hope that devouring those beautiful cake pops will be a great reward for all your hard work.

    • Deanna says:

      Thanks Lisa. I should have also probably added that I learned that I still prefer cookies to cake – even raw. But, the kiddo is pretty psyched about having a cake ball in his lunch at school each day. That makes it all worth it. :)

  2. Kathryn says:

    Wow, they sound awesome. Something new and fun to try! The Coconut Chocolate Chip looks fun and easy – the German Chocolate sounds amazing and a tad more challenging. Seems like it might be well worth the effort. =D

    • Deanna says:

      If I were to make the chocolate chip ones again, I’d probably skip the coating and just eat them as is. They’re tasty enough that way, and I prefer things less sweet. The German chocolate ones are worth the effort, for sure.

      • Kathryn says:

        They sound perfect as is – I make similar balls and bars but I’ve never added coconut flour or cacao nibs – those additions sound great. Just making them into pops makes them so much more festive.

  3. Ricki says:

    These are genius recipes–I want those German Chocolate ones!! Not that Coconut Chocolate Chip sort-of Cake Pops sound bad, either. ;) Fabulous–and so, so creative!

    • Deanna says:

      Thanks Ricki! Can you eat these? I thought they might be too sugary for you. You could totally sub stevia for the sugar in the coating, though. I’m sure of that. The filling and chocolate cake part not quite as easily. But, you could sub stevia in the chocolate chocolate chip one, I’m pretty sure.

  4. Deanna. . . Cake Pops! Brilliant! I can’t wait to try on my test subject (son) before passing the recipe on to clients. I wish this recipe was in my Sweet Tooth Bitter Truth class recipe booklet! Check it out at http://sweettoothtruth.com. Maybe we could get them in there for the kid version of the book? Let’s chat.
    Andrea

  5. Nicole says:

    Fabulous recipes! I love that challenges can also be learning opportunities. That’s what makes them so worthwhile. Thank you or entering such great recipes in the Raw Cake Pop Challenge!

  6. Pingback: What’s on my plate this month? | ReplenishPDX

  7. Amber Shea @Almost Vegan says:

    Ohh, you stole my heart with the German Chocolate ones. Love it.

  8. Lauren says:

    The coconut chocolate chip one looks FANTASTIC! Can you make me some?? =)

  9. This post is great. It makes me chuckle as I have done 3 recipes for the______ cake pop challenge and I learned a lot too. Patience. Yours look great. Mine were not! Love the look of them and I do know that it is a lot of work trying to get them right. Love it!!

  10. Megan says:

    That looks so yummy!
    I have yet to come across raw cocoa/carob powder, so I guess I’ll just have to use roasted for now…
    You’d think the health food store or Whole Foods would have it :(

  11. bitt says:

    Wow! Love these! Still working on mine, you set the bar high!

  12. Hi Deanna,

    These are ridiculous cool! I think you’re brave but I also think you had great success! I’m glad you took the challenge :) I’ve added this recipe to my Favorite Recipes post for this week. Enjoy! ~Aubree

    • Deanna says:

      Thanks so much! It was fun, and they were good. But, I think I’ll stick with cookies for a while. :P At least until the next birthday or holiday, anyway.

  13. naomi devlin says:

    Hee hee! Such a lot of work, but you did get to lick your fingers a lot – and that makes it all worth it no?

    They look delicious whatever you call em.

    x x x

  14. I think you just changed my life.

  15. Melanie says:

    raw cake pops! This is genius! I’m sending this link to my sister, she will be overjoyed! your pics are beautiful too :)

  16. Pingback: Real Food Weekly- May 5, 2011 | Gluten Free-Dairy Free Recipes | The W.H.O.L.E. Gang | Diane Eblin

  17. Pingback: Diet, Dessert and Dogs » Raw Gingersnap Cookie Bon Bons

  18. Elizabeth says:

    beautiful!! can’t wait to make some for the children.
    thank you for sharing your recipes.
    peace and raw health,
    elizabeth

  19. Pingback: April 2011 | ReplenishPDX

  20. Hi! I blog about allergy-friendly food over at Allergy Free Vintage Cookery, and I’m putting together a fantasy-menu post featuring birthday party foods. I’d love to include your cake pops… just wanted to ask for permission to use your photo. I’ll definitely include a link back to your site and a big credit to you! Drop me a note when you get a chance… I’m hoping to publish the post Sunday morning. Thanks! Lisa

  21. Kim says:

    These are amazing recipes! I am a non-vegan person trying to make vegan cake pops for my cousin’s wedding and am in desperate need of help! How long in advance can I make these? Do they freeze well? I’m not used to using vegan ingredients and have no idea how perishable they are.

    Thanks!!!!

    • Deanna says:

      Hi there,
      I haven’t tried freezing them. Sorry. I think the balls themselves would freeze just fine, but the coating might not be as good after being frozen. And, if she’s just vegan and not raw, vegan cake freezes just fine. You could make all the cakes ahead of time and just crumble and freeze them and then just put the cake pops together the day of. At least, that’d be my approach.

      Good luck!

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