Have you guys heard of “Hummingbird cake”? I first found out about this cake when I was working on a Southern-inspired cookbook (Alex Hitz’s My Beverly Hills Kitchen). The whimsical, pretty name and the description immediately captured my fancy. I then encountered a hummingbird cake whoopie pie at a vegan cafe in Portland, Oregon. So this vintage Southern cake, traditionally flavored with pineapple, coconut, nuts, and warm spices, might be experiencing something of a Renaissance. My raw vegan version is absolutely decadent, with natural sweetness of carrots and dates studded with ambrosial mix of pineapple chunks, raisins, coconut flakes, and topped with maple-almond icing. For the smoothest and creamiest consistency icing, I used Better Than Roasted brand’s sprouted almond butter, which is so whipping-friendly and naturally sweet, and packs a ton of magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, and Vitamin E. These are some of the most important nutrients for vegans, so go ahead and have another slice. You deserve it. 🙂
Raw Vegan Hummingbird Cake
1 8″ diameter round cake or about 9 small cupcakes
3 1/2 cup shredded carrots (6 skinny)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 shredded coconut
1/4 cup reconstituted dried pineapple, chopped
1/4 cup chopped nuts (I used Better Than Roasted sprouted mixed nuts, a medley of almonds, pecans, walnuts, and cashews)
1/2 cup raisins
6 chopped dates (soak in water to soften, if needed)
6 tbsp sprouted almond butter
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp maple syrup
1. Clean, trim, and peel the carrots. Chop finely and put in a food processor or a blender. Add the spices, the vanilla extract, and coconut oil, and process until the texture is very fine.
2. Reconstitute the dried pineapple (about 1 ring), the raisins, and the dates in a bit of water. When the pineapple and dates are softer, take out, gently squeeze out excess water, and chop into small pieces; set aside. Drain the raisins and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, mix the carrot mixture, the fruits (pineapple, dates, raisins), shredded coconut, chopped nuts, until well combined.
4. Put the cake mixture in a cake pan or a cupcake pan, pressing down firmly with a spatula. Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
5. When the cake is chill enough, it’s ready to ice. In a small bowl, whisk together the almond butter, water, and maple syrup. Spread as thickly over the cake as you dare. For an artistic touch, sprinkle with more coconut flakes and chopped nuts–and feel free to decorate with flowers, or even “feathers”!
Suggestions: You can also make this into a layer cake by putting a layer of icing between cake layers, and then chilling.
Also, don’t be afraid to mold it into any shape you want! It will hold as long as you chill it enough and press down firmly.
Related: Raw Vegan Pizza with Cashew “Cheese”
Photo: Peaceful Dumpling