Spring. It’s such a beautiful time of the year. I love the Bradford Pear Trees with their fluffy white blooms, the warmer sunroof-back and windows-down weather, and of course, the myriad of fruity springtime desserts – refreshing! As many of you, my family enjoyed a holiday feast this Easter. Ours was complete with bourbon-glazed porkloin, triple herb overnight rolls, and maple-glazed carrots. My mouth is watering just thinking about it all! As we wrapped up the main meal, I couldn’t wait to dive into the two decadent springtime desserts I made to end our feast – Raspberry Cheesecake and Lemon Poppyseed Cake! All the flavors of spring without gluten, dairy or refined sugar. Bring. It. On.
I started with the Raspberry Cheesecake. I was inspired by a recent dessert I had at Avo in Nashville. It was a raw raspberry cheesecake. How can something be THAT delicious without gluten, dairy or refined sugar? You’re about to find out!
Let your cashews soak for at least five hours (I did mine overnight). Set those aside and start in on the crust by throwing the pecans and dates into a food processor to get them all chopped and combined. Press this mixture into the bottom of your spring form pan, and make sure to cover the entire base and edges. Clean your food processor to get ready for the next step.
Next, put your plump cashews in the food processor by themselves and let those babies churn until they’re nice and smooth. While it’s churning, you can be melting down your coconut oil and honey. Add the coconut/honey mixture to the cashews in the food processor to combine, and add the rest of the ingredients except the raspberries. Continue processing until everything is creamy smooth. Now, pour 2/3 of the cashew cream on top of the crust in the spring form pan and smooth out with a spatula. Then add the raspberries to the remaining 1/3 of cashew cream in the processor and mix it up until smooth. Pour the raspberry mixture on top of the layer of cashew cream in the spring form pan and smooth out. Shake the pan side to side gently to let everything settle and place it in the freezer. Voila!
Let it sit in the freezer until hardened. When you’re ready to serve, bring it out of the freezer 30 minutes prior and pop it out of the spring form pan. Take a warmed, sharp knife and slice it up. Delicious!
(Recipe adapted from mynewroots.org)
Once the Raspberry Cheesecake was in the freezer, I started in on the Lemon Poppyseed Cake. It is one of the easiest desserts you’ll ever make! And, it’s loaded with yummy flavor. Start by greasing a loaf pan with coconut oil and set aside. Combine the dry ingredients and mix well. Then, combine the wet ingredients in a separate bowl and mix well. Now add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix to make a batter. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and stick it in the oven. It’s truly that easy!
Bake for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown around the edges and on top. While it’s baking, you can make the coconut lemon whipped cream by scooping out the solid portion of the coconut cream (be sure to leave the can in the fridge overnight to get solid the night before). Mix the coconut cream with the maple syrup and lemon zest until fluffy. Slice the cake, add a dollup of the cream, and serve it up. It smells incredible, and tastes just as good!
(Recipe adapted from thebigmansworld.com)
Both of these desserts were a big hit around our Easter table. The smoothness of the cashew cream with those raspberries… mmmm, mmmm, good. The burst of lemon flavor topped off with the coconut cream… sublime.
Stay tuned on Fridays throughout the month of April for more flavorful food options in our new Spring series called “A Taste Of Spring!”