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  • Writer's pictureKelly

"Pink Poinsettia" (Pink & Green Cranberry Matcha Vanilla Bean Raw Cake) (Raw, Vegan, Paleo, Natural)

Updated: Apr 14, 2023

This cake is a belated Christmas cake, but is still very seasonal with its pink & green color, cranberries, and design. This cake has a poinsettia pattern on top of it and a zebra pattern when you cut into it. It's a showstopper and DELICIOUS! Even better, it's raw, vegan, and refined sugar free (and paleo). And that vibrant color is all natural, too. The texture is nice and creamy and soft, and the flavor is a combo of tart, earthy, vanilla, and fruity but with a WHOLE lotta sweetness. Happy Belated Holidays to YOU! *But please note: this cake is MAPLE-sweetened.

Like I said: show-stopping. Who knew a dessert could be so aesthetically pleasing?! OK, now I'm just bragging. But seriously, this cake tastes just as good as it looks, and is a spinoff of the red & green Christmas colors with a seasonal winter flavor combo (cranberry + vanilla. Of course the matcha is in there too but it's not seasonal).

It's all 100% raw, vegan, GF, paleo, refined sugar free, and, again, naturally colored (the pink is from cranberries and the green is from matcha).

I used a zebra layering technique for this cake like I did for my final cake assignment in the raw vegan healthy pastry course I took to become a certified Raw Vegan Pastry Chef. And the results did not disappoint!

Believe it or not, the poinsettia design was a complete accident. I was putting the cake into the freezer to set and one of the pieces of acetate strip snapped back and left a (VERY) noticeable streak in my beautiful fillings (which would have otherwise been in a concentric circle pattern). BUT determined to save my cake, I grabbed a toothpick and decided to drag it through the stripes of filling to create some sort of pattern. And it turns out that I ended up with the poinsettia design which was perfect because the first time I made this cake I was bringing it to Christmas Eve dinner.

The tart, fruity cranberries perfectly contrast the sweetness and vanilla flavor and the matcha surprisingly melds it all together. There is also fresh orange juice and spices in the cranberry layer to kick things up a notch.

And this cake is relatively easy to make, the prep is arguably the hardest part. You can have a ratio of as much cranberry filling to however much matcha filling you like, it's really up to you. I prefer an equal amount of each, but as you see from the photos I ended up with a little more of the cranberry filling than the matcha for the cake I got photos of (I wanted to see how it came out that way. It was still good, but I recommend an equal ratio of fillings).

You may decorate the top of this cake if you desire, but I think it's looks beautiful enough without any garnishes. Also, you can make this cake into a 6" round cake OR into one 6" heart-shaped cake PLUS one 4" heart-shaped cake.

I recommend serving this cake at Christmas Eve (or Christmas) dinner, a holiday party, or for a winter birthday, it will be the talk of the party.

Oh, and you'll need cranberries! If they're not in season, you can try using an equal amount of fresh raspberries OR fresh strawberries, and I'm sure the cake will still come out delicious!

Don't mind the cracked filling in the photo above, I had to get the cake to a local client and didn't have time to fully defrost it, so I sliced into it early. But if you let it defrost the full 4 hours, it will be crack-free!

Psst.. kid. Come closer. Closer. Wanna hear a secret? Here's the next cake I'm working on and getting on to The Dimpled Date:

Raw Crème Brûlée Cheesecake!

It's still a work in progress, but I'm really excited about this one!

Back to the Poinsettia Cake:

Tried this cake and loved it? Let everybody know in the comments and give it a like! Also, for those of you who used substitutions, I'd love to hear what you tried, so put that in the comments if you want, too!

Are there any new cakes you want me to experiment with? As of right now I have at least like 5 new ones planned, but the more ideas the merrier :)

You guys are going to find this funny, and I don't think I ever mentioned it on The Dimpled Date but meant to a while ago! My family and friends refer to my diet as "Kelly-Friendly" ("KF" for short) rather than having to say, "vegan, gluten-free, fruit-sweetened, etc." Does your family have any humorous shorthands for certain things you eat?

"Future Recipes Sneak Peek"

It's TIIIME! The "Future Recipes Sneak Peek" is back! 3 new recipes I'm working on and that are on their way to The Dimpled Date soon are:

  1. Raw Date-Sweetened "Nutella" Cake

  2. (Coconut) Milk Chocolate

  3. Raw "Effervescent Aquarius" Cake (2-tier Blue & Orange Champagne White Chocolate Creamsicle Raw Cake) (I'm really excited about this one)

AND MORE! Stay tuned for these delightful treats and more.. loading.. recipes in progress..

And check out The Dimpled Date on Instagram, and hit that follow button!

Happy 2023, here's to a year of even more epic desserts!

As always,



"Pink Poinsettia" Cake (Pink & Green Raw Cranberry Matcha Vanilla Bean Cake w/ a Zebra Pattern Technique) (Raw, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Paleo, Refined Sugar Free, Naturally Colored) (*maple-sweetened*)

Soak Time: overnight

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Chill Time: 8 hours or (pref.) overnight

Total Time: overnight PLUS at least 8 hours 30 minutes

Servings: one 6" round cake OR one 6" heart-shaped cake AND one 4" heart-shaped cake

Ingredients (crust):

-140 grams blanched activated almonds (soak overnight + blanch, then dehydrate almonds until dry) OR 140 grams blanched dry almonds (so, raw almonds just with the skins removed)

-100 grams Medjool dates, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes

-1/2 tsp pure matcha powder

Ingredients (green matcha vanilla bean filling):

-160 grams raw unsalted cashews, soaked overnight in cold water (pref.) or technically 1 hour in hot water

-75 ml 100% pure maple syrup

-60 ml unsweetened almond milk (homemade or extra creamy store-bought // can sub unsweetened homemade/extra creamy store-bought plant milk of choice)

-85 ml coconut oil, melted first, then measured

-1 tsp pure ground vanilla bean power OR approx. 1 whole vanilla bean, scraped

-1 tsp vanilla extract

-1 1/2 tsp pure matcha powder

-pinch sea salt

Ingredients (pink cranberry filling):

-210 grams raw unsalted cashews, soaked overnight in cold water (pref.) or technically 1 hour in hot water

-200 grams whole fresh cranberries (defrosted in fridge overnight if frozen)

-130 ml 100% pure maple syrup

-105 ml coconut oil, melted first, then measured

-2 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice

-1/8 tsp Ceylon cinnamon (can sub a pinch cassia cinnamon)

-pinch cloves

-pinch nutmeg

-pinch sea salt


1. Prepare your blanched activated almonds a couple days in advance if using activated almonds. If not simply blanch raw dry almonds the day you're ready to make the cake. Make sure the cashews for each layer of filling have been soaking overnight (or 1 hour in hot water). If using homemade thick almond milk/plant milk, be sure you've made it already. Soak the dates for the crust in hot water for 20 minutes. Prepare one 6" round cake ring OR one 6" heart-shaped cake ring PLUS one 4" heart-shaped cake ring by placing them on a cake board or a medium/large flat cutting board lined with parchment/wax paper, and cutting a piece of acetate strip the length of the circumference of the cake ring (for round ring) OR two pieces for each half of the heart shape for both of the heart-shaped rings and slipping those inside the cake ring so it nestles up against the walls of the ring (you'll have to bend the acetate strip to fit into the round nooks of the heart-shaped rings). A little overlap of acetate strip is fine. The acetate strip is completely optional but it gives your cake those really crisp, clean edges. Also *technically* a 6" round springform pan would work, but the edges of the cake will be uneven, not sharp, and likely cracked or sloppy. But if presentation isn't an issue, go with a springform if that's all you have.

2. Make the crust: Add the blanched almonds and matcha powder to a food processor, and pulse 10-15 times to finely chop the pieces of nuts. You want a little texture to your crust, so don't blend too thoroughly (unless you prefer fine pieces of nuts!).

3. Add the soaked & drained dates and blend for 30 seconds or until the mixture gets stuck. Then remove the blade and mix the crust by hand, until it becomes more cohesive and dough-like.

4. Spread the crust out into the bottom of the prepared cake ring(s) pressing into a uniform even layer, using your hand or a flat-bottomed object like the base of the glass or measuring cup. You really want a nice even crust, but try to keep the edges of the acetate strip clean. Also make sure not to make the acetate strip settle wonky. Don't chill the crust, simply set it aside for now.

5. Make the green matcha vanilla bean filling: add all the ingredients except the coconut oil (so, the soaked & drained cashews, maple syrup, almond milk, vanilla bean powder, vanilla extract, matcha, and sea salt) to a high-speed blender like a Vitamix. Blend on high until very smooth and creamy.

6. On a low speed, slowly drizzle in the melted coconut oil into the other ingredients in the blender through the tamper hole in the Vitamix/blender lid until just incorporated. Turn to high speed and blend for 10 to 15 seconds, then turn off.

7. Pour the green matcha vanilla bean filling layer into a bowl and set aside.

8. Wash the Vitamix or blender and dry before starting the next layer.

9. Make the pink cranberry filling: add all ingredients except the coconut oil (so, the soaked & drained cashews, fresh cranberries, maple syrup, orange juice, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt) to a high-speed blender like a Vitamix. Blend on high until very smooth and creamy, using a tamper as need be to help it blend into a uniform cream.

10. On a low speed, slowly drizzle in the melted coconut oil into the other ingredients in the blender through the tamper hole in the Vitamix/blender lid until just incorporated. Turn to high speed and blend for 10 to 15 seconds, then turn off.

11. Pour the pink cranberry filling layer into a separate bowl and set aside.

12. Make the zebra filling pattern: Grab your cake ring(s) w/ the crust and have 2 measuring cups ready: two 1/3 cup measurers OR one 1/3 cup measurer and one 1/2 cup measurer not filled quite all the way (if you don't have two 1/3 cup measuring cups). *Note: use 2 scoops with 1 Tbsp for each layer for the 4" heart-shaped cake (if making 4" heart-shaped cake). Start by scooping and pouring 1/3 cup of the pink cranberry layer overtop of the crust in the center of the pan. Overtop of this layer, pour 1/3 cup of the green matcha vanilla bean on top. Repeat with the pink cranberry filling and alternate between the two fillings until there's none left or until the cake rings are filled just shy of the top. Your goal is to almost create concentric circles of the different colors of filling, pouring one on top of the other from the center of the pan. By layering the fillings in this way, the resulting cake will have a zebra pattern in the cross-section when cut into. For the heart-shaped rings, tap the pans gently as need be to get the fillings to move to the corners as need be, but don't tap too much as you don't want to spread out the different layers too much. If the layers spread out too much, you'll be left with only one color of the fillings on the top of the cake which won't work for the poinsettia pattern. Tap the pan lightly a few times to release air bubbles.

13. Pour any leftovers of either color creams into separate piping bags fitted with couplers, secure the bags, and place in the fridge until tomorrow (by morning, the chilled cream will be like frosting that you can pipe on top of the cake or anything else you desire).

14. Make the poinsettia pattern (optional): If you have both color fillings (pink and green) exposed on top of the cake, you can make a poinsettia pattern if you wish (this won't affect the zebra pattern). Simply, grab a clean toothpick and in a straight line, lightly drag the toothpick through the surface of the fillings in spots where the two different color fillings touch. Only very lightly touch the surface of the fillings, otherwise it won't work. You will get a sort of chevron pattern. Repeat this in other spots on top of the cake where the two fillings meet, alternating the direction in which you drag one filling into the next and you'll end up with the characteristic poinsettia pattern on top of the cake (see photos).

15. Carefully transfer the cake to the freezer, ensuring it remains level and allow to chill for at least 8 hours or preferably overnight.

16. The next morning, check to see if the cream fillings in the piping bag(s) (if you had leftovers) are pipeable by attempting to pipe a few shapes. If not, defrost the cream at room temp if need be, until pipeable, up to 1 hour. Once the creams are nearly defrosted, unmold the cake(s). Lift the cake(s) off of the cake board/cutting board and dislodge the cake from the cake ring (either by pushing up from the bottom of the crust or using a protein powder container or another comparable object with a round lid, placing the cake on top of the container and holding onto the outside of the cake ring, pushing the ring down to release the ring from the cake. Or you might get lucky and the ring slips right off). Peel off the parchment/wax paper from the bottom of the crust and place the cake onto your serving plate/cake board. Lastly peel off the acetate strip and discard the acetate strip. If using a springform pan, simply release the latch to unmold the cake.

17. You may decorate your cake now if desired, but I don't think this cake needs a decoration, as it's beautiful enough on its own with the zebra pattern inside and the poinsettia pattern on top. I've found that decorating it sort of takes away from the cake. But nonetheless, if you'd like to decorate it, you may pipe the defrosted creams on top of the cake w/ your piping tip(s) of choice and you can also garnish with fresh cranberries, sprigs of fresh rosemary, and/or your garnishes of choice.

18. Defrost the cake in the fridge for at least 3 hours (4 hours is better). It's important to allow it to defrost, so that when you cut into it you get that beautiful zebra stripe pattern without ruining it and without cracks. It's important to defrost it in the fridge rather than at room temp because defrosting at room temp can cause uneven defrosting (the outside of the cake may be defrosted but the inside will likely still be frozen or semi-frozen). That being said, once you've enjoyed the cake and cut it into slices as leftovers, the slices can always be defrosted at room temp from the freezer (although, even w/ slices, it's still advisable to defrost in the fridge for the perfect texture). Defrosting the cake in the fridge is also crucial for easy cutting.

19. Once the cake is defrosted, use a sharp clean knife, and make the initial cut through the middle of the cake. If, once you start cutting, it's difficult to slice through the cake, let the cake defrost in the fridge for another hour, then check again. After, you make the initial cut, you should see the zebra pattern in the cross-section of the cake. Before you make the next cut, clean the knife by wiping it clean with a paper towel. Then make the next cut. Keep cleaning the knife before each cut, and once you've made all the slices you want, you're done!

20. Serve the slices of cake with poinsettia cocktails, a matcha cocktail/mocktail, or a vegan vanilla bean latte. This cake is perfect for Christmas/the holidays/the New Year, but can be made any time of year (so long as you have frozen cranberries to defrost). Enjoy! Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 to 5 days, or as individual slices in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month. If defrosting from the freezer, defrost in the fridge first, or defrost at room temp for 15 to 30 minutes if a clean cut isn't necessary.


*Please note: all the different ingredients in all the components of this recipe make it rather hard to calculate the nutrition facts. I hope to update this post soon when I have the time to calculate the nutrition.

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