Rawspberry Rose Cakes

So here’s the thing, I was never a fan of raw food – because of its cooling and abrasive effect on the digestive system for some –  until I moved up to Byron Bay and then established the kitchen at Cabarita Ocean Health Retreat. I started to investigate the merits of living foods and over the past four years I have created my signature Surf Spa Food based around the local produce, lifestyle and environment.

In this part of the world there is a temperate climate and not the extreme polarity of my hometown Melbourne’s weather. Devising a menu for health retreat that was very low sugar, no dairy and focuses on creating optimal vitality for our guests came naturally in my stride once I got the hang of what replaces what such as coconut oil can replace butter in many cases.

To my delight, raw desserts often mimic their conventional counterparts with an impressive masquerade, especially when it comes to Tiramisu which has a deceptively similar texture yet slightly lighter, nuttier taste to the ‘real thing’. Ultimately it’s all about taste and texture when it comes to imitation.

This living ‘cheesecake’ is a full flavoured little number with a creamy nut base and a deliciously tart, yet sweet raspberry finish. The hint of rosewater takes it from grassroots to restaurant sooner than you can shout ‘Mullumbimby’!

I’d love to read your comments.


This recipe looks tricky but I promise you it’s not, so be patient as it’s truly worth it.

For the base
1 cup activated almonds
1 cup pitted Medjool dates
Pinch teaspoon murray river or local sea salt
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted for oiling muffin tray

For the filling

3 cups cashews, soaked for 4 hours, drained
2 teaspoons organic vanilla extract
3 lemons, juice only
2/3 cup raw coconut oil, melted
2/3 cup raw light agave nectar
1 teaspoon organic apple cider vinegar
1 cup frozen raspberries
2 teaspoon rosewater *available at Middle Eastern stores

24 raspberries

To make the base

  • Combine the first three ingredients in a food processor and blend well until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs
  • Oil a 24 hole mini muffin pan – you’ll need to use the silicone one so you can pop the cakes out with your hands press about 1 teaspoon of base mix into each muffin hole. Press firmly to ensure a tight base

To make the filling

  • In a food processor, combines cashews, vanilla, coconut oil, agave and apple cider vinegar and blend until smooth
  • Spoon about 1 teaspoon onto of the pressed made mix in each muffin hole. Smooth over. With the reaming mixture, add the raspberries and rosewater and puree until smooth
  • Spoon the berry rose mix on top of each cake to make the third and final layer
  • Press a frozen raspberry into the centre of each cake and freeze for at least six hours before serving

To serve

  • Gently press the the base of each muffin hole to help push the cakes out
  • Either place on another tray and continue to freeze or serve immediately
  • Garnish with more raspberries if desired