The Secret to Having Your Cake and Eating It Too

By KD Traegner, Founder & Editor-in-Chief

A Vegan MoFo post, a review, and dessert all rolled into one? Hell yes, that’s what I’m talking about (today).

One thing pretty much everyone can agree on is that sweet treats are awesome.  In fact, you’d better know how to run fast if you wave a vegan cupcake in front of a hungry vegan crowd- you’d get tackled for that kind of goodness.  This is, of course, probably not true- I’m using it as an analogy (but you wouldn’t want to try that around my friends, just saying).

If you ask me, the only bad thing about sweet treats is the results they have on my ass size health.  So, what is the secret to having your cake and eating it too?  Ask Ani Phyo.  She’s the author of a seemingly sinful book, Ani’s Raw Food Desserts.  She somehow turned a rich, decadent goodness into a good-for-my-health dessert.  That’s nothing short of amazing.

I’ve written about Ani Phyo before, I have and love her cookbook I have and love Ani’s cookbook, Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen.  Ani’s dessert book is new to my personal collection but actually has been out for a few years.  I should have gotten it sooner.  It contains recipes to goodness like Ice Kream Sandwiches, Sundae Cones, Tiramisu, Chocolate Crunch Cupcakes with Molten Mint Frosting, and much more.  And the best part?  The very best part?  They are all raw and vegan.  That means you’re ditching the flour and oils found in other vegan treats in place for the healthy fats from nuts and antioxidants from fruit.

You can officially have your cake and eat it too.  You’re welcome.

I’ve made a ton few desserts out of this book and I haven’t found one I don’t care for.  Intermingled in the book are helpful eco-friendly and green (gah! I hate to use that term but it fits here) tips for using natural ingredients to create beauty treatments like facial masques and living gently and considerate to our environment.  I love, love, love this book.

It should surprise no one that I made mine mini versions of the cake described in the book.  I can’t control my mini addiction, it’s just too cute.  See?  Adorably small, huge on flavor.  (Also, how adorable it looks like a bird? Because of the plate? Eeee!)

One final note before I get to the recipe, when you read avocado in the frosting recipe, don’t be concerned.  It doesn’t taste like guacamole, it will be a thick rich frosting that will blow your mind.  I’m serious. It will blow your mind. You may never go back to sugar-based frosting ever again.

Fudge and Maple Cake with Ganache

Recipe gratitude and inspiration, this recipe was heavily based off of the I used the recipe for the Raspberry Ganache Fudge Cake, which I modified for my personal taste.

You’ll Need the Following Ingredients:

Fudge Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups raw walnuts
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cacao or cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup pitted Medjool dates


  • 1/3 cup pitted Medjool dates
  • 1/8 cup agave syrup
  • 1/2 cup ripe avocado flesh
  • 1/3 cup cacao or cocoa powder


  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Dash of cinnamon, nutmeg
  • Filtered water as needed

Making the Components:


  1. Combine walnuts, salt, and cacao (or cocoa) powder in food processor.  Pulse until coarsely mixed.  Be careful not to overprocess.
  2. Add dates, pulse until mixed well.  Do not over process.


  1. Combine dates and agave in food processor.  Blend until smooth.
  2. Add avocado and cacao (or cocoa) powder.  Blend until smooth.


  1. Combine cashews and salt.  Pulse until finely mixed.
  2. While the processor is running add, maple syrup and spices.  Use a dash of water to thin it out if needed. The consistency should be that of thick cream.

To Assemble:

  1. Lightly oil pan (I used several mini pans to make double layer mini cakes.  You can use a small tart pan if you wish) with coconut oil.
  2. Press half of the cake mixture into pan.  Remove from pan, do second half of cake.  The end goal is to have 2 cakes we can layer.  If only using a single layer cake, simply top with ganache and enjoy.  Otherwise,
  3. Add add layer of maple cream to one of the cake sides.  Place second cake on top.
  4. Frost with ganache
  5. Let set in the fridge for a couple of hours to firm the frosting.