Raw Food Desserts

Raw Triple Layer Caramel Chocolate Cake

Raw Triple Layer Caramel Fudge Cake

Transitioning to a healthier lifestyle doesn’t mean you can’t have your cake and eat it too. I have a client doing a month-long raw food detox retreat here in Hawaii and after two weeks of going through the more intense detox phase, focusing a lot on juices, smoothies and healthy dinners, it was time to start showing her how to make some healthier raw food desserts, because let’s face it, we all love dessert! And when finding a balanced lifestyle that feels healthy for the long haul, we need to be able to find ways to treat ourselves to the occasional treat without guilting and shaming ourselves throughout each and every bite.

So many of my clients who come to do raw food retreats are coming off of years of yo-yo dieting; intense binging and then serious bouts of restriction with the sole intention of losing as much weight as possible as quickly as possible. One of the key takeaways from this retreat experience is that it’s all about finding balance and it’s less about getting to your weight destination as fast as possible, but more about facing in the right direction and just taking one step at a time in that direction.

Desserts like this triple layer caramel chocolate cake are miles healthier than any processed, packaged refined dessert you’ll find in the store or pick up at a bakery. So if you’re going to go there, give yourself the best quality dessert you can possibly make yourself! My client was thrilled to know this could be included as an occasional treat, and that’s what allows for more breathing room and balance back into our lives. Without further ado, here’s the recipe!

Raw Kitchen Essentials

For this triple layer cake, all you will need is a food processor and a spatula to spread the layers out. When it comes to essential kitchen tools, I highly recommend investing in a good quality food processor. I have the 14-cup Cuisinart Food Processor, but if this is too big for you, you might want to consider the 7-cup food processor, although I always opt for larger mixing sizes whenever I can.

Recipe: Raw Triple Layer Caramel Chocolate Cake

This is a triple layer cake, so let’s work through the layers one at a time.

Pie Crust

The base is a standard raw, gluten free pie crust. When it comes to making raw pice crusts, all you need to keep in mind is that you need enough stickiness to hold the crust together, which could be dates, dried mulberries or even dried figs. I like to use dates the most, so for this pie crust, I made it with:

  • 1 cup soaked almonds (you cal also use walnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans if you want a sweeter taste or brazil nuts.)
  • 1 cup dates (I like to use organic medjool dates, and make sure to remove the pits!)
  • 1/2 cup of shredded coconut

Process ingredients in the food processor so that it’s still a little chunky and when you squeeze the mix together in your hand, the dates, nuts and coconut shreds hold firmly together.

Sprinkle a layer of coconut shreds on the bottom of a pan, which will help prevent the pie crust from sticking. I used a 4×8 tin bread baking tray, and had a little bit leftover, but you can use whatever kind of glass, tin or springform you like.

Place the tray in the freezer while you’re making the next two layers.

Caramel Layer

This layer should really be called a caramel Halva layer, but for the sake of a succinct recipe title, I left it out. Halva is a middle Eastern dessert typically sweetened with dates and sesame seeds. We’re going to use tahini (which is just whole ground sesame seeds) for this layer which is going to add a really nice rich flavor, but if you don’t have tahini, you can also use almond butter or macadamia nut butter.

In a food processor, blend together the following ingredients until very smooth:

  • 1.5 cups pitted dates
  • 1 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup dried figs (this is optional, if you don’t have figs, just add a couple more dates.)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

Blend together and add small amounts of water as necessary to get the blend going.

Place the caramel mix into a bowl and place in the freezer while you’re making the third layer.

Chocolate Layer

This is similar to the chocolate fudge pie that I made a while ago. I love using avocado in desserts like this. Check out this article about avocados and how good they are for you.

In a food processor, blend together:

  • 2 avocados
  • 5 tablespoons raw cacao
  • 1/2 cup of dates
  • 2 tablespoons raw organic honey (If you don’t use honey, add a few more dates)

Place in a bowl and place in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Placing all the layers in the freezer for a minute will allow them to harden a little bit, and will make it easier to spread.

Layering the Triple Layer Cake

Take the crust out of the freezer along with the other layers. With a spatula layer the caramel layer on top of the crust, and then layer the chocolate later on top of that. Place in the freezer to chill for 30 minutes before serving.


Raw Strawberry Tart Recipe



Fresh berry season is about to come to an end for the year, and what an epic season it’s been! If you still have the chance, it’s totally worth stocking up on some case prices of any local, organic berries, and if you have room, freeze them for the coming winter months so you can still enjoy awesome berry smoothies for the months you don’t have access to fresh local fruits. It’s also a way to support local farmers, get some good deals on case prices and lower your food bill in the long run.

If you’re looking for some new raw food dessert recipes to make, definitely give this raw strawberry tart a try. This recipe is pretty easy to make, looks amazing, and taste phenomenal!

Raw Kitchen Essentials

For this raw strawberry tart recipe, you’ll need both a food processor (to process the base) and a high-powered blender (to blend the inner creamy filling.) When it comes to food processors, I recommend the cuisinart. I use and recommend the 14-cup Cuisinart Food Processor, but if this is too big to suite your needs and you’re looking for something smaller, consider the 7-cup Cuisinart Food Processor, it’s a smaller and more affordable model. In terms of blenders, I’m a Vitamix fan all the way. I love my blender. I’ve recently just purchased another one, the wide base one and I love it. If you don’t have a good blender, it’s well worth the investment. I recommend the Deluxe edition by Vitamix – you won’t be disappointed!

Raw Strawberry Tart Recipe

This tart recipe has two parts: the base and the inner creamy filling, topped with strawberry’s. You can use whatever berry topping you like, and there are also a couple of different options you can use for the inner filling, depending on what you have access to.

Making the Base:

For the base of this tart, it’s just like making a raw pie crust, except I use a muffin tin to mould it into the shape that I want, which is this little cup shape to hold the cream filling and fresh berries.

1. In a food processor, process the following ingredients

  • 1/2 cup soaked organic almonds. (You can use any nut for the crust that you like. Some of my favorites are: macadamia nuts, brazil nuts and pecans or walnuts). They all have a unique taste, so try different nuts to see what you like best.
  • 1/2 cup pitted organic dates
  • 1/2 cup coconut shreds
  • 1/4 cup of raisins

Make sure not to over-process, you want the base to have some texture. You want to be able to squeeze the mix between your fingers and it should stick together pretty easily.

2. In a muffin tin, press the “pie crust” into the mould to shape the cup.

3. Place in the freezer to harden while making the inner cream filling.

Making the Inner Filling:

The very first time I made this strawberry tart recipe, I used coconut cream which was amazing. Not everyone lives in the tropics and has access to coconuts, so I made this one with hemp seeds and it turned out amazing.

In a blender, place the following ingredients and blend until smooth:

  • 1 cup hemp seeds
  • 3/4’s cup of dates
  • 3 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice.
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Next you’ll want to slice up a few strawberries to use for the filling and the topping of the raw tarts.

Combining them!

Take the tart base out of the freezer. They should still be in their muffin tray tin moulds at this point. They should also be firm enough that you can take a butter knife, work the edge, and then pop it out and place it on a plate or tray.

Take the inner filling, (your filling should also be slightly on the thicker side and looking pretty creamy) and layer it inside the pie crust base, alternating with strawberries.

Top the tart with a nice display of strawberries spread out like a fan.

Place in the fridge to firm up for at least another 20 minutes.

Serve and Enjoy!

Want to learn how to make epic raw food desserts like this and have the experience of a lifetime, right here in Hawaii? Check out our raw food Hawaii Retreats! We host both private and group retreats.

Aloha From the Big Island of Hawaii,

Live Free, Laura D

Raw Avocado Fudge Pie


I think one of the best ways to introduce new people to raw foods is through healthy desserts. People are always amazed at how simple, whole food desserts can taste so good, without using a stick of butter and a pound of white flour. We have avocados dripping from our trees right now, so I thought it would be fun to get in the kitchen and play around with some fun avocado dessert recipes!

This Raw Avocado Fudge Pie is so easy, you’ll be amazed at how quick it is to make.

Raw Kitchen Essentials

For this raw avocado fudge pie recipe, you’ll need either a blender or a food processor. These are two of the top 4 raw food kitchen tools I recommend stocking your kitchen with.  I use and recommend the 14-cup Cuisinart Food Processor, but if this is too big to suite your needs and you’re looking for something smaller, consider the 7-cup Cuisinart Food Processor, it’s a smaller and more affordable model. As for blenders, I’m a big fan of the Vitamix. If you don’t have one yet, I totally recommend going with the Deluxe Vitamix Edition.

Raw Avocado Fudge Pie Recipe

Depending on how much you want to make, this recipe is easily scalable to make a large 9 inch pie or a couple of mini pies like we did. We used 3/4’s cup of each ingredient. In a food processor or a blender, blend together equal parts of the following ingredients:

  • Avocado
  • Raw cacao powder
  • Sweetener (we used coconut sugar, but you can also use honey if you like)
  • A splash of vanilla

Blend until smooth, place in a bowl in the fridge or freezer.

Next you have to make the raw pie crust. You can follow the this raw, gluten-free pie crust recipe or another way you can make it is to blend together equal parts of dried mulberry, coconut shreds and dates until they are nice and sticky.

Sprinkle some coconut shreds on the bottom of the tin (a good trick to prevent sticking!)

Line the bottom of a mini spring form pie tin (the ones that you can open up the sides and remove it without touching the pie) with pie crust.

Grab the fudge batter out of the fridge or freezer. And layer the avocado fudge with slices of banana.

Top the raw fudge pie with banana slices, or as another option, raw cacao nibs or coconut shreds.

Place in the fridge again to chill for 10-15 minutes, serve and enjoy!

If you want to learn more about making raw food desserts. Check out our private raw food retreats!

Aloha from Hawaii 😉

Live Free, Laura D





Raw Carrot Cake Bliss Ball Bites


What’s life without a special treat every once in a while? As the old saying goes: Life Is Short, Eat Dessert First. I’m all for the occasional treat, but not if it’s coming laden with gluten, dairy and chock full of refined sugars and flour. No matter how good it might be in the moment, it doesn’t make up for how it will make me feel afterwards. That’s why I’m starting my MIY campaign (#MIYMeals), teaching you to Make It Yourself so that you can be empowered to make a sweet treat for yourself that is so satisfying, yet doesn’t come laden with all that bad stuff. (And although I’m not a huge proponent of “good vs bad” mentality, the more I learn about what refined foods do to people, the more I’m convinced they’re pretty darn bad). The best part about living a plant-based whole foods lifestyle is that it’s so easy to make raw desserts for yourself with whole, naturally sweet foods that effect your body very differently than refined sweets. If you’re new to raw foods or just looking for some new fun recipes, then these Raw Carrot Cake Bliss Ball Bites will surely fit the bill, great for a summer picnic, a family gathering or even your kids birthday party.

Raw Kitchen Essentials

What you will need: For this raw carrot cake recipe, all you’ll need is a food processor. I use and recommend the 14-cup Cuisinart Food Processor, but if this is too big to suite your needs and you’re looking for something smaller, consider the 7-cup Cuisinart Food Processor, it’s a smaller and more affordable model. I’ve been using my Cuisinart for years and it’s still working great. Owning a good quality food processor is one of the top 4 raw food kitchen tools I recommend stocking your kitchen with.

Raw Carrot Cake Bliss Ball Bites Recipe

Raw Ingredients

  • 1 cup pecans (soaked for 1-2 hours and rinsed)
  • 1 cup walnuts (soaked for at least 3-4 hours and rinsed)
  • 8 Medjool dates
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 large carrots shredded
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla

The trick to making awesome raw food desserts is dialing in the texture. For something like these raw carrot cake balls, you don’t want to process all the ingredients together until smooth, because that would do two things: it would prevent the ball from really sticking together and secondly, texturally, it would taste like a ball of mush in your mouth! It’s worth considering texture when making any kind of raw dessert. I like to have at least some mixed texture, especially in more smooth dessert like this. So the process of making these raw carrot cake balls, incorporates a method so that it will also have a crunchier texture, overlying the smooth texture. With that being said…

Recipe Instructions

In a food processor, place:

  • 1/2 cup of pecans
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts
  • and all the pitted dates

(Notice only placing half of the nuts in the food processor.) Blend together until it’s smooth enough so that the nuts and dates stick together.

Take the remaining walnuts and pecans and do a thorough rough chop, breaking them to down to smaller pieces. Place rough chop nuts as well as blended nuts and dates in a bowl.

Add into the bowl:

  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 large carrots shredded
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch pumpkin pie spice
  • vanilla

Mix together by hand and roll into bite-sized balls. Another important note is that if you soak your nuts before using them, this “wakes” them up and allows for better digestion. If you want them to have a longer shelf life, you could dehydrate them again, slowly at a low temperature. If you use wet nuts in your recipe, it will only have a “shelf life” of 5-6 days before the nuts start to turn, and also considering that the raw carrots won’t last much longer than that anyways. If you’re making a very large batch and don’t eat them all, you could dehydrate the entire raw carrot cake balls or you could freeze them, but like I always say: Fresh is best!

Vegan “Creamy” Raw Carrot Cake Frosting Recipe

If you want to make a creamy “frosting” to add a dollop on top of your raw carrot cake balls, to fill in for the traditional cream cheese frosting, you can make a simple and tasty topping with just two ingredients mac nuts and dates. In a high-powered blender, (I always recommend a Vitamix and here’s why I recommend it) place the following raw ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of mac nuts
  • 6 dates
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut milk or almond milk, or if you don’t have either of those, add water instead. This is just to help get the mixture going.

Blend until smooth and add a little dollop on top of the raw carrot cake bliss ball bites. Serve and enjoy!

I hope you enjoy this raw recipe as much as I do!

Aloha from the Big Island of Hawaii,

Live Free, Laura D.

Raw Gluten-Free Pie Crust in Under 5 Minutes

Raw Gluten-Free Pie Crust in Under 5 Minutes

One of the great things about the raw food diet is that it’s 100% gluten-free. I love to enjoy raw treats on occasion – without having to worry about gluten. When it comes to raw food desserts, it’s actually a lot easier than you might think to make your own gluten-free treats at home. Since I started eating clean, I realized that I could always  improve the quality of what I eat. Just because it’s dessert, doesn’t mean it has to be unhealthy! This raw, gluten-free pie crust is a perfect example. Today, I’m going to show you just how easy it is to opt out of traditional ingredients like flour and dairy and make a gluten-free pie crust with less than 5 ingredients – in less than 5 minutes.


Low Fat Raw Vegan Apple Pie

Low Fat Raw Vegan Apple Pie

This Low-Fat, Raw Vegan Apple Pie is truly a guilt-free pleasure.  This raw food dessert is beautiful and visually appealing – perfect for any occasion. This is a great dessert to make if you are new to the low-fat raw vegan lifestyle and you’re looking to make something a little more creative or want to make this for someone else new to this awesome way of eating. We served this raw food dessert this past week to several of our guests here on a raw food retreat after attending an afternoon of workshops. It was definitely a hit and lucky for us, we had enough leftovers to eat it again for breakfast the next morning! (more…)

Jackfruit Recipes: Raw Vanilla Jackfruit Custard

Vanilla Jackfruit CustardLooking for some creative jackfruit recipes? What an absolute treat to make delicious raw food desserts from 100% whole foods and less than 3 ingredients! Generally speaking, the simpler the meals, the easier it is on the body to digest. If you want to improve your digestion and improve your energy levels, then it’s well worth it to consider combining less foods in each sitting.

Jackfruit is a wonderful tasting tropical fruit that grows here in Hawaii. Jackfruit provides us with many health benefits. I notice that people always want to know the specific benefits that each food provides. And although I like to seek out this information too, it’s not why I choose to eat what I eat. Simply put, what I choose to eat isn’t based on how much vitamin C or omega 3 is in a food.  My personal guidelines for choosing healthy food is primarily whole foods that are ripe, raw and organic – but also because they taste good and nourish my body. Most importantly, I use my intuitive sense and eat foods that are naturally delicious.

This low-fat, raw vegan dessert is very easy to make. If you have an abundance of jackfruit, as we often have here in Hawaii, then I encourage you to try this simple, and aesthetically pleasing recipe.

Raw Vanilla Jackfruit Custard Recipe

This jackfruit recipe works best with the variety that seems very stringy with fibre and is kind of difficult to chew and swallow. That’s why I blend it! Simply remove the big seeds from the jackfruit and place the jackfruit pods in a high-powered blender, add a dash of vanilla and blend until smooth.

Use a nice looking glass or serving dish to really impress your guests with a visually appealing presentation.

Add a layer of the jackfruit custard on the bottom and alternate layers with your fruit of choice. I used bananas, but other fruit would combine well with the smooth flavor of the vanilla jackfruit custard.

And voila! Another beautiful gift provided by the miraculous abundance of Mother Earth. Bless this miracle of food before us. Hope you love this raw food dessert as much as I do.

Want to come to Hawaii and enjoy the benefits of eating raw foods? Check out our raw food Hawaii retreats.

Aloha from the Big Island of Hawaii,

Laura Dawn, Registered Holistic Nutritionist



Raw Pumpkin Seed Cookie Recipe

I’m all about choosing healthier options and finding healthier ways to make foods that I like. There was a moment when I felt the little kid in me want a long-time favorite: oatmeal raisin cookies. I don’t eat oats anymore because I don’t find them easy to digest and they make my whole body swell up. So I set out to come up with a version of oatmeal raisin cookies, but without oats, or gluten, wheat or dairy – oh yeah, and I wanted them to be raw too! It sounds like a tall order, This raw pumpkin seed cookie recipe totally fit the bill. I have to say this raw cookie recipe that I created comes pretty darn close to traditional oatmeal raisin cookies. I used pumpkin seeds instead of oats except I think they taste way better.

Essential Kitchen Equipment

For this raw vegan cookie recipe, all you will need is a food processor and a food dehydrator. I like to use the Excalibur but there are others on the market to choose from. These are two of the four essential raw food kitchen tools that I highly recommend.

Raw Pumpkin Seed Raisin Cookies Recipe

This recipe makes about 20-25 cookies.

Planning ahead for this recipe: If you would like to make these cookies for a special occasion, you need to plan ahead by soaking 4 cups of pumpkin seeds the night before and also allow about 10-12 hours for dehydrating. I like to time it so that I put the cookies in at night and wake up to warm soft cookies for a breakfast treat!

Raw Ingredients

In a bowl place:

  • 3/4 cup of raw organic honey. If you don’t like to use honey, you can use agave, although I don’t recommend it. Honey is way more nutrient dense than honey. You can also compensate by using more dates, if that is your preference.
  • 3 cups organic coconut shreds.

Mix honey and coconut shreds with a spoon or fork until thoroughly mixed together then add in:

  • 3/4 cup of raisins
  • 2 T of cinnamon
  • 1 T of Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Mix well
  • Take half of your 4 cups of soaked pumpkin seeds and place it in the food processor and process until smooth. Add it into your bowl and mix well.
  • Process 1/2 pound of dates or 1 packed cup in the food processor with 2 ounce of water and 2 T of vanilla. Process until you get a date paste. Mix into bowl.
  • Add 1/2 cup of raw organic coconut sugar to the cookie dough.
  • The best way to mix batters for recipes, in my opinion, is by hand. With clean hands, mix all the ingredients together, with thoughts of loving kindness.
  • Sprinkle the remaining whole pumpkin seeds into the mix, and keep mixing with your hands until the batter is evenly distributed.

Take a dehydrator tray and make small(ish) cookies, about 1-2 inches across. Avoid making them too thick as this will take a lot more time in the dehydrator. I like to make raw cookies the right amount that I would like to eat as a serving snack.

I fit 4×4 raw cookies on the tray, for a total of 16 evenly spaced raw cookies.

Place them in the dehydrator at 150 for the first hour, then reduce temperature to 115. They are ready as soon as you get your desired consistency. Some people like them more dry and some more gooey. I usually leave mine in for about 12 hours – sampling regularly of course 😉

Hope you enjoy this oat-alternative raisin cookie as much as I do! Remember, these recipes are alternatives to conventional cookies, and despite being raw and a great alternative, these denser, higher-fay raw food “treats” should be eaten more sparingly and on special occasions.

Aloha from the Big Island of Hawaii,

Laura Dawn


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