If you’ve ever lived in a house or apartment without air conditioning, you know that turning on the oven to bake a cake or pie on a hot summer day is not exactly a winning idea. That’s why summer is the perfect time to look to our freezers and refrigerators for our sweet treats. From popsicles and granitas to ice box cakes and, now, this Raw Strawberry Chocolate Dessert Pizza, there’s no need to fire up the oven for dessert this summer.
Even better, this raw dessert pizza is made with healthy, whole food ingredients, which is the best part about raw desserts. If you’re strict about adhering to a raw diet, or if you’re making this for someone who is, you’ll want to use raw cacao powder and chopped raw chocolate for the chips, and make sure your rolled oats are raw and your vanilla extract is alcohol-free.
The scrumptious “crust” of this pizza is made by pureeing dates and almonds along with cacao powder and dark chocolate chips for a rich, chocolatey result. The creamy filling? Lightly sweetened cashew cream, brightened with just a touch of lemon. And then there’s that luscious pile of mouthwatering strawberries, which couldn’t be more perfect this time of year.
Top it off with a sweet chocolate drizzle, and I’m pretty sure that everyone — young and old — will be clamoring for seconds. In fact, maybe you should double the recipe and make two pizzas, which is easy because raw desserts like this one are a cinch to make — although it will look like you went to a lot of trouble. Aren’t those the best kinds of recipes?
Consider this recipe a jumping-off point. The sky’s the limit! You can use virtually any in-season fruit to produce an exceptional dessert pizza that will impress. Try a mixed berry topping with blueberries and raspberries for a more patriotic pie, or swap in fresh cherries for a spin on the classic chocolate-covered cherry. In winter months, an orange-and-chocolate combo would be perfect. Heck, we may never use our ovens again!
Rich and decadent ... plus raw and vegan too! Strawberries and chocolate join together in this gorgeous no-bake dessert pizza. Oh happy sweet tooth!
- 1 cup pitted and chopped Medjool dates
- 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder or cocoa powder
- 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil, in solid state + more for greasing the pan
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Generous pinch of kosher salt
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 2-4 hours, drained, and rinsed
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons agave syrup
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, in liquid form
- 1 teaspoon agave syrup
- 2 tablespoons cacao powder or cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
- Lightly grease the bottom and 1 1/2 inches up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan with coconut oil and set aside.
- Combine the dates, almonds, and oats in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the S-blade. Process for 1-2 minutes, until all of the ingredients come together like dough and are similar in size, with no large chunks remaining. Add the cacao powder, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and salt, then process to incorporate.
- Add the dark chocolate chips to the processor and pulse until the chips are incorporated into the dough, but not chopped.
- Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and gently press the crust into it, beginning in the center and working towards the edges. Be mindful to keep the crust even across the bottom, then work the dough about an inch up the side of the pan to form the "crust". Set aside.
- In a food processor fitted with the S-blade, combine the cashews, water, lemon juice, agave, and salt. Blend until smooth, 3-5 minutes (depending on your machine).
- Pour the blended sauce into the center of the prepared crust and gently spread it towards the edges, leaving a 1-inch border. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4 hours, or up to overnight.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the melted coconut oil, agave, cacao powder, and vanilla. If you have a small squeeze bottle, you can transfer the syrup to the bottle at this point, otherwise you can drizzle the syrup with a spoon later. Set aside in a warm place -- don't refrigerate this mixture or it will solidify!
- Remove the springform pan from the freezer 10 minutes before you want to start decorating the pizza; allowing the crust to thaw slightly will help it separate from the pan. Remove the pizza from the pan and transfer it to a serving platter. Layer strawberries on the crust, starting at the 12 o'clock position on the outer edge of the cashew cream and working in a circle towards the center, gently overlapping each layer until you have reached the middle. If you have any strawberry slices left, gently tuck them in wherever you see a gap.
- Drizzle the strawberries with chocolate sauce, cut the pizza into wedges, and serve immediately. You can also store the pizza in the refrigerator for up to 2 hours until ready to serve.
Prep time includes 4 hours for freezing the crust and soaking the cashews.
If you don't have a springform pan, you can make the crust on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. You just wont be able to build up the edges as much as you can with the help of a springform pan.