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[Recipe] Italian Chocolate Almond Zuccotto


Italian Chocolate Almond Zuccotto

An Italian classic in the raw. Walnut cake with a hint of orange is layered with crunchy almond vanilla cream, and smooth rich chocolate cream, in this elegant dessert.  Serve it with orange segments, or fresh seasonal berries for an added burst of flavor and lightness.

Cake Ingredients

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 2/3 cup almonds
  • 1 cup pitted, packed medjool dates
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Cake Directions

  1. In a food processor, grind the almonds into a fine powder. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Grind the walnuts into crumbs. Add to the almonds.
  3. Process the dates with the zest and extract until smooth. Add the nuts and process into a smooth dough.
  4. Line a 1 quart mixing bowl with plastic wrap and press the dough evenly into the bottom and up the sides. Set aside.
Almond Cream Ingredients
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 -2 teaspoons pure almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons chopped almonds

Almond Cream Directions

  1. Blend all but the chopped almonds, until smooth. Fold in the almonds.
  2. Spread a thick, even layer of the cream on the cake layer.
  3. Chill in the freezer for a few hours, or until the cream is firm enough to spread the next layer on top. 

Cacao Whipped Cream Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons carob powder
  • Seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean
  • Pinch celtic sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons melted cacao butter
  • 1 tablespoons coconut oil

Cacao Whipped Cream Directions

  1. In a blender, combine all but the butter and oil, until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add the last two ingredients and blend to incorporate.
  3. Spread the mixture over the almond cream, filling the hole.
  • Chill the cake in the freezer for a few hours, or in the fridge overnight, until firm.
  • To unmold, invert the cake onto a plate. Remove the bowl and plastic wrap.
  • Dust with cacao powder, slice, and enjoy with friends.
Recipe by Heather Pace


From a small town in Northern Ontario, Heather has had a long time interest in natural food and health. Turning vegetarian at the age of 14, she started cooking for herself and quickly discovered a new love which led her to the completion of a classical chef training program.

Currently Heather works as a personal chef, Kripalu yoga instructor, and temptress of some of the finest raw desserts around.  She also added author to the list as she launched 3 raw dessert recipe books, which can be found on her website SweetlyRaw.com.

You can friend up Heather on Facebook or follower her on Twitter.