This maple nut "cheese" cake is my favourite dessert at the moment and I wonder if I will ever tire of it. The ground soaked nuts provide texture for the base and creaminess for the filling, meaning this dessert is also gluten, lactose and egg free. The soaking liquid from the nuts is full of nutrients so don’t throw it away. Either drink it yourself or give your plants a little drink.




Skill level

Average: 2.3 (14 votes)




  • 1 cup each of unsalted walnuts and Brazil nuts, soaked in filtered water overnight
  • 4 dates, soaked in 1½ cups filtered water for a few hours
  • ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg


  • 3 cups cashew nuts, soaked in filtered water overnight, then drained
  • 150 ml maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp psyllium husks
  • 1 tbsp lecithin granules (non GM)
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthways and seeds scraped
  • 2 lemons, zested
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 150 ml coconut oil

Mango coulis

  • 2 cups mango flesh, blended

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Soaking time overnight
Chilling time 1 hour 10 minutes 
You'll need to begin this recipe 1 day ahead

For the base, drain the nuts and dates, reserving the soaking liquid from the dates. Combine the nuts, dates and nutmeg in a food processor and blitz until smooth. Press into the base of a 23 cm cake tin. Chill for at least 10 minutes while you are preparing the filling.

For the filling, place the soaking liquid from the dates in a blender or food processor, add the other ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour over the base. Chill until set, about an hour or so but better overnight.

Serve the cake with the mango coulis.


Recipes and image from Janella’s Wholefood Kitchen by Janella Purcell, with photographs by Heath Missen. Published by Allen & Unwin ($39.99, pbk).