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Cashew Cinnamon Maple Frosting

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delicious raw Layered Apple Raisin Cake with Maple Cinnamon Frosting

~ raw, vegan, gluten-free ~

This is an excellent frosting for decorating cakes with.  It is thick and creamy which makes it excellent for piping.  The frosting will also hold up well at room temperature (around 70 degrees F) for several hours.  If your house is warmer than 70 degrees (F), keep the cake in the fridge up until serving time.

For the base of this recipe, I use soaked cashews and Young Thai coconut flesh.  Both give the frosting a beautifully smooth texture as well as structure.

If you can’t get your hands on the coconuts, you can use all cashews.  If you are not familiar with Young Thai coconuts, I have some reading material for you.   There will be a pop quiz at the end… hehe Kidding. The Inside Scoop on Young Thai Coconuts.

Personally, these days… I am ordering my coconut flesh/meat, and it arrives organic, frozen, and  I know exactly the amount I am getting when I place the order versus the guessing game when I purchase the fresh fruit itself.   I order it through Exotic Superfoods and LOVE it.


Yields 5 cups


  1. After soaking the cashews, drain and rinse them well.  Set aside.
    • The soaking process helps to soften the cashews, so they blend nice and smooth.
    • The soaking process also helps to reduce the phytic acid which makes it easier on the digestive system.
  2. In a high-speed blender combine in order; coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and cashews.   By placing the liquids in first, it helps the blades spin more easily.  Blend until creamy and don’t feel any grit in the frosting.
    • Due to the volume and the creamy texture that we are going after, it is important to use a high-powered blender.  It could be too taxing on a lower-end model.
    • Blend until the filling is creamy smooth.   You shouldn’t detect any grit.  If you do, keep blending.
    • This process can take 2-4 minutes, depending on the strength of the blender.  Keep your hand cupped around the base of the blender carafe to feel for warmth.  If the batter is getting too warm, stop the machine and let it cool.  Then proceed once cooled.
    • You can use a different liquid sweetener, just be aware of the different flavors and colors that the sweetener might impart in the cake.
  3. With a vortex going in the blender, drizzle in the coconut oil, and then add the lecithin.  Blend just long enough to incorporate everything together.  Don’t over-process.
    • What is a vortex?  Look into the container from the top and slowly increase the speed from low to high,  the batter will form a small vortex (or hole) in the center.  High-powered machines have containers that are designed to create a controlled vortex, systematically folding ingredients back to the blades for smoother blends and faster processing… instead of just spinning ingredients around, hoping they find their way to the blades.
    • If your machine isn’t powerful enough or built to do this, you may need to stop the unit often to scrape the sides down.
  4. Place the frosting in an airtight container and place in the fridge for 2-4 hours to firm.
    • The frosting will be very pourable after you are done blending it all together… it will go from a liquid state to a very very firm state once thoroughly chilled.
    • To frost a cake or pipe onto desserts, the frosting will need to sit at room temperature after it has been chilled to soften a bit.  You will need to make that determination to where the frosting is soft enough but not too firm to spread or pipe.
  5. This will keep for 3-5 days.

Additional Cake Tips:

Why and How Ingredients Work

Soaked Cashews

Soaking the cashews is key. This step should never be skipped.  Soaking causes the cashews to swell, giving a bit more volume for the money and it softens them which is vital for creating a creamy texture.  It also helps to reduce the phytic acid that resides in all nuts, which will make it easier on your digestive system.

Coconut Milk

Whether you use fresh Young Thai Coconuts or canned full fat coconut milk, this ingredient helps give body, creaminess, and hint of coconut undertone.  It is a healthy fat that also acts as an emulsifier, bringing the recipe together.  If you can’t find Young Thai coconuts, you can use the canned, but do your homework.  Aim for organic, BPA free, and free of other ingredients.

Maple Syrup

I used maple syrup because it is more alkalizing for the body than most other liquid sweeteners.  You can use raw agave, coconut syrup, or any other liquid sweetener that you like to use.  But keep in mind that each sweetener has a slightly different flavor profile.


The role of vanilla in sweet goods is like the role of salt on the savory side: it enhances all the other flavors in the recipe.   You can use vanilla bean (seeds only), powdered vanilla, vanilla extract, or vanilla paste.  There are quite a few health benefits to vanilla. I won’t get into that here, but did you know that the anti-inflammatory compounds in vanilla are destroyed by excess heat?  If the vanilla pods or powder are improperly processed and/or exposed to higher than optimal temperatures, the benefits are lost. Yay, for raw frosting!

Himalayan Pink Salt

I use salt in just about every dish I make. Using salt in desserts does not make the dessert salty. It just wakes up all the flavors in the dish.  Salt has the power to change the nature of whatever you’re eating, as it elevates and balances the flavors. But it’s all about choosing the right salt and in the right amount. The biggest offense would be to use your basic iodized table salt. It’s best to use natural sea salt that complements the ingredients in the dessert.  I have written more regarding Himalayan pink salt, click (here).  Even the tiniest grain of salt is important.

Coconut Oil

It is a healthy fat but also gives the frosting the overall body.  Once chilled below 76 degrees it firms up, making this frosting perfect for decorating.  But not all coconut is equal. Most commercial coconut oils are refined, bleached, and deodorized. Some are even hydrogenated.

Look for coconut oil that is a virgin, cold-pressed, vitamin E rich, “biologically pure” one that is identical to unextracted oil from coconuts.  To make virgin coconut oil, fresh coconut meat is grated, and expeller pressed to produce coconut milk, which is then centrifuged to separate it into solid components, oil, and water with no heating, refining, bleaching, or deodorizing.

Sunflower Lecithin

Sunflower lecithin is made up of essential fatty acids and B vitamins.  It helps to support healthy function of the brain, nervous system, and cell membranes.  It also lubricates joints and helps break up cholesterol in the body.  It comes in two forms, powder and liquid.  I prefer the raw powdered sunflower lecithin. Setting aside all the nutritional benefits, it is a natural emulsifier that binds the fats from nuts with water creating a creamy consistency. To read more about lecithin, please click (here).

4 thoughts on “Cashew Cinnamon Maple Frosting

  1. Michelle says:

    Hi Mmie-Sue,

    This recipe looks great and can’t wait to try. Could you please clarify for me the instructions for the coconut meat? The instructions say to put in coconut milk? Not sure if you meant coconut flesh or to make coconut milk.

    Many thanks!

    • amie-sue says:

      Ah I fixed it Michelle, you can add either the flesh or use thick coconut milk… thanks for pointing it out so I could fix it. :) amie sue

  2. Joy says:

    That is a lot to pay for frozen coconut. At our local Asian market you can get a packet of frozen coconut flesh in coconut water for around a $1.00. Each packet is around a pound. It’s delicious and works well in recipes. You might want to look around in ethnic markets. We have a second store, but their prices are higher. Safeway sells the stuff you order, but again the prices are much too high for my budget. I hope these ideas help.

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Joy, I am glad that you found something that you like. I like using the one listed above because they are organic. I haven’t ever seen organic young thai coconut meat in any store except for WholeFoods is now carrying that brand (which we don’t have were I live). We don’t have Asian stores locally either. Years ago, I did buy some coconut meat from an Asian store. It wasn’t young thai, it was matured coconut which is different. When I tried to use it, it didn’t have any taste (nor was it organic). But thank you for sharing. Have a great evening, amie sue

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