Friday, March 24, 2023


Believe it or not, the very first cake I made, for my 12th birthday, was not a no-bake one. It was a proper baked cake; two layers, filling and frosting. Admittedly, it was tiny and caused a lot of worry until it firmed up in the refrigerator, but it was delicious.
My love for no-bake desserts developed later, almost gradually, from whipped cream cakes, to cheesecakes and rolls, to multi-layered cakes. And as a self-taught baker, overtime I discovered that there is a charming freedom that comes with no-bake desserts, through all the possible combinations of fillings and toppings.
This gorgeous cake is one of the most effortless, yet most luscious cakes I have made. Lovely peanut butter, sticky caramel layer, and a gorgeous light cheesecake mousse, all combined into one neat little dessert.
I made it using a medium cake ring, but if you like taller cakes, it can very well be made in a smaller one, with absolutely no changes to the recipe. Adjust it to your preference and enjoy every bite of this gorgeous sweet treat; preferably with an espresso.

For the base
150 grams finely ground vegan vanilla biscuits
75 grams vegan block butter, melted
75 millilitres soy milk
75 millilitres date syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
For the peanut butter caramel
100 grams smooth peanut butter
60 millilitres date syrup
50 grams vegan block butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
small pinch of salt
For the peanut butter mousse
100 grams vegan cream cheese
60 millilitres date syrup
150 grams smooth peanut butter
200 millilitres plant-based double cream
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
For the topping
150 grams dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
45 millilitres vegetable oil

To make the cake base, place the biscuit crumbs into a medium bowl, pour in the melted butter and the soy milk, and briefly mix. Add in the date syrup and vanilla, and mix with a spatula or a small wooden spoon until a soft, pliable dough forms. The base is supposed to be rather soft, so if your biscuits were a bit dry, feel free to add another splash of soy milk and mix again. Once you are happy with the texture, take a medium cake ring (20 cm in diameter) and place it on a cake platter. Line it with a sheet of acetate and add in the mixture made earlier. Press and level it well, and set the platter aside.
For the peanut butter caramel, pour the melted butter, while still hot, into a medium bowl, and immediately add the peanut butter, date syrup, vanilla, and salt. This will ensure everything blends well. Keep stirring until it becomes completely smooth and somewhat thickened. Pour it over the base, gently tap and shake the platter so it settles well, and place it into the refrigerator for about 45 minutes to an hour.

Once the caramel is firm to the touch, proceed to make the mousse. Place the vegan cream cheese into a medium bowl, add in the peanut butter, date syrup and vanilla, and mix with a spatula until combined. Depending on the variety of vegan cream cheese used, the batter might firm up while stirring, but that is fine.
Take a large bowl, pour in the plant double cream, and whip it until medium peaks form. Add in the peanut butter batter and proceed to mix on the highest speed until firm peaks form. Take the platter out of the refrigerator and drop the mousse by the spoonful, and then smooth it all out. This will prevent the mousse from sinking into the caramel, in case it has not hardened fully. Return the cake into the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
To make the dark chocolate topping, chop up the chocolate finely, add it to a saucepan, and add in the vegetable oil. Melt them together over medium heat, slowly, mixing constantly. Once melted, remove from the heat, and stir continuously until the chocolate cools down slightly. As soon as it starts to thicken gently, pour it over the mousse layer, shake the platter, and return the cake to the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight. Decorate the cake further as desired, and serve well chilled. Yields 16 rich servings. © Tina Vesić 2023

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