Dessert — my favorite part of the meal. Since I was little, I’ve always had a sweet tooth. I definitely don’t think that living a healthy lifestyle means you have to cut out dessert. Instead I simply keep an eye out for healthy twists on sweet treats.

Today we are featuring a local Boulder company that literally makes all our dessert dreams come true: Daydream Dessert Co. We sat down with the founder, Emma Nelson, to talk about raw baking and to get the recipe for this incredible Raspberry Lemon Cake with Ginger Walnut Crust.

Raspberry Lemon Cheesecakecake with Ginger Walnut Crust | daydream dessert co. #eatpurely #vegan

Interview with Emma Nelson

Tell us about yourself + the start of Daydream Dessert Co.

I am 26, own 100% percent of the business and started it entirely independently, which has been incredibly challenging but also rewarding. I graduated Penn State with a BS in Nutritional Sciences and always had a love for baking. After a dream job didn’t work out, I worked hard, saved every penny, and moved to Boulder to start the business at the farmer’s market. I felt there was a gap in the healthy/clean dessert market and started testing recipes. After nailing a few good ones, I started wholesaling to local shops. One year later we launched in Whole Foods and are now quickly growing in chain grocery retail.

All of our products are 100% organic and free from grains, gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, and junk. We use whole dates as our main sweetener among other whole, nutrient dense plant ingredients..and lots of love. Our goal is to sell/distribute our products nationally (we will be exhibiting at Expo East this year!) and also become a co-packer manufacturer/product developer for other companies that want to supply healthy treats. We also use all biodegradable/recyclable packaging materials.

How would you define raw baking?

That’s tricky, and everyone has a different opinion! I honestly believe it’s only really “raw” if you are picking it off the tree and eating it. Some companies will use the term “raw” but then also use syrups that have been processed and heated, so it’s a very unclear definition. But widely it means that the ingredients (or most) are unheated (or below 115*) to maintain the enzymes and integrity of the ingredient. Raw baking simply just means you aren’t using an oven and heating things – which makes it a lot easier too!

What is your favorite dessert/product YOU make?

Hard to say, I love them all like they are my kids : ) but if I had to choose: either the Trill or Jahnny Bar – salty/sweet date caramel candy bars, Jahny has peanuts like a snickers…so yummy. I eat them for breakfast!

Do you have any tips for someone wanting to try out raw baking?

Raw baking is super easy and tastes amazing! I started it when I worked for my mother’s company, Wedderspoon Organic, making raw recipes for their raw honeys. I was amazed at how easy it was and how good/satisfying they tasted, you could be fooled! I personally don’t have any allergies; I just wanted to eat more nutrient dense foods. It does often require high quality expensive ingredients (like raw cacao powder or cashews), but it’s worth it- an investment in your health! One of my first inspirations was Emily von Euw who wrote Rawsome Vegan Baking (my bible). There are tons of other bloggers out there with great recipes too.

If someone wanted to try one of your goodies, how could they get their hands on them? Locally + not-locally.

Locally we are in local coffee shops like Wonder Press, in Whole Foods, Alfalfa’s and soon Lucky’s. We are also getting a custom bike cart to sell locally around Boulder, hopefully a store front next year. We sell via our website and ship across the country!

*Right now on our online store you can get 15% off with the discount code: “PEFriends”*

Lastly, can you give us the recipe for this GORGEOUS cake?

Of course!

Raspberry Lemon Cheesecakecake with Ginger Walnut Crust | daydream dessert co. #eatpurely #vegan

Raw Raspberry Lemon Cheesecake with Ginger Walnut Crust

raw, paleo, vegan (if you omit honey) made in 6 in spring form pan
-1/2 cup walnuts
-1/2 cup coconut
-1/4 tsp mineral salt
-1/2 tsp ground ginger
-5-6 dates
-2 cups cashews
-1/3 cup lemon juice
-1/3 cup coconut oil
-1/4 raw local honey, or sweetener of your choice
-pinch of salt
Raspberry Swirl/Drizzle:
-3 tbs raspberry powder
-3 tbs coconut oil
Bliss Balls:
-1/4 cup coconut
-1/4 cup walnuts
-1 tbs raspberry powder
-1/4 tsp ginger
-pinch of salt
-4-5 dates
Raspberry swirl and bliss balls are optional, they are for decoration! Cake base would also be great simply topped with fresh berries.
Soak cashews in water for 2-3 hours and then drain.
1. To make the crust simply process all ingredients except dates until crumbly or how you like it. Add dates as needed until desired consistency. Crust should be able to hold together when you squeeze it. Adjust salt level to your liking too. Press into spring form pan, or whatever shape you want - square or rectangular slices are cute too!
2. To make the filling, blend drained soaked cashews and all other ingredients until smooth. May require a little additional water until it becomes a thick creamy batter. Taste should be smooth, creamy, sweet with a little tang. Pour on top of crust.
3. For the raspberry driz, simply melt coconut oil and mix with raspberry powder. Pour over wet batter and use a toothpick to swirl whichever way your heart wants. Set in freezer for at least 8 hours.
4. Pull out of freezer and decorate however you want! Bliss balls can easily be made by processing all ingredients in the food processor until dough forms. Roll into fun shapes. We also sprinkled chopped walnuts, and added touches of flowers for a bright spring look.
5. Try to eat in moderation! Cake can be stored frozen for a few months. Best cut up and served at refrigerated temps.
6. Have fun!
Be sure to check out @daydream_dessert on social + did we mention these goodies can be shipped