VEGAN INSPO : an unrefined vegan | raw carrot & cream cheese squares

comments 10


this vegan inspo episode is all about the simple things. good, healthy, wholesome food to satisfy any craving. annie from an unrefined vegan creates recipes just like that – her blog is filled with completely craving-causing photos. i mean just look at this stir fry, i haven’t been able to get that out of my mind all week.

i tried annie’s recipe for raw carrot cake & cream cheese hearts (although mine ended up square shaped). let’s watch !

autumn is here, so all those warming spices used in the carrot cake is just what i’m craving. i want a chai latte so bad right now – i’m writing chai tea on today’s grocery list as we speak.


raw carrot cake and cream cheese hearts
i actually made just half a batch, so the number of squares in the video / photos here is what you get by halving the recipe below

cream cheese layer
250 ml / 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, soaked in water for about 30 mins and drained
250 ml / 1 cup raw cashews pieces, soaked in water for about 1 hour and drained
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (i like mine zesty so i added a bit more)
1 tsp vanilla extract (i used vanilla seeds directly from the pod instead)
30 drops liquid stevia, or your favourite sweetener, to taste (i used 1 tbsp agave syrup)
60 ml / 0.25 cup coconut oil, gently melted

carrot cake layers
750 ml / 3 cups carrots (about 10 small), peeled and roughly chopped
750 ml / 3 cups raw pecans
500 ml / 2 cups pitted prunes
2 tsp vanilla extract (again, i used vanilla seeds from the pod instead)
3 tsp ground cinnamon
0.5 tsp ground ginger
0.25 tsp allspice (i used gingerbread spice mix)
0.25 tsp ground cardamom
2 tbsp water
3 tbsp flaxseed meal

cream cheese layer
– line a quarter sheet (8 1/2″ x 12″) baking pan with parchment paper.
– put all of the cream cheese ingredients into a high-speed blender and process until very smooth. this will take several minutes and will require stopping and stirring or tamping throughout the processing. (as you can see in the video, ours didn’t turn out that smooth. we just didn’t have time to blend it properly, still delicious though !)
– scrape the mixture onto the prepared pan and smooth to completely cover the bottom. cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator while you prepare the carrot cake layer.

carrot cake layers
– line a quarter sheet (8 1/2″ x 12″) baking pan with parchment paper. (actually used 2 dishes instead. one small for the cream cheese layer, and one double the size for the 2 carrot cake layers. see video.)
– put the carrot chunks into the bowl of a food processor and process until broken down into small pieces.
– add all of the remaining ingredients and process until fairly smooth; you’ll need to stop the processor and stir occasionally. you can make this as smooth or as “chunky” as you like. i prefer a smooth texture.
– divide the mixture in half and store one half in a bowl or container, cover, and place in the refrigerator. (as said above, i skipped this step and prepared all of the carrot cake mix at once, dividing into two equal halves in the pan before refrigerating.)
– scrape the other half of the mixture onto the prepared pan and smooth completely to cover the bottom. cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.
– let the cream cheese and carrot cake layers set up for a few hours in the refrigerator.

assemble the layers
– remove the cream cheese and carrot cake layers from the refrigerator and remove the plastic wrap. carefully loosen the cream cheese layer by running a knife along the edges of the pan. this layer will be fairly firm.
– with one swift move, turn the cream cheese layer on top of the carrot cake layer. the parchment paper will come along for the ride – keep the parchment paper over the cream cheese layer while you gently and firmly press it onto the carrot cake layer. (watch the video above to see hoe i did this, since i made the 2 carrot cake layers at once.)
– remove the parchment paper and discard.
– spread the reserved half of the carrot cake mixture on top of the cream cheese layer, spreading it evenly over the whole surface. gently press the mixture so that it adheres evenly to the cream cheese.
– loosely cover with plastic wrap and put back in the refrigerator. let chill for a few hours or overnight. (since i had made the two carrot cake layers at once, the cake didn’t have to set for long. i refrigerated the layers for maybe 30 minutes before serving.)
– run a knife along the edges of the carrot cake. place a cutting board on top of the baking sheet and carefully turn in over and tap until the cake comes out of the pan.
– dip a heart-shaped cookie cutter into water and firmly press down into the carrot cake. remove the ehart and place the cake aside while you repeat the process until you’ve cut up all of the cake.
– i use the “scraps” to make carrot cake / cream cheese balls. alternatively, simply cut the cake into squares. that way, no “scraps” ! (as you can see, i decided to follow this last tip and cut into squares.)


thank you so much annie for lending your beautiful recipe !
and guys – go have a look at an unrefined vegan if you haven’t already. you won’t regret it ^^

can’t get enough vegan inspo ?
check out the latest episodes :
rawsomeveganlife2small jennymustardplantstrongvegan3smaller ourfoodstories7

love // jenny

p.s. make sure to never miss a post – follow me on bloglovin’ !


  1. Hejsan Jenny!

    Skulle du kunna ge tips på vart man kan hitta några av de ingredienserna du använder?
    Vore kul att testa dina recept när man hittat allt som behövs.

    • jennymustard

      hej lyla !
      ar det nan speciell ingrediens du tanker pa ? jag tycker inte jag brukar anvanda sa ovanliga ingredienser forutom typ naringsjast ?
      forutom vanliga mataffarer handlar jag pa ekobutiker (typ goodstore, gryningen, paradiset har i stockholm) och sydostasiatiska affarer.

  2. These look delicious! Thanks for the recipe :)
    I’ve never seen Annie’s blog, I’ll have to go and have a look now if she’s posting recipes like this!

  3. Hello Jenny!
    I made a comment in your blog some time ago. As I said that time, your blog as inspired me in many ways. I have been including a lot of things into my diet and try to make all the things I eat from scratch. I’m just staritng and of course it’s hard to change habits, but I really want to do it. I’ve been eating almost 1/4 of the meat I used to eat, and I’m planning to quit. It’s quite difficult because I’ve been eating meat my whole life, and my parents (whith whom I live with) eat meat too. But I’m really trying. It’s also been a bit hard for me emotionally, because you have to think about your whole habits and the way you are, about nutrition, making time to cook, make your own grocery shopping and all. I’m happy but anxious and worried, and I have a lot of questions. But it’s fun and I hope it will turn out really well.
    Yesterday I went to buy all the ingredients to make your homemade granola and oat milk. I also bought tumeric and dates, which I’ve never tried before. At the shop I felt happy and sad/angry/discouraged at the same time, because nuts, dates, berries, coconut oil and some other things that I love or want to try and are very healthy, are also extremely expensive were I live (Buenos Aires). Anyway,I will try to find cheaper places.
    Other thing I’m looking forward to try is beetroot. Believe it or not, I never eat beetroot and I don’t even know why. I don’t even know if I like it!! So next time I will try one of our many beetroot recipes.

    I’m sorry, it’s like “confession time”, it’s just that I haven’t found a place to discuss this things yet. I don’t know why, but it made me really happy to write all this here. It’s weird because I’m literally across the ocean but you seem to be such a good person! I’m writing in a computer but it feels like talking with a close friend.

    Finally, I will leave some questions here that I hope you can answer.
    1. I think it would be very usefull to make some videos on how to replace some ingredientes when cooking (like sugar, oil, milk, eggs, white flour, and so on) and how to cook some foods.
    2. I bought soy grains, but recently I read about them causing hormones disorders. Is it true? what do you think about it? and if they are good, do you have a recipe to recommend? I’ve never tried soy grains before.
    3. About seeds..what’s the best way to absorb their nutrients? should I soak them in water first? toast them? never toast them?
    4. About the granola recipe…after you make the whole mix and before you break it into smaller parts, do you put it in the oven/fridge or something? and about the oatmilk, should I soak the oats before mixing them?
    5. I think it would be great if you made a video about vegan burgers (I eat them a lot and I love them, and I would love to try to make my own) or recommend a recipe.
    6. Please, next time you write about other bloggers, please recommend nutrition blogs and a vegan pastry blog….I just love sweets (just like David!)

    I’m sorry I wrote so much, it’s a bit embarassing, but it’s just that I have a lot going on my mind. Thank you so much for everything!!!
    Hugs from across the ocean :)

    (Sorry about my english!)

    • jennymustard

      oh sofi, you are so cute and lovely ! this comment just made my day.
      it’s so sweet of you to share your story here, don’t be embarrassed – i’m just happy you have found a place where you can write down what you’re thinking ! and it’s so cool reading how far you’ve gotten since your last comment earlier this summer. i’m very happy for you !
      and i understand it can be scary and difficult, but the more you get used to shopping / cooking / eating your own food, the easier it will feel. you just have to figure out which ingredients are easy to find and cheap in your area. and when you cook, make a lot at once and keep in the fridge / freezer :)

      ok so regarding your questions :
      1. that’s a great idea ! i will keep that in mind
      2. don’t worry about the soy hormones. for most countries, the real problem is getting too much growth hormones from milk and meat, since in a lot of countries they add growth hormones to animal feed to make the grow quicker. the hormones in soy is not the same kind as in the human body. read more about this on
      3. soaking is the best for nuts and seeds. but i don’t mind – i eat nuts and seeds in any way : raw, soaked, cooked, toasted. just because they are as their most healthy when soaked, doesn’t mean they are unhealthy when cooked. just make sure to get nuts and seeds that aren’t covered in oil / flavourings / sugar etc.
      4. have you red the full instructions for the granola ? i’ve written out the full recipe here on the blog, you can find all the info here :
      for the milk, you can soak the oats if you want, but i never bother.
      5. ok, i’m not a big burger fan, but i might make a recipe further down the line.
      6. good idea. my favourite is regarding baking… i’ll keep that in mind.

      ok that’s it.
      lots of love back sofi !

  4. omg, so happy you replied so fast! <3 <3
    Thanks for everything! I think i didn't check the full recipe for your granola, so i'm definitely going to do it.
    Everything you said was very helpful!
    About the vegan burgers, i like them because they come packed with many different vegetables (and no flour or eggs) and are great for that moment when my mom is cooking real burgers and i feel like avoiding them. I was thinking that i could make them into smaller sizes, so I can eat them like a snack or something like that or with other things, like something else to put in my plate and make it fun.
    I also think that somehow they help you feel fuller when you are trying to transition to vegetarianism/veganism and are just starting to understand how everything works.

    Last, I forgot to tell you…the other expensive thing I wanted to buy and couldn't was tahini :(
    I was so courious and wanted to use it for the granola, of course! Anyway, I was at the store and realized that i could buy the sesame seeds for a much cheaper price and try to make my own tahini…so I did that!! :)
    do you think you could leave a recipe or link for another source?

    Once again, thank you for everything, for your inspiration, your loveliness, help and patience! It's amazing <3

    • jennymustard

      sounds like a great idea with the burgers sofi ! :)

      aaah homemade tahini is actually a recipe i’ve been planning to put here on the blog ! basically you just have to blend the sesame seeds in a food processor with a little bit of salt for a long long time until they are smooth. good luck !

      you’re so sweeet, have a beautiful weekend !!

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  6. Would dates be a good substitute for prunes? I’ve only got dates lying around! This looks so good I want to try this evening :) thanks, Jenny!

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