Dark Chocolate Cappuccino Cake

Dark Chocolate Cappuccino Cake

Chef's Note

The Dark Chocolate Cappuccino Cake is a simple raw vegan cake recipe that will introduce you to the world of plant-based dessert preparation.

With the example of this recipe, you will receive an introduction to my pillars of recipe creation:

  1. Setting Foundations
  2. Introducing Flavors
  3. Regulating Textures
  4. Innovating Design
  5. Styling Plates
  6. The Secret

Becoming intimately familiar with these pillars will allow you to start to develop your own recipes in no time.

Understanding these pillars will not only help you create personalized vegan desserts but all kinds of desserts according to your preferences.

In addition, understanding these pillars deeply is what enables you to create recipes of all sorts, and will give you the confidence to both be creative in the kitchen AND standardize your results and make them repeatable.

The Dark Chocolate Cappuccino Cake is simple, and the tips that you receive are too. Yet, if you keep your eyes open, this recipe will introduce you to a whole new way of understanding and looking at recipes that will enhance your creativity and kitchen skills.

You can download the Recipe Book here. 

Please enjoy,

With love,


Pecan Chocolate Crust

So how do we start? 

We are preparing our pecan crust. 

Whenever we are creating crusts in a standard cake pan, we use parchment paper on the bottom, which will help us to navigate easier once it is complete. 

It is interesting that even though in our crust, we don't have coffee, the combination of pecan with cacao powder creates a coffee flavor to the recipe. 

What you see is that with this recipe, we don’t even need to necessarily add a crystallizing fat, as the pecans will be so buttery that they will be able to hold everything together easily. 

If you want to make the texture more interesting, you can opt to not blend up the nuts completely and instead leave some chunks. 

To spread out the crust evenly, we use the knuckles of our hands to push down the surface and we use our fingertips to even out the sides.

You can set the crust in the freezer or fridge while we are preparing the filling. 

Dark Chocolate Cappuccino Cream

The cream that we are preparing today is chocolate and coffee cream. 

It is super-rich, super decadent, super delicious, and super easy.

We have our cashews that were soaked overnight in the fridge or 2-4h at room temperature. And we rinsed them. 

Our coffee is a wonderful example of how we can replace the water in recipes with other flavorful liquids, like tea, coffees, and different infusions. You will see the difference that it makes for the overall flavor profile in our recipe and the depth of flavor that we gain from it. 

We have maple syrup, and vanilla extract, which both add depth of flavor. Maple syrup is a perfect sweetener match for chocolate. 

We first blend all of the above ingredients. We want to get rid of all the grits. The blend should feel entirely smooth between our fingers. 

Last, we stream in our cacao butter and cacao powder.

The result is super-rich and super creamy, which is due to the high dry extract content in this recipe. 

You see because our cake is so super-rich, we have chosen a larger cake pan, which means it will be flatter and each piece will be a thinner bite.

Smoothen out the surface with a spatula or by tapping the cake pan. You can also use a paper towel to clean off the sides of the pan. 

You can allow your cake to be set in the fridge for about 4h first, which allows your cacao butter to crystallize.

You can also choose to freeze your cake overnight after it has initially crystallized in the fridge, when you are using entrement molds, use it later or want to glaze it.



Our dark chocolate cappuccino cake has been set in the fridge and we can remove it from the mold. Since we have not chosen to freeze this cake, it can be very helpful to use a cake lifter when moving our cake around. It ensures that it won’t break. 

We can use a butter knife to smoothen out the edges. 

When it comes to the decor of this cake, there are so many options. 

We are going to start with some cacao dust. 

Then we glazed some beautiful berries with agave, and you can see how they are shining because of that.  We will place them all around the edges of the cake.

In the same way, we will distribute all our decorative elements, shaping a circle around the cake, and ensuring everyone has some delicious bits on their piece. 

We keep alternating the different components, creating a visual balance in terms of colors, textures, as well as flavors. Of course, if your glazed berries are still pulling agave, you can remove any access with a paper towel and then cover the spots with other ingredients like gems, sauces, or powders in a way that you find visually pleasing. Feel free to use anything that you like, and that goes well with the flavors of this cake, like truffles, berries, and chocolates. 

Finish your decor with some edible flowers and micro greens, and quickly you will have your decorated and complete the dark chocolate cappuccino cake to share. 

Ingredients Tips

This Cake is supposed to intensively taste of Dark Chocolate.

For this recipe, ideally, we use raw ingredients. Raw cacao is very different to roasted cocoa. You will want to keep that in mind when ingredients shopping. And also, the nutritional value is entirely different (so much higher with raw cacao, of course). What is important to know is that taste and quality of raw ingredients differ each time. Check if your cacao is more subtle or potent, or maybe rather acidic in flavor and adjust accordingly. I like to use the type "Criollo Cacao" which always gives great results!

If you find that your filling tastes more of coconut oil than of cacao powder, please add more cacao powder, so that the cacao is the main flavor component in this recipe.

Also, please check your coconut oil before adding it to the recipe. There is nothing worse than rancid coconut oil overpowering the whole recipe. Yikes. If you want to play it safe, you can use deodorised coconut oil, which is lower in nutrients, but will keep you on on the safe side flavorwise.


Download the Full Recipe Book here. 



»200 g pecan meal

»30 ml maple syrup

»20 g cacao powder

»pinch of salt

»2 g vanilla extract

»coconut oil, optional


»280 g cashews, soaked

»80 g cacao butter

»80 ml maple syrup

»120 ml espresso»5 ml vanilla extract

»40 g cacao powder




1. Use a food processor or the dry ingredients jar of a high-speed blender to blend the ingredients for the base.

2. Cover a 9 – inch tart pan with cling film or parchment paper. Add the base and press down firmly, smoothing the edges with your fingertips.

3. Let the crust/ base set in the fridge while working on the cream.

4. Blend the ingredients for the cream in your high- speed blender. Start with maple syrup, espresso, and vanilla powder.

5. Then, add cashews and blend. Then add cacao powder and blend. Lastly, stream in cacao butter last to emulsify.

6. Pour the cream on top of the crust and spread it out evenly. Give it a tap to get rid of any air pockets.

7. Set in the fridge for 4 hours, so the cacao butter can crystallize.

8. You can then freeze the cake for any further decorations, like glazes and so forth.

9. Decorate with garnishes of your choice.




Ingredient Ratios

It can be helpful to consider the ratio between ingredients rather than just the numeric values for weight or volume when analyzing our recipes.

Looking at ratios will help you to better understand the role each ingredient plays, and how to substitute them the best way.

Ingredient Ratios Dark Chocolate Cappuccino Cake

Ingredient Ratios Dark Chocolate cappucino cream

*find better resolution images of the Ingredient Ratios in the Recipe Book.

Nutritional Information

It can also be helpful to look at the ratios between macronutrients.

Most important are the ratios of dry extract (meaning recipe without water), the defatted recipe (meaning without fat), as well as the sugar content. The amounts are calculated using the nutritional sheets for all ingredients in the recipe.

For a stable recipe, we are looking for a minimum of 30% dry extract, depending on what stabilizing agent we rely on. A ratio of 30% -70% dry extract is normal to expect in creams, it can be higher in dry products like crusts. 

The accepted sugar levels can be anywhere between 10% - 20%, however, this may vary based on culture.

Knowing the caloric value of each recipe will help you determine portion sizes for your recipe.

Crust Nutritional Information

Dark Chocolate Cappuccino Cream Nutritional Information

*find better resolution images of the Nutritional Information in the Recipe Book.



1.549 kcal for 298g - 5.20 kcal pro g


2.647 kcal for 679g - 3.90 kcal pro g


It may be that some ingredients are not available to you locally. No worries at all, here are some alternative options for you.

While I offer you substitutions in each recipe, please note that the final result of your recipe will always differ from the result of the original recipe, as each component acts differently - in both flavor and texture.

  • Pecans: Walnuts, Almonds, Hazelnuts

  • Maple Syrup: Agave, Honey

  • Salt: Omit

  • Vanilla Extract: Vanilla Powder, Vanilla Bean
  • Cashews: Almonds. Sunflower Seeds
  • Cacao Butter: Coconut Oil
  • Cacao powder: Cocoa Powder, Carob Powder

    Flavor Affinities

    The main flavor in this cake is of course chocolate.

    Here is some inspiration of what else but cherry you can pair this cake with:


    brazil nuts
    brown rice syrup

    maple syrup
    passion fruit

    Tips on Textures

    Textures are an essential part of pleasant desserts.

    This recipe is quite rich, as we use cashew nuts and cacao butter as our setting agent, which means a high amount of fat and dry extract.

    Depending on the outside temperatures, you may want to opt for coconut oil instead, as this will be softer at colder temperatures compared to cacao butter.

    In class, we will cover other means of lightening up textures through the change of ratios, the addition of ingredients, and the application of techniques.

    Whenever you work with dense creams, you can pair fresh fruit, light flavors, and sauces to brighten up the recipes.


    Decorating Ideas

    All of the images in this book are pictures of the Dark Chocolate Cappuccino Cake.

    You can see how much can be done by using different decoration techniques.

    Here are a few ideas to get you going:

    • Add caramel in the middle as an insert or as a top layer.
    • Decorate with fruit, truffles, and chocolate in a half-circle or circle shape.
    • Add half of the filling first in a small, tall ring mold. Then add fruit facing outside. Top with the other half of the filling.
    • Glaze Cake with Dark Chocolate or Mirror Glaze
    • Frost Cake with Buttercream
    • Prepare Recipe Entremet Style (makes 8-9 Entremets)



    Next up...

    If you want to know more about:

    • A multitude of kitchen basics that you can make use of in your own home or in a professional setting (you might even be thinking to convert your home kitchen into a professional one? :))
    • the ins and outs of ingredients selection, storage, usage, handling, substitution...
    • flavors, their balancing, pairing and how to capture and introduce it in your recipes
    • textures, the different states and how to achieve them using minimal processing while maintaining maximum nutrients
    • creating your own cake decors and designs using staple components - with lots of ideas and inspiration
    • styling your plates and what you can consider to achieve beautiful finished desserts that you can serve at any dinner table or fine dining experience.
    • adapting existing and creating your own recipes with confidence
    • and if you want to know all about the secret aspect of the algorithm that we have not yet talked about

    I invite you to review the Course Syllabus of "Iris Science: Tune into the Algorithm of Recipe Creation", Launching January 2023.