7th January, 2016


Magical Blueberry Jelly Layer Cake

This makes a large cake which is best shared with friends. Any extra cake slices can be frozen and enjoyed as a frozen treat on a hot summer day.



  • 1 cup raw hazelnuts
  • 1 cup raw desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates*
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • pinch of unrefined salt
  • 1 tablespoon good-quality cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa nibs

Creamy Layer

  • 1 cup cashews soaked 3 - 4 hours
  • approx. 3/4 cup creamed coconut see note
  • 1/3 cup virgin coconut oil softened if needed
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons raw honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder

Blueberry Jelly

  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey


  • *If the dates are very hard soak in boiling water for 10 minutes then drain well.
  • Line the base of a 20cm spring-form cake tin with baking paper and lightly grease the sides with coconut oil.
  • Make the base. Process the nuts and coconut into a course meal. Add the remaining base ingredients and process until the mixture holds together when squeezed. Press firmly into the prepared cake tin, using a spatula to smooth. Chill while preparing the creamy layer.
  • Drain and rinse the soaked cashews in a sieve and place into the clean food processor bowl. Add the creamed coconut, coconut oil, honey, lemon juice and vanilla and process until silky smooth. This will take 2 - 3 minutes, stopping several times to scrap down the sides. Pour over the base and chill for at least one hour to set.
  • Blueberry jelly layer. Blend the blueberries, lemon juice and honey until smooth. Pour evenly over the creamy layer. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour to set. To serve, slice into thin wedges and eat immediately. Keep any extra cake chilled as it will start to soften at room temperature. Consume within 3 days, or freeze cake wedges and eat within 2 weeks.


CREAMED COCONUT: This is the thick creamy part of a can of coconut cream. Use a natural brand without the addition of emulsifiers so it separates well. At least 4 hours before making the cake put a can of coconut cream into the fridge upside-down. When ready to use open the top of the can, tip out the milky liquid (reserve for using in a curry or smoothie) and scoop out the thick coconut cream (creamed coconut) at the bottom of the can. Depending on the brand you will get approx. 3/4 cup per can, use all of it, the more the better.

We have this family tradition of going blueberry picking in the days after Christmas. We all love berries around here with blueberries topping the list so we like to keep the fridge full, with an overflow to the freezer for winter use. We choose our berry picking day carefully, after the berry farm has been closed for several days, and got there nice and early – often to find we aren’t the only berry lovers with this idea! Luckily this year there was more than enough to go around, the bushes were so laden with berries within an hour we had picked close to 8kg from 5 bushes! Our bellies and freezer are now bursting at the sides.

When I have a glut of fresh blueberries the only thing I can think of making is magical blueberry jelly. A raw foodie friend of mine introduced me to this idea about 12 years ago when I was a budding wholefood nutrition student. I love that it is made completely from blueberries, with a little sweetener if desired. There are no added setting agents as the blueberries contain plant compounds that set once chilled into a dark luxurious jelly. I shared this jelly on a TV segment several years ago and the film crew were blown away that the jelly stayed in the bowl when I tipped it upside down!

It is best to use fresh berries for making the jelly, however, thawed frozen berries can also be used although the resulting jelly will be a darker in colour and lose its setting qualities faster. If you don’t want to make the whole cake then please do try making the jelly just so you can be wowed by the magic of nature. Simply whiz up a punnet or two of fresh blueberries and pour into glasses to set. Top with thick Greek or coconut yogurt and a little grated dark chocolate or cacao nibs and enjoy!

A few more blueberry recipes from the Homegrown Kitchen archives + Whānau Living:

Blueberry Jelly Tip Ice Blocks

A Purple Cake – Raw Berry Cheesecake (very similar to this jelly cake but the berries are added to the filling rather than made into a jelly layer)

Magical Blueberry Jelly Cake | HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

Magical Blueberry Jelly Cake | HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

Join the Conversation

  1. Hi. I often see recipes of this sort made with cashews and wonder if it is possible to make them with any other type of nuts (because my daughter is allergic to cashew nuts). Do you know if there is an alternative? Thanks.

    1. Hi Naomi, yes you can use macadamias and blanched almonds in a similar way. Other raw nuts won’t whip up smooth and creamy like as they have skins firmly attached. I have a recipe here where I made an apricot and macadamia slice that might give help:
      Also vanilla powder is dried vanilla pods and uses no alcohol to extract the flavour, however, you can also use good quality vanilla extract.
      Good luck!

  2. Also, what is vanilla powder? Can I use vanilla paste instead?

  3. This looks BEAUTIFUL! Thanks so much for the gorgeous recipe. I’m hoping to go blueberry picking soon. The berries near Wellington take a little while longer to ripen up. I do envy the growing season of nearly everywhere other than Wellington!

    1. Thanks Bonnie! And I know we are incredibly lucky in the top of the south. We are technically a little north of Wellington so this might help, but could also be the weather 😉

  4. Hi Nicola,

    Just wondering what you nut you could substitute for the hazelnut in the base?

    1. Hi Victoria, Any nut can be used including almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts even sunflower seeds if you want a nut-free option 🙂

  5. Brenda Solon says:

    Wow – the jelly is truly magic! Such rich flavour and colour, and so quick to set. Are there other fruits with these ‘magic’ properties?

    1. Hi Brenda, I know pure magic! Not that I am aware of, however, I suspect gooseberries might work as they have the same jelly-like flesh…

  6. Yum. That looks awesome could I replace the coconut cream with cream for my coconut despising son?

    1. Hi Janja! Cream wouldn’t work quite the same as the recipe uses the thickened part of the coconut cream which sets once cold. You could possibly use cream cheese (although I haven’t tried this) or even make this Lemon & Honey Posset recipe for the filling
      Just make sure to cook the cream long enough so it sets once chilled. Enjoy!

  7. Cheree Ridder says:

    Hi Nicola. I have almond meal here, can I substitute this for the cup of raw nuts? if so how much would you suggest to replace it? Thanks! Cheree

    1. Hi Cheree, for the hazelnuts you could use ground almonds/almond meal. Start with 1 cup, and if the mixture seems quite wet then you can 1-3 tbsp more. It won’t matter too much as it is a base that is quite forgiving.

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