Practically Raw Desserts: A Review, Giveaway, & Dulce de Leche “Spooncream”

dulce de leche spooncream

Besides being refreshingly flexible, every recipe in this book has the added bonus of being free of dairy, eggs, gluten, wheat, soy, peanuts, corn, refined grains, refined sugars, yeast, starch, and other nutrient-poor ingredients.  Many recipes are free of grains, oils, nuts, and added sugars as well…

Most importantly, these desserts are mouthwateringly scrumptious. – from Practically Raw Desserts: Flexible Recipes for All-Natural Sweets and Treats, by Amber Shea Crawley

Amber Shea CrawleySounds like a dream cookbook, doesn’t it?  Rich, decadent, scrumptious, quick and easy to make – not to mention beautiful – desserts that are kind to our bodies and actually provide vital nutrients while indulging our love of sweets.  Practically Raw Desserts delivers on these promises and easily fulfills my sugar-coated dreams.

It probably sounds pretty good to you, too, but maybe you’re intimidated by raw cuisine.  Or maybe you don’t have a dehydrator or high-speed blender.  No worries.  Amber has not only provided instructions on how to create these desserts without special equipment (use your oven – or not; crank the food processor, not the Vitamix), but she gives you tons of ingredient alternatives as well.  Swap the cashews for walnuts; don’t have coconut palm sugar?  Brown sugar will work just fine.  She even shares ways to make these healthful treats lower in fat and calories, should you so desire.

Practically Raw Desserts begins with a section on ingredients and tips, as well as describing how to personalize each recipe to fit your own likes and your kitchen.  From there, Amber provides recipes for various nut and seed milks as well as flours, butters, and luscious date syrup – a key ingredient in many of her treats.  Chapters on cookies, bars, cakes, pies, puddings, candy, plus frostings/glazes/drizzles/ganaches follow, while in the final chapter, a resource guide provides readers with information on where to source ingredients.

chai tea bars

Delicate and nutty, these rich squares have the perfect amount of spice and make soy lattes very happy.

cookies collage

Every bit as homey and satisfying as their traditional counterpart.

seed milk collage

Crazy-easy to make and perfect on my morning oatmeal.

dulce de leche

Smooth and dreamy “spooncream,” with a rich, caramel flavor.


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Dulce de Leche Spooncream

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  • Author: Amber Shea Crawley
  • Yield: 6 1x


In my first book Practically Raw, I explained that “spooncream” is my word for a thin, pudding-like dessert you eat with a spoon. This stuff is very rich, so I keep the serving size fairly small—for a fun presentation, serve it in decorative espresso cups with tiny spoons. – Amber


  • 1 cup cashews, soaked for 2 to 4 hours and drained
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk or other nondairy milk of choice
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates, soaked in warm water for 20 to 30 minutes and drained
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp. sea salt


  1. Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor. Blend until completely smooth. If using a food processor or regular blender, you may need to add water or additional milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, to help it blend smoothly. Refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours or overnight before serving. The spooncream will thicken as it chills.
  2. Store the spooncream in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.


  • From Practically Raw Desserts by Amber Shea Crawley. ©2013 Amber Shea Crawley. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press.


  • Serving Size: 6
  • Calories: 264
  • Sugar: 9
  • Sodium: 96
  • Fat: 21
  • Saturated Fat: 11
  • Unsaturated Fat: 9
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 18
  • Protein: 4
  • Cholesterol: 0

Practically Raw Desserts Cookbook Cover

To say I had a blast working my way through this cookbook would be an understatement.  I’ve battled with The Refined Sugar Monster most of my life, and though I’ve banished refined white sugar, it’s been difficult to completely empty my cupboards of slightly less-refined sugars.  Amber’s recipes have not only provided me with a trove of delicious whole foods desserts to create, she’s expanded my ingredient horizons – all while satisfying my raging sweet tooth.  But one of my favorite things about Amber’s recipes is that they are dead simple, quick, and easy to create.  And they’re lovely; each one would be absolutely perfect for a party or a gathering of family and friends – impressive for non-vegans and vegans alike.

By the way, Amber’s first cookbook, Practically Raw: Flexible Raw Recipes Anyone Can Make, is another wonderful raw food collection.  It was one of the first raw cookbooks I bought and I reference it time and again.  You can find out more about Ms. Crawley at her blog, Chef Amber Shea.

Thank you, Jon Robertson, Dianne Wenz and Vegan Heritage Press for including me in this blog tour and for providing me with a review copy of Practically Raw Desserts.  Many desserts remain for me to create and devour.  And thank you, Amber, for your delicious creativity!


Giveaway runs through September 30
Open to U.S. & Canada residents only

92 thoughts on “Practically Raw Desserts: A Review, Giveaway, & Dulce de Leche “Spooncream”

  1. sweetveg

    Wow! Those desserts look so delicious, especially the spooncream!
    My favorite raw dessert is a raw apple pie I learned how to make in a cooking class a few years ago. Unbelievably yummy. I love it with a dollop of fermented cashew cheese on top.
    Thank you for sharing!

  2. Lakshmi

    amazing and looks so easy to make, I am not sure where I would find the cashew butter? is there a sub for it, if it can’t be found? I think everyone in my family would love this including the 4 year old

    1. An Unrefined Vegan

      Cashew butter is easy to make – all you need is patience and a food processor! Take 3 cups raw, dry cashews and process them for about 12 minutes. You’ll need to scrape down the sides of the bowl every few minutes. Delicious!

  3. Lakshmi

    for the giveaway question, my fav raw dessert, don’t have one, really looking for one. topical fruit is still top of my list.

  4. Pingback: Lots of giveaways today! No really… I mean a lot! | Vegan Perks

  5. poopiebitch

    My favorite raw dessert was a coconut cashew cream cheesecake with walnut date crust my friend made for a raw potluck once – but I’m excited to try more raw desserts!

  6. Steph

    My favorite raw dessert was a coconut cashew cream cheesecake with a walnut date crust that a friend made for a raw potluck. I’m excited to try more raw desserts though!

  7. Jessica Noelle Glitterpony

    Wow, I’ll have to get a copy of that book. I’m still working toward making my vegan desserts more healthy and do use refined sugar too often. This looks like a great book to help me let go of that “traditional” dessert creation box, or as I call it the white flour + sugar two step. 🙂 Thanks! Since going vegan, I’m noticing that if I eat too much white sugar, I feel like I have a hang over or have been hit by a bus the next day.

  8. coconutandberries

    Oh my this “spooncream” sounds insanely good! I bet it would make a fabulous frosting or pancake topper too 🙂
    I completely meant to buy this book when it first came out but never got round to it and it slipped off my radar. Thanks for the reminder!
    Don’t enter me as I’m in the UK.

  9. laura

    i am vegan and try to put in more raw stuff…but as a newbie not easy…would be happy about a little help from your book 😉 i will try at once your spooncream …

  10. realrawkitchen

    YUM! I’ve been a huge fan of Amber for quite some time and I LOVE that she is open about being “practically” raw. It’s so much pressure to be in her position but she has done so with such grace. And not to mention, her recipes are insane. I would LOVE the book! So much inspiration and genius captured in a book 🙂

  11. Pamela Holder

    My favorite dessert is Chef Amber Shea’s Enlightened Carrot Cake from Practically Raw Desserts! Amazingly yummy! Her cooking instructions are also unsurpassed.

  12. Pingback: Vegan MoFo 17: Peanut Butter-Banana “Ice Cream” with Mixed Berry Sauce. Sugar- & Gluten-free. | anunrefinedvegan

  13. Mandi

    I haven’t really made an raw desserts other than some peanut butter balls, but am super excited to try, thus the interest in the book! Thanks for the opportunity!

  14. Hannah R.

    My favorite whole foods raw dessert would probably have to be some sort of cacao truffles that I rolled in hemp seeds, coconut flakes, etc. 🙂

  15. Laurel

    Sounds so good and here I have some extra cashews and dates soaking in the fridge. 🙂 This book has been on my wish list practically since it’s come out and I have no idea why it is not currently among my books. I may have to give that a rethink.

  16. Devy Levy Tay

    Do you think I could freeze this and have it later? I mean to eat 6 servings in 2 days would be insane… though I must say it wouldn’t be beneath me…


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