Amy Lyons is the mastermind behind the Raw Dessert Nirvana of a Blog that is Fragrant Vanilla Cake. She loves to run, eat real, healthy food, and Freesh up stunningly beautiful and incredibly delicious Raw Dessert Recipes. She makes some damn tasty savory recipes as well, but has developed a following for her desserts. Learn more about this amazing human being in a fascinating interview.
Plus She Shares an Exclusive Raw Dessert Recipe with us!
Without further ado, here is a behind the scenes look at one of my favorite Raw Food Recipe Creators in the World!
How did you first get introduced to raw food?
I was introduced to raw food by a friend who ate mostly raw, and asked me to make him a dairy free, gluten free, vegan cake. The idea of making a raw cake scared me quite a bit since I had never made anything raw, but I gave it a go. I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out amazing and delicious! I decided that raw food sounded like a good idea after that and I decided to try going raw for a week. I loved how I felt and I stuck with it ever since.
What was that first Raw Cake you made? Do you have a picture of it (or one of your other first cakes) so that we can see the difference between the beginning of your journey and where you are now?
The first raw cake I ever made was this lemon poppyseed cheesecake. It was so good!
Can you believe this is Amy’s First Raw Cake? What a natural.
What benefits (physically/mentally/emotionally/spiritually) have you experienced from eating a high raw diet?
I find that I have much more energy from eating raw, as well as sleeping better, feeling better about myself and the food I am eating. I am more conscious about the things I put into my body as well.
Did raw food affect your running or any other athletics that you do? How so?
The raw food has not affected my running much, I just have to make sure I am eating enough calories and enough of the things like omega 3 oils in my diet so that I stay strong, free of inflammation and feeling good.
Omega 3 levels are an interesting issue in raw food – how do you prefer to get your daily dose of them – supplements, whole foods or both?
Well, I do take some supplements, such as flax oil, but I also sprinkle flax on things, as well as use it in recipes. Chia seeds and hempseeds are daily staples of mine as well to get omega 3s.
What does your average day of eating look like?
For breakfast, a bowl of chia porridge with raw protein powder, banana, and flaxseed. For lunch, a big bowl of veggies with hemp seeds. An afternoon snack of a big bowl of fruit with some coconut yogurt. For dinner, a big green salad with lots of veggies, a nut butter or creamy avocado dressing and hempseeds. And of course a serving of dessert afterwards!
Who have been your major inspirations?
Emily of This Rawsome Vegan Life and Susan Powers of Rawmazing had quite an impact on me starting out raw. I had no idea how to prepare raw foods when I started and they gave me the ideas I needed to create delicious things! They have some amazing recipes.
I watched that interview of Emily from This Rawsome Vegan Life on TV and was really surprised to hear she usually only makes her recipes once. Simply incredible. They come out so beautiful every time! Are you the same or do you usually make each recipe more than once?
Yep! I do only make my recipes once, or I would never have time to make new ones to share with others. I get bored easily so a new recipe every time I make a dessert is more fun. The only time I make a recipe again is if a family member or friend requests it for a special event or B-day. This is partly why I don’t do videos, I am making up recipes as I go and it would get confusing. Of course I sort it out while typing the recipe so it comes out perfect when others make it.
Speaking of Recipes…Can you share a super secret, exclusive and special Fragrant Vanilla Cake recipe with us?
Here is a recipe that I do not have up on my blog, it is a personal recipe I like to make sometimes for the chocolate lovers in my life, but it is pure deliciousness and pretty easy to make .
Raw Mini Mexican Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Pies
Makes 2 Pies
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- 1/2 cup Raw Sprouted Buckwheat Groats
- 1/2 cup finely Shredded Dried Coconut
- 1/4 cup Ground Flaxseed
- 3 Tbsp Raw Cacao Powder
- 1/2 cup pitted, soft Medjool Dates
- 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
- 1 cup young Coconut Meat*
- 1/4 cup Coconut Water
- 1 cup Raw Jungle Peanuts, soaked 4 hours and drained
- 1/4 cup Raw Coconut Nectar / Raw Agave Nectar / Raw Honey
- 1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
- ½ tsp Chipotle Powder (or less if you don’t want it too spicy)
- ½ tsp Cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp pure Vanilla Extract
- Seeds from Half a Vanilla Bean
- 2 Tbsp Raw Peanut Butter
- 1/4 cup Raw Cacao Powder
- 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp Raw Coconut Butter (warmed to liquid)
- Raw cacao nibs for garnish
*If coconut meat is not available, you can use raw cashews, soaked for 4 hours and drained instead.
- In a food processor, combine the buckwheat, coconut, flaxseed, cacao powder, sea salt, and dates, and process until starting to hold together when squeezed (if it doesn’t, add a few more dates).
- Press into Two 4 inch mini pie plates (lined with foil for easy removal), and set aside in the freezer.
- To make the filling, combine coconut meat, peanuts, juice, coconut nectar, sea salt, chipotle, vanilla, peanut butter, cacao powder, and coconut butter in the food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.
- Pour over the crust, and chill in the freezer for about 3 hours until set.
- Garnish with cacao nibs before serving.
- Store extra in the fridge.
Fragrant Vanilla Cake’s Raw Mini Mexican Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Pie
How did you elevate your skills to the level they are now? Any specific learning resources that you recommend?
Try, try again! Most of the things I create myself turn out good, but some not so much. Luckilly I am at the point now where it is about 99% good things, but mistakes have been made in the process of learning to master raw food and that is how I learn. Only a few times have I had to throw something out because it was not good. Honestly I am always trying to improve my recipes and make them better, healthier and more delicious. Take my dehydrated cake recipes for instance. I started out using a lot of nuts in them because that is what I saw everyone else doing. I now find that they make cakes heavier and harder to digest so I now use other ingredients instead for my cake batter. It is a lot better than it used to be but I feel like I am still perfecting it. I recommend always reading everyone else’s recipes to see what others are doing. It might lead you to trying new things that you hadn’t thought of before either from your own mind trying to be different, or because they have good ideas that you want to try.
Whose bellies do all your delicious desserts end up in?
Mine, my family and friends. Luckilly I have a lot of sweet lovers around me to share and give opinions.
What’s your all time favorite dessert?
Raw cheesecake! I can’t pick just one though. But I have to say things with berries, vanilla, and rosewater rate the highest on my deliciousness scale.
What amazing plans do you have for the future of Fragrant Vanilla Cake?
I plan to keep sharing recipes and raw food with others so they can enjoy what I do! It makes me happy to see others live better lives and be healthier as a result of the things I share with them.
You can find Amy’s Recipes on her website and social media pages :
And you can buy her print Recipe Book on Amazon :
I hope you guys enjoyed the interview. I really enjoyed conducting it, and have learned so much from Amy’s Blog. It’s definitely worth hitting up.