Vegan Poppyseed Amaranth Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Raspberry-Beet Coulis

My friend Cara of Fork and Beans is celebrating her 33rd birthday today – Happy Birthday love! When I posted my recipe for amaranth couscous, I mentioned wanting to bake a cake using amaranth. When Cara dropped the hint that she wanted a cake for her special day…I was on it! I’ve been trying to come up with a cake using amaranth flour that is gluten free (of course) and vegan to fit Cara’s lifestyle as well as mine. After a few “okay” batches and batters, I decided to adapt the applesauce buckwheat cake recipe from the super cute and talented Pure2Raw Twins.

In celebration of the birthday girl, I made a recipe for a vegan poppyseed amaranth cake with a light vegan cream cheese frosting and a tart raspberry-beet coulis for drizzling. Cara, I hope you enjoy the photos – California is a bit too far to ship a piece of cake 😦

This cake is not a typical light and fluffy white one – it’s hearty, dense, healthy and I adore the nuttiness from the amaranth and the earthiness from the buckwheat flour. Tapioca starch helps lighten the texture a bit but it is similar to a carrot cake, but without the chewiness of the shredded carrot pieces. The base is lightly sweetened with a little stevia and 2 tablespoons of palm sugar (not bad for a whole cake!), but any granulated sugar would work here. I did attempt the cake with a liquid sweetener but it turned out a bit gummy.

The cream cheese “frosting” is simple, almost too easy that it didn’t even require a recipe. I used Follow Your Heart vegan cream cheese and added a bit of vanilla, brown rice syrup (to compliment the hearty flavors of the cake) and a pinch of pure stevia. No butter, no shortening, no crazy gums. It’s more of a lightly sweetened spread but I thought it worked beautifully with the lightly sweetened cake.

Since the cake was a little monotone in color, I wanted to add some pizzaz by way of fruit as a sauce for drizzling. I had a small amount of leftover roasted beets from a salad I made the other day and thought the flavors and juice from the beet would (again) marry well with raspberry and the cake and frosting. I was more than pleased with the outcome!

Here’s to Cara’s birthday – another delicious and fabulous reason to indulge in cake.

Confession – this cake is already gone – I ate it for breakfast, snack and dessert several days in a row…after all, it IS healthy, right? 🙂

Vegan Poppyseed Amaranth Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Raspberry Beet Coulis

Cake Ingredients (adapted from Pure2Raw)

1/3 cup amaranth flour
1/3 cup tapioca starch (arrowroot or potato starch could be subbed)
1/3 cup buckwheat flour (teff, millet or brown rice flour or a combo could be subbed)
3/4 tsp baking soda
3 Tbsp Mila* (see note – ground chia seeds)
2 Tbsp palm sugar (or other granulated sugar)
1/8 tsp pure stevia extract (I used NuNaturals)
1/4 tsp fine Himalayan pink salt (or sea salt)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2-3 tsp poppy seeds
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 Tbsp coconut oil, in liquid form


1. Preheat oven to 300 F. Grease two 6-inch round cake pans** and line bottoms with parchment paper. Add all dry ingredients (flours through poppyseeds) to a large bowl and whisk to combine.
2. In a medium bowl, combine your vinegar, applesauce and coconut oil. Whisk to mix well.
3. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir everything till combined (Batter will be a little thick).
4. Divide batter into two prepared cake pans. Bake for about 19-21 minutes. Let cool completely and remove from pans.

To assemble cake, spread cream cheese frosting (reciep below) over layer of cake and top with remaining layer. Serve cake pieces with a drizzle of raspberry-beet coulis and enjoy! Drizzle coulis when serving so the cake doesn’t get soggy. Refrigerate leftover cake (if there’s any left!).

*The recipe calls for Mila – this stuff is amazing! If you have followed my blog for a while, you know that I love chia! Mila is super charged ground chia seeds in a proprietary blend. I will be posting on the wonders of Mila soon 🙂

**You can make cupcakes if preferred, line or grease 8 muffin tins and bake for 18-20 minutes.

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting


4-5 Tbsp vegan cream cheese, softened (regular cream cheese can be subbed if you can eat dairy)
2-3 tsp brown rice syrup (agave or maple syrup could be subbed)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
pinch of pure stevia extract*


1. To prepare frosting, add cream cheese, rice syrup and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Whip until well combined. Taste and gradually add a sprinkle of stevia and mix until combined. Taste and adjust sweetness to your liking with your syrup or stevia.

Raspbery-Beet Coulis


2/3 cup fresh or frozen raspberries* (strawberries would also work here too!)
2 Tbsp beet juice (you could use pomegranate juice or more non-dairy milk if preferred)
1 -2 Tbsp non-dairy milk
liquid vanilla stevia or pure stevia extract to taste, I used about 8 drops (agave could be used here if preferred)
dash of sea salt


1. Add all ingredients in your blender or food processor (I use my high powered HealthMaster Blender – a less pricey Vitamix – to help puree seeds). Mix for one minute until mixture is completely combined and pureed. If using a food processor, feel free to strain the mixture over a bowl to help remove the seeds prior to serving.

*If using frozen raspberries, thaw prior to making coulis.


12 thoughts on “Vegan Poppyseed Amaranth Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Raspberry-Beet Coulis

  1. This cake looks AH-MAZING!!! You seriously have me in tears over here. I cannot thank you enough for all your kind words to me, encouragement and just for the fact that the blogging gods allowed our paths to cross. Is it possible to already be close friends with someone I have never met? hehe. I just adore you, Nora. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I cannot wait to make this cake! xoxo

  2. This looks amazing! I love all the different flavors. And your photos are gorgeous! Love the color of the sauce as well, it’s so bright!

    • I bet almond flour would actually work nicely in this recipe! I’ve read that amaranth is considered a seed instead of a grain, much like buckwheat – so maybe you would be ok with using amaranth flour after all?
      If you try it with almond flour, I’d love to know how it turns out!

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