June 14, 2021

Vegan Rasmalai Cake

Vegan Rasmalai Cake is a dairy-free spin on the popular Bengali Dessert rasmalai that is typically served for Diwali! Moist almond and cashew flour cake squares immersed in a rich and creamy cashew pistachio “milk” scented with saffron and cardamom. It basically is Vegan Malai burfi soaked in Ras malai milk! Soyfree Glutenfree Jump to Recipe

overhead shot of two servings of vegan rasmalai cake

Diwali is coming up and that means Boxes of sweets and desserts being whipped up to share and celebrate. A festival that celebrates a win of goodness, knowledge, kindness over negativity. This Diwali we need that magic.  This vegan Ras Malai Cake is a simple dairy-free spin on one of the most delicious Indian sweets out there – the traditional Bengali Dessert Ras Malai / Rasmalai.

What is Rasmalai?

Bengali Rasmalai consists of small soft cheese curd/paneer balls or cakes immersed in saffron and cardamom-scented sweetened thickened milk. This Indian dessert is usually served with plenty of chopped pistachios and as you can imagine, it’s a pretty popular dessert for the holidays!

two servings of two plates of vegan rasmalai cake in milk sauce sprinkled with pistachios

Vegan Rasmalai Cake – the perfect Diwali treat

Vegan version of rasmalai is tricky. The chewy cheese balls are hard to mimic with non dairy cheeses. I have a soy based version in my cookbook. That is chewy and cheesy and almost perfect, but has a slight soy after taste. Today I bring you this variation. This Vegan Ras Malai Cake consists of a moist vegan nut cake which is like malai burfi/milk cake immersed into a rich sweetened cashew pistachio cream. We make the burfi cake, we pour cream on top, we let the cake soak up some of that goodness and it’s ready to serve. No fuss, no stress! The flavors of rasmalai all come from the amazing malai cream sauce and  satisfy that ras malai craving.

More Vegan Diwali Recipes From The Blog:

Some Savories

Rasmalai is a decadent Indian treat served for special occasions like weddings or for Diwali. Due to its richness, it’s not an everyday kind of dessert – which doesn’t mean it’s overly difficult to make – and this vegan version is even easier. You can whip this Vegan Rasmalai Cake up pretty effortlessly and you’ll even find it quite relaxing during the stressful holiday season.

two small bowl of vegan rasmalai cake immersed in vegan nut milk sauce

The cake absorbs the sauce flavors and thickens the sauce over time. Chilling this dessert overnight gives the best texture and flavor. The ingredients used are for speficifc reasons and unfortunately not substitute-able. A generous sprinkle of chopped pistachios is about all the decoration this vegan Diwali dessert needs and it will still look super appetizing and inviting with that smooth and rich cashew pistachio sauce hugging the moist vegan cake squares.

You can form the cake mix into balls. Chill for half an hour then shape and bake in the stoneware dish then soak in the milk sauce.

overhead shot of two bowl of vegan rasmalai cake served with vegan cashew pistachio cream sauce

Vegan Rasmalai Cake

Vegan Rasmalai Cake is a dairy-free spin on the popular Bengali Dessert Rasa Malai that is typically served for Diwali! Moist almond and cashew flour cake squares immersed in a rich and creamy cashew pistachio “milk” scented with saffron and cardamom. Soyfree Glutenfree

Prep Time15 mins

Cook Time30 mins

Chill time1 hr

Total Time1 hr 45 mins

Course: Dessert, Snack

Cuisine: Indian

Keyword: ras malai cake, vegan Diwali dessert, vegan malai cake

Servings: 6

Calories: 298kcal

Author: Vegan Richa

Ingredients

For the Malai (The milk sauce)

  • 1/2 cup (64.5 g) raw cashews
  • 1 tbsp raw pistachios about 6-7
  • 1 cup (236.59 ml) water Use scant cup
  • 3 -4 strands of saffron
  • 5-6 tbsp sugar I used half cane and half powdered sugar so that it doesn’t add color to the sauce.
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cardamom pod,seeds

For the Malai Cake:

  • 1/2 cup (64.5 g) raw cashews Use a heaping cup
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch or tapioca starch
  • 1 (1 pod) cardamom pod seeds
  • 3-4 saffron strands
  • 1/2 cup (56 g) almond flour
  • 1 big pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp vegan cream cheese I use kite hill plain
  • 2 tsp (9.86 g) vegan butter or use oil
  • 1/4 cup (30 g) powdered sugar

For Garnish:

  • 1 tbsp almond slivers
  • 1 tbsp chopped raw pistachios

Instructions

For the Milk:

  • Soak the cashews and pistachios overnight, or at least 4 hours. Then drain well and add to a blender along with the rest of the ingredients, and blend until the mixture is really smooth. It will look like milk, and that’s okay. Taste and adjust Sweet and set aside.

For the Malai Cake:

  • You want to convert the cashews into a flour, so add the cashews, cardamom, cornstarch, and saffron in a blender, and blend for 15 seconds, then start pulsing every few seconds. Use a spoon to move the mixture around so there are no cashews lurking in the corners, and pulse a couple of times more until the mixture is a fine meal. If there are any cashew pieces left, remove them, or try to pulse them in by pulsing a couple more times, and then remove any remaining large cashew pieces from the mixture.

  • Transfer to a bowl, add the almond flour, salt, cream cheese, butter, and sugar and mix. Press and mix with a spatula, or use your hands to make a dough.

  • Grease a shallow baking dish, and press this dough onto the dish into a square or rectangle, less than half an inch thick, and even out the edges. You can wet your hands before doing that so that it’s not as sticky, or use oil on your hands.

  • Bake at 275 degrees F (135 C) with the fan on(convection) for 25-30 minutes, or until the mixture feels completely dry on top, and has lightened in color. You can also use regular bake if you don’t have convection

  • Take the pan out and let it cool for 10-15 minutes, then slice the cake into an inch or inch and a half big squares, and slightly separate it out. The center will feel very soft, so separate out only if it’s not breaking into pieces.

  • Pour the entire sauce mixture all over to submerge the cake.

  • Garnish with pistachios and almond slivers, and let this mixture chill for at least a few hours before serving

Notes

  • cream cheese substitute: use 1.5 to 2 tbsp of vegan yogurt or use cashew cream (blended soaked cashews )
  • For a budget version, skip the saffron and add a drop of vanilla to the cake.
  • To make this refined sugar-free you can use coconut sugar, but it will result in a darker sauce and cake.
  • Want to make this even prettier? Sprinkle some dried culinary rose petals on top. 
  • You could also add a small amount of rose water to the milk sauce if you’re a fan of rose-scented desserts.
  • If not the whole thing, just make the cashew pistachio milk! Serve in small bowls garnished with almonds and pistachios.
  • For a Tres Leches cake version, make my white cake with 1/4 tsp cardamom, make the rasmalai milk with 3/4 cup of water. Soak the cake  in the milk. Top with whipped coconut cream and pistachios

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts

Vegan Rasmalai Cake

Amount Per Serving

Calories 298 Calories from Fat 171

% Daily Value*

Fat 19g29%

Saturated Fat 3g19%

Sodium 158mg7%

Potassium 166mg5%

Carbohydrates 26g9%

Fiber 3g13%

Sugar 17g19%

Protein 7g14%

Vitamin A 63IU1%

Calcium 37mg4%

Iron 2mg11%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Rasmalai Cake Ingredients:

  • The vegan milk sauce is made from soaked pistachios and cashews. 
  • We incorporate that signature Rasmalai flavor into the milk sauce by adding some cardamom and saffron. I use cardamon seeds from green cardamon pods. these give the best flavor
  • A bit of sugar is necessary to sweeten the sauce – I use a mix of light icing sugar for color mixed with a bit of cane sugar for depth of flavor.
  • The rasmalai cake part consists of almond flour and homemade cashew flour, all flavored with saffron and cardamom.
  • A bit of cornstarch helps bind the cake batter while a blend of vegan butter and vegan cream cheese add moistness and a bit of tang.
  • The vegan cream cheese gives it a special zing. Don’t skip it – remember that the cake part is supposed to mimic paneer cheese/Chenna. You can use plain vegan yogurt instead , use half the amount of cream cheese listed

Tips & Variations:

  • For a budget version, skip the saffron
  • If you want to make this refined sugar-free you can use coconut sugar, but it will result in a darker sauce and cake.
  • Want to make this even prettier? Sprinkle some dried culinary rose petals on top.
  • You could also add a small amount of rose water to the milk sauce if you’re a fan of rose-scented desserts.

ingredients needed for making vegan rasmalai

How to make Ras Malai Cake:

Make the milk sauce:

Soak the cashews and pistachios overnight, or at least 2-4 hours. Then drain and add to a blender along with the rest of the ingredients, and blend until the mixture is really smooth. It will look like thin milk, and that’s okay. Set aside.

dry mix for vegan rasmalai cake in a small bowl

Make the rasmalai cake:

You want to convert the cashews into flour. So add the cashews, cardamom, cornstarch, and saffron into a blender, and blend for 15 seconds, then start pulsing every few seconds.

Use a spoon to move the mixture around so there are no cashews lurking in the corners, and pulse a couple of times more until the mixture is a fine meal.

If there are any cashew pieces left, remove them, or try to pulse them in by pulsing a couple more times, and then remove any remaining large cashew pieces from the mixture.

vegan rasmalai cake batter being combined in a bowl

Transfer to a bowl, add the almond flour, salt, cream cheese, and butter, and mix. Press and mix with a spatula, or use your hands to make a dough.

rasmalai cake batter being shaped to a square in a pan

Grease a shallow baking dish, and press this dough onto the dish into a square or rectangle, less than half an inch thick, and even out the edges. You can wet your hands before doing that so that it’s not as sticky, or use oil on your hands.

baked vegan rasmalai cake in a square baking pan

Bake at 275 degrees Fahrenheit with the fan on for 25-30 minutes, or until the mixture feels completely dry on top and has lightened in color.

vegan rasmalai cake being cut into squares

Take the pan out of the oven and let it cool for 10-15 minutes, then slice the vegan rasmalai cake into an inch or inch and a half big squares, and slightly separate the pieces. The center of the cake will feel very soft, so separate out only if it’s not breaking into pieces.

vegan rasmalai cake squared being soaked in vegan cardamom and saffron scented milk sauce

Pour the entire sauce mixture all over to fully submerge the rasmalai cake.

vegan rasmalai dessert in a casserole dish

Garnish the rasmalai cake with pistachios and almond slivers, and let this mixture chill for at least a few hours before serving.

vegan rasmalai cake being immersed in vegan milk sauce

How to store Rasmalai Cake:

If you make this rasmalai cake in advance, store the cake in an air-tight container in the fridge for upto 3 days. The milk sauce will thicken over time

casserole dish with vegan rasmalai cake with a spoon

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