Practically Raw Desserts: Review + Giveaway


Raw foods have a bad rap for being overly complicated, expensive, and way too time-consuming for home preparation. While we’ll give you that raw foods can be pretty daunting, especially for a beginner, one chef has unlocked the key: Flexible raw recipes for everyday life, with substitutions and variations that ensure anyone can prepare her foods. That chef is Amber Shea Crawley and her newest book, Practically Raw Desserts, makes sweet raw treats accessible to everyone. How could we not give away a copy of this go-to cookbook to a lucky Vegan Cuts blog reader?

Crawley is a certified raw and vegan chef, and Practically Raw Desserts is her second book. Her first book, Practically Raw, demonstrated a flexible, real-world approach to raw foods and offered up recipes for savory and sweet dishes, along with options for substitutions, variations, and cooked methods for most of the raw recipes. This approach makes it a snap for beginners, the raw-curious, and busy folks of all sorts to integrate some raw foods into their lifestyle without breaking their budgets or busting their humps.

In Practically Raw Desserts, Crawley uses the same approach. Each recipe comes with a list of ingredient substitutions and variations as well as a variety of preparation methods, including raw (using a dehydrator) or cooked (usually baked at a low temperature). On top of that, many recipes are simply no cook and no fuss as you can see from the two that I sampled below.


These raw “caramels” made with tahini will amaze your tastebuds—and your friends! Photos by Cat DiStasio

Salted Tahini Caramels

This recipe calls for just 4 ingredients and absolutely no fancy equipment. In fact, no equipment is needed at all. You just stir the ingredients together and press the mixture into the mold of your choice. I had these cutesy heart silicone molds that seemed to be about the right size, so I went with that. After a couple of hours in the freezer, I had plenty of decadent roasty sweet caramels to eat (and some to share).

This is a spectacularly easy treat with a truly unique flavor profile. Even if you’re not a tahini lover, it’s one worth trying. It might change the way you think about tahini.


You can prepare this decadent cake by dehydrating, baking, or simply refrigerating it. Photos by Cat DiStasio.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

When I first flipped through the book, this recipe caught my eye. I could not wait to make it. This decadent cake is deceptively simple, too. The recipe comes together in a matter of minutes and makes a perfectly portioned small cake. If large cakes are more up your alley, it also includes tips for doubling the recipe to make a larger portion. As with all her recipes, Crawley offers the full scope of preparation methods for this one. Lacking a dehydrator of the correct size, I chose to bake my cake in the oven. It bakes at a low temp for a pretty short amount of time, but that’s all this little treat needs.

After baking, I allowed the cake to cool and refrigerated overnight before serving. This was the perfect treat for a celebration with my sweetie, as we both enjoyed the delicate flavor of this surprisingly light cake.

Enter to Win a Copy of Practically Raw Desserts by Amber Shea Crawley

Want to make these treats yourself? One lucky blog reader will win a copy of Practically Raw Desserts.  You can enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Open to U.S. residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Kim

    I would definitely try the Salted Tahini Caramels first!

  2. Debbie

    Everything sounds good in this cookbook!! Would love to make the brownies:)

  3. carissa mangan


  4. Slavica

    “Flexible raw recipes for everyday life” just what I need :))

  5. Jennifer

    I’d like to try the Individual Cherry Crumbles first! Mmmm…

  6. Beth

    The caramels of course!

  7. Cassandre Arnould

    I would try Pineapple Upside Down Cake first cause I love the baked version of that, and I am sure that the raw one is like heaven!

  8. Nadia Trippett

    Salted Caramels!

  9. Jennie

    I have been following Chef Amber Shea for a long while and would love to own one of her books! I love her recipes! I would try that upside down pineapple cake :)

  10. Ami hart

    I’m so hungry just looking at the gorgeous pics!

  11. turtle

    wow, the cake looks great but caramels!! :) Daughter and i would so love and use this, i’m thinking holiday baking! already had this on my amazon list but with the furlough, lol…. have had to wait :)

  12. Monica

    That pineapple cake looks so good, would definitely want to try it out!

  13. Richelle

    I’d love to try out the caramels, looks delicious!

  14. Megan G

    Mmmm, I’d first try the Chocolate Devil’s Food Cupcakes.

  15. Adrienne

    That pineapple cake looks awesome.

  16. I would definitely try the caramels first!

  17. Mar

    anything chocolate!

  18. Becca F

    The pineapple upside down cake!

  19. No doubt about it, those caramels.

  20. Chelsea

    Any of the chocolate-y desserts :)

  21. I would love to try caramels! Of course anything chocolate is always good.

  22. Joyce

    The salted tahini caramels looks yummy! I’d like to try to make that.

  23. Sarah

    i want to try the devils food!

  24. Al Parker

    I’m Intrigued by the Salted Tahini Caramels, so that’s first on my list :-)


    (Handles: DontJudgeMyADD/Al Parker for verifying entries )

  25. Lydia Claire

    The raw caramels! I love caramel. =)

  26. gaby

    I don’t know what it is, but that chocolate bar on the cover with cream in the middle!

  27. Shannon

    The tahini caramels sound amazing!

  28. Diane

    I would try the salted tahini caramels first. Thanks!

  29. Beth

    Wow. That cover looks full of yum. Looks like an awesome book.

  30. Brianna Allen

    Would be awesome to win and make stuff for my non vegan friends

  31. Kelly

    Love the flexibility. And yum!

  32. Gwenn

    I can’t wait to try the caramels!

  33. Paola

    I would love to try to make raw ice cream. It looks amazing in the cover!!

  34. Jennifer K

    That pineapple upside down cake looks delicious! I’d like to try that recipe

  35. Trina

    The pineapple upside down cake look delicious!

    I need to invest in a dehydrator…

  36. Caitlin Leyden

    Cake. I want to try the cakes.

  37. sheryl

    The caramels sound wonderful!

  38. Susan G.

    This whole cookbook looks amazing! Can’t wait to try some of the recipes!! =)

    • Susan G.

      The one I really want to try is the Pineapple Upside Down Cake. I would love a less sweet, more healthy version of the standard cake, and this one just looks so beautiful as well!

  39. April

    Pineapple Upside Down Cake

  40. kristi walker

    the salted tahini carmel. i’ve never had tahini before and salted carmel is always good

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