Russian Tea Cakes (vegan, gf, raw) + COOKBOOK GIVEAWAY!

Hold onto your hats, folks. That’s right, I’m doing two cookbook giveaways in a row. I’m blowing your mind, I’m sure. In case you missed it, the first was Kathy Hester’s Vegan Slow Cooking for Two (or Just for You). Today, I’m introducing you to Amber Shea Crawley’s Practically Raw Desserts, which you can win by entering below. When Vegan Heritage Press invited me to participate in this blog tour to promote Crawley’s book, I figured why not? A free cookbook for me and one to give away. Then the book arrived and let’s just say I wasn’t overly impressed. I judged it. By the cover. By the photos. The design/layout. All of it. Since I’m a graphic designer, this kind of stuff really bugs me. Bad photos, poor font choices, less-than-stellar layouts–it just makes me think of how beautiful this book could have been. So…VHP, if you’re reading this–call me next time you’re designing a book! I can help!

Practically Raw Desserts by Amber Shea Crawley #vegan #cookbook #giveaway

Fortunately, the poor design is not a reflection of the contents. Crawley has created an impressive collection of healthy desserts. She also went the extra mile by making each recipe as flexible as possible, including various ingredient substitutions. If you’re like me and don’t own a dehydrator, you’ll appreciate the baking and freezing options. In fact, the recipe I’m sharing with you today (Russian Tea Cakes) has three options for preparation–dehydrate, bake or freeze. Hence the title Practically Raw Desserts–they are all raw unless you choose otherwise and they are all practical, too. Crawley did not write this book for expert raw food chefs–instead, she kept it refreshingly simple and low-maintenance.

Russian Tea Cakes #vegan #glutenfree #raw #dessert #sweet #recipe

All of the recipes in this book are raw, vegan, low-glycemic and free of dairy, eggs, gluten, wheat, soy, refined sugars, refined flours, yeast, starches, gums, corn and peanuts. In other words, whatever your dietary concern, she’s got you covered. In my opinion, this qualifies as a guilt-free dessert cookbook. This is the healthiest collection of desserts I’ve ever seen!

Crawley also included a helpful ingredient guide for those who aren’t familiar with the likes of cashew butter, tahini and such. Not to mention helpful charts for nut/seed soaking and sugar substitutions. You literally have to know nothing about eating raw, vegan, gluten-free, etc, to use this cookbook. You just have to like sweets!

Russian Tea Cakes #vegan #glutenfree #raw #dessert #sweet #recipe

On page 49, you’ll find the recipe for Russian Tea Cakes (a.k.a. Mexican Wedding Cookies or Snowballs). The best thing about this recipe is the fast, easy preparation. You can whip out a batch of these in no time at all. Mine turned out a bit dry, but that’s an easy fix for next time–I’ll just add maybe a tablespoon of water and reduce the baking time by a minute or two. Problem solved. I would suggest coating just one cookie in coconut flour and tasting it so you can decide whether you prefer coating or no coating. You may be able to skip the last step. If you prefer a sweeter cookie, you may prefer a coating of powdered sugar instead. Because they were a little dry, I added a dab of blueberry preserves and it turned out to be a great combination.



Russian Tea Cakes #vegan #glutenfree #raw #dessert #sweet #recipe

I also tried the Famous Five-Minute Blondies III on page 73. It’s an excellent recipe–Hubs and I both loved it. And it’s unbelievable simple. I’m looking forward to trying others such as Chocolate Chunk Cookies, Tuxedo Cheesecake Brownies, Enlightened Carrot Cake, Maple Streusel Coffee Cake Squares and Crumb-Topped Chocolate Hazelnut Torte. I think I just drooled on my keyboard a little.

Russian Tea Cakes #vegan #glutenfree #raw #dessert #sweet #recipe

Ready to win this thing and get busy in the kitchen? Thanks to Vegan Heritage Press, you can enter below to win a copy of Practically Raw Desserts. Or you can purchase it here. On October 1, 2013, a winner will be selected randomly and notified.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Affiliate links included in this post.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Print Friendly


  1. says

    These look yummy, and I would love to have this book. Even if I decided I would never leave my sugary sweets, I could make the day of several friends if they found this under their Christmas tree. But I think I just want it for me. :)

  2. Mason says

    This book interests me because I already love many raw foods, i.e. fruits and veggies, and would love to learn recipes that you wouldn’t expect to be raw.

  3. says

    Oh these look yummy!!!

    This book interests me because I love eating healthy and believe eating raw is a big part of it! I do have a big sweet tooth at the same time though so this book would solve both ‘problems’! ;)

  4. Christina says

    For the las 6 months I’ve had to cut dairy products from my diet due to breastfeeding. My son doesn’t handle them well and spits up like crazy whenever i ate dairy. This cookbook is perfect because 6 months without dairy has left me craving all my favorite desserts. Cheesecake, carrot cake, ice cream, you name it i want it. Cutting dairy from my diet for my son has encouraged me to stick with it even after im done nursing. I feel so much healthier and I’ve lost so much weight too.

  5. Tressa says

    I too hate poorly designed cookbooks but if, in it, I could find a collection of delicious, easy,vegan AND raw desserts then they could use comic sans, gradients, and old studio photography.

  6. Crystal says

    This book sounds fantastic! We’re a gluten free/vegan family and I’m always looking for new recipes that don’t rely on starches or gums. Thanks for the post!

  7. says

    Ha, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m NOT a good photographer, but I’ve had to work with what I have. :) YOUR photos are utterly gorgeous, and I’m happy to hear that the recipes have made up for what you didn’t like about the look of the book.

    Good luck to all who are entering to win!

  8. April Deters says

    As a person who loves making (and eating) deserts I’m very interested in find ways to make my concoctions healthier and using more alternative ingredients. This book deinitely peaks my interest

  9. Emily R. says

    I haven’t made much raw food in my life (especially not desserts!) and I’m really interested to try. I do believe that more nutrients come from foods that have not been cooked, and while I don’t think I’d ever make it eating raw all the time, it would be great to incorporate more raw recipes into our weekly rotation.

  10. Deborah Saas says

    I recently moved and all of my cookbooks are in storage! I would love to have at least one in my new apartment so I can have some friends over and make some wonderful desserts to serve with tea. I hope you select my name to win this cookbook…

  11. Jennifer K says

    I am interested in preparing more raw desserts but a bit intimidated by them so this book could give me some needed encouragement!

  12. Amanda J. says

    The flexibility of the recipes appeals to me the most. I don’t have a dehydrator or any fancy tools. Also, I love the gluten-free-ness of the book! :)

  13. Stephanie says

    A list of healthy desserts really appeals to me. I have a very prominent sweet tooth, and could really benefit from satisfying it healthily wherever possible!

  14. Susan says

    Everything about healthy desserts interests me because people are not going to stop eating dessert so a healthy alternative is the way to go. The cookbook looks and sounds wonderful!

  15. Christina says

    I don’t know about about raw eating, and I would love to see some recipes and healthy desserts to inspire my own experimenting in the kitchen! I am always trying to cut back on the processed carbs, but can’t give up on desserts.

  16. Jessica Caneal says

    I am mostly interested in the entree and snack recipes in this book since I tend to not really enjoy raw desserts. However, these Russian tea cakes looks amazing!

  17. Becca F says

    I’ve been getting into raw foods more and adore raw desserts! My paleo sister just became my roommate and raw foods are usually friendly towards both our lifestyles so I really want this cookbook

  18. says

    I am so excited about this giveaway. Since being gluten free, it is so difficult to find recipes that taste good. I eat about 70% raw food diet and love finding new recipes to try…



  19. Tracy Tomak says

    I have been wanting to get this book since I started eating clean. I have used some of the recipes on her website and they were fantastic. Would love to have even more options.

  20. Dana says

    This book is interesting to me. I would love to try and incorportate more raw dishes/desserts in my already vegan diet. Raw desserts are easy and fun to make.too.

  21. Kim says

    I’m most excited about having a resource for the occasional sweet that is raw – so it won’t include any grains or other of the more common allergens that I’m avoiding in my Paleo lifestyle.

  22. Carl says

    Desserts seem like a natural for the raw food movement. So many tasty, sweet things are best enjoyed uncooked. Very interesting indeed.

  23. Ashley says

    I am a total newbie to raw food and I think sweets might be the easiest way to introduce raw foods to other people. Thanks for this great giveaway!

  24. Lakshmi says

    I am looking for a quilt free dessert cookbook or close to it. that is what interests me about this cookbook and I like it that she has the different options for making the sweets.

  25. Tomi says

    Sounds awesome! Have a vegan family member who prefers raw foods; never know what to bring to share when we get together; this cookbook sounds like it would solve that issue:)

  26. Cristen says

    Yum! Love trying new raw desserts and having them on hand for my sweet tooth. Love this idea of 5 minute blondies as well!

  27. says

    I’m a super longtime vegan and sort of accidentally mostly raw…I just love fruits and veggies in the raw and hummus and energy bars and other things that happen to be raw. But I don’t have a dehydrator so it’s flummoxing to read a recipe that requires one…so cool that Amber’s book offers other options! :)
    So funny to hear your thoughts on the graphic design…I do the same thing and it’s only powerful cookbook curiosity that has helped me discover some gems despite their covers. ;)

  28. Michaela says

    I love the idea of a raw cookbook that also has baking options since sometimes it’s nice to have something warm out of the oven :)

  29. Gaby says

    I love how simple these recipes seem. I usually shy away from raw recipes because of the expensive tools and ingredients needed, so I like all the options!

  30. Xylia says

    I’d love to win this because I’ve just come back to the US for a year after living in the UK for 8 years. I’ve had to leave my collection of vegan cookbooks behind and I’m having serious withdrawal symptoms after only 2 weeks. I neeeeed this! :-)

  31. Jen B. says

    Love the 3 options she gives for each recipe.. so excited to make some of these delicious-sounding and healthy desserts!

  32. Nadine says

    This book sounds awesome!! My 4 year old daughter has allergies and food intolerances, so the recipes in the book sound like they would cater for her. She can enjoy sweet treats without the worry of having an allergic reaction.

  33. Carolsue says

    I am always looking for more began recipes and we all love desserts here, so it’s a natural that I want (and need) this cookbook!

Leave a Reply