Macadamia-Vanilla Frosting

  • Makes about 1 cup 
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes


  • ½ cup Macadamia nuts soaked in ½ cup of water for 15-30 minute
  • 6 Medjool dates, pitted and diced, soaked in ½ cup of water for 15-30 minutes
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

This frosting has a somewhat maple flavor to it. You can use it right after making it, or if you want to use a cake decorating tip (like in the top photo), put the frosting in the refrigerator for 30 minutes first.


Drain the soak water off of the nuts and discard it. In a blender, blend all of the ingredients (nuts, dates with their soak water, and vanilla) until smooth and even in color. Add a little more water as needed to keep the blender moving if it gets too thick.

Chef’s Notes: 

Using fresh pumpkin: If you want to use fresh pumpkin instead of canned, cut the pumpkin in half lengthwise, remove all the seeds and stringy fibers, and then place cut-side down in a baking pan. Bake at 350ºF for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour (depending on size) or until easily pierced with a knife. Scoop out the pumpkin flesh, and puree in a food processor until smooth. If you want to extract the excess liquid (this will result in a firmer dessert), line a regular kitchen strainer with cheesecloth and strain the liquid off the pumpkin puree. I have also scooped the pureed pumpkin into the center of a large piece of cheesecloth, tied it off at the top, and hung it up to drain over a bowl for a couple hours. Cool the puree before using.

Pumpkin pie spice substitution: If you do not have pumpkin pie spice on hand, you can substitute with 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, ⅛ teaspoon clove; or a close approximation.

Oat flour: You can easily grind rolled oats into flour by using any blender; high-speed blenders produce the finest flour, but any blender will do. (A food processor is least effective.)

Pans: I use an 8×8-inch Pyrex pan here, but you can also use a lined pie or cake pan, and then cut the pieces to look like pumpkin pie slices.

Texture: For a firmer texture without refrigerating overnight, only use ½ cup of the date soak water (instead of 34 cup).

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Cathy Fisher

Cathy Fisher is a plant-based cooking instructor who teaches at TrueNorth Health Center and the McDougall Program in Santa Rosa, California. Visit to view her healthy plant-based recipes.

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