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Vanilla Bean Frosting

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This all-purpose vegan frosting is especially tasty on carrot cake but can be used for any dessert that calls for a rich, creamy topping. The recipe gets its incomparable flavor from seeds scraped from a fresh vanilla bean. Seeding vanilla beans is easy; all you have to do is cut the bean in half lengthwise and use the back (dull side) of a knife to scrape out the soft paste of tiny seeds inside. The pods can be saved for later and used to infuse maple syrup, cooked fruit compotes, and hot cereal with vanilla flavor. Or try tucking the pod into your box of granola to scent it with vanilla!

Recipe from


  • 5 ounces pitted whole dates, chopped
  • ¾ cup unsalted raw cashews
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Seeds from 1 vanilla bean


  1. Combine the dates, cashews, vanilla extract, and seeds from the vanilla bean in a blender. Add just enough water to cover the mixture. Let stand for 45 minutes or until dates and cashews are softened. Cover and blend until smooth, adding water if it’s too stiff to easily blend.

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about the author

Cathy Fisher

Cathy Fisher is the creator of, a website offering free recipes and information on eating a whole-food, plant-based diet free of salt, oil and sugar. She is also a cooking instructor, teaching classes at TrueNorth Health Center and the McDougall Program, both in Santa Rosa, CA. Cathy began eating a plant-based diet in 1999, and in 2016 published her first cookbook, Straight Up Food: Delicious and Easy Plant-based Cooking without Salt, Oil or Sugar.

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