Pumpkin Pecan Caramel Ice Cream Cake

We are on the verge of Autumn, but that does not stop me from enjoying ice cream.  I have talked about this before on my blog, but I am one of those people that makes ice cream just about every week, and always has some in the freezer.  Even when the weather starts to cool down.  So, since I am on a big pumpkin kick this week, I had to make some pumpkin ice cream.  But not just plain old pumpkin ice cream...an ice cream cake.  And, not just an ice cream cake...a Raw Pumpkin Pecan Caramel Ice Cream Cake!

I felt the need to go all out with this one.  First, I made a sweet cinnamon graham cracker like crust, per usual for the base (but that was the only thing per usual).  Second, and my favorite part, I made a spiced pumpkin ice cream filling. Laced with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves to make it taste like pumpkin pie in ice cream form.  It was sooo good, and I can assure you I scraped the blender and ice cream maker clean and enjoyed every last drop left over.

Lastly, it needed some raw caramel.  I made my favorite raw caramel, laced with pecan butter.  It ended up in the middle layer of the cake swirled in and on top of the cake, along with pecans.  This cake was yummalicious!  Pumpkin love in the form of cake!

Pumpkin Pecan Caramel Ice Cream Cake
Makes one 6 inch round cake

1/2 cup finely shredded dried coconut
3/4 cup raw activated buckwheat groats (or raw oats or additional coconut)
1/2 cups ground flax seed
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup soft medjool dates, pitted (if not soft, soak in filtered water 30 minutes and drain well before using)

Ice Cream:
1 1/2 cups coconut water
3 cups young coconut meat*
1 cup ripe bananas, mashed
2 cups chopped raw pumpkin or squash**
3/4  cup raw date paste or another raw liquid sweetener if you prefer
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 inch chunk fresh ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
seeds of one vanilla bean
1 1/2 tsp maple extract (optional, but makes it more caramel flavored)
1/4 tsp Himalayan salt
1/4 cup pecan butter
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp raw coconut butter, warmed to liquid

10 large soft medjool dates
1 Tbsp raw pecan butter or other raw nut butter
filtered water as needed
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp Himalayan salt

1/2 cup raw pecans

For the crust, in a food processor, combine all ingredients but the dates, and process until fine crumbs.  Add the dates and process until starting to hold together when squeezed (if it is not, add a few more dates).  Remove from the food processor and press into the bottom of a 6 inch spring form pan lined with plastic wrap (for easy removal) and press out flat at the bottom.

For the ice cream, add coconut water to a food processor, along with young coconut, bananas,   squash, nectar, maple, vanilla, pecan butter sea salt. Process until smooth, then with the processor running, add the coconut butter slowly and process until well incorporated, about a minute. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and process according to directions.
Meanwhile, for the caramel, combine all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth (adding filtered water as needed until it is a desired consistency).  Set aside.
Once the ice cream is done churning, remove from ice cream maker, then pour half the ice cream over the crust. Drop some of the caramel by the tsp over it, then scatter 1/4 cup of the pecans over it. Swirl the caramel a little with a knife, then pour the remaining ice cream over that. Place in the freezer for about 6 hours or overnight until firm.  Once set, place the remaining caramel in a pastry bag (or a ziplock bag with the corner cut off) and drizzle over the top of the cake (you may need to thin it out with water first if too thick). Garnish the top of the cake with pecans, and serve!  Store extra cake in the freezer, and if it becomes too hard, let it sit out about 15-20 Minutes before serving.

*If young coconut meat is unavailable, you can substitute the 3 cups fresh coconut with 3 cups finely shredded, dried coconut and 1 1/2 cups coconut water.  But, you MUST have a high speed blender to do this or it will never become smooth.  Blend the coconut first until it becomes butter, using the tamper to press it into the blades until it is liquidy, then add the coconut water and blend until combined. Add this to the ice cream base in place of the young coconut meat.
**Sweet squash, such as kabocha or butternut works perfectly in raw recipes requiring pumpkin.  Carrot can be used as well, and you will not notice in the end product.  In fact, these are often sweeter than pumpkin, and this is a tick raw dessert chefs use, swapping for pumpkin.

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