Are you looking for a fun food-tivity to keep your little ones busy during their summer break? Something healthy but also something that will cause them to squeal with excitement?
Look no further, friends! I have the perfect solution for you - a fruit salad of kiwi and banana turned into a cake. It’s then topped with a luscious coconut cream and molded into the shape of a turtle! While an adult can do the slicing and dicing - the bananas can be a bit slippery - let the kiddos get their hands dirty by making the cream and assembling the dish!
Before you do anything, pop your 2 cans of coconut milk into the refrigerator. If you’re a planner, put the cans in there the night before. This recipe only calls for the coconut cream, not the liquid inside of the cans and sticking them in the fridge will separate the cream from the liquid. After an hour or so, the cream should rise to the top of the can leaving the liquid below. When you open up the cans, you’ll be able to spoon the cream right off of the top of the milk!
Use this soaking time to your advantage and prepare the fruit. Peel the kiwis, slice them thinly into rounds, and set off to the side. Peel a bunch of bananas and thinly slice them lengthwise. The natural arch in the banana helps create the circular turtle shell and the long strips cover a large swath of the cake. Be careful with these delicate slices as they break pretty easily. Once you’re done, set these off to the side and get back to your coconut date cream.
Squeeze the excess liquid out of the dates and pop them into the blender with the coconut cream, 1 cup of coconut flakes, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and a teaspoon of cinnamon. This healthy alternative to frosting gives the dish a decadence that might just trick even your most sugar obsessed friend. If you’d like to heighten the flavor of the cream feel free to add 1 tablespoon of maple butter. It’s completely optional but it adds a deep maple flavor that is to die for. Blend the mixture until it is completely combined and set it to the side.
Now, it’s time for the fun part - the assembly so make sure that the kiddos are ready to go! Build this cake on the platter that you intend to serve it on because it’s nearly impossible to move without ruining it once it’s constructed.
When the cake is completely covered with the kiwi, you’re practically done. To make this cake look like an actual turtle, simply use an extra round of kiwi to act as the “head”. Then, cut two more slices of kiwi and add those on both sides of the sphere to create the “claws” of the turtle. Get creative here and make some claws!! Rawr!
I’m sure that you stomach is rumbling and the kids are begging to have a bite. You’ll want to dig right into this bad boy. And guess what? You should! As much fun as this cake is to make, the leftovers don’t keep all that well in the refrigerator so go ahead and eat it right away.
If you plan on taking this to an event, like a barbecue or a birthday party for your turtle obsessed friend, make it earlier in the day and keep it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to eat that night. You can also make this for a birthday party for kids with gluten or dairy allergies.
2 cans coconut milk, cream scraped from the milk. You’ll just use the cream for the recipe
1 cup dates, soaked, pitted, and drained
1 cup coconut flakes
1 teaspoon vanilla
10 - 12 kiwis, peeled and sliced into rounds
1 bunch bananas, sliced lengthwise
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tablespoon maple butter
Begin by putting 2 cans of coconut milk in the refrigerator and soak the dates.
When you’re cans are ready to go, prepare the cream. Scrape the cream off of the top of the coconut milk - this is the only part that you will use. Combine the dates, cream, coconut flakes, vanilla, cinnamon, and maple butter (if using) in a food processor or blender. Mix until combined. Set aside.
Peel the kiwis and slice into thin rounds. Slice the bananas lengthwise.
Place your serving platter in front of you. Begin by creating a base with the bananas. Layer on the kiwi. Spread a dollop of cream over the top. Repeat the process until all of the bananas have been used and the cream is exposed. Cover the cream with the remaining kiwi so that it looks like a shell. Add a round of kiwi to the plate for the “head”. Quarter 2 rounds of kiwi for the “claws”.
Refrigerator for up to 12 hours or serve immediately.
Recipe serves 8
Hi! I'm Lacie, an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach turned Food Blogger. Welcome to The Vegetarian LunchBox where I celebrate my passion for vegetarian cooking.