Vegan Mamas cake square portion

Vegan Gateau Marie

Let me start by saying that I’ve honestly never seen a cake being called so many names before! The Americans call it Mama’s Cake or Icebox Cake. Here in Malta we refer to it as Gateau Marie or Coffee Gateau. But you’ll also find it on the web as Marie biscuit cake or Chocolate biscuit cake. Each part of the world seems to have a version of this biscuit cake. And it’s no wonder since it’s such a quick and easy recipe to make. 

Knife cutting into Healthy and Vegan Biscuit Cake

Finding a name for this biscuit gateau was honestly more difficult than making the recipe itself. But no matter what you call it, one thing is for sure – we absolutely love it here in Malta. You’ll find it as an option in Most coffee shops. If you want to see plenty of happy, just take this Gateau Marie with you to your next BBQ or party! 

I used to adore this cake as a non-vegan but my tolerance to dairy products (especially the creamy kind) is very close to 0. I, therefore, suffered consequences if I had more than two bites. That’s why I transformed it into a dairy-free dessert and healthy dessert. The result – a no-bake vegan cake which is one of the best healthy recipes I’ve ever made, honestly!

A slice of healthy biscuit cake being pulled out of the dish

Is Mama’s Cake Healthy?

As the name implies (in some of the versions 😂), this layer biscuit cake uses Marie biscuits as the key ingredient. Additionally, the typical mama’s cake recipe contains heavy cream, butter, sugar, and chocolate. With such a list of ingredients, you can’t really consider this a healthy dessert.

I copied and pasted the nutritional info of 4 ‘normal’ biscuit cakes recipes (using the same ingredient amounts, divided by a similar amount of servings) and calculated some averages below. The average biscuit cake contains 468 calories, 28g of fats (15g of which are saturated), 30g of sugar, 5g protein and 4.5g of fiber. 

So what makes this Gateau Marie a healthier option?

The Healthy Malteser Gateau Marie contains 391 calories, which is still a high amount. Nevertheless, these calories are made up of 24g of fats (9g of which are saturated), 8.2g of sugar, 13.4g protein and 5.3g of fiber. Evidently, substituting ingredients to better alternatives results in a far superior nutritional composition that offers some health benefits over the non-healthy type.  

A dish of Vegan Gateau Marie on a wooden table decorated with biscuits and nuts

What substitutions did I make, you ask? Firstly, I use high-fiber and sugar-free Marie Biscuits instead of the normal type (I ensured they were also vegan). Moreover, I replace the heavy cream with yogurt and low-fat coconut milk. I use stevia-sweetened dark chocolate, and antioxidant-packed hazelnut butter to bring it all together. Finally, I also added some chocolate protein powder to give it an extra protein boost.

I just have to mention that I got my chocolate hazelnut butter from Munch a Bunch – a fellow Malteser who makes the most amazing homemade nut butters. Seriously, you need to give this magic stuff a try 🙂

I love preparing vegan food and sweets for family gatherings, without telling anyone what’s inside. When I tell them they’re actually enjoying a healthier, dairy-free treat I find the reactions and confused stares very amusing! Whenever I create a recipe that mimics an already-established favorite, my aim is always that of making it taste just as heavenly, using better and cleaner ingredients. So it’s always hugely satisfying when people who would never consider eating vegan come back for a second slice. 

A slice of vegan Gateau Marie, also known as mama's cake or coffee gateau

Now that summer is slowly settling in, putting on my oven is the last thing I’d want. That’s where no-bake vegan desserts come in so handy. This Marie Biscuit Cake Recipe is chocolate-y, packed with flavour, refreshing, and absolutely satisfying. The taste is simply fabulous, especially considering the little effort you need to prepare it.  

A slice of vegan Gateau Marie, also known as mama's cake or coffee gateau

Vegan Gateau Marie which is secretly healthy

Geraldine Bartolo
This Gateau Maries (also known as coffee gateau and mama's cake) is dairy-free, much healthier than the normal type and deliciously vegan
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cooling Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine world cuisine
Servings 15 squares
Calories 391 kcal


  • Mixing Bowl
  • Electric Hand Mixer
  • 30cm x 24cm Dish


  • 400 g Sugar Free Biscuits
  • 2 cans Coconut Milk (normal fat)
  • 400 g Soya yogurt
  • 120 g Vegan Protein Powder Ideally chocolate flavour
  • 120 g Date Syrup
  • 250 g Chocolate Hazelnut Butter
  • 240 g Stevia Sweetened Dark Chocolate Melted
  • 500 ml Black Coffee you can also add in a teaspoon of hot chocolate
  • 10 g Crushed Hazelnuts (optional) for garnish


  • Prepare your coffee by adding 2 teaspoons of coffee and a teaspoon of hot chocolate to 500ml of water. Let cool.
  • When the coconut milk is refrigerated overnight, the cream and liquid separate. Spoon out the cream on top and place in your mixing bowl, making sure that you do not add any liquid.
  • Add soya yogurt, date syrup, chocolate hazelnut butter, and protein powder to the coconut milk and whisk with an electric mixer until all the ingredients are well combined.
  • Add in the melted chocolate and whisk for another 30s until fully incorporated into the mixture.
  • Dip the biscuits into the coffee and cover the bottom of the dish.
  • Spoon the creamy mixture onto the biscuit layer and smoothen with a spatula.
  • Repeat the steps above until you have 3 layers of biscuits and 3 layers of cream.
  • Decorate to your liking using any remaining crushed biscuits and crushed nuts.


If you’d like to start calculating nutrition facts yourself, there are plenty of apps that can help you do that. I personally prefer and use MyFitnessPal and you can find all my recipes listed there. You’ll find this listed as ‘The Healthy Malteser Vegan Gateau Marie’ .

Did you give this simple tofu recipe a go? We’d love to hear from you! Rate the recipe and leave your comments below. And don’t forget to Tag @TheHealthyMalteser on Facebook and Instagram for a chance to have your recipe featured in our stories! 

Think your friends will like this recipe? Share it with them so they can try it out too! 😍

Want to make the switch to a healthier lifestyle?

Subscribe here to receive healthy recipes straight to your inbox

    1 thought on “Vegan Gateau Marie”

    Leave a Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Recipe Rating

    Scroll to Top