Classic Raw Cheesecake

As promised… here’s my all-time favorite raw cheesecake recipe!

For the Crust:

If you’d like a traditional cheesecake with a crust, prepare my graham cracker crust (<– recipe here) first.

Press the crust into the bottom of a greased 4″ springform pan, then place in the freezer to set until the cheesecake filling is ready.

For the Filling:

Start making the cheesecake filling by peeling and chopping up 1/2 a cup of fresh zucchini.

Process the zucchini in a mini-food processor, until very finely chopped.

To the chopped zucchini, add 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 2 1/2 tablespoons raw honey, 2 dates, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt, and blend until smooth.

Finally, add 1/2 a cup of raw cashew butter to the mixture, and blend until smooth and well combined.

Assemble your cheesecake by pouring the batter on top of your prepared graham cracker crust

(You will probably have a little bit of cheesecake batter leftover–> I like to freeze this in a separate container and enjoy it on its own!)

Smooth the top with a spatula, and freeze overnight to set.

The next day, your cheesecake should be ready to devour!

Remove from the spring-form pan, slice and serve!

Straight from the freezer, this cheesecake is the PERFECT consistency, incredibly similar to the REAL thing!

(Make sure you serve it directly from the freezer, as it can get soft quickly at room temperature, and will go back to a more “pudding-like” consistency if left out too long.)

5.0 from 20 reviews
Classic Raw Cheesecake
Author: 
 
A surprisingly authentic tasting cheesecake, but without the unhealthy ingredients!
Ingredients
  • ½ cup zucchini, peeled and chopped
  • ½ cup raw cashew butter
  • 2½ Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2½ Tablespoons raw honey (or agave nectar, for vegans)
  • 2 dates
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
Instructions
  1. In a mini food processor, blend zucchini until finely processed.
  2. Add the lemon juice, raw honey, dates, vanilla, and sea salt, and blend until smooth.
  3. Finally, add in the cashew butter and blend until well combined.
  4. Pour into a spring-form pan, over a raw graham cracker crust if desired, and FREEZE OVERNIGHT until set.
  5. Serve frozen for an authentic cheesecake texture.
Notes
You can make your own cashew butter by simply blending 2 cups of raw cashews in a high-powered blender (such as a Vita-Mix) until smooth.

This stuff doesn’t last long around my house–> so I highly recommend doubling the recipe if you have lots of cheesecake-lovers around!

Hope you all enjoy!!

Comments

  1. says

    This looks AMAZING! Andy and I tried raw cheesecake at the Foodbuzz Festival last year and have been wanting to try it again since. I never would have imagined that zucchini would be good in it. I need to try this.

  2. says

    You must be kidding me. That’s the healthiest cheesecake i’ve ever seen :) and it looks the best! thanks for the recipe :) i’m definitely going to have to make this soon!

    • Megan says

      Using stevia might affect the texture AND flavor, but it’s definitely worth a shot! If the cheesecake doesn’t hold together for you when using the stevia, you could add a couple tablespoons of coconut oil to the mix– which would help it solidify in the freezer.

      Let me know if you try it!!

  3. says

    I finally got around to trying this recipe and I am SO impressed! I had to make some substitutions based on what I had on hand: walnuts added to the crust since I didn’t have enough pecans, a yellow squash instead of zucchini, and almond butter instead of cashew butter for the filling. But I am floored by how delicious and healthful this is! I even came up with a fun idea for how to use the rest of the pie crust, and I’ve posted the recipe on my blog here:

    http://salubriousnoms.blogspot.com/2011/07/getting-your-dessert-on-raw-reverse.html

    Thanks, as always, for your wonderful ideas and inspiration!

  4. Lauren says

    I just tried this recipe and was amazed and delighted at how much it tasted like “regular” cheesecake, made with cream cheese. I used agave instead of honey and added nutmeg to the crust, but otherwise followed the recipe and it really came out great! I am on day 4 of a 21-day cleanse and am really excited by all of the recipes on your website. Thanks so much!

  5. Lisa says

    how many servings does this make? and has anyone tried substituting something like avocado, pumpkin, or mashed banana for the nut butter? I don’t have any nut butters at the moment…

  6. Myssi says

    Had this last night with a glass of your homemade coconut milk and it was amazing! I’ve given up a lot of foods in the last couple of weeks and with things like this I don’t even feel deprived at all. Thanks so much for your recipes!

  7. Grace says

    Would cucumber work for this recipe? I’m not quite familiar with the texture of zucchini so I dont know how substituting with cucumber would effect it. Unfortunately we currently have no zucchini.

    Thanks!

    • says

      Cucumber is more watery, and may alter the flavor a bit, so you’d have to experiment with that. If yellow squash are available, that would work as a zucchini substitute, too!

  8. Grace says

    I am really really these recipes, I’m on a candida cleanse diet right now and its becoming tons easier to follow as i try these recipes and look at other vegan/ sugar/ gluten free blogs… thanks a ton!! 😉

  9. Grace says

    I’ve also realized the longer i dont consume candida irritating foods, the less I crave the stuff! This is great! I had a cucumber with cayenne and salt/ plain yogurt for breckfast and unsweetend almond butter as a snack and I am completely satisfied! I am not even hungry for lunch! I think I’ll do a green smoothie later!

  10. Megan says

    I used a little more zucchini than called for and filled 20 cups in a mini muffin tin. I also put a rounded 1/2tsp of your graham cracker crust in the middle of each. Using My Fitness Pal I came up with 75 calories for each. I used stevia and 1 Tbsp coconut oil in place of honey. I am so looking forward to these.

  11. Arlene says

    I just made this and it looked nothing like yours. Mine was light brown, not white. I’m not sure how it’s supposed to be white since the butter is brown and so is the vanilla. Am I doing something wrong?

    • says

      Hmmm… the vanilla may affect the color slightly, but the cheesecake should primarily turn out the color of the cashews– which is an off-white color. (You can see in my pictures that my cheesecake isn’t pure white, in comparison to the bright white dots on the plate.)

      Did you use raw or roasted cashews? I believe raw cashews are lighter in color, so that would make a difference in both the color and flavor. Otherwise, I have no idea! I hope it tastes good, regardless. 😉

      • Arlene says

        Thanks for your reply. I bought the cashew butter at my local bulk barn. I’ll have to try it again and make my own butter with raw cashews. The stuff I bought looked very strangely like almond butter which is darker.

        The good news is, I decided to throw in some cocoa to make a chocolate cheesecake. Not bad for my first attempt! My 7 year old loves it! Of course he’s more on board for raw eating than the rest of the family. Gotta start them young!

  12. Randa says

    Found this via pinterest and made it yesterday. We ate it tonight and it is deeelish! Love the ingredients, amazing. Makes sense that zuchinni takes on the other tastes around it, since it doesn’t have a strong taste on its own.

    I definitely taste the lemon, so for those who aren’t big on lemon flavor, they may want to decrease the amount.

  13. Emily says

    What can you sub if allergic to tree nuts? I can do coconut, sunbutter, and peanuts but not any tree nuts. Would those take ok?

    • says

      Sunflower butter might work, though I haven’t tried it myself. Any changes will definitely result in a different flavor, but I’m sure with a little experimentation, it will still be tasty!

  14. says

    Meg!!! I am so glad I found you!

    And this recipe…It plays with my imagination and very soon I’ll make it!

    Actually I am very keen on cooking and experimenting, but zucchini in a cheesecake wouldn’t come to my mind!
    Thanks!
    I’ll keep you under eye 😛

  15. Spring says

    Hi! I have been dying to try this recipe but have 2 questions
    1. Can squash zucinni replace zucinni? I did not find a zucinni in Publix last weekend
    2. Where do I find raw cashew butter ?

    Thanks!

    • says

      The cashew butter is pretty key in the flavor and texture of this recipe. You could use another nut butter, or coconut butter, for a similar texture, but the flavor will not be the same. I don’t think a banana would work.

      I also have a nut-free avocado cheesecake recipe to post in the near future, so stay tuned!

  16. Shelby says

    Doubling the recipe? Are you nuts? I have made this 3 times and quadruple the recipe b/c it is so amazingly delicious and gets eaten so fast. This recipe goes in a special file labeled “heavenly”, and Inormally don’t even like regular cheesecake that much. This is way better, seriously.

  17. Penny O says

    Another AMAZING recipe from the Detoxinista. Thank you SO MUCH Megan for the recipes. I am seriously converting my family to a healthier way of eating thanks to your blog.

    I doubled the crust and the filling recipes for a 9″ springform pan. It’s in the freezer right now…setting up for a gluten-free Thanksgiving.

    • says

      They don’t add a specific flavor, but they do add sweetness and an extra helping of fiber and nutrients. You can replace with extra honey, if you prefer.

      • Paula says

        Thank you! I got medjool dates and made this delicious cheesecake this weekend!! It is incredible and almost gone! Only one slice left! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!

  18. Kailey says

    This looks so good. Too bad I am allergic to zucchini and cashews. This is still really ingenious. Thank you for sharing!

  19. Tina says

    Megan, help please! I love your website and make many of your recipes. I was so excited to make this, but it did not turn out anything like yours! I followed the recipe exactly. Instead of looking delectable like the pictures, the filling turned out super thick, sticky and dark in color. More like a fudge texture, nothing like a fluffy cheesecake! Not sure what went wrong. Should I have soaked the cashews before making it into butter? Maybe it was the raw honey I used, the texture was thick and dark in color. I am determined to make this again, the right way!! Any suggestions would be great. Thank you!!
    P.S. Although the texture didn’t turn out right, it still was super delicious and I ended up cutting it into squares and eating it like raw fudge!!

    • says

      The honey could definitely affect the color, and maybe it added to the thickness, too? I would try using a lighter raw honey, or maybe try adding some extra zucchini, which helps thin the batter. This raw version doesn’t get quite as “fluffy” as traditional cheesecake, but the batter should be runny enough to pour out of the blender easily.

      I don’t care for the texture of soaked cashews, so I don’t recommend doing that, unless you’re going to dry them before blending. It ruined a cheesecake for me once!

  20. Hannah says

    Does any one know of anything that could be substituted for the cashew butter? Possibly soy butter or something to that effect due to a nut allergy…

    • says

      Please review the comments above. I’ve never tried anything of the substitutes, so you’ll have to experiment and let us know if you have any success!

  21. says

    OMG! I made these (left out the honey and made my own cashew butter) right before my Whole30 (it ended up being a Whole34) and I completely forgot about them in the freezer. I found them last week and GOODNESS ME are they ever good! Literally *just* like cheesecake but without all the creepies!

  22. LAUREN says

    Incredible!!! I made this for a super bowl party and people raved about it!! They couldn’t believe there was zucchini in it.

  23. Mary Pichotta says

    Just wondering where you find a 4 inch springform pan? I’ve never seen one so small. These look really good and I’ll have to try them soon. Might just use the mini muffin cups like they did in a comment above.

    • says

      I picked it up at a Home Goods store a few years ago! I used to have to make my raw desserts pretty small, because no one would dare try them– now, they all know better and I almost never use my small pan anymore. 😉 You can double or triple the recipe to fill up a full-size pan, if you prefer.

  24. Linda C says

    I can’t wait to try this! YUM! Sounds like a great recipe and I have everything on hand. I haven’t had cheesecake in years, so this will be a real treat! Thanks so much for sharing! And great blog too!

  25. says

    Hi there,
    Happy to have discovered your website, just amazing! Thank you”
    Your raw cheesecake, we don’t have, oh oops I didn’t read all the recipe! I have just answered my own question.
    We don’t have graham cracker, ( biscuits) I take it? Are they are savoury biscuits?
    Big love from Rosie

  26. Kaitlin says

    This looks amazing! Can’t wait to try…. I do not have a spring-form pan… do you have another suggestion?
    Thanks :)

  27. Steven says

    Hi,

    Looking for a dairy-free take on the (Japanese) Rare Cheesecake I came across this recipe. I’m really interested in trying this, but before I do I’m curious about your thought process: How did you came to include zucchini? I’m a lifelong foodie and this would just never have occurred to me.

    Great site, btw.

    Cheers,
    Steven

    • Megan says

      I’m always looking for ways to sneak veggies into my recipes, so the zucchini addition made sense to me– it adds moisture and texture, without altering the flavor! I can’t imagine making this cheesecake without it now.

  28. Nora says

    Megan, if we would like to double this with an 8 inch spring form pan, we should make everything else doubled right?

    • Lisa says

      Oh gosh, no, you should quadruple the ingredient amounts (not double). Basic math. Area of a circle is pi*radius*radius, or just (1/4)*pi*diameter*diameter. So if you double the pan size (double the diameter), you’re ending up with 4 times the original circular area. If this doesn’t make sense, find a math whiz to explain it better!
      Note that if you just double your ingredients, it’s not a disaster: you’ll end up with a very short but still very tasty cheesecake.

  29. Katie says

    THANK YOOOOU,
    I became lactose -intolerant around 2 years ago and have been missing cheesecake ever since!! This was the perfect recipie and I will deffinitly be making more of them! THANK YOU
    Katie

  30. John says

    I made this a couple of times. First time I used almond butter instead of cashew butter. This was also very good! This last time I used the actual cashew butter. The first one came out a lot darker. It looked like it was a coffee cheesecake. This one looks more like the one on the picture:

    I could not find a 4″ pan, so I used a 6″ pan and doubled the ingredients. Everyone loved it. Thanks for sharing the recipe with us!

  31. says

    Payday is looking better and better. My shopping list is going to be pretty fun looking for the ingredients to so many of your recipes!!Since finding your blog tonight the hardest thing you ask?? Putting the laptop down & going to sleep!! LOL This looks amazing & I seriously can’t wait to try it. I may even offer to share with my family 😉

  32. Tammy says

    Just thought I would share… you can totally skip the whole make your own cashew butter and just use cashews. I made it and substituted the cashew butter for a heaping 1/2cup raw cashews and put all the ingredients in the blender and blended until smooth – turned out great and super easy!! I skipped the crust and topped it with fresh berries.
    Thanks for a yummy recipe. Oh and I used yellow squash!

  33. Cara says

    I made this using almonds instead of pecans (for the base) and cashews, and it was amazingly yummy! Thank you!

  34. says

    At the moment I have my first two cheesecakes in the freezer, a chocolate one with Zucchini and a lemon/strawberry without (see my blog). I’m excited to compare the two, thanks for the inspiration!

  35. says

    hi! i really want to make this . . . but nuts r super expensive! i already have a recipe for healthy graham cracker pie crust, but what can i use to replace the cashew butter in the actual cheesecake? PLEASE HELP ASAP! thanks!

    • Megan says

      Hmm… if you don’t want to use nuts, then you might want to look for a recipe calling for cream cheese? I can’t think of an authentic-tasting alternative other than using nuts or seeds for a vegan version.

  36. says

    It was okay. the ingredients were expensive, so i just used graham crackers for the crust ( i used chocolate covered katie’s recipe) and the crust was fine. the cheesecake tasted VERY lemony, i don’t know if i used too much lemon juice or what, but it was very sour! overall it was good, but just because it was so expensive for the nuts that i don’t know if i were to make it again! thanks for the recipe though.

  37. Cassidy says

    Eeek, I didn’t realize there were dates in this until I started making it. D: I don’t haz dates.
    I subbed a couple generous tablespoons of coconut oil…here’s to hoping it works! 😛

  38. Travis says

    Where’s the cheese?
    No cheese, not a cheesecake.

    I’ll give you “cheesecake texture”, but this is not a cheesecake. I am sad. Cheesecake is sad.

  39. Sarah says

    I didn’t read any of the comments to see if this had been asked already or not, but my boyfriend is allergic to cashews; is there something we could use to substitute for cashews in this recipe?!

  40. Jen says

    Made this for dessert tonight. I agree,”not cheesecake” BUT so amazing & delicious! Everyone loved it & no one believed that there was zucchini in it. Yum! Thanks :)

  41. Elyssa says

    Will this cheesecake taste the same if I used regular cashew butter? after making the recipe I realized the batter was a different color and that it called for “raw cashew butter”.

  42. Dana says

    This is my go-to cheesecake recipe. It’s great with fruit and I basically know the recipe by heart now. Everyone loves this one!

  43. Tiffany says

    Megan, OH MY GOODNESS!! This recipe is incredible, especially with the graham cracker crust with pecans. The only thing I changed was to add another 1/8 cup zucchini and a little bit more cashew butter as it was a lil “lemony” to my liking. But seriously, AMAZING! I had to stop myself from eating the whole batch. So excited to try out more of your recipes- a huge THANK YOU!

  44. Anna says

    I’ve really been wanting to make this, but was hesitant as I have yet to purchase a food processor. Turns out I underestimated my lovely Oster blender who did a bang up job at making the cashew butter and “crust”. I used almonds for the crust instead, amazing results. Made it last night, and boyfriend and I had it for breakfast. We were astounded. He kept saying how it tasted “bad for you”. I’ll be the first to say this is a brilliant recipe that mimics cheesecake as close as possible. Megan, you are very talented! It was creamy and delicious, and no overwhelming sense of regret after having a nice helping :) I am going to trick my non-health conscious friends tonight! Thank you for being a guru to us health-minded creatures!

  45. Rachel says

    I figured all these fantastic reviews wouldn’t steer me wrong, so I made a quadruple batch today (only double for the crust, which is still a great ratio). I just checked on it in the freezer, and OH MY!! It’s heavenly!! People, don’t hesitate on this recipe, go for it! I found a brand of raw cashew butter called Eastwind at my health food store. It’s a great little company, it’s a teeny bit cheaper per oz than whole raw cashews (in my area), and you get a glass jar to reuse as well. I added a few sprinkles of cinnamon and nutmeg to my crust, and it’s the perfect hint of flavor. I’ll never go back to dairy cheesecake! Huge kudos to you, Megan, for this wonderful recipe! Love your blog!! Blessings, Rachel.

  46. Rachel says

    Totally forgot to mention I used stevia in both the crust and filling with no problem at all. I’m on a candida/leaky gut protocol right now, so no honey or dates for me, but I don’t know if I’ll need them with recipes like this. I did add just a bit of coconut oil to the filling, just in case, but I’m sure it would have set up just fine without it. Can’t wait to use zucchini in more sweet recipes after this!

  47. Mattie says

    So delicious! I didn’t have cashew butter, so I used an all natural peanut butter with great success. To compensate for a very different flavor between butters I reduced the lemon juice and increased the vanilla. Turned out delicious! I’m just beginning to get into natural cooking and baking, and your website is such a life saver!

    Thanks for making the journey that much less overwhelming!

  48. Debbie says

    Just to let everyone know I purchased the mini spring pans at Target There were three in the box for under $10. Cant wait to try this, can you use prunes instead of dates? I can not find the dates.

  49. Erica says

    I made this yesterday and it was fabulous. My husband even enjoyed it and told me to definitely feel free to make it again. :) I honestly liked it enough that I don’t think I will ever bother making a real cheesecake again. This one took me about 15 minutes to make in my Vitamix, crust included. The only change I made was to add 1/8 tsp of ground ginger to the crust. Thank you so much for creating and sharing this recipe!

  50. Tracy says

    I made this last night. It’s delicious!!! I missed reading about using a small pan and just used a regular sized one. I doubled the recipe, which worked great for the crust, but the topping was pretty thin (1/2 inch). Next time I will triple the filling. Still wonderful though!!!

  51. Christy says

    I saw this recipe back in 2012 but never tried it until about a year later because I was skeptical about how zucchini and cashews could taste like cheesecake. When I finally made it my husband and I immediately feel in love with it. It is so good I think we made it like four times in that first month.

  52. Albeach says

    This was soooo good! I love taking a quick bite right out of the freezer. I would definitely recommend making this. It is so good.

  53. Shelley says

    Hey meg! So sorry if u have already answered this question but didn’t get to read all the comments, it looks likes it’s only a small ( but super scrumptious!!!!) cheesecake. I was just wondering how many hungry ppl it would serve :)

  54. DbBd says

    I loved this dessert! I made it for my mom’s birthday. She is on the SCD diet. For the rest of the people that never tried nut-butter based desserts, this was heavenly! For me, however, it just tasted like frozen cashew butter. But it made my mother’s birthday! She did not expect to have a cake.. So thanks so much for posting!!!

  55. sara says

    This actually sounds really tasty, but I am wondering if there is something I can substitute for the cashew butter? My son has tree nut/nut allergies…. Any ideas would be appreciated, I would love to try this out!

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