Raw Chocolate-Swirl Cheesecake Bars

Whether you’re throwing a Super Bowl party tomorrow or not, you should make these ASAP:

Chocolate + Cheesecake = a match made in Heaven.

And since these are all-natural, raw and vegan– you can go back for seconds guilt-free!!

Raw Chocolate-Swirl Cheesecake Bars
Makes about 9-12 squares

Chocolate Crust:

1 cup raw pecans
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup (preferably Grade B)
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

In a mini-food processor (I use this one), process the pecans until they are crumbly:

Be careful not to process too long– you don’t want pecan butter!! Well, maybe you do… but not for this recipe.Β 

Add in the rest of the crust ingredients, and process until thoroughly combined, scraping down the sides if necessary. Then transfer the crust to a square 6″ Tupperware, lined with plastic-wrap, and press down evenly.

Place the crust in the freezer to set for at least 10 minutes, while you make the cheesecake filling.

Cheesecake filling:

1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least an hour
1/2 cup zucchini, peeled and chopped
2 1/2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 cup honey (or agave, for vegans)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

Throw all of the ingredients into a blender (note: if you’re using a high-powered blender, like the Vita-Mix, you can skip soaking the cashews!) and blend until silky smooth. Pour the filling over the chocolate crust and smooth the top, using a spatula:

Now it’s time for the fun part–> adding the chocolate swirls!!!

Chocolate Swirl:

2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 Tablespoon coconut oil, in liquid form

Directions:

Whisk the ingredients together until smooth:

Next, using a spoon, gently pour 3-4 lines across the cheesecake bars:

It’s okay if it’s messy, because you’ll be dragging a knife through those lines next! With a light touch, drag a knife back and forth perpendicularly to the lines you made– creating a marbled look like this:

Don’t they look like little hearts? Perfect for Valentine’s Day!! πŸ˜€

Once your cheesecake bars are “swirled” to your liking, place them in the freezer to set for at least 4 hours. When they are firm, you can slice and serve chilled!

Be sure to store these in the freezer– they will melt quickly at room temperature!

Don’t worry, these taste so good, they won’t last long on a plate anyway…

Enjoy!!

Share:
Meet Megan Gilmore

Hi, I’m Megan. A former fast food junkie turned certified nutritionist consultant, trying to make healthy living as easy as possible. I believe in eating delicious whole foods on a regular basis to help naturally support the body’s detox organsβ€” no juice fasting required. (Unless you want to!) If you make one of my healthy recipes, tag @detoxinista on Instagram or Facebook so I can see!

145 thoughts on “Raw Chocolate-Swirl Cheesecake Bars

      1. Auntie Rie

        Wow! I just made these for a surprise for my daughter who is vegan so she will have a dessert for Thanksgiving. Can’t wait to taste them. They look great.

        Reply
      2. Gretchen Goolsby

        I’d love to make this dessert but the only nuts I can have are walnuts. any suggestions on how to make this without the pecans or cashews?
        Gretchen

        Reply
  1. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)

    these look beyond words aahhhh mazing!!!

    Between the GF crust
    the middle layer (love the use of a peeled zuke in there!)
    and the top layer of raw coconut oil choco (im a big time fan!)

    they look…incredible!

    and to get the “colors” not to smudge or blur, that’s a task when dealing w/ white + choc stuff. my creme de menthe bars are like that!

    Reply
  2. Laura

    Oh my gooooooooodness! You made one amazing looking square! I don’t think they’d last more than a day, even if I hid them in the back of the freezer…

    Reply
  3. Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn

    Ahhh I have all the ingredients!! Yayay this may be my second raw dessert of the weekend, the first being an amazingly delicious chocolate mousse I made last night:) Love me some chocolate! Slash I haven’t had cheesecake-type flavors in forever so I am very excited.

    Reply
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  5. Casey

    Ooh la la, lady these look fab! What a treat! Love the zucchini use…I see what you mean about our joint efforts to disguise zucchini πŸ™‚

    Reply
  6. [email protected]

    omg those look delightful!!! Yum! I was craving cheesecake so bad during the game last night!

    Reply
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  10. Kathy

    Megan, I made these. First they were amazing. Second, I had more fun going around to everyone that works with me at a gourmet market and catering company and having them taste and then asking “What ingredients did I use?” I love telling them about the zucchini. They are shocked and amazed. Thanks for sharing…Kathy

    Reply
  11. sarah

    hi! i made these and added mint leave for green color – fabulous! today, going to try making them with organic orange rind/juice and orange essential oil – this is a winner! i love the addition of zucchini for a healthier less nuts-and-oil dessert treat:) thanks so much!!!!!!

    Reply
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  13. Sarah

    Hi! These are *AMAZING*!!! I made them a couple weeks ago, and everyone loved them. Then I thought, “I can make these for Passover!” Unfortunately I didn’t plan ahead and get all the ingredients kosher-for-passover, so I had to use whatever was on hand! The crust still came out great with regular oil rather than coconut oil, and for the filling I substituted 1 cup of ground pecans for the cashews, regular oil for the coconut oil, honey for the agave; and also added 1/3 cup frozen avocado pieces, for extra creaminess and a little extra “fat”. They came out delicious!! The filling & the chocolate “swirl” definitely weren’t as solid as they were when made with the coconut oil, but the bars are still super-yummy and creamy with a cheesecake-texture! My husband loved them! Thank you!! πŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. Megan Post author

      I’m glad they turned out so well, even without all the exact ingredients! I bet the pecans added a really great flavor– they’re one of my favorites. πŸ˜‰

      Reply
  14. Jennifer

    I am not a vegan, and I stumbled upon this while looking for some recipes for Cycle 1 of the 17 Day Diet and, I had to say, these sound like they are fantastic. I shared this website with a vegan friend of mine!

    Reply
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  16. Jaime

    I made these tonight (one batch for my boyfriend’s sister’s 18th tomorrow, she loves cheesecake!) and a batch for my family to try (to make sure they are edible). I think next time I will use a little more zucchini to balance out the flavor (it was just a tad too nutty).
    I also used powdered stevia for the filling and it worked out excellent.

    Everyone loved them!!!

    I will be sure to make these again.

    Reply
    1. Megan Post author

      Are you allergic to all tree nuts? If not, you can easily substitute almonds, walnuts or cashews.

      If all nuts must be avoided, perhaps you could try using sunflower seeds? They would affect the flavor, so you’ll just have to adjust the sweetness to taste!

      Reply
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    1. Megan Post author

      Coconut oil is solid in temperatures below 76 degrees– warm it up by placing the bowl in a warm oven for a few minutes, and it should liquify again! If you are trying to swirl it into the cheesecake, the cheesecake can’t be too cold, either, or it will solidify too quickly. It’s best to create the swirl when they are both at room temperature.

      Hope that helps!

      Reply
      1. Alysca

        Hi Megan,

        I couldn’t wait to try these and just made my first batch. Everything turned out pretty good except for the chocolate swirl. It’s freezing where I am at the moment so coconut oil is permanently solid – I did heat it up so that it was liquid, then added the cocao and syrup but it was still way too solid. Any suggestions?

        Thanks and great work!
        Alysca

        Reply
        1. Megan Post author

          Was your maple syrup chilled when you added it to the chocolate mixture? That could cause the thickening. I’d recommend placing the chocolate mixture in a warm oven until it’s liquid again, then quickly adding it to the cheesecake mixture before it gets too cold in your home!

          Reply
  18. Monia

    these came out awesome!!!! only tip I have is not to use coarse sea salt… use fine sea salt… my bad, I only had coarse and I’m biting into little chuncks of salt… oh well they are still delightful!!!

    Reply
  19. prema

    Hi Megan,I wanted to know what is the purpose of the zucchini in the cheese cake recipe?can u taste it in the cheese cake?could u leave it out if u wish to not add it or will it affect the whole recipe?thanks prema

    Reply
    1. Megan Post author

      I originally added the zucchini to lighten up the cheesecake, by reducing the nut content, but I do love the texture it adds to the finished product. If you’d prefer to omit the zucchini, you might increase the cashews a bit to keep the flavor and texture in tact. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  20. Dale

    I tried the chocolate mixture 2 times and it failed both times. The coconut oil seems to just separate. All this left me with is a lot of wasted ingredients!

    Reply
    1. Megan Post author

      I’m sorry to hear that the coconut oil is separating for you. In my experience, the chocolate mixture can be briefly chilled and then stirred again to resolve the separation– so you definitely don’t have to waste it! Hope that helps, and I hope it tastes good regardless!

      Reply
  21. Saira

    I am not vegan but came upon your site and just had to try making these (the simplicity of raw food has just started to appeal to me). Anyways, I made these bars today and I have to admit they are the best darn tasting bars ever…just as yummy as they look and I followed your recipe to the T, it all turned out perfect. Thank you for your awesome creation…my kids and hubby loved them too so it doesnt’ get much better than that πŸ™‚

    Reply
  22. Andrea McGloin

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Just found your website and I’m hooked. I made these fantastic raw cheesecake squares for my family. We all loved them and I am thrilled I now have a healthy dessert to serve that doesn’t leave us with that icky sugar low. Have also tried several other recipes from your site and they pass the test not only for me (who is used to eating ultra-healthy things) but for my three daughters and husband. Now that’s something to shout about!

    Reply
  23. Christie

    This look fantastic! I may have to make them for my birthday this weekend. Can you recommend a substitution for the agave? Thank you!

    Reply
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  25. Rosa

    This looks amazing!! But unfortunately I’m allergic to cashew nut. What other nut would you recommend for the filling? I’m also allergic to peanut, hazelnut and pistachio :S absolutely fine with almond, pecans, walnuts, macadamia nut and others.

    Reply
  26. Micah

    This. Is. So. GOOD. I absolutely love cheesecake, but in this case I actually much prefer the raw vegan alternative, very refreshing without that I-just-ate-way-too-much-sugar feeling you usually get after eating a dessert.

    I made this for my brother’s birthday, as a whole cake instead of squares. Since I made it in a 10″ springform pan, I had to make twice the crust recipe and 3 times the filling. It was absolutely amazing, delicious and the swirls made it look so impressive! The only substitution I made was walnuts instead of pecans. Wish I could post a picture, it was so awesome! Thanks!

    Reply
  27. Kate

    These are surprisingly delicious. They don’t taste like cheesecake, but the texture is similar, and the flavor is very good – especially the crust!

    Reply
  28. ruth

    i can’t have dairy and haven’t had cheesecake in forever and these were AWESOME! i used walnuts for the crust since i didn’t have pecans. thanks for the recipe!

    Reply
  29. Tammy

    OMG!!! These are amazing! Just made these last night for the first time and it definitely won’t be the last! I LOVE cheesecake and these are the perfect alternative. The creamy texture is perfect, I feel like I’m cheating but without the guilty conscience afterwards!! Thank you, thank you, thank you, Megan! Oh, by the way, the hubs loved them too!
    I can’t wait to try many of your other recipes. Thanks again for sharing!

    Reply
  30. Naionica

    Hey Megan, can i replace the coconut oil with another kind of oil? I’m not particularly fond of the former πŸ™

    Reply
    1. Megan Post author

      Coconut oil is unique, in the fact that it solidifies when chilled– so, the coconut oil is what keeps this cheesecake from becoming a pudding! The only other fat that could possibly work is real butter, if you’d prefer that.

      Reply
  31. Desiree

    Made these recently and my husband and I loved them! I substituted raw walnuts in the crust since that was what I had on hand, but I felt the crust was a little salty, so I’ll half the amount next time.

    I also didn’t have zucchini, so I substituted the same amount with de-seeded cucumber! Surprisingly it was “refreshing” for the first bite, but then it just blends in. This is the first time I’ve seen a vegetable sneaked into a raw cheesecake…I LOVE IT!

    Reply
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  33. Gabby

    Hi

    Firstly, thank you so much for all your wonderful recipes. I’ve just found out I need to go on a low starch / starch free (better option) diet for an autoimmune condition & thought I’d have no treats to make!

    I made this today & didn’t soak the nuts because I have a thermomix & thought I could skip it. The filling hasn’t gone all creamy like it should & it’s a bit of a pistachio colour so I think I’ll soak them next time.

    I’ve still got it sitting in the freezer to taste. I’m sure even though its not as creamy as it should be it will still be delicious.

    So happy I can have so many of your recipes!

    Gabby

    Reply
  34. teepsk8

    I followed the recipe exactly and quite frankly it was delicious. The only problem is I kept thinking man I want to eat some more but I shouldn’t. Then I thought of course I should it’s veggies and nuts! My mind was so tricked I felt like I needed to abstain from seconds!

    Reply
  35. Erin

    Made these am yet to try smelt amazing as I put together all but the nice of plastic that also got blended to a pulp in with the zucchini thank fully I was able to push it through a sieve hopefully it’ll still be fine, I really really want it to be!!

    Reply
    1. Megan Post author

      I always buy organic, extra-virgin coconut oil. I’ve heard that “expeller pressed” has less of a coconut-flavor, but I prefer the higher quality oil and don’t mind the subtle coconut taste.

      Reply
  36. Emily

    Thanks for your last reply. One last question. On the cocoa powder, do you recommend a brand, should it say roasted or unsweetened cocoa powder, dark, etc?

    Thanks again!

    Reply
    1. Megan Post author

      Yep, that should be fine. I usually buy raw cacao powder because it has a high antioxidant content, but I think most cocoa powders all have a similar flavor.

      Reply
  37. Kristina

    I made these for St. Patrick’s day dessert and they were so delicious! I was skeptical that it would taste like dairy cheesecake, but it really did! Every recipe that I have made from this site has been so good that I share them with everyone! For this recipe, I ground my raw cacao nibs in a little coffee grinder to make fresh raw cocoa powder, very potent and delicious!

    Reply
  38. Lee

    Am so glad i stumbled across this recipe, its a big hit in the house! The only problem i had was the choc swirl. I found it to very grainy & far too thick tried to thin it down but made no difference! Would appreciate any advice! Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Megan Post author

      Perhaps if you gently warmed the chocolate coconut-oil mixture, it would become thinner. Coconut oil is very temperature sensitive, and will thicken easily, but it remains liquid at temperatures below 76 degrees.

      Reply
    1. Megan Post author

      It depends on your fridge, and the texture you like– they will be softer in the fridge, and firmer in the freezer.

      Reply
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  40. Eclecta

    Flawless recipe! Thank you so much! I could not believe how good these squares were. I will be making this recipe again and again. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  41. Jennifer

    I am absolutely addicted! This was my first experience making a raw dessert and quite frankly they are better then the majority of cheese cakes I have eaten. I acutally doubled the entire recipe to make a thicker bar– it just took a full overnight in the freezer to firm up.

    Reply
  42. Claudine

    I have made and loved a few of your recipes but this one is my absolute favorite! You’re simply the best! They were not as pretty as yours but they taste amazing!!! Now, I have something pretty and tasty to share. This is a blessing! Thanks a lot for sharing your creativity with us (some of us are not as successful at being creative).

    Reply
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  44. Sandra

    I just made these to “celebrate” cutting out dairy — I am ecstatic with them! With recipes like this I may never miss dairy. My five year old asked me to give him the recipe when he grows up, haha!
    I did find they tasted even better after a night in the freezer. Or maybe it was just like the first bite all over again…And I subbed banana since there was no zucchini in the fridge.

    Reply
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  46. Brenda

    These bars are so delicious and super filling. I ate one for a mid-morning snack and I wasn’t hungry again for hours. I was bragging to my twin sister about my healthy cheesecake and she said she knows you from back in day at Milton’s. Apparently you look a bit like her too;)
    Thanks for all the great recipes! Everything I’ve made has been fabulous.

    Reply
  47. Peter

    My sister made these using cacoa instead of cocoa. To adjust for any additional bitterness from the raw cacoa, she just added an extra 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of maple syrup.

    Cheers for this excellent recipe Megan!

    Reply
    1. Megan Post author

      I have no idea! You might be better off starting with a recipe that calls for cream cheese to begin with, but please let us know if you have any success.

      Reply
  48. Sonia

    You know…they actually DO taste like cheese cake. They are delish! Thanks again for all these wonderful recipes…i’m slowly making my way through them and enjoying every bite πŸ™‚

    Reply
  49. Anna

    I have been eyeing this recipe up for months now and just got a vitamix a few weeks ago so finally able to give a lot of your amazing recipes a try! I tripled this and made it in a 9×13 for a crowd! Huge hit, even with my father who gives me a really hard time for my “horse feed healthy” eating habits! Thank you!

    Reply
  50. Teresa

    Wow, wow, wow!!! I found your website as I was looking for some recipes involving raw zucchini. This is one of the most exciting things I’ve done with zucchini. I’m going to try your classic raw cheesecake next. Thanks so much for sharing your cooking talents!

    Reply
  51. Cynthia

    What is the purpose of the lemon juice? I am allergic to citrus, can I leave it out or do I need to substitute something, maybe vinegar? Thanks for the great recipes!

    Reply
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  59. Gretchen

    I’d love to make these but the only nuts I can eat are walnuts. if you have a suggestion for making them without the pecans and cashews, I’d love to try them. Thank you.

    Reply
  60. Amber

    Hi! These look delicious!! I was wondering if a Ninja blender is considered “high powered” enough to not have to soak the cashews. Thanks so much!

    Reply
  61. arcadia

    These look divine! Can I ask what purpose the zucchini serves? Is there anything I could use as a substitute please? It’s hard to get zucchini here πŸ™ thankyou

    Reply
  62. Judith

    Megan, how come your recipes call for sweeteners ? everything I’ve read about food combining says ditch all sweeteners except pure stevia.

    Reply
    1. Megan Post author

      I prefer not to be militant with food combining principles, as I think it can quickly turn into an obsession. I personally can’t imagine not enjoying something sweet every now and then, so I choose to enjoy naturally sweetened treats made with high-quality ingredients when my sweet tooth strikes. This approach works well for me and my clients, while still seeing fantastic results, without any feelings of restriction or deprivation. I did try using stevia exclusively for a while, but over time I didn’t feel that it was a good fit for me.

      Reply
  63. Leon

    Tried this recipe and it is indeed delicious and rich. Thank you Megan for yet another amazing recipe. Also, it’s very easy to make, plus plus plus on this one.

    Reply
  64. Vaneta

    Dumbfounded! How can anything this simple to make taste so fabulous yet alone like cheese cake! Thank you for sharing this amazing cheese cake recipe! Ours never really firmed up as hard as we expected it too, still on the soft side, not as a frozen dessert usually is however we are all enjoying it! Again, our many thanks!

    Reply
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  66. Nasha

    OMG! These are delish. This is my first recipe from your site and my friends and family love it. Thank you so much for sharing your gift and I look forward to trying more.

    Reply
  67. Leah

    I have recently become obsessed with your website. Thank you so much for all the incredible recipes and articles! I tried these cheesecake bars yesterday. I used a muffin tin, because I didn’t have a Tupperware container the size you recommended. Mini cheesecakes! They are to die for. I haven’t had cheesecake in YEARS because I am violently lactose intolerant…this recipe seriously made my day…my week! Maybe my month! My dairy-loving, cheesecake loving husband was crazy about these delicious morsels as well.

    Thank you!! I cant wait to try more of your recipes.

    Reply
  68. natalie

    these are so great! i substituted the chocolate topping for a raspberry swirl (3 oz fresh raspberries and just a touch of agave processed in my vitamix). i forgot to peel the zucchini, but that just made for a fun color combo! thanks – your recipes are amazing!!

    Reply
  69. Melody

    Hi, can you recommend another nut substitute for cashews? :/ I’m allergic to peanuts and cashews πŸ™

    Reply
  70. Aziz

    I made these and loved them so much. Before that I was hooked to these nanimo bars http://mylivingnutrition.com/2013/09/21/nanaimo-bars/ But I found your cheesecake to be less rich and I’m guessing lower in calories to. Taste wise, I think your cheesecake wins out. You’re so awesome Megan. Thanks so much for sharing, it’s much appreciated. I am such a sugar addict and am trying to wean myself slowly off sugar by incorporating more sugarfree desserts that are just as tasty and will fool my taste buds into not craving sugar.

    Reply
  71. Nadia

    I was looking for some healthy cheesecake recipe and I absolutely LOVE this! I found this recipe 3 weeks ago and I already made it 3 times! My family cant stop eating those! Fact that there is zucchini in it -blows everybody’s mind away!

    Reply
  72. Valerie

    HELLO! THANK YOU FOR THAT RECIPE!
    It was awesome, creamy and delicious! My chocolate swirl went a little bit too solid in the freezer but it still tasted amazing and gave it a little crunch!

    I tried your cauliflower pizza crust at the same time, and it was AMAZING! way easier that others that I’ve tried and I feel the goat cheese gives it an awesome taste! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ !!!!!!!!
    Thank you so much. This is how I love eating whole food. Your recipes are always made with ingredients we all have !!!

    Reply
  73. Pnina

    It looks delicious, but want can I change. My daughter allergic to nuts and would like to put cream cheese. If I take the nuts what can i put instead?

    Reply
  74. Joy

    I was wondering if you can substitute lime juice for the lemon juice, and if the measurements would be the same. My dad’s allergic to lemons.

    Reply
  75. Sandy

    I made these the other day exactly as written and they are amazing! I am so impressed with these recipes! I have made a few already. I am trying to eat healthier and your site is the best!

    Reply
    1. Missy B

      I was getting ready to post the exact thing you just posted Sandy. I too am new to all this. Eating clean for a month (no sugar)
      and feel wonderful. Made these twice and love love love them! Don’t know what i would do without this site!

      Reply
  76. John

    This cheesecake is heavenly and such a hit. I made some for my sister and she loved it so much, she always begs me to make more for her, LOL. One thing I did that worked better than I thought it would, was using Manuka Honey instead of regular honey to make it even healthier. I thought, this substitution would ruin the flavour. Much to my suprise, it tastes as good if not better. I think the lemon juice helped temper the unique taste of the Manuka Honey, so it wasn’t noticeable. Thanks again Megan for sharing πŸ™‚

    Reply
  77. Missy

    I make these once a month. Not sure where I would be without someone like you coming up with these recipes. I had a lot of health issues that are disappearing since I’ve been eating healthier. Just wanted to make sure you knew how much I love your recipes!!! You’re awesome!

    Reply
  78. Melissa

    These are SO GOOD!!! I made them for a family dinner & they were a hit πŸ™‚ They make a great presentation too because of the yummy chocolate swirl on top!

    Reply
  79. Alice

    Hi, these look amazing, I need substitutes for the pecans and zucchini in your recipe due to allergies. Often the recommendation is to replace pecans with walnuts or almonds. I can’t do walnuts but can do almonds. I’m a bit stumped on zucchini though. Thanks!

    Reply
  80. Mairead Glass

    Hi!

    Your blog is great- I’ve really enjoyed your recipes. I tried this today for the second time and while they came out great, I can’t quite decide what I should change. I don’t feel that the lemon juice flavor mixes well with the chocolate- I think the flavors compete. What else could I use in place of the lemon juice? Does it serve a particular purpose?
    Thanks for all of your great recipes!

    Reply
  81. krissy

    We just made your chocolate cheesecake and loved it so much….so we are trying these and the strawberry cheesecake squares now. Noticed the all chocolate version uses maple syrup and these honey. Can the two be subbed or is there a difference? Can’t wait to make more versions they are great!

    Reply
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