Raw Chocolate Cheesecake (Dairy-free, Grain-free)

This rich, chocolate cheesecake tastes pretty sinful.

Detoxinista's Raw Chocolate Cheesecake

In fact, you and your family would probably never guess that hidden in this creamy, chocolate filling is actually a FULL CUP of green vegetables! I love finding ways to sneak extra vegetables into the dishes I make for my family, without sacrificing taste or texture, and this decadent treat definitely fits the bill.

When I first saw a recipe for raw cheesecake, calling cashews instead of dairy, I’ll admit, I was skeptical. How can cashews possibly taste like cream cheese?

Well, they do, when combined with the right ingredients.

However, I had a difficult time achieving that authentic cheesecake texture until I decided to try something radical–> adding zucchini into the mix! Zucchini adds just the right balance of moisture to the creamy filling, without affecting the flavor. Now, I can’t imagine making a cheesecake without it. My classic raw cheesecake, also made with zucchini, fools even the pickiest of eaters!

Featuring raw cashews, which are rich in selenium, magnesium and zinc, and heart-healthy coconut oil, which can help regulate blood sugar and boost metabolism, this is a special treat that you can feel good about serving to your loved ones. As an added bonus, this cheesecake is properly combined, making it easier on your digestive system. You can’t beat a delicious dessert that doesn’t leave you feeling sluggish afterward!

Raw Chocolate Cheesecake
Fills one 8-inch pan

Adapted from Sweetly Raw


For the crust:

2 cup raw pecans
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

 For the filling:

2 cups raw cashews (no need to soak)
1 cup peeled & diced zucchini
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted


Prepare the crust by placing the pecans in a food processor fitted with an S-blade, and grind them into fine meal. Add in the rest of the crust ingredients, and process again until well combined. Line the bottom of an 8-inch spring form pan with plastic wrap or parchment paper, then press the crust evenly into the bottom of the pan. Place the pan in the freezer to set, while you prepare the filling.

In a high-powered blender or food processor, process the raw cashews until they are a fine powder. Add in the zucchini, cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and sea salt, and blend again until a smooth and creamy batter is formed. Add in the melted coconut oil, and blend again to fully incorporate the ingredients into a uniform filling.

Pour the filling into the frozen pie crust, and allow to set for 8 hours, preferably overnight. Serve directly from the freezer, for best texture.

Detoxinista's Raw Chocolate Cheesecake

*Note: This cheesecake will become quite soft if left out at room temperature, so be sure to keep it chilled!

4.9 from 28 reviews
Raw Chocolate Cheesecake
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
A rich chocolate cheesecake, that's free of dairy and refined sugars, and loaded with a full CUP of veggies!
For the crust:
  • 2 cup raw pecans
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
For the filling:
  • 2 cups raw cashews (no need to soak)
  • 1 cup peeled & diced zucchini
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  1. Prepare the crust by placing the pecans in a food processor fitted with an S-blade, and grind them into fine meal. Add in the rest of the crust ingredients, and process again until well combined. Line the bottom of an 8-inch spring form pan with plastic wrap or parchment paper, then press the crust evenly into the bottom of the pan. Place the pan in the freezer to set, while you prepare the filling.
  2. In a high-powered blender or food processor, process the raw cashews until they are a fine powder. Add in the zucchini, cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and sea salt, and blend again until a smooth and creamy batter is formed. Add in the melted coconut oil, and blend again to fully incorporate the ingredients into a uniform filling.
  3. Pour the filling into the frozen pie crust, and allow to set for 8 hours, preferably overnight.
  4. Serve directly from the freezer, for best texture. *Note: This cheesecake will become quite soft if left out at room temperature, so be sure to keep it chilled!

For a quick strawberry sauce: Combine 5 ounces of strawberries (I used thawed frozen ones) with 1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup and blend until completely smooth. Mix with 5 ounces of chopped strawberries, for texture, and spoon a generous amount over each slice!

I hope you’ll enjoy this rich chocolate dessert as much as we have!


  1. Ashley says

    This is PERFECT for satisfying our sweet tooth this valentine’s day! Thanks for the mix of savoury and sweet recipes lately:)

      • Sonjia says

        Megan, I am new to your website and I looked at the the ingredients to this delicious looking chocolate Cheesecake. I am allergic to all nuts except for almonds and peanuts. Is there a recipe for a cheesecake without the other nut varieties?

  2. Courtney says

    I’m going to make this, hide it, eat every scrap of it in one sitting, and not feel bad about myself afterwards :). I can’t wait! Thanks, Megan!

  3. says

    I made this yesterday and it’s an awesome raw cheesecake recipe, much better than all the ones I’ve tried with soaking and all that other effort! It tasted like a cross between cheesecake and icecream – yum! Although I used cocoa butter instead of coconut oil which might change the freezing consistency, and is definitely better in the freezer than keeping in the fridge which does make it fudgy.
    I’m going to make it again for V-day dessert but use hazelnuts in the base. Thank you 😀

  4. Diane Winmill says

    Have made this yesterday and is in the freezer ready for tomorrow. So can’t wait. If its half as good as your other cheesecake, which fooled everyone who tried it, I’ll have a very happy husband. Thanks Megan. Happy Valentines Day from NZ

  5. says

    Truly amazing! This was a huge hit with the family!

    PS. I went to a birthday party tonight where they served chocolate snickers cake (sounded amazing). I had one bite and said, no way! I’m having chocolate cheesecake when I get home! That cake was so not worth it and wasn’t half as good!!!

    Thank you Megan!!

  6. Anita says

    Hi Megan, I almost ate the picture :)
    Please advise how to substitute maple syrup with powder stevia.
    Thank you in advance.

    • says

      Anita, I only use KAL Pure Stevia, powdered. I always substitute 1/4t for 1c of sugar or other natural sweetener. I would try it with 1/8t of KAL. It’s always better to start with less and add more. Molly

  7. Kirin Loomis says

    Leaving me alone in the house with an entire chocolate cheesecake, even a healthy one, is not such a good idea. So I made it in 12 4-ounce canning jars (the cute little ones that are usually for jam) and ate JUST ONE of them yesterday–delicious! And I will share some of the others with friends today. Thank you so much for sharing this great recipe!

  8. Kirin Loomis says

    @Mary: You are the one who decides! Maybe some research (!) is needed to determine the perfect length of time. :)

  9. Anita says

    I made it last night. I couldn’t wait to go shoping, so I had to improvise since I didn’t have all ingredients. I replaced 1 cup of cashews with almonds, maple syrup with 3 soons of honey and vanilla extract with lemon juice, and liquid stevia with powdered, and it turned out divine! I can imagine eating it out of the vine glass because it is so delicious. Thank you for this recipe

  10. Jen says

    I halved the recipe last night and then this morning took a big heart shaped cookie cutter and cut two hearts for my husband and I for tonight. Lucky for me this morning I got to eat the “scraps” from cutting!! Thanks for this recipe–it is delicious.

  11. Mary Virginia says

    I made this yesterday for my boyfriend (mainly wanted an excuse to try it myself!). After spending about $50 on the ingredients and almost breaking the blender, it turned out very pretty. Can’t wait to taste it tonight! Also made the quinao mac and cheese and loved it! I had to test it out before making it again tonight for the BF 😉 Thanks for sharing, I am addicted to your blog Megan!

  12. says

    Hi-in your description of this recipe, you say that it has green vegetables in it, yet the instructions call for peeling the zucchini. So, Im not so sure it really has green veggies in it if you are taking away the healthiest part of the squash. Have you tried the recipe with the skin on? Although, the recipe looks good either way, im not sure id describe it as full of green vegetables

  13. cheryl says

    Made this for my sweetie today for V-day. Eating it right now and it is soooo delicious! Unbelievable that there is zucchini in here and you would never know! Can’t believe I’m sitting here eating veggies when it feels like I’m eating the most sinful chocolate cheesecake!!

  14. dclan says

    OMW! This is the most delicious chocolate cheesecake ever! I made it for my cheesecake loving hubby to enjoy tonight for a valentine’s treat and it is spectacular! Definitely hit the spot! I made it exactly as described and it was perfection and you’d never believe there was zucchini in this heavenly treat!

    I’ve also made the almond frosted cookies, classic choc. chip cookies and the pumpkin pancakes with maple pecan syrup — all delicious!! Never thought grain-free/dairy free cooking could be this delicious!

    Thank you for sharing your talents with us!

  15. Theresa says

    This is the most amazing dessert ever!!! Made with half stevia and it turned out great. Have you ever used yacon syrup in your recipes? Just wanted your opinion on it. Thanks for all your amazing recipes.

  16. says

    The 7 Bakers give this 7 thumbs up. We used stevia in the crust, along with half walnuts. We used less maple syrup than called for in the “cake” and used organic, natural process cocoa. We topped it with plain, thawed raspberries. Over and over we were hearing, “man, this is really good, man, this is good enough and real enough for company.” : ) You have done it again, Megan!

  17. says

    I made this over the weekend – YUM. I used walnuts, stevia, and almond oil in the crust instead. I was so surprised at how chocolatey it is.. I was expecting the cashew flavor to really come through. It didn’t at all. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

  18. Sarah Warman says

    I made this yesterday and it is tasty! It’s super easy to make and good for you too. I’ll make this again for sure. Thank you!

  19. nana says

    Tried it: easy, excellent, healthy, and the zucchini secret ingredient excites fun conversation… Thanks for sharing!

  20. Mili says

    Hi there,
    I was wondering if you have a nutrition fact chart for this recipe. My husband and I just started the paleo diet not so long ago and we’re really interested in trying this recipe. Could you please provide us with our request?
    Thank you so much.

  21. says

    I made this for my mom’s birthday this past weekend…it was the BEST THING EVER!!! Cant wait to try the classic and the chocolate swirl ones too! Thanks!


  22. says

    I have to say that this is one of the best raw healthy cheesecakes I have ever tasted.
    I have tried many cheesecakes over the years (my favorite treat food), and this cheesecake is incredible, it’s well worth the 8hours wait for it to set.

    Thank you

    • says

      If the coconut spread doesn’t solidify when chilled, then it won’t work. I can’t comment on substitutions that I haven’t tried myself, so please let us know if you give it a shot!

    • says

      If your regular grocery store has a “natural” or “health” section, then they can often be found there. Otherwise, they can easily be purchased online!

  23. Renee says

    I made this for a big birthday dinner today to have another option besides the birthday cake a friend was bringing. I left the zucchini peel on and used my Cuisinart to blend the ingredients. Once I added the cacao, I couldn’t see our detect the green. There seemed to be a pattern in the consensus. The women all loved it! And the men thought it was good, but. . . I think they just had a mental block when I told them the ingredients. I thought it was fabulous and am going to eat the last few pieces tomorrow!

  24. Anna says

    Once again any substitute for all the nuts in this recipe?? I am having so much trouble finding any websites that have healthy “clean” recipes with no nuts- as all seem to put almond meal or nuts of some form instead of gluten etc etc. So frustrating!!!!

  25. says

    These. were. SO. good. I literally gasped out loud in excitement when I first tried them, in disbelief that they could actually taste so good for being raw & filled with veggies! Thank you so much for an awesome recipe – this one is definitely a keeper!

  26. Isabel says

    I think i might make this for my birthday! yay
    one thing though… i have an obsession with MINT chocolate and am wondering if i can make this a mint chocolate cheesecake.

    How would this turn out? whats the best way to try this? Any ideas?

    Maybe add mint extract to the crust? or would mint leaves work in the filling?

    I have never tried this recipe so i am nervous about adding anything before trying.


  27. Nikko says

    This came out very well for my first time. I thought I messed up as I used the ice blade/drink mixer instead of the food processor. Tastes very good as is but I am tempted to add some grand marnier next time I make this.

  28. Penny says

    I have 1/2 cup pureed zucchini left in the fridge from making your raw hummus. If I wanted to make half of this recipe, should I use all of that or just 1/4 cup?

    • Megan says

      This recipe is pretty forgiving, so I think you could use the 1/2 cup if you want to– the only thing it might affect is the texture, making it slightly less firm.

  29. Jaime says

    Just made this and its in the freezer. Amazing!! The “batter” was so creamy. My teenage son was watching me make it with his nose curled, but as son as he tasted it he was sold. Thanks for the incredible recipe!

    • Jaime says

      Update: after waiting for what seemed like FOREVER to be able to dig in, we were a little disappointed. It was super rich, super yummy and super creamy. However, it was more like a chocolate mousse pie than a cheesecake. Tasty recipe, just not what we were expecting. :-)

    • Megan says

      Agave is sweeter than maple syrup, so you might want to try using less of that for the maple syrup in this recipe.

      • Sarah says

        I am trying to go sugar free. Can I substitute Truvia baking blend? I am trying to follow Jorge Cruises 100 diet for weight loss. I don’t think honey or maple syrup are allowed.

  30. Debbie says

    This looks totally amazing. From everyone’s post it sounds like it tastes totally amazing also. I am wondering if you can give any nutrition value on your recipes???

  31. Chantelle says

    This looks perfect, but I’m on a low FODMAP diet so have to avoid cashews. Have you any suggestions as to a suitable substitute? The only nuts I can’t have are cashews and pistachios. Do you know if macadamia nuts could work? Or another vegetable? Thanks :)

  32. Lesli says

    All I can say is thank you! I licke the blender and spoon clean! I don’t know if I can bare to wait until tomorrow to eat this! It’s so simple and easy to make, too! My husband is going to be so pleased! Thanks a million!

  33. Jara says

    Brilliant! Made this for my fiance’s brithday and it was absolutely fantastic! I substituted the pecans for brazil nuts, and a 1/4 cup maple syrup in the filling for honey. I dare say it was the healthiest and most delicious birthday cake I’ve ever had.

  34. Wendy says

    I tested it this weekend before the big event on Thursday – I think I used too big of a spring form pan as my batter was only about 1/4 inch thick – ended up more like a piece of fudge. But it was wonderful. When I make it again, I will double the batter and use a smaller pan I think.

  35. Megz says

    Just made this, but substituted the maple syrup with soaked dates( same proportions) and soaked the cashews for two hours. OMG!! Amazing!! Just the right amount of richness! Perfectly cheesecakey texture. Even my dairy-consuming boyfriend loves it. Ty so much for sharing!!

  36. says

    OMG THIS TASTES SOOOO GOOD! I made a mini cake because it’s just the two of us at home and I just wanted to try it first, as this was my first raw cheesecake ever. And now I want to make a big one JUST FOR MYSELF. Thanks for the awesome recipe.

  37. Courtney Grace says

    I’m not going to lie, I was wary about this recipe, but it turned out so well! My whole family was obsessed with it. And it’s super filling!

  38. Morgan says

    Hello! I noticed on your Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe that you used plastic wrap instead of a spring form pan. Will that work for this recipe, as well? We are in a temporary home and my spring form pan is in storage, so I’m hoping I can get away with a regular cake pan and plastic wrap. :-)

  39. Jenn says

    Food combining does not appear to be a legitimate theory–do you have scientific, peer-reviewed sources? However, I really love your recipe and am excited to try it because it is dairy and gluten free, and has great, high-quality ingredients!

  40. Scott says

    Just made this for a family get together since some are vegans and EVERYBODY absolutely loved it! Love this website, thanks so much!

  41. says

    UGH! This is killing me – no zucchini in the house but I have everything else. I guess it will be a weekend treat once the snow melts and I can get to the store. Thank you for this recipe!

  42. Stacey says

    I’m SO excited to have found this in time for Valentine’s Day– especially after my success with your cauliflower crusted pizza, I’m sold!
    Any reason why I shouldn’t cover this while it sits in the freezer overnight? I don’t want it to soak up any “freezer flavor,” but I also don’t want it to get too moist… Thoughts?
    Thanks for keeping us healthy- and well-fed!

  43. VanillaMacaroon says

    Made this over the weekend as we were having a guest for dinner. Since I was running out of time to let it set in the freezer, I made smaller individual portions. They were ready after 4 hours. WOW!! It really blew our minds, especially with the strawberry sauce on top… This cake is super filling and truly satisfying. It’s got this fudgy texture that’s really addictive, too!! Thanks so much for this recipe Megan!!

  44. Mel says

    I made this last night and it is amazing. I’ve tried so many healthy desserts and my partner has hated all of them until he tried this, he loved it. It will now become a regular treat in our home, thank you. Instead of strawberries I topped mine with macadamia nuts coated in a glaze of maple syrup and coconut sugar.

  45. Charlene@ thatgirlcookshealthy says

    Hi Megan,

    Just wanted to say that I successfully made this recipe last week and my family loved it and even went back for a second helping.

  46. Alison says

    I used Brazil nuts for the crust because I didn’t have enough cashews and it still came out delicious. Thanks for a great recipe. I love your site!!!

  47. Penny says

    Megan, this cheesecake is amazing. Thank you so much!

    My son is allergic to cashews, so I have been subbing raw almond butter. I am going to try coconut butter next.

    You have made such a difference in the lives of my gluten and dairy free family. I will be buying your cookbook as soon as it is available!

  48. Laura says

    Loved this one too, my kids keep asking me when I will make it again. We topped it with a little raspberry sauce (just a bit partial to choco/raspberry) and the fudginess of this is perfect for THIS sweet tooth. Thanks again!

  49. Sandra says

    This is AMAZING!! I had just finished making a traditional chocolate peanut butter cheesecake and needed to make something for my son to be able to have (dairy free). So I whipped up this and this was better than the traditional one I made!! Everyone preferred it and when I told them what was in it no one believed me!! You have to make this!

  50. Dana Valaydon says

    Hi, I did that cake yesterday and it turned out pretty flat. It didn’t look like u’re cake.

    Can u guess what I did wrong. Not too sure why it didn’t have a bigger top layer.


  51. Rachael says

    Wow! This was delicious! I tried it last-night & maybe I did something wrong, as my filling was a lot darker in colour & a bit gritty as well? Could that be because my food processor wasn’t high-powered enough and the fact i used Cacao powder instead of cocoa powder?

  52. says

    If you soak the cashews overnight, and then blend them in a Vitamix, you can make cashew cream cheese. The cashew cream from the Vitamix is mixed with soy yogurt (2 TBS) as a starter, and then fermented at 110F for 12 hours. It provides a very good taste approximation to cream cheese, as well as texture. I was very skeptical at first, but was amazed with the results: it is now my “go-to” base for many recipes.

  53. Rose says

    This is the most amazing thing ever I have not hade dairy in olmost for ever ice cream, cake this website helped me and my family enjoy good heathy food that is simple to make

  54. Sasha says

    Your recipes are great . Can i use walnuts or what do you recommend to replace the pecan for the crust? Thank you

  55. Sean says

    Thank you for this great recipe. I made it last night and just had a sample at lunch…oh my. It is rich and delicious. I can’t wait for my husband to try it tonight. I didn’t have a spring pan, so I just put all the ingredients into a round 8-inch baking pan…took a little maneuvering with a fork and knife, but I got a slice out cleanly and neatly! :) Thank you for all your recipes.

  56. KE says

    Hi Megan,
    I just discovered your classic raw cheesecake recipe and LOVE it… made it twice in the past week! So I want to try this one. I’m wondering if you think I can substitute the maple syrup with honey and the coconut oil with either butter or cocoa butter (which do you think would be better?) I can do butter but not coconut. TY!

  57. Patricia says

    Instead of the zucchini, I used pulp leftover from juicing beets, carrots, and cucumber. The texture was excellent, and now I have a new favorite place to use all of my juicing pulp :)

  58. Lourdes says

    Could it affect the crust consistency and/or texture if I soak the pecans over night? anybody has any experience soaking nuts and using them for crust?
    Thank you!

    • Megan says

      I wouldn’t recommend using wet nuts for the crust, but it should be fine if you dry them completely before using them in a recipe.

      • Lourdes says

        thank you! im going to dehydrate them in the oven for a few hours to avoid messing up the recipe! happy thx giving Megan and thank you for all your wonderful healthy recipes <3

  59. Alec says

    This recipe is amazing!! I’ve made it twice and both times it was simply divine. Perfect for festive entertaining, it also made me bike 10% faster! I’m a total kitchen noob and even I managed to make it taste good. Imagine what the culinary geniuses who read this blog could do?? Plant power!

  60. says

    This looks so delicious and there is a small heart on the right side of the cake painted in strawberry sause and it is on the plate with hearts…Oh so dearly amazing. I am making this at home.
    Thank you for this inspiration…. so wonderful.
    Love and light

    • Megan Gilmore says

      Yes, it’s raw, and yes this can be made a week in advance as long as you cover it tightly and keep it frozen.

  61. Sandra says

    hi Megan, love your blog and I can’t wait to try your chocolate cheesecake, but I was wondering if I can use brown rice syrup instead of maple syrup since it has a lot of sugar? Hope to her from

    • Megan Gilmore says

      You can, but you’ll need to use significantly more brown rice syrup to make it taste like cheesecake!


  1. […] Sinless Chocolate Cheesecake. Attention all chocolate lovers out there!! If you are looking for a way to eat chocolate without the guilt, calories, and fat behind it, this is the perfect dessert for you!! If you are looking for something to surprise your chocolate lover with, this mouthwatering dessert is the perfect solution for that special someone. […]

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