Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake has the creamy texture you love, with a rich chocolate flavor. It’s the perfect no-bake dessert to make for any chocolate fans in your life.
Why You’ll Love It
This healthier chocolate recipe is naturally sweetened with maple syrup, and even has a veggie hiding inside the creamy filling. But you’d never know just by tasting it!
Since the filling is made with cashews instead of cream cheese, it’s also dairy-free, vegan and Paleo friendly.
Ingredients You’ll Need
What’s in vegan chocolate cheesecake?
- Maple syrup
- Cacao powder
- Zucchini (yes, a veggie!)
- Coconut oil
- Vanilla extract
- Sea salt
That’s all you need for the filling, and I like to pour it over the same no-bake chocolate crust I use for my vegan cheesecake bars. A simple blend of pecans (or walnuts), cacao powder, maple syrup, and coconut oil brings that together in no time.
Pro Tip: If you don’t care for the flavor of coconut oil, look for a refined or “expeller pressed” version at your local grocery store. Refined coconut oil has zero coconut flavor, so you won’t taste it at all in the final dessert. I use this trick for making vegan cream cheese and homemade magic shell, when I don’t want coconut flavor.
How to Make Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake
1. Prepare the crust. Place the pecans and cacao powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with an “S” blade, and process briefly, until the texture is crumbly.
Add in the maple syrup, coconut oil, and salt, and process again until the crust sticks together.
Transfer the crust to an 8-inch springform pan that has been greased and lined with parchment paper, if you want the cheesecake to be very easy to remove later.
Press the crust evenly into the bottom of the pan, and then place it in the freezer to firm up while you prepare the filling.
2. Make the filling. Add the cashews, zucchini, cacao powder, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, vanilla extract, and salt into a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
This will work best if your ingredients are NOT cold from the fridge, so the coconut oil doesn’t thicken up from the cold.
I typically do not soak my cashews ahead of time (because I don’t plan ahead very well) so I also add in a 1/4 cup of water to help with blending. If you would prefer to soak the cashews, cover them with 2 inches of water in a large bowl and let them soak for 2 hours.
Then drain and rinse well, before adding them to the blender. Soaked cashews will blend easier, and may not require any additional water for blending, but you can add water 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary, to make everything blend smoothly.
Be prepared to stop and scrape down the sides of the blender, or use a tamper if your blender comes with one, because this chocolate filling is pretty thick!
3. Chill. Remove the crust from the freezer and use a spatula to add the chocolate filling from the blender container.
Smooth the top, and then place the pan back in the freezer to chill until the top of the cheesecake feels firm to the touch, about 3 to 4 hours.
When the cheesecake is firm, you can slice and serve it chilled. It pairs nicely with fresh fruit on top, like raspberries or strawberries.
Keep in mind that the coconut oil is what holds this vegan cheesecake together, so it will melt if you leave it out at room temperature for too long. I recommend storing it in the freezer until just before serving. It can sit out for up to 30 minutes when frozen, but no longer than that!
Since this cake needs to be served from the freezer, you can store it in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
If you would rather make this in an 8-inch square pan, you can also slice it into bars for an easy treat to have on hand.
Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake
Chocolate Pecan Crust
- 1 1/2 cups pecans
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
Chocolate Cheesecake Filling
- 2 cups raw cashews (no need to soak)
- 1 cup diced zucchini , peeled
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/4 cup water
- To make the crust, add the pecans and cacao powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with an "S" blade and pulse briefly, until the mixture looks crumbly. Add in the maple syrup, coconut oil, and salt and process again until the mixture sticks together.
- Prepare an 8-inch springform pan by lightly spraying it with oil and pressing a piece of parchment paper into the bottom of the pan. This guarantees the cheesecake will be easy to remove later. Transfer the crust to the prepared pan and press it evenly into the bottom of the pan. Place the pan in the freezer to set while you prepare the filling.
- To make the filling, add the cashews, zucchini, cacao powder, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, coconut oil, and water to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Stop and scrape down the sides of the blender, as needed, to make sure everything is blended well. It will be very thick.
- Remove the pan from the freezer and add the chocolate filling on top, smoothing it with a spatula. Return the pan to the freezer and chill until the cheesecake feels firm to the touch in the center, about 3 to 4 hours.
- When the cheesecake is totally firm, it's ready to slice and serve. Be sure to serve it directly from the freezer for the best texture, as it will soften up if you leave it at room temperature for too longer. Serve with sliced berries on top, or with coconut whipped cream.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
This recipe was originally posted in 2013, and was updated in 2022. I increased the maple syrup and cacao powder in the filling by a 1/4 cup each to boost the chocolate flavor, but you can omit that addition if you prefer. I think it greatly improves the flavor, though!
If you try this Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake, please leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how you like it.
Questions and Reviews
This looks amazing. I’m going to make it for my boyfriend for Valentines day! Thanks so much!
Holy yum!! 🙂
This is PERFECT for satisfying our sweet tooth this valentine’s day! Thanks for the mix of savoury and sweet recipes lately:)
This looks gorgeous!Thanks for that! Can the pecans be replaced with walnuts?
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?
Hi this looks amazing. Can I replace the cashews with another nut?
I haven’t tried it myself, but I’ve heard that macadamia nuts or Brazil nuts may work. Please let us know if you try it!
Beautiful! And looks so delicious! Do you need to use a spring form pan or can a different type of pan be used?
The spring-form pan makes it easy to remove the cheesecake. It might get a little messy without one, but it will still taste good!
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!
Hahaha Courtney! You’re thinking like me! 😉
I am making this asap!
I just made this! It’s in the freezer and I can’t wait to eat it! 🙂
The 2 cups of each nut…is it 2 cups after its processed or before? Thank you!
2 cups before you put them in a processor.
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 😀
Hi, are the nuts measured before or after theyve been thru the processor? Thank you
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
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!!
Hi Megan, I almost ate the picture 🙂
Please advise how to substitute maple syrup with powder stevia.
Thank you in advance.
I’ve never tried it with powdered stevia, so I have no idea! Please let us know if you try it.
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
I can hardly wait to taste it!!
What’s the least amount of time I need to wait for it to set?!?
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!
@Mary: You are the one who decides! Maybe some research (!) is needed to determine the perfect length of time. 🙂
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
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.
That’s such a cute idea! Scraps are the best. 🙂
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!
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
If you have a powerful blender, you can definitely keep the skins on!
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!!
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!
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.
This looks incredible but my wife is allergic to zucchini. Is there any other vege that can be substituted?
I’ve never tried another vegetable, but I assume another mild-flavored veggie might work. Please let us know if you have any success!
Can your wife have summer squash in place of the zucchini?
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!
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!
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!
Tried it: easy, excellent, healthy, and the zucchini secret ingredient excites fun conversation… Thanks for sharing!
OMG, I just found your site and loooove it! thank you sooo much!
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.
Please see my FAQ regarding nutrition information: https://detoxinista.com/frequently-asked-questions/
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!
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.
Can a coconut spread be used instead of coconut oil?
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!
amazing flavour, no words….keep it up megan….
Can the raw nuts be purchased at a regular grocery store?
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!
Your chocolate cheesecake looks amazing!
Just made this with my new Breville and it was WAY BETTER than my old Ninja system!!
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!
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!!!!
I’d recommend you look for a cheesecake recipe that use some silken tofu as the base (instead of cashews), I know I’ve come across a few. You could easily make a but free crust with dates and oats (add coconut or sesame seeds for more flavour- if you can have them).
Wow!!! Absolutely amazing and ingenious! 🙂 so delicious, too!! 🙂
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!
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.
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.
This has been my favorite dessert! Everyone loves it and no one knows about the veggies 🙂
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?
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.
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!
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. 🙂
Sounds good to me. I haven’t been able to have any sort of chocolate pie in over two years, ever since my dairy allergy was diagnosed.
Sounds so good but can I replace Agave for the maple syrup?
Agave is sweeter than maple syrup, so you might want to try using less of that for the maple syrup in this recipe.
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.
Thank you. My husband is diaabetic and Agave nectar does not spike the blood sugard.