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


This rich, chocolate cheesecake tastes pretty sinful.

Raw Chocolate Cheesecake with strawberry sauce on top

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

Ingredients:

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

Β 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

Directions:

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.

slice of Raw Chocolate Cheesecake with strawberries on top

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

4.78 from 44 votes
Raw Chocolate Cheesecake
Prep Time
20 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

A rich chocolate cheesecake, that's free of dairy and refined sugars, and loaded with a full CUP of veggies!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate, dairy free, grain free, paleo, raw, vegan
Servings: 12
Calories: 363 kcal
Author: Megan Gilmore
Ingredients
For the crust:
For the filling:
Instructions
  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!

Per Serving: Calories: 363, Fat: 28g, Carbohydrates: 25g, Fiber: 4g, Protein: 6g

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!

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Comments

Isabel

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.

Thanks

Nikko

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.

Mary Virginia

This has been my favorite dessert! Everyone loves it and no one knows about the veggies πŸ™‚

Penny

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

    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.

Jaime

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

    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. πŸ™‚

      Amber

      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.

Wanda Hackett

Sounds so good but can I replace Agave for the maple syrup?

    Megan

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

      Sarah

      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.

Wanda Hackett

Thank you. My husband is diaabetic and Agave nectar does not spike the blood sugard.

Debbie

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???

Chantelle

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 πŸ™‚

Hope

I have a ton of carrots! What is your opinion about substituting carrots for zucchini?

    Amber

    It will probably have a taste slightly similar to carrot cake, kind of like pumpkin cheesecake has a pumpkin taste. It will also likely have an orange tint to it, unless you are using either yellow or white carrots. If you don’t mind those, you probably also want to decrease the sweetener. Carrots (almost any root vegetables except potatoes, really) have a lot more sugar than zucchini does. It probably won’t affect the texture, though.

Lesli

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!

Jara

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.

Wendy

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.

Wendy

Oh, I also added some instant expresso coffee for a little mocha flavor

Megz

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!!

Joanne

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.

Courtney Grace

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!

Rene

Could I use honey instead of the maple syrup? And carob powder instead of cocoa powder?

Morgan

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. πŸ™‚

Jenn

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!

toni

Delish.. I’m making this for an upcoming christening.

Scott

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

Laura

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!

Stacey

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!

VanillaMacaroon

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!!

Mel

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.

Claudia

Excellent recipe. Extremely delicious!!!

Pia

Amazing recipe! Thank you and greetings from Sweden:)

Lana M

Thank you for this amazing recipe. We loved this delicious dessert. Amazing and so good for you!

Charlene@ thatgirlcookshealthy

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.

Alison

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!!!

Penny

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!

    Megan

    Thank you! I’m so glad to hear your family is enjoying the recipes!

    nina

    Hi, how much almond butter do you use? 1 cup? Thanks for the great alternative πŸ™‚

    nina

    Have you tried coconut butter? Thanks again πŸ™‚

Laura

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!

melissa

OMG this is sooooo DELICIOUS!!!!Thank-you for another FANTASTIC recipe πŸ™‚

Svet

Hello, is it gonna hurt if i soak the cashews before blending them? Thank you πŸ™‚

    Megan

    No, I think soaking them should be fine.

      Svet

      Thank you, Megan πŸ™‚

Sandra

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!

Dana Valaydon

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.

Thx.

    Megan

    My guess is that you used a larger pan than I did– that would account for a thinner result.

Rachael

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?

Bianca @ Sweet Dreaming

i made this yesterday and OH MY GOD…i can’t even describe how amazing it was. i haven’t blogged about it yet, but here’s the instagram! http://instagram.com/p/rsnfn3Svu6/

John Reeve

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.

Rose

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

Mandy

This looks amazing! Can I use frozen zucchini in this recipe? (If I get all the liquid out of course).

    Megan

    I’ve never tried that, so I can’t say for sure. Please let us know how it turns out if you try it!

    Amber

    You can. I’ve used previously frozen zucchini in zucchini bread before (someone absent-mindedly put raw zucchini in the freezer, so I needed to use it in smoothies and zucchini bread ASAP). Just make sure it is thawed and the water is squeezed out, and it’s in a pulp (either grated or run through a blender for a few seconds).

Sasha

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

    Amber Schooley

    I have used walnuts to replace pecans in the past often, just because I usually have walnuts in the house but typically only buy pecans if I have a certain recipe in mind. I have even used almonds to replace walnuts or pecans in the past, because my dad is allergic to both. As long as they are a similar firmness, it works fine (cashews will not work because they are much softer)

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