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

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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

 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!

slice of raw chocolate cheesecake with strawberry topping
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4.79 from 46 votes

Raw Chocolate Cheesecake

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
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 363kcal

Ingredients

For the crust:

For the filling:

Instructions

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

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 363kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Sodium: 79mg | Potassium: 363mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 30IU | Vitamin C: 2.1mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 2.6mg
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

Sophie

Just made this and it is my new favorite! Possibly tied with the coconut flourless chocolate cake 🙂 The family all approves and it is SO easy to make. Thanks for another great one

Cassie Tran

Zucchini in raw cheesecake?! Now that’s different–this looks absolutely beautiful and delicious!

rachel

I really want to make this dessert for my husband for our anniversary but I can’t find maple syrup or coconut oil here in the very south of Italy. Could I sub the maple syrup for agave and the coconut oil for olive oil???
Thanks

    Megan Gilmore

    Agave would work but olive oil will not– the only substitute that would be easy to find would be real butter.

      robin m

      Why do you think olive oil would not work?
      How about a lighter oil like canolo or grapeseed?
      just curious….robin

        Megan Gilmore

        The oil is responsible for making the cheesecake firm up– coconut oil becomes solid at any temperature below 76 degrees. Vegetable oils won’t do that, so the cheesecake would be runny and may not ever set.

Angie

This looks AMAZING. But that is a LOT of maple syrup! If I used, say 1/4 less than what is called for, would it mess with the cheesecake setting? Could I use honey instead? Thanks!

    Amber

    How is that “A LOT” of maple syrup? I’ve never seen a cheesecake that is not divided into at least 8 slices, and at 8 slices that is only 1 tbs per serving. Most people put 2 tablespoons or more on a serving of pancakes. I’m sure you could use honey instead, but you would have to change the actual volume of sweetener. Personally I freely interchange honey, maple, or even blended dates depending on the recipe and what I have on hand. Just do it by taste, Different sweeteners have different amounts of sugar/sweetness in the same volume, so you would likely need a different volume of honey

    Angie

    You are right, as a sweetener per serving, it is not a lot. I should have clarified. I am writing from Romania 🙂 and maple syrup is imported from Canada here and it is CRAZY expensive. So rather than dissing your recipe, which looks AMAZING, my question really is, can I use honey, which is easy to access and cheap here, instead?
    Thanks for much for all that you do! Grateful!

Noops

Looks divine! Definitely going to give it a try… for the crust, did you melt the coconut oil?

Helen Doyle

Do you have to peel the zucchini? I hate waste!

    Megan Gilmore

    No, I don’t think you have to. If you have a really good blender it should blend right in.

Tracey

I love this recipe, I have adapted it a little and use fresh from the coconut, flesh instead of zucchini and add a little fresh coconut water, cacao butter and a teaspoon of maca…love this. And in the base I add vanilla bean powder and a little desiccated coconut..

I love raw desserts!

Kathy

I’ve made several different raw cheesecakes, all of which are pretty good But your recipe is by far the best!! I even got my daughter in law to eat some (she claims to hate all veggies) This is a great way to have something that is normally not that great for you, be a lot better for you. Thanks for the great recipes! !!

Rebecca Cotter

LOVE this recipe! Has anybody figured out the calorie/nutrition info?

Dede

4300 calories for the entire recipe. Depending on how many servings you cut.

Kristy

This is sooooo delicious!!!

Amber

Is there a way to pin this? I would like to have it easily accessible later. I forgot I had even saved it until I was searching through my bookmarks for a totally unrelated site. Pinterest I can access it from any device and type “zucchini cheesecake” into the search bar to find it.

    Megan Gilmore

    You can hover your mouse over any image on my site and a “Pin it” button should appear for easy pinning!

Lina

Could I use Swerve Sweetener instead of Maple syrup?

Amber

I have to agree with the previous reviewer that this tastes more like chocolate mousse. Which is fine with me, because I haven’t have French silk pie since my milk allergy was diagnosed over 2 years ago.

I stored this in the freezer overnight, but it came out with ice crystals on the top and impossible to cut. I’m not sure why it would be that way, but I have put it in the fridge to hopefully be able to cut it better later.

Nayna

Great recipe, I used half coconut nectar half maple syrup and used about 2/3 total amount sugar. It’s sweet!

Malka

Hi Megan,
I’m really excited to try this recipe!
I love your recipes and practically make desserts only from your site! I have gotten my friends hooked too…
How much date syrup or honey would you put instead of maple syrup?
It’s pretty expensive here in Israel so I’d ratger replace it… Date syrup would be the best but otherwise honey would do… Just how much please?
Thanks!

Debbie woolard

It was a hit! we have weekly dinners with our son and future daughter in law, she said it was her favorite of all the desserts i have made. we eat predominantly paleo and try new things often. this goes into the favorites folder. The texture was perfect. sometime in the future i may let them know it has ZUCCHINI in it. I would have never thought that cashews and ZUCCHINI could make an amazing dessert.

Laurie

Can I use Splenda instead of the maple syrup?

Stacy

Wow…this looks so good and so easy! I can’t wait to try it. As someone that is trying to find my food freedom post Whole 30 this looks like a great option!

BRITNi

Is there a way to do this without coconut oil or hydrogenated oil?

    Megan Gilmore

    You would need to use some sort of fat that is solid when chilled, so perhaps coconut butter would work, or real butter if you’re not vegan.

Amy H

Thank you for this recipe, if I have nut allergies what can you substitute for the pecans and cashews

    Megan Gilmore

    There’s an oat flour crust in my second cookbook, No Excuses Detox, so I think that one would work well. Otherwise you could try maybe using sunflower seeds?

Katherine

Hi Megan,

I love your Raw Vegan Cheesecake recipe. Its fantastic! I’ve shared this recipe in our website GreenThickies for the 10 Best Raw Vegan Chocolate Recipes post.

I’ve not shared the actual recipe, but only used one image from here and a small quote and linked directly back to this recipe page.

Thanks a lot
Katherine
Greenthickies

Lir

Has anyone made this with Avocado oil?
That’s what I have right now 🙁

Gina

Does it still combine properly if I make the crust with dates? Can’t wait to try! Thank you

Kate

Absolutely delicious and super simple! Great one to share with friends that don’t share your diet!

Rhonda

I just made this with my Kitchen Aid food processor. I don’t think the cashews got blended fine enough and my filling is grainy. I haven’t put it on the crust because I think I might take it to my mother in law’s to re-blend in their vitamix

Myrna Matinata

Great recipe! What could I use instead of zucchini? I don’t have any. How about frozen strawberries?

Demi

This recipe was beautiful. The only change i made was adding some Cacao Butter to the filling which allowed the cheesecake to set in the fridge. Eaten straight from the fridge it had a mousse like consistency.

kat

Whats a good substitute for zucchini for the winter months

kat

whats a good substitute for zucchini in the the winter months?

Bar

Can you replace Nuts for a seed or something else my kids have not allergies

Michelle

Hi! About how long will this stay good in the freezer? Would love to make this in advance for my daughter’s birthday.

    Megan Gilmore

    If you keep it tightly sealed in an airtight container, it should freeze for up to 3 months.

Tania

This looks fabulous, and I want to make it soon. One question: when I blend the Oreos, do I leave in the white filling, or do I scrape it off off the cookies before blending. Thanks so much!

Reut

Hi this looks great! what can I substitute the maple with? will honey or date honey (it’s common here)?

Katherine Mills

LOVE this. Not so cheesecakey but it definitely tastes absolutely sinful! I made it in a cupcake tray with liners. It worked out so well as I was taking it to a BBQ so it was easy to serve.

Stacy

This was FANTASTIC! Keep processing or blending until you get the creamiest texture. If it’s still a little grainy you won’t get that smooth cheesecake/mousse texture as shown in picture. My picky non vegan family loved this! Only change was adding a bit of Pyure stevia (not even a full teaspoon) just to sweeten a little more. No after taste of anything. No one believed what was in this. Serve partially frozen (ours sat out for about 15 mins) with whipped coconut milk whipped cream (google how to make) and fresh raspberries and you’ll win anyone over for a beautifully delicious decadent desert.

Marzia

I’ve made many a raw vegan dessert over the years but this is hands down one of the best! I love that the recipe isn’t over complicated and that the ingredients are fairly accessible (I had all but the cacao butter already in the cupboard).

Whether you’re vegan or not, if you’re simply looking for a delicious and decadent chocolate dessert then look no further. Highly recommend!

Marzia

Hello! I was just curious, if we use coconut oil in place of the cacao discs (only because that’s what we have in hand) how much would you use?

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