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

 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

Rose

Thank youfor this chance to enjoy milk free foods
Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sean

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.

KE

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!

    Amber

    I’m sure you can replace the maple syrup. I freely switch maple, honey, and even date pulp in all sorts of recipes. Just do it to taste. The amount of sugar in honey is a little different than that in maple, so they don’t have the same sweetness proportional to the volume.

    As for the butter, butter, should work fine. It solidifies at low temperatures the same as coconut oil. I’m not familiar with cocoa butter, so I can’t tell you on that one.

Patricia

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 🙂

Lourdes

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

    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

      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

Alec

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!

Mary

Can I replace the zucchini with an avocado? Excited to try this!

    Nataliya

    I tried soaking nuts and then drying them in a dehydrator. Or they can be dried in the oven on the lowest setting. When they are dry, they can be used in the crust recipe just fine..

      Rhonda

      Why would you soak them and then completely dehydrate them again? Just curious….

        Jane

        There is an enzyme on the outside of nuts that affect some people’s digestive systems. Soaking breaks that down. So, they are removing the enzyme, then drying it back out.

Sheryl

This recipe is simply amazing! Everyone who ties this can’t believe that it’s vegan and has zucchini in it!

Vivian

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
Vivian

Beth

This recipe is AMAZING! My entire family loved it. Do you happen to have the nutritional information for this recipe?

Michal

The zuchinni is also raw? And how long can this be frozen for? Can I make it a week in advance?

    Megan Gilmore

    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.

Sandra

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

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

Shay

Not a fan of maple syrup, does the cheesecake have a strong maple flavor? Do you think light karo syrup could replace the maple?

Also, I have a friend that is allergic to coconut. Do you think the vegan butter could replace the coconut oil in the crust and filling? Or could you suggest a different oil? Possibly crisco?

Thank you. I can’t wait to try this.

    Amber

    You can use almost any type of sweetener to replace it. It is only meant for the sweetness. I freely interchange maple, honey, or even date pulp for recipes. Just do it by taste, The amount of sugar/sweetness in the different liquids is not the same in comparison to volume, so you may need more or less of the Karo syrup

    If you use the stick vegan butter it would probably work fine. It still solidifies the same way coconut oil does. My grandmother used Crisco for everything butter would be in when I was a kid due to my sister’s milk allergy, back before coconut oil was common. I wouldn’t recommend spreadable vegan butter, and definitely not another type of oil. Other oils do not solidify at colder temperatures, so the cheesecake would not solidify.

    Just a note: not sure if you use the vegan recipes for an actual vegan diet or an allergy. Most people with a milk allergy are actually allergic to the protein casein, and can still have butter since it is entirely fat. Same thing for lactose intolerance. Since there is no sugar in the butter, there is no lactose.

Irene

I made this yesterday on a hot and humid afternoon. Yay no cooking!!! I just taste-tested it with my dairy and gluten allergic son. We both loved it! He was so pleased to eat zucchini in this tasty way! The whole thing was fast and easy to make. If there were more than 5 stars, we would rate it higher! Thanks for the awesome recipe!!!

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

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

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.

Bar

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

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