Raw Chocolate-Swirl Cheesecake Bars

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Whether you’re throwing a Super Bowl party tomorrow or not, you should make these ASAP:

Raw Chocolate-Swirl Cheesecake Bar Chocolate + Cheesecake = a match made in Heaven.

And since these are all-natural, raw and vegan– you can go back for seconds guilt-free!!

Raw Chocolate-Swirl Cheesecake Bars
Makes about 9-12 squares

Chocolate Crust:

1 cup raw pecans
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup (preferably Grade B)
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt


In a mini-food processor (I use this one), process the pecans until they are crumbly:

chopped pecans in food processor Be careful not to process too long– you don’t want pecan butter!! Well, maybe you do… but not for this recipe. 

Add in the rest of the crust ingredients, and process until thoroughly combined, scraping down the sides if necessary. Then transfer the crust to a square 6″ Tupperware, lined with plastic-wrap, and press down evenly.

crust ingredients in food processor and pressed into pan Place the crust in the freezer to set for at least 10 minutes, while you make the cheesecake filling.

Cheesecake filling:

1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least an hour
1/2 cup zucchini, peeled and chopped
2 1/2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 cup honey (or agave, for vegans)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt


Throw all of the ingredients into a blender (note: if you’re using a high-powered blender, like the Vita-Mix, you can skip soaking the cashews!) and blend until silky smooth. Pour the filling over the chocolate crust and smooth the top, using a spatula:

pouring raw cheesecake filling into pan Now it’s time for the fun part–> adding the chocolate swirls!!!

Chocolate Swirl:

2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 Tablespoon coconut oil, in liquid form


Whisk the ingredients together until smooth:

chocolate whisked in bowlNext, using a spoon, gently pour 3-4 lines across the cheesecake bars:

chocolate lines on cheesecake batter It’s okay if it’s messy, because you’ll be dragging a knife through those lines next! With a light touch, drag a knife back and forth perpendicularly to the lines you made– creating a marbled look like this:

swirled chocolate into cheesecake batter Don’t they look like little hearts? Perfect for Valentine’s Day!! 😀

Once your cheesecake bars are “swirled” to your liking, place them in the freezer to set for at least 4 hours. When they are firm, you can slice and serve chilled!

stacked Raw Chocolate-Swirl Cheesecake BarsBe sure to store these in the freezer– they will melt quickly at room temperature!

Don’t worry, these taste so good, they won’t last long on a plate anyway…


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Oh my gosh that looks awesome. You have some of the best raw recipes!

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)

these look beyond words aahhhh mazing!!!

Between the GF crust
the middle layer (love the use of a peeled zuke in there!)
and the top layer of raw coconut oil choco (im a big time fan!)

they look…incredible!

and to get the “colors” not to smudge or blur, that’s a task when dealing w/ white + choc stuff. my creme de menthe bars are like that!

Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty

Seriously, these look amazing!! I’m going to give them a shout out in my recipe round up post (Tuesday or Wednesday!) and I’m going to make them when I get home for sure!!


    Aww, thanks! I hope you get a chance to make them soon!!

      Auntie Rie

      Wow! I just made these for a surprise for my daughter who is vegan so she will have a dessert for Thanksgiving. Can’t wait to taste them. They look great.

      Gretchen Goolsby

      I’d love to make this dessert but the only nuts I can have are walnuts. any suggestions on how to make this without the pecans or cashews?

Becki @ Hike, Bike, Eat

Instead of me making them, can you send them to me? K, thanks!


Oh my gooooooooodness! You made one amazing looking square! I don’t think they’d last more than a day, even if I hid them in the back of the freezer…

Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn

Ahhh I have all the ingredients!! Yayay this may be my second raw dessert of the weekend, the first being an amazingly delicious chocolate mousse I made last night:) Love me some chocolate! Slash I haven’t had cheesecake-type flavors in forever so I am very excited.


Ooh la la, lady these look fab! What a treat! Love the zucchini use…I see what you mean about our joint efforts to disguise zucchini 🙂


oh yummmmm!! This looks fantastic!!


omg those look delightful!!! Yum! I was craving cheesecake so bad during the game last night!

Amber Shea @Almost Vegan

I’m sold.


Zucchini????? Wow, I need to try these! 😀


Oh my gosh- these look amazing!!


Megan, I made these. First they were amazing. Second, I had more fun going around to everyone that works with me at a gourmet market and catering company and having them taste and then asking “What ingredients did I use?” I love telling them about the zucchini. They are shocked and amazed. Thanks for sharing…Kathy


hi! i made these and added mint leave for green color – fabulous! today, going to try making them with organic orange rind/juice and orange essential oil – this is a winner! i love the addition of zucchini for a healthier less nuts-and-oil dessert treat:) thanks so much!!!!!!


    Mmmm… I bet the orange flavor will be FANTASTIC!!


These are amazing! I just got a food processor for my birhtday and made these the very next day! Mine did not look nearly as pretty as yours so I guess I have to make more to practice… darn! I did blog about it….http://sammy-jane.blogspot.com/2011/05/b-day-weekend-and-raw-vegan-cheesecake.html


Hi! These are *AMAZING*!!! I made them a couple weeks ago, and everyone loved them. Then I thought, “I can make these for Passover!” Unfortunately I didn’t plan ahead and get all the ingredients kosher-for-passover, so I had to use whatever was on hand! The crust still came out great with regular oil rather than coconut oil, and for the filling I substituted 1 cup of ground pecans for the cashews, regular oil for the coconut oil, honey for the agave; and also added 1/3 cup frozen avocado pieces, for extra creaminess and a little extra “fat”. They came out delicious!! The filling & the chocolate “swirl” definitely weren’t as solid as they were when made with the coconut oil, but the bars are still super-yummy and creamy with a cheesecake-texture! My husband loved them! Thank you!! 🙂


    I’m glad they turned out so well, even without all the exact ingredients! I bet the pecans added a really great flavor– they’re one of my favorites. 😉


I am not a vegan, and I stumbled upon this while looking for some recipes for Cycle 1 of the 17 Day Diet and, I had to say, these sound like they are fantastic. I shared this website with a vegan friend of mine!


I made these tonight (one batch for my boyfriend’s sister’s 18th tomorrow, she loves cheesecake!) and a batch for my family to try (to make sure they are edible). I think next time I will use a little more zucchini to balance out the flavor (it was just a tad too nutty).
I also used powdered stevia for the filling and it worked out excellent.

Everyone loved them!!!

I will be sure to make these again.


    So glad you enjoyed them! Thanks for letting me know! 🙂

Round Belly

That crust is amazing!- can’t wait for it all to freeze!


what can i use other then pecans because I’m allergic to them?


    Are you allergic to all tree nuts? If not, you can easily substitute almonds, walnuts or cashews.

    If all nuts must be avoided, perhaps you could try using sunflower seeds? They would affect the flavor, so you’ll just have to adjust the sweetness to taste!

Mary@ Finding Healthy Hope

oh, yummy!
another GREAT recipe!
can’t wait to try it!


Help…my chocolate isn’t creamy…too solid


    Coconut oil is solid in temperatures below 76 degrees– warm it up by placing the bowl in a warm oven for a few minutes, and it should liquify again! If you are trying to swirl it into the cheesecake, the cheesecake can’t be too cold, either, or it will solidify too quickly. It’s best to create the swirl when they are both at room temperature.

    Hope that helps!


      Hi Megan,

      I couldn’t wait to try these and just made my first batch. Everything turned out pretty good except for the chocolate swirl. It’s freezing where I am at the moment so coconut oil is permanently solid – I did heat it up so that it was liquid, then added the cocao and syrup but it was still way too solid. Any suggestions?

      Thanks and great work!


        Was your maple syrup chilled when you added it to the chocolate mixture? That could cause the thickening. I’d recommend placing the chocolate mixture in a warm oven until it’s liquid again, then quickly adding it to the cheesecake mixture before it gets too cold in your home!


these came out awesome!!!! only tip I have is not to use coarse sea salt… use fine sea salt… my bad, I only had coarse and I’m biting into little chuncks of salt… oh well they are still delightful!!!


Hi Megan,I wanted to know what is the purpose of the zucchini in the cheese cake recipe?can u taste it in the cheese cake?could u leave it out if u wish to not add it or will it affect the whole recipe?thanks prema


    I originally added the zucchini to lighten up the cheesecake, by reducing the nut content, but I do love the texture it adds to the finished product. If you’d prefer to omit the zucchini, you might increase the cashews a bit to keep the flavor and texture in tact. Hope that helps!


Can the avocado be substituted? I have a family member who is allergic.


    There’s no avocado in this recipe, so you should be good to go!


I tried the chocolate mixture 2 times and it failed both times. The coconut oil seems to just separate. All this left me with is a lot of wasted ingredients!


    I’m sorry to hear that the coconut oil is separating for you. In my experience, the chocolate mixture can be briefly chilled and then stirred again to resolve the separation– so you definitely don’t have to waste it! Hope that helps, and I hope it tastes good regardless!


I am not vegan but came upon your site and just had to try making these (the simplicity of raw food has just started to appeal to me). Anyways, I made these bars today and I have to admit they are the best darn tasting bars ever…just as yummy as they look and I followed your recipe to the T, it all turned out perfect. Thank you for your awesome creation…my kids and hubby loved them too so it doesnt’ get much better than that 🙂

Andrea McGloin

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Just found your website and I’m hooked. I made these fantastic raw cheesecake squares for my family. We all loved them and I am thrilled I now have a healthy dessert to serve that doesn’t leave us with that icky sugar low. Have also tried several other recipes from your site and they pass the test not only for me (who is used to eating ultra-healthy things) but for my three daughters and husband. Now that’s something to shout about!


This look fantastic! I may have to make them for my birthday this weekend. Can you recommend a substitution for the agave? Thank you!


    I always use honey instead of agave now!


    I am sure maple syrup or coconut nectar could be good substitutes as well ?


      I’ve never tried it myself, but I assume they would work– keeping in mind that either may change the flavor a bit.


This looks amazing!! But unfortunately I’m allergic to cashew nut. What other nut would you recommend for the filling? I’m also allergic to peanut, hazelnut and pistachio :S absolutely fine with almond, pecans, walnuts, macadamia nut and others.


    Maybe macadamia nuts could work? I haven’t tried it myself, so you’ll have to experiment and see! Please let us know if you try it!


      My husband is also allergic to cashews. I used macadamia nuts and it came out perfect!


This. Is. So. GOOD. I absolutely love cheesecake, but in this case I actually much prefer the raw vegan alternative, very refreshing without that I-just-ate-way-too-much-sugar feeling you usually get after eating a dessert.

I made this for my brother’s birthday, as a whole cake instead of squares. Since I made it in a 10″ springform pan, I had to make twice the crust recipe and 3 times the filling. It was absolutely amazing, delicious and the swirls made it look so impressive! The only substitution I made was walnuts instead of pecans. Wish I could post a picture, it was so awesome! Thanks!


These are surprisingly delicious. They don’t taste like cheesecake, but the texture is similar, and the flavor is very good – especially the crust!


i can’t have dairy and haven’t had cheesecake in forever and these were AWESOME! i used walnuts for the crust since i didn’t have pecans. thanks for the recipe!


OMG!!! These are amazing! Just made these last night for the first time and it definitely won’t be the last! I LOVE cheesecake and these are the perfect alternative. The creamy texture is perfect, I feel like I’m cheating but without the guilty conscience afterwards!! Thank you, thank you, thank you, Megan! Oh, by the way, the hubs loved them too!
I can’t wait to try many of your other recipes. Thanks again for sharing!


Hey Megan, can i replace the coconut oil with another kind of oil? I’m not particularly fond of the former 🙁


    Coconut oil is unique, in the fact that it solidifies when chilled– so, the coconut oil is what keeps this cheesecake from becoming a pudding! The only other fat that could possibly work is real butter, if you’d prefer that.


Made these recently and my husband and I loved them! I substituted raw walnuts in the crust since that was what I had on hand, but I felt the crust was a little salty, so I’ll half the amount next time.

I also didn’t have zucchini, so I substituted the same amount with de-seeded cucumber! Surprisingly it was “refreshing” for the first bite, but then it just blends in. This is the first time I’ve seen a vegetable sneaked into a raw cheesecake…I LOVE IT!


These bars are the BEST!! I’m loving all your recipes (and so are my kids:-)



Firstly, thank you so much for all your wonderful recipes. I’ve just found out I need to go on a low starch / starch free (better option) diet for an autoimmune condition & thought I’d have no treats to make!

I made this today & didn’t soak the nuts because I have a thermomix & thought I could skip it. The filling hasn’t gone all creamy like it should & it’s a bit of a pistachio colour so I think I’ll soak them next time.

I’ve still got it sitting in the freezer to taste. I’m sure even though its not as creamy as it should be it will still be delicious.

So happy I can have so many of your recipes!



I followed the recipe exactly and quite frankly it was delicious. The only problem is I kept thinking man I want to eat some more but I shouldn’t. Then I thought of course I should it’s veggies and nuts! My mind was so tricked I felt like I needed to abstain from seconds!


Made these am yet to try smelt amazing as I put together all but the nice of plastic that also got blended to a pulp in with the zucchini thank fully I was able to push it through a sieve hopefully it’ll still be fine, I really really want it to be!!


This recipe looks amazing. For the coconut oil, should I purchase extra virgin coconut oil?


    I always buy organic, extra-virgin coconut oil. I’ve heard that “expeller pressed” has less of a coconut-flavor, but I prefer the higher quality oil and don’t mind the subtle coconut taste.


Thanks for your last reply. One last question. On the cocoa powder, do you recommend a brand, should it say roasted or unsweetened cocoa powder, dark, etc?

Thanks again!


I bought Baking Cocoa…will that work?


    Yep, that should be fine. I usually buy raw cacao powder because it has a high antioxidant content, but I think most cocoa powders all have a similar flavor.


I made these for St. Patrick’s day dessert and they were so delicious! I was skeptical that it would taste like dairy cheesecake, but it really did! Every recipe that I have made from this site has been so good that I share them with everyone! For this recipe, I ground my raw cacao nibs in a little coffee grinder to make fresh raw cocoa powder, very potent and delicious!


Am so glad i stumbled across this recipe, its a big hit in the house! The only problem i had was the choc swirl. I found it to very grainy & far too thick tried to thin it down but made no difference! Would appreciate any advice! Thanks!


    Perhaps if you gently warmed the chocolate coconut-oil mixture, it would become thinner. Coconut oil is very temperature sensitive, and will thicken easily, but it remains liquid at temperatures below 76 degrees.


Can you keep them in the refrigerator at all?


    It depends on your fridge, and the texture you like– they will be softer in the fridge, and firmer in the freezer.


Hey can you explain the soaking process, I’m a beginner here!


What can I use instead of nuts?? I have a nut allergy!


Flawless recipe! Thank you so much! I could not believe how good these squares were. I will be making this recipe again and again. 🙂


Could I substitute honey in place of the maple syrup?

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