No-Bake Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake
This creamy no-bake vegan chocolate cheesecake is delicious any time of year, but I especially love eating it really cold on hot summer nights. It’s dairy-free, gluten-free, paleo, and utterly delicious.
I’ve been making cashew based dairy-free/vegan/gluten-free/paleo “cheesecakes” for a few years now and my whole family loves them. The first I tried was a pretty pink layered and sliced Raspberry Vegan Cheesecake, then I did Mini Peanut Butter Cup Vegan Cheesecakes, Cranberry, and even a swirly Vegan “Key Lime Pie”. Oh, and I almost forgot this Pumpkin Cheesecake!
I may have gotten a little carried away with the vegan cheesecakes, but can you blame me? I just love when I find a way to make something with more natural ingredients that tastes amazing and the family still loves. While traditional cheesecakes leave me feeling heavy and unwell, I feel good about eating this raw vegan chocolate cheesecake. In fact, I’ll snack on this one all day long. A little slice before yoga? Sure! A hot summer day breakfast treat? Yes!
How do you Make Vegan/Paleo Cheesecake?
The base for this recipe is cashews. Like my Creamy Broccoli Soup with Cashew Cream, this vegan chocolate cheesecake gets perfectly rich and creamy thanks to nuts. Cashews are the best nuts for the job. If you like the idea of using nuts in place of dairy, don’t miss my favorite Vegan Ricotta made with almonds, Cashew Hot Chocolate, Chocolate Almond Milk, and Vegan/Paleo Freezer Fudge!
The key to cashew creaminess is to use raw cashews and soak them in water overnight. For our chocolate “cheesecake” we need unsweetened cocoa powder and sweeten things up with maple syrup. Blend all these wonderful ingredients up in a food processor or blender until as smooth as possible. Though this recipe comes together quickly and easily, it does take some planning as the cashews need time to soak and the cheesecake needs time to set in the freezer.
Raw Cashew Cheesecake
Go nuts, go! Cashews create a creamy cheesecake, but also contribute some health benefits. Unlike diary, nuts have tons of fiber and healthy fats. They are also great for heart health. Cashews are high in plant-based protein, minerals like copper, zinc, and magnesium, and antioxidants. According to Dr. Axe, cashews have some pretty amazing health benefits from preventing migraines to maintaining healthy skin, and more.
Go ahead, take a taste! This vegan chocolate cheesecake filling tastes incredible already. Almost like a chocolate mousse or pudding at this point.
Spread the chocolate filling into the prepared crust. I used a mini cake pan for this recipe, but you could double it and use a standard springform pan if you wanted more. There are a couple of options for the crust. In the photos I’m showing this cheesecake in a baked graham cracker crust. In the video you’ll see a more natural, no-bake crust made with dates and nuts. Pop that beauty into the freezer for a few hours or overnight to set up.
Then decorate with fresh berries or a drizzle of melted dark chocolate. You can store your chocolate cheesecake in the refrigerator, or even longer in the freezer. I like this best served very cold. It’s almost like ice cream that way.
Isn’t she pretty? I hard the hardest time narrowing down images for this post because this vegan chocolate cheesecake was just so darn photogenic. Can you tell I had fun behind the camera with this one?
I can’t wait for you to take a bite of this ultra creamy and delicious rich chocolate “cheesecake”. It’s hard to believe it’s dairy-free, gluten-free, and paleo-friendly. P.S. Which crust would you choose – the date/nut raw version or the graham cracker crust? I prefer the nut version while my kids like the graham cracker crust best.
Here’s a Pinterest image for you!
Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake
No one can believe this rich and creamy no-bake chocolate “cheesecake” is dairy-free, vegan, gluten-free, and paleo.
For the Crust
- 1/2 cup pitted dates
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 1/4 cup flaked coconut
For the Filling
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water overnight (or with boiling water poured over at least 4 hours)
- 1/8 cup coconut butter
- 1/6 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa/cacao powder
- pinch sea salt
- 1/3 cup almond or coconut milk
For the Chocolate Drizzle (optional)
- 1/3 cup dairy-free, gluten-free chocolate chunks/chips
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- Fresh strawberries and/or raspberries
- fresh mint
- Coat a 6-inch cake pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom with a round piece of parchment paper for easy removal.
- To make the crust, place the dates, almonds, and coconut into a food processor. Blend until the mixture comes together when pressed. If your dates are on the dry side, you may need to add a little water. Press the crust mixture into the bottom of the cake pan very firmly with your hands or the bottom of a glass or measuring cup. Set aside and rinse the processor bowl.
- To make the filling, drain the cashews well and place them into the food processor or blender. Add the coconut butter (you could also use coconut oil), syrup, vanilla, cocoa, salt, and milk. Cover and blend until very smooth and creamy. Add more milk if needed. This takes a few minutes so keep blending until creamy. Pour the filling into the crust. Transfer to the freezer to set up for at least 4 hours or overnight. If completely frozen, let thaw about 30 minutes. Remove the cheesecake from the pan by running a thin knife under hot water and then around the inside of the cake pan.
- Garnish your vegan chocolate cheesecake with fresh berries, mint, and/or a drizzle of melted dark chocolate and enjoy chilled.