No-Bake Chocolate Cheesecake
This no-bake chocolate cheesecake recipe is completely vegan and made with simple ingredients for an easy but impressive and decadent dessert. Enjoy a creamy chocolate cashew-based filling on top of a homemade pecan crust for a delicious raw chocolate cake that can be served at any occasion!
No-bake desserts are great when you want to share something impressive but don’t have a ton of time to spend in the kitchen. This cheesecake is especially great because it sets quickly and has a smooth chocolatey consistency that’s perfect to serve for a special occasion.
The creamy filling is made with soaked cashews that have the perfect rich, decadent texture for dairy-free desserts. The simple no-bake crust uses almond flour, pecans and maple syrup to create a cheesecake-like “dough” reminiscent of a baked crust.
Layer the two together in a springform cake pan and chill for a stunning chocolate dessert that’s completely vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free!
- Make it ahead. You can make this vegan chocolate cheesecake ahead of time and let it sit in the fridge before it’s ready to serve up. IT can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
- No need to turn on your oven! No-bake desserts take less time and energy to make and will also use less electricity.
- Since it’s dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan and refined sugar-free, most anyone will be able to enjoy this cheesecake while sticking to their health goals.
- You can top this raw chocolate cake with anything you enjoy including fresh berries, nuts or a dairy free whipped cream.
- It’s a decadent cheesecake but light enough to serve during warmer months.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Complete list of ingredients with amounts and instructions is located in the recipe card below.
For the Pecan Crust:
- Almond Flour – Almond flour mixed with crushed pecans helps create a crust that has texture but still holds together. If you don’t have access to almond flour, you can use finely ground blanched almonds.
- Pecans – Pecans offer a great flavor to the crust and help keep it hold together. You can substitute walnuts if needed.
- Maple Syrup – This natural sweetener helps the crust come together while also giving it a lightly sweet taste.
For the Chocolate Cheesecake:
- Soaked Cashews – A great alternative to thick cream or cream cheese in vegan desserts as it has a creamy texture and light flavor when cashews are soaked then blended. Be sure to use plain cashews with no added oil or salt (very pale in colour and labelled “raw” cashews).
- Cocoa Powder – Gives the cheesecake its rich chocolate flavor. You can use any cocoa powder, dark cocoa powder or raw cacao powder.
- Coconut Oil – This is needed to make the chocolate filling firm. It can’t be substituted or omitted in this recipe.
- Coconut Cream – Gives the filling a light creamy texture similar to cream. If you can’t find canned coconut cream, place a whole can of full-fat coconut milk in the fridge over night then when you’re ready to make the cake, scoop the thick cream out of the can, leaving the watery part behind.
- Maple Syrup – Maple syrup sweetens the filling of the cheesecake. It can be substituted with agave syrup if needed.
- Lemon Juice – Adds the tangy flavor of a traditional cheesecake.
- Soy Lecithin – Optional but it helps to emulsify the filling. If you’d like to keep this dessert soy-free or can’t find any, you can leave it out.
Before You Start: Soak the cashews for at least 4 hours up to overnight in water before draining and rinsing.
Step 1. Make the crust by adding the almond flour, pecans, maple syrup and cinnamon to a food processor and blending into a crumbly but sticky dough you can easily pinch together between your fingers.
Step 3. Transfer the dough into a 8-9 inch springform pan and firmly press it down into a flat, even layer using your fingers.
Step 4. Add the filling ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until it’s completely smooth and resembles a mousse texture. If needed, stop and scrape down the sides a few time between blending to ensure everything is evenly blended.
Step 5. Pour the filling mixture on top of the crust and use a spatula or spoon to smooth it out.
Step 6. Place the cheesecake in the freezer for 2 hours up to overnight. Let thaw briefly at room temperature or in the fridge for 30-60 minutes before serving.
If you can’t find canned coconut cream, take 2 cans of full-fat coconut milk (you will need 2 cans to produce 1 cup of cream) and place them in the fridge overnight. Do not shake as the cream will rise to the top and can be used in this recipe.
When ready to use in the recipe, open the can and scoop the thick cream off the top, leaving the watery portion behind. You can use the leftover coconut water in oatmeal, smoothies, soups and curries.
Raw cheesecakes are definitely best made in a high-speed blender such as a Vitamix or Blendtec. If you don’t have one, you can still make the recipe, make sure the cashews have been soaked overnight and keep in mind the strength of your blender will determine how smooth and creamy the filling is.
Sure. It’s easiest with a springform pan but if you don’t have one you can use an 8-9 inch pie tin or a square baking pan to make chocolate cheesecake bars.
if you’re not using a spring form pan, I’m recommend lining the pie dish or baking tray with parchment paper so it’s easier to remove the cheesecake once it’s ready.
If you’d like to purchase one, you can buy a springform pan here.
I’d recommend soaking them overnight for the best results but in a pinch you can do a “quick soak”.
If you have a couple hours, place the cashews in a bowl and pour boiling water over them and let them soak for 2 hours. If you don’t have time, boil the cashews in a small pot of water for 10 minutes then straining and proceeding with the recipe.
No problem. You have two options if you don’t have access to almond flour:
1. Blend 1 cup of blanched almonds a very fine, powdery consistency. Make sure you don’t over blend them or you’ll end up with almond butter! You should achieve a powdery consistency in 10-15 seconds of blending, stopping to scrape down the sides a few times in between blends.]
2. Use the cheesecake crust from my pumpkin cheesecake or mango cheesecake instead. All you’ll need is dates and walnuts or almonds, dates and coconut. You could even do a chocolate crust by using the base form these chocolate fudge bars made from almonds, cashews, dates and cocoa powder.
Soy lecithin is a food additive used as an emulsifier. This just means it encourages ingredients to remain one smooth, combined mixture rather than separate (think oil and water). It also helps to thicken and stabilize.
It’s optional and I’ve made many no-bake cheesecakes without it but you do get a smoother, creamier result more like a traditional baked cheesecake if you use it.
You can purchase a small bag of soy lecithin here or liquid lecithin here if you’d like to try it.
Storing & Freezing
- Be sure to keep cool until just before serving as the cheesecake will melt after sometime at room temperature.
- Storing: You can store this cheesecake in your fridge for up to 1 week in an airtight container.
- Freezing: Leftover cheesecake can be frozen whole or in individual slices in a container for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, thaw it in the fridge overnight.
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For the Pecan Crust
- 1 cup almond flour (120 g)
- 1/2 cup pecans (65 g)
- 3–4 tablespoons maple syrup (45-60 mL)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
For the Chocolate Cheesecake
- Soak the cashews for at least 6 hours up to overnight in a bowl of water. When you’re ready to make the cheesecake, drain and rinse.
- Add the ingredients for the crust to a food processor and blend into a moldable dough, starting with 3 tbsp maple syrup and adding an additional 1 tbsp if needed to reach a sticky consistency.
- Prepare a 8-9 inch springform pan and press the dough into the pan using your hands until flat and even across the bottom of the pan.
- Add the drained cashews to a high-speed blender with the rest of the cream ingredients and blend into a very smooth consistency, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender as needed.
- Pour the cream over the crust in the pan and use a spatula or spoon if needed to smooth.
- Place the cake in the freezer for 2 hours up to overnight.
- Let thaw briefly at room temperature or in the fridge for 30-60 minutes before serving.
If you don’t have almond flour, blend 1 cup of blanched almonds for 10-15 seconds, scrapping down the sides a few times in between blends to make your own. Alternatively, use the date and walnut crust from this no-bake cheesecake recipe instead.
If you can’t find canned coconut cream, place 2 cans of good quality full-fat coconut milk in the fridge overnight. In the morning, carefully open and scoop the thick coconut cream off the top of each, leaving the remaining watery portion behind.
If you don’t have a springform pan, line the bottom of a pie dish with parchment paper or use a square baking pan to make cheesecake bars. Line it with parchment paper so it sticks out over the edges so you can lift the bars out of the pan once they’re ready.
If you’re short on time, cashews can be quick boiled by boiling in a small pot for 10 minutes or quick soaked by pouring boiling water over them in a bowl and soaking for 2 hours. I would recommend soaking overnight for the best result though.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 507
- Sugar: 19 g
- Fat: 30 g
- Carbohydrates: 33 g
- Fiber: 4 g
- Protein: 9 g
Keywords: no-bake chocolate cheesecake, raw chocolate cheesecake