This vegan cheesecake is also paleo and super rich, creamy and decadent! Made with coconut milk, dates and coconut sugar, this no-bake cheesecake is a little healthier than a traditional one.
You all doing anything special for Valentine’s Day? We never do (although I don’t have anything against the holiday) but I do take it as the perfect excuse to make something rich and chocolaty like this vegan chocolate cheesecake!
These gluten-free chocolate lava cakes and raspberry molten lava cakes (which are also gluten-free) are our favorite Valentine’s Day treats. I love that they yield just two! Perfect for portion control.
But back to today’s recipe! So many paleo cheesecake recipes use a 6″ or 7″ springform pan and I’ve always thought that this was so silly. How many people have a 7″ springform pan? Every traditional cheesecake recipe I’ve ever made calls for a 9″.
So I tried making this paleo cheesecake recipe in a 9″ pan. And the layer of cheesecake was like 1″ thick. It didn’t look impressive enough to get anyone’s attention.
I thought about doubling the filling but the recipe already calls for 3 cans of coconut milk and I couldn’t see anyone making a recipe that called for 6 cans of coconut milk. So here it is in a 7″ springform!
It’s super rich. We served it in 1″ slices and that was enough. So while the cheesecake looks quite small, it will provide much enjoyment. :) It freezes great so you can enjoy it a little at a time!
Cashew-based vegan desserts like these paleo lemon bars, raspberry cream pies and paleo key lime pie really taste like the real thing.
But I’ve had SO many bad vegan cheesecakes that use cashews or tofu in place of cream cheese. I’m not saying that they’re bad in general – perhaps I’ve just not had the right recipes! I just usually really miss the cream cheese in dairy-free cheesecakes.
This vegan chocolate cheesecake, though, won’t leave you disappointed. The filling is nut-free and uses coconut cream and dates, which results in a texture that’s creamier than regular cheesecake.
And does it taste like coconut? Not at all! This paleo cheesecake is all chocolaty goodness. I used unrefined coconut oil and even with that and the 3 cans of coconut milk, there’s not a bit of coconut taste (at least with the coconut milk I used!).
I tried out a load of crust recipes. I keep trying to recreate a paleo Oreo-like crust (like this classic Oreo crust from Crazy for Crust) and it just seems impossible.
I’ve tried other vegan chocolate cookie crust recipes I’ve found online and none of them are even remotely like an Oreo crust. I desperately want it to taste like the real thing!
So I went a different route and ended up with something super simple and no-bake. Which also means this vegan cheesecake is no-bake and raw! For more no-bake treats, check out this post on 85 no-bake paleo desserts (most of which are also vegan!).
If you try it out, I’d love to hear what you think! Happy Valentine’s Day. :)
Substitution questions for this vegan chocolate cheesecake:
- What can I use in place of the coconut cream?
Nothing unfortunately. There’s no sub for it.
- Can I use something instead of coconut sugar?
Granulated sugar would work if you don’t care about it being paleo. A liquid sweetener would make the cheesecake too runny. You could probably add a bunch of coconut oil to firm it up but I think that’d require a lot of experimenting to find the right amount.
And as always, I have no idea how to make this vegan chocolate cheesecake low-carb (I say this in every post because someone asks this in every recipe).
- Can I reduce it?
I already give a range of 1 cup to 1 1/3 cups. If you want, you could try 2/3 cup and add a bit more sweetener at a time until it’s your desired level of sweetness.
- Can I use something instead of dates?
I haven’t tried it but perhaps prunes would work. I’m not sure how different they taste but I think with all that cocoa powder, it’d cover up any unusual taste.
- Can I use a different sized pan?
Definitely! Your cheesecake will just be thinner. Think about the crust, though. If you want an 8″x8″, you’ll probably want to double the crust. If you use a 6″ springform, you’ll have a little too much for the pan and will need to put the leftover filling in something else. I recommend just eating it straight from the blender with a spoon. :D
- I don’t have a food processor or high-speed blender. What else can I use?
Sorry to say you need one of those. You can’t chop up the dates finely enough. And I really, really recommend a high-speed blender (not a regular blender!) over the food processor. They’ll get the filling perfectly smooth and creamy. I can’t say that all food processors will do the same (though I’m sure some would!).
- Can I use X type of cocoa powder?
I first tried this vegan chocolate cheesecake with Dutch-process cocoa powder (it’s my favorite!) and it made the cheesecake have a very odd bitter taste to me. My husband didn’t taste the bitterness.
I tried the next day and it still tasted very bitter. The third day, though? Totally normal. I wasn’t sick and nothing else tasted off to me so I have no idea what that was about.
I’m pretty sure it had to be the cocoa powder. So because of this, I’m recommending that you not use Dutch-process cocoa powder and use the regular natural kind (like Hershey’s unsweetened) instead.
I hope you’ll enjoy this vegan chocolate cheesecake! Here are some resources in case you’re new to vegan baking:
Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake (paleo, no-bake)
- Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- Ready in:
- Yield: 12-16 slices
- 2/3 cup (93 grams) almonds
- 2/3 cup (140 grams) pitted dates, firmly packed
- 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons (19 grams) cocoa powder
- little less than 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups (720 grams) warmed coconut cream1
- 1 cup (210 grams) pitted dates, firmly packed
- 1 2/3 cups (183 grams) cocoa powder (I don't recommend Dutch-process - it made my cheesecake bitter)
- 1 to 1 1/3 cups (200-266 grams) coconut sugar, very firmly packed (it's best to weigh this)
- 1/4 cup + 1 1/2 teaspoons (64 grams) coconut oil (I used unrefined)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- raspberries and strawberries
For the crust:
For the filling:
For the top:
- Line the bottom and sides (all the way to the top) of a circular 7"x3" springform pan (if a little smaller, you can pour the leftover filling in a small dessert glass / bowl) with a piece of foil.
- In the bowl of your food processor using an S-blade, pulse all the crust ingredients until it starts to come together. Depending on your food processor, this will take 1-3 minutes. Pinch a bit of it together - it should stick together easily. You can also use a high-speed blender to make the crust but you have to scape the sides of the container often. I thought it was much easier with a food processor.
- Press firmly onto the bottom of the lined pan.
- Get out a high-speed blender and make sure it's large enough to fit all the ingredients. The filling yields about 5-6 cups. If your blender isn't big enough, a food processor will do - but it'll likely (it depends on your food processor) be creamier with a high-speed blender. Add all the filling ingredients, in the order listed (starting off with 1 cup (200 grams) of coconut sugar), and blend for about 30-60 seconds, or even longer, depending on your blender, or until totally smooth and no lumps of dates remain. Taste and add up to another 1/3 cup (66 grams) of coconut sugar, if desired.
- Pour the filling over the crust and place the cheesecake in the freezer for 6-8 hours or until the filling is frozen. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer and remove the foil from around the sides. If it's difficult to do now, wait until it thaws a bit more.
- Let thaw for about 1 hour at room temperature (it'll depend on the room temperature and how long the cheesecake was frozen) and top with berries. Can be stored in the fridge for a softer consistency.
Prepare the crust:
Prepare the filling:
- You can use 3 cups of canned coconut cream or get three 14-ounce (400-gram) cans of full-fat canned coconut milk, chill them overnight, then scoop out the coconut cream that has formed at the top. You should get 3 cups (720 grams) of coconut cream. Warm it up slightly so that the mixture will be easier to blend.
122 comments on “Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake (paleo, no-bake)” — Add one!
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Can I use the same amount of maple syrup instead of coconut sugar? Or just leave the coconut sugar out?
Please read questions 2 + 3 in the questions section. :)
Hi! I just stumbled on this recipe and it looks so so good. I have a question. What do you mean by ‘warmed’ coconut cream? Do I need to take the cream out of the can of coconut milk and then warm it up? If so, the to what temperature?
Hello! There’s no specific temperature. Just warm it up so that it’s liquid and not totally solid. If it’s totally solid, it’ll be difficult to blend. :)
Why is there no cheese or nutrional yeast this could just be a chocolate cake I dont see how or wherevit is cheese related. Vegan here.
Vegan cheesecakes are usually cashew-based. I wanted a non-processed, paleo cheesecake and didn’t use vegan cheese subs like vegan “cream cheese” because they’re usually filled with all kinds of weird ingredients. This recipe is nothing like a cake. I recommend googling vegan chocolate cake and vegan cheesecakes so you can see the difference. :)
Do you think this could work as mini cheesecakes in cupcake liners like your no bake key lime pies? They are the perfect serving size and would make freezing easier also – so we don’t eat it all at once!
I think it would but I’m not sure if the amount of crust is the perfect amount. But it’s easy enough to just make more if it’s not enough! I’d love to hear how it goes if you try it out. :) Definitely use some kind of liner and then remove the liners when the cheesecake is still frozen. I think that’d be the best method (but can’t be sure since I haven’t tried it!).
Thanks Erin. I tried them in the liners and it worked a treat. Made 14 with the base and filled those liners to the top with the filling with a little left over. They are delicious! They may not last in the freezer as long as I would like…BTW I take them straight out of the freezer and pop in the microwave for a few seconds to soften and it makes the base all chewy and extra special. Love it!
Oooh, what a great idea! I think I’ll make them for Valentine’s Day with some raspberries or strawberries on top. That’s a great tip to microwave them to make them chewy. Thanks a bunch for your feedback!
Made this on monther’s day as my mum is gluten free and vegan – it turned out excellent in the first try itself ! Thank you for this one. Much loved!!
Trying out the brownies soon 😃
I hope that your mom had a great Mother’s Day and that she liked the cheesecake! I wish someone would have made me this. 😂 Thanks again for your feedback!
Hi! If you chill the full fat coconut milk are you using the solid cream and discarding the liquid portion? I just want to verify this step. Thank you so much. Looks DELICIOUS!
Correct! But don’t discard it. Just use it in a smoothie or something. :)
Omg this was absolutely devine, really easy to follow. However just a question, how did you end up taking the cheesecake out the mold as I found it quiet difficult.
I’m sorry for just now seeing your comment! Did you do step 1 of the recipe (with the foil?) With that, I had no issues with unmolding it. I’m glad that you enjoyed the cheesecake. :) Thanks for your comment!
Actually I have concerns about using foil as you get aluminum poisoning. Can parchment paper be used instead?
That should work fine.
The problem with all these paleo and keto recipes is that they use coconut cream or coconut milk; my husband is allergic to coconut. I need a substitute.
The problem is that coconut milk and coconut cream are the only ones that I can use. So that’s what I use. Like I said in the post, there’s no sub for coconut cream in this cheesecake. Sorry about that. I wish there were!
I recently found out I could no longer eat dairy or refined sugar so I’ve been relearning how to cook and enjoy food. I was on the fence about attempting this recipe. I’ve had so many food fails with desserts and was convinced this was one more just waiting to happen. I LOVE THIS RECIPE. It was so easy. I actually had to go back after it went into the freezer because I just knew that I forgot a vital complicated step. Nope! It was easy to follow and I had zero questions about it. The texture and richness of this cheesecake is amazing. I have made it twice now and plan to add it to my arsenal for dinner parties and potlucks. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful creation!
You’re welcome! I’m really glad that it worked out and that you’ll be making it again. Can I ask why you thought it was going to fail? Was there something that worried you about my post that I could fix so that other people aren’t worried? :) I’ve made a lot of paleo desserts and so, so many are just really bad. :/ So perhaps that’s why you were worried. Since you said you’re new to dairy and refined sugar-free eating, I can really suggest these paleo chocolate chip cookies or really any of my paleo desserts. Thanks a bunch for your comment!