Raw Orange Chocolate “Cheese” Cake Revisited

by Susan on November 11, 2012

A funny thing happened when my publisher sent me a copy of my latest book to proof. I really disliked one of the pictures. I took it a couple of years ago, when I was just learning how to shoot food. There was a lot of trial and error at that point and this photo was in the error category.

I made the decision. I needed to reshoot the “cheese” cake. Since I was reshooting, I decided to redo the recipe, too. The original raw “cheese” cake was good but I wanted to lighten up the texture a bit. I also wanted a little more orange flavor. I am pretty darn happy with the results. 

You will want to make this cheese cake the night before for proper setting up. Think of it as a make a-head dessert. You can add the extra layer of crumbs either on top or in the middle. I kind of like the way it looks in the middle!

Orange Chocolate “Cheese” Cake

Serves 12


  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 4 dates, soaked until soft
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder

1. Place almonds and pecans in food processor and process until finely chopped. 

2. Add dates and cacao. Process until well blended. Mixture should stick together when you pinch it.

3. Press 2/3 of the mixture into the bottom of a 7-inch spring form pan
lined with parchment paper. Make sure you press it well. 

4. Set the remaining 1/3 mixture aside to use for filling layer or to sprinkle on top.



  • 1/2 cup orange zest
  • 2 cups cashews, soaked until soft (4+ hours), rinsed and drained well
  • 1 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice (approximately 3 oranges, depending how juicy they are)
  • 2/3  cup raw agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger

1. Zest oranges and set aside.

2. In high-speed blender, combine cashews, coconut oil, orange juice and raw agave nectar. Blend until smooth. 

3. Add zest and ginger. Pulse just to combine. 

4. Pour over crust. 

5. Refrigerate overnight.

6. Top with remaining crust.

Chef’s Note: If you want to use the crust as a layer (like photo), you will need to pour half the filling mixture into the pan and place it in the freezer for a bit (DO NOT LET FREEZE) to let it set up. Sprinkle crust over bottom layer then carefully pour in the remaining filling mixture.
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{ 57 comments… read them below or add one }

Olga October 13, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Hi Susan,
I made this for a dinner party and it was truly rawmazing :) My friends (and I!) loved it. It’s so easy to make, using few and easy-to-find ingredients. My blender and food processor aren’t powerful at all but with a little patience I got the perfect consistency, the cream turned out silky smooth and the crust – well, just as it should be. Thank you for the great recipe!
Love from France x

Amy Meole January 14, 2014 at 10:31 pm

I can’t wait to try this recipe, but I’m wondering what I could substitute the agave with. Any thoughts?? I don’t like to use agave since I heard they process it (even the raw agave) just like high fructose corn syrup. Any advice would be most appreciated! Thanks!! :-)

Susan January 14, 2014 at 11:13 pm

First, they do not process it just like high fructose corn syrup. Turning corn into a syrup is a lot more complicated then reducing the sap from the agave plant. That said, I don’t use it as much as I used to. You can substitute any liquid sweetener such as maple syrup but you will have to check for flavor. Don’t use too much or all the other ratios will be thrown off.

nic May 27, 2014 at 7:08 pm

do you have any suggestions for liquid sweeteners that might make good substitutions for the agave? I’m brand new to raw foods, and unfortunately the smell/taste of agave makes me gag – but this recipe sounds fantastic!

Susan May 29, 2014 at 5:23 pm

You can use maple syrup (not raw), liquid coconut sugar, yacon syrup. They all taste different and will change the flavor but give it a go. Cheers!

Susan July 21, 2014 at 7:42 pm

Hi Susan,
Just wanted to say a BIG thank you, this was awesome, a big hit with the whole family.. Cheers

Susan July 28, 2014 at 1:11 pm

Thank you, Susan! So glad you liked it! Cheers!

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