Raw Orange Chocolate “Cheesecake”

by Susan on December 10, 2009

Raw Orange Chocolate "Cheesecake"

What do you do when a blizzard cancels your raw food cooking class and you have cashews soaking for prep? Make a great raw recipe for cheesecake! I love the combination of orange and chocolate. A bag of beautiful, fragrant oranges was sitting on the counter. Time to have some fun. The texture came out beautiful, and the taste is divine. Another recipe that would be perfect for holiday entertaining. I used a little orange essential oil in this to really kick up the orange flavor. You might want to note that essential oils are not considered raw and you want to be sure you are using food grade oils for recipes. This is a really simple, quick yet impressive “cheesecake”.

Orange Chocolate Cheesecake


  • 1 C Almonds*
  • 1/4 C Cacao Powder
  • 3 Dates

Combine all ingredients in the food processor. Process until ground fine. Mixture should hold together when pressed. If it doesn’t, add water, 1 T at a time until texture is achieved. Set aside 1/4 C. Press remaining into bottom of 6″ spring form pan. Place in refrigerator.

*I always pre-soak all my almonds and dry them as soon as I get them.


  • 3 Oranges (make sure you have very good oranges)
  • 2/3 C Agave (or liquid sweetener of your choice)
  • 2 1/2 C Cashews (soaked at least 3 hours)
  • 3/4 C Coconut Butter
  • 1/2 t. Sweet Orange Essential Oil (optional as it is not raw but still very healthy)

Grate the zest off of all the oranges. You should have at least 3 T. Be careful to only get the orange part as the pith (the white) is bitter. Squeeze the juice out of all the oranges. You should have about 2/3 C. Place cashews, agave, coconut butter, zest, essential oil, and agave and orange juice in the food processor and process until very smooth. Pour over crust, sprinkle extra crust on top and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

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{ 119 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan April 11, 2010 at 4:53 pm

Actually, if you blend it properly, this cheesecake is very smooth. Sounds like you had fun with the recipe!

Gloria April 18, 2010 at 6:44 pm

I just tried this yummy recipe. While it tasted great, it didn’t come out as shown in the photograph. I left the cake in the fridge for over 4 hours. When I took it out of the springform pan it was soft and spilled over the bottom of the pan. Can you tell me what might have gone wrong?

Susan April 18, 2010 at 7:13 pm

Gloria, I am not sure. I have made this many, many times. Never have had a problem with it. Maybe you needed to leave it in longer? Did you use coconut butter?

Gloria April 20, 2010 at 9:00 pm

Yes, I did use coconut butter. I also used honey and not agave. The cake has been in the fridge now for over 24 hours, and while it is a little more solid, it does not resemble your lovely cake in the photo above. Could the soaking time of the cashews make any difference? I think I soaked them for more than 3 and a half hours.

Susan April 20, 2010 at 9:27 pm

Soaking time, no, honey most definitely. When ever you change an ingredient, you change the chemistry of the whole recipe and how the other ingredients react to each other.

Tom April 28, 2010 at 10:02 am

Think I could use bananas instead of oranges, if so how many?

Susan April 28, 2010 at 10:04 am

I have no idea, and no clue…that is a drastic change. You could experiment. You are trying to substitute bananas (solid) for oranges (liquid).

tom April 29, 2010 at 8:48 am

if i were to make this on fri. or sat. do you think it would be ok till sunday?

Susan April 29, 2010 at 11:27 am

Tom, it will be fine. Saturday would be better. And make sure you cover it in the fridge.

Stacey June 13, 2010 at 10:45 pm


I found your site based on a reference to this dessert and I had 2 questions:

1) With your * comment about the almonds does that mean you soaked them for 12 hrs or so, then dehydrated them again before using in this recipe? Or, are they soaked almonds or just plain raw almonds?

2) What is the difference between Coconut oil in the jar that ‘s solid at room temp. and coconut butter?



Susan June 13, 2010 at 10:53 pm

Stacey: You can find information on coconut butter and coconut oil here: http://www.rawmazing.com/articles/raw-food-all-about-young-coconuts/
Personally, I soak my almonds to release the enzymes that we don’t want. After I soak, I dehydrate then store them in the refrigerator. In this recipe, I used those almonds dry.

Stacey June 13, 2010 at 10:53 pm

OOPS! Saw all the references about coconut butter after I posted…Please ignore that questions.

Hello Susan,

I found your site based on a reference to this dessert and I had 2 questions:

1) With your * comment about the almonds does that mean you soaked them for 12 hrs or so, then dehydrated them again before using in this recipe? Or, are they soaked almonds or just plain raw almonds?

(removed question about coconut butter)



Judith June 17, 2010 at 1:54 pm

I love this recipe! It´s so delicious and easy to make. Un-raw foodist like it too ;) It´s really my favourite cake, I always loved the orange-chocolate-combination and I loooove to love it! :)

Susan, I love your site very much, your recipes are always an inspiration and so often so easy to make… tasting like heaven! You´re an inspiration and gorgeous.

Jodie Bonfrer June 19, 2010 at 12:55 am

Hi all I like to make a statement.
Going raw is a great way of living and I just love the great taste of it.
I often see comments on some ingredients like essential oil not being raw I think it’s taking it out of proportions in my humble opinion you can mix raw with some cooked food.
Some people poo poo vegan and raw food diet just for that reason taking it to serious.
Think we should relax more on it .
I’m on a raw diet myself but not in a extream way way

Kyle Weber July 3, 2010 at 12:50 pm

This looks so delicious! I’d be willing to try this too!

Lucy July 12, 2010 at 5:24 pm

I just made this and put it in the fridge! I stole a bit of the “Cheese” part of the cake to taste and I cannot wait for it to finish setting!
Do you know about how many calories this is? I just want to compare to regular cheesecake.

Susan July 12, 2010 at 5:28 pm

Honestly, I don’t know. Raw desserts are calorie dense. But they are also nutrient dense…where your traditional cheesecake isn’t. Traditional cheesecake is full of ingredients that are dangerous to our health. Also, serving sizes are much smaller with raw…you will understand this when you eat it. It takes so much less to satisfy! :-)

Jennifer September 3, 2010 at 7:02 pm

I used just the crust recipe and it turned out perfect!

Asia September 9, 2010 at 5:59 pm

Looks yummy. But I’d prefer not to use agave. Any other sweetener suggestions? I noticed that honey did not work well for one poster.

patty October 10, 2010 at 10:22 pm

I can not find coconut butter at ANY stores! HELP:(

Susan October 10, 2010 at 11:15 pm
Eva October 11, 2010 at 6:57 pm

what do you use to curl your orange peel?

Susan October 11, 2010 at 8:02 pm

I wrapped it around the handle of a wooden spoon.

patty October 12, 2010 at 9:27 pm

Ok so whole foods is the only place besides on line that you can buy coconut butter. I just made the cake. It is awesome!!!! I am so excited!! It was not hard at all!! :)

Susan October 12, 2010 at 9:39 pm

It depends on where you live. I can buy coconut butter at almost all of our local coops. So glad you like the cake!!

Liza November 16, 2010 at 12:40 pm

I see how you soaked the almonds but what if i don’t have a dehydrater? I’m not a complete RAW foodie but loved a chessecake I had at a RAW resturant. So do I have to soak and dehydrate the almonds? How long will i have to leave them out to dry?

Susan November 16, 2010 at 3:14 pm

Just don’t soak and dehydrate them. If a recipe calls for soaked and dried nuts, you can just substitute the nuts. If it calls for soaked nuts (not dried) you must do that for texture and consistency.

Alicia Neville November 23, 2010 at 11:25 am

So excited to see this one :) I have decided to make this as my dessert contribution for Thanksgiving!

Valinda January 14, 2011 at 6:22 pm

When you state “soaked nuts”, how long do you soak them? I can not wait to make this. Your book is wonderful.

Susan January 14, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Almonds, over night. Thanks so much!

FATIMA January 16, 2011 at 8:55 pm

I love the orange chocolate cake. It is very easy to make.I used amber honey instead of agave and blood oranges. I left it in the fridge overnight.The taste was wonderful and tart.
Thank you so mush for making these recipes available.I love to know how to make the raw german chocolate cake,which I bought at whole foods.

Alicia Neville April 16, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Just to update! I made this for Thanksgiving and it was a HIT! Awesome, awesome, awesome! I highly recommend it :)

Zemira May 11, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Since first seeing this image, I can’t get it out of my head, and I can’t wait to try it out!

I’m glad I read all the comments, especially the one about substituting honey for agave (although Fatima used honey without any problems). I prefer not to use agave anymore, but can yacon syrup be substituted? What sweeteners would work as a substitute?

Thank you for everything you do!

Caitlyn June 7, 2011 at 8:36 pm


Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful creations with us. I have a question. I too soak my almonds for anywhere between 12-24 hours. I am interested in soaking all of them when I get them and then dehydrating them to get them dry. But in those times for making recipes that calls for soaked nuts, such as almond milk and other things, do you resoak them? Thanks

Caitlyn June 7, 2011 at 9:14 pm

Looks like my comment did not go through.

Thank you so much for sharing your gorgeous and wonderful recipes.

I have a question about the soaking. I am interested in also soaking my almonds when I buy them. I normally soak them for 12-24 hours, but lately have been thinking of soaking as soon as I buy and dehydrate them till they are dry and ready to go. But my question is, what about the recipes that call for soaked almonds because of the consistency. For example almond milk about those things. Do you just resoak them?


Susan June 7, 2011 at 9:26 pm

If the recipe calls for soaked nuts for consistency, you could resoak them or you can just set some aside and soak them for the recipe. Almond milk will not require resoaking.

Caitlyn June 8, 2011 at 6:44 pm

Thank you for your reply :)

Freea June 12, 2011 at 6:58 am

I just made this and it turned out exactly as the picture. Absolutely DELICIOUS! Thanks so much. I was looking for a choc orange cheescake that was brown as I had one in a raw food cafe – this is different, but in a different YUM way. I love your web site, I look forward to exploring more :) Thanks a million from down under (Perth, Australia).

Amanda August 11, 2011 at 11:13 pm

Your cheesecake looks absolutely delicious. I’m new to raw deserts. When you dehydrate your nuts what temp do you use and for how long.
Also does the cheesecake easily come out of the Pan?
And finally if I were to make a berry version would I follow your recipe

Why do some of the posts want an alternate sweetner ? Is something wrong with Agave? Thank you in advance.

Susan August 12, 2011 at 7:19 am

Some people don’t like agave. So, I like to let them know there is alternatives. Some agave is not as good as others. Personally I really like Xagave. If you use a spring form pan, there is no problem getting the cheesecake out. I can’t comment on the berry version as I don’t know how you would make it…but I would think it would work. When ever you change ingredients, you change the outcome. You could always experiment….

Susan August 12, 2011 at 7:22 am

I keep the temp under 116 and dry until the nuts are dry. I realize that sounds vague but there will be a big difference depending on many different circumstances. How humid it is, etc.

Mariana September 11, 2011 at 12:58 am

Wow , thank you Susan, i just make this beautiful recipe and it turned out exactly the same as yours :) This orange cake is going to be a birthday cake for a very dear friend of mine. Greetings from Byron Bay, Australia.

JennyB September 19, 2011 at 3:34 pm

I didn’t see cheese as one of the ingredients – and it’s called an orange cheesecake! :))

Susan September 19, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Since this is a raw, vegan site, we use titles loosely. :-) If we call it an orange, chocolate cashew cake, just doesn’t represent it. It is very similar to a cheese cake. We also make our “cheese” with nuts.

matha November 11, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Can this cheesecake be put in the freezer instead of the frig? I’m assuming the orange doesn’t freeze well. I would like to make it several days or possibly a week before it is eaten.

Susan November 11, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Hi, Martha! I have not tried freezing it yet. I will let you know when I do.

kévin January 10, 2012 at 9:43 am

Hello Martha,

Thanks for sharing your recipe, your cake looks delicious. I was wondering if I could replace the coconut butter with coconut cream, i live in france and i cannot find coconut butter anywhere.

kévin January 10, 2012 at 9:45 am

Sorry I made a mistake : Susan ! :)

Joanne March 22, 2012 at 5:00 am


with the sweet orange oil it says not to be taken…. could you please tell me if i am missing something



Susan March 22, 2012 at 8:09 am

You need to make sure your sweet orange oil is food grade, as stated above. Cheers!

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