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 }

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!


Nichol March 24, 2012 at 1:24 am

I see that the question has been asked about substituting the Agave and that you answered by saying that some people don’t like it (which I am one) and that there are substitutes… though 2 people have used honey, one worked with the recipe, the other did not.
Can you offer any other substitutions for the Agave? Stevia or Xylitol perhaps? I’m new to this and don’t want to make a disaster and have no real clues what works for substitutions in this type of situation.


veganmam March 31, 2012 at 2:58 pm

I made this cake for a dinner hosted by a friend. I made 2 batches. one with 6inch and and one with 9inch. My 9 inch came out perfect and the people at the party loved it. As most of my friends like light sugar on their cakes this was perfect. My 6ich was good but not too good. It didn’t set properly. Two things didn’t go well. One is I soaked the roasted cashews for probably hour(recipe didn’t mention whether it should be roasted or raw). Secondly I think I added too much zest. May be the oranges at home are too flavorful(we have 2 good orange trees). However the taste was little bit bitter on my small cake and it didn’t set well. My big cake(i used 1 and 1/2 ingredients) was a hit! I again used roasted cashews but let them soaked overnight and used less zest(just a few strands). Thanks!


Susan March 31, 2012 at 4:25 pm

About the cashews…this is a raw food website. So, we use raw cashews. :-). Second, if you do not follow the recipe, ie using roasted cashews and not soaking them the proper time, I can’t guarantee results. Orange zest does have a bitterness to it and if you added too much, it would make your cheesecake bitter. The soaking time is extremely important to get the cashews to the right consistency and roasted cashews have very different properties than raw.
Glad your larger one turned out. Cheers!


Jessica Montaigne May 2, 2012 at 12:18 am

I’m not sure what I did wrong but this didn’t firm up like in the picture. I followed the directions exactly and ended up putting it in the freezer to get to be more pie than pudding. It tasted great,just flopped out of the form. Any tricks I can use? I heard Irish moss can be used just not sure how?


Susan May 2, 2012 at 12:21 am

I am not sure what you did wrong. I have made this many times, as have many others with great success. Adding any ingredients to this would drastically change the recipe.


Kara October 19, 2012 at 7:15 pm

I’m very new to raw eating and raw foods… Can you tell me exactly what you mean when you say “soaking” nuts and also what you mean by drying them?
Thank you!


Susan October 19, 2012 at 7:34 pm

Soak nuts = soak them in water. Dry nuts = dry them in a dehydrator under the temp of 115. There is more information here: http://www.rawmazing.com/raw-food-soaking-nuts-and-seeds/


Rodi December 19, 2012 at 10:27 am

Is orange essential oil edible ?


Susan December 19, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Rodi, thanks for asking. In the post I specify that you should use food grade essential oils. Cheers!


Shannon December 22, 2012 at 7:13 am

I too don’t want to use Agave and saw a posting above requesting alternatives. Can you respond with other suggestions – or let us know if honey would work? Thanks


Susan December 22, 2012 at 12:46 pm

I wish substitutions were straight up but they are not. You can certainly try honey but I can’t guarantee the results as I haven’t had time to try it. Cheers!


ken October 13, 2013 at 5:36 am

Fwiw, mine didn’t set up either. I didn’t do any ingredient substitutions either. The top part was about the same consistency as when I poured it in :-(

Maybe adding coconut oil would help? It solidifies when child…


Susan October 13, 2013 at 5:45 pm

I am not sure why yours didn’t set. The coconut butter is the setting agent and should work well. Are you using true coconut butter?


ken October 14, 2013 at 4:12 pm

ok..found out why mine didn’t set. The recommended four hours in the recipe is *NOT* long enough!
Checked the leftovers the next day and it had the consistency I expected…firm enough instead of molten lava like.
I’d recommend changing the recipe notes to mention this. And yes, I used real coconut butter….exact same ingredients, 6″ pan, etc.


Susan October 17, 2013 at 11:06 am

You might note that the recipe states at least 4 hours. Meaning it could take longer. Set-up times vary.


Katy December 10, 2013 at 4:17 pm

This looks amazing. I’ve been looking for a raw vegan cheesecake that’s soy free and this sounds perfect. Coconut butter / oil is pretty individual in its properties I know, but sadly I’m allergic to coconut in all forms. Any suggestions for a replacement setting agent? Just discovered your site via Pinterest and am loving it! :-)


Liga December 15, 2013 at 3:15 pm

Great recipe, will have to try. Do you know how long I can keep it in fridge? I like to prepare small batches of mini cheesecakes so I can eat it when I want and not make from scratch every day.
Are they good for freezing?


Ugne May 30, 2014 at 11:10 am

Hello, I am about to try this recipe. Does it really say 3 dates or is it a typing mistake and should be 3 cups? Thanks


Susan May 30, 2014 at 11:11 am

Yes, three dates. Three cups? Wow that would be a lot of dates! Cheers!


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