Raw Pineapple Coconut “Cheesecake” Part 2

by Susan on March 30, 2013

Raw Pineapple "Cheesecake" @Rawmazing.com

Raw Coconut Pineapple "Cheesecake" @Rawmazing.com

Substitutions Part 2:  Raw Pineapple “Cheesecake” (No Nuts!)

Please read to the end for the recipe. 

A funny thing happened while working on this post. It involves jello, pineapple and my mother, Cora. A little more on that later. 

In my quest to help people with substitutions, I decided to write a three part series on substituting cashews in desserts. The first substitution, pine nuts, worked like a charm. You can see part one and the recipe here: Raw Lemon Thyme Pine Nut “Cheesecake”. It’s worth a read to get a better understanding why substitutions aren’t always straight forward. 

This is a series on finding substitutions for cashews, especially in desserts. But because so many people can’t have nuts at all,  I decided to make the this recipe completely nut free. I turned to coconut as the base ingredient and set out to see how it would all come together. 

Opening 5 young thai coconuts, even for someone who is used to doing it (see how here: Young Thai Coconuts) is a bit labor intensive. But if you can get past that, the flesh of the young thai coconut makes a refreshing base for this “cheesecake”. I honestly would call it more of a soufflé cake, due to the texture. 

Once again, I wanted the flavors to love each other and what loves coconut more than pineapple? Plus, the addition of fresh pineapple lightens up the coconut is a beautiful way. Think acidity cutting fat. So, in went one cup of fresh pineapple that got pureéd into the mixture and one cup of chopped pineapple to round things out. 

I did everything else as I normally would and popped the little beauty into the refrigerator, thinking that I would photograph it the next morning. Imagine how surprised I was when I un-molded the “cheesecake” and it started to gently spread. It had not completely set up, even with an entire cup of coconut oil in the base. I was a bit astounded.

Knowing that adding more coconut oil or coconut butter would really start to affect the mouth feel and taste in a negative way, I instead tossed it in the freezer. A few hours later, voilá! A beautiful frozen dessert that tastes divine. But what about that setting up problem?

In comes Mom. I have to tell you something about my mother (who will not let me tell you how old she is, even though I want to so you can see how amazing women can be at all ages), she is a store house of little known facts. If you could have a partner at Trivial Pursuit, you would want my mom. When ever a question about almost anything comes up between my daughters and I, “Call Grandma” is the first thing that comes out of our mouths.

So, I am talking to my mom she asked me about the second dessert. “I had a little trouble with it setting up,” I say. “You know,” Mom says,  “You can’t use fresh pineapple in jello. It prevents it from setting-up.” 

I jump on the computer and look up pineapple and jello. Now, jello or gelatin is a far, far cry from coconut. It is made from cow’s hooves and apparently the bromelain in fresh pineapple contains two enzymes that break down collagen which prevents the jello from setting up. Ok, I know. Coconut flesh is a far cry from gelatin but it did get me thinking enough to inspire me to try the same “cheesecake” with strawberries. Even though I don’t expect it to make a difference, maybe something interesting can be learned here.  

For now, enjoy this refreshing raw Pineapple Coconut “Cheesecake” frozen. Make sure you let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving to soften a bit. And I will post the strawberry version next!

*Please note: Because this recipe is a substitution recipe, I don’t have a substitution for the substitution. So, if you don’t like, or can’t have coconut, I would suggest trying one of the many other dessert recipes on the site.

Raw Pineapple Coconut “Cheesecake”


  • 4 dates, soaked until very soft 
  • 1 cup dried organic, unsweetened coconut

1. Place soften dates and coconut in food processor and process until well blended.

2. Pat into the bottom of an oiled 7 1/2 inch spring form pan.



  • 2 1/2 cups young Thai coconut flesh (about 5 young coconuts)
  • 1/4 cup coconut water (from the coconuts)
  • 1/3 cup raw agave nectar or liquid sweetener of choice
  • 1 cup coconut oil, softened
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks, separated

1. In high-speed blender, pureé the coconut flesh and coconut water together until smooth. 

2. Add the agave, coconut oil. You want this to be quite smooth so blend away until it is. 

3. Add 1 cup of the pineapple chunks. Blend until incorporated. 

3. Pulse the remaining pineapple chunks in the food processor until well chopped. Drain. 

4. Stir the pineapple into the coconut mixture, pour over crust and let set up in the refrigerator for 4 hours. Move to freezer and leave until firm.

*You will want to remove 10 minutes before serving to let the “cheesecake” soften a little. 

Serves 8-10


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{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

Aimee March 30, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Looks delicious! I love fresh Thai coconuts and use them for all sorts of things. I will have to try this out.


Susan March 30, 2013 at 3:29 pm

I love them too! Thanks, Aimee.


Amy @FragrantVanillaCake March 30, 2013 at 5:44 pm

I made a piña colada cheesecake for Easter today too! Great minds think alike :)!


Shernell March 30, 2013 at 5:49 pm

I have a apple strudel cheesecake freezing in the freezer as I type. I love how yours looks.


clarissa March 30, 2013 at 7:46 pm

Susan, another genius of a recipe! How lucky and Thankful are we! Can’t wait to make this soon. Nice little blog too. :-)


Susan March 30, 2013 at 7:52 pm

Ya gotta love tropical at this time of year, Amy.


Susan March 30, 2013 at 7:52 pm

Thank you Clarissa and Shernell!


Tamara March 31, 2013 at 9:06 am

Making this today!


Susan March 31, 2013 at 2:31 pm

Enjoy, Tamara! :-)


Julie - therawfoodsisters.com April 5, 2013 at 3:35 am

Wow, what an Amazing cake, it really looks divine!


Lisa April 8, 2013 at 5:45 pm

This looks delicious!!

Inaccurate Label Warning: Raw Agave Nectar is neither raw or good for you. It’s basically in the same category as high fructose corn syrup.

I was shocked!! I don’t know how they get away with this.


carol Prichard April 8, 2013 at 5:52 pm

Thanks Susan,
Coconuts and pineapples are in abundance here but not dates. I substitute home dried grapes for the crusts.


Anna April 8, 2013 at 6:09 pm

Sounds yummy but um, aren’t coconuts also nuts?
You might want to reconsider the “no nuts!” label.


Susan April 8, 2013 at 7:32 pm

Anna, coconuts are not classified as nuts. They are actually a drupe.


justcallmescout April 18, 2015 at 3:29 pm

Allergy Alert: Coconut may not be technically classified as a tree nut, but some folks with tree nut allergies are also allergic to coconut.


Therawfoodsisters April 9, 2013 at 3:20 am

Love all your recipes! So much inspiration!


Susan April 9, 2013 at 10:52 am

Thank you! Cheers!


Susan April 9, 2013 at 10:59 am

Lisa, I have written about this before. Raw agave can be found. And it is VERY different than HFC. HFC is made from GMO corn that goes though extreme processing. Raw agave is the sap that is collected from the agave plant, and raw agave is “reduced” by using heat (under 118 degrees) and naturally occurring enzymes.

There may be some bad agave out there so find a trusted source.

I also state liquid sweetener of choice if you don’t want to use it.


Katrin - therawfoodsisters.com April 9, 2013 at 3:08 pm

Looks and sounds delicious!!! I looooove all your recipes. Have to give this one a try. Love pineapple as well!


Exploding Mary April 9, 2013 at 3:47 pm

Aw, the raw pineapple problem– it’s hit me many times in other recipes, and I knew about the problem from childhood– when my Mom told me about the need to use cooked pineapple in jello molds.

A good Mom is a great resource!


Debra April 10, 2013 at 1:02 pm

Susan, I made this today. My coconut meat and water were blended up smoothly and I added coconut oil, agave, and pineapples and the end result was kind of curdled looking. I was thinking that it was because part of the oil was liquified. Would you agree? I tried everything to get it smooth again with no success. As this is for my kids they won’t mind the look but if I make this again for a dinner party I would like it to look smooth so I thought I should ask. Thanks.


Susan April 10, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Did you add the pineapple in two sections, one blended and one hand stirred in?


Lynn S April 12, 2013 at 3:58 am

Would I be able to sub the coconut meat that is sold in the freezer section of the natural grocer? Maybe defrost it before using? This recipe looks so good. I still haven’t gotten the hang of opening coconuts and it takes me forever.


Susan April 15, 2013 at 11:27 am

Coconuts are actually very easy to open once you get the hang of it. You can see how here: http://www.rawmazing.com/raw-food-all-about-young-coconuts/ . I am not sure exactly what type of coconut they are selling. Is it young coconut or mature coconut? :-)


Anna April 12, 2013 at 11:07 am

I just made this and it was wonderful! So light and refreshing.


Susan April 15, 2013 at 11:25 am

So glad you liked it, Anna!


Sue April 15, 2013 at 11:20 am

Looks awesome; I am sure tastes equally good :-) Just a quick question Susan- Can I substitute Thai coconut flesh with frozen coconut we get in supermarkets? Thanks


Susan April 15, 2013 at 11:25 am

There are a lot of different frozen coconut products. If it comes from a young coconut, then probably. But if it is from a mature coconut, probably not. :-)


Susan April 19, 2013 at 5:31 am

Where do you find the flesh of a coconut……., with out having to buy a coconut an opening it…..? If there is such a thing are you able to you the coconut water find find in the grocery store …


Kylee May 12, 2013 at 2:35 pm

I too had the same issue with it looking not so smooth. Part of my coconut oil was liquefied too. As long as it tastes great I don’t mind but I wasn’t sure if I did something wrong. This is before I put the pineapple in too.


Susan May 12, 2013 at 5:08 pm

You really need a high-speed blender for this and you also need to leave it in long enough so it is smooth. Cheers!


Laura November 7, 2013 at 1:36 am

I’d love to know your source of agave nectar. I thought it was all highly processed.


Susan November 7, 2013 at 12:09 pm

You need to look for raw, organic agave. Some are highly processed, some are not. You can always call the company to see how they are producing their agave.


Chrissie November 16, 2013 at 3:03 pm

I am going to the Canary Islands for a dew months where all these products are bountiful so I will have a feast. Merry Chrisymas all. X X C


Alicia December 28, 2013 at 1:04 pm

This looks yummy. I really enjoy eating raw foods, especially raw desserts. However, I question the use of so many coconuts….they are not very local are they…unless you are lucky enough to live somewhere where they grow. If you live in let’s say Ohio…?


Susan December 28, 2013 at 2:30 pm

No, they are not local. Cheers!


Susan Abud January 26, 2014 at 8:48 pm

Where can you get the fresh Thai coconuts ?


Susan January 26, 2014 at 9:48 pm

Fresh coconuts: it really depends on where you live. Cheers!


Leslie February 20, 2014 at 6:53 pm

I often wonder about finding alternative ways to help these raw deserts “set up” in the fridge without having to coordinate freezer timing just right. I often use the non-gmo lecithin powder to help this process along. I will try this method and set in the fridge. Thanks for the amazing “nut free” recipe! Too many of these raw deserts always have nuts in them.


miriam April 17, 2014 at 7:52 am

will it work with canned coconut milk?


kate July 29, 2014 at 11:45 am

about the agave conversation…..most all of them say ‘raw’….I just keep hearing things about agave that are not that great…i think it is a pretty high heated product. and same with coconut oil. Most all of them are made from dried meat that is dried at a pretty high temperature. Then pressed, or whatever. There are maybe one or two out there that are actually raw….one that i know is ‘Dua Dua’ coconut oil. It is more expensive, but boy, is it worth it. You can really tell the difference. I bought a case of it, from Hummingbird distributors in Eugene, OR. Got it through my local grocer. So… to cap it off, I myself, tend to steer clear of agave. It’s too readily available, and syrupy, and I just don’t trust it. k.


kate July 29, 2014 at 11:53 am

Well, for all of you interested in the agave debate, i just read a great article. go to foodrenegade.com and read it. I seems very well researched. Probably just type in ‘agave: is it good, or is it bad’… k.


Coconut lover August 20, 2014 at 4:03 pm

Thank you SO much for this recipe and all the others on your site!! I am so pumped to have found your site and am interested in recipes for healthier eating. Used to eat the traditional American Diet and was just delighted to run across so many educational, informative, and delicious recipes on the internet. Thank you for your time!!! We tried this today and it is just so very yummy!! I happen to live in the tropics and used coconuts straight off of our trees, but for any of you up North, I have been able to find them at farmers markets and places like Trader Joes, Whole foods, or any international markets. Good luck and it is worth a try!… Oh yeah, for the person that asked about the coconut milk. It would probably work with the milk, but the milk is different from the water (and not raw, if you want a fully raw dessert). Most people believe the liquid inside the coconut is milk, but it is actually water. The milk is produced by boiling the water and the meat together. The milk may just change the flavor a bit and is a tad bit thicker than the water, but not enough to make a difference in consistency.


Susan August 21, 2014 at 11:54 am

When you open the young Thai coconut, the liquid that comes out is the “coconut water”. Just use that. It is fresh, full of nutrients, raw and unprocessed. :-)


Alifemoment February 24, 2015 at 10:19 am

Wow I love this blog, love the recipes and your photography! :)


Susan February 24, 2015 at 10:59 am

Thank you!


Deanna March 19, 2015 at 10:06 pm

This cake looks amazing. You have some of the most beautiful food I’ve seen! I wish young coconuts weren’t so expensive….


Rachel June 30, 2015 at 6:08 pm

Which book is this recipe in?


Susan June 30, 2015 at 10:12 pm

Hi, Rachel, This recipe is on the site, here. It isn’t in any of the books. Cheers!


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