Strawberry Chocolate “Cheesecake” No Nuts!

by Susan on April 8, 2013

Raw Strawberry Cheesecake

Strawberry Cheesecake

 I promise…this will be the last substitution raw “cheesecake” for a little while. But after the pineapple question, I had to try another one. This raw “cheesecake” turned out so well I wanted to share it with you! Fair warning, there is one more in the series but I have to take a little time off and make some savory recipes before I post that one!

If you have been following along, I am doing a series on replacing cashews in raw desserts. The first replacement was pine nuts and worked beautifully in this raw Lemon Thyme “Cheesecake”. The second attempt used no nuts, just coconut. I made the Pineapple Coconut “Cheesecake” and though the flavor was outstanding, it did require some freezing to set up. I learned that pineapples contain a substance called bromelain, it could have been the prime suspect in preventing the “cheesecake” from setting up. I just had to make another one, with the coconut but without the pineapple to see how it turned out. 

I had tons of strawberries in on hand so they became the obvious choice. I jazzed it up with a chocolate crust and some chocolate ganache on the top. The results? Another delightful raw “cheesecake” but once again, even though it was much more firm than the pineapple, it still didn’t set up like the raw nut “cheesecakes”. A quick pop in the freezer before you slice takes care of the problem. 

My conclusion? You can use coconut as a substitution, just know that you will lose some of the setting ability. The taste is clean and fresh, perfect for a spring day. 

Equipment Needed:

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{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

Raw Food Betsy April 8, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Hi Susan,

Do you ever substitute a combination of organic coconut milk with organic coconut water for the REAL young Thai coconut meat? Have you tried this method in making any of your incredible “raw” cheesecakes? What would the ratio of coconut milk be to the coconut water?

Thanks for all your inspiring raw recipes and exquisite photos! Rawmazing is my all-time favorite raw food recipe website.

Eat well, be well,


Susan April 8, 2013 at 5:53 pm

It would be way too liquid. The flesh is solid. Coconut milk and water would just not be the same. Cheers!


ria swift April 8, 2013 at 6:45 pm

Just reading the ingredients makes me feel like I died and went to heaven. Amen !


Susan April 8, 2013 at 7:33 pm



susa April 8, 2013 at 7:06 pm

beautiful images and lovely ‘clean’ site ~ so pleasantly put together :)


bobbie joh April 8, 2013 at 10:04 pm!!! i can’t wait to make this.

i have to wait till i can get to the local asian grocery – coconuts are about $1 cheaper there than at the natural food store. i know they are as fresh as possible: they get deliveries at least 3 times a week. I sometimes feel so silly buying so many coconuts at one time – i get a bunch, then blend the flesh and water and freeze it. i guess i’m just going to buy out their stock next time i’m there because i HAVE to make this!


Eva April 9, 2013 at 2:19 am

It looks delicious and so beautiful! I’m not sure I can find young Thai coconut here in Valencia. Is it possible to use normal coconut instead or another sustitute? Thank you!


Susan April 9, 2013 at 10:53 am

Since this is a substitution recipe, I really don’t have a substitution for the substitution. :-) You could revert back to cashews… Cheers!


Therawfoodsisters April 9, 2013 at 3:18 am

Woooow!! Mouth watering pics and the recipe sounds DELICIOUS. Thank you for sharing! Have to give it a try. Big hug from Amsterdam


The Vegan Cookie Fairy April 9, 2013 at 5:58 am

Looks beautiful! I do often wonder if it’s possible to make a raw cheesecake without nuts. I love nuts, but sometimes I would just like to spare myself the fats (even if they are healthy! I could eat them all day long, which is probably not so healthy).


Susan April 9, 2013 at 10:52 am

This one is made without nuts! Coconuts are a drupe. Cheers!


Brenda Walker April 9, 2013 at 7:11 am

Any tricks on getting the meat out of a coconut? It takes me FOREVER – there must be an easier way. :-) If not, do you think it would work to rehydrate some unsweetened, dried coconut? Thanks so much for this wonderful site! I’m completely addicted to it!!!


Susan April 9, 2013 at 10:50 am

I just use a large spoon and scoop it out. Rehydrating unsweetened coconut will not work. It is a completely different thing. Cheers!


Marlene April 9, 2013 at 1:30 pm

Where do you get Thai coconut meat?


Susan April 9, 2013 at 1:37 pm

From young Thai coconuts. You can buy them at Whole Foods, Asian grocery stores and many coops.


Lisa April 9, 2013 at 2:19 pm

I’m really excited for this strawberry version! I have the pineapple one in my freezer as we “speak.” Going by the “batter” it’s delicious!
After doing the raw food thing for several years, I have developed a sensitivity to cashews. I can not eat even ONE bite of a cashew cheezecake!!! No one needs to eat that many nuts anyways, right?!?!

Thank you!!!


Faith April 9, 2013 at 2:32 pm

Brenda, I’m thinking you are talking about how to get the meat out of a mature coconut where it’s hardened. Susan is using ‘young coconuts’ which have a gelatinous scoopable flesh, you have to buy these fresh at whole foods or asian groceries, and need a machete to open them!!! but they are worth the effort.

thanks Susan for jumping on the ‘no nut’ horse and coming up with some great new recipes. This strawberry cheesecake is a work of art!!


Susan April 9, 2013 at 3:58 pm

Faith..,. you are going to scare people… :-) You don’t need a machete to open them You can see how to easily open a young coconut here:


Christina April 9, 2013 at 10:10 pm

That is so beautiful! I can’t wait until I can eat desserts again (responsibly this time). I called the ONLY Asian store in town and they do not carry coconuts. She had no idea what I was talking about (young Thai coconuts). Cannot locate organic ones in the vicinity. There is meat available online through a company that sells the meat, but the shipping is outrageous!


Claudette April 10, 2013 at 3:35 pm

My wonderful pal Shannon made this strawberry creation for me last night and it is wonderful. I’ve shared tastes with 5 of my coconut-loving colleagues today, and the concensus is… Awesome!


Susan April 10, 2013 at 3:53 pm

So glad you liked it!


Solomiya April 10, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Aahh! This cheesecake looks absolutely amazing! I must purchase young coconut ASAP in order to try this recipe. :))
Thank you so much for sharing. God bless!


yosra April 11, 2013 at 6:45 pm



Susan April 12, 2013 at 4:04 pm



Melanie April 12, 2013 at 3:56 pm

You have a beautiful website Susan. I haven’t done full on raw for well over a year now, but Id love to try this. (I could just imagine eating it now with these photographs)!

Quite rare to find young coconuts in the UK, but I happened upon them in China town in central london at Xmas. I must get into town and get some because I must taste what Im seeing here! One of the loveliest combos : sweet strawberries , deep chocolate ganache and something creamy! A lovely summer tea treat.


Susan April 12, 2013 at 4:04 pm

Glad you found them! Enjoy!


Jeannette April 14, 2013 at 1:34 am

Susan, have you tried Irish Moss to set a no nut cheesecake? I have yet to use it myself but I know it forms a thickening gel and is very nourishing.


Susan April 14, 2013 at 11:41 am

Because of health concerns, I no longer use Irish Moss in anything. You can read why here:


Eva April 17, 2013 at 4:27 am

Hi Susan! If I use caswes, are the rest of the ingredientes all the same? Should I use 3 cups soaked cashews then? Thank you! :-)


Susan April 21, 2013 at 9:16 pm

I haven’t made this with cashews. Changing from coconut to cashews will throw off other ratios so you will have to experiment.


Jurga April 21, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Hello! I just made this cake and lots of filling is still left… Could you please recomend any other recipe where I can use it? Thank you!


Susan April 21, 2013 at 9:11 pm

If you use the cake pan that I recommend, there shouldn’t be left overs. You can make another one or just eat it like a parfait, or how ever you want.


Shannon April 22, 2013 at 2:42 am

I think your “cheesecakes” all look amazing and I want to try one, but the thing that I can’t get around is my impression that often with vegan desserts it seems as if there is a huge amount of oil or added sweeteners and that seems quite unhealthy to me. I know dates and agave are rather high in calories, so the cup of oil just puts me off the idea of making this.

What do you think this dessert in particular yields in fat/calories per serving versus a typical cheesecake?


Susan April 22, 2013 at 10:57 am

The first thing that you need to notate is that the serving sizes are much smaller than with a regular cheesecake. They are so nutritionally dense, a small amount really satiates. Second, this is a dessert and should be viewed as one. Most desserts don’t have an entire cup of coconut oil but because this is a substitution recipe, it was needed for set-up. Many, many traditional recipes easily call for one cup of butter and I can tell you, the nutritional benefits of coconut oil far outweigh any benefits you get from butter. Are there any? Next, there are no refined ingredients, such as granulated sugar which is completely nutritional void. When making these desserts, I am not striving for low cal, low fat. I am striving to bring you nutrients in a way that you can enjoy. These recipes use healthy fats and also nutrient rich ingredients. Traditional cheesecakes don’t have any nutritional benefit.


carol Prichard April 27, 2013 at 5:52 pm

coconuts are my passionate at the moment. I recently tried to make cocnut oil using the fermentation method but got stuck at step 6. But my best discovery was the fresh coconut milk. I am adding it to my raw desserts ice creams and smoothies.
Susan do you think I could just add the coconut cream instead of the young flesh. I think it would set better.

Your presentation is fantastic. I am often referring customers to your website as the one of the best.



Jan W May 25, 2013 at 12:49 pm

I was wondering about using the Coconut Cream Concentrate from Tropical Traditions in place of the young coconuts? If anybody tries it, please let me know!


Cynthia June 14, 2013 at 11:36 am

Your cheesecake is beautiful! Could I use the fresh coconuts found at a Mexican produce market, or is that not the same thing? They are round, and you can see the “eyes”, so they don’t look the same, but am hoping….???


Susan June 14, 2013 at 12:12 pm

If it is a hard shell coconut (brown shell) it is not the same thing and will not work. :-)


Alma Roberts July 6, 2013 at 6:57 pm

Hi, Susan! My mouth is watering with this recipe. I am starting to learn how to make raw desserts and one thing I have noticed is the use of dates in many of them. What else would be a great substitute, as I do not like the taste of them and my husband is allergic? Thank you!


Susan July 7, 2013 at 5:02 pm

You could try any raw liquid sweetener but you might have to adjust some of the ingredients. Cheers!


Tatiana September 23, 2013 at 3:10 pm

This looks absolutely fantastic. I have been looking for a raw strawberry cream cake or pie type dessert, and this looks perfect. I didn’t want the flavor of cheesecake (just the creaminess), and from the look of the ingredient list I think this would be perfect.

By the way, yours is officially my favorite raw food blog. You have SO many great recipes, professional level photography and presentation, and excellent writing. I’m so glad I finally found it. The one main raw food recipe site that shows up on just about every google search for raw food recipes (I will not name names) has extremely annoying and over-the-top SEO, and I cannot stand to read it. This is so much better! Please don’t change a thing. :)


Susan September 23, 2013 at 3:47 pm

Tatiana: How nice and uplifting for you to say! I honestly appreciate that from the bottom of my heart! Best to you!


Cynthia October 11, 2013 at 1:44 am

Susan have you ever used Stevia as a sweetener? The plant leaves dried are wonderfully sweet. It is also available in liquid form.


Miriam December 16, 2013 at 5:21 pm

Hi, Very exciting recipe, looks delicious! Just a quick question, when you say

3 cups flesh from young Thai coconut (I used 4 but it may take 5)

do you mean 4 cups or 4 coconuts? This is a bit stupid but I have no idea how much flesh you get out of a thai coconut



Wendy May 28, 2014 at 6:15 pm

Hi Susan!

Love your site! How long can this beautiful cheesecake sit out? Do you think it’s possible to create this as a tiered wedding “cake”? I’m used to making nut-based cheesecakes, but I’m worried about how durable this cheesecake is. Would love your feedback!

Thanks for doing what you do!


Susan May 29, 2014 at 5:22 pm

I would test it out. Make a small one and leave it out under the same circumstances you expect and see how it does. It might be a bit too fragile. Cheers!


Rebekah July 28, 2014 at 1:05 pm

Finally! A vegan cheesecake without nuts. Thank you for sharing this yumtastic creation.


lora February 24, 2015 at 3:06 am

Awesome, as always! You r my inspiration!
How do you think, what other berries or fruits will work instead of strawberries? Bananas? pomegranates? Raspberries? Or maybe oranges? Something seasonal for each season? 😉
Thanks a lot,


jo October 1, 2015 at 12:21 pm

Hi! Can i freeze it for a few days (to had it prepared in advance?)
Thank you!


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