This No-Bake Vegan Chocolate Orange Cheesecake is dairy-free, gluten-free and oil-free. Combining some rich intense chocolate flavours with some tangy orange flavours- it’s a chocolate lover’s ultimate dream! It includes a variety of wholefood ingredients, making it a healthier choice over more traditional cheesecake recipes! This decadent cake is a delicious treat that’s perfect for any occasion but tastes especially good during the festive season.
This no bake orange cheesecake is a real flavour explosion. It consists of a gluten-free crust that’s also refined sugar-free, a zesty orange layer and a super creamy dark chocolate layer. This cake is ideal for everyone who loves the flavour combination of chocolate and orange or would love to give it a try. Even though it’s a vegan cheesecake, it will for sure satisfy both vegans and non-vegans alike!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- It’s healthier than more regular cheesecake- there’s no butter, no cream cheese and no dairy involved.
- It is a no-bake cheesecake recipe- it’s super simple and there’s no oven required.
- It’s a quick and easy dessert recipe that’s also freezer-friendly!
Ingredients & Substitution Notes
Candied Orange Peel: The orange cheesecake layer includes cashews as well as candied orange peel. Depending on how sweet your candied orange peel is, you might need to add more or less sugar later on.
Cashews: You will need to soak your cashews before using them in the recipe. You could either soak them overnight or if you’re short on time you could also quick-soak them in very hot water for about 10 minutes.
Buckwheat Groats: These add some crunchiness to the crust and help make it gluten-free. Make sure to blend them in your food processor first before adding any other ingredients in order to help break them down.
Medjool Dates: This recipe calls for Medjool dates which are my absolute favourite. However, they are not always easy to find. Alternatively, you could also simply use “normal” small ones. They should be sticky and soft though. If not, you can soak them in hot water for about 10 minutes before using them. This will help soften them. Also you might need about double the amount of dates since they are much smaller.
Cacao Powder: I use non-sweetened raw cacao powder for this recipe.
Maple Syrup: Is used as a an additional sweetener. Alternatively, you could use agave nectar or honey (not vegan).
Orange Juice: Adds an additional fresh and fruity flavour.
Coconut Cream: Is needed to make some smooth and creamy chocolate ganache. Make sure to put your coconut milk in the fridge the evening/day before you want to make this recipe.
- Chocolate: In order to keep this cake vegan I used vegan dark chocolate. The darker the chocolate, the richer and chocolatey the flavours will be. I usually opt for a 70% chocolate.
How to Make a No-Bake Orange Chocolate Cheesecake
Step 1: Make the crust.
In case your dates are not soft, soak them in very hot water for about 10 minutes before head.
Soak cashews in very hot water and set aside.
To prepare the crust, add buckwheat grouts to a food processor and blitz until coarsely ground. Then add the rest of the crust ingredients (dates, pecans, cacao powder, maple syrup) and blend until a sticky mass forms.
Once the crust is ready, line a 9 inch cake pan with parchment paper or grease with oil. Then press dough into the bottom of the tin using your fingers or a spoon/ spatula. Don’t forget to also include the sides of tin.
Step 2: Make the orange layer.
Drain the soaked cashews.
Then place cashews, candied orange peel, maple syrup, orange juice and sugar into your food processor and blend until you end up with a homogenous mass. Make sure to scrape down the sides every minute or so to help achieving a silky smooth texture.
The amount of sugar you’ll need will depend on how sweet your orange peel already is. Transfer the filling into the cake tin (on top of the crust) and put the cake into the freezer while preparing your chocolate ganache.
Step 3: Prepare chocolate layer.
For our chocolate ganache, heat chocolate and coconut cream in a sauce pan, constantly stirring with a whisk until fully melted and combined. Pour chocolate layer onto orange cheesecake layer and place it in the fridge for at least 4 hours or ideally overnight.
Food Processor: For making this recipe, you’ll need a fairly strong food processor. Since this is not a traditional cake but rather includes a lot of wholefood ingredients, we will need the help of a food processor in order to break down the ingredients.
Springform Cake Pan: 9 inch / 22cm with removable base
- Spatula (recommended)
Coconut Cream: Make sure to put your coconut milk in the fridgethe evening/day before you want to make this recipe for the cream to solidify on top. Coconut milk, when put in the fridge, separates into two layers: a solid cream at the top and liquid water at the bottom. For creating these creamy layers, we only use the white, solid part of the coconut milk. It only remains at the top of the tin if the milk is cool enough. Secondly, it is really important that your coconut milk is a full-fat milk and has a high content of coconut extract, otherwise there won’t be a lot of cream on top. Look for coconut milk brands that contain around 80%-90% coconut extract (it won’t work with say a 55% version).
Orange Juice: I recommend freshly squeezed orange juice over store-bought orange juice for some extra deep rich flavour.
Vegan Chocolate: For some extra rich and luxurious chocolate flavour I recommend using quality dark chocolate (~70%). Very often dark chocolate is naturally vegan.
- Buckwheat Groats: Make sure to blend them individually first, to fully break them down in order to not end up with a crust that’s too crunchy.
- Fresh orange slices (see photo)
- Homemade Plant Based Whipped Cream
- Melted chocolate
- Grated chocolate
- Chocolate chips
- Candied orange pieces
- Terry’s Chocolate Orange pieces (not vegan though!)
Storage & Freezing
Store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Yes, it’s freezer-friendly. Put the individual slices into an airtight container or plastic zip-lock bag and freeze. Let thaw in the fridge overnight or on the counter before consuming.
This cheesecake is made with a variety of wholefood ingredients such as nuts, dates and raw buckwheat groats. Cashews are used instead of cream cheese and butter, making it lower in (saturated) fat than more traditional cheesecake recipes. Nuts are high in healthy fats, vitamins and minerals and associated with a variety of health benefits.
There’s also no eggs involved, making this cake cholesterol-free. It’s also lower in sugar than more traditional cheesecake recipes but keep in mind that there still is some sugar involved! Also the coconut cream and chocolate both contain some amounts of saturated fat!
It serves 8-10 people.
No, the cake is completely vegan and gelatine-free.
Vegan Chocolate Orange Cheesecake (No-Bake)
- ½ cup buckwheat groats
- 1 cup pecans
- 6 Medjool dates (3 oz) *or sub 1 cup "small" dates (~20)
- 2 teaspoon cacao powder
- 1-2 tablespoon maple syrup
- ¾ cup candied orange peel
- ¼ cup cashews
- 4 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
- 5 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2-3 tablespoon sugar *optional, see notes
- ¾ cup coconut cream *see notes
- 3.5 oz (vegan) dark chocolate
- Soak cashews in very hot water for about 10 minutes.
- Start by grinding your buckwheat grouts. Put them into a food processor (or high speed blender) and blend until coarsley ground.
- Then add all the other crust ingredients and blend until evenly mixed and a sticky dough forms. This might take a couple of minutes, make sure to scrape down the sides.
- Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan with oil or line with parchment paper.
- Press the crust mixture into the prepared tin using your fingers (or a spoon) including the sides of the tin.
- Drain cashews and put them, together with all the other orange layer ingredients into your food processor and blend until you end up with a smooth, homogenous mass.
- Then spread the orange layer over your base layer using a spatula.
- Place the cheesecake in the freezer while preparing the chocolate ganache.
- Heat a saucepan over low heat and add dark chocolate and coconut cream, while constantly stirring with a whisk.
- Once fully dissolved pour your chocolate ganache over the orange layer and place it in the fridge to set (about 4 hours or overnight).
- Garnish the cake with orange slices, grated chocolate or some Homemade Vegan Whipped Cream.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze individual portions.
- Dates: If your dates are not stoft and sticky, make sure to soak them in very hot water for about 10 minutes before using them.
- Brown Sugar: The amount of sugar you'll need will depend on how sweet your orange peel already is. You might be able to omit it all together or add even more than 2 tbsp. Simply taste and adjust sugar to personal perference.
- Coconut cream: It is really important that your coconut milk has a is a full-fat milk and has a high content (of coconut extract, otherwise there won’t be a lot of cream on top. I prefer using a coconut milk that contains 90% coconut extract, whereas I also tried using a 55% version and it didn’t work. How many coconut milk tins you need, in order to get 1 cup of coconut cream also depends on the coconut content of your milk. If the content is high, one milk is definitely enough.