Cheesecake is the perfect treat to make for you and your loved ones: creamy, sweet, and totally tasty! If you're looking for an incredible chocolate peanut butter cheesecake, look no further: this one is it!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake [Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free]

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Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon sea salt

For the cheesecake filling:

  • 3 cups cashews, soaked for 1 hour and drained*
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk, 13 1/2-ounce can
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder

For the chocolate peanut butter topping:

  • 1 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter

For the peanut butter balls garnish:

  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1–2 teaspoons coconut flour, if needed
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Preparation

Prepare the crust:

  1. Set aside a 6-inch springform cheesecake pan.
  2. Add all ingredients for the crust to a food processor and process until the pecans and dates are broken down into small pieces and everything is well combined, taking care to not over process.
  3. Transfer the mixture into the cheesecake pan and spread it evenly on the bottom of the pan. Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the crust mixture and press it down very tight and compact. Set aside.

Prepare the cheesecake filling:

  1. Add all ingredients for the cheesecake filling to a food processor and process until the cashews are completely broken down and everything is creamy and smooth. This should take approximately 5 minutes, and you may have to stop and scrape the sides several times to help it along.
  2. Transfer the cheesecake filling to the cheesecake pan and spread it evenly over the top of the crust layer.
  3. Gently tap the cheesecake pan on the countertop so the cheesecake mixture settles.
  4. Transfer the cheesecake pan to the freezer for approximately 30 minutes, to firm while you prepare the other steps.

Prepare the peanut butter balls garnish:

  1. Add the cacao powder to a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Add the peanut butter to another small bowl. Depending on the consistency of the peanut butter, you many need to add coconut flour until the peanut butter is firm enough to roll into a ball shape. Add 1 teaspoon of coconut flour at a time until it firms, but only as needed.
  3. Take about 1/2 tablespoon of the peanut butter at a time, squeeze it tightly in your fist to make it compact, then roll it between the palms of your hands into a small ball shape.
  4. Toss each ball in the small bowl of cacao powder garnish until they are completely covered. Set aside.

Prepare the chocolate peanut butter topping:

  1. Add all ingredients for the chocolate peanut butter topping to a small saucepan and melt on lowest heat, stirring until it is completely melted and smooth, taking care to not let it burn.

Assembly:

  1. Remove the cheesecake pan from the freezer. Pour the chocolate peanut butter topping mixture evenly over the top of the cheesecake filling.
  2. Gently place the peanut butter ball garnish onto the chocolate peanut butter topping around the outer top edge of the cheesecake.
  3. Place the cheesecake pan in the freezer overnight, or until firm.
  4. Remove from the freezer when ready to serve, gently release the cheesecake from the cheesecake pan, and cut into 8 small slices.
  5. Store in an air-tight container in the freezer or refrigerator until ready to serve, because the cheesecake will get soft if left out at room temperature.

Notes

To make sure the cheesecake filling is as smooth and creamy as possible, you will need to soak the cashews for at least 1 hour in a bowl of water, then drain and rinse before adding them to the food processor.

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