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Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies

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Side note: There were so many questions about a coconut butter sub in the Banana Pudding recipe from the other day that I figured it’d be best to answer the question here: I’ve only used coconut butter in the recipe, but the first thing I’d probably try as a substitute would be raw cashew butter or macadamia butter. Peanut butter or almond butter might also be nice; however the flavor would be more of a pb-banana pudding than just plain banana. Hope that helps!

No-Bake Chocolate Cheesecake Brownie Bars:

What’s better than a no-bake healthy dessert recipe? How about an entire book filled with nothing but no-bake healthy dessert recipes? The newest cookbook from Amber Shea Crawley, pastry chef extraordinaire, is a delightfully-delicious collection of 100 healthy dessert recipes free of dairy, eggs, gluten, soy, refined sugars, and refined flours, with full nutritional profiles and lots of yummy photos.

You can see more about the book here: Practically Raw Desserts.

Raw Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies:

From healthy carrot cake to caramel apple pie to no-bake German chocolate cake, Practically Raw Desserts leaves no sweet craving uncovered. Today, Amber is sharing her recipe for Raw Tuxedo Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies, which taste as decadent as the name implies. If you like this recipe, be sure to check out Amber’s cookbook for many more!

amber 3      Healthy Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies:

Tuxedo Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies

(Reprinted with permission from Practically Raw Desserts)

For the brownie layers:

  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/3 cup cocoa or cacao powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cup pitted dates

For the cheesecake layer:

  • 1 cup cashews, soaked 2 to 4 hours and drained
  • 1/4 cup water or milk of choice
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 30 drops liquid stevia (or 3 packets stevia or 2 tablespoons sugar of choice)

Brownie Layer: In a high-quality food processor, combine the pecans, walnuts, cacao powder, and salt, and pulse until finely ground (be careful not to overprocess). Add dates, 2 to 3 at a time, pulsing between additions until each date is well-incorporated and the mixture is sticky. Taste for sweetness, and add another date or some stevia if desired. Press half of the mixture (about 1 heaping cup) firmly and evenly into an 8-inch square baking pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper for easy removal. Place the pan in the freezer to chill. Set the other half of the mixture aside while you make the cheesecake layer.

Cheesecake Layer: In a high-speed blender, combine the cashews, water, coconut oil, lemon juice, vanilla, salt, and stevia and blend until smooth (you can add more water, a teaspoon at a time, as needed to help the mixture blend). Taste for sweetness and add more sweetener if desired.

Remove the pan from the freezer, and transfer the cheesecake mixture onto the brownie layer, spreading evenly with a spoon or spatula. Place the pan back in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours to let the cheesecake firm up. Once frozen, remove the pan again, and evenly scatter the remaining brownie mixture on top. Gently, but firmly, press the brownie bits into the cheesecake layer (you might still see the cheesecake underneath; that’s ok). Place the pan in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before cutting into squares. Store in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to a week (or freeze for up to a month). These chocolate cheesecake brownies are best served cold. Yield: 16 bars.

See nutrition link for substitutions and lower-fat options:

View Nutrition Facts

Question of the Day:
Do you have any favorite no-bake desserts?

Link of the Day: Homemade Protein Bars

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. Katie,
    Thank you so much for sharing! I’m thrilled that you love the brownies and the cookbook as a whole. :)
    – Amber

    1. Haha you saw this fast. I also just finished writing you a facebook message :).

      1. Hehe, yep! I saw your message and immediately hopped on here 😀

  2. Heidi says:

    hi, i love your blog! can you do non-dessert recipes more often? The recipes on your blog are generally so quick, easy, and simple so i would love it if you had more quick and easy snack/meal/side dish ideas (like the cauliflower chicken nuggets).

  3. Morganics says:

    After makings My New Roots Raw Dreamcake, with much success, I am eager to try more raw desserts. Thanks for the post!

  4. Lizzie says:

    These look SO good! I will have to check out that book!

  5. Heidi Lynn says:

    I recently bought both of her books and have loved all the recipes I tried so far! I was just debating about making this recipe you posted or the carrot cake next. Hmm? What’s a girl to do? Maybe you just gave me the answer Katie since you happened to post this one. LOL!
    My most recent favorite no bake dessert has been the pineapple upside down cake from this book. I love not having to turn the oven on in the summer! I also love that the nutritional information is included on all the recipes too!
    I want to add that I’m so happy I just happened to stumble upon your blog Katie! It truly changed my life in many great ways! I had debated trying a vegan diet, but didn’t know where to start and you gave me the starting place with your delicious recipes so thank you so much!

  6. Rosie says:

    What an awesome recipe! I can’t wait to try this! Thank you so much for sharing, Amber and Katie!

  7. Emma says:

    Love Amber’s recipes! These look super rich but delicious :) The suggested variations sound yummy too- raspberry filling is sounding good to me right now.

  8. Suzanne says:

    My favourite no-bake dessert has recently become anything by this raw food cafe in Toronto Canada called Live Organic Food Bar. Their tiramisu is to die for!

  9. Dawn says:

    ‘Thanks for the info on the coconut butter, my Trader Joes and 3 other stores do not have unsweetened coconut. I DID find, Earth Balance Coconut Peanut Butter , and I could eat the whole jar, I am going to try that in the banana pudding. :)

  10. Jane says:

    If you turned out the first layer, already shaped, you would then have a top layer to go straight onto the cheesecake layer without squishing it up between the bits. Looking forward to unleashing the new Vitamix on this!

  11. joanna n. says:

    this recipe looks delicious! however, i’m curious what healthier sugars you’d sub in place of the dates (honey, raw sugar), & how you’d do it. thanks for your thoughts!

    1. Alanna says:

      You might need to pick a different “crust” recipe if you’d rather not use dates, because here they provide both sweetness and binding due to the stickiness. (It’s very similar to Katie’s fudge babies and Larabar recipes.) Honey is definitely sticky, but I doubt you’d get the same texture if you just subbed it for the dates. Maybe you could use Katie’s healthy graham cracker recipe instead? You’d want to pre-bake those, but I’ll bet it would taste great with cheesecake filling!

  12. oh YUM!! and no-bake — perfect!

  13. Holly says:

    It would probably take me months of weaning myself off sugar to find these sweet or dessert-like, which I realize is my own fault. I’m sure it tastes good, but it would definitely be more of a healthy snack for me than a dessert (that’s secretly healthy).

  14. Ssuzanne says:

    Instead of the stevia can you use a grain sugar like Truvia baking blend or does it have to be a liquid sugar substitute?? Thanks!

  15. Yum! I have forwarded this to my daughter… she would love it!

  16. These look absolutely delicious. I’ve been wanting to try more raw desserts so I think I’ll be giving these a go! I’ll be checking out the book too.

  17. Trajayjay says:

    I tried this recipe for a chocolate pie, made of tofu. Instead of tofu, I used soaked cashews. I didn’t bake it, so it came out as more of a frosting. It is sweetened only with fruits.

  18. Lil Fiest says:

    Hey Katie,

    I’m allergic to coconut. Is there a substitute for the coconut oil?



  19. Erica says:

    Is there something wrong with my computer? Where are the archives? I hope it’s only temporary, because i use the archives whenever u say something like, “comment section of yesterdays post” when im browsing through posts.

    1. Erica says:

      -sigh- well i guess its permanent

  20. Probably would not take the place of a “real” brownie in my life, but it looks delicious in its own right :) Awesome! The cookbook looks filled with tasty treats too :)

  21. Mmmm, you had me at “brownies”… or was it “cheesecake”??? 😉 Sounds yummy

  22. Apart from my macaroons I don’t make a lot of raw desserts myself, but I have a raw cafe not too far from my mom’s place in Vancouver that I check out often and it’s amazing. The servings are tiny because it’s just so rich and dense, but I eat it slowly and really savour it and the flavour is unreal and they are so incredibly filling for such a small portion! These look heavenly too, love the filling. Delish!

  23. Nessa says:

    The brownies look great!

  24. Camille says:

    Can’t wait till I have a food processor one day so I can try recipes like this… I’ll have to check out that book, too 😀

  25. Ashley says:

    I think your blog just saved my figure! What an awesome blog.

    Ashley (A Cute Angle)

  26. Jenni says:

    Raw desserts always look so pretty and decadent! Cookie dough bites are definitely one of my favorites, but these bars look awesome! I want her cookbook! Or un-cook book, I guess. Haha.

  27. Xai says:

    Holy moly these look yummy! I love raw(ish) desserts, I’d love to see more!

  28. Cindy says:

    My favorite no-bake dessert is a raw strawberry shortcake. Cashews are the base of the “shortcake”. Yum!!

    1. cj says:

      Raw strawberry shortcake?!? Yum! Any chance you’re up for sharing the link/recipe?

  29. Thais says:

    Those look amazing! I wonder if there is any alternative to dates if I don’t have them?

  30. Yay!! So glad to see Amber’s Practically Raw Desserts being featured on your awesome blog, Katie!! I’m so privileged to live just blocks away from Amber. She’s even more beautiful in person and super sweet. Her blog and this one has ALWAYS been my go-to online recipe ‘books’. 😀

  31. Faye says:

    I am allergic to coconut. Can you suggest a substitute?

  32. Carolyn says:

    I made these today and I am truly just amazed….first, how chocolaty and nutty the brownie layer is without any thing but wholesome ingredients, and second, how delicious the cream cheese layer is…that part is actually like a mystery to me….I victimized it all and tasted and couldn’t believe it. Thank you!

  33. Bec says:

    Made these today, more or less to the same recipe. Really yummy! Would definitely recommend.

  34. Meaghan Werner says:

    These look so yummy. Katie, how do you deal with people kind of making fun of you for eating healthy? Recently some people have made me feel bad about eating healthy. Kale, they think is just weird. I make smoothies with fruit and veggies in it. I like eating healthy. Since those comments have been said, I feel like I haven’t eaten as good. What would you do in that situation?

    1. You just have to ignore them… do what’s best for YOU. Or make fun of them right back (all in good fun, of course) ;).

      There will always be haters or people who have something negative to say, no matter what you do.

      1. Meaghan Werner says:

        Thank you for that. I have realized I shouldn’t be swayed by what people say or think, because it is like you said, there will always be he haters. Thank you for the encouragement. haha I think I will let this one slide. :)

  35. Naomi says:

    these are AMAZING ! It was only the second time that I tried out a raw vegan recipe, but as before the brownies turned out perfect: not too sweet, not too crumbly, not too dry !
    thanx so much for sharing this recipe :)

  36. Karen says:

    Just curious if you have thought of doing a cookbook? Love all your recipes, but am a fan of having my recipe’s beside me versus going on the computer. Keep up the amazing work, didn’t realize you could have a healthy, yummy desert especially so many with chocolate in it!! (Yes I live under a rock:(. Thanks again

    1. Thank you so much! I have a cookbook in the works, coming out in December of this year :).

  37. Mara Geltzeiler says:

    What if I am allergic to cashews? Is there a substitute for the cheesecake recipe? Thank you! These recipes sound delicious and nutritious!!

    1. Unofficial CCK Helper says:

      Asking Amber is probably your best bet, as this is a guest post recipe.

  38. DMoney says:

    Can we trade jobs, please? :)

  39. Karina says:

    Hi Katie,

    This recipe is delicious! Thank you for sharing! A method tip: I pressed half of the brownie into my pan, covered it in plastic film and pressed the other half on top. Once they were firm I popped the top one out and sandwiched the two brownie layers together with the cashew cream :)