lil vegan kitchen

raw lime dark chocolate pistachio cheesecake

Last June, I asked Matt what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday.

He then said one of the most shocking things I have ever heard.

He did not want a birthday cake.

That is just crazy talk.

So, I obviously insisted that he was going to have a cake. A birthday without cake is just wrong.

He then said that he would like an angel food cake.

I nixed that right away because that is not birthday cake. I don’t care that I seem to be the only person who thinks this, it just is not a suitable birthday cake. And it was impossible for me to find a vegan gf recipe that didn’t look like a brick.

He then gave me a challenge. The stipulations were:

“Low-sugar preferred, pistachios or coffee, rich as f***. Blow my mind and we have cake.”

If you know me, you know that I hate losing, so it was going to happen.

I found a bunch of recipes that I thought would fit the bill and sent them to him.

Below is the recipe I made, adapted from a cake I found at Fragrant Vanilla Cake, and it was GOOOOOOOOD. Higher in sugar than he wanted, but still not too bad.

A lot of people have negative feelings about raw cakes, but really, you should make it. I would absolutely make this again.

I made a few changes to the recipe:

  1. I used one cup of pistachios in the crust instead of half pistachios and half buckwheat.
  2. I did not soak the pistachios.
  3. The dates I had were not super high quality, so they were smaller and drier. I used 20.
  4. I used ½ the amount of lime zest.
  5. I just used Hershey’s Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, not raw cacao.
  6. I put a layer of ground chocolate chips halfway through the green part of the filling. Because more chocolate is always better.

The cake itself is smallish in size, but it is rich, so it goes a long way. We ended up wrapping the individual slices that were leftover in saran wrap and sticking them in the freezer. We thought that this would deter us from eating them too quickly. Turns out it was even better frozen!

raw lime dark chocolate pistachio cheesecake sliced

Raw Lime Dark Chocolate Pistachio Cheesecake

Serves 12


  • 1 cup raw pistachios
  • ½ cup fine macaroon coconut
  • 20 dates
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt


  • 1 cup cashews (soaked overnight)
  • 1 cup avocado, cubed
  • 1 cup young coconut meat
  • ¼ cup coconut water
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 1 tbsp lime zest
  • ½ cup agave nectar
  • ½ cup + 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract + the seeds of half a vanilla bean
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup chopped pistachios
  • a heaping 1/3 cup of vegan chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli’s Semi-Sweet)
  • additional ½ tsp coconut oil (to oil pan)


  1. Line the spring form pan with a removable bottom (mine is about 8 inches) with parchment paper! This is an important step that I skipped, so I was unable to take it off of the pan without totally killing it.
  2. Grease your papered pan with the ½ tsp coconut oil.
  3. To make the crust throw the cup of pistachios, macaroon coconut and sea salt into a food processor and run it (probably for a few minutes). Once it has become crumbs, toss in the dates and process until the mix sticks together well when you press it between your fingers. Depending on your dates, you may need more or less than I list, so it is best to add a few at a time until you get the wanted consistency.
  4. Once sticky enough, press the mix into the bottom of your pan.
  5. Put the remaining 1/3 cup of pistachios into the food processor and pulse until they are a little chopped. Take out, put in a bowl to the side, and then do the same for the chocolate chips and put them into a separate bowl.
  6. To make the filling, take the drained cashews, avocado, coconut meat, coconut water, lime juice, lime zest, agave, salt and vanilla and blend together until smooth. Note: If you are like me, you have never worked with an entire coconut before this recipe. Matt came home to me using a hammer and screwdriver to get at the meat and water. Look here for tips on how to attack this project (I went with Method 5).
  7. Add the 1 cup + 1 tbsp of coconut oil and blend for a minute to mix well.
  8. Take half of the filling out of the blender and throw the cocoa powder into the half still in the blender. Blend.
  9. Pour half of the chocolate filling into the pan, then sprinkle half of the chopped pistachios, then pour the remaining half of the cocoa mix.
  10. Pour half of the green filling in, then sprinkle half of the chopped chocolate, then pour the remaining half of this mix.raw lime dark chocolate pistachio cheesecake
  11. Place the cake in the freezer for a few hours to set.
  12. When you are going to serve it, use the remaining chocolate and pistachios to decorate the top.
  13. If there is any leftover, store in the fridge or freezer.

Nutrition Info: 1/12th of the cake 

  • Calories: 427
  • Fat: 30.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 15.9 g
  • Sodium: 82 mg
  • Carbs: 35.5 g
  • Sugar: 25.8 g
  • Protein: 6.2 g

raw lime dark chocolate pistachio cheesecake whole with toppings

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