This paleo cheesecake recipe is the ultimate indulgent dessert. Most of the time, I’m all about wholesome meals that focus on produce, protein, and healthy fats. But I’ve always maintained that paleo doesn’t have to be boring, tasteless, or difficult. And the proof is in this gluten-free dairy-free cheesecake recipe! It’s over-the-top, totally decadent, and STILL totally paleo. It’s almost unbelievable, isn’t it?
While this version contains WAY less sugar than a traditional cheesecake, it’s still insanely rich. A small sliver of this dairy-free cheesecake satisfying without being overwhelming. It has 12 servings, which makes it great for birthday parties and special occasions.
Let’s talk about the layers in this gluten-free cheesecake recipe:
- The bottom layer is a classic fudge brownie that’s so incredibly dark but not bitter at all.
- The middle layer is chocolate chip cookie dough and just might be my favorite part.
- The “cheesecake layer” is cashews. Yes, cashews. No one can ever believe it, but it’s true.
How To Make Paleo Cheesecake Without Dairy
This easy cheesecake is so rich and delicious, and not as hard as it looks, despite the layers. Promise!
TIP: The cashews need to soak in water overnight, so don’t forget to do this step!
Okay, it’s time to make our gluten-free dairy-free cheesecake:
- Make the chocolate cheesecake crust. Melt together chocolate and coconut oil in a pan. Mix together maple syrup, water, and tapioca star. Add the melted chocolate, stir it and then mix in vanilla, coconut sugar, salt, almond flour, and cocoa powder. Press batter into a springform pan and bake.
- Make the cookie dough. Combine almond flour, tapioca flour, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and sea salt to a blender until it’s smooth. Once it’s smooth, stir in chocolate.
- Make the cheesecake layer. Clean the blender, then puree the soaked (and drained) cashews, coconut milk, coconut oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, vanilla, and sea salt, until very smooth.
- Assemble the cheesecake. Spread cookie dough layer on top of the brownie layer, then pour cheesecake filling on top of cookie dough and smooth with a spatula.
- Chill. The cashew filling will get harder and more dense, the longer it chills. It actually tastes best 2 days after being made, so feel free to make it ahead!
Is There Milk In Cheesecake?
Most traditional cheesecake recipes do have milk or milk products, like cream cheese. However, my paleo cheesecake recipe doesn’t have any milk in it at all.
I wanted to make a gluten-free dairy-free cheesecake that was delicious but didn’t actually have cream cheese. My recipe uses coconut milk and cashews instead, and it’s the perfect combination! Coconut milk cheesecake proves that you don’t even need to use cream cheese!
Paleo Cheesecake Topping Ideas
You can top your egg-free cheesecake with all sorts of fun toppings! I do think it’s perfect the way it’s written, but if you want to add a few toppings, go for it!
- Strawberries – Add some sliced strawberries to the top of the paleo cheesecake for some color and extra flavor.
- Chocolate – If you want to make the dairy-free cheesecake recipe over the top, just add a few chocolate shavings or drizzle on melted chocolate.
- Nuts – Pecans, walnuts, or hazelnuts make great additions to the cookie dough layer. It gives the paleo cheesecake a nice crunch.
Can You Make Mini Paleo Cheesecakes?
Yes, you can easily turn this paleo cheesecake recipe into individual servings. You would need to use 12 ramekins or muffin tin, and portion everything out into 12 servings.
When baking the brownies, start checking them at 15 minutes instead of 25, so they don’t burn. This is a great option if you’re serving the cheesecake for an event.
How Do You Store Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Cheesecake?
Store gluten-free dairy-free cheesecake in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
How To Freeze This Paleo Cheesecake Recipe
Wrap the gluten-free dairy-free cheesecake in plastic wrap or aluminum foil first to prevent freezer burn. It will last 1-2 months in the freezer.
To serve, thaw in the fridge overnight.
More Paleo Desserts
Looking for more mouthwatering paleo dessert recipes? I have lots for you to choose from, take a peek:
- Paleo Cookie Dough Blizzard – If you love cookie dough, this is the dessert for you.
- Vegan Raw Brownies – Decadent, irresistible and made with wholesome, raw ingredients. Stash a batch of these in your freezer.
- Cookie Dough Truffles – Paleo cookie dough is one of the most popular recipes on my site, so I turned it into a special treat. Perfect for gifting!
Dairy-Free Paleo Cheesecake Recipe:
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Dairy-Free Paleo Cheesecake Recipe
The trick to a paleo cheesecake recipe that tastes like a real one! This gluten-free dairy-free cheesecake recipe is a show-stopper with 3 layers: brownie, cookie dough, and cheesecake!
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- 3.5 ounces 85% Dark chocolate
- 4 tablespoons Coconut oil (divided)
- 1/4 cup Tapioca flour
- 2 tablespoons Water
- 1/4 cup Maple syrup
- 1 cup Coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon Sea salt
- 1.5 cups Blanched almond flour
- 1/2 cup Cocoa powder
Cookie Dough Layer
- 1 cup Blanched almond flour
- 1/2 cup Tapioca flour
- 10 tablespoons Coconut oil (cold; 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons)
- 4-6 teaspoons Maple syrup (to taste)
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
- 2 ounces 85% Dark chocolate (chopped)
- 1 generous pinch Sea salt
- 2.5 cups Raw cashews (soaked in water overnight)
- 1/2 cup Full-fat coconut milk (from a can)
- 1/2 cup Coconut oil
- 2 medium Lemons (juiced)
- 2 tablespoons Maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 1 pinch Sea salt
More TIPS about this paleo recipe in the post above!
Make the Crust: Preheat oven to 350°. Melt the chocolate and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil over low heat. In a large bowl mix together the maple syrup, water, and tapioca starch. Stir in the melted chocolate. Stir in remaining ingredients and mix until smooth. The batter will be thicker than normal brownies. Line a 9" springform pan with parchment paper and spread the batter evenly. Bake for 25 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Make the Cookie Dough: Combine all ingredients, except the chocolate, in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Taste and add any additional vanilla or salt to your taste. Stir in the chopped chocolate.
- Make the "Cheesecake": Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until very, very smooth.
- Assemble: Spread the cookie dough on the brownie leaving about an inch at the edges. Pour the cashew filling on top and smooth out with a spatula. Give the pan a tap against the counter to release any air bubbles.
Chill: Chill overnight for best results. The cashew filling will get harder and dense like normal cheesecake, the longer it chills. This actually tastes the best about 2 days after being made so feel free to make it ahead of time!
Serving Size: 1 slice, or 1/12 entire recipe
Nutrition Information Per Serving
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database. Net carb count excludes both fiber and sugar alcohols (though the latter are rarely seen on this site), because these do not affect blood sugar in most people. We try to be accurate, but feel free to make your own calculations.
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We love this recipe! I make one each week!
Love the creativity of this recipe. The three distinct layers are really neat – flavor wise and visually. Even though I tasted each before assembly I found it needed more sweetener than called for – however I used date sugar in place of coconut sugar and that could account for it. Also, prep time is listed as five minutes. For me it was closer to an hour! Otherwise a lovely, unique dessert recipe.
OMG was that amazing. Made it for the holiday of Shevuot in place of a dairy cheesecake, which is traditional. So rich. Do delicious. Family loved it. Can’t send picture because it was all eaten up right away. The longer it sat in the refrigerator the better it set and prettier it came out.
What is the tapioca listed for the crust? Is it tapioca flour? Or can you buy actual tapioca pearls?
Hi Erica, it’s tapioca flour!
What kind of coconut milk is used? The condensed version in the can ?
Hi Jonelle! It’s full-fat canned.
Eek I accidentally bought whole roasted cashews. Should I still soak them overnight?
Hi Shanna! The roasted cashews can still be used but still need to be soaked. However, the cheesecake won’t turn out the same as it will have a very pronounced cashew flavor instead of the cream cheese flavor that we’re going for here.
This recipe looks amazing, and I am making it for my daughter’s 9th birthday tomorrow. Thank you for sharing it. Also, a quick question: Do you chill the cake in the refrigerator, or in the freezer?
Thanks for your help.
Hi Jennifer! It’s best chilled in the refrigerator, hope you enjoy it!
Have you ever tried using coconut oil instead of butter for the cookie dough? If so, how did it work and did you like it?
Hi Holly! I haven’t tried it with this recipe but I do have a brownie recipe that uses coconut oil. You could swap out the brownies pretty easily!
This looks delicious! Choc chip cookies are my fave so a cookie dough cheesecake? Yes please! Just wondering the purpose of the cup of sugar in the crust? Is it to make it sweet? I ask just because I really need to be limiting my sugar. Might try to see if I can ditch it…
Hi Rose! Yes the cup of sugar in the crust is because it’s a brownie. You could sweeten it with a bit of honey or maple syrup and have a crumble crust instead though! This is the single highest sugar dessert here on Wicked Spatula and while I try to severely limit my sugar as well this is reserved for super special treats like birthdays. I hope you try it!
I agree, sometimes you just want the sugar. We are human and there’s nothing wrong with craving some sweets! This cheesecake looks and sounds divine! Thanks for sharing!
It’s paleo, so it counts as a “healthy” dessert, right? 😉 I bet I could serve this to my family and they’d have no idea they were eating something dairy + refined sugar free!
I am so addicted to cheesecake! I could go for a slice right now! Pinning
Wow this looks amazing! My husband would love this, he’s a cheesecake fanatic!
Wow! This looks amazing. I love experimenting with paleo desserts even though I’m not paleo anymore myself. I have to make this!
Oh, wow! This looks so good. Sweet story, too. Cheesecake is one of my husband’s loves.
Say what?! This looks out of this world amazing! I need it. Now. Like right now!!! YUM!!!!!
Holy wow, it sure is a special occasion dessert! This looks beyond incredible Lauren – I’d be fine with just one layer, but all three together – I can only imagine!
Des @ Life's Ambrosia
Who would’ve thought you could make a paleo cheesecake?! And that is such a sweet story. Love it!
Dear Lauren, that’s what my mom used to say. What a sweet story.
Like you I don’t indulge often, but who doesn’t love cheesecake every once and a while?! This looks decadent and irresistible. Pinned for later. xo, Catherine
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
What an awesome dessert! I love that you made it paleo! Awesome! The crust is the best though 😉 Brownie!
nibbles by nic
l adore the part about eating mini slices every night bc it just showed how much he loved it! And I can see why..layers of decadence with a wholesome twist. Sinful and Star-worthy!!!