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Triple Chocolate Cheesecake {Grain-Free, Vegan}

By Sara McGlothlin

Ever since the launch of our Cacao Granola Clusters, I have been wanting to create the chocolate version of these pumpkin cheesecake squares. With an Empower Bar Cacao crust, creamy plant-based cacao cheesecake filling, and crunchy Cacao Clusters topping, this recipes calls for triple the chocolate, triple the fun. If you are a chocolate lover (like me!), you will be sure to love this dessert!

I also made this sweet treat more keto-friendly using two sugar-free sweeteners: Lakanto monk fruit maple syrup in the crust, and Swerve granulated sweetener in the filling. I have really enjoyed playing around with keto baking, and so proud that my Gratisfied products can support a lower carbohydrate lifestyle, if that is something that suits you.

As elaborate as this dessert looks, it is so easy to throw together. Use one bowl to make the crust, a high-speed blender to prepare the filling, and a sprinkle of Cacao Clusters to top it all off. Voila! The only forethought is soaking the cashews ahead of time, which you can do the day before, four hours before, or if you have steaming hot water handy, soak for one hour before baking.

I love using Spero Foods vegan cream cheese. All of their products are fully plant-based with clean ingredients. They use sunflower seeds as the base, whereas other vegan cream cheeses use either almonds or cashews. There are many vegan cream cheeses on the market, and any will do. If you need nut-free and can tolerate dairy, substitute the cashews for one cup sour cream and the and vegan cream cheese for a package of the real dairy counterpart.

This is a crowd-pleasing cacao dessert that you can confidently take to any gathering. Or simply make it for yourself.

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake {Grain-Free, Vegan}

Triple the chocolate, triple the fun – and deliciousness! With an Empower Bar Cacao crust, creamy, plant-based cacao filling, and crunch Cacao Clusters topping, this is a dessert any chocolate lover who wants to live a lower sugar lifestyle will love. Grain-free, vegan, keto-friendly.
Prep Time 4 hrs
Cook Time 50 mins
Cooling Time 8 hrs
Total Time 12 hrs 50 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 9 squares

Equipment

  • small mixing bowl
  • large mixing bowl
  • High-speed Blender

Ingredients
  

For the crust

  • 1 Gratisfied Empower Bar Cacao Baking Mix Pouch see note
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup liquid sweetener Lakanto maple, maple syrup, coconut nectar

For the cheesecake filling

  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk or almond milk
  • 2 cups raw cashews soaked 4-6 hours
  • 1 package vegan cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder or cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar of choice I used Swerve erythritol
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

For the topping

  • 1 cup crushed Gratisfied Cacao Granola Clusters optional; see note

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8×8 baking tin with cooking spray and line with parchment paper.
  • Make the crust. In a small bowl, whisk together the melted coconut nectar and liquid sweetener until blended. Pour the Empower Bar Cacao baking mix into a separate large bowl, and add the coconut oil liquid sweetener mixture. Use a large spoon or spatula to stir everything together until a dough is formed. You can use your hand to knead everything together and gather the dough into a ball.
  • Transfer the dough into the baking tin, and use your hands to form the crust, spreading it evenly to all sides. Set aside.
  • Make the cheesecake filling. Drain and rinse the cashews. In a high speed blender, combine the milk, soaked cashews, vegan cream cheese, coconut cream, raw cacao powder or cocoa powder, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, and sea salt. Process until smooth and creamy. Use a spatula to transfer the filling into the baking tin on top of the crust.
  • Sprinkle the Cacao Granola Clusters on top if using. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes until sides are slightly firm to the touch and pulling away from the sides. Allow the cheesecake to cool at room temperate for 2 hours before transferring to the refrigerate to completely set, at least 6 to 8 hours or ideally overnight.
Keyword Dairy-free, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Grain-free, Keto-friendly, Paleo, Soy-free, Tree Nut-Free Option, Vegan