Reese's Cheesecake 1

My favorite candy of all time is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Favorite as in if it were the zombie apocalypse, I would be like Woody Harrelson and his Twinkies in Zombieland, searching everywhere for just one Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. Mmm . . . Reese’s. Anyway, believe it or not, Reese’s aren’t Paleo. Not even remotely. I know, total bummer, but fret not, I’ve got you covered. This recipe is a game changer: By the last bite you won’t even remember what a Reese’s is, let alone miss it.

So by now we all know how I feel about Reese’s right? I would pretty much just forgo all other food if I could and just live on Reese’s. That is if it was socially acceptable and if my pants would still fit. Oh and if my body would remain healthy and flourish. What?! A girl can dream can’t she?! Fine. So since I can’t live off Reese’s (just typing that makes me sad) I have to find sustainable replacements for once in awhile special occasion treats. Saturdays are special occasions right? Just kidding. But seriously. So this weekend I was super craving a Reese’s. Normally if I didn’t have this incredible blog to keep me honest, I would have just bought one, ate it, felt guilty, and then said “eh, screw it.” and move on with my life. But since I have you guys to keep me accountable, I thought, why don’t we turn this Reese’s sitch into a blog recipe! So I got to work and came up with a Paleo “Reese’s” Cheesecake for you guys. Instead of peanut butter I used almond butter and instead of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups I used Sun Butter Cups, and instead of a real Oreo crust I did a fauxreo crust! It came out absolutely incredible!

You could get really creative with this recipe. You could chop up your sun butter cups and actually put them inside the cheesecake, you could put Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips inside the cheesecake or crust, you could use almond butter cups instead of sun butter cups, the possibilities are endless. I on the other hand wanted more of a simplified Mondrian style layered look. Finally the Art History class I took in college comes in handy. I encourage you to get creative with this recipe! I just started a new job and brought my leftovers in for my new work peeps to try, I think they’re scared. The post-it I left on top of the cheesecake in the fridge says “Healthy “Cheesecake” Soy Free, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, but not taste free!” No one has even touched a slice. It is only like 10:30am though. Fingers crossed. I let you guys know how it goes. I have also saved some slices for book club tomorrow! Those lucky bastards.

Reese's Cheesecake 2

So Mr. Non-Paleo Brad himself, LOVED this recipe, I mean LOVED this recipe. This is kind of a big deal because he despises sweets, detests the “peanut butter and chocolate” flavor combination, and is not a fan of Paleo in general. I think his exact words were “Wow, this is really good.” He then ate the rest of the slice. I thought he might lick the plate. It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if he did, we run a classy operation. For reals.

In other blog related news I wanted to let you guys know I’m working on getting my blog switched to one where I can have a recipe plug-in, so you’ll be able to print my recipes without printing the entire blog post. Mind blowing. I know. It’s only because I love you. What were you guys craving this week? Let me know and we’ll make it Paleo!


Reese's Cheesecake 3

“Reese’s” Cheesecake
Serves 12
Prep Time
4 hr 15 min
Total Time
8 hr 15 min
Prep Time
4 hr 15 min
Total Time
8 hr 15 min
For the crust
  1. 2 heaping cups (8½ ounces/240 g) raw pecan pieces
  2. ¼ cup (60 ml) pure maple syrup, dark
  3. ¼ cup (18 g) cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
  4. 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  5. 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  6. 1 tablespoon smooth almond butter
  7. ⅛ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
For the filling
  1. 2 cups (310 g) raw cashew pieces, soaked at least 4 hours or better yet overnight (350 g)
  2. ¼ cup (60 ml) melted coconut oil
  3. ¼ cup (60 ml) canned full-fat coconut milk
  4. ¼ cup (60 ml) pure maple syrup, dark
  5. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  6. 1 cup (185 g) peeled and diced zucchini
  7. ½ cup (115 g) smooth almond butter
  8. ¼ cup (35 g) coconut sugar
  9. ¼ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  10. 1 to 3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
For the toppings
  1. 6 homemade almond Butter Cups or store-bought nut butter or sunflower butter cups, coarsely chopped
  2. Ganache
For the crust
  1. Place ingredients into the bowl of a high-powered food processor. Process until crumbly and combined, scraping down the sides of the processor as needed, about 30 seconds.
  2. Press the crust evenly into desired pan(s), starting with the sides and working down to the middle.
For the filling
  1. Line an 8½-inch (21.5-cm) springform pan with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. Prepare the dough for the Fauxreo Crust, following steps above.
  3. Press the dough into the bottom of the prepared cake pan. Place in the freezer to set.
  4. To make the filling: Drain the soaked cashew pieces and put them in a blender; process the cashews until they are somewhat broken down. Then add the coconut oil, coconut milk, maple syrup, and vanilla. Blend until smooth. Next add the zucchini, almond butter, coconut sugar, salt, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Blend until a smooth and creamy batter has formed. Taste and add more lemon juice, a tablespoon at a time, as needed; go by taste to make sure the lemon flavor is there but not overdone. Blend again to combine additional lemon juice, if added.
  5. Remove the crust from the freezer and pour the cheesecake batter evenly into the pan. Place back in the freezer to set for at least 4 hours.
  6. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer 20 minutes prior to serving to allow it to thaw. Prepare the Ganache by combining 2 cups of chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of full-fat coconut milk together in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water. Stir frequently, using a rubber spatula, until the chocolate and coconut milk are completely melted and combined. Let cool to barely warm or room temperature but still pourable; if poured while still hot it may melt the cheesecake as well as the almond butter cup garnish. Once the ganache has cooled to the touch, remove the cheesecake from the pan and pour the ganache over the top, letting it drip down the sides, then garnish with the crushed almond butter cups. Another option is to reserve some ganache and transfer it to a resealable bag, then cut a corner off and drizzle the ganache over the almond butter cups as well (as pictured). Serve immediately. Store leftovers in the freezer for up to two weeks; allow to thaw for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
  1. My favorite almond butter on planet earth is Smooth Barney Butter. You can find it in most health food stores like Whole Foods and Sprouts.
  2. Depending on what types of lemons you use, the flavor could be stronger or weaker. That’s why I recommending adding and tasting as you go to get the perfect flavor.
  3. Subs: Unsalted butter in place of almond butter in the crust. 1:1 substitution of unsweetened vanilla almond milk in place of canned full-fat coconut milk in the filling.
Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind

79 Comments on “Reese’s” Cheesecake with Fauxreo Crust

  1. whatkateate
    June 3, 2013 at 12:23 pm (4 years ago)

    I actually swore when I saw this!!! I want it in and around my mouth like now!!
    p.s You’re a amazing!!!

      • whatkateate
        June 3, 2013 at 12:34 pm (4 years ago)

        Well that’s good, because I’m going to be making it every day, for at least the next month!! 🙂

  2. fedandfit
    June 3, 2013 at 12:37 pm (4 years ago)

    Lucky bastards indeed! Looks so great and congrats on the blog migration! I’ve had it on my to-do for a while 🙂

    • cleaneatingwithadirtymind
      June 3, 2013 at 1:12 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you! Seriously I wish we could trade recipes! I know I’m dreading the day I have to switch over! I keep trying to stalk friends that seem good with computers and ask them if they know anything about migrating blogs! ha! I’m like “I’ll feed you!” 🙂

  3. This Sydney Life
    June 3, 2013 at 3:18 pm (4 years ago)

    Hello from Syders! LM has a birthday coming up and this may be just the ticket. While he is not the most dedicated pale-boy, he is allergic to dairy so, home-made Sun Butter Cups will have to be step 1 for this girl (the fact that I have never seen that brand in Australia may also be a contributing factor!)

    His FAVOURITE dessert is trifle, paleo-girl…. 🙂

    • cleaneatingwithadirtymind
      June 3, 2013 at 3:56 pm (4 years ago)

      Oh well lucky LM has you to make Sun Butter Cups for him! Trifles scare me hahaha! There are so many layers! And plus there is that ‘Friends’ episode where Rachel messes up the trifle, I think it’s scarred me for life! Can I make a mini trifle? With like 3 layers? 🙂 Tell LM Happy Birthday for me! Brad’s is Friday but he would die if I made him eat one more Paleo thing. True story.

  4. oiyoufood
    June 4, 2013 at 3:15 pm (4 years ago)

    very intrigued by this recipe. I’ll give it a go. Love fresh ideas. 🙂

    • cleaneatingwithadirtymind
      June 4, 2013 at 6:40 pm (4 years ago)

      You have to make this! It’s so easy and it’s super delicious, I’m even surprised by it! My new co-workers gobbled it all up! I may or may not have stashed a few pieces for myself 😉 let me know how it comes out!

  5. Eduard Schwan
    June 7, 2013 at 3:47 pm (3 years ago)

    Cow-orker checking in here… reporting in that it was delicious, loved the coconut “aromoutherapy”(tm) this infused, and although I’m bummed I didn’t notice the chocolate sauce to add to it, it was still excellent without it. The only side-effect I found is that I went back later in the afternoon for a second slice and they were all gone, and now I have cravings. 🙂 Oh well, I’ll have to wait a week and see what wonders you inflict upon us next time… thank you again!

    • cleaneatingwithadirtymind
      June 9, 2013 at 9:59 am (3 years ago)

      Haha thanks Eduard, glad you enjoyed! They did go pretty fast I’m surprised! I loved the cherry custard you brought in from the Mrs. I should try and make a Paleo version! 😉

  6. Jennifer
    June 11, 2013 at 6:44 pm (3 years ago)

    Do you soak the cashews in water? How much?

    • cleaneatingwithadirtymind
      June 11, 2013 at 8:47 pm (3 years ago)

      Yes, just water and just enough to cover the cashews. I just throw them in a big bowl and then just put the bowl under the faucet until the cashews are submerged.

  7. heathereatsclean
    June 15, 2013 at 6:11 am (3 years ago)

    I’m making this for my Father’s Day for my husband….actually no; Father’s Day happens to fall on the same day I plan of making these..for myself. Being a female and having a huge boner because of this post..says alot

    • cleaneatingwithadirtymind
      June 15, 2013 at 9:40 am (3 years ago)

      Hahaha don’t waste this dessert on anyone but yourself! It’s too good! 🙂

  8. Elena D
    June 16, 2013 at 7:55 pm (3 years ago)

    why is it that the paleo diet uses so much coconut oil/butter but no olive oil?

    • cleaneatingwithadirtymind
      June 16, 2013 at 8:05 pm (3 years ago)

      I use olive oil when cooking non-dessert food. I find, along with a lot of other’s, that coconut oil and butter pair better with sweeter things. Also when cooking things at higher temperatures coconut oil has a higher smoke point than olive oil. I’m a huge fan of olive oil though and do use it quite often! 🙂

  9. Marlia Smartt
    June 16, 2013 at 7:56 pm (3 years ago)

    any chance you could substitute coconut sugar for coconut crystals (are they pretty much the same thing?) 🙂

    • cleaneatingwithadirtymind
      June 16, 2013 at 8:01 pm (3 years ago)

      Absolutely! In fact I think they are the exact same thing only Coconut Secret dumbed them coconut crystals instead of coconut sugar. 🙂

      • Amanda
        November 11, 2013 at 11:58 am (3 years ago)

        I just wanted to pass on a message I recently received myself about coconut sugar. It seems there is a bit of controversy over whether we should support coconut sugar production. Apparently a coconut tree can only produce either coconuts, or coconut sugar, and once it is converted to a sugar producing tree it might not be able to turn back. Check out this website:

  10. skinnymuffin109
    June 18, 2013 at 3:23 pm (3 years ago)

    I may not be a Paleo girl but I am in love with these Paleo recipes. They all look SO delicious!

    • cleaneatingwithadirtymind
      June 19, 2013 at 11:45 am (3 years ago)

      I’m so happy you’re in love! You don’t need to be Paleo to enjoy this bad boy! 😉

  11. Bethany
    June 22, 2013 at 7:14 pm (3 years ago)

    My son is allergic to cashews. Any other substitutions?

  12. Emily
    July 4, 2013 at 1:28 pm (3 years ago)

    Could I just sub regular water for coconut water? I don’t like coconut!

    • cleaneatingwithadirtymind
      July 4, 2013 at 7:21 pm (3 years ago)

      Do you have almond milk or coconut milk? Try those first if not then regular water. You want down something with a little flavor 🙂

      • Emily
        July 6, 2013 at 5:45 am (3 years ago)

        I’ll try almond milk – thanks!!!

  13. Chelsea
    July 7, 2013 at 7:10 pm (3 years ago)

    I made this and it was soooo good! Even my boyfriend, who hates cheesecake, loved it! The chocolate sauce recipe didn’t work out for me so I melted Ghiradelli dark chocolate and used that. The filling needs a bit more almond butter flavor but other than that it’s a good substitute for regular cheesecake. Thanks for the recipe!

  14. Fabianne Ribeiro
    July 15, 2013 at 11:57 am (3 years ago)

    Hi there! I cant find pecans in my city, can I replace it by something else? other nut? Thanks! the recipe looks amazing I really want to try it!

    • cleaneatingwithadirtymind
      July 15, 2013 at 12:37 pm (3 years ago)

      I think almonds would work great! If you can’t find almonds you could also try walnuts or macadamia nuts! Let me know what you end up doing and how it comes out, I would love for other readers to know as well! 🙂

  15. Fabianne Ribeiro
    July 16, 2013 at 7:00 am (3 years ago)

    That´s great! Now I have plenty of options! 🙂
    yeap, I have almonds and all the other nuts, except pecans. 🙂 guess I will try this weekend and let you know how it ended up. thanks a lot!

  16. Louise
    August 31, 2013 at 5:15 pm (3 years ago)

    Is there a substitute for the pink Himalayan salt?

    • Vanessa Barajas
      August 31, 2013 at 6:31 pm (3 years ago)

      You could use sea salt or regular salt, which ever kind you have. 🙂

  17. All Seasons Cyclist
    November 4, 2013 at 2:55 pm (3 years ago)

    Update: My wife made this recipe and served it on Sunday afternoon for lunch with our future daughter-in-law. Everyone loved the cheesecake, but no one knew it was dairy-free! Thanks again!

    • Vanessa Barajas
      November 4, 2013 at 3:06 pm (3 years ago)

      Great to hear! Thanks for sharing! Don’t you just love being sneaky with Paleo treats? 😉

  18. Crystal
    November 10, 2013 at 7:03 pm (3 years ago)

    If I made these into mini cheesecakes, how long would they keep in the freezer?

    • Vanessa Barajas
      November 11, 2013 at 8:35 am (3 years ago)

      I think they would be good for quite awhile if they’re frozen, maybe a few weeks?

  19. Emily
    November 21, 2013 at 4:34 am (3 years ago)

    Made it and it was sooo delicious and rich! I’m not much of a cheesecake person… But wow!!

    • Vanessa Barajas
      November 21, 2013 at 11:20 am (3 years ago)

      Whoo hoo! Glad to convert a “not much of a cheesecake” person! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  20. Cassie
    December 1, 2013 at 2:25 pm (3 years ago)

    This was yummy! Labor intensive, but great for a special occasion.

  21. Carole
    January 16, 2014 at 1:42 pm (3 years ago)

    omg I just drooled on myself! LOL! Looks amazing, cant wait to try it!

    • Vanessa Barajas
      January 16, 2014 at 3:22 pm (3 years ago)

      It’s soooooo good! You’re gonna love it, I’m just drooling thinking about it. 😉

  22. mcurtiseb
    February 5, 2014 at 4:07 pm (3 years ago)

    Hi I’m new to paleo and I’ve used almond meal before and was wondering if I could substitute that for the pecans?? Please say yes lol this looks delicious!!!

    • Vanessa Barajas
      February 6, 2014 at 1:51 pm (3 years ago)

      Hi! You could definitely use almond meal instead, I like the flavoring of the pecans better but if you don’t the almond meal will work fine. 🙂

  23. Neal
    February 6, 2014 at 7:20 am (3 years ago)

    I made this for my wifes B-day….I was nervous about it but it was the BOMB! Loved it and was very filling. I did use a 9″ springform pan since I didn’t have an 8 but was still wonderful..Thank you!

    • Vanessa Barajas
      February 6, 2014 at 2:09 pm (3 years ago)

      Oh my gosh you win the best husband ever award! So glad you both enjoyed it! 🙂

  24. Loretta
    February 20, 2015 at 3:17 pm (2 years ago)

    any substitutions for the zucchini?

    • Vanessa Barajas
      February 20, 2015 at 3:49 pm (2 years ago)

      You can omit. Just adds to the texture making it a bit creamier. Plus hidden veggies for the win!

  25. Carrie
    December 4, 2015 at 1:53 pm (1 year ago)

    I don’t know if this is a dumb question or not.. did I miss the instructions and ingredients for the ganache somewhere??

    • Vanessa Barajas
      December 4, 2015 at 3:26 pm (1 year ago)

      You mean you aren’t a mind reader? 😉 Ha! I totally forgot to add them, it’s been added! Ganache away! #oops.

      • Carrie
        December 5, 2015 at 8:37 am (12 months ago)

        Thank you!!! I will be gananching soon! I made the cheesecake first thing this morning for my friends who just got engaged! It’s already in the freezer. Thanks for the amazing recipes as usual. I too, love dessert and need things that “taste like the past” every now and then. 😀

  26. Julia
    February 8, 2016 at 6:25 pm (10 months ago)

    Any way to sub cacao for cocoa? Or could you advise where to buy cacao and what the difference is? Thanks!

    • Vanessa Barajas
      February 10, 2016 at 11:44 am (10 months ago)

      Sure! Just make sure to use unsweetened cocoa powder.

  27. Krissy
    July 3, 2016 at 3:41 pm (5 months ago)

    Hi! This looks super delicious!! I have a quick question. Do you cook the zucchini first? Or just dice it up and add it to the food processor? Thanks so much!! Oh and I love the clean eating with a dirty mind name…simply brilliant!!

    • Vanessa Barajas
      July 13, 2016 at 3:59 pm (5 months ago)

      The zucchini is raw! Just peel and dice. 🙂


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