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Vegan Cream Cheese

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The BEST Vegan Cream Cheese you will ever try! Easy to make, rich and creamy, and BETTER than store-bought, made with just 4 Ingredients!

Vegan Cream Cheese

I’ve always been a fan of Cream Cheese, but since going vegan, I haven’t found one that really WOWED me. Sure I like Miyoko’s and Kite Hill just fine, but they were always good for Vegan Cream Cheese. This recipe, is just flat out GOOD Cream Cheese!

Another problem with almost every store bought vegan cream cheese is that they aren’t very spreadable out of the fridge. You need to let them thaw a bit, and that’s a pain in the butt! This vegan cream cheese is totally spreadable!

And like most vegan analogs, especially homemade ones, this cream cheese will probably not fool anybody into thinking it’s dairy cream cheese, but that’s okay because it’s super good in it’s own right (although I’ve recently had a few folks comment on my recent Instagram post that they made this for non-vegans and they loved it and couldn’t tell, so maybe I’m wrong about that!)

why you’ll dig vegan cream cheese

First off, it’s a very simple recipe with only 4 ingredients too. It’s incredibly easy to put together. Just blend those 4 ingredients up, let it firm up in the fridge and that’s it!

And it’s highly customizable! You can mix in whatever you want for some flavored cream cheese. I did some dill pickles, jalapeños and dried strawberries! The sky’s the limit for mix-ins!

Ingredients needed for Vegan Cream Cheese

  • Cashews – This is the base of the cream cheese. All you need to do is soak them in some boiling water for 10 – 15 minutes and blend with everything else in a high speed blender. I’m not sure if you could use something like almonds, but I think you should be able to!
  • Lactic Acid – One ingredient that might not be common but is necessary in my opinion, is lactic acid (yes it’s vegan!) In a lot of vegan cream cheese recipes you see cultures as an ingredient. This is essentially probiotics from fermentation, which can take some time. Lactic acid gets us a similar flavor profile but in an instant! So it’s well worth it. I get mine from Amazon or Modernist Pantry, so buy from one of them!
  • Coconut Cream – Make sure you use the full fat coconut cream and not the milk. To my tongue, I don’t taste any coconut flavor. But if you’re sensitive to it, you might! Also make sure you only use the thick cream part and drain out the coconut water. I will sometimes put the can in the fridge overnight, and then open it from the bottom to get the water out easier.
  • Salt – because salt makes stuff taste good!

how to make vegan cream cheese

First soak your cashews in some boiling water.

Then combine all the ingredients in a blender.

It’ll be very soft and runny out of the blender, so refrigerate it overnight.

The next day you’ll have a nice thick but spreadable vegan cream cheese!

equipment Needed

  • High Speed Blender – such as a Vitamix. I’m not sure if a food processor will work, but it might.

mix-ins

  • Strawberry – If you’re gonna add stuff in, just make sure to consider the moisture content. For instance, for the Strawberry flavor, I used dried Strawberries as fresh would’ve added to much liquid. You can use fresh, but you’ll need to adjust your cashews and coconut cream.
  • Dill Pickle – For the Dill Pickle, I just added some garlic powder, chopped up some dill pickles and added some dried dill (fresh might be better).
  • Jalapeño – for the Jalapeño, I just diced up a pepper and added garlic powder. It’s that easy to mix stuff in! I’d love to know what you plan on doing with it!

Here’s a handy dandy VIDEO!

ARe there Other uses for this cream cheese?

  • Cheesecake – You can certainly use this in a cheesecake, but only a no-bake cheesecake. I’m not sure the coconut cream would hold up in an oven and come back together. I’ve had people tell me it works, but I’ve never tested it.
  • Frosting – Same with frosting, I’ve never tested it, but others have told me it works. I’ll have to give it a go!
  • Dips – This can be used in any dips that call for cream cheese, as long as they aren’t baked, same issue as the cheesecake. I need to run some tests and will update when I do!

Can I make this cashew free?

Yes, I’ve made this with raw sunflower seeds and it comes out great! Though, there is a slight sunflower seed taste to my tongue. They aren’t as neutral as cashews, but the spread is still good!

other recipes you might like

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Vegan Cream Cheese

Vegan Cream Cheese

Thee Burger Dude
4.76 from 25 votes

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 150 grams coconut cream just the cream, not the water
  • 1 heaping tsp lactic acid or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp salt or to taste

Strawberry Cream Cheese

  • Add in about 1/2 oz. of dried strawberries

Jalapeño Cream Cheese

  • Add in one finely diced jalapeño
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder or to taste
  • More salt if you wish too!

Dill Pickle

  • Add in some diced pickle slices I used about 5-6 slices
  • Fresh or dried dill a few shakes
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder or to taste
  • More salt if you wish too!

Instructions
 

  • Soak your cashews in boiling water for about 20 minutes.
  • Separate the coconut cream from the water in the can. If you put the can in the fridge overnight, and then open from the bottom, you can drain out the coconut water much easier. Discard or use the water in another recipe.
  • Add everything to your high speed blender and blend until smooth. Use a tamper if needed.
  • Taste and adjust for lactic acid, salt etc. Add in any mix-ins that you like at this point too.
  • Add to some tupperware and refrigerate for at least 6 hours (overnight is ideal) to thicken.
  • Enjoy on bagels, crackers, whatever you like!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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42 Comments

  1. This is so easy and so much better than the vegan cream cheese you buy in the store. I was surprised how easy this is. I am looking forward to experimenting with different flavors to make flavored cream cheese. The jalapeño cream cheese is exceptional.

    1. You can with full fat, but it won’t be as thick, but if I remember correctly during my tests it was still good. I wouldn’t put it on anything too hot as it’ll melt I think.

    1. I’m not sure, but I’ve heard folks say that they’ve used them instead! If you do let me know.

    2. I tried with peeled almonds for a cleaner look (instead of almonds with peels) and it turns out amazing! You might want to soak them for an extra 10 minutes though.

  2. If you like Miyokos, I think this tastes JUST like it. I personally have been searching endlessly for a Tofutti recipe to no avail but this isn’t bad

    1. Yes! This! Mykonos tastes way too acidic/citrus. I only eat Tofutti, it tastes the closest to real cream cheese IMO. I might try this recipe and omit the lactic acid or add very little.

    1. I don’t think so. It needs to firm up when cold, I’ve never tried soy cream, but I don’t think it stiffens up like coconut cream? If it does then yes it might work.

  3. I’ve been vegan for almost 40 years and this is the best non-dairy cream cheese I’ve had. Can’t wait to experiment with a bunch of different flavors… sun dried tomatoes, I’m looking at you!

    1. Wow, 40 years! That’s awesome, and stoked you like this one so much! Sun-Dried Tomatoes sound good!! I need to experiment more!

  4. can i use yoghurt instead of lactic acid? Couldn’t find lactic acid except those use on face, can we use that? What are the alternatives?

    1. Yogurt won’t work no. You can use citric acid, or some lemon juice, but do a little at a time and taste as you go!

      1. I am really excited to try this recipe, but I too cannot find lactic acid but I have vegan yogurt culture capsules, would they work?

        1. Possibly, but then I believe you have to let it ferment, so I’m not sure how to go about that!

    1. Unfortunately not that I’m aware. Refined coconut is pretty neutral tasting to me, not bitter really, are you using refined?

  5. I use coconut oil for making vegan heavy cream and other mock dairy products so I was curious to see if it could be substituted in this recipe. I weighed out about 130g of coconut oil and added about 25g of water to make sure it would blend; I figured coconut cream would have a little bit more liquid content. When I blended, it wasn’t smooth at all, and to be fair, I do not have a very good blender, but it seemed there was something wrong… I think the heat from the cashews and the blender blades were warming the coconut oil and it was separating a lot. In attempt to save it, I added a splash of Silk unsweet soy milk, and something in that worked to turn it creamy and beautiful! Perhaps the gellan gum! Waiting for the final results after chilling…

      1. Definitely a different recipe haha but thank you for the inspo!!! It worked out wonderfully and ended up looking exactly like yours!

  6. This is MUST-HAVE staple recipe and the bonus is that it freezes well. Lactic acid seriously changed my life so I cannot thank you enough for that tip. I’d been vegan for 4+ years when I started making this and every other cream cheese recipe fell flat. The lactic acid gives a zesty tang that you just can’t achieve with lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. We mainly put this cream cheese on (vegan) sushi and in sushi bakes but of course it can be enjoyed on toast or bagels or made into an amazing cream cheese frosting. I’ve made this soooo many times over the past year and even subbed half of the cashews with cannellini beans for amazing results. This recipe will not disappoint!

    1. Oh wow, that’s good to know about the freezing and beans! So glad you liked it and I agree about the lactic acid, it’s a game changer!

  7. So I made this last night after seeing the comments declaring it the best they’ve tried, and I must say I’m disappointed. The video mentioned it doesn’t really taste like coconut, however for me, it tastes mostly like coconut. Maybe mine has a more pronounced flavour, then again, 50% of this recipe is coconut cream.

    It has however given me the courage to go experiment on my own. The texture is nice, so lactic acid and a cashew or almond base seem logical. I wonder what would happen if I added soy yoghurt that is already cultured. I usually have it in my fridge.

    1. Sorry it didn’t work out. It might’ve been the coconut cream you used, but I’ve made this many times with different ones and to me I don’t taste any coconut. I’ll see about using some yogurt too, that’s a good idea!

  8. Just made this recipe tonight and it’s firming up in the fridge. Shocked at home much it made and how close to real cream cheese it is. This will be on regular rotation in my house.

    If you have a Winco near you they have New York style bagels 6 for $2 perfect to pair with this delectable cheese spread.

  9. This is so freaking amazing. My world has been changed forever now that I’ve gotten myself some lactic acid. My partner is eating vegan at home for me and your recipes have helped so much. Many thanks!

    1. Lactic acid was such a game changer for me, so glad you like it too! Happy the recipes are helping out too! Thank you so much!

  10. Hi! So I followed the recipe and mine came out thick like store-bought – still delicious though! SO I am wondering, am I supposed to add the water I soaked the cashews in, too?

  11. 5 stars
    Hi! So I followed the recipe and mine came out thick like store-bought – still delicious, though! SO I am wondering, am I supposed to add the water I soaked the cashews in, too?

    1. Hi, don’t add the water from the cashews, but you could try adding a little of the water from the coconut cream to thin it out!

  12. Can you recommend a smaller blender than a Vitamix? Mine won’t blend the cream cheese because the amount is too small. Thanks!

    1. I usually need to use the tamper to get it to blend, it might take a while but it should blend eventually! Or you can make a double batch too and make more flavors!

  13. 5 stars
    I make this weekly. It’s truly the best and easiest vegan cream cheese. Also amazing in cream cheese frosting!

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