Delicious creamy cheesy vegan cream cheese! This easy recipe is divine spread on bread or crackers and ridiculously close to the ‘real thing’!
I suddenly realized that while we’ve made a lot of different vegan cheeses for this blog, we hadn’t yet made a vegan cream cheese.
So I had to get to work on that!
This vegan cream cheese is simple but seriously good. You will impress yourself with how good this is and you will definitely impress all your guests with it too.
We have tried this out on some non-vegans and the response has been extremely positive! So this is a win for vegans and non-vegans which is a really good thing in my view.
It is extremely delicious served in all the usual ways, on breads, on crackers or on bagels!
How To Make Vegan Cream Cheese
You will find full instructions and measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. This is a summary of the process to go along with the process photos.
Soak raw cashews in hot water for an hour. Soaking them in hot water shortens the time they need to soak. I’m a fan of this method because you don’t have to try and remember too far in advance that you want to make some vegan cream cheese.
As long as you have a bit more than an hour of lead time you can make it work.
So soak them for an hour in the boiling hot water and then drain them and add them to a blender with lemon juice, coconut cream, distilled white vinegar, salt and onion powder.
Blend until smooth.
Move it to a bowl and add dried dill.
Stir it in.
You can use it right away, or you can just put it into a container and keep it in the fridge.
It firms up a bit more in the fridge so if you prefer a firmer texture, then it will be just right for you after it’s spent some time in the fridge.
But right after blending, it’s ready to go as well.
The cashews create the creamy base for this recipe.
Lemon juice gives it the tang, which is the basis for the cheesy flavor.
Coconut cream – adds creamy flavor and texture and also contributes to the beautiful white color. It also helps it to thicken up nicely once it’s in the fridge. should be canned and unsweetened. You’ll find it in the same section of the supermarket as the canned coconut milk. Note: You do not need to refrigerate your coconut cream first and it does not need to separate, just shake up your can and then pour out the right amount. You can also use full fat, canned, unsweetened coconut milk.
Distilled white vinegar – is just amazing for what it adds in flavor to vegan cheese recipes! I highly recommend you use this vinegar and don’t substitute it.
Onion powder and salt – round off the cheesy flavors in this recipe perfectly.
Dried dill – is optional and you can switch it out for some fresh chopped chives or dried chives or dried basil or anything you like. I really love the flavor of the dried dill with this so as soon as I tasted it I was like: this is it!
Every ingredient in this recipe plays a big part and all are crucial to the result. If you want to add more flavors to this, like some garlic powder or fresh garlic or something like that, do it! But I wouldn’t take any of the flavorings away or it will be too plain.
Soak The Cashews
Okay, so…I’ll admit I don’t always soak cashews in my recipes. This might seem inconsistent and maybe it is. But I reckon in this recipe it is important to soak them.
The reason I think so is that for one thing, you’re creating a really thick cream cheese here. It’s hard to blend without making it easier by soaking the cashews first.
Then, you’re also wanting a super creamy texture here and soaking the nuts does contribute a little towards that.
And then I don’t know if it really does, but I think it helps with the color a little too, keeping it nice and light in color for that perfect cream cheese ‘look’.
Cashew Cream Cheese Q&A
Can I use another kind of nut other than cashews? Cashews really work best for this. They create that smooth texture. Different kinds of nuts will create different textures, which may still taste great and can work well for different things, like almonds work super well for vegan ricotta.
Can I use something other than coconut cream/milk? As mentioned above, the coconut cream helps with thickening and also making it extra creamy. That being said, we did try a version of this using water instead of coconut cream and it still worked! It was just thinner and didn’t thicken up as nicely in the fridge. So you can use a non-dairy milk or a different kind of non-dairy cream or even water and it would still work in this recipe.
Can I use apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar? No. The distilled white vinegar really creates magic here with the flavor. It really does. Apple cider vinegar will work in a pinch but it is not going to be nearly as good. Seriously. The distilled white vinegar really works magic in this recipe.
Can I make this in the food processor? If you don’t have a blender and all you have is a food processor, then sure. It will not come out as smooth as this though. It will have a slightly grainier texture. Not necessarily bad but if you have a blender, then a blender is the preferred option.
A high powered blender like a Vitamix (my favorite) or Blendtec is of course going to work best. The Vitamix is especially great because it has the tamper (stick) attachment and that really helps with this recipe as you can push down from the top which really helps the process.
Can I use this in a vegan cream cheese frosting? With a couple of adjustments yes! Check out our vegan cream cheese frosting recipe that uses an adaptation of this recipe as its base.
Storing and Freezing
Keep it stored in a container in the fridge and enjoy within around 5 days.
It’s also freezer friendly for up to 3 months. Let it thaw overnight in the fridge and then stir it very well.
More Vegan Cheese Recipes
- Our vegan nacho cheese is divine as a dip or poured over nachos (of course!).
- Our vegan cheddar cheese and sliceable cashew cheese are both firm cheeses that you can put on a cheese board and cut into perfect slices!
- Our vegan cheese sauce is a perfect sauce for a vegan lasagna, it’s like a bechamel sauce but just flavored to be cheesy. And then our vegan mozzarella and vegan ricotta are both divine on pizza!
- Our vegan cashew cheese sauce is the perfect sauce to drizzle over a baked potato or over your pizza slices.
- And then some vegan parmesan cheese is just divine sprinkled over anything and everything!
- Also check out our vegan feta, vegan camembert, vegan brie, vegan blue cheese and vegan goat cheese.
Did you make this recipe? Be sure to leave a comment and rating below!
Vegan Cream Cheese
- Add the soaked cashews (drained) to the blender jug along with the lemon juice, coconut cream, white vinegar, salt and onion powder and blend. If you have a stick attachment with your blender then use this to push the cream cheese down onto the blades making it easier to blend. If you don’t have a stick attachment then stop regularly and scrape down the sides and give it a stir and then continue until it’s very smooth.
- Transfer the blended mix to a bowl and then add in the dried dill and stir or whisk it in.* Your cream cheese is now ready to use.
- Keep it stored in the fridge. It will firm up overnight in the fridge so will have a firmer texture on day 2 vs on the day you make it.
- Soak the cashews. I place the cashews into a bowl and then pour boiling water from the kettle over them. Then just cover with a cloth and leave for an hour to soak.
- Coconut cream. You can also use canned, full fat, unsweetened coconut milk.
- Dried dill. The dried dill is an optional add on, but it adds a lot of delicious flavor so is recommended. You could use dried chives or dried basil instead (in the same quantity).
- Quantity. This recipe makes 13-ounces or around 1 and ⅔ cups.
- Storing. Keep it stored in the fridge for around 5 days. It’s also freezer friendly for up to 3 months.