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VEGAN CREAM CHEESE

Vegan Cream Cheese – Creamy smooth with a bit of tang this tasty dairy free cream cheese recipe is customizable and easy to make!

top down view of a vegan cream cheese and bagel platter with veggies and fruit.

Bring on the bagels, homemade cream cheese and all the fixings for a great breakfast platter or main meal!

This vegan cream cheese recipe is a perfect substitute for dairy cream cheese and is adapted from my Cashew Ricotta Cheese. It’s easy to make and can easily be customized for extra tang or flavored with optional add-ins.

If you’re trying to give up dairy or are just craving a great dairy free cream cheese than I think you’re going to love this vegan cream cheese recipe!

Ingredients You’ll Need

In this recipe, cashews are blended with two types of acidic ingredients creating a slightly tangy and creamy spread that you won’t believe is dairy-free!

Here is everything you’ll need:

  • Raw cashews
  • Water
  • Lemons
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Mineral salt

Pro Tip: Use a high-speed or small personal blender (affiliate link) for the best results.

Can I Add Flavors?

Yes, I love adding fresh chopped chives, 1/2 – 1 teaspoon onion powder, or a small diced jalapeno for a change of taste. When adding flavor, I suggest blending chives and jalapeno in by hand at the end. For a sweet variation try this Sweet Cashew Cream.

How To Make Vegan Cream Cheese

Making vegan cream cheese only takes a few simple steps:

  • Soak cashews. Soften the cashews by soaking them in hot water for 10 minutes. Alternately, soak them for 2 – 3 hours in cool water. Cashews don’t need any longer than 3 hours to soak but will be fine if soaked overnight. Soaking also aids in digestion and is good for those with sensitivities.
  • Blend. Add the ingredients to the blender cup and process until creamy, stopping to scrape down the sides every now and then. Taste for flavor, adding more lemon or apple cider vinegar for more tang.
  • Eat as is or chill. Serve right away or keep in the refrigerator to chill and thicken even more.

up close, top down view of a vegan cream cheese and bagel platter with veggies and fruit.

How To Store Leftovers

  • Refrigerator: Leftovers will keep for 5 – 6 days in the refrigerator, stored in a covered container.
  • Freezer: This cashew cream cheese can be kept in the freezer, in a freezer safe container, for up to 2 months. Let thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours before using.

top view of an assortment of bagels topped with vegan cream cheese and various toppings.

Serving Suggestions

You can use it anywhere dairy cream cheese is called for. We absolutely love this stuff!

Can I Buy Dairy-Free Cream Cheese In The Store?

Absolutely! Before learning how to make homemade, my favorite store bought vegan cream cheeses were kite hill and Miyoko’s. Kite hill has a variety of flavors and is my #1. Miyoko’s plain is tangy and great when you want that extra zing.

head on shot of bagel with cashew cream cheese, cucumber and tomatoes sliced in half and stacked.

More Easy Cashew Recipes

If recipes using cashews intrigues you, be sure to take a look at this amazing:

If you try this cashew cream cheese recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

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VEGAN CREAM CHEESE

Silky smooth vegan cream cheese is made with 5 simple ingredients and is a perfect condiment for bagels, sandwiches, and veggies!

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Makes about 1 cup 1x
  • Category: Condiment
  • Method: blend, puree
  • Cuisine: Vegan

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 + 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (about 23 small lemons)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/41/2 teaspoon mineral salt

Optional add-ins (use one):

  • 3 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno, seeds removed and minced

Instructions

Soak cashews: Cover cashews with hot water and soak for 5 –  10 minutes. Alternately, soak them for 2 – 3 hours in cool water. Soaking will aid in digestion.

Blend: Using a high speed blender or small personal blender, add the ingredients to the cup of your preferred blender and blend until creamy, stopping to scrape down the sides every now and then. If using optional add-ins, stir them in.

Enjoy vegan cream cheese right away or let chill in the refrigerator before serving.

Makes about 1 cup

Store: Leftovers will keep for 5 – 6 days in the refrigerator. For longer storage, it will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. Let thaw in the refrigerator before using.

Notes

Add-ins: For variation try adding fresh chopped chives, 1/2 – 1 teaspoon onion powder, or a small diced jalapeno for a change of taste. When adding flavor, I suggest blending the chives and jalapeno in by hand at the end. For a sweet variation try this Sweet Cashew Cream.

RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT: I ♡ my NutriBullet (affiliate link) for small jobs like this. It’s powerful, compact and easy to clean! For more of my favorite cooking tools, shop my kitchen essentials.

Keywords: vegan cream cheese, cashew cream cheese, cream cheese recipe

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33 Comments

  1. I made this cashew cream cheese yesterday to use in an old recipe that I hadn’t made in a few years, I couldn’t find the vegan cream cheese I normally buy, so I decided to give this recipe a shot. As soon as I tasted it I knew it would become a new staple as a lovely spread in sandwiches and in recipes calling for cream cheese. Thanks so much..

  2. K Nassichuk says:

    my first time and a little runny but tastes amazing. I left my cashews soaking (accidently) for a day and did not measure my lemon juice so might be my fault for too much moisture. Will be making this again thou… Thank You!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Glad it tastes great! You can adjust amounts as you get used to making the recipe. It will also thicken up once chilled. Thanks so much for sharing, K!

  3. I add herbs and garlic salt. It was amazing in stuffed mushrooms with breadcrumbs on top.

  4. I eyeballed this recipe as far as the apple cider vinegar, salt and lemon was concerned but it was amazing!! Great way for me to break into doing more vegan meals and condiments without breaking the bank. Thank you!

  5. Ellie May says:

    Thank you for this lovely recipe. I was VERY PLEASED how it turned out.
    I have one question: do you drain the cashews after soaking?
    I wasn’t sure, but I did drain them. Then added all the ingredients, including the ½ cup of water. The cream cheese was nice and thick – and delicious.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Yes, drain the cashews before making the cream cheese. You can also give them a quick rinse if you like. So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Ellie!

  6. Simple, quick, delicious.

    Thank you very much!

  7. I would love to make an open grilled chilli cheese toast with this cream cheese – will it become golden brown on top after grilling?

  8. Debbie Nokes says:

    I just made this and it’s amazing. Four ingredients and so delicious! We enjoyed it as a dip for red bell pepper slices with toasted sesame seeds.
    Better than the “real cream cheese” .
    So glad I found your site. Your photos and instructions are beautifully done. Thank You for sharing!

  9. Thekla Marcus says:

    How can one make almond sweet cream for frostings?

    1. Katherine says:

      Look in the Notes above for link to ” Sweet Cashew Cream”.

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