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This Vegan Cream Cheese is made from just 3 simple ingredients, yet is made with vegan cultures to taste just like the real thing! The creamy texture and tanginess will absolutely wow your taste buds. You’ll never need another homemade vegan cream cheese recipe!
Being from New Jersey, a bagel with cream cheese was my ultimate go-to breakfast growing up. To this day, it’s something I crave on the regular. While there are thankfully many plant-based alternatives to choose from in grocery stores now, sometimes homemade can’t be beat!
Ingredient You’ll Need
- Cashews: These nuts are one of the best, neutral tasting creamy ingredients to use when making homemade plant-based cream-based sauces, dips and spreads like this cream cheese. Make sure to purchase raw cashews that contain no added flavors and have not been roasted. Reserve those for making things like this Cashew Curried Trail Mix.
- Vegan probiotics: When choosing probiotics for making homemade cashew cream cheese, it’s important to choose a probiotic strain that is suitable for food fermentation and will yield the best smooth texture. If you’d like to use the same probiotics capsules we used, shop them on Amazon here. Or, look for a multi-strain probiotic with strains like Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum, or Lactobacillus casei. Also make sure to purchase capsules, not pills!
- Salt: A bit of sea salt adds flavor, enhances the texture and helps aid in the fermentation process.
- Small bowl
- High-speed blender or food processor
- Cheesecloth, nut milk bag, plastic wrap, or a clean mesh produce bag
How to Make Vegan Cream Cheese
- Soak the cashews. Place the raw cashews in a small bowl and cover with filtered water. Soak overnight, or for a minimum of 8 hours.
- Blend the cashews smooth. After 8 hours, drain the cashews completely, then transfer them to a food processor or high speed blender (best option). Add 1/4 cup of water, then blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Add probiotics and salt. Transfer the smooth and creamy cashew mixture to a clean bowl and mix in the probiotics and salt.
- “Culture” the cream cheese. Loosely cover the bowl with a piece of cheesecloth, then use a rubber band or a piece of string to fasten the cheesecloth to the bowl. Allow the cream cheese to sit for 12 to 18 hours to culture.
- Taste and season! After 12 to 18 hours, taste to make sure it’s as tangy as you’d like and season with additional salt as needed.
- Enjoy. Enjoy the cream cheese immediately or store on the refrigerator until chilled.
The best thing about this homemade vegan cream cheese alternative is it’s made without any spices like garlic powder, onion powder, or chives meaning you can use it in both sweet and savory recipes. Think of it as a classic plain cream cheese that’s neutral flavor is as versatile as traditional cream cheese.
Here are a few of our favorite ways to use it:
- Spread it on a bagel: Try our homemade classic Vegan Bagels recipe or Pretzel Bagels and finish it with our Carrot Lox on top!
- Make vegan cream cheese frosting: We love cream cheese frosting drizzled on our Vegan Cinnamon Rolls, Golden Milk Cinnamon Rolls, Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls, or these Healthy Carrot Cake Bars.
- Bake it in a dessert: Although we haven’t tested it in cream cheese heavy desserts like vegan cheesecake, it should work well in recipes like these Vegan Quesitos, this Vegan Braided Cream Cheese & Jam Danish or pair it with these Pumpkin Spice Pretzel Bites.
- Use it in a savory recipe: Try it in this Asparagus & Cream Cheese Puff Pastry appetizer or make a creamy pasta dish!
Probiotics play an important role in making cream cheese by causing the fermentation process and creating the bacteria that give cream cheese it’s unique tanginess. If you absolutely must leave the probiotics out, we’d recommend adding an acid such as apple cider vinegar or lemon juice but it won’t be the same flavor. Instead, it would make a good creamy spread.
Absolutely! If you love a good creamy pasta or rich, savory dishes, this plant-based cream cheese is an excellent choice.
Unfortunately, cashews are an essential ingredient in this non-dairy cream cheese. If you want to test a nut-free version on your own, we’d recommend using soaked sunflower seeds. It will likely be darker in color, but it would probably be the best nut-free option. You may be able to find a tofu, cream cheese, or beans.
Kite Hill cream cheeses are one of our top picks, especially their chive version. It’s the perfect tangy cream cheese for savory recipes.
This vegan cream cheese recipe will keep for up to 7 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. We haven’t tested it, but regular cream cheese tends to freeze well, so this cashew-based cream cheese should as well. If you’d like to try it, we’d recommend transferring the cream cheese to a freezer safe container such as a glass jar or a sealable container.
More Homemade Vegan Recipes You May Enjoy:
- How to Make Almond Milk (2-Ingredients) – learning how to make homemade plant milk is a total game changer.
- Homemade Vegetable Broth – Making broth at home is so much easier than you think.
- Easy Roasted Tomato Sauce – If you’re out of a can of tomatoes, make it at home with this easy recipe.
- Homemade Vegan Deli Meat – Vegan sandwiches are 100x better with this sliced vegan meat.
- Homemade Tortilla Chips – You can make tortilla chips at home with just 3 ingredients.
If you make this recipe, let us know what you think in the comments below! + If you post any photos on Instagram, make sure you tag us @sweetsimplevegan and @consciouschris so that we don’t miss it, we love seeing your photos!Print
Nutrition facts label provided by Nutri Fox.
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