How to make Vegan Cashew Cream (step by step recipe)

Learn how to make smooth vegan cashew cream using just two simple ingredients and a blender. Also included: Tips for soaking your nuts and ideas on how to use dairy-free cashew cream for all kinds of savory and sweet recipes! #veganrecipes #vegandessert #dairyfree #cleaneating #kitchenhacks

Learn how to make smooth vegan cashew cream using just two simple ingredients and a blender. Also included: Tips for soaking your nuts and ideas on how to use dairy-free cashew cream for all kinds of savory and sweet recipes!

two small glasses with vegan cashew cream with a spoon on the side

Dive into the magic of Homemade Vegan Cashew Cream:

Whether you are vegan or not, you will want to read this post and learn all about the life-changing magic that is cashew cream. EVERYONE needs to make cashew cream NOW. Just trust me on this one, please!

Cashew cream is made with two simple ingredients –  soaked cashews and water. How anything THAT simple can be that good, I can’t tell you. It’s magic!

Think of cashew cream as the Swiss army knife of dairy-substitutes. It is as multipurpose as it gets! Make a batch of vegan cream and you have basically non-dairy sour cream, mayo, heavy cream, and yogurt all in one. Depending on how much water you use, it can be the thickness of regular milk, heavy cream or all the way up to the thickness of sour cream.

How to soak cashew nuts for making cashew cream:

Soaking cashews is an essential step to creating cashew cream. There are different ways to soak those cashew nuts, each with their pros and cons. Pick one that works for your schedule. I’ve compiled the top 3 ways to soak cashews, fast or slow:

overhead shot of a silver pot with cashew nuts covered with cold water

Method 1 – Boiling: If you are in a REAL hurry, you can even go ahead and boil the nuts for 10 minutes. Add the cashews to a pot and fill with enough water to fully submerge them. Bring everything to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse. Done.

overhead shot of cashew nuts soaking in hot water in a sliver pot

Method 2 – Hot Water: You can soak them in hot water. So easy and they only take about 30 minutes of soak time. Obviously, the longer you leave the cashews to soak, the softer they will become. Softer cashews =  a smoother, creamier cashew cream.

overhead shot of a big glass bowl with raw cashew nuts soaking in cold water

Method 3 – Cold Water: You can soak the nuts in cold or room temperature water. This method takes the most time but it has one HUGE advantage. The cashews will remain raw and therefore retain their full nutritional value. Plus it makes for a milder-tasting dairy-free cream. Simply add the cashews to a bowl, and fill with enough water to cover. Allow them to soak either overnight in the fridge or for 5-8 hours during the day.

soaked cashew nuts being drained in a sieve

Regardless of the soaking method, you should ALWAYS discard the soaking liquid and rinse the nuts. Soaking pulls out the nasty phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors. We don’t want any of that in our cream – your tummy will thank you.

How to make Vegan Cashew Cream in a blender:

picture collage demonstrating how to soak and drain cashew nuts for making vegan cashew cream

Step 1 & 2 –  Place cashews in a small pan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a strong simmer, and cook for 10 minutes.

Step 3 – Drain and rinse the cashews in a sieve.

picture collage depicting how to blend soaked raw cashew nuts in a blender to make cashew cream

Step 4 & 5 – Place the drained nuts in the blender with your plant-based milk or water. Blend until very smooth.

Use straight away in your recipe or store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Can you soak cashews for too long?

YES! If cashews are soaked too long, they will start to smell and taste a bit off. If your soaking water becomes slimy and almost gel-like, you overdid it and should toss ‘em.

vegan cashew cream in a blender

Do you need a high-speed blender?

No! I have a powerful blender but no fancy high-speed miracle blender like Vitamix and the recipe works perfectly. If you ARE using a high-speed blender, the nuts will only need 2 hours of total soaking time. Some bloggers state you don’t have to soak the nuts at all. Try it yourself and share your experience in the comment section!

Can I use a regular food processor for making cashew cream?

Yes!  A blender makes it easier, but it’s totally doable in the food processor, too. Just make sure to scrape the sides of the food processor a few times.

Variations on this Cashew Cream recipe:

  • You can adapt the amount of liquid to get the consistency you want. Note that vegan cream might firm up a bit more once refrigerated.
  • For a savory touch, you can fancy it up some more by stirring in some roasted garlic or ground spices. Think curry powder, cumin, smoked paprika, etc.
  • Add some fresh lemon juice and/or apple cider vinegar for making vegan sour cream.
  • Another great way to up the umami of your vegan cream is to stir in some nutritional yeast. Hello, vegan cheese dip!
  • If you want a sweet dairy-free cream you can add a couple of tablespoons of maple syrup and a little vanilla extract. Cinnamon? Always!

vegan cashew cream running off a silver spoon into a small glass

How long does homemade Cashew Cream keep in the fridge?

Your homemade vegan cashew cream will last in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. 

Can Cashew Cream be frozen?

Yes, you can freeze cashew cream for up to 6 months.

Raw vs Roasted cashews:

Your cashews need to be raw. For this recipe, we want a neutral flavor, so we’re using them raw.

Cashews can be a tad pricey but some regular supermarkets sell them in the bulk section at reasonable prices. Cashew pieces are often cheaper than whole ones and also do the trick.

Only got roasted cashews? They will also turn into a paste in a high-speed blender the same as raw ones but the flavor will be different.

a silver spoon being dipped into a small glass with homemade vegan cashew cream

How to use cashew cream:

You can use your cashew cream to add silky decadence to all sorts of recipes:

Desserts:

  • Lightly sweetened cashew cream can take the place of whipped cream in all your favorite vegan desserts.
  • Add it to your morning granola.
  • Use it as a topping for berries or other fresh fruit.
  • Serve with vegan crisps or fruit cobblers like this strawberry cobbler.

Savory dishes:

  • Add a dollop of vegan sour cream to lend body to you favorite plant-based soups.
  • Drizzle some cashew cream on roasted vegetables or vegan bowls.
  • Fold some into your mashed potatoes.
  • Use vegan cashew cream to make a creamy tomato sauce, vegan penne a la vodka, or sun-dried tomato pasta.
  • Stir it into some sauteed spinach for making vegan creamed spinach.

The culinary possibilities are endless!

a small glass of homemade vegan cashew cream with a silver spoon
5 from 7 votes
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How to make Vegan Cashew Cream

Learn how to make smooth vegan cashew cream using just two simple ingredients and a blender. Also included: Tips for soaking your nuts and ideas on how to use dairy-free cashew cream for all kinds of savory and sweet recipes! 

Course Condiment, Snack
Cuisine American, Vegan
Keyword cashew sour cream, homemade cashew cream, vegan cashew cream recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 124 kcal
Author Marie

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk I use almond milk or water

Instructions

  1. Place cashews in a small pan, cover with water and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to a strong simmer, and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Drain cashews and place in the blender with milk or water. Blend until very smooth.
  4. Use straight away in your recipe or store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Recipe Notes

For the best texture and highest yield, be sure to stop the blender and scrape down the sides at least once while blending the cashew cream

Nutrition Facts
How to make Vegan Cashew Cream
Amount Per Serving
Calories 124 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 14%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Sodium 56mg 2%
Potassium 141mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 6g 2%
Sugars 1g
Protein 4g 8%
Calcium 5.8%
Iron 8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

If you tried this Cashew Cream Recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe below and let me know how it went in the comments – I love hearing from you! You can also follow me on InstagramPinterest and Facebook for more deliciousness and behind-the-scenes!

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All Seasons Recipes Clean Eating Dairy Free Gluten free Meal Prep Recipes Sauces Side dishes Under 300 cal Vegan Vegetarian
14 Comments
  1. This is something I’ve always wanted to do, it’s not as hard as I thought it would be! Thanks for sharing all the helpful tips too!

  2. Such a useful recipe – thank you for all of the information you included. So many delicious things I will be able to serve this with.

  3. I so appreciate all of the recipes and work you do when developing your recipes. Because the cashew is actually a seed, is it necessary to boil these seeds?

    The cashew tree (Anacardium occidentale) is a tropical evergreen tree that produces the cashew seed and the cashew apple.

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