Cultured Vegan Sour Cream

GFVGVDFNS

Drizzling Vegan Sour Cream onto a loaded sweet potato for a delicious plant-based meal

Tangy vegan sour cream is here! Let us show you how.

Wood cutting board with cashews, lemon, olive oil, probiotics, and salt for making homemade Vegan Sour Cream

This 5-ingredient recipe starts with soaked cashews. Cashews create the perfect creamy, thick base that’s neutral in flavor. Once soaked and blended, add your probiotics to get the culturing process started.

Blender with cashews for our Vegan Sour Cream recipe

This sour cream does best with a 48-hour rest/culturing time. The longer it rests at room temperature, the thicker and tangier it will become (just like our 2-Ingredient Coconut Yogurt!).

All that’s left to do is add in your lemon, salt, and apple cider vinegar for flavor and even more tanginess. Swoon!

Giving a bowl of our vegan sour cream recipe a stir

We hope you LOVE this vegan sour cream! It’s:

Tangy
Thick
Creamy
Easy to make
& So delicious

For flavor variations, stir in some adobo sauce or chipotle hot sauce for a smoky, spicy spin or blend with ripe avocado and lime for an avocado crema! This sour cream would be perfect on just about any spicy or Mexican-inspired dish. We loved it on a simple baked sweet potato with avocado and salsa. Add our 1-Pot Black Beans for more protein and fiber!

Into sauces? Be sure to check out our Garlicky Guacamole, Vegan Aquafaba Mayo, Easy Red Salsa, Habanero Hot Sauce, and Easy Chimichurri Sauce!

If you try this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and rate it! And don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram so we can see what you come up with. Cheers, friends!

Baked sweet potato loaded with fresh vegetables and topped with homemade vegan sour cream

Cultured Vegan Sour Cream

Crazy delicious vegan sour cream cultured with live probiotics! Just 5 ingredients and simple methods required, and the result is a creamy, dreamy, tangy sour cream delicious on just about everything!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Using a spoon to drizzle homemade Vegan Sour Cream over a baked sweet potato
4.69 from 16 votes
Prep Time 2 days 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 days 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 16 (2 Tbsp servings)
Course Sauce
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly Yes!
Does it keep? 5 Days

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 2-3 probiotic capsules*
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  • Soak cashews in very hot water for 1 hour or in cool water for 6 hours or overnight. Drain.
  • Add drained cashews to a high-speed blender with water and blend until creamy and smooth, scraping down sides of blender as needed.
  • Scrape mixture into a mixing bowl and add contents of probiotic capsules. Stir with a wooden or plastic spoon (not metal as it can react with the probiotics) until fully incorporated.
  • Cover with a piece of cheesecloth or a very thin towel and secure with a rubber band. Let rest on the counter (preferably in a room warmer than 70 degrees F (21 C)) for at least 24 hours or up to 48 hours. The longer it rests, the thicker and tangier it will become. We found 48 hours to be the sweet spot.
  • Once the mixture has reached your preferred tanginess and texture, uncover and add the salt, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar. Stir thoroughly to combine.
  • Taste test and adjust as needed, adding more lemon juice for acidity, salt for saltiness, or apple cider vinegar for tanginess.
  • Use immediately, or for cold sour cream, chill at least 6 hours. Will keep covered in refrigerator for 5 days, oftentimes longer. You'll know it's gone bad when mold has formed or it no longer smells and tastes appetizing.

Video

Notes

*For probiotics like Renew Life 50 billion and Jarrow // make sure your probiotics don’t contain PREbiotics or the recipe won’t work. Also use capsules as opposed to tablets, which are not as high quality and need to be crushed.
*One probiotic capsule (emptied) should measure about 1/3 tsp probiotic powder.
*Prep time reflects a 1-hour quick soak for the cashews, 30 minutes prep for adding probiotics and lemon (etc.), and a 48-hour culturing period. 

Nutrition (1 of 16 servings)

Serving: 1 two-tablespoon serving Calories: 56 Carbohydrates: 3.1 g Protein: 1.8 g Fat: 4.4 g Saturated Fat: 0.8 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.79 g Monounsaturated Fat: 2.4 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 38 mg Potassium: 68 mg Fiber: 0.3 g Sugar: 0.6 g Vitamin A: 0.06 IU Vitamin C: 0.42 mg Calcium: 3.83 mg Iron: 0.67 mg

Did You Make This Recipe?

Tag @minimalistbaker on Instagram and hashtag it #minimalistbaker so we can see all the deliciousness!

If you love this recipe...

Get Our Fan Favorites eBook Here!

Reader Interactions

Leave a Comment & Rating!

Have a question? Use ctrl+f or ⌘+f on your computer or the "find on page" function on your phone browser to search existing comments! Need help? Check out this tutorial!

  1. Helen Wang says

    Love your website for the vegetarian and vegan recipes! Thank you so much for sharing!

    I want to make this but I live in Southern California and it is pretty hot here. Can I put sour cream in a yogurt machine to ferment? If yes, how long should I leave it in it? Your recipe says leave in a room more than 70 F. My house is around 78F to 79F, is this temperature too high? If 79F works, won’t need the yogurt machine.

    Thank you!

  2. Kelly says

    I have really wanted to recreate a vegan sour cream with that specific sourness and this is IT. I would say it’s identical to dairy and am blown away!! ? I decreased the water slightly for thickness, and my probiotics had prebiotics in them too and it worked perfectly (I’m not sure what the supposed issue is with them). I’ve been hesitant to use probiotics in recipes and now that I’ve seen them do wonders, I am hooked. Try cashew cheese with them too, it’s incredible!! This is a whole new vegan world ✌?

  3. Trish says

    I have made this twice now and am about to do a third batch. Best vegan SC. Like it better than store brands. I live in oregon so the 70 degrees wasnt possible, what did was as put in a bowl and used my yogurt maker. I think it took about 6 hours? Did first batch with 3 capsules and second with 2. First batch was thicker, still playung with time and capsules. Thanks for this and all, have not had a bad thing from your site thus far.

  4. Jessi says

    Is it necessary to use the probiotic or can I omit it? I’ve seen other recipes that don’t use it at all and the comments are that the sour cream tastes just like the dairy one sold. I’ve also seen others with a spoonful of vegan yogurt as a starter culture. I’m looking for the cheapest, easiest way out with what I have on hand.

    Thank you!

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Sure! Let us know how it goes. Probably no need to let it “ferment” in that case – just use it once you’ve mixed it.

      • Jessi says

        Great! Ill try it.
        Thanks for your promp response. I love love your website btw. Anytime I’m looking for an alternative to an ingredient or a meal, I, by default, go straight to your site ? Keep up with your great content. It’s not going unnoticed!

  5. Curtis says

    So, I’ve made cream cheese with cashews before. One recipe I found is just like this one, but obviously the texture is thicker, and they use unflavored vegan yogurt to add the probiotics to their blend. I also have some experience with fermentation anyway, as in sauerkraut and kosher pickles and whatnot. I started experimenting with trying to make the cream cheese by fermenting the cashews in brine for a couple of days. It came out great. After I started with these experiments, it seemed like others had similar ideas, as you can find cream cheese recipes fermenting their cashews this way, now. My question, I guess, is whether or not I really need the probiotic pills, as I’ve had success in other situations without added probiotics. Can’t I just lacto-ferment the cashews?

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I think so! We just figured the probiotics were more accessible / user friendly. But let us know if you give that a try!

  6. Melanie says

    I just made this and it smells and tastes exactly like sour cream. (Just not the right texture.)
    I fermented mine for 36 hours and ended up not adding in anything! It was so perfect as is. I am so curious what the extra ingredients (salt, lemon juice, acv) would do to it, but it’s so good just plain. Has anybody else experienced this? Is there any way to ever get rid of that cashew texture? (I know, I’m just being picky now.) :D

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Oh great! Well if you like it as is, I’d say that’s a win!

      Next time would you mind adding a rating to your review? It’s super helpful to us and other readers! xo

      • Melanie says

        Thanks! Sorry I didn’t see the rating before.

        I read that the secret to the flavor is in the probiotic that you pick as each differ in how many strains of Lactobacillus bacteria and beneficial Bifidobacterium they contain. Interesting!

        Anybody have tips on mastering the texture? Should I have blended the cashews longer? Or can they just not hit that perfect soft and creamy state?

        • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

          Awesome! Thanks for sharing, Melanie! As for blending be sure to add enough liquid and blend on high long enough to get it SUPER creamy.

        • Joe says

          I simmer my cashews for about a half hour until they’re soft enough to mush with my fingers. Also I have what is allegedly a high speed blender and let er rip for at least two minutes. This makes the blended cashews silky, with no nut texture.

          • Melanie says

            Fantastic! Thanks for sharing! Did you still soak them first? Or just summer? Did you blend in the water you simmered or drain, rinse, and blend with new water?

  7. Kara says

    Hello! Will this hold up under heat? I’d like to try it as a base in my spin/artichoke dip. I know there are many wonderful vegan recipes out there, but I’m trying to recreate my own “famous” recipe that used mayo and shredded parm as the base. I’ve tried the vegan versions of both of these without luck. I also tried using a cashew base – nope. I’m hoping this will give me the thickness as well as the tanginess I’m looking for, but the dip is served hot (not baked, just mic’d or in a small crock pot). Thoughts?

  8. Sue says

    Hi Dana . I am new here and I was super excited to try out this recipe. I followed your instructions quite accurately, or so I thought, until I removed the cheese cloth after 48 hours, preparing to add the next ingredients to adjust the tanginess . My mixture was nothing like yours in the video. It had different colors, a weird texture , and a nasty smell. Not sure where I went wrong, but I was totally disappointed as I was hoping to indulge in this very yummy vegan version of sour cream. Unfortunately, I needed to dump my effort into the green bin :(. Any suggestions as to what I did wrong?

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sue, so sorry to hear it didn’t work out for you! Did you make sure to use a probiotic that did not contain PREbiotics?

  9. Selena says

    Good morning. I’m super new to cooking, especially vegan food. Never worked with probiotics. Are you supposed to throw the whole capsule into the mixture, or empty the powder?

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Selena, great question! Use the powder from the capsule only and discard the remaining capsule. We just added clarification in the recipe instructions, thanks!

  10. Jamie says

    So after I added my probiotic capsules to the blended cashews, mixed, covered and set aside… Of course I scrolled down and saw the tips about no prebiotics. Checked my bottle and of course it has them. So when you say it “won’t work” what will actually happen? Can I mix the other ingredients in and use it or is it a lost cause and needs to be thrown out? Will the capsules I used add any tangyness? Does it do anything beneficial in any time period?
    I do plan on getting the right stuff and trying again as I too love your stuff!
    Thank you,
    Jamie

  11. Ken says

    I live this recipe. I’ve made it twice now and even non-vegans think it is better than dairy sour cream. I ran out of cashews the last time I made it and substituted marcona almonds for half of the cashews. It turned out great and is now “chillin'” in the fridge, waiting to be used. Thank you for this recipe!

  12. Leigh says

    Hi Dana,
    I tried your mayonnaise, love it and it’s much tastier than anything I’ve bought, not to mention, much less expensive.
    I have a question about the cultured sour cream I’m trying; How much water do I add to the cashews & the probiotic to culture?
    Thanks, Leigh

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      We are glad you enjoyed our vegan mayo, Leigh! For the cashews, you’ll want to use 1 cup of water and 2-3 probiotic capsules.

  13. Lucretia Hudson says

    Hello there! I love this site. I can’t tell you how it has expanded my kitchen/wellness journey. I wanted to leave some feedback and possible process modifications for anyone else who ran into some gritty snaffus. I loved the first batch I made following the recipe exactly. The tang was there, and I like tweeting the flavor to taste. So good. My only problem was my batch was grittier than I would have preferred (likely my blender, a Ninja) The second batch I made was much the same, I just modified a few things. First I ground raw chashews into a meal with a spice grinder/coffee mill, then soaked the cashew meal in 1c super hot water for an hour. I then blend it using the one serving smoothie attachment, mixed probiotics and set aside for a couple days. If I had a commercial grade food processor, or a vitamix, I’m certain I wouldn’t have needed to tweek at all, but the results were spot on a creamy textured sour cream. Anyone else working with a bit less power, this is your solution! Cheers!

  14. Brynn says

    Turned out so good! I’ve never made homemade sour cream before and I probably won’t use any other recipe. I had 30 billion probiotics and did 4 capsules letting sit for 2 days. The only change I’ll do is just a tad less lemon juice! Also it makes a lot, will probably do a half batch next time since it’s only 2 of us eating it before it goes bad. Was delicious on enchiladas and baked potatoes!

  15. Debbie says

    Hi really want to try this for a long time but I never have apple vinegar in the house can I also replace that and just use a bit more fresh lemon juice?

  16. michelle LaFayette says

    Hi the cashew one AMAZING, bur if I made it with tofu would it culture as well like the nut one. i have to drive a ways for raw cashews, Thanks!

    • Kimberly says

      We order raw cahews from Thrive market. They’re great quality, arrive quickly, and the best price for organic cashews that I’ve found.
      Raw cashews are a must for awesome plant based food prep!

    • Joe says

      I simmer my cashews In water for about a half hour until they’re soft enough to mush with my fingers. Also I have what is allegedly a high speed blender and let er rip for at least two minutes. This makes the blended cashews silky, with no nut texture.

  17. Renee says

    Just finished a batch. I’m going to make pirozhkis with tvp instead of beef, and tofu scrambled with turmeric and black salt for the eggs. I only need about 2 TBS, so I only made half a batch. I’m trying out a noodle dough with aqua faba instead of eggs. You recipe tastes close enough to sour cream to me. It was either this recipe, or the one with nutritional yeast in it, but there seemed to be less complaints about this one. Thanks!

    One note, however, you might want to warn people that they need to use a good sized container, as that stuff WILL expand. Like, all over my counter. ?

  18. Dolly says

    Just made this for the third time! It is absolutely yummy, perfect! I used the MegaFood MegaFlora probiotic and it’s awesome!! I’ve toppped my raw tacos with it, baked potatoes with it, and recently made some tzatziki with it to compliment your latest falafel recipe!! Which is also delish by the way! My family LOVES this sour cream as well! Thanks for the fab recipes!

  19. Linda says

    I too was curious about freezing a portion of the recipe. In reading through the comments the question of freezing received 2 opposite replies. One yes and one no. Can you clarify?

    • Molly Ahern says

      I was super excited about this, but after 48 my mix doesnt taste tangy at all. It tastes almost moldy. What did I do wrong??

      • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Molly, did your probiotics contain PREbiotics? Did you make sure to sterilize all equipment really well?

  20. Mhairi says

    The cream has been sitting out for about 36 hours and smells yeasty; bubbles have formed in the cream too. It is thick, but has a slight foamy texture. I am wondering if I used a wrong sort of probiotic powder? Or is this normal? Please advise!

  21. Lucy says

    Can anybody recommend a UK brand of probiotic, there are so many I’m not sure which one to go with.

    On a side note, I absolutely love this website, Dana. All the recipes I have tried so far have been great. Easy, tasty and healthy. I hope to work my way through them all! I’ve only recently started an almost vegan diet – I still eat eggs and honey occasionally – and find your recipes a great inspiration. Thank you so much!

  22. Erin Spurlock says

    will any capsule probiotics work (as long as it doesn’t have prebiotics, like you said)? The kind I have is 40 billion CFU’s per 2 caps. Do I need to double the amount of capsules in the recipe?

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Stephanie! It will keep covered in refrigerator for 5 days, oftentimes longer. You’ll know it’s gone bad when mold has formed or it no longer smells and tastes appetizing.

  23. kerri says

    ok so I have to say….you are my favorite site for recipes!!! This sour cream is ah-mazing! This is the second time I have gone plant based and your recipes are so simple and easy to follow and super delicious making it easier this time for sure!!! I even can please my husband who is very picky. I love to receive your emails with recipe ideas! Thank you sooooo much!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you’re enjoying the recipes, Kerri! Thanks for the sweet comment :D

  24. Kim says

    This is probably a dumb question. I ordered a bottle of probiotics for this recipe, but I am now looking at the jar and it says there is a “prebiotic fiber blend” included. (I thought this didn’t have prebiotics when I ordered them.)
    Do you think these won’t work because of the prebiotic fiber?

      • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

        We do not recommend using a prebiotic, as outlined in the recipe! For best results, we recommend using the suggested probiotics in the ingredients list.

  25. Christina says

    Would it be okay to sub with coconut milk instead of using cashews? I figured I can make the coconut yogurt and then add the rest of the ingredients to it.

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, not sure. But if you give it a try let us know! We’d recommend using full fat in that instance.

  26. Judie Elfendahl says

    Ok to use the water from the drained cashews for part of the 1 cup of water? The drained water is so yummy!

  27. Kelly says

    Made this and loved it! The only thing I’d keep in mind for next time is adding a little less apple cider vinegar (maybe 1/2 tsp). Thanks so much for the recipe!

  28. Debra says

    This is definitely going into my regular recipe rotation. Yum! I took your cue from the photo and put it on a baked sweet potato with some steamed broccoli and dairy-free pesto I made with almonds.

  29. Ashley beck says

    After it was sitting i took cloth off and had a browner harder layer on top. Is that normal? i mixed it all together. wondering if i should have scrapes off.. or if that means its bad;(

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      As long as it smells (and tastes) fine, it’s good! A slightly darker layer on top can be normal since it’s been exposed to air. Just give it a whisk or stir and you’re good! Alternatively, you can scrape it off but we didn’t find this necessary.

  30. Cassie Thuvan Tran says

    What a beautiful recipe! Sour cream has never been my favorite food–I don’t think I ever enjoyed it before going vegan, either! I do love this easy alternative to it. I wonder if there’s also a way you can make vegan sour cream without cashews!

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hello Colleen and Christine! Probiotics are what makes this sour cream “cultured” and bring out the natural tanginess. However, if they aren’t accessible to you, simply omit and there’s no need to set it out on the counter. Just add the rest of the ingredients and store in the refrigerator for immediate use.

  31. Elaine youngblood says

    Your recipe for Vegan Seven Layer Bars does not say how much coconut butter to blend in with the 2.5 cups of shredded coconut

    • Sonja says

      I think she meant that you take the 2.5 cups of shredded coconut and blend that to make coconut butter, not that you’re mixing coconut butter into shredded coconut.

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Elaine – you use the full amount of coconut butter that 2 1/2 cups coconut flakes yields (~3/4 cup)

  32. Tora says

    I notice a lot of the vegan recipes call for cashews or coconuts…are there any alternatives to both because my husband is allergic to both

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Shoot! I love both of those things. Perhaps in this recipe silken tofu, sunflower seeds, or macadamia nuts are worth a shot!

  33. Diana says

    I want to try this! What strength probiotics did you use? They range from about 15 billion to 50 billion live beasties per capsule! so I’m not sure what to use. Thank you!

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I use a 50 billion capsule by Renew Life. But Jarrow is also good! Just make sure yours is high quality and doesn’t contain PREbiotics or it won’t work.

      • estelle whiddon says

        Rejuvelac is kind of grain water invented and promoted by Ann Wigmore. Rejuvelac is a raw food made by sprouting a grain, soaking the sprouted grain in water for about two days at room temperature, and then reserving the liquid.

  34. Zarina says

    Any substitute for probiotics? Are probiotics safe. I’m just concerned as I’ve heard that they are not safe to use

    • Rebecca says

      Probiotics are even recommended by doctors. Yogurt, kefir, sour kraut, cheese, cottage cheese, kombucha, and even “real” olives and pickles have been cultured with probiotics as far back as history goes. You’ve probably been eating probiotics your whole life.

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Zarina the probiotics are what helps it culture! Yes, they’re safe. Let us know how it goes!

  35. Jordan says

    This recipe actually looks doable! Thank you!!

    I do have a question…I’m allergic to citrus. Would it still work to just add a little ACV (that’s usually what I sub for lemon juice anyway)? Thanks in advance!!

  36. Marianne says

    Your blog is one of my favorites for dairy and egg-free dishes (my son is allergic). He also has an allergy to cashews, and it seems like those are a frequent appearance in your awesome recipes. Do you think subbing walnuts for cashews here would work (or in some of your other recipes)? Thanks for the delicious recipes!!

    • Sylviane Durocher says

      You should try macadamia nuts , their flavor is less strong than the one of walnut and the texture is more like the one of cashew.

      • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

        Thanks for the recommendations Emily and Sylviane! Marianne, I think sunflower seeds or macadamia nuts would be a good option. Also, you could maybe try subbing silken tofu if soy is OK for your family.

  37. Lainie says

    Hi Dana! Was wondering if the potency of the probiotics matters? I have capsules that are 40 billion cfu. Is that enough? Thanks!

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      The higher the potency the more active and tangy your sour cream will become! 40 billion is pretty great. Let us know how it goes!

  38. Lil says

    Looks amazing! I LOVE culturing because it really mimics the making process and the taste of many non-vegan products. Do you think this sour cream can be used as a substitute for non-vegan sour cream in baking? In cakes, for example? thanks!