The BEST Vegan Cream Cheese

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Nutritional yeast, miso paste, and lemon wedges around a bowl of homemade vegan cream cheese

If you’ve been missing cream cheese in your dairy-free life, your suffering is now over. We’ve put our heads together to bring you the BEST vegan cream cheese made with recognizable ingredients! It’s thick, creamy, tangy, super spreadable, and ready to be best friends with bagels, frosting, and beyond.

Not only does it look, feel, and taste as good as the real thing, but it’s easy to make with just 1 blender, 8 ingredients, and 30 minutes required. Let us show you how it’s done! 

Cashews, coconut yogurt, nutritional yeast, salt, lemon wedges, coconut oil, miso paste, and vinegar

How to Make Vegan Cream Cheese

This dreamy, savory spread couldn’t be easier to make! Simply soak, combine, and blend. Yep!

Each ingredient in this vegan cream cheese was carefully chosen and plays a unique and important role. First, we start with cashews for a thick, creamy, and neutral-tasting base. Thanks, cashews! We love ya.

Next, we add coconut yogurt, white vinegar, and lemon juice. The right balance of these tart and tangy ingredients is what makes this vegan cream cheese not just good, but the BEST.

Cashews, nutritional yeast, miso paste, and coconut yogurt in a blender

Next, for savory, salty, and undeniably cheesy flavor, we add nutritional yeast, white miso paste, and a bit of sea salt. Lastly, we add melted coconut oil, which makes it ultra-creamy and also helps it become spreadable after chilling!

Blender with homemade vegan cream cheese

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

Thick
Creamy
Savory
Tangy
Perfectly spreadable
& SO easy to make!

Use it on bagels, or in dips, frostings, cheesecakes, and beyond!

Love Vegan Cheese? Try these next:

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Knife and bowl of vegan cream cheese next to bagels

The BEST Vegan Cream Cheese

Creamy, tangy, spreadable vegan cream cheese made with recognizable ingredients! Just 1 blender, 8 ingredients, and 30 minutes required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Gold knife resting on the edge of a bowl of our vegan cream cheese recipe
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 16 (2-Tbsp servings)
Course Spread
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 1 Week

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups raw cashews, soaked for 20 minutes in very hot water
  • 1/3 cup water (plus more as needed)
  • 2 ½ Tbsp unsweetened plain coconut yogurt (for store-bought, we prefer Culina or CocoJune)
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp distilled white vinegar
  • 1 ½ Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 ¼ tsp white miso paste (or sub chickpea miso // learn about miso here)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup refined (odorless) coconut oil, melted (NOT virgin coconut oil or your cream cheese will taste like coconut)

Instructions

  • Add cashews to a heatproof bowl and cover with hot water by at least 1-2 inches. Soak for 20 minutes, then drain and discard the soaking water.
  • To a high-speed blender, add the soaked cashews and all remaining ingredients except the coconut oil. Blend until very smooth, using the tamper as needed to encourage blending. You can add more water 1 tablespoon at a time as needed to help blend (avoid adding more than 1-2 tablespoons or it will become runny).
  • Taste and adjust as needed, adding more lemon juice for acidity, coconut yogurt for brightness, miso paste or nutritional yeast for savory flavor, or more salt to taste. We added a generous pinch of salt.
  • Once you’re happy with the flavor, blend in the melted coconut oil.
  • Use right away, or for a firmer “cream cheese” texture, transfer to a container and chill for at least 2 hours. Enjoy spread on bagels or toast or as a dip for veggies and crackers.
  • Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Video

Notes

*Prep time and total time do not include optional chilling.
*Recipe as written makes ~2 cups cream cheese. Depending on the size of your blender, it may have trouble blending a smaller batch.
*Using a food processor, you can get a thicker result (use only 1/4 cup water) but it definitely won’t have the same smooth texture. We prefer the silky smooth textureachieved using a blender. If using a food processor, blend for at least 5 minutes.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

Nutrition (1 of 16 servings)

Serving: 1 two-tablespoon serving Calories: 108 Carbohydrates: 4.2 g Protein: 2.6 g Fat: 9.5 g Saturated Fat: 4.7 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.1 g Monounsaturated Fat: 3.2 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 90 mg Potassium: 99 mg Fiber: 0.6 g Sugar: 0.8 g Vitamin A: 0 IU Vitamin C: 0 mg Calcium: 5 mg Iron: 0.9 mg

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Reader Interactions

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My Rating:




  1. Brittney says

    I am so impressed—this is delicious!! I usually put kite hill on my breakfast sandwiches and this cream cheese is very easy to make, it’s so flavorful and more affordable. Looking forward to adding in roasted jalapeños and sriracha.
    Thank you for the yummy recipe!!

  2. Betsy in Ireland says

    This is the best! Better taste and texture than any other recipe or proprietary brand I’ve ever tried! Never one to be daunted by lack of specific ingredients or equipment, I blitzed with my stick blender and substituted ingredients on hand for ones I lacked. In place of the yogurt I used the fermented liquid from some kraut in process on the counter and red miso instead of the white miso. End product is caramel coloured and just delicious!

  3. Lydia says

    This is a really good recipe and I would say just as good as or better (because you can get a smoother texture) than miyokos cream cheese, which I consider to be the best cream cheese retailing rn. And you get pretty much double the yield as two of those miyokos containers. I subbed unsalted butter for the coconut oil.

  4. Will says

    I have seen different soaking temperatures for cashews in different recipes. Why do some recipes on the website call for cold water while others call for hot water? I usually follow the recipes to the letter, but I am just curious as of why.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Will, Good question! Hot water for a shorter time just speeds up the process. Hope that helps!

      • Shaina Dwiel says

        I wonder if I could sub something else instead of coconut oil. I’m not adverse to coconut oil, but my daughter has a sensitivity to it.

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Shaina, perhaps another oil that’s solid when chilled, but we have tested with another option and can’t guarantee the result.

  5. Karen says

    It looks soooo good! Have you tried it in any baked items? I have an enchilada recipe that uses cream cheese in the filling. I’m wondering if this would work the same or if it would break down. Thanks for your marvelous recipes!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Karen, we think it would work great in enchiladas, but maybe reduce/leave out the coconut oil as that’s the component that will be prone to melting in the oven. Hope that helps!

  6. Heidi says

    This is exciting! Wondering if you’ve used it in a (baked) cheesecake recipe yet? Store brands have the texture but not always the flavour. And not all brands are available where I live.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Bruce, you could try blanched almonds or macadamia nuts, but it won’t get as creamy. Cashews are pretty key for texture!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Christina, you could try a tofu-based version! We went with cashews for flavor preference.

  7. judy says

    Do you think I could replace coconut oil with avocado oil since the coconut oil I have is virgin, not refined? If no, what about ghee? I realize ghee isn’t vegan but neither am I. Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Judy, the coconut oil is used to thicken the mixture when cooled, so avocado oil wouldn’t work. Ghee might! Let us know if you try it!

  8. Tina Ciccariello says

    I don’t like the taste of coconut at all. Can another yogurt be used? For instance plain almond? Thank you so much!
    Tina

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Tina, we haven’t tested with another yogurt, but it might work! We’d suggest choosing one that’s thick, has a mild flavor, and has minimal or no sweetener.

  9. Lee says

    This sounds great! Is there a sub for the coconut yogurt (it’s not available where I live so I’d have to make it).

  10. Helen W says

    Thank you very much for sharing this recipe!
    Is there a substitute for miso? I am trying my best to avoid soy. If miso is just for taste, I don’t mind replacing it with nutritional yeast, but not sure what to do if it is for texture.

    Thanks again!

    • Megan says

      Soy-free here as well–sometimes I use a thick tahini as a miso sub when it’s I need to replicate the texture. Sometimes I use coconut aminos when it’s for a more fermented flavor.

  11. Morgan says

    My kid is super allergic to cashews, and also can’t eat dairy. I’m always on the lookout for a non-nut recipe… if you ever come up with one, you’ll be our hero!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Karry, if you have a brand you like, that should be fine! We haven’t found a brand of cashew yogurt we love, unfortunately.

  12. Audrey says

    My digestive system doesn’t respond well to cashews but almonds are fine. Have you tried making almond-based cream cheese? I would love it if you could!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Audrey, in our experience, almonds don’t get as creamy as cashews, so it won’t be fully smooth. But probably still tasty!

  13. Lisa Zepeda says

    Hello, I absolutely hate coconut. Is there any way to substitute anything else for that in this recipe? I am vegan and it’s tough when you don’t do coconut. Please let me know. thank you.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Lisa, The next best option would be to leave it out. It won’t firm up as well without the coconut oil, but will still be tasty and a little spreadable!

  14. Sara says

    I’ve found that cream cheese recipes that include coconut oil tend to melt when added to a freshly toasted bagel and you end up with an oily mess after it melts. It seems that yours spread really well in the video. Does it maintain that consistency? Thank you!

  15. MissZ says

    This looks wonderful! We’ve just been advised by a dr that one family member can’t eat coconut oil anymore. Is there a sub you might suggest instead? Thank you. 🙏

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      The next best option would be to leave it out. It won’t firm up as well without the coconut oil, but will still be tasty and a little spreadable!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sabrina, if it’s fully chilled and firm it should work well, but we haven’t tried it so cannot guarantee results!

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Patricia, we’ve used various brands, but the one we have in the kitchen at the moment is Nutiva. Hope that helps!