Learn how to make 2 ingredient Cashew Cream, the dairy free alternative to heavy cream! Perfect for soups, creamy savory sauces, sour cream, sweet dessert topping or even coffee creamer.
Cashew cream is a staple that I use all the time in my kitchen, and I want to teach you all about it! It’s a perfect substitute for dairy heavy cream, and it has many other uses as well.
When I transitioned to a vegan diet 10 years ago, the thing I missed the most was dairy: creamy, rich foods and cheese. When I discovered the magic of cashews, I was in heaven! I didn’t even miss dairy anymore.
Here are just some of the ways I use cashew cream type sauces on a regular basis: Sour Cream, Mac and Cheese, Alfredo Sauce, Broccoli Cheese Soup, Vegan Mayo, Mushroom Stroganoff, Corn Chowder, Vegan Caesar Dressing and Buffalo “Chicken” Dip. The list goes on and on!
How do you make it?
It’s so easy! Soak some raw cashews. Drain, then add to a high powered blender along with some more water. (I use 1 1/2 cups raw soaked cashews + 1 cup water)
Blend until very smooth, scraping down the sides of your blender as needed. That’s it! BUT, a couple of tips:
- A Vitamix or other high powered blender is going to work the best here. If you do not have one, you can use a regular blender or food processor, but it’s unlikely to get quite as creamy and smooth. And you will need to soak the cashews for longer.
- You must use raw cashews. Roasted or salted will just not work!
- On a budget? Yes, cashews can be pricey, but check prices at different stores. I never buy them at Whole Foods, but always either at Trader Joe’s OR my local bargain store in the bulk bins. Raw cashew pieces work just as well as whole ones.
How to use it
- In place of heavy cream to add to soups or creamy pasta sauces such as alfredo sauce.
- As a savory cream for drizzling on buddha type bowls. Add salt, garlic and possibly even Sriracha hot sauce and/or nutritional yeast. This is also good on baked/roasted potatoes!
- Vegan Sour Cream
- Healthy Vegan Mayo
- Vegan Mac and Cheese (a cheesy version)
- Vegan Scalloped Potatoes! A personal favorite.
- Add maple syrup and vanilla for a sweet version and use for an oatmeal topping or as a dip for fruit.
Cashew Cream for Coffee
To make a wonderful coffee creamer, use the sweet version and add an additional 1/2 cup of water when you blend it. Then store in the refrigerator to put in your coffee or tea!
How to store or freeze it?
It will keep in a covered container in the refrigerator for 5-6 days, or you can freeze it! I often make a big batch and then freeze some for later. Freeze in a freezer friendly container for up to 6 months.
When ready to use, let it thaw completely. You may need to re-blend it or just whisk well to make it smooth again.
Basic Cashew Cream
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
- 1 cup water
Savory Cashew Cream
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- optional: Sriracha hot sauce (1-2 teaspoons), nutritional yeast (1/4 cup, for cheesy flavor)
Sweet Cashew Cream
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Soak the cashews: Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Pour the hot water over the cashews and let soak for 5 minutes.
- Blend: Drain the cashews, discard the soaking water and add to high powered blender along with 1 cup fresh water. Blend until very smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender as needed. For savory cream, add salt, garlic and optional Sriracha or nutritional yeast. For sweet cream, add maple syrup and vanilla.
- For coffee creamer, use the sweet version (maple syrup + vanilla) and add an additional 1/2 cup of water.
- Store cashew cream in the refrigerator for 5-6 days. You can also freeze cashew cream, simply re-blend or whisk well once it thaws.
- A high powered blender such as a Vitamix works best for this recipe, but a regular blender or food processor will work okay. If you don't have a Vitamix, soak the cashews for at least an hour or overnight.
- Add plain cashew cream to soups or pasta sauces for added creaminess. Use a savory cream version for Buddha Bowls like in this Meal Prep. You can also make Vegan Alfredo Sauce, Vegan Sour Cream or Vegan Mayo. Or make a cheesy sauce like in Vegan Mac and Cheese.
- Use sweet cashew cream as a dip for apples or berries.
Good recipe but I personally didn’t like it in coffee. I haven’t tried it in a lot of other ways though!
I make vegan vegetable pot pie. Original receipt for chicken pot pie calls for whole milk, 1/2 &1/2, or heavy cream. I’ve been using oat milk in my vegan version, but I don’t get the nice creamy “gravy” that’s so good in pot pie. Do you think this cashew cream will work?
Hi Sara. I do think cashew cream would work! Enjoy!
I made the sweet cashew cream version and it was soooo gooodd !!! I finished it in a couple of days. I will definitely be doing this over and over. So excited that I found this ! Thanks for all these amazing recipes ! 😀
Hi Ashanna. I’m so glad you loved the cashew cream! Thanks for taking time to share your great feedback! I appreciate you using my recipes, and am glad you are loving them!
Do you think this could be dehydrated for backpacking? I love me some berries and cream
I’m really not sure, sorry!
Hint/Hack: Even if you don’t have a Vitamix, you can still make this! Just boil the cashews in water for 10 minutes and let them sit for another 15. (I’ve done the overnight soak before and it still came out quite gritty).
Drain and proceed as usual. there may still be a few grit pieces, but those can be strained out.
I love your cashew cream recipe. What is the serving size for the nutrition chart and calorie count? Is it based on the full recipe or # tbsp or tsp?
I’m glad you love it! I don’t have an exact measurement, but the estimate is for 1/8th of the entire recipe. Probably a few tablespoons per serving, but to know for sure you’d have to divide it into 8 equal portions. Thanks!
Okay, I gotta post again. (Sorry for double post below — but it just goes to show how much I like this recipe!)
New use of cashew cream: MIX the savory and sweet! I’m making a vegan bowl thing for lunch with sweet potatoes, sauteed shallot/garlic/kale, and stir-fried chickpeas and brown rice. All are seasoned with olive oil, salt, and garlic powder. I made the savory cashew cream as above (1 garlic clove), and sprinkled in a little cinnamon and a dash of maple syrup. It was EXCELLENT!
I’m just so happy with cashew cream being in my arsenal. 😀
Thank you, Emma! I appreciate you sharing! This sounds delicious!
Thanks for this one, Nora. Cashew cream has SO many uses and I find myself making it all the time.
One of my favorite applications for the savory version: combine it with a jar of pasta sauce for homemade vegan “pink sauce.”
Thanks Nora. This is easy and so versatile. I love having it “in my back pocket” for changing up/improving recipes. My favorite way to use the savory cream is to add it to a jar of tomato sauce for homemade “pink sauce.”
Soooo good! So far I’ve only made the savory. Looking forward to making the sweet version. Thanks!!
If I’m trying to replace 1 cup of heavy whipping cream in a recipe with this, it’d be helpful to know how much (in cups/ounces) this recipe makes and if it replaces heavy whipping cream in equal amounts.
It makes about 2 cups of cream. And yes it can replace heavy whipping cream in most recipes, but it does not whip like heavy whipping cream does.
I just made this for the second time, and i LOVE it. I add vanilla powder, cinnamon and a pinch to cardamom to it, as I like spices. We have berry season so I eat my berries with this cashew cream every day now.
I’m so glad you love it!
Thanks for hhis recipe – i served it with healthy apple crumble and my family loved it . Many vegan recipes end up tasting fake or wierd but this is perfect. Its going to be made many times over .
So glad it came out great!
I have been cooking since I was 8 years old. I grew up on a farm and we always had organic food. Recently went vegan as a family to get back to healthy eating. I love this recipe. So easy and love the additional suggestions for savory and sweet recipes. Thanks
You’re welcome! Glad you like this recipe. 🙂
How much is 1 serving?
1/8th of the entire recipe.
I have tried all versions of home made vegan mayo, or salad dressing but I must say the only answer lies in Cashews for all versions of creamy and cheaziness.
Thank you for providing us with recipes for different versions of uses for cashew nuts.
You are a blessing.
We call her “cashew lady”
I use it in my tofu scrambles. It gives them the texture of soft creamy scrambled eggs. They’re my husband’s favorites. When I’m making cashew cream to use in a soup, I use 1/2 the amount of cashews and add the rolled oats for the other half. The oats really help thicken the soap and give it a great creaminess.
Thanks for the tips! I’ll have to try it in scrambled tofu for sure!