Wondering how to replace heavy cream? This vegan heavy cream substitute is perfect for stirring into soups, curries and anywhere else cream is called for!
Vegan Heavy Cream
We all know that heavy cream makes food taste incredible, but what if you don’t eat dairy? Is there an option that tastes remotely close to the real thing?
I’m here to tell you that YES! There is! NO coconut aftertaste and no need to buy expensive vegan products. Just two simple ingredients.
Want to know what they are?
- Raw cashews.
Cashews are truly a magical ingredient when it comes to creating the creamiest dairy free foods, like for Vegan Cream Cheese and Vegan Sour Cream. And super creamy soups like Vegan Broccoli Cheese Soup and Vegan Corn Chowder.
How to make it
Vegan heavy cream is ridiculously easy to make. Simply soak your cashews in boiling hot water for about 5 minutes.
Drain the cashews and add them to a high powered blender (I love my Vitamix) along with fresh water. To make the vegan cream even richer, substitute 1 can of full fat coconut milk + 1/2 cup of water. But if you really dislike coconut, I wouldn’t try that option.
Blend for a few minutes until smooth and creamy. If you only have a regular blender, it might not get completely smooth, so I highly recommend using a high powered blender for this one.
Other vegan heavy cream substitutes to try
If you can’t have cashews or don’t own a high powered blender, here are a few other options:
- Full fat coconut milk or coconut cream – Probably not for you if you hate coconut, but I love it!
- Vegan creamer – Make sure to use something that is unsweetened, no sugar or flavor added! I like Silk Heavy Whipping Cream (though I couldn’t get it to whip!).
- Blend silken tofu into soups and other recipes to make them creamy.
- A high fat non-dairy milk – Such as full fat oat milk, cashew milk, almond milk or even soy milk. This isn’t my favorite option since they aren’t as high fat, but they work in a pinch.
How to store heavy cream substitute
Keep it in a covered container in the refrigerator for 1 week. Or freeze it for a few months. You can freeze the cream in an ice cube tray, then in a large container or bag. Thaw before using.
What kinds of recipes can vegan cream be used for?
- Mashed Potatoes or Scalloped Potatoes
- Vegan Soups
- Creamy Curries, instead of coconut milk, such as Vegan Butter Chicken, Vegan Tikka Masala, Vegan Red Thai Curry or Vegetable Korma.
- Creamy pasta dishes like Vegan Baked Ziti, Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff or The Best Vegan Mac and Cheese.
- As coffee creamer! Add a teaspoon of vanilla, a few tablespoons of maple syrup and a tiny pinch of salt.
- In baked goods that call for heavy cream.
- Make vegan ice cream.
Unfortunately, this heavy cream substitute can not be used for making whipped cream. Go make my Vegan Whipped Cream or Coconut Whipped Cream. You won’t be disappointed!
More vegan basics
Heavy Cream Substitute (Vegan)
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
- 1 1/2 cups water
- Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Pour the hot water over the cashews and let soak for at least 5 minutes, or up to 3 hours.
- Drain the cashews and discard the soaking water. Add them to a high powered blender along with 1 1/2 cups of fresh water and blend for a few minutes until very smooth and creamy.
- Use immediately anywhere you would heavy cream, or store in a covered container in the refrigerator until ready to use. It will keep in the refrigerator for about 1 week.
One thing this vegan heavy cream won’t work for is making whipped cream. Make my vegan whipped cream or coconut whipped cream instead.
For coffee creamer, you can add a teaspoon of vanilla and a few tablespoons of maple syrup. I’d also add a pinch of salt.
- To make the heavy cream even richer, substitute 1 can of full fat coconut milk + 1/2 cup water for the 1 1/2 cups water.
- It makes almost 2 cups of vegan heavy cream.
Hi Nora! Thank you for this wonderful recipe for a vegan heavy cream! I just made a batch to go in your zuppa Toscana soup which is one of my favorites! I have some leftover cream and I’m wondering if you’ve tried freezing it and if you think it would do well. Thank you!!!!
Yum, what a great way to use the cream! Yes, it does freeze well for a few months. You can freeze the cream in an airtight container or in an ice cube tray (then transfer the cubes to a large container or bag). Hope this helps!
Thanks Nora, for all the suggestions for a heavy cream substitute. I was making a vegan broccoli soup and I needed a reminder for what would keep the flavour similar to a vegetarian-style soup and so I used partly blended cashews with water and part coconut milk out of the can. I used up what I had and I wanted it a bit thicker so I blended a small amount of flour with water and a touch of nutritional yeast that we were almost out of and I found a can of artichokes in the cupboard so I added that all blended up and I threw it into the pot. It turned out fine with added spices. I couldn’t have done it without looking at your recommendations!
Glad to hear it worked out for you, Angela. Thanks for your feedback!
This is magic! I’ve used it in soup. Amazing.
I love all of your hard work and, of course, your recipes!
Thank you for your wonderful and encouraging feedback!
So simple and yet a wonderful recipe. Thanks
Since I was a child, I have LOVED blended, smooth vegetable soup. I cook it all winter long with whatever is in the fridge, but always a leek for flavor and I am in heaven. EXCEPT, to reach nirvana, i always added a bit extra salt and a bit of heavy cream. So went I went vegan, i was a little sad. My vegan butter or spoonful of olive oil didn’t quite do the trick… 🙁 No more! this cashew substitute tried yesterday works perfectly well and I found back the taste of my childhood. If only for that, this one is a keeper. Thank you Nora! 🙂
Creamy soup is so amazing! I am glad you are able to enjoy it again! Thank you for sharing your great review and comments! Happy cooking!