Easy Vegan Cream Cheese Recipe

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By Barbara Hodge • Last Updated: December 23, 2023
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Easy Vegan Cream Cheese Recipe

Creamy, tangy, and spreadable – the best vegan cream cheese ever! This vegan substitute for cream cheese is all plant based and super easy to make. Perfect for bagels, crackers and so much more! Extend your vegan variation with coconut whipped cream.

Vegan Cream Cheese with tomatoes, strawberries and avocado

Vegan Cream Cheese

Giving up dairy-based cheese can be hard. But every week, I’m discovering new options for making vegan cheese.

This dairy free cream cheese will satisfy your cream cheese craving. It’s just the perfect substitute for dairy cream cheese!

When I lived in London, I loved checking out the cream cheese bagel options in Brick Lane’s Bagel Bake. So inviting! So it was time to make homemade cream cheese, and delight in its many uses.

Vegan Cream Cheese sandwiched with muffins

Recently, we’ve noticed non dairy cream cheese substitute options at the local supermarket. But shop-bought vegan cream cheese can be costly, filled with too many ingredients, and is often disappointing.

We find it so much better to have some homemade cream cheese on hand, and know everything that’s in it.

So I embarked on working out the best recipe for homemade vegan cream cheese. What I found is that using cashew is better than tofu. I already eat a lot of tofu. The rich creaminess of the cashew makes this recipe just right!

Vegan Cream Cheese served in a ceramic container with cashews and cha saji

Why this Vegan Cream Cheese so Good?

This vegan cream cheese recipe will guide you through making cream cheese. You’ll be surprised how easy it is!

Just throw the ingredients into the food processor or high-speed blender. That’s basically it! Homemade vegan cream cheese is ready!

This recipe is best for crackers, bagels, toast, and other savory snacks. It’s not as smooth as store-bought cream cheese because no oil is added. So, if you’re needing a super smooth cream cheese for frosting, this might not be the most suitable.

But it is literally the best for everything else! And you know what it’s made from!

When I made this lactose free cream cheese first, I topped it onto toasted English muffins, I could not stop eating. I was almost reaching the third one but stopped.

Ingredients for best vegan cream cheese recipe

Vegan Cream Cheese Recipe ingredients, cashews, lemon, salt, yogurt and apple cider vinegar

For the alternative to cream cheese, I have selected:

Cashews: create a rich and creamy texture.

Plant Yogurt: ensures it’s creamy and soft (perfect for spreading).

Lemon Juice: for tangy-ness just like the traditional cream cheese.

Apple Cider Vinegar: more tangy-ness and for a deeper tangy flavor!

Salt: Sea salt is the best for this recipe.

How to Make Vegan Cream Cheese

showing how to make Vegan Cream Cheese with food processor in 2 pictures

Soak cashew in the hot water for at least one hour. If you have the time, I’ve found 3 hours is perfect. The more you soak them into water, the more the cheese cream turns out smoother.

Drain cashew and remove water completely. Throw them into a food processor. Add water drained yogurt, salt, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. Pulse some times and then keep pulsing longer until cream cheese gets smooth.

That’s it! Serve!

Tips for the Best Vegan Cream Cheese

Vegan Cream Cheese and topping sprouts on a plate

Be creative!

Add flavor and transform your plane vegan cream cheese with:

  • Chives
  • Strawberry
  • Avocado
  • Caramelized onion
  • Jalapeño
  • Onion powder
  • Tomatoes with olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Black peppers
  • Sun dried tomatoes
  • Olive oil pesto
  • Coloring with strawberries or beets

Let me know how your DIY vegan cream cheese goes in the comments below!

Easy Vegan Cream Cheese Recipe

Vegan Cream Cheese Recipe

Barbara Hodge
Creamy, tangy, and spreadable – the best vegan cream cheese ever! This cream cheese substitute is super easy to make. Perfect for bagels, crackers and so much more!
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people


  • 1 cup  cashew
  • ¼ cup  plant based yogurt
  • 1 tbsp  fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp  apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp  sea salt


  • Soak cashews in hot water for at least an hour.The more you keep the cashews in water, the more the cream cheese turns out smoother.
  • Drain the cashews. Throw them into a food processor or high-speed blender. Add plant based yogurt, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and salt.
  • Put the lid of the food processor and pulse some times. Then keep pulsing until cream cheese gets smoother and silky.


Save any extra cream cheese in the fridge for 5 to 6 days.