Ready for some vegan cream cheese? Say yes to this unbelievably rich, smooth, creamy, spreadable, and melty spread! Make this vegan cream cheese recipe in your blender in 5 minutes or less!
This vegan Philadelphia-style cream cheese is so easy to make and super yummy!! You'll be wanting to spread this plain cream cheese on everything - crackers, bagels, sandwiches, you name it!
This dairy-free cream cheese is also fantastic for making vegan cheesecake or this crispy creamy vegan crab rangoon appetizer.
Here's what you need:
Grab your ingredients...
- Refined (flavorless) coconut oil
- Fresh lemon juice - I use this OXO citrus squeezer, it is great when you need to juice just half a lemon quickly
- Nutritional yeast flakes
- Tapioca flour
- Kappa carageenan (more info below)
Let's make vegan cream cheese!
Start by soaking your cashews in HOT water for 5 minutes. Then rinse and drain.
Add cashews, refined coconut oil, tapioca flour, salt, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice to blender. Immediately before blending add, boiled water (careful!).
I highly recommend an industrial strength blender, such as a Blendtec or a Vitamix to blend cashews and other nuts so they are completely smooth.
Blend on high until completely smooth (about 1-2 minutes) then reduce blender speed to low, remove plug in the blender lid and add kappa carrageenan through hole in the lid while still blending. Replace blender lid plug, return blender to high speed for about 30 seconds.
Pour vegan cream cheese mixture into a glass bowl (or ramekins). Let it cool on the counter for a few minutes, and then cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.
How long does vegan cream cheese last?
Homemade vegan cream cheese will last in a covered container for up to five days in the refrigerator.
Freeze this vegan cream cheese wrapped in plastic or in a covered container for up to three months.
Ingredients note and tips:
You may have noticed that this recipe requires some unusual ingredients. While these may be a bit challenging to obtain, I think you'll find the results you experience will be more than worth the effort!
Here’s the short list with a link for easy purchase:
- REFINED Coconut Oil – (Please don’t miss the word refined.) Refined coconut oil doesn’t taste like coconut but it still turns solid at cooler temps, thus adding firmness and richness. It’s available at many local grocery stores in the health food section.
- Nutritional yeast flakes - these are a must for that cheesy flavor
- Tapioca Flour – a thickener with a slightly ‘stretchy’ texture. I usually buy online but many local stores should sell this.
- Kappa Carrageenan – This is the most unusual ingredient and somewhat difficult to obtain. A derivative of sea weed, this ingredient is vital because it is what firms the cheese. Used in a greater quantity in my Vegan Mozzarella it can also create a solid cheese that will go from liquid to solid and back to melted state. It’s a wonder ingredient and not widely sold.
Other vegan cheese recipes you will love:
- Real vegan mozzarella cheese - this is the most popular recipe on Vegan Blueberry!
- Vegan herbed cheese - this one is AMAZING for a holiday vegan charcuterie board
- Vegan pepper jack cheese
- Vegan smoked gouda cheese - this is a reader favorite, I get so many messages thanking me for this recipe!
- Vegan cheddar cheese
- Vegan nacho cheese sauce
If you’ve tried this Vegan Cream Cheese Recipe or any other recipe on my blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I LOVE hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious food!!!
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Best Vegan Cream Cheese
- ¼ cup raw cashews, soaked and rinsed
- ¼ cup refined coconut oil
- 2 tablespoon tapioca flour
- 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast flakes
Add just before blending:
- 1 cup water, HOT (just boiled)
Add while blending on low, after above ingredients are completely smooth:
- 1 ¼ teaspoon kappa carrageenan
- Start by soaking your cashews in HOT water for 5 minutes. Then drain and rinse.
- Add cashews, refined coconut oil, tapioca flour, salt, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice to blender. Immediately before blending add, boiled water (careful!).
- Blend on high until completely smooth (about 1-2 minutes) then reduce blender speed to low, remove plug in the blender lid and add kappa carrageenan through hole in the lid while still blending. Replace blender lid plug, return blender to high speed for about 30 seconds.
- Pour vegan cream cheese mixture into a glass bowl (or ramekins). Let it cool on the counter for a few minutes, and then place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.
I have made this twice in the past two weeks. Turned out perfect. Ready to experiment with adding herbs. Any suggestions?
I LOVE this with chopped scallions or chives. It's good with finely diced peppers and carrots as a veggie cream cheese. Finely diced fresh basil... I've been meaning to try with chopped fresh cilantro and a tiny squeeze of lime juice.
I love your recipes well done, I'm on my second batch now. I also have finally chopped and sauteed a whole jalapeno mixed with red pepper flakes. The flavor is phenomenal. I'm using this cream cheese mix in combination with your mozzarella recipe to stuff my homemade jalapeno poppers. They are always a crowd-pleaser. Thank you so much. The carrageenen is key for a good set.
Thanks for letting me know! I'm so happy to hear that! Jalapeno poppers with this cream cheese sound amazing. Also, you might like my Pepper Jack cheese recipe with jalapeno peppers. 🙂
Was really salty
Hi! Would Xanthan gum work in this instead of carrageenan?
Hi Troy, I haven't tried, but I really don't think so - I am not sure it will thicken or "set" the cream cheese enough. If you give it a try I would love to hear how it turned out (or if it didn't).
Whilst Xantham gum will improve the consistency and emulsion of the ingredients it lacks the conventional binding consistency of kappa carrageenan. Xantham will become gelatinous without proper separation whereas Kappa Carrageenan will perform far more conventionally.
Oh that's a great question! It might actually do the trick! I'll have to try it out, but if you get a chance to, please do come back and let us know how it went!
This looks absolutely amazing! Just wondering if you can use in a cheesecake recipe?
Yes, you can!!
Love, love, love this recipe?
So glad! Thanks for the comment!
Thank you. I'm determined to get this right!
Hi Rebecca. I followed the instructions and used ingredients as per recipe, and mine turned out jelly-like. It's semi soft and jiggly. Apart from that, I can taste the raw starch. So I heated it up on the stovetop to try and cook off the raw starch but I don't know if I overdid it because this is pretty much soft mozzarella now. If I were to heat the mixture on the stovetop, how long must I do it for? I want to get this right badly especially that thick consistency that's really reminsicent of cream cheese.
I'm so glad you tried the recipe! I hear you on texture - totally important. Sounds like you used the kappa carrageenan? That definitely makes getting the right texture easier than using agar. Having the water just-boiled and adding to the blender before it has a chance to cool is important for activating the carrageenan adequately. Then chilling the mixture helps it thicken further. If it is still very jelly like as you described, the agents weren't activating properly - you can then switch to cooking on the stovetop if necessary but then ratios sometimes need to change too...
Worked like a charm, I guess since the hot water from my tea kettle wasn’t enough. I brought the cream cheese to a boil to activate the kappa and that’s all it took! Thank you!!! 🙂
Hello there! Tried twice and followed exact instructions and it still came out liquid. Not sure what I did incorrectly? 🙁
Hmm...did you use the Kappa Carrageenan? That's the secret to help it solidify. Also, very hot (just boiled) water is necessary to activate the thickening agent. You could alternatively heat it until thickened in a saucepan on the stovetop on low heat. Hope that helps! Want you to be able to enjoy this!