How to Make Cashew Cream

How to Make Cashew Cream

I still remember the very first cashew-based cheesecake I ever made and being blown away by how unbelievably creamy it was. Yes, it was a cheesecake…but shockingly without cheese, or more accurately any dairy at all. And boy was it good!

Once I realized that cashews could replace dairy in numerous recipes it was like a whole new world opened up (read: more dairy-free cheesecakes and ice creams were made).

Watch the video and learn how to make cashew cream:


Today, I’m most definitely a creamy cashew lover and while I’m not 100% dairy-free, I actually prefer many of my dairy-free recipes to their traditional counterparts. At the heart of my dairy-free recipes is a cashew cream, which quite simply, is just soaked cashews blended with water and a pinch of salt. And it can be made thinner or thicker by varying the ratio of cashews to water.

If you want to make cashew milk, just add more water. And if you’re making cheesecakes and ice creams add less water so it’s thick and well, creamy (I have a feeling I’m going to say creamy a lot in this post).

But here’s the lovely thing about cashew cream, it can be used in dozens of other ways ranging from sweet cashew cream, to savory cashew cream to cashew sour cream. This means it becomes a perfect, dairy-free replacement for heavy cream, cream cheese, sour cream and even mayonnaise in recipes.

The video above walks you through how to make cashew cream step-by-step and it’s so simple that there’s really not much more to say about it. Except, that you’ve gotta make it! I’ve included the basic recipe below, but here are a few flavor variations for you to enjoy:

Sweet Cashew Cream

Add 2 tbsp maple syrupAdd 1 tsp vanilla extract

Savory Cashew Cream

Add 1/2 tbsp lemon juiceAdd 2 garlic clovesAdd herbs and spices (such as paprika, onion powder, cumin, cilantro, dill, dijon mustard, and ground pepper)Optional: You can use vegetable broth in place of the water and nutritional yeast to give it a cheesy flavor

Cashew Sour Cream

Add 1 tbsp lemon juiceAdd 1-2 tsp apple cider vinegar


Here’s some FAQ’s on the cashew cream, but if you have additional questions drop me a note in the comments below:

How long do you soak the cashews?

Soak the cashews for at least 2 hours (if you have a high-powered blender), though preferably overnight. The longer you soak the cashews the more creamy your sauce will become and the easier it’ll be to blend.

What is cashew cream used for?

Cashew cream can be used in place heavy cream, sour cream and soft cheeses in many recipes. In some recipes, it can even replace mayonnaise. This means that you can create dairy-free cheesecakes, ice creams, sweet and savory dips and cream-based pasta sauces, like my Vegan Alfredo Sauce.

How long can you keep cashew cream?

Cashew cream will last for approximately 5 days in the refrigerator. But you can freeze it for up to 6 months. So many times i’ll make a double batch and freeze the remainder. You could even freeze the cashew cream in an ice cube tray for small, individual portions. Just remember that you’ll need to stir or re-blend the cashew cream once it’s thawed.


How to Make Cashew Cream

5 from 11 votes Prep: 5 minutes Total: 5 minutes Servings: 1 cup Author: Lisa BryanPrintPinReviewSaveSaved


This dairy-free, vegan cashew cream is incredibly versatile. You can make a sweet cashew cream, savory cashew cream or cashew sour cream. 


1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed1/2 cup water, or more, depending on thicknesspinch of salt


Add all ingredients to a high-powered blender and blend for 1-2 minutes. Add more water for a thinner consistency. Enjoy plain or add flavors for a sweet or savory cashew cream, then blend again. 


Calories: 713kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 56g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Sodium: 21mg | Potassium: 851mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 8.6mg Course: Dessert, sauce Cuisine: American Keyword: Cashew Cream, Cashew Sour Cream, Dairy Free Cream, How to Make Cashew Cream, Vegan Cream

Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

Other recipes you might like:

Red Wine Hot Chocolate

Mini Skillet Brownies with Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (gluten-free, paleo)

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies (gluten-free, paleo, vegan) 

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