Cashew cream is an easy DIY vegan substitute for anything from sour cream to ricotta to Alfredo sauce to milk, and beyond! You can even freeze it! Learn how to make cashew cream at home with a few simple ingredients.

A bowl of cashew cream with a spoon lifting some out.

Cashew cream! This is one of those super recipes that have me wondering “wait – how have I never shared this?!”

I realize that I’ve been vegetarian/vegan for so long that I’m a bit out of touch with what’s well known and what isn’t. When I did a poll, 55% of you had never used/heard of cashew cream before. So I’m here to reveal the magic of it to you. This handy DIY vegan substitute is going to be one of your go-to recipes from now on!

What is Cashew Cream?

As the name implies, cashew cream is essentially a vegan “cream” made from cashews. I also have a nut-free version below in case you are vegan and need a dairy substitute, but can’t use nuts!

Cashew cream tastes absolutely nothing like cashews. It’s a creamy, silky smooth cream that can be used in numerous ways as a dairy-free alternative. I use it as everything from vegan sour cream, to ricotta, to Alfredo sauce to cashew milk. There are even more uses! (See suggestions below.)

Top down view of cashews in a bowl.

Notes on Ingredients

You only need a few main ingredients to make cashew cream, though I am also sharing some additional things you can add for flavor variations below. Here is what you’ll need for the base recipe though:

  • Raw cashews – Soaked overnight in water in a jar, then rinsed before you use them.
  • Fresh water
  • Sea salt

Can I Make a Vegan Substitute Without Using Nuts?

Yes! You can use an equal amount of shelled and soaked sunflower seeds instead!

How to Make Cashew Cream

Making cashew cream is so easy! Here’s how to do it:

  • Soak your cashews anywhere from 2 hours to overnight. The soaking process softens the cashews enough to blend smoothly in pretty much any blender, although in a high speed blender it’ll be like a dream.
  • Blend with the other ingredients. Once the cashews have been softened, rinse them in water then blend them with the other ingredients in a high powered blender.
  • Use in your recipes! Now your cashew cream is ready to use.

Simple right?

Can I Skip the Overnight Soaking?

If you want your cream to be silky smooth it is important to soften the cashews before you blend them with the other ingredients. However, Ii you’re low on time you can boil water and then soak your cashews in the hot water for about 1 hour.

Need the soaking process to be even faster? In that case, you can boil the cashews in water for about 5-10 minutes first.

A jar of cashew nuts.

What Does Cashew Cream Taste Like?

Cashew cream tastes surprisingly unlike cashews.

The base recipe tastes like a mix of 10% nuttiness, 30% buttery, and 60% smooth creamy vanilla-y flavor, all while still being neutral enough to work in anything.

It’s hard to put a finger on the exact taste, especially since you can make it taste any way you want. With a touch of lemon juice, you can make it a tangy sauce similar to sour cream. With a bit of dates (or maple syrup), plus some vanilla extract, it’s suddenly this incredible dessert sauce.

The point is that even at the base flavor, it’s delicious. And 100% customizable. This is the reason why I love using it in place of coconut cream in many cases. I personally love the flavor of coconut, but if you hate it, play around and find the ratio that works best that you can substitute this in instead!

Flavor Variations

It’s incredible what cashews can do! Here are some ways you can add flavor and dimension to the basic cashew cream mixture. You can add only one, more than one, it’s up to you!

I recommend adding a bit of whatever you are mixing in at a time and tasting between additions. Make sure to take notes so that you can re-create whatever delicious flavor combo you end up creating.

Savory Options

  • garlic
  • lemon or lime juice
  • dried onion
  • dried garlic
  • dried chives or dill

Sweet Options

  • cinnamon
  • maple syrup or agave nectar
  • dates
  • vanilla
A bowl of cashew cream on a striped cloth.

What Can I Do With Cashew Cream?

There are so many ways to use this and these are a few of the ways that I have already:

How to Store It

Spoon your cashew cream into a mason jar that you can seal with a lid, or use another airtight container, then store your cream in the fridge. It will last at least 4 days in your fridge.

Can I Freeze This?

Yes! It may separate a little after it’s thawed but it’ll freeze perfectly. It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you are ready to use it, defrost overnight in the fridge and then blend it up again to turn it back into a creamy vegan sauce.

Enjoy friends!

A spoon dipping into a bowl of cashew cream.

How To Make Cashew Cream (The Ultimate Dairy Free Substitute)

Cashew cream is vegan, easy to make and is the perfect substitute for anything from sour cream to ricotta to Alfredo sauce to cashew milk, and beyond! You can even freeze it!
5 (from 9 ratings)


  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight in water in a jar (this results in about 1 ¼ cups puffed cashews) and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup fresh water
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Savoury Flavouring Options (Choose One or Many: Up to You)

  • garlic
  • lemon or lime juice
  • dried onion
  • dried garlic
  • dried chives or dill

Sweet Flavouring Options (Choose One or Many: Up to You)

  • cinnamon
  • maple syrup or agave nectar
  • dates
  • vanilla


  • In a high speed blender, blend all the ingredients together until blended and completely creamy and incorporated. Scrape down the sides if needed, and blend until to combine. Be sure to add extra water if needed to reach the desired consistency that you’re looking for.
  • At this point, add in any extra flavourings or seasonings that you have, and blend again or stir together to combine. This is also just a great base recipe to always have on hand! Enjoy!
Calories: 878kcal, Carbohydrates: 82g, Protein: 27g, Fat: 57g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Sodium: 613mg, Potassium: 1402mg, Fiber: 12g, Sugar: 30g, Vitamin A: 3367IU, Vitamin C: 94mg, Calcium: 155mg, Iron: 11mg

Disclaimer: Although attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.