How to Make Cashew Cream

5 from 7 votes
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Smooth, creamy and oh so delicious, this vegan cashew cream is about to become your kitchen’s most versatile ingredient for both sweet and savory dishes.

close up of cashew cream on a spoon

A homemade cashew cream is quick and easy to pull together with just a handful of ingredients and only one piece of equipment. When blended at high speed, cashews can produce an incredibly smooth texture – the perfect silky cream. It’s also completely vegan, gluten-free, and super delicious.

The best part is you can tailor this recipe to your own tastes – experiment with extra flavors or change the thickness to your liking. It works for sweet and savory dishes too. Using cashew cream as a vegan substitute in your recipes has never been easier!

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What is cashew cream

Generally used as a vegan replacement for heavy cream or sour cream in cooking, cashew cream is exactly what it sounds like – a smooth, delicious liquid made by blending cashews with water.

Cashew Cream in a bowl on a brown cutting board

Cashews are surprisingly creamy. I often throw some soaked ones into dishes to add a touch of creaminess that’s totally dairy-free. You can use it in pasta sauces, soups, smoothie bowls, ice cream, and desserts. Plus, cashew cream has a milder flavor than other popular plant-based options like coconut cream.

Ingredients for cashew cream

This simple recipe only needs three ingredients:

  • Water: I prefer filtered water, but you can use whatever you have available.
  • Cashew Nuts: I recommend using raw, unsalted cashews for this recipe.
  • A pinch of salt: optional.
Ingredients for cashew cream

Soaked or un-soaked cashews

This actually depends on your equipment. You don’t need to soak them if you have a high-speed blender. However, soaking will help get the right texture and shorten the time spent blending if you’re using a regular blender. Plus, there’s an easy trick for soaking quickly before you make your cashew cream.

How to make cashew cream

If you’re not using a high-speed blender, you’ll need to soak your cashews. I recommend using the quick soak method. Soak the cashews in boiling water for about 30 minutes. Then drain and rinse the soaked cashews.

To make the cream, transfer the cashews into the blender along with fresh, filtered water and some salt, if using. Blend until completely smooth and creamy.

It can take longer if your machine isn’t strong. Pause every two minutes to scrape down the sides with a spatula and give the machine a break!

Chef’s Tip: You can use a food processor if you don’t have a blender, but the texture of the cashew cream overall will be grainier.

steps for making cashew cream

Customizing cashew cream consistency for your needs

Depending on whether you need cashew cream on the thicker or thinner side, you can control the overall consistency with water:

Thick Cashew Cream: Use less liquid for a richer texture. This is best for sauces, dips and desserts that generally need to hold their shape or help thicken another mix.

Thin Cashew Cream: A thinner cream is better as a milk substitute and pourable sauces. More water will keep the mixture lighter. You can also use this as a milk substitute in lattes or your favorite coffee.

top view blending cashew cream

Flavor variations

This cashew cream recipe is in its most basic form. Because it’s such a versatile ingredient, you can add an endless amount of flavor combinations to its base to bring more flavor and tailor it to your tastes. Here are some of my favorite variations – why not try them at home?

  • Sweet Cashew Cream: Perfect for drizzling over desserts, pancakes, waffles, and fruit dips. Just add some maple syrup or vanilla extract for a hint of sweetness.
  • Savory Cashew Cream: Elevate the basic cream with garlic, dried or fresh herbs, and spices for creamy pasta sauces, dips, or as a vegan-friendly sandwich spread.
  • Lemon Garlic Cashew Cream: Infuse it with garlic and lemon for a creamy salad dressing, veggie dips, or for drizzling over roasted vegetables.
  • Fruit-Flavored Cashew Cream: Mix a thicker cream with fresh or frozen fruit to make a creamy mix-in for oatmeal, yogurt, pancakes or for topping desserts.
  • Chocolate Cashew Cream: Add cocoa powder and a sweetener – maple syrup, vanilla extract, chocolate chips, or even Medjool dates work great for this. Make a deliciously chocolatey cashew cream that’s perfect for satisfying your chocolate cravings.
A spoonful of homemade cream made with cashews

How long does cashew cream last

Once it’s made, store your cashew cream in an airtight container or jar in the fridge. It’ll keep there for 5-7 days.

If you’re making large batches of cashew cream, you can also freeze it and keep it for whenever you might need it. My top trick is to freeze it in ice cube containers so you have individual portions for whenever you need.

Simply pour the cream into the containers (I recommend 1-2 Tbsps per cube in the tray as liquid expands when it’s frozen) and allow it to freeze completely. Then, remove them from the ice cube trays and transfer them into ziplock bags or freezer-safe containers. Immediately put them back in the freezer. They’ll keep for up to six months when frozen.

If you’ve made flavored cream, this can affect how long it’ll keep for – generally, it’s best to only freeze it for 3-4 months.

To use frozen cashew cream, leave to thaw overnight in the fridge and then mix well (or re-blend for a few seconds). You can also add the cream directly to dishes – especially hot sauces – to melt on its own. This is better to do if you’re working with sauces as it won’t dilute the overall dish.

More creamy recipes

If you try this recipe for cashew cream, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d appreciate a recipe card rating and would love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!

How to Make Cashew Cream

5 from 7 votes
By: Samira
Smooth, creamy and oh so delicious, this vegan cashew cream is about to become your kitchen's most versatile ingredient for both sweet and savory dishes.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 32

Ingredients 
 

  • 1.5 cups cashews raw, unsalted
  • 3/4 cup filtered water
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt optional

Instructions 

Optional – Soak the cashews

  • If you're using a high-speed blender, you can skip this part. If not, do a quick soak of the cashews by placing them in boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain and rinse before using.

Blend

  • Add the cashews, fresh filtered water, and salt to your blender. Blend until smooth and creamy.
    This can take a while if the blender is not too strong, so pause the machine every 2 minutes to scrape down the sides and give the machine a break.

How to store

  • Fridge: Store in the fridge in an air-tight container for 5-7 days.
    Freezer: Add 1-2 Tbsp of cashew cream into an ice cube tray. Allow them to freeze completely, then transfer them into a Ziplock bag. They'll keep for up to 6 months in the freezer.
    Leave it to thaw overnight in the fridge and then mix well (or re-blend) for a few seconds or add the cream cubes directly to dishes, like hot sauces, to melt.

Video

Notes

  • Use raw cashews: This is key to the neutral, creamy flavor that isn’t overly nutty.
  • Thicker vs. thinner cream: Adjust the ratio of cashews to water. Add more water for a thinner consistency.
  • Blender vs. food processor: For the smoothest results, use a high-speed blender, pausing to give the machine a rest every minute or so. It can take several minutes.
  • Make enough: I’ve found if the nuts aren’t fully covering the blender blades, they won’t blend properly.
Check the blog post for flavor rations and usage suggestions.
Course: Condiment, DIYs
Cuisine: American, Global
Freezer friendly: 4-6 Months
Shelf life: 5-7 Days

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5Tbsp, Calories: 34kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 0.5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 10mg, Potassium: 40mg, Fiber: 0.2g, Sugar: 0.4g, Vitamin C: 0.03mg, Calcium: 2mg, Iron: 0.4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. Sh Schott says:

    5 stars
    Really good, and a great base for other flavored vegan cream sauces

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Thank you for your comment. Glad you liked it 🙂