Have you been wondering how to replace heavy cream? This vegan heavy cream substitute is perfect for anywhere cream is called for! You can add this cashew cream to soups, curry, pasta dishes, mashed potatoes and even coffee to add a delicious creamy element.
Learn how to make this vegan cream recipe, quickly and easily! This super simple recipe uses minimal ingredients and is a staple in my kitchen. Use your cashew cream as a vegan replacement for heavy cream in recipes like soups, sauces, salad dressings and so much more.
This vegan heavy cream substitute is so rich and creamy and only contains 3 ingredients! It can be made ahead of time and can even be frozen and kept for up to 2 months so you can have delicious creamy dishes in no time.
- Unsweetened Plant Milk
- Cashews: Raw cashews that are unsalted are preferred.
- Creamy Unsweet Plant Milk: I used the extra creamy oat milk from Planet Oat but soy milk will also work as well as almond milk.
- Water: You can use more non-dairy milk but I like to add water to cut the cost.
- Salt: Just a bit! It's optional but recommended. If you are using this in savory dishes, you'll need more but I opted to salt the dish and not this vegan cream recipe simply because I wanted to use it in a variety of different ways.
In order to make this cashew cream recipe, you'll need a high-speed blender. The cashews are soaked which helps with blending but you don't want this to have a gritty texture or it won't incorporate well into other recipes.
How to Make This Recipe
Bring 1 cup of water to a boil- this is for soaking the cashews and will ensure that they are smooth and not gritty.
Add the cashews in to a bowl and pour the hot water over the top. Let soak for at least 30 minutes.
Add the soaked cashews, plant milk and water to a blender and blend until you get a very smooth texture. It should be silky smooth to the touch and not grainy when touched.
More Cream Substitutes
Cream is more difficult to replace than dairy milk but not anymore. Vegan cooking has come a long way and there are so many heavy cream alternatives now. You can use this delicious cashew-based cream recipe or opt for a nut-free version by using tofu or coconut cream. Brands are even creating perfect substitutes if you're interested in store-bought versions!
Sunflower Seeds: If you’re allergic to cashews or are nut-free then using shelled soaked sunflower seeds will also work.
Tofu: Simply blend a block of silken tofu with the milk until creamy and smooth. I wouldn't add the water until after blending the first time so you can add as needed and thin out to your preference.
Blanched Almonds: Almonds with the skins removed will work very similar to cashews so if you're allergic to cashews, this is a good alternative.
Full Fat Canned Coconut Cream: By far the most popular cream alternative. I like to put the can in the fridge overnight and use the creamy white part and drain the water. If you dislike the taste of coconut, this cashew version is a better fit for you.
Vegan Coffee Creamer: Find this in the coffee creamer section in the fridge along with the other non-dairy milks. Make sure you are getting an unsweetened creamer. This isn't just for coffee, it can work in recipes that require heavy cream. The version linked is made from oats but they also have almond variety as well.
Silk Heavy Whipping Cream: I don't recommend this product for whipping (couldn't get it to work!) but it is a great product for adding to recipes that require a heavy cream.
Flora Heavy Whipping Cream: Haven't personally tried this variety but it looks promising and can probably work well for recipes that require cream. Can't say much about the ability to whip.
There are so many ways to use this delicious dairy-free alternative. It's the perfect replacement to add to dishes that you want extra creamy, ranging from coffee creamer to milkshakes to pasta or curry. This is truly a good base for just about anything creamy!
- Coffee Creamer: Use as a creamer in my Chai Spiced Shaken Espresso, Vegan Mocha Latte (Homemade Chocolate Sauce! or Vegan Apple Crisp Macchiato.
- Make Creamy Pasta Dishes: Stir in to tomato sauces or use as a cream sauce or in vegan mac and cheese! I made a soyrizo cream sauce pasta the other day with a spoonful of this vegan cream sauce, soyrizo from Trader Joe's, onions, garlic and spinach. It was insane!
- Soups: Add creaminess to soups like in my tomato soup instead of coconut milk.
- Curry with no coconut milk: Add creaminess in curries like in my butter tofu or tikka masala instead of using coconut milk.
- Salad Dressings: Add creaminess to homemade salad dressings (see photo below)
- Mashed Potatoes: Add to mashed potatoes to creamy the creamiest most delicious potato side dish!
- Ice Cream or Milkshakes: Use this recipe to make no-churn vegan ice cream or add to milkshakes to make it creamier. I love making banana nice-cream and adding heavy cream and cocoa powder. Yum!
This vegan heavy cream substitute is made up of very basic ingredients and is simply a base for many recipes. You will want to add seasonings and flavor to it depending on what you are adding the cream to.
- Add garlic powder, onion powder, more salt, black pepper and a little lemon juice to make a creamy lemon garlic sauce for pasta.
- Blend in roasted red peppers and nutritional yeast to create a vegan pepper cheese sauce.
- Use as a base for a vegan caesar salad dressing or vegan ranch dressing.
- Drizzle over burrito bowls or tacos as a vegan substitute for sour cream.
Unfortunately, this cream recipe cannot be whipped into whipped cream. I recommend using canned coconut milk to make whipped cream.
Storage: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Simply stir and add to any dish you'd like to add a creamy element.
Freezing: This recipe can be frozen. I recommend freezing in ice cube trays so you can just pop them in to soups, curries, pasta and it will melt and be so creamy and delicious! If you happen to freeze it in one container, you can microwave it in 30-second increments until you can release it from the container. Make sure to use a microwave-safe container.
Frequently Asked Questions
Canned coconut cream is by far the most popular but this cashew-based heavy cream recipe is very neutral in flavor and the perfect cream addition to savory and sweet recipes.
This recipe cannot be whipped. If you're looking for a whipped cream recipe, use canned coconut milk.
More Recipes You’ll Love
- Vegan Roasted Garlic Aioli
- Cashew Cream Cheese (with tofu!
- The Best Vegan Sour Cream
- Easy 3-Ingredient Vegan Mascarpone
Vegan Heavy Cream Recipe
- 1 High-Speed Blender
- 1 cup Cashews soaked
- ½ cup Creamy Unsweet Plant Milk I used oat milk
- ½ cup Water
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- Bring 1 cup of water to a boil- this is for soaking the cashews. Add the cashews in to a bowl and pour the hot water over the top. Let soak for at least 30 minutes.
- Add the soaked cashews, plant milk and water to a blender and blend until smooth. It should be silky smooth to the touch and not grainy.
- See above for a list of ways to use this creamy delicious heavy cream recipe.