Firm tofu and cashews are blended together to create the Best Vegan Cream Cheese recipe that is perfectly creamy, tangy and super easy to make!
This easy vegan cream cheese recipe is made up of firm tofu and only 6 other simple ingredients. It also happens to be dairy-free, gluten-free, easy to make and can even be made nut free by omitting the cashews. With this vegan staple, you'll never need to buy regular cream cheese again!
This is The Best Vegan Cream Cheese! Thick and creamy vegan spread made with just 7 plant-based ingredients.
- Firm Tofu
- Cashews (omit if nut free)
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Lemon Juice
- Nutritional Yeast
- Vegan Butter
- Firm Tofu: Tofu is the base of our cream cheese. When blended in a food processor it becomes creamy and spreadable. No tofu press is needed!
- Cashews: Cashews are optional in this recipe. Simply leave them out if you want a nut-free vegan cream cheese.
- Apple Cider Vinegar & Fresh Lemon Juice: Acidity!! Makes this cream cheese tangy and delicious.
- Nutritional Yeast: It's a small amount but adds a really great flavor.
- Vegan Butter: Vegan butter adds a delicious flavor but also helps the cream cheese firm up in the fridge. This can't be left out but can be replaced with refined coconut oil.
You'll need a food processor for this dairy-free cream cheese recipe. You could also use a high speed blender but a food processor whips the tofu cream cheese and makes it super fluffy and smooth.
How to Make This Recipe
Full ingredient list and instructions are included in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Bring a cup of water to a boil- this is for soaking our cashews. The cashews should be softened so they blend easier. If you don't do this you'll end up with gritty cream cheese.
Add cashews to a bowl and pour hot water over the cashews. Let soak for 30 minutes. If you're not using cashews, skip this step.
Drain the water from the package of tofu and pat dry. No need to press. Typically, I would recommend pressing tofu but for this recipe the moisture in tofu helps blend the cream cheese into a perfectly whipped texture.
Crumble the tofu and add to a food processor along with the soaked cashews, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, melted vegan butter and salt.
Pulse until smooth and creamy.
Transfer the creamy tofu cream cheese to the fridge and allow to sit for at least an hour to chill and slightly firm up or enjoy right away with a homemade vegan bagel. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5-7 days.
Tips & Tricks
Want to save time? Soak the cashews the night before. Simply add hot water to a jar and toss in the cashews. Stick them in the fridge to allow to soak overnight so they are ready to be drained, rinsed and blended in to a creamy spread.
You'll definitely want to serve this homemade tofu cream cheese with an easy delicious vegan bagel. So, I recommend prepping this recipe the night before and then making fresh delicious bagels in the morning. Truly a match made in heaven!
This tasty homemade vegan cream cheese recipe is customizable, perfectly spreadable and super easy to whip up! Great served with bagels, spread on sandwiches or even a dip for fresh vegetables. Here are a few ways to spice it up!
- Vegetable Cream Cheese: Fold in shredded carrots, scallions, chives, red peppers or any vegetable you'd like. My favorite tofu cream cheese to order at a bagel shop is the vegetable one. Yum!
- Scallions: Chopped green onions are a super delicious way to add flavor to this cream cheese recipe.
- Strawberry: I've always been curious about strawberry flavored cream cheese but never have tried it. I would mix in strawberry jam or mashed fresh strawberries.
- Garlic Herb: Fresh roasted garlic or garlic powder would make for a delicious garlic cream cheese mixed with fresh dill, parsley, chives and scallions. You can use dried herbs instead of fresh herbs as well.
- Sun-Dried Tomato: Mix in chopped sun-dried tomato or even vegan pesto.
- Cinnamon Walnut: Add cinnamon and crushed walnuts. I haven't experimented much with sweet flavors of cream cheese but always see this one in basic shops and have been curious about it.
- Firm Tofu: You can use extra firm tofu instead of firm tofu but I wouldn't recommend using silken or soft tofu. The texture will end up too soft. For best results, stick with firm tofu.
- Cashews: Simply omit. No substitutions needed. If you want to replace it with something, you could try sunflower seeds. I would recommend soaking before blending so you don't end up with a gritty texture.
- Vegan Butter: I love using vegan butter because I always have it in my fridge. You can use refined coconut oil if you have that or would prefer it- I don't recommend unrefined coconut oil or you'll end up with a strong coconut flavor.
The thing I love most about this vegan tofu cream cheese recipe is how versatile it is! You can use this simple recipe in so many different ways and add so many different flavors to change it up. Here's a few of my favorite ways to serve this tasty vegan recipe.
- Add a healthy schmear to a homemade vegan bagel or if you have local bagel shops, get one there! Top with fresh tomato, cucumber and capers.
- Use as a dip for vegetables and pita chips.
- Spread on sandwiches- I like to do vegan deli slices, spinach, cucumber and tomato.
- Use this plain cream cheese instead of ricotta in pasta dishes or even in lasagna.
Homemade tofu-based cream cheese will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for about 5 to 7 days, or in the freezer for about 3 months. Keep in mind, this vegan cream cheese tastes best fresh and freezing can change the texture a bit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Honestly, wouldn't recommend it. Store-bought vegan cream cheese is preferable when baking or making vegan cream cheese frosting because it's more oily and smooth. This recipe is best served as a spread or dip.
Yes! I would say it's much healthier than dairy cream cheese and store-bought vegan cream cheese. This one is made up of healthy ingredients like tofu and cashews and has way less oil than store-bought.
Yes, simply omit the cashews from the recipe to create a simple tofu cream cheese.
I wouldn't recommend this recipe if you're interested in a soy free cream cheese. This one has a base of tofu and can't be substituted. You could try just cashews but the end result will be different.
More Vegan Basics You’ll Love
- The Best Vegan Sour Cream
- Vegan Roasted Garlic Aioli (Oil-Free!)
- Vegan Heavy Cream Substitute (Cashew Cream)
- Easy 3-Ingredient Vegan Mascarpone
If You Make This Recipe:
I would greatly appreciate if you share your review in the comments below and leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating. I really appreciate it- it helps me out so much! Don’t forget to add if you made any fun substitutions. Thank you!
The Best Tofu Cream Cheese (Vegan)
- 14oz Firm Tofu
- ⅓ cup Cashews optional
- 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 tablespoons Lemon Juice
- 1 tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
- 3 tablespoons Vegan Butter melted
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- Bring a cup of water to a boil. Add cashews to a bowl and pour hot water over the cashews. Let soak for 30 minutes.
- Drain the water from the package of tofu and pat dry. No need to press. Crumble the tofu and add to a food processor along with the soaked cashews, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, melted vegan butter and salt.
- Pulse until smooth and creamy.
- Transfer the cream cheese to the fridge and allow to sit for at least an hour to chill and slightly firm up or enjoy right away with a homemade vegan bagel.