Make your own vegan cream cheese using just 3 ingredients, and NO cashews NOR soy milk. It’s delicious, easy, and perfect for savory recipes, frostings, cheesecakes, and more!

vegan cream cheese in a bowl with bagels

The perfect vegan cream cheese for both sweet and savory recipes- FINALLY!

The wait is finally over. If you’ve been looking for a HOMEMADE vegan cream cheese recipe that’s not only perfect for spreading, but also for cooking and baking, then you’re in the right place.

Introducing, the ultimate 3-ingredient non-dairy cream cheese- that’s made WITHOUT cashews without tofu (and no soy!!), and even without coconut cream, nutritional yeast, xanthan gum, and the like!

What we have is just an ultra creamy, smooth, perfectly tangy and spreadable vegan cream cheese that thickens and adds flavor to savory dishes while also being perfect for sweet bakes, like vegan cream cheese frosting and even vegan cheesecake! And any recipe in my cookbook that calls for cream cheese 🙂

vegan cream cheese being made

And the absolute best part? Like my vegan mascarpone, this vegan cream cheese is just so easy and fool proof, and the texture is unbelievably creamy and spreadable. 

We’re using the traditional method of making cream cheese, but swapping in our non-dairy and plant-based subs. 

So you can forget your store bought vegan cream cheese brands, like Tofutti, Kite Hill, and the like. Just use this recipe instead!! It’s the absolute best vegan cream cheese around- and you’re about to see why!

Ingredients Overview + Substitutions:

Like I mentioned above, you only need 3 simple ingredients to make this homemade vegan cream cheese. None of which require any cashews nor tofu! 

  • Pea milk: I recommend using unsweetened pea milk. You can swap in soy milk or almond milk here. I’ve tried this recipe personally with the store bought almond milk and homemade almond milk, and could not get it to curdle like the soy milk, but others have said it works. Please just stick to pea milk here if you can. It’s really lovely!
  • Lemon juice: You can use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar instead of lemon juice if preferred!
  • Vegan butter: I recommend using either Miyoko’s or Om Sweet Dairy Free vegan butter here. I prefer to use salted vegan butter, so with the Om Sweet Dairy free, you’ll need to add in salt. Other options include using coconut oil, Plant Crock, or Miyoko’s oat butter. See the recipe card down below where I go over more tips!
vegan cream cheese ingredients

Step by Step How To Make Vegan Cream Cheese:

The below steps are an overview with photos for how to make this lovely and creamy dairy-free cream cheese! Please note that all measurements are listed in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Ways to Use this Vegan Cream Cheese:

The best part about this vegan cream cheese is that you can use it for any application that you would use normal cream cheese- that’s right, there are no restrictions when it comes to this homemade vegan cream cheese recipe.

  • Spread on bagels: especially if they’re homemade, like these bagels! Or make the cinnamon sugar cream cheese variation below and spread it on my cinnamon raisin bagels 🙂
  • As a dip for fruit and crackers: I love this with crackers and using the chive or garlic and herb cream cheese variation.
  • In pasta sauces: Like my vegan creamy pumpkin pasta! Or any savory dish that would call for cream cheese 🙂
  • Stirred into soups: I loveeee a few tablespoons in my vegan white bean soup!
  • In baking: Use this in any of my frosting recipes for a portion of the vegan butter, or in cheesecakes!

Can I use this vegan cream cheese for cheesecakes?

Absolutely!! This unbelievably creamy vegan cream cheese is perfect for homemade vegan cheesecakes. You might consider adding in an extra tablespoon of vinegar for a super tangy cheesecake, but this cream cheese will set beautifully in your homemade cheesecake.

Try using it in this classic vegan cheesecake, vegan cannoli cheesecake, and vegan blueberry Basque cheesecake!

vegan cream cheese frosting

Can I use this vegan cream cheese in frosting?

Short answer: YES, YES, a million times YES! I just recently used it in my vegan cream cheese frosting for my vegan funfetti cupcakes, and oh my goodness. I was shocked. My vegan cream cheese frosting has never tasted so good before (and I thought it was really delicious before!).

Use this homemade vegan cream cheese freely in your favorite vegan frosting recipes! It’s really lovely in my vegan blueberry frosting as well, and for vegan cream cheese frosted cinnamon rolls!

Flavor variations for savory vegan cream cheese:

For these flavor variations, simply add them in along with the vegan butter in the food processing step of the recipe. 

  • Garlic & Herb: 1 tsp garlic powder + 1/2 tsp each of freshly chopped or dried parsley, basil, rosemary, thyme + sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Cinnamon Sugar: 1 tbsp granulated sugar + 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pumpkin Spice: 2 tsp pumpkin spice + 1 tbsp pumpkin puree + 1 tbsp granulated sugar, brown sugar, or coconut sugar
  • Lemon & Dill: 1 tbsp lemon juice (in addition to the recipe) + 1/2 tsp dried lemon peel + 1 tbsp freshly chopped dill + sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Chive: 1/2 tsp onion powder + 1 tbsp chopped chives + 1 tbsp olive oil + sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Sun dried tomato: 2 tbsp chopped and drained sun-dried tomatoes + 1/2 tsp garlic powder + 1 tbsp freshly chopped basil + sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Roasted red pepper: 1/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers + 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning + 1/2 tsp garlic powder + sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Strawberry: 1 cup dried strawberries (blended into a powder) + 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

How to store homemade vegan cream cheese:

After you make your vegan cream cheese, I recommend storing in a glass container with a sealable lid. Then keep the cream cheese in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Alternatively, you can freeze this cream cheese for up to 1 month in the freezer.

vegan bagels with cream cheese

I cannot wait for you to try this vegan cream cheese!! It’s truly life changing. Finally, a cream cheese we bakers can use in all of our recipes and enjoy simply spread on a bagel! 

Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!

3-Ingredient Vegan Cream Cheese -FINALLY No Cashews, No Tofu pinterest pin

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!

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vegan cream cheese in a bowl with bagels

3-Ingredient Vegan Cream Cheese – For baking and cooking!

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 13 reviews
  • Author: Britt Berlin
  • Prep Time: 2
  • Chilling Time: 180
  • Cook Time: 7
  • Total Time: 3 hours 9 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1/2 cups (360 g) 1x
  • Category: Spreads
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Make your own vegan cream cheese using just 3 ingredients, and NO cashews nor soy milk. It’s delicious, easy, and perfect for savory recipes, frostings, cheesecakes, and more!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 cups (920 mL) unsweetened pea milk*
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp (75 mL) lemon juice*, divided
  • 1/3 cup (76 g) salted vegan butter*, melted and cooled

Instructions

  1. Heat: In a large saucepan, add in the pea milk and 1/3 cup (67 g) of  the lemon juice. Stir to combine. Then place the saucepan on medium high heat, and let the pea milk mixture heat and boil until the curdles have bubbled to the top and puffed up (see photos). This will take about 5-7 minutes.
  2. While the pea milk is heating: Grab a large bowl and place a sieve over the top of it. Place your cheesecloth in the sieve (see blog post photos). Make sure you have enough cheesecloth to twist the ends together and squeeze the cream cheese mixture liquid out.
  3. Strain: Once the pea milk mixture has boiled, remove the saucepan from heat, and pour the mixture into your cheesecloth lined sieve over the bowl. Allow the liquid to drain from the clumps of pea milk, and let the mixture cool off for 10 minutes before squeezing out more liquid. The pea milk curds will be really hot, so allow it to cool first for 10 minutes before straining anymore.
  4. Squeeze the remaining liquid from the cheese curds: Once the mixture is cool enough to handle, clump the top of the cheesecloth together with the curds inside and gently squeeze any remaining liquid from the curds into the bowl. Remove the cheesecloth from the bowl. You’ll see that the curds inside should almost resemble a cottage cheese appearance, but a little drier.
  5. Blend: Add the pea milk curds to a food processor or high speed blender, along with the melted vegan butter and remaining 1 tbsp of lemon juice. Blend until creamy, about 1-2 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed. It should be super silky smooth. Taste the mixture to see if you need a touch more lemon juice or if it’s just right for your taste preference. See blog post for flavor variations!
  6. Chill: Scrape the mixture into a glass storage container and seal with the lid. Place the vegan cream cheese into the fridge to chill for at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight.
  7. Spread, blend, bake, and enjoy! When ready, your vegan cream cheese will be perfectly spreadable for bagels, toast, or to use in both sweet and savory recipes!

Notes

Flavor variations: See blog post for measurements on flavor variations!

Pea milk: I use Ripple unsweetened pea milk. This recipe will NOT work shelf stable soy milk nor almond milk. Others have tested this with almond milk, and it works, however, I have not had that result. Unlike vegan buttermilk, which works with almond milk, almond milk curdles, I’ve found, are too soft here. However, this will also work with soy milk. But for nut free and soy free, use pea milk.

Lemon juice: You can also swap in apple cider vinegar or white vinegar.

Vegan butter: I used salted vegan butter here- Miyoko’s specifically. Om Sweet Dairy free is another favorite vegan butter, but you’ll need to add a touch of salt to it, as it’s unsalted. For other vegan butter brands, you can use Plant Crock or Miyoko’s oat milk butter. I would not recommend using Violife or Earth Balance here, as your vegan cream cheese will taste too processed. You can use coconut oil, but keep in mind that you’ll really need to blend it with the pea milk curds in order for the coconut oil to integrate properly. For less of a coconut flavor, use triple refined. Another option is adding in vegan heavy cream or vegan coconut cream instead.