Vanilla Vegan Cashew Cream (in 10 minutes!)

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This super easy vanilla cashew cream recipe is amazing!  It’s a sweet, icing-like, topping that turns anything into a guilt-free dessert in only 10 minutes! 

bright blue bowl full of cashew cream on a wooden tabletop with raw cashews scattered around.
PHOTO CREDIT: Drenda-Michell Brennan

If you are plant-based, you’re about to fall in love.  This simple, raw, vegan, gluten-free, absolutely divine sweet cashew cream recipe is the answer to all of your sweet dairy longings! It is perfect for drizzling over our homemade vegan fruit pies and blueberry cornmeal pancakes or smearing it on toasted whole wheat homemade bagels. The possibilities are endless!

I first tried this recipe when I started making plant-based banana oat pancakes. My husband was slow coming around to the whole foods plant-based lifestyle and I was trying to come up with recipes that would get him excited or at least tolerant of my new eating habits. If you aren’t sure what whole food plant-based diet is, we have a great article that explains what plant-based eaters do and don’t eat.

He has a sweet tooth, so I decided to slather this cashew cream on our breakfast pancakes with some maple syrup and add fresh-cut strawberries and bananas. He became such a huge fan that now I can’t make pancakes without cashew cream!

bright colorful orange, green, and blue plate filled with pancakes topped with vanilla cashew cream, strawberries, blueberries, and walnuts.
PHOTO CREDIT: Drenda-Michell Brennan

What is cashew cream?

Cashew cream is a versatile, dairy-free alternative to traditional cream, made by blending soaked cashews with water until smooth. It’s known for its creamy texture and mild flavor, making it a popular choice in vegan and plant-based cooking. Though this recipe is the sweet version and is considered a dessert, a creamy cashew cream sauce base can have a variety of uses. You might want to try our simple homemade cashew milk recipe as well.

Cashew cream can be used in a variety of dishes, such as:

  • Sauces: As a base for pasta sauces, salad dressings, or dips.
  • Soups: To add creaminess to soups and stews.
  • Desserts: In place of dairy cream in desserts like cheesecakes, frostings, or as a topping for fruits and baked goods.
  • Beverages: To create creamy smoothies or coffee drinks. We show you how to make cashew coffee creamer from it in a section below.

Its versatility and ease of preparation make cashew cream a popular choice for those looking to avoid dairy without sacrificing creaminess in their recipes.

Ingredients needed

ingredients for vanilla cashew cream in pinch bowls on white background with ingredients labeled.

There are no fancy ingredients in this recipe, so you are likely to have everything needed already on hand.

  • Raw unsalted cashews– Only use raw cashews and not roasted. Cooked cashews will darken the cream color and even change the flavor. Purchasing raw cashew pieces instead of whole cashews for sauces and creams will help save money.
  • Plant milk– Almond milk is my personal preference, but you could also use another nut milk. We have this easy recipe for homemade cashew milk and even a recipe for almond milk.
  • Maple syrup– Other sweeteners can be substituted such as agave nectar or honey.
  • Flavorings– Vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt add the perfect flavor to this whipped cream sauce.

Raw cashews are a great addition to a healthy diet because they contain essential amino acids, heart-healthy fats, and magnesium.

How to make cashew cream

The recipe card at the bottom of the page has the full list of ingredients with measurements and instructions.

Soak the cashews before blending. Don’t skip this part. To get the smooth whipped topping consistency this is critical, even if you have a high-powered blender. 

Soak the cashews for at least 2 hours before blending. To speed up the soaking process, put the cashews in a small bowl and cover them with boiling water. Let them sit for about 15 minutes. If it’s easier with your schedule, they can be soaked overnight.

whole raw cashews on wooden table with a brown bowl filled with cashews soaking to soften.
PHOTO CREDIT: Drenda-Michell Brennan

Drain the cashews and toss them into the blender with your other ingredients.

Blend on high for approximately 60 seconds until smooth and creamy. You can add a little more plant milk if needed.

Chill the mixture in a sealed container in the fridge for a few hours to let it thicken.

I use my Vitamix 5200 high-speed blender to make this recipe and it definitely gives you a smoother whipped consistency but, before I owned a Vitamix, I used a standard blender or food processor. It was less creamy but every bit as delicious! So, don’t let not having a high-powered blender slow you down; your blender will work just fine with this recipe too!

Ways to serve sweet cashew cream

These are a few ways to serve this delicious creamy whipped cashew topping: on bagels like our homemade whole wheat bagels, dolloped on muffins like these applesauce cinnamon vegan muffins, as a pie topping, on pancakes or rice cakes, as a dip for fresh fruit, or combined with fruit and homemade gluten-free granola to make a parfait.

How long does it last?

Vanilla maple cashew cream will keep in the refrigerator in a sealed container for approximately 5 days. It can even be frozen for up to 3 months.

Cashew cream coffee creamer

Homemade cashew milk is naturally a little thicker than other homemade vegan milk recipes. That is one of the reasons I like it so much, and another reason is that it doesn’t need to be strained after blending. It makes it the perfect nut milk for creating a velvety sweet coffee creamer.

How to make cashew cream coffee creamer

Simply soak the raw cashews as described in the above cashew cream recipe for at least a couple of hours and then drain the water from them.

Add the softened cashews, vanilla, and sweetener, plus 1.5 cups of fresh water to your blender and process until it is completely smooth without any graininess. It will take 3-5 minutes to achieve this creamy smoothness. A high-powered blender will work best.

Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for approximately 1 week.

Pouring cream into a cup on a dark background of coffee

More creamy vegan cashew recipes

We love cashews because they create such creamy, yummy vegan recipes for cheeses and sauces. Here are a few of our favorites.

For those of you new to the whole food plant-based lifestyle, we’ve created a FREE 7-Day Plant-Based Menu Planner to help you get started!

If you try this recipe, please let us know how you like it by rating it and leaving a comment. We love to hear from you!

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bright blue bowl full of cashew cream on a wooden tabletop with raw cashews scattered around.
5 from 3 votes

Vanilla Cashew Cream

This super easy vanilla cashew cream recipe is amazing!  It’s a sweet, icing-like, topping that turns anything into a guilt-free dessert in only 10 minutes! 
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 10 servings

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup raw unsalted cashews
  • 1/2 cup plant milk
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Soak the cashews before blending. Don’t skip this part. To get the smooth whipped topping consistency this is critical, even if you have a high-powered blender. 
  • Soak the cashews for at least 2 hours before blending.  To speed up the soaking process, put the cashews in a small bowl and cover them with boiling water. Let them sit for about 15 minutes. If it’s easier with your schedule, they can be soaked overnight.
  • Drain the cashews and toss them into the blender with your other ingredients.
  • Blend on high for approximately 60 seconds until smooth and creamy. You can add a little more plant milk if needed.

Video

Notes

Raw unsalted cashews– Only use raw cashews and not roasted. Cooked cashews will darken the cream color and even change the flavor. Purchasing raw cashew pieces instead of whole cashews for sauces and creams will help save money.
BLENDING– I use my Vitamix 5200 high-speed blender to make this recipe and it definitely gives you a smoother whipped consistency but, before I owned a Vitamix, I used a standard blender or food processor. It was less creamy but every bit as delicious! So, don’t let not having a high-powered blender slow you down; your blender will work just fine with this recipe too!
STORAGE– Vanilla maple cashew cream will keep in the refrigerator in a sealed container for approximately 5 days. It can even be frozen for up to 3 months.
Ways to serve sweet cashew cream
These are a few ways to serve this delicious creamy whipped cashew topping: on bagels like our homemade whole wheat bagels, dolloped on muffins like these applesauce cinnamon vegan muffins, as a pie topping, on pancakes or rice cakes, as a dip for fresh fruit, or combined with fruit and homemade gluten-free granola to make a parfait.
Cashew coffee creamer
If you want to turn this recipe into a creamy sweet coffee creamer, we have included directions in the post above.

Nutrition

Serving: 2tablespoons | Calories: 91kcal | Carbohydrates: 11.9g | Protein: 1.6g | Fat: 4.4g | Sodium: 79mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 10g

Disclaimer

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

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Drenda-Michell Brennan

About the Chef

Drenda-Michell Brennan lived in Japan in the 1990s and learned many traditional Asian cooking methods. She is the mother of 3 Japanese-American grown children and grandmother (HuneyGram) to 8 grandchildren. She also happens to be the sister of Terri Edwards, of EatPlant-Based. Read more about her story in this article, From Veggie Hater to Plant-Based.

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4 Comments

  1. Do you use vanilla plant milk or add vanilla? The recipe didn’t have any vanilla in the ingredients.

    1. Ahh! So sorry about that! The recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and I’ve edited to add that to the ingredients list. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Much appreciated, and I hope you enjoy the vanilla cream.

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