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How To Make Cashew Cream

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How to make your own cashew cream at home:

The 2-ingredient healthy sub for heavy cream: NO soy, NO gluten, NO dairy, and NO coconut!

Why Cashew Cream?

It is a wonderful and versatile (soy-free!) alternative to heavy cream that can be used as a topping for fresh berries, sliced peaches, or my Crustless Pumpkin Pie. It also makes a fabulous coconut-free base for ice cream or chocolate mousse, or you can use it to thicken soups, smoothies, or for making the creamiest alfredo sauce of your life.

NO dairy / NO soy / NO gluten / NO coconut / NO eggs

Cashew Cream

The cream takes on the flavor of whatever ingredients you use to season it– try garlic, salt, onion, and a little turmeric for a savory cashew cream sauce. Or add some stevia, maple syrup, sugar of choice, or even an overripe banana for a sweeter sauce or dessert topping or mousse.

My sister has a really good ice cream recipe that uses dairy heavy cream, and I’ve been meaning to try replacing the cream in her recipe with this homemade cashew cream recipe. The first time I ever tried making cashew cream was actually in a savory recipe, after I’d had the best alfredo sauce of my life during my lunch at Blossom in New York City. Since then, I’ve used the cream mostly for pie recipes, but I also really like it on top of freshly-sliced peaches in the summertime. So so good!

I’m sure many people have their own tweaked method and recipe for homemade cashew cream. What follows is my way. If you can’t find raw cashews, raw macadamia nuts are equally delicious here!

soak cashews
vitamix cashew cream


How To Make Cashew Cream

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  • 1 cup raw cashews or macadamia nuts (120g)
  • 1/3 cup to 3/4 cup water, depending on how thick you want your cream (For homemade cashew milk, use 3 cups water)
Total Time: 3h
Yield: 1 to 1 1/2 cups


In a bowl, cover the cashews with water and let sit at least 3 hours (no longer than 8). Drain completely, then combine the drained cashews with the water and blend until very smooth (a full minute in a Vita-Mix, or much longer in a food processor, making sure to scrape down the sides occasionally). For a sweet cream, add pure vanilla extract, salt, and sweetener (if using 3/4c water, add 1/8 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp vanilla. Also add 1-2 tbsp sugar or maple syrup, or a pinch of stevia, or a few dates.) For a savory vegan cream, add a little salt and perhaps some lemon juice, miso, fresh or dried herbs, etc. This recipe lasts 3-4 days in the fridge, or it can be frozen. Makes up to 1 1/2 cups cashew cream.

View Cashew cream Nutrition Facts


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Crock Pot Oatmeal - The easiest way to make oatmeal. Cook once, and have a delicious breakfast all week - (can do different flavors) @choccoveredkt

Crock Pot Oatmeal – Healthy Breakfast Recipe

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Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. Anonymous says:

    I’m totally making this for my friends! One absolutely loves cashew butter so I’m sure she’ll like it and the other is gluten free, soy free and allergic to coconut, eggs and dairy… Haha so I’m sure she’ll appreciate it.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Could you make this into a whipped cream by whipping it?

    1. Donna says:

      +1….Would LOVE to know if there’s a way to “whip” this into creamy frenzy?!…If anyone is up to the challenge…it’s you Katie!!…You are the master…thank you for this generous and practical offering!

      1. Chocolate Covered Katie says:

        I’ve never tried whipping it with beaters. But if you use less water, it is definitely creamy/thick enough to stand on its own as a whipped cream sub for the top of a piece of pie or strawberry shortcakes or something like that.

        1. Eboni says:

          My mistake was to let the nuts sit in water too long. Everything was perfect except it is too watery. However, I am going to use it in my oatmeal and other hot cereals. Your recipe is wonderful and I can’t wait to use it again.

  3. This sounds great, even just to put in coffee or tea. Do you know if it works for other nuts as well? Or, I guess a better question would be, why cashews?

    1. Chocolate Covered Katie says:

      You can do it with almonds (skinned). Pecans work, but the texture is less creamy. Pistachios too. Macadamias and cashews are just creamier to begin with (texture-wise, if that makes sense).

      1. Louise says:

        Cashews also have very little flavour, so the cream doesn’t spoil (or affect the flavour of) the rest of the dish 🙂
        I frequently make cashew cream and also cashew “cheese”…

  4. FUDGE! Some fudge recipes call for heavy cream . . . I was trying to make a vegan version of fudge last Christmas using homemade sweetened condensed milk (fail) and I think I was going to try to use coconut milk for the cream . . . (fail) 😉

    Oh, cream once made me so sad by the way . . . I went to a restaurant with a friend, and I was going to order their Butternut Squash Bisque, but it had CREAM in it! Otherwise it would have been vegan, and I would have been happy . . . Thank you for this recipe, Katie!!

  5. Katie this looks great! I really like that there’s no coconut, and I really struggle with recipes that call for heavy cream when I need them to be dairy free. Sometimes I know coconut just won’t mix. This is awesome, I’m headed out to buy cashews now. Can’t wait to see what ice “cream” recipes you come up with for this one!

  6. I have made cashew cream and I simply love it! It’s wonderful sweetened up and topped on my ice cream!!

  7. I’ve never made it because cashews are so expensive. It would be more fun to make in bizarro world where heavy cream costs a million dollars, and cashews are free. Still sounds good, though.

  8. Sarah the official CCK drooler says:

    I LOVE cashew cream. I make one from a raw book I have and it’s insane. To the basic cream goes maple syrup for sweetener, vanilla, and I like to add some citrus zest, and sometimes I’ll just do some cocoa powder instead of vanilla. with fresh berries, its AMAZING. I’ve seen people do savory cashew creams, but I just can’t get on board with that! For heavy cream (if I don’t want a heavy meal), I’ll usually use coconut milk instead. Always works!

  9. Alyssa says:

    I should totally try this in place of coconut milk in some of my thicker creamier desserts, etc. Great tutorial!

  10. Tanner says:

    Oh yum! Cashew cream! Pistachio cream sounds maybe even better 😀
    I wish I had time to cook the whole world (and eat it too)!
    By the way, Katie, do you have any plans for a tres leches cake? I bet nondairy milks could give it so many different and wonderful flavors. I loooooooove tres leches!

    1. Chocolate Covered Katie says:

      It is on my long to-do list. But I never actually tried Tres Leches Cake before going vegan, so I’m not sure what it’s supposed to taste like!

      1. Kara says:

        It might be worth breaking your diet for a bite. It’s the one cake I cant give up yet on the occasion it is available. It’s so amazingly delicious.

  11. Lisa @bitesforbabies says:

    I loooove cashew cream and cashew icing!!! By the way, that first pic with the raspberries is gorgeous!!!! Do you only use natural light or do you also have lighting?!

    1. Chocolate Covered Katie says:

      Aw thanks. I really liked that photo. It was natural lighting, set up against a north-facing window, with a tripod and the camera set to go off on a delay. I held a white sheet of paper in the background and edited out the seam (where the two pieces of paper met) in photoshop.

      1. Lisa @bitesforbabies says:

        Wow, that sounds a bit too complicated for me, lol! Maybe you should do a side-blog on photography for dummies ;-)))

  12. Molly says:

    Do you have your own cashew cream alfredo sauce recipe that you could share? Or one someone else wrote that you recommend?

    1. cck says:

      I’ve never actually measured anything for it. I just start with the cashew base and add whatever I think sounds good at the moment. I always add some salt and lemon juice and onion powder. Other ingredients that sometimes get added are miso, oregano, rosemary, basil, nutritional yeast… not all at the same time or for the same batch, though.

  13. Nicky says:

    I’ve seen cashew cream in savory dishes and recipe but would never have thought to use it as a cream alternative in sweet things! I have a question about the nutrition facts: the facts are given for 15g, but I don’t see any mention of how many servings this recipe makes (in other words, how many 15g servings can one expect to get out of the total 1.5 cups the recipe yields). I’ve noticed this in some of the other recipes’ nutrition facts as well; I realize that you give the weight measurements to before accurate, but not everyone has a scale, so perhaps you could give the volume measurements as well, or at least list the number of servings you used to calculate the facts.

    1. Liz says:

      Generally speaking, you can pretty much convert grams directly to milliliters when you don’t need to be precise. So 15g would be 15ml, or 1 tablespoon, meaning that you should get roughly 24 servings out of the batch.

      1. Nicky says:

        Thanks Liz! I’m guessing this may change a bit depending on the amount of water used, but that does help. But 24 servings is a lot! 29 calories per serving didn’t seem too bad, but more than 600 for 1.5 cups is A LOT!

  14. kathy says:

    Hi Katie,
    Am wondering if you have tried to make whipped cream with this recipe for
    cashew cream with the isi easy whip (which I love , by the way)?

    1. Lizzie says:

      I second the question!
      Katie, do you have any recipes for the isi whip? Please!!! 🙂

      1. cck says:

        Sorry, I haven’t tried it.

  15. Who would’ve thought it’d be so easy? I’d love to try this out in an alfredo recipe, mm!

  16. Cathy says:

    We know you care. It is ok to keep your blog on the topic of food.

  17. Emma says:

    I was wondering how much water to use for different thicknesses? For example, how much for a whipped texture, how much for a pouring texture etc. Does anyone know?

    1. cck says:

      Start with the lower amount for thicker cream, and add liquid as needed.

  18. Kelsey says:

    I am so glad I recently re-found your blog! I needed a healthier alternative for Alfredo. I’m going to attempt it for a girls night meal! Thank you!

  19. Keri says:


    I appreciate that you don’t have depressing things on here… I think of your blog as a refreshing, bright spot on the web. Please don’t feel you have to offer disclaimers when you don’t mention tragedies. They’re appallingly often, and you cannot cover them all. There are so many other blogs one can read about such things, and I for one enjoy yours just the way it is… and LOVE the colorful updated design!!!

    1. J says:

      I agree with you Keri. Spot on.

      Dear Katie, please don’t feel that since you own a blog, that you have to tell everyone how sorry you feel for the victims in the Boston bombings or for victims in any other situation. We understand you have a heart for others and we love you.

  20. Jeanne G. says:

    Do you know if you can do this with other nuts? I’m allergic to cashews and hazelnuts, but no other nuts so far.

    1. Ariel says:

      Katie mentioned this can be done with almonds! 🙂

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