Move over Kraft, this vegan cream cheese recipe is really going to spread a little taste of heaven... dairy-free.
5 minutes, 1 blender, and no nuts necessary.
You need this in your life.
Cheese is one of the foods people have a super hard time giving up before committing to a vegan lifestyle.
It was one of the biggest pieces holding us back.
We found it difficult to find replacements that were affordable and would fill the "cheesy" hole in our hearts.
So, we've made it our mission to accomplish two things:
Create vegan cheeses that taste delicious and are easy enough for people to actually make.
After making a spreadable cheese, we felt inspired to keep going.
We wanted something even more spreadable (like whipped Philadelphia cream cheese). We love a good spread on our morning sourdough.
Side note: have you tried Daiya cream cheese? Or any other store-bought varieties?
If you keep them in the fridge (please tell us you do), they barely spread, or you rip your toast apart trying.
Not this time.
We made this dairy-free cream cheese with an enjoyable spreading experience in mind.
It takes 5 minutes of hands-on effort and 5 simple ingredients. No fancy steps. No cheesecloth, no cheese room (yes, that's really a thing).
Your mornings are going to become a breeze! Enjoy this cream cheese on bagels, wraps, crackers, or even French toast.
This version is a great base, but feel free to get creative! We love adding in flavors like chive & onion, dill, strawberry, cinnamon & brown sugar, chocolate, or blueberry.
We made sure this recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and might take you less time to make than reading this post.
Let's do this!
🍲 Key ingredients
For a complete ingredient list and step-by-step guide, scroll down to our recipe card.
Silken tofu (extra-firm)
Taste: with a light texture and creamy mouthfeel, silken tofu has a fairly mild flavor. It's used in this recipe to create a silky smooth consistency (see what we did there). Thank us later when you're able to easily spread this cheese on even the most delicate toast.
Health: tofu is an excellent source of plant-based protein, providing all nine essential amino acids. Better yet, isoflavones in tofu have been shown to help lower bad cholesterol. Still afraid of soy? Take a look at some actual research behind all the hearsay.
Refined coconut oil
Taste: it's important to use refined coconut oil in this cheese to maintain a neutral flavor (unless you don't mind coconut cheese). The saturated fat contained in coconut oil is solid at room temperature, which helps give the cheese more structure.
Health: a hugely controversial topic in nutrition is saturated fat. One side tells you you'll die if you eat it, and the other eats it by the spoonful claiming it's a cure for autoimmune diseases. This is our approach to food — all things in moderation! Pair mostly whole plant foods with regular exercise and you should have nothing to worry about.
Taste: white vinegar is acidic and has a very sour flavor. In traditional cheese-making, curds are formed by acidifying milk (with bacteria cultures) and coagulating it with an enzyme called rennet. The result is a tangy, salty, and fresh cheese, but definitely not vegan. We use white vinegar to create a tangy flavor that emulates this process.
Taste: providing the 5th universal flavor profile, umami, nutritional yeast is a staple in vegan cheese-making. While original cream cheese is quite mild, we think adding just a touch of "nooch" rounds out this recipe perfectly.
Health: nutritional yeast is an excellent source of vitamin B12 for vegans and non-vegans. It contains more than double the recommended daily intake per tablespoon (don't worry, it's safe to consume B12 in excess).
Step 1: open and drain your pack of tofu. You can't really press silken tofu, but if you're using regular tofu, drain and press it for a few minutes. Then, add your tofu to a blender or food processor with the vinegar, nutritional yeast, coconut oil, and salt.
Step 2: blend until the consistency is smooth and creamy. Depending on the blender or food processor you're using, this takes anywhere from 2-5 minutes. Make sure you stop and scrape down the sides a few times!
Step 3: taste and adjust the seasonings to your preference. Add vinegar for more tang, nutritional yeast for more cheesy/umami flavor, or salt to enhance the other flavors.
Step 4: add in any optional flavorings like chive and onion, dill, strawberry, blueberry, or cinnamon and brown sugar (check the recipe notes for measurements).
Step 5: once blended, transfer the cream cheese into a container or jar for storage. Let it set in the fridge for around 6 hours or overnight before using. Serve this as a spread on toast, bagels, wraps, crackers, fruit, or veggies!
Fridge: to ensure optimal freshness, store this cheese in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge. We don't recommend freezing this recipe.
💭 Pro tips
Time to share our tips and tricks we learned during our cheese-making trial and error:
- Although you can eat it the same day, it's best to let the cheese set overnight to ensure the consistency is just right.
- Add in your favorite flavors! Chives and onion powder for a savoury version, strawberries or blueberries for a fruity mix, cinnamon and brown sugar, or chocolate for a dessert-style spread.
- If you make a sweet or fruity version, leave out the nutritional yeast, half or even quarter the amount of salt, and add in a sweetener like cane sugar.
- You're more likely to find silken tofu at an Oriental market rather than your usual grocery store. Often, they can be found in sealed cartons in a different section from regular tofu.
🍴 Tasting notes
This cheese always seems to disappear way too quickly in our house, and it probably will in yours too! Its:
If you try this recipe, please rate it and leave us a comment below! Want to stay up-to-date with new recipes? Subscribe to our newsletter or connect with Broke Bank Vegan on social media. Happy eating!
Vegan Cream Cheese
- Blender or food processor
- Measuring spoons and cups
- Container or jar
- 350 g extra-firm silken tofu ($2.47)
- 2 tablespoon white vinegar ($0.02)
- 1 ½ tablespoon nutritional yeast ($0.36)
- 3 tablespoon refined coconut oil ($0.42)
- 1 ¼ teaspoon salt ($0.02)
- Chive & onion
- Cinnamon & brown sugar
- Cacao powder
- Open your pack of silken tofu. If you are using regular tofu, drain and press it for a few minutes. Then, add the tofu to a blender or food processor with the vinegar, nutritional yeast, coconut oil, and salt.
- Blend until the consistency is smooth, approximately 2-5 minutes. Stop and scrape down the sides a few times throughout.
- Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference. Add vinegar for more tang, nutritional yeast for more cheesy/umami flavor, or salt to enhance the other flavors.
- Add in any optional flavorings like chive and onion, dill, strawberry, blueberry, chocolate, or cinnamon and brown sugar (see notes for measurements).
- Once blended, transfer the cream cheese into a container or jar for storage. Let it set in the fridge for around 6 hours or overnight before using.
- Serve as a spread on toast, bagels, wraps, crackers, fruit, or veggies!
- Chive & onion or dill: add in 1 teaspoon of onion powder to the blender, then fold in 3-4 tablespoon fresh, minced chives or dill.
- Strawberry or blueberry: add in ¼ cup freeze-dried strawberries or blueberries and cane sugar to taste.
- Cinnamon & brown sugar: add in 2 teaspoon of cinnamon and brown sugar to taste.
- Chocolate: add in 1 tablespoon of cacao powder and cane sugar to taste.
- Optional ingredients are not reflected in the price or calories of our recipes.
- We calculate nutritional information for our recipes with Cronometer.
- Recipe cost calculations are based on ingredients local to us and may vary from recipe-to-recipe.
- All prices are in USD.
♻️ Similar recipes
For more cheesy recipes, check out our:
- Spreadable vegan cheese that's made with just 6 ingredients and is certain to satisfy your cravings.
- Vegan parmesan for an easy 5-minute recipe that will replace any need for traditional parmesan.
- Zesty jalapeno nacho cheese sauce if you want your rich and creamy cheese sauce with a little kick!
- Mac & cheese with almond milk for a healthy version of a nostalgic dish.
If you can't find silken tofu, use regular firm tofu and blend until it's extra smooth. The finished product will be the same in taste, but the texture will slightly differ.
This cheese can definitely be made without nutritional yeast. It will have a more neutral, tang-forward flavor. We've tried it both ways and prefer a touch of nooch, but you do you! It's all personal preference.
We don't recommend using anything but refined coconut oil since you don't want your cheese to taste like coconuts.