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Vegan Cream Cheese Recipe

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Vegan cream cheese | This smooth and creamy tofu based cream cheese alternative is cheesy, slightly sweet and tangy, and super versatile. Spread it on top of bagels or use it as the base of a dip with your favourite add ins.

Vegan cream cheese on a bagel.

There are many store bought vegan cream cheese alternatives, often made with coconut oil and various starches. Some products are highly processed and don’t offer many nutrients, but they can be quite tasty.

This homemade dairy free cream cheese offers a wholesome alternative to regular cream cheese, without compromising on that smooth, creamy texture and tangy yet slightly sweet flavour.

The tofu is sweetened slightly with maple syrup, and lemon juice gives it a tangy taste. Tahini is used to help make the mixture smooth. Nutritional yeast gives the tofu a slightly cheesy taste, and onion powder and garlic powder enhance the flavour. You can always leave the onion and garlic powder out if you want to. Salt contributes to the tangy cheese flavour, but also to the overall taste.

If you have a block of tofu sitting in your fridge, make this homemade vegan cream cheese substitute! It’s wholesome, flavourful and versatile. It’s perfect for spreading on my Vegan Bagels or using as the base of your favourite dip.

This homemade vegan cream cheese is great for those who can’t or don’t consume dairy. It’s creamy, light, slightly sweet, and tangy, and nutritious.

This plant based cream cheese is high in protein and low in calories, thanks to tofu, making it perfect for a light snack. Pair with rye crisps and your favourite vegetables.

How to make vegan cream cheese

Making this vegan cream cheese recipe is so easy. Just blend all the ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Then the best part, add 1-3 ice cubes. Ice cubes trap air in the mixture, making it super smooth and light. You can visibly tell how much smoother the cream cheese gets when you blend in ice cubes. This technique is often used when making hummus too.

Blend until there are no more ice shards, about 30 seconds, and make sure to use a powerful blender or food processor.

How to use vegan cream cheese

Vegan cream cheese is great on my Vegan Bagels, or as the base of a flavourful dip, with your favourite add ins. If you want to experiment with using this cream cheese for desserts, I suggest leaving out the onion and garlic powder. Some of my favourite tofu based desserts are Vegan Basque Cheesecake and Tofu Pudding.

Close up of vegan cream cheese on a bagel.

Flavour variations for cream cheese

For a simple savoury cream cheese, try adding more onion powder, garlic powder and nutritional yeast. Add herbs like chives, parsley, oregano or cilantro.

Roasted garlic and onion cream cheese: Add roasted garlic for a more pronounced garlic flavour, caramelized onion, and chopped chives.

Herb and garlic cream cheese: Blend in roasted garlic and herbs like chives, parsley and oregano.

Roasted red pepper cream cheese: Blend in jarred or homemade roasted red peppers.

Ingredients

More about the ingredients in this recipe. The exact measurements are below.

Vegan cream cheese ingredients with text.
  • Firm tofu – The creamy base of the vegan cream cheese. Firm tofu has the perfect amount of moisture and is thicker in consistency than softer tofu.
  • Tahini – To add smoothness and a slight nuttiness to the cream cheese.
  • Maple Syrup – Adds a hint of sweetness to the tofu and contributes to the smooth consistency.
  • Nutritional yeast – Cheesy umami flavour.
  • Lemon juice and apple cider vinegar – These add tartness and a slightly sharp taste.
  • Onion powder, garlic powder and salt – For savoury flavouring. If you’d prefer a sweeter cream cheese, you can leave the onion and garlic powder out. Salt is necessary for flavour.
  • Ice cubes – Adding ice cubes makes the mixture significantly smoother.

Instructions

  • No need to press the tofu, the moisture is useful in this recipe.
Vegan cream cheese ingredients in food processor.

Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor.

Adding an ice cube to vegan cream cheese mixture.

Blend until smooth, then add an ice cube and blend for about 30 seconds, or until there are no ice shards.

Vegan cream cheese after blending 1 ice cube.

The mixture will be much smoother now. Add another ice cube or stop here if the mixture is to your liking.

Vegan cream cheese blended.

The mixture should be smooth and light.

Transfer to an air tight container to store. Use on Vegan Bagels or as the base of your favourite dips.

Vegan cream cheese on a bagel on a wire rack.

Tips for making vegan cream cheese

  • Don’t skip the ice cubes: The tofu will be slightly grainy looking at first. Add ice cubes. They’ll trap air in the mixture, making it super smooth.
  • No need to press the tofu: The moisture in the tofu contributes to the smooth consistency.
  • Tailor the taste to your preference: Taste the cream cheese and add more flavouring if needed.
  • Personalize the cream cheese: Add ingredients that you like, like chopped chives, other herbs, roasted red pepper, jalapeno, or roasted garlic.

How to use tofu cream cheese

This vegan cream cheese goes best with vegan bagels! It’s also great on toast, English muffins or rye crisps with cucumber.

The cream cheese can be used as a spread for sandwiches, wraps or pitas, or as a dip with your favourite vegetables.

Use the cream cheese as the base of a dip with your favourite add ins, like herbs, caramelized onions, vegan cheese, and spices.

Leave out the onion powder and garlic powder if you want to experiment with making vegan desserts with this vegan cream cheese.

Substitutions

  • Swap out the maple syrup for a different liquid sweetener. White or brown sugar would be too grainy.
  • If you want the cream cheese to be thinner, add a splash of almond milk.

Storage

Store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. I don’t recommend freezing the cream cheese, as freezing tofu changes the texture and it would lose its smooth creamy texture.

Vegan cream cheese in a bowl on a wooden board beside bagels.

FAQ’s

How do you get vegan cream cheese smooth?

Add 2-3 ice cubes to the mixture to trap air bubbles, making it super smooth and creamy.

What are some flavour variations for vegan cream cheese?

Add caramelized onion, roasted garlic, dill, parsley and chives to make a vegan garlic and herb cream cheese.

Vegan cream cheese in a bowl on a wooden board with a knife.

Vegan Cream Cheese Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Author: Erika Piper
This smooth and creamy tofu based cream cheese alternative is cheesy, slightly sweet and tangy, and super versatile. Spread it on top of bagels or use it as the base of a dip with your favourite add ins.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 8

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 450 grams firm tofu
  • 1 ½ tablespoons tahini
  • 3 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 3 teaspoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 ice cubes

Instructions
 

  • Add all the ingredientes except the ice cubes to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add 1-2 ice cubes and blend until the mixture becomes very smooth and there are no ice shards. Add another ice cube if needed.

Video

Notes

Don’t skip the ice cubes, they’ll make the cream cheese smooth and light.
No need to press the tofu, the moisture is useful.
Add any herbs, spices, or other seasonings to personalize the taste.
Use liquid sweeteners to avoid a grainy feeling.

Nutrition

Calories: 76kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 6gFat: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 2g
Tried this recipe?Mention @theveggieyaya or tag #theveggieyaya!

Disclosure: This blog post may contain affiliate links, which means I get a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you.

Vegan cream cheese pin with two photos.

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