Cashew Cream

Cashew cream is a thick and durable nondairy stand-in for heavy cream. Its mild taste and creamy texture can take on sweet or savory flavors. Try our savory variation below, with dried or fresh herbs, over pasta or swirled into soup. Blend cashew cream with sweetener and a little spice to jazz up your coffee or tea.

a recipe photo of the Photographer: Jen Causey, Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall
Photo: Photographer: Jen Causey, Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall
Active Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
40 mins

Nutrition Notes

Is Cashew Cream Healthier than Heavy Cream?

According to the USDA, 1 fluid ounce (2 tablespoons) of heavy cream contains the following:

Calories: 102

Protein: 1g

Total Fat: 11g

Saturated Fat: 7g

Carbohydrates: 1g

Sugars: 1g

Dietary Fiber: 0g

Sodium: 8mg

Calcium: 20mg

Compare this to the nutrition information for our Cashew Cream recipe, and you'll see that cashew cream has fewer calories, total fat, saturated fat and sodium. Going by these numbers, cashew cream is healthier than heavy cream.

With that said, if you're sticking to a daily dose of just 2 tablespoons or less and you prefer heavy cream in your coffee, then by all means, use that. Just be aware that adding 2 tablespoons of heavy cream several times a day to your coffee cup can quickly add up to excess saturated fat, which has been linked to an increase in LDL (unhealthy) cholesterol levels.

Are Cashews Healthy?

If you like cashews, you're probably attracted to their earthy, buttery flavor. In addition to being delicious, cashews are loaded with essential nutrients. Here's the nutritional breakdown for 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of unsalted cashews, per the USDA:

Calories: 163

Protein: 4g

Total Fat: 13g

Carbohydrates: 9g

Sugars: 1.5g

Dietary Fiber: 1g

Sodium: 4.5mg

Calcium: 13mg

In addition, this same 1 ounce of cashews will provide you with 70% of your daily copper needs, 18% of your daily magnesium, 14% of your daily zinc, 11% of your daily phosphorus, 10% of your daily manganese and 9% of your daily iron needs, per the FDA. It is important to note that these numbers are for 1 ounce of cashews, not the cashew cream. For that, check out the nutrition facts on this page.

While more research needs to be done specifically on cashews, we know that the primary types of fats in them are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated—the healthy kinds of fats—and that incorporating more unsaturated fats into your diet has heart-healthy benefits.

Is Cashew Cream Dairy-Free? Is It Vegan?

Yes and yes. Cashew cream is a great replacement for heavy cream if you need or want to go dairy-free since it contains no dairy. And because it is made only with cashews and water, it is also considered vegan.

Tips from the Test Kitchen

Can I Use Roasted Cashews Instead of Raw?

Roasted cashews can be used as a substitute for raw cashews in cashew cream. However, it's important to note that roasted cashews will give your cashew cream a roasted, nuttier flavor. For a mild neutral flavor, use raw cashews. Roasted cashews may also contain added salt and oil, which will affect the flavor and nutrition of this recipe. Check the ingredient list before using roasted cashews.

I Don't Have a Blender. Can I Use a Food Processor Instead?

Absolutely! If you use a food processor, it's important to scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula a few times to make sure the cashews are blended evenly and the mixture is completely smooth.

Do You Need to Soak the Cashews?

Yes, soaking the cashews helps soften them for the best consistency. To ensure the cashew cream has a smooth and creamy texture, soak the cashews for at least 30 minutes or up to 8 hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Cashew Cream Made Of?

Cashew cream is made with just two ingredients: raw cashews and water. The raw cashews are soaked and blended with water until smooth and creamy. It has a mild flavor that can be used in a variety of sweet or savory dishes.

Additional reporting by Carrie Myers and Jan Valdez


  • 1 cup raw whole cashews

  • 2 cups hot water

  • 1 cup cold water


  1. Combine cashews and 2 cups hot water in a large bowl. Add additional hot water, if necessary, to cover the cashews by 1 inch. Soak the cashews for at least 30 minutes or up to 8 hours.

  2. Pour the cashews through a fine-mesh strainer; discard the liquid.

  3. Process the cashews and 1 cup cold water in a blender until the mixture is completely smooth and starts to thicken, about 1 minute.

To make ahead

Soak cashews (Step 1) for up to 8 hours. Refrigerate cashew cream in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


Savory Cashew Cream (for pasta sauce or soup): Prepare Cashew Cream as directed above. After blending, add 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning or chopped fresh herbs (such as parsley, chives, cilantro, basil and/or thyme), 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. ground pepper; blend until smooth.

Sweet Cashew Cream (for overnight oats or coffee): Prepare Cashew Cream as directed above. After blending, add 1 Tbsp. agave syrup or pure maple syrup, 1/8 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. ground spice (such as cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and/or cardamom); blend until smooth.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

40 Calories
3g Fat
2g Carbs
1g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 16
Calories 40
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 1g 2%
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Sodium 2mg 0%
Calcium 6mg 0%
Iron 1mg 6%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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