Cashew Coconut Cream Cheese. Oil-free.

Oil-free Cashew Coconut Cream Cheese by An Unrefined Vegan

Back in the Stone Age of my college years, my stomach was a bottomless pit.  I was hungry all of the time – but especially so at about 7 or 8 pm at night.  When this hunger struck, I could always convince my roommate or some of the other girls in my dorm to order food for delivery – either pizza (the dreaded “pizza-pizza” Little Caeser’s was the only place that delivered back then) or something from The Bagel & Deli Shop in Oxford, Ohio.  Oh, how I loved and craved the bagels and cream cheese from The Bagel & Deli Shop!  Their soft/crispy jumbo-sized bagels would arrive still warm to the touch and wrapped in layers of shiny, wrinkled foil.  Peeling back the foil, a generous slab of melty, creamy cheese that had just the right amount of sour zing would ooze out from the split bagel.  No matter how broke I (always) was, I could usually scrounge up the $1.50 needed for just such a late-night snack.

Since going vegan, I’ve avoided commercial plant-based cream cheese.  The ingredient list doesn’t thrill me.  As a result, I’ve really missed that perfect combination of chewy bagel and soft cream cheese.  I came up with this simple cheese in the process of making something else entirely; one of those happy accidents.  I really like the mildly sweet, nutty flavor that the coconut adds.  Happily, I am now back in bagel business!

This cream cheese is the perfect complement to my Raw “Black Bread” and my Easy Pretzel Roll Bagels (pictured below). You’ll find an updated and perfected fresh herb cashew coconut cream cheese in my cookbook, Crave Eat Heal!

Oil-free Cashew Coconut Cream Cheese by An Unrefined Vegan

Oil-free Cashew Coconut Cream Cheese
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Total Time
24 hr
Total Time
24 hr
992 calories
60 g
0 g
80 g
25 g
26 g
242 g
830 g
12 g
0 g
50 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 992
Calories from Fat 667
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 80g
Saturated Fat 26g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 12g
Monounsaturated Fat 38g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 830mg
Total Carbohydrates 60g
Dietary Fiber 9g
Sugars 12g
Protein 25g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 1 cup cashews, soaked overnight, rinsed, & drained
  2. 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, soaked for ~15 minutes, drained
  3. 1 Tbsp. sweet white miso (I use South River brand)
  4. 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  5. 1/2 tsp. agave nectar
  6. pinch sea salt
  1. Add all ingredients to the bowl of a food processor and process until very smooth. You'll need to stop the machine and scrape the sides every few minutes. This will get smooth - it just takes time and patience. I prefer a food processor here over a high-speed blender because it's so much easier to scrape out the cheese once it's smooth.
  2. Line a mini-loaf pan or other small/shallow dish with a couple of layers of cheese cloth. Scrape the cheese into the dish, pressing down so that the cheese gets into the corners. Press down the cheesecloth over the top, place in the refrigerator and place something heavy on top of the cheese/cheesecloth.
  3. Let the cheese rest in the fridge for 24+ hours.
  4. Carefully remove the cheese from the pan. Take off the cheesecloth and schemer a big schlab on a bagel!
an unrefined vegan

Oil-free Cashew Coconut Cream Cheese by An Unrefined Vegan

Pretzel Roll Bagels with Cashew Coconut Cream Cheese by An Unrefined Vegan



57 thoughts on “Cashew Coconut Cream Cheese. Oil-free.

  1. Shira

    Yummy Annie! I’ve been playing with cashew cream cheese lately too – so amazing! This sounds really amazingโ€ฆlove the miso in there. YUM!

  2. tearoomdelights

    Cashews seem to be an incredibly versatile nut. You must be very pleased with your bit of serendipity, but it’s all down to your creativity. The photos are gorgeous…that bagel – yum!

  3. Poppy

    Boy, that bagel looks good! Your cream cheese looks like the perfect consistency. I find the commercial ones to be a bit too jelly like…can’t wait to try this Annie!!

    1. An Unrefined Vegan Post author

      You’re right, Poppy. There’s something off about the consistency. And if one is trying to avoid oil, it’s not possible with commercial vegan cheeses.

  4. coconutandberries

    Mmmm, looks amazing! Bizarrely, I hated cream cheese pre-vegan but adore every nut based cheese I’ve tried now. Love the look of your bagels too!

    1. An Unrefined Vegan Post author

      Thanks, Emma! I only ever enjoyed cream cheese with bagels. Otherwise it just was too rich or something. But I’m with you – nut cheeses are SO much better!

  5. Cadry's Kitchen

    That’s interesting that Little Caesar’s was one of the few places that delivered on your campus. I haven’t had Little Caesar’s in probably 15 years, but I’ve never been to one that delivered. I didn’t realize that they did it anywhere. When I was a kid, that was the regular place where we ordered pizza. I had so much of it that over time, it kind of made my stomach turn just thinking about it.

    College was the time when I was introduced to bagels. Now it seems surprising that I’d never had one before! That creamy cool of the cream cheese against the hot chewy bagel was such a lovely match. At our local bagel place, they have hummus available, which is what I get on the rare occasions that I get a bagel. Your cashew cream cheese would be delightful! It looks beautiful!

    1. An Unrefined Vegan Post author

      I think it was that particular Little Caeser’s – they knew an opportunity when the saw it. Hungry teenagers. The best place in town to get pizza was Bruno’s, but they didn’t deliver. They did have 50-cent slices and a “walk-up” window, however…

  6. Cheerfully Vegan

    And the curious cat in me really wants to know what you were TRYING to make that instead came out to be this recipe. ๐Ÿ˜€ It looks delicious!

    What is the purpose of the cheesecloth wrap since nothing is squeezed out of it?

    1. An Unrefined Vegan Post author

      I was making a salad dressing! One thing led to another… The cheesecloth absorbs some of the moisture and makes for a firmer cheese. Plus it gives the cheese a pleasing pattern :-).

  7. Fran

    Mmm, I love me a good bagel and shmear. I use Tofutti vegan cream cheese because I’ve heard the best reviews, but I always need to add nutritional yeast or it doesn’t have enough salty, cheesy flavor. Do you find yourself add nutritional yeast to this recipe after the fact?

    P.S. – You’re an adorable goy to incorporate some Yiddish into your bagel talk! But don’t use “shlab” if you want to sound authentic–it’s not a word ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. An Unrefined Vegan Post author

      I didn’t need to add nutritional yeast in this. For me, the rich miso adds enough of that salty/cheesy flavor. No offense meant with my made-up word schlab – it’s just me being silly.

      1. Fran

        No offense taken! Just sharing some knowledge. Now you’ll be ready to walk into a Jewish deli and talk like a native ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Brittany

    I’m with you on the plant based cream cheeses, they sadly just suck when it comes to the ingredients. Homemade is always better anyway, and man does this look good. I used to GET DOWN on bagels and cream cheese. I must make this, or stop by for a hunk or two.

    1. An Unrefined Vegan Post author

      What?! Tragedy!

      I was thinking about making a “Boursin” version – coated with herbs on the outside…mmmmm.

  9. The vegan 8

    This looks SO Good Annie! I’m drooling over those bagels!! I have been meaning to come up with a cream cheese too, since I haven’t had any since going vegan and I used to love it on bagels….. It’s on my forever to-do recipe list!

  10. biggsis

    Looks and sounds dee-licious. I have also been missing cream cheese – who wouldn’t , right? Have also discovered that my teenager will eat miso soup with veggies in it for breakfast…. so more miso is needed as well. Thanks for this recipe!

  11. Barb@ThatWasVegan?

    I’ve never made my own cashew cream cheese but I did try someone else’s once, and loved it. I bet yours is AMAZING!

      1. * Vegan Sparkles *

        Why haven’t I tried it before either! It looks incredible, Annie! You’ve inspired me once again.

  12. Angela @ Canned Time

    I soooo miss cream cheese. I’ve only used the store brands for sweet things since going vegan but man I’d love a crisp toasty bagel smothered in this cheeze ;p I’m wondering if it would work as the cheeze for my new ‘sausage’ bites? What a dreamy combo that would be?
    I’m all verklempt just thinking about it โ™ฅ

  13. Becky

    Oh yum! I only buy vegan cream cheese occasionally, because it’s so processed. This recipe sounds like a great replacement.

  14. celestedimilla

    I tried to leave a comment yesterday, but my computer froze up on me. Anyway, this bagel smear looks wonderful! I’ve been putting peanut butter on my bagels since going vegan, but this looks so much better. Will try this soon! Hope you’re having a great week! Celeste ๐Ÿ™‚

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  16. Shannon

    Ok, so yesterday I was searching for a vegan cream cheese recipe. I gave up rather quickly. Then THIS. All ingredients already at hand — the texture of your photos looks amazing. Soaking the cashews now!! I hope my mini-processor is up for the job…

    1. An Unrefined Vegan Post author

      Ah, I love serendipity! It might take a bit longer in the mini-prep, but I’ll be it’ll get the job done. Hope you love it!

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  19. celestedimilla

    OMG Annie!!! I just made this and it’s absolutely amazing! And sooooo easy too. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if someone opened a vegan bagel bakery and served yummy stuff like this. Celeste ๐Ÿ™‚

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  21. M-R

    I shall need to search around Sydney to see if various of these items can be bought … Agave nectar ? those coconut flakes ? Will put my head down next week and LOOK.

    1. An Unrefined Vegan Post author

      Hi, Margaret! Best of luck finding what you need – I think you’ll really like this recipe :-). Please let me know if you make it.

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