Many years ago, Chef Tal Ronnen shared his favorite cashew cream with us. We’ve since modified this recipe and added some measurements to make it easier to follow. I like to call this heavy cashew cream, because it works in sauces, soups, and several desserts like heavy cream. It doesn’t whip up up like dairy cream (sorry!) but does add that rich component to recipes that call for liquid heavy cream, like alfredo sauce, cream soups, creamed vegetables, ice cream, cakes, bread pudding, and more. And it calls for just one, healthy, pure ingredient!
Heavy Cashew Cream for Sweet and Savory Dairy-Free Recipes
I know you have questions, and I have answers! Here are several FAQs to preemptively cover most of your concerns and modifications.
I Don’t Need 3 Cups, Can I Make a Smaller Batch? Yes! You can definitely halve the ingredients to make about 1 1/2 cups of the regular pourable heavy cream alternative or about 1 cup of the thick cream. You can quarter the batch to make 3/4 cup of the regular pourable heavy cream alternative (I’ve done this successfully in a large blender). But a quarter batch is too small to make the thick cream in most blenders.
Can I Freeze Heavy Cashew Cream? Yes! Simply pour it into an ice cube tray and freeze. Pop the cubes out and store them in a freezer bag. Depending on the size of your ice cube tray, this usually makes perfectly portioned 1 or 2 tablespoon cubes that you can pop into recipes.
Does this Heavy Cashew Cream Whip? No, unfortunately, it does not. You can use it in recipes that call for fluid heavy cream, but it won’t work well if your recipe calls for you to whip the cream first. For a dessert topping, try Tal’s Cashew Whipped Cream. It still doesn’t get voluminous like heavy cream, but it is thicker, sweet, creamy, and delicious.
I Have Roasted Cashews, Will Those Work? Not as well. Roasted cashews will be more dried out, and will also have a more pronounced, sweeter flavor. Raw cashews have a more neutral and fresh taste, and readily absorb liquid.
What About Cashew Pieces? Yes, they work! Some people avoid using the pieces because they tend to be more dried out than whole cashews, and sometimes aren’t as fresh.
Special Diet Notes: Heavy Cashew Cream
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, plant-based, vegetarian, keto, and paleo-friendly.
- 2 cups whole raw cashews, soaked for 4 to 6 hours or overnight
- 2 cups water
- Drain the cashews and place them in your high-power blender (see Blender Options below).
- Add half of the water to your blender, and puree until smooth. Add the remaining water, and blend until very smooth and creamy. This step can take a few minutes.
- Store the cream in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. It will thicken just a little more as it chills. If it's too thick for your needs, whisk in more water, as needed.
Blender Options: You can use a food processor. It will just take a little longer, and you might need to stop to scrape down the sides periodically. If using a regular blender (not high-power), add a little less water (1½ to 1¾ cup) and strain the cashew cream through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove any remaining bits. Blend in more water as needed.