Homemade Vegan Sour Cream

Sometimes you need a little sour cream for stuff. Like, baking a coffee cake or making pierogi dough.

There are some vegan sour cream choices available such as Tofutti brand (of which I’ve used their cream cheese with success in frosting recipes), but I am kind of all about the homemade everything lately so I’ve been dying to find something I can make to replace sour cream in recipes.

As a brief aside about Tofutti products, I did some research again on their site and noticed that they are extra careful about stating that they don’t claim their products are gluten-free because of potential trace elements of gluten in grain alcohol. This is a tad worrisome, isn’t it? Are they just being extra careful, to avoid a potential issue later on? I’m curious now.

Anyhow, moving along …

There are quite a few recipes for vegan sour cream that use soft or silken tofu. I am all for using tofu in recipes. I actually quite enjoy eating it. Sometimes though, I get sick of the idea of using soy. (In fact, there are some real reasons why I need to consume less soy in my diet.)

I wanted to find a recipe that used minimal soy or even none.

Then I found my dream recipe. A vegan sour cream using … cashews. You might remember how much I enjoy using cashews and macadamia nuts as creams and cheeses. So, of course, this recipe appealed to me right away.

I whipped up a batch of this right away and decided I really want a Vita-Mix. My blender is okay but I bet a Vita-Mix would have whipped this up into an even creamier state of smooth creamtasticness.

I am blown away by how similar to sour cream this tastes, smells and feels! I’m serious it’s just shocking how closely this resembles real dairy sour cream. Highly impressed.

recipe source

Homemade Vegan Sour Cream
  • 1 cup raw cashews (not roasted or salted)
  • Water, to cover
  • ¼ cup fresh water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  1. In a small bowl, cover cashews with water. Let sit for a few hours or overnight. (I suggest overnight if you can wait that long.)
  2. Pour off water and place cashews in blender with fresh water, salt, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice.
  3. Puree until very smooth and creamy.
  4. Refrigerate until needed. Will last up to 1 week in the fridge.

Use in any recipe that requires sour cream. I’m using it in my pierogi dough and in an old coffee cake recipe my mom passed down to me. Wish me luck!

Levi has already taken some and used it with salsa and nachos and was raving over it too. It’s that good!


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26 Responses to “Homemade Vegan Sour Cream”

  1. Mike
    March 4, 2012 at 8:02 pm #


    I was pretty skeptical of the vinegar, and the initial taste is different from the real stuff. The aftertaste is spot on, though.

    • Megan
      March 5, 2012 at 8:47 am #

      Awesome to hear Mike. It’s one of those ‘weird’ things that kind of works right? Thanks for stopping by and telling me what you thought of it.

  2. March 6, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

    I’ve been using the Tofutti, but am ready to try making my own. This recipe looks easy enough for even me to tackle. Thanks for the post!

    • Megan
      March 6, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

      It’s dead easy Allison. You’ll have great success with it, I’m sure of it. :) Let me know how it goes.

  3. Roberta
    July 3, 2012 at 2:33 pm #

    I was wondering how your coffeecake turned out? I just made this to use in a cake as a yogurt substitute but I’m nervous about the results…

    • Megan
      July 3, 2012 at 11:37 pm #

      I haven’t gotten around to the coffee cake just yet. :( You reminded me of it … I’ll add it to the top of my must-make list.

      I have used the vegan sour cream in a lot of other applications though – and with excellent results each time. I did put it in my gluten-free and vegan perogy dough and it did the trick!

      I think the key for subbing this out with sour cream or yogurt in baking is to make sure the acidity does the right thing to the baked goods. There’s definitely some acidity in this vegan sour cream, so it should do the trick. Also, how liquid-y the mixture is might affect the amount of total liquid in the recipe. If you think yogurt is generally a bit more runny, it might work to add a tiny bit more water or something to get the right look/feel.

      I’ll report back when I finally get to the coffee cake recipe. I’d love to hear how your experiment turned out too.

  4. December 19, 2012 at 1:46 am #

    How long does this sour cream last Megan? Think will give it a whirl :-)

    • December 19, 2012 at 9:28 am #

      It doesn’t usually last longer than a couple days in our house – because Levi LOVES this stuff. But it can keep in the fridge for up to a week or so. (Going to update the post to include that!) Thanks!

  5. Abbers
    January 10, 2013 at 7:56 pm #

    Oh my goodness… I am so excited to try this!!! I was just lamenting over what I will do with my tofu breakfast wraps! “Cashour” Cream and salsa baby! Woo hoo! Tomorrow I pick a bag of cashews and try it out. ;)

    • January 10, 2013 at 8:22 pm #

      Since you probably don’t have a high powered blender I strongly recommend really letting the cashews soak for a long time. Then your regular blender can do the trick of getting the nuts nice and smooth a bit better. I hope you like this. Levi loves it – and you know how much of a nacho hound he is!

  6. Abbers
    January 10, 2013 at 9:17 pm #

    Indeed, I do! I have a pretty good food processor/blender, but you are right, best to soak longer, thanks for that tip ;)

  7. Susanna
    May 16, 2013 at 8:44 pm #

    I just tried making this and it didn’t come out white, more like beige/tan. Is this because of the cashews? It tastes ok, I guess… very lemony.

    • May 17, 2013 at 9:19 am #

      The grayish color could be from the cashews. Mine turns out pretty white. If it was too lemony for you, you could always cut back or omit the lemon completely and just rely on the apple cider vinegar to give it the tangy taste.

      • Susanna
        May 17, 2013 at 9:48 am #

        Oh true, that makes sense the color would come from the cashews. The weird part is when I put water in the container to rinse it out the water turned completely white. Bizarre.. I’m going to try making another batch tonight and leave out the lemon. I plan on making cake batter dip with it and having a lemony taste won’t be very good, haha. Thank you!

  8. July 15, 2013 at 11:33 pm #

    I like your posts! Fine tips dealing with this subject, thank you for posting about

  9. ashley
    July 25, 2013 at 11:30 pm #

    I do not have apple cider vinegar but i have balsamic vinegar. Do you think that will be fine as a substitute?

    • July 27, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

      I don’t think balsamic vinegar would be a great substitute in this recipe for a couple reasons – mainly the flavor of balsamic is quite distinctive and I’m not sure it’ll give the desired result for the sour cream. Also, the color is so dark it’ll definitely make your sour cream an unpleasant color – grey or brownish.

      You could use regular vinegar, but just slightly less and I bet it would be fine. Or what I would do if I didn’t have apple cider vinegar is just substitute it with more lemon juice.

      Hope that helps!


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