Basic Thick Cashew Cream

Chef Fran Costigan (the Queen of Vegan Desserts) is sharing a simple recipe for Thick Cashew Cream that has only five ingredients and can be whipped up in five minutes! Great as a topping for desserts, you can also use it to make Fran’s amazing Truffle Squares.


  • 2/3 cup water, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup or pure maple syrup, Grade B or dark amber
  • 5 ounces whole raw cashews, rinsed and soaked 3 to 4 hours or overnight
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon guar gum
  • PREP TIME 5*
  • Serves 1 3/4 cups


  1. Drain the cashews in a strainer. Put the rinsed nuts into a blender (I use a Vitamix) and add the water, agave or maple syrup, and vanilla. Blend, starting on low, and quickly increase the speed to high. Blend for about 1 minute until the cream is perfectly smooth.
  2. If you are using a standard blender, stop the machine and push any pieces of unblended cashews down into the cream; blend for an additional minute.
  3. With the motor turned off, add the guar gum directly onto the cream, making sure it doesn’t land on the sides of the container. Blend on low for 30 seconds, then increase the speed to high and blend for 1 minute. Pour and scrape the cream out of the blender while it is warm, it is very thick.
  4. To store, pour the cream into a container, cover, and refrigerate for up to three days or freeze for up to two months. I freeze cashew cream in silicone ice cube trays, defrosting only the amount I need and giving the defrosted cream a good whisk before using. Store the frozen cubes in a zipper-lock bag until needed.

Note: To make the smoothest and best-tasting cashew cream, start with soaked whole raw cashews. If you want to speed the soaking process, use boiling water. The cashews will be soft enough to blend in one hour. If using a high-speed blender, the Cashew Cream will be thick and smooth in minutes. If using a standard blender, blend the nuts in batches, processing longer. Stop the blender for a few minutes to clean the sides of the container.

*Although the prep time is low, this recipe requires 1–2 hours or overnight to complete.

Copyright © 2013 by Fran Costigan, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Photography by Rita Maas