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Vegan Whipped Cream

Wednesday July 4th, 2012, 2 years, 2 months and 2 weeks ago


Strawberries & Brandy Snap with Soft Whipped Cream.

I’ve been experimenting with creating a vegan whipped cream recipe. My aim was to make non-dairy cream without a strong soy, almond or coconut flavour, that tastes mild & creamy so that it enhances rather than competes with the dishes it accompanies. Also, I wanted to make sure that once it’s whipped, it’s stable & doesn’t deflate (I haven’t used gums or stabilisers), & also has the right weight & mouthfeel. Most importantly, I wanted it to have the freshness of dairy cream – light, sweet, fluffy, melting & clean on the palate – not greasy like the non-dairy whips that contain hydrogenated oils. Although this cream is wonderfully rich & very close to dairy cream in taste & texture, it is not at all heavy or cloying.

My whipped cream recipe is based on that versatile little nut, the cashew, but unlike most cashew cream recipes, this one is not raw. By cooking the cashew mixture, it thickens & emulsifies, becoming sweeter & milder in flavour. A real bonus for people like me, who don’t happen to own a high-power blender, is that for this recipe you only need a regular stick blender & food processor to achieve beautifully smooth cream (& a hand mixer for whipping). This recipe is also soy & gluten free (depending on the brand of margarine you use).

There are two recipes here. Dairy cream comes in different forms that have different uses, & I wanted this cream to be just as versatile, so there’s a recipe for a Soft Whipped Cream, & one for a Firm Whipped Cream, depending on what you need it for. In addition to whipping, the basic cream recipe for the Soft Whip can be used unwhipped & unsweetened, in savoury dishes such as soups & sauces. It has the consistency of thickened cream, & can also be thinned down with a little non-dairy milk, to make a pouring cream. With the addition of something acidic, such as lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, you can also make sour cream (I’d love to try actually using a culture some time!), & use the unwhipped mixture from either recipe as a base for creamy dips & dressings.


Chocolate Whoopie Pies filled with blackberry jam & Firm Whipped Cream.

The Soft Whipped Cream is light & fluffy, with a soft consistency for dolloping, filling & frosting, but can still be loosely piped. It firms a little when refrigerated & doesn’t deflate, so you can whip it in advance & serve later.

The Firm Whipped Cream also has a light, fluffy consistency & remains aerated if you whip it in advance, but it firms up quite a lot when you refrigerate it, so you may prefer to pipe it as soon as it’s whipped – it holds its shape very well. It makes a great frosting & filling for layered cakes, especially after it’s set in the fridge for a while.

Please keep in mind that just like dairy cream, both the soft & firm whip will soften considerably under hot conditions & are best served straight from the fridge. The most robust option if your dish will be sitting out of the fridge for some time, is to use the variation of Firm Whipped Cream that gives an even firmer result.

Soft Whipped Cream is best for…
loosely piping
serving with fruit (strawberries & cream – yum!)
scones & jam, as well as dolloping on cake, pie, etc
frosting the top of cakes
piping into brandy snaps, cream puffs, & other pastries
icecreams, parfaits, fools, & custards

Firm Whipped Cream is best for…
piping (it holds its shape very well)
quinelling
frosting & decorating cakes
layering within cakes & filling pastries
icecreams, parfaits & mousse

If you happen to make this whipped cream recipe (or any of my recipes), I would love to know how it works out for you, so please leave me a comment. If you upload any photos of your results or blog about it, post a link, I’d love to see!

A little note about copyright
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Now, let’s whip some cream! Recipes after the jump! :)


Brandy Snaps filled with Soft Whipped Cream.

Whipped Cashew Cream

Soft Whipped Cream

The cream:
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
1 cup filtered water
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon sugar
pinch of salt

Whipping it:
3 tablespoons icing sugar, sieved, or more to taste (powdered sugar)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, according to taste
4 tablespoons vegan margarine (please see above note)

Drain & rinse the cashews & put into the bowl of your food processor with about half of the filtered water & process to a thick paste. It will probably still be a bit grainy, but that’s okay.

Pour the cashew mixture & remaining water into a saucepan & heat very gently, stirring with a silicone spatula making sure it doesn’t catch on the bottom. Add the canola oil, sugar & salt. Keep stirring until the mixture has thickened & is gently bubbling. Allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring constantly – don’t let it catch!

Take off the heat & blend with a stick blender until smooth (you might have to do this in a few stages if your stick blender’s engine gets hot!). Cooking the cashews softens them & thickens the mixture considerably, so it is easier to process to a smooth consistency without the need for a high power blender. It shouldn’t take more than 3-5 minutes of blending to get a smooth result.

Transfer the cream to a container & allow to chill in the fridge for at least a few hours – must be thoroughly chilled before whipping.

When it’s nice & cold, spoon the cream into a mixing bowl, add the icing sugar & vanilla, & combine with a hand mixer for a minute or so. Measure the margarine into a small bowl & beat it with the hand mixer until pale & fluffy, then add it to the cream, beating with the hand mixer for a minute or two. The cream will become light & fluffy, holding soft peaks. If you find your cream is a little too soft or curdled, add more margarine, a tablespoon at a time, until you achieve the correct consistency. May be refrigerate until needed without losing aeration – it will firm slightly when chilled.

Firm Whipped Cream

The cream:
1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
1 cup filtered water
2 tablespoons coconut oil (expeller pressed or refined – the kind with no discernible coconut flavour or aroma)
1 teaspoon sugar
pinch of salt

Whipping it:
3 tablespoons icing sugar, sieved, or more to taste (powdered sugar)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, according to taste
4 tablespoons vegan margarine (please see above note)

Drain & rinse the cashews & put into the bowl of your food processor with about half of the filtered water & process to a thick paste. Add remaining water & process for a couple of minutes. It will probably still be a bit grainy, but that’s okay.

Pour the cashew mixture into a saucepan & heat very gently, stirring with a silicone spatula making sure it doesn’t catch on the bottom. Add the coconut oil, sugar & salt. Keep stirring until the mixture has thickened & is gently bubbling. Allow to simmer for about 5-10 minutes, stirring constantly – don’t let it catch!

Take off the heat & blend with a stick blender until smooth (you might have to do this in a few stages if your stick blender’s engine gets hot!). Cooking the cashews softens them & thickens the mixture considerably, so it is easier to process to a smooth consistency without the need for a high power blender. It shouldn’t take more than 3-5 minutes of blending to get a smooth result.

Transfer the cream to a container & allow to chill in the fridge for at least a few hours – must be thoroughly chilled before whipping.

When it’s nice & cold, spoon the cream into a mixing bowl, add the icing sugar & vanilla, & combine with a hand mixer for a minute or so. Measure the margarine into a small bowl & beat it with the hand mixer until pale & fluffy, then add it to the cream, beating with the hand mixer for a minute or two. The cream will become thick & fluffy. If you find your cream is a little soft or curdled, add more margarine, a tablespoon at a time, until you achieve the correct consistency. May be refrigerate until needed without losing aeration; it will firm up quite a bit when chilled.

Firmer Whip:
If you want an even firmer consistency, add an extra tablespoon of coconut oil when you’re cooking the cashew mixture, as well as a teaspoon of agar powder blended into 2 tablespoons of water. Make sure you simmer the mixture long enough to dissolve the agar & activate it into a gel.

Variations:

Boozy Cream: Instead of adding vanilla extract, you could try adding a couple of tablespoons of liqueur to Firm Whipped Cream – yum!

Chocolate Cream: I have made Chocolate Whipped Cream by melting about 100g (3.5oz) of dark chocolate into the cashew cream mixture as it cooked. When you whip the margarine into the chilled cream, you can see little flecks contrasting against the chocolate. I microwaved the whipped cream in 5 second bursts, mixing after each interval, until the margarine had only just melted into the cream. You lose a little of the aeration, but still end up with a light mousse-like consistency. I recommend the Firm Whipped Cream recipe if making chocolate cream.

Berry Cream: You could also try adding pureed, sieved berries (raspberries or strawberries would be nice!) to Firm Whipped Cream just before whipping in the margarine.

Creme Patissiere: Fold a cup of Soft Whipped Cream into a cup of chilled vanilla custard to make Creme Patissiere. Maybe add coffee, liqueur or pureed fruit.

Raspberry Fool: Add extra icing sugar to the Soft Whipped Cream recipe so it’s nice & sweet. Gently fold through some lightly crushed raspberries (or other soft fruit) but don’t over-mix. Heap into parfait glasses & top with a fresh raspberry & sprig of mint. Wouldn’t it be nice served with a hazelnut shortbread?

Lime & coriander Sour Cream: A savoury idea for the cream mixture from the Soft Whipped Cream recipe. Omit 2 tablespoons from the cup of filtered water, add 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar & an extra pinch of sea salt while cooking. Blend until smooth, as usual & allow to chill – but don’t whip it! Instead, mix in the juice & rind of 1 small lime, 2 tablespoons of finely chopped coriander (cilantro), 2 finely chopped spring onions, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin & some ground black pepper. Serve with chili, enchiladas, tacos, etc.

Troubleshooting:

A few words about the margarine you use… Someone reported that their cream didn’t whip properly, & I think the margarine is the culprit – it’s the one factor I can’t thoroughly test because I only have one vegan margarine available to me, Nuttelex, which I recommend to anyone in Australia to use for this recipe (Nuttelex is 70% fat, 6% from palm oil, with no hydrogenated oils). For people who don’t have Nuttelex available, I recommend a full-fat margarine, not low-fat or whipped, as the high water content could cause curdling & the lack of fat means it won’t whip properly. I am going to test the recipe again, using the vegan butter recipe from VeganBaking, & will update if that works (I hope it does, because a palm oil free option would be great!). Meanwhile, I would love some more feedback if anyone makes the cream successfully with something like Earth Balance Original (which is 78% fat) or Pure Sunflower (67% fat).

Still a little curdly? As I mentioned above, if your cream isn’t emulsifying properly, the type of margarine you use could be the culprit. Adding another tablespoon or two of margarine can help if your cream splits or curdles, but another solution is to add a tiny pinch of guar gum – and I mean tiny, because adding too much will make your cream take on an unpleasantly heavy, gummy consistency rather than being light and fluffy. Guar gum is a natural emulsifier, and if used in moderation, can help you achieve the right consistency.

The whisk attachment… I have found that the balloon whisk attachments for my hand mixer don’t whip the cream as successfully as the regular beater attachments.

Is your cream still a little grainy? Depending on the type of food processor or stick blender you use, you might find the cashews don’t blend down as smoothly as you like, in which case, try this… Instead of soaking the whole cashews overnight, place the dry unsoaked nuts into your food processor & grind them to a fine powder (a little crumbly is okay). Then stir them into the quantity of filtered water stipulated in the recipe (straight into the saucepan is fine) & leave the mixture to sit for at least two hours (the longer than better, although put it in the fridge if you’re leaving it overnight) & then carry on with the recipe as written. This is also good if you’re in a rush or forgot to soak your cashews overnight!

Posted in Recipe Box

26 Responses to Vegan Whipped Cream

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  1. amazing karena!!
    i will try this asap.

    xo
    kittee

    Reply to kittee Jul 4th 2012, 2 yrs and 2 mths ago
  2. Mark says:

    I’m going to give this a go. Your pics looks so delicious, it’s very inspiring! Thanks for sharing this amazing vegan revelation!

    Reply to Mark Jul 4th 2012, 2 yrs and 2 mths ago
  3. Maggie Muggins says: cookbookaficionado.wordpress.com

    Whoa this is unbelievable! I can’t wait to try the firm version, I’ve been on the hunt for something that would hold up to being piped. Thanks for sharing Karena!

    Reply to Maggie Muggins Jul 5th 2012, 2 yrs and 2 mths ago
  4. Smoothie says:

    i made the soft version today, and it did not hold up AT ALL. it was more like a glaze-type consistency, than anything else. but it tastes WONDERFUL. i followed the recipe to the smallest detail. i wonder if the firm version is more stable than the soft? when i added the whipped margarine to the whipped cashew-sugar mixture, it just started separating. both were at fridge temp. Ever had any issues with that?

    i totally want this recipe to work, so please help me figure out why it didn’t! :)

    Reply to Smoothie Jul 7th 2012, 2 yrs and 2 mths ago
    • Karena (Magic Jelly) says: magicjelly.com.au

      Oh no! What was the consistency of the cream like before you whipped it? I don’t know what the different types of cream are called where you are, but it’s similar in consistency to what we call thickened cream, which is still quite thick & dollopable (certainly not as thin as glaze). Anyway, if the cream was quite thick before whipping, we know everything was fine up until that stage & that the problem has to relate to the margarine. This is the part that’s impossible for me to test, because we only have a couple of varieties of vegan margarine here. If it separated, could it be your margarine had a high water content? Was it a low-fat margarine? The one I use is 70% fat (ie. not low-fat!!) & quite firm straight from the fridge, but when you beat it it becomes pale & fluffy. Next time I make it, I’ll try using the vegan butter recipe from VeganBaking, because if that works, then everyone has access to the same thing. I’m really sorry it didn’t work out for you! But I’m glad you liked the way it tasted! I really appreciate you letting me know your results, so I can do my best to tweak the recipe.

      Reply to Karena (Magic Jelly) Jul 7th 2012, 2 yrs and 2 mths ago
  5. Ruth says:

    I tried the thicker version this weekend. For me it was a bit too thick and I want to try the thinner version. That is a preference issue though, everything worked as described. It tastes and behaves very much like Mimicreme’s whippable cream, but much cheaper, and yours is available anytime since i usually have cashews in the freezer. I ate the entire batch in 2 days, all by myself!! Every time I opened the fridge for something I snuck a couple of spoonfuls into my mouth. The recipe worked beautifully. I did use earth balance but the coconut version because that’s all I had on hand. No problems with that.
    Since I only had a good coconut oil on hand the whipped cream had a discernible coconut taste to it. I’ll definitely will have to make this again with regular margarine and refined coconut oil.
    Thanks so much for all your work and sharing it with the vegan community.

    Reply to Ruth Jul 9th 2012, 2 yrs and 2 mths ago
    • Karena (Magic Jelly) says: magicjelly.com.au

      Hi Ruth! Thank you SO much for letting me know. I’m SO relieved it works with Earth Balance – phew! The firm version is pretty thick, but as you can see, that’s a good consistency for layering in a cake, for example. It is most definitely best piped when freshly whipped, before it’s firmed up in the fridge. Or if it’s been chilled, it’s good to take it out of the fridge for a bit before piping. I do personally like the Soft Whip version for its versatility, but it would probably squish out the sides if layered in a cake – they each have their uses. You could reduce the firmness of the Firm Whip by reducing the amount of margarine a bit.

      I’m with you – it’s irresistible when it’s sitting there in the fridge, I like to sneak a bit too. :) Dipping strawberries in it is my favourite thing! I do hope you try a less coconutty version. You could fool omnis with it – it tastes so much like regular whipped cream! There’s no coconut oil in the softer version, btw, it has canola oil in it instead, so that should take care of the coconut flavour (although I’m not sure if coconut EB also tastes coconutty?). I do like Mimiccreme (I’ve only tried the thin pouring kind, not Healthy Top), but find it has a discernable almond flavour that doesn’t suit every use (plus it’s expensive here!).

      Thanks again for your feedback! :)

      Reply to Karena (Magic Jelly) Jul 9th 2012, 2 yrs and 2 mths ago
    • Karena (Magic Jelly) says: magicjelly.com.au

      And maybe it’s a little firmer when made with Earth Balance because it’s a little higher in fat than the margarine I use, Nuttelex.

      Reply to Karena (Magic Jelly) Jul 9th 2012, 2 yrs and 2 mths ago
  6. I can’t wait to try this recipe all different ways! Thank you. :)

    Reply to Jess Sep 5th 2012, 2 yrs and 1 wk ago
  7. Marianne Blagoue says:

    Hi Karena,

    i saw one of your receipes on Pinterest and I am very interested in your vegan receipes. I am trying to find some receipes that are easy and taste good. It is nice to see that other people are interested in eating vegan and staying healthy.

    Reply to Marianne Blagoue Oct 6th 2012, 1 yr and 11 mths ago
  8. Tash says:

    WOW!

    I can not get over how like real cream this is. I am in heaven right now!!

    Reply to Tash Oct 10th 2012, 1 yr and 11 mths ago
  9. Amy says:

    I am trying it for the first time and I tried to make it with normal margarine. I am also having issues with the curdling. Did you use the margarine at room temperature or cold? I actually had to warm the mixture to get it to mix and now it seems to be whipping more. I am going to rechill it to see if that works. trial and error i suppose.

    Reply to Amy Nov 4th 2012, 1 yr and 10 mths ago
    • Karena (Magic Jelly) says: magicjelly.com.au

      I use margarine straight from the fridge, but I imagine that if you use a brand that is high in solid fat, such as coconut or palm oil, that you might have to leave it to soften slightly – I’ve never had any issues with having to warm & rechill the mixture, but I make sure the cream & the margarine are well-chilled before I start, & beat the margarine until pale & fluffy before incorporating it into the cream. If the cream doesn’t whip properly & curdles a little, my advice is:

      - use regular beater attachments for your hand mixer, not balloon whisks
      - make sure your margarine is full-fat, not low-fat or whipped
      - add extra margarine a tablespoon at a time until you achieve the right consistency (I’ve been able to save curdled cream by adding extra margarine).

      Reply to Karena (Magic Jelly) Dec 20th 2012, 1 yr and 9 mths ago
  10. Julia says:

    I made the soft version of this… Amazing, held up fine! Thankyou!

    Reply to Julia Dec 28th 2012, 1 yr and 8 mths ago
  11. Carolyn says:

    Hi Karena, what a fantastic recipe – Thank you!! I made the firm whipped cream and it really is so close to the real deal in taste and texture. i followed your recipe to a t, however next time i will half the amount nuttlex margerine, as i found the only thing i didn’t like about the cream was the taste and feel nuttlex leaves in the mouth. thanks again for a wonderful recipe : )

    Reply to Carolyn Apr 21st 2013, 1 yr and 5 mths ago
  12. Shanny says:

    Hi! Saw this and am going to give this a try. One question though, the coconut oil you use is it the solid type or liquid type? Can I use veg oil instead of coconut (birthday boy hates coconut)? Thanks!!

    Reply to Shanny May 21st 2013, 1 yr and 4 mths ago
    • Karena (Magic Jelly) says: magicjelly.com.au

      Hi Shanny! If you make the softer whip, there’s no coconut oil in it. It still holds its shape when you pipe it. If you do use coconut oil (which is firm at room temperature), just look for the kind that is neutral tasting, such as refined or expeller pressed.

      Reply to Karena (Magic Jelly) May 21st 2013, 1 yr and 4 mths ago
  13. Shanny says:

    OMG! Just finish making this cream and IT IS SO GOD AWFULLY GOOD! LOL… At first I thought that something went wrong when the mixture became so thick by the time I remove it from the fridge, sort of like tube wasabi texture!! Then it became better as I mixed it with margerine. THANK YOU SO MUCH! I am going to share this with a fellow mum whose son has dairy allergy. Poor boy can’t enjoy the sinful goodness of whip cream…

    PS: may I post my finish cream result on my blog? Will link back to you for sure! :)

    Reply to Shanny May 24th 2013, 1 yr and 3 mths ago
  14. Astaire says: chicorganicmama.com

    Your recipe is brilliant! I can’t wait to try it! I just made a cashew whipped cream yesterday and posted it on my blog. I’m pretty happy with it, but I’d like it to be still thicker. So I’m scouring the internet to find some tips. I think your recipe looks perfect! http://www.chicorganicmama.com/cashew-whipped-cream-topping/

    Reply to Astaire Oct 7th 2013, 11 mths and 3 wks ago
  15. Pingback: Your Guide to Going Dairy Free: Plant-Based Milks, Cheeses, and More

  16. Charlie says:

    I’ve been looking for a vegan cream to use to make ice cream for a birthday. Do you think this recipe would be suitable? And would it effect the cream if I was to heat it again after I’ve made it? Great recipe, will definitely try it anyway!

    Reply to Charlie Nov 29th 2013, 9 mths and 4 wks ago
  17. I made the firm cream with pecans and a few other changes for a cake filling and it tasted fantastic. It was very light and fluffy, but pecans don’t blend up as smooth as cashews do. Since pecans are softer, I added a tiny bit less water. I used unrefined coconut oil, since it’s what I had. The strong flavor of the pecans mostly masked the coconut flavor. I also added more powdered sugar since it was to be a cake filling. The cream did start to fleck and separate a little bit (but you’d have to look closely to notice) when I added the margarine (Earth Balance stick), but not such a big deal for a filling. It probably wouldn’t have been acceptable for piping as decorations though. I will definitely make it again with the pecans, and I’ll have to try the cashews for an unflavored version. Thanks Karena!

    Reply to jac Dec 27th 2013, 9 mths and 5 hrs ago

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