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Baking Hacks: 5 BEST Dairy-free Substitutes for Cream Cheese

Alright, folks, here’s the scoop. Baking without dairy can feel like a tightrope walk over a pool of sharks—exciting yet kinda scary, right?

But here’s the cool part: you don’t need cream cheese to whip up that dreamy, creamy texture we all crave in our cheesecakes, frostings, or dips.

Believe it or not, there are some amazing substitutes out there that get the job done without a hitch.

We’ve scoured kitchens and pantries far and wide to bring you the top five dairy-free alternatives to cream cheese that’ll keep your baking game strong.

No more side-eyeing that delicious recipe because of dairy woes.

Get ready to have your cake and eat it too—minus the dairy, plus all the yum.

The 5 Best Dairy-free Substitutes for Cream Cheese

If you’re looking for dairy-free alternatives to cream cheese, you may be surprised at the variety of available substitutes.

From nut-based cheeses to tofu, there are a number of options that can easily replace traditional cream cheese in recipes.

Here are five of the best dairy-free substitutes for cream cheese:

1 – Hummus

Hummus is a popular Middle Eastern dip that has been delighting tastebuds for centuries.

It’s made with mashed chickpeas and tahini, giving it a creamy texture.

The flavor is savory, rich, and slightly nutty.

Depending on the ingredients used, hummus can be mildly spiced or deeply flavorful.

You can enjoy hummus as an appetizer or use it as a sandwich or wrap spread instead of mayonnaise or cream cheese.

Thanks to its dairy-free nature, hummus works wonderfully as an alternative to traditional cream cheese for vegans and those with lactose intolerance.

2 – Tofu

Tofu is a versatile food that has been around for centuries.

It is made with condensed soy milk and then pressed into soft, creamy blocks.

The taste of tofu can be described as mild and slightly nutty, while the texture lends itself to absorbing flavors and spices very well.

Although tofu doesn’t have an overpowering flavor, it can be used as an excellent vegan substitute for cream cheese.

To achieve a similar texture to dairy-based products, simply mash the tofu and then mix in chopped herbs, garlic, or other seasonings.

With a bit of seasoning and some creativity, tofu can make an easy alternative to cream cheese that even die-hard vegans and non-vegans will enjoy.

3 – Cashew Cream Cheese

Cashew cream cheese is an incredibly versatile and tasty dairy-free alternative to traditional cream cheese.

Made from raw cashews, it has a very creamy texture with a slightly nutty flavor.

As it is not made from animal products, those who are vegan, lactose intolerant, or otherwise non-dairy still have the chance to enjoy classic cream cheese recipes.

You can use it in spreads, dips, and sauces – simply substitute one-for-one with regular cream cheese.

If you are after a healthier version of classic baked goods traditionally made with cream cheese, like cheesecakes or pumpkin bars, cashew cream cheese delivers that creamy consistency without adding dairy products and cholesterol.

Add some extra flavorings like fresh herbs or spices, and you have yourself an indulgent treat.

4 – Almond Cream Cheese

Almond Cream Cheese is a vegan alternative to traditional cream cheese.

It is packed with the same creamy texture and taste but made from almonds instead of dairy.

The almond base gives it a slightly nutty flavor that pairs wonderfully with jams and other spreads.

When used as a substitute for cream cheese, Almond Cream Cheese can be spread on crackers or enjoyed in desserts, giving you all of the yumminess of traditional cream cheese without any animal products.

It also has less fat than conventional cream cheese, making it an excellent choice for people looking to make healthier choices.

5 – Store-Bought Vegan Cream Cheese

Store-bought vegan cream cheese options are increasingly diverse, with flavors ranging from savory garlic and herbs to sweet strawberry or blueberry.

It offers a dairy-free alternative to traditional cream cheese and can certainly fit almost any cheese lover’s taste buds.

Plant-based cream cheese usually has the same enjoyable texture as regular cream cheese, but it contains no dairy, zero cholesterol, and is low in saturated fat.

If you could substitute this product in any recipe that calls for cream cheese, just like other plant-based food items, these products can also be used in baking and making spreads or dips.

As long as it’s refrigerated properly once opened, store-bought vegan cream cheese will last anywhere from two weeks to several months on your shelf.

The 5 Best Dairy-free Substitutes for Cream Cheese

Whether you're lactose intolerant or simply out of cream cheese, fear not! Discover our top 5 dairy-free substitutes that mimic the creamy texture and tangy flavor of traditional cream cheese.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Hummus
  • Tofu
  • Cashew Cream Cheese
  • Almond Cream Cheese
  • Store-Bought Vegan Cream Cheese


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword Dairy-free Substitutes for Cream Cheese
Did you make this recipe?Mention @AmericasRestaurant or tag #americasrestaurant!
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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