Cream Cheese Substitute Made From Dairy Free Yogurt!!!

I know I already have a good dairy free cream cheese recipe using cashews, but after I made my easy peasy sour cream made from yogurt I really wanted to make an easier (and cheaper) cream cheese the same way. At first, I had a bit of trouble getting the same thickness and texture as the small block of Philadelphia cream cheese I was trying to mimic… that is until I remembered the agar powder I had in my pantry from a failed cheddar cheese recipe a few months back. Agar powder is a natural thickener made from sea weed that’s very similar to gelatin and it worked perfectly!

So far I’ve used this cream cheese in my chicken enchilada recipe and I also used it to make a maple cream cheese frosting (recipe soon to come) – it was so good!

I think you could even play with flavors by adding different herbs or preserves to make a strawberry or blueberry cream cheese. Yup, I’m definitely trying that!


5.0 from 1 reviews
  • 2 6 oz. Containers SO Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk Yogurt, Greek Style
  • ½ Tsp. Minced Garlic
  • ¼ Tsp. Salt
  • ¼ Tsp. Onion Powder
  • 1 Tbsp. Sugar or Honey (more if you don't use the vanilla flavor)
  • 1 Tbsp. SO Delicious Coconut Creamer Or Milk Alternative (optional but gives a more neutral flavor)
  • ¼ Tsp. Lemon Juice
  • 1½ Tsp. Agar Powder*
  1. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the minced garlic. Use the back of a spoon or knife to mix them together and make a paste.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, garlic paste, onion powder, coconut creamer, lemon juice, and sugar. Taste and adjust ingredients as needed.
  3. In a small saucepan, mix together the yogurt mixture with the agar until completely incorporated.
  4. Then, turn the burner to medium and slowly bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce to low and allow to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  7. Transfer to a plastic container. Cover and refrigerate 2-3 hours, or until firm.





Posted February 12, 2012 by Cassidy in Egg Free, Milk & Cheese Substitutes, Nut Free, Paleo, Vegan / 19 Comments


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19 responses to “Cream Cheese Substitute Made From Dairy Free Yogurt!!!

  1. Jessica-
    It’s too bad you don’t have SO Delicious products there, hopefully they’ll start selling them soon 🙁 Maybe it would work with another dairy free yogurt???

  2. Hi Cassidy and Jessica! I am totally in love with your cashew cream cheese recipe, and I make it all the time at my house! I can’t wait to try this one!

    And I wanted to let you know that So Delicious Coconut Milk beverages, yogurts, creamers, and frozen desserts are available at natural foods stores and supermarkets throughout Canada!

  3. Vegiegail-
    I’m so happy you like my cashew cream cheese recipe! I hope you like this one just as much 🙂 Thanks for letting us know that SO Delicious products are available in Canada.


  4. Tessa Domestic Diva-
    Thank you so much!!! I really like your site and just signed up to follow you through e-mail… and I will definitely share this recipe at Allergy Free Wednesday 🙂

  5. Richard

    I just made this today and was very anxious about the end result! My question is though how did yours turn out? Was it a bit gummy at all?

    I ask because I had to substitute the agar powder with arrowroot and use regular plain So Delicious Coconut Yogurt. I don’t have any place here that carries Greek.

  6. Cassidy

    Hi Richard!
    That’s a common problem with arrowroot when thickening any type of dairy or dairy substitute. If you can’t use agar I would recommend maybe gelatin (don’t know the measurements) to achieve the best texture.
    I don’t think the plain yogurt instead of the greek would make any difference, I just use it because it thicker. Hope it turns out better next time!

    I also have a cream cheese substitute that’s made out of cashews if that interests you. It works best with cooking and the one above works best in baking.

    Hope this helps!

  7. Richard

    Thank you so much for responding back! After opening the container I had it in, it smelt like garlic and didn’t taste like I’d hope. I believe it was the Arrowroot I used that made it bad. I am going to try this out again! I do appreciate another tip on what to use!

    Reason I made this to make a cream cheese frosting! This fits in perfectly.

    It really helped!

  8. hemhaw

    Do you think this would work with vegan “gelatin” such as Natural Desserts Unflavored Jel Dessert? I couldn’t find agar powder anywhere, and I know it is used as a replacement for non-vegan gelatin, so I thought vegan gelatin might work. Ingredients: vegetable gum, adipic acid, tapioca dextrin, calcium phosphate, potassium citrate. The box says “avoid adding high acid lemon and pineapple juices since it may stop the mixture from molding”, but perhaps it would work in this recipe since it’s not being used to create jello? Just wanted to get your opinion before trialing with EXPENSIVE coconut yogurt and creamer 🙂

  9. Khyla

    Does this recipe taste like a plain cream cheese? I am just curious with the addition of garlic and onion powder. I’m looking for a substitute cream cheese to bake with, so is this the best one to use, and if so, will you taste the garlic and/or onion?

    Also, how long can I keep this in the fridge?


  10. Cassidy

    Sorry it took me so long to respond! I haven’t tried gelatin but it is very similar and may work. However, I think the set-up time is longer and the melting point is lower… so I really can’t say for sure without testing it. Let me know if you try it.

    I used onion and garlic to mimic the taste of plain dairy cream cheese as it has a strong flavor. However, you can leave it out you want, it will just be more bland. I usually use this recipe to bake with and my cashew based cream cheese to cook with. Hope this helps!!!

    … I recommend a small amount of garlic and onion then tasting and adjusting ingredients to you liking before thickening.


  11. Susan Shake

    I am not seeing when you add the coconut creamer and lemon juice in the directions. It looks like those were left out….

    • Cassidy

      Hi Susan!

      I’m so sorry for the mix up, I added the ingredients to step 2 of the recipe!

      Thanks again for pointing this out!

  12. Hello There. I found youur blog using msn. This is a really well written article.
    I’ll make sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful info.
    Thanks for the post. I will definitely return.

  13. Rav

    Great recipe. Especially, that it uses dairy free yogurt, that is low in fat and cholesterol, what is very beneficial for our health. If you guys are looking for some more chream cheese alternatives, you can check Cream cheese substitute site. If you are confused which substitute is the best for you, it will help you for sure. All the best! 🙂

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