Vanilla Cashew Yogurt – vegan, soy-free, gluten-free

Hi kids!

It feels like forever since I last posted. If you could see a glimpse of my life, well, I’m not going to pretend I’m keeping it all together in fine fashion. With the girls having summer break, puppy training, doing the photo shoot for the cover of “Plant-Powered Families” (and twice!), a couple of family health incidents (everything’s ok now), and editing my book… it’s been crazytown!

And the editing, oh the editing. So. Sloooooow.

Vanilla Cashew Yogurt - from Dreena Burton, plant-powered kitchen - #vegan #soyfree #glutenfree #dairyfree

But I won’t drone on about all that. Wait. I have. 😉 Well then! I’ll now stop and get too the yummy goods. Because I’ve had these pretty photos and recipe ready to share for far too long.

We’ve been in a breakfast rut lately interchanging whole-grain waffles with oatmeal, always paired with green smoothies. I haven’t been testing a lot of breakfast recipes, and we are in this summer haze of changing schedules and seemingly endless disorganization. But, when I do break out of the waffle/oatmeal breakfast rut, the girls are especially giddy.

Vanilla Cashew Yogurt - from Dreena Burton, plant-powered kitchen - #vegan #dairyfree #soyfree #glutenfree

These Vanilla Cashew Yogurt parfaits are an especially easy and fast breakfast treat. They look so elegant but really quite simple to make. You can prepare the yogurt the day before, and then layer your favorite fruits into parfaits the next morning. Put them in special cups or parfait glasses and the kiddos think it’s very fancy. (My wee girl said “this is the best day ever“!) :)

The parfaits start with Vanilla Cashew Yogurt. When I wrote LTEV I used storebought vegan yogurts in several of the recipes – the Creamed Cheese Brownies, the Gluten-Free Chocolate Yogurt Cake, and the Banana Butter Pie (I have GOT to get that recipe and photos up for you)! I went a little overboard offering allergy-friendly and storebought substitutions with LTEV, so I decided to include a homemade yogurt recipe.

This Vanilla Yogurt is not exactly like storebought brands. It’s not cultured with probiotics. What it does offer is the characteristic tang and texture of a plain or vanilla non-dairy yogurt. While it doesn’t include the priobiotics, you can easily add your own probiotics when eating. (I add probiotics to storebought vegan yogurts all the time!). Just open a capsule of whatever probiotic you are using, and stir it into the yogurt.

Enjoy this yogurt straight up or as a topping for granola, baked goods, or to layer in breakfast parfaits. Here, they are layered with fresh kiwi, nectarines, and blueberries. Many other fruits could be used, and in the fall an apple/pear/orange combination would be tremendous! You could also layer in homemade granola for an even heartier breakfast (or snack).

The recipe follows. If you’ve already tried it, please share you how you’ve enjoy it.

Vanilla Cashew Yogurt - from Dreena Burton, plant-poweredkitchen -#vegan #dairyfree #glutenfree #soyfree

Vanilla Cashew Yogurt from Let Them Eat Vegan

ReciPage to link/print recipe

This cashew-based yogurt is an excellent substitute for commercially prepared soy, coconut, and other non-dairy yogurts in recipes.  Plus, it’s tasty straight off a spoon!

1 cup presoaked raw cashews

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce (preferably organic)

1 1/2 – 2 tbsp lemon juice (see note)

1 tbsp pure maple syrup

1/3 cup non-dairy milk (or more to thin if desired; but keep to 1/3 cup for use in recipes)

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract OR 1/4 – 1 /2 tsp vanilla bean powder

pinch salt

In a high-powered blender, puree all ingredients until very smooth.  If using a standard blender, this may take a few minutes, and scraping down the sides a few times throughout.  Serve, or store in an airtight container.  Makes about 1 1/4 cups.

Kid-Friendly Notes:

  • I created this yogurt primarily as a substitute for premade yogurts in my recipes (ex: BF Blueberry Muffins,  Fresh Orange Cake). As such, it isn’t overly sweet. Feel free to make it a little more fun for your little ones, by stirring in extra maple syrup, or try a few spoonfuls of a berry, peach, or other fruit jam.
  • Also note that this yogurt is nutritious for little ones that might not otherwise eat nuts or nut butters because of textural issues – nuts being too hard, and nut butters too sticky. This recipe brings cashews into a pudding-like form that can you can customize with extra flavor and sweetness!

If This Apron Could Talk:

  • Use 1 1/2 tbsp of lemon juice for use in recipes, and if you’d like it tangier for eating straight, add the extra lemon juice to taste.
  • Probiotics Note: Feel free to add probiotics (by breaking open acapsule), and stir into this yogurt.

Shout-out again to Emma Potts for these exceptionally delicious photographs! I’ll be back soon (fingers crossed) with a Summer Chickpea Salad!




  1. Tom says

    Hi Dreena, I’ve been meaning to try making my own yogurt and found this recipe so thank you very much. I would like to try making in larger batches as my son and I eat yogurt daily. How long should this keep in the fridge?

    • Dreena says

      Hi Tom, it’s good for about 5 days, after that it might be iffy! But, if you eat it daily, I’d say you could easily double or triple it to have it last through most of the week.

  2. Melissa says

    Thank you for inspiring me to finally work with raw cashews. This yogurt is amazing and very easy to make plus, it is cheaper than the store bought stuff (and highly enjoyable with a maple pecan granola.) I have seen so many cashew cream recipes that I have thought looked good but for some reason or another never picked up raw cashews at the store. A recent trip to Trader Joe’s has changed all that.

  3. Betsy says

    My weekday breakfasts are changed forever! No applesauce in mine. I didn’t quite have 1/3 cup milk (I used coconut – highly recommend) left in the can so my yogurt came out a little thicker. AMAZING with granola, too!

  4. Jacky says

    I made this last night & had it for breakfast this morning with some hemp, flax, pumpkin seeds & blueberries! So. Good!!!! Will try it with probiotics and fermenting next time. But will definitely be on recipe repeat! I reduced the maple syrup by half and used the full amount of lemon juice. Next time I will skip the maple syrup altogether. I dont have a sweet tooth so prefer the tang. Thanks!!!

  5. Tellie says

    I just made the Vanilla Cashew yogurt since I already had all of the ingredients on hand and it sounded so yummy! I have to say, the finished product is quite good! The only thing I might comment on is that the “consistency” has the mouth-feel of a “cream” more so than a true yogurt. Perhaps fermenting would change that? Not sure. I’ll add granola and fruit in the morning which should be a delicious treat for me and my daughter. Thanks for sharing!

  6. says

    Dear Dreena,

    This recipe looks delicious!!!

    I just had to come online and find your blog to thank you. This past year, I’ve researched nutrition like never before. I first learned about GMOs and that led to more. I stopped consuming GMOs about a year ago – ones that we are aware of anyway, switched to buying organic, then cut out meat, then cut out dairy, and now I follow a whole-foods, plant-based diet! I’m so very grateful the Lord placed many resources in my path to help me on this journey. I wanted to specifically thank you for your book, “Let Them Eat Vegan”. I’ve only had it a couple of months, but every recipe I’ve tried has been a winner. :)

    My whole family is not vegan (yet ;), but I made your Almond Cardamom Toffee Cookies the other day and they were a hit. One person in our family said, “If you could make these cookies, I would never need chocolate chips.” :)

    I just wanted to share with you that all of your time and effort invested in your recipe books has been a blessing to our family, and we are very new to this journey. Thank you!!

    God bless you,

    • Dreena says

      Thanks for this note, Katie, true delight to read! Congrats on making the plant-based switch, and I’m chuffed the cookies were so well received. :) Many thanks for your kindness.

  7. says

    Oh wow, cashew yogurt? And I thought I’d seen cashews in everything. So nice to be proven wrong:D Especially with regards to yogurt – I’ve been keen to find a richer (but not too expensive!) alternative to soy for quite some time!
    Shonalika recently posted..PB&J Ice CreamMy Profile

  8. Holly says

    Look yummy, thanks for all the effort behind this! Is there a way to make it really fermented and/or full of good bacteria, like real yogurt? I used to make yogurt all the time, but haven’t had any since we’ve gone dairy free.

    • Dreena says

      I haven’t experimented with fermenting in terms of traditional yogurt, but you can add the probiotic powder (as mentioned in the note) – that help?

    • says

      I hope it’s ok for me to jump in here, Dreena… Yes, it’s possible and easy. Dreena just inspired me to make some – it’s been way too long. I’ll soak the cashews, then drain, blend with fresh water, 1 tsp maple and 1/4 tsp probiotic powder. Then I’ll transfer it to a bowl, cover with a towel and let sit overnight. At this time of year, it will most likely be ready by morning, when I’ll put together the rest of Dreena’s amazing recipe. You might also try making the entire yogurt recipe and then adding the probiotic like Dreena suggests and letting it sit covered overnight. It really just needs a little bit of time at a warmish temperature to get the cultures growing.

      I can’t wait for breakfast tomorrow ~ thanks, Dreena!

  9. says

    Great idea for yogurt, and a heck of a lot cheaper than the yogurts I buy at the store that are vegan!

    I think that this could be a great base for so many different recipes, you’ve got my mind spinning with possibilities! Can’t wait to try some out!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Zach recently posted..Cauliflower Taco BitesMy Profile

  10. Gabriela says

    Dreena I haven’t tried freezing soaked cashews before. It’s brilliant! I’m always bumped when a recipe calls for soaking cashews and I don’t have enough time to let them sit. How long do you thaw them for before using? And do you rinse, then store them in the freezer?

    I want to try this recipe this week :)

    • Dreena says

      I just soak, then rinse and let drain well. Then, pop into containers – in fridge for about 4 days (otherwise I freeze if I know I’m not using within about 4 days). Thawing time, maybe an hour or two, I sometimes chuck them into my Blendtec partially frozen – the high-speed blenders can take it. But, I’d say an hour or so. Hope that helps.

  11. Ashlee says

    I just started making this for my kids two days ago!I have been astounded as to how wonderful it tastes and how easy it is! My kids gobble it up and I am so excited that we have a homemade yogurt recipe that actually works for our family. thank you so much for developing this! This idea of serving as a parfait is really good and I will have to try it sometime in the future. Perhaps also with your homemade granola.

    • Dreena says

      Hi Lisa, about 3-4 hours, and you can soak in batches and then refrigerate/freeze extra. I neglected to add that b/c the notes are detailed in the supplementary info in my book. Have fun!

  12. Katherine B says

    Just made this! I actually forgot the salt, but it turned out great anyways! I didn’t achieve a super smooth consistency even after a few minutes, but I used a food processor, so that might be why. I’ll definitely be using this as a breakfast basic in the future!

    • Dreena says

      Julie, I haven’t tested it banana, but I think you could. Just couple of notes – first, it will be sweeter and also won’t have quite as neutral a flavor – also, it will oxidize some with the banana.

Add Comment Register

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge