How to Make Cashew Yogurt from Scratch

by Kaitlynn Fenley

Learn how to make cashew yogurt from scratch. This cashew yogurt recipe combines cashews and coconut cream for a perfect silky smooth yet thick yogurt texture. You can make the creamiest vegan yogurt at home with only five ingredients.

Dairy-Free Coconut Cashew Yogurt

It’s not complicated to make cashew yogurt at home! However, the process is different from homemade traditional dairy yogurt.

To make thick and creamy dairy-free yogurt, it is best for you to start with ingredients that are already naturally thick before you incubate the yogurt. That’s why cashews and coconut cream make the best dairy-free yogurt base.

two jars of white, dairy-free coconut cashew yogurt made using this cashew yogurt recipe on top of a plate

How to Make Cashew Yogurt

Various probiotic bacteria play essential roles in the production of yogurt. Most often, species of LactobacillusBifidobacterium, and Streptococcus are the microbes we find in yogurt.

Specific types of yogurt, such as Greek and Belgian, are distinguished by the species of bacteria used to culture milk into yogurt.

In animal-sourced milk, the bacteria can use lactose for energy. This produces a byproduct of lactic acid. Lactic acid builds up in the milk causing the coagulation of milk proteins. This is what transforms the milk into a semi-solid known as yogurt.

Cashew Yogurt Fermentation

Lactic acid fermentation is not the same in dairy-free/vegan yogurt. Plant-sourced milk, for instance, does not contain lactose.

Instead, bacteria utilize other sugars and proteins for metabolism. The bacteria still produce some acid in dairy-free yogurt, so the flavor is slightly tart. However, plant-based milk does not have the same proteins that coagulate to form yogurt.

So for this recipe, we aren’t using any plant-based milk. You can make delicious, vegan yogurt using already thick ingredients like cashew cream and coconut cream.

To make yogurt using plant-based milk and thickeners, CLICK HERE.

Ingredients and Supplies

One of my favorite things about this recipe is that you can use a yogurt incubator, but if you don’t have one, no worries!

You can incubate at room temperature in a warm-ish spot, like on the counter near the back end of your refrigerator. The timeline will be slightly different without an incubator.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A Blender (I have a Vitamix, and it is perfect for blending the ingredients into smooth yogurt)
  • Yogurt Maker (optional) and Jars
  • Vegan Yogurt Cultures or Already-Made Vegan Yogurt
  • Lemon Juice
  • Coconut Cream
  • Unsalted Cashews
  • Maple Syrup

For this recipe, it’s essential to clean your jars and equipment thoroughly. The cashews must also be soaked in boiling water before making the yogurt to prevent cross-contamination.

a jar of dairy-free coconut cashew yogurt with a strawberry slice and an orange slice on top

Dairy-Free Coconut Cashew Yogurt

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5 from 5 reviews

Learn how to make cashew yogurt from scratch. This cashew yogurt recipe combines cashews and coconut cream for a perfect silky smooth yet thick yogurt texture. You can make the creamiest vegan yogurt at home with only five ingredients.

  • Author: Kaitlynn Fenley
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 Six Ounce Jars
  • Category: Fermented Foods
  • Method: Fermentation
  • Diet: Vegan


  • 2 Cups Unsalted Raw Cashews
  • 1/3 Cup Lemon Juice
  • 24 Ounces Full Fat Coconut Cream
  • 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
  • Yogurt Starter Cultures


  1. Add your cashews to a glass bowl. Top with boiling water and let soak for 30 minutes.
  2. After you soak the cashews, drain and rinse with hot water.
  3. Combine all of the ingredients, except the starter cultures, in a blender and blend on high until smooth.
  4. Heat the mixture to 181° F in a glass container set over boiling water. If you have an instant pot, you can sterilize the mixture on the high yogurt setting.
  5. Allow the mixture to cool to 110° F, then add the starter cultures.
  6. Incubate. You have three options for incubating:
    1. Dispense the yogurt into jars and place the jars in a yogurt maker for 6-8 hours, then immediately refrigerate.
    2. Incubate the entire mixture in the instant pot container on the low yogurt setting at 107° F, then dispense into jars and refrigerate.
    3. OR you can dispense into jars,  incubate at room temperature for 12 hours, then immediately refrigerate.
  7. Chill yogurt in the fridge for at least 4 hours to solidify.
  8. Top with some fresh fruit, and enjoy!


*For yogurt starter cultures you can use a starter culture packet OR sub for 3 Tablespoons already made vegan yogurt

*This yogurt should keep in the fridge for approximately 14-21 days. 

*You must use raw cashews for a smooth texture

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author avatar
Kaitlynn Fenley Author, Educator, Food Microbiologist
Kaitlynn is a food microbiologist and fermentation expert teaching people how to ferment foods and drinks at home.

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Brittany June 22, 2020 - 10:39 pm

Hi Kaitlynn!

I’m super excited to try this – it sounds so easy and delicious! I’m wondering what brand/kind of coconut cream you used?

Thank you!

Kaitlynn Fenley June 24, 2020 - 3:56 pm

I use coconut cream from Trader Joe’s. I’ve also used the 365 brand coconut cream from Whole Foods.

Emily Hubert September 3, 2020 - 11:28 am

This recipe was very easy to follow, and the yogurt came out awesome! I used a sweetened vegan yogurt as my starter, so I left out the maple syrup. Came out perfect!

Anonymous May 7, 2021 - 8:05 am

Made this yesterday. Very thick and creamy

Meredith July 25, 2021 - 6:30 pm

Hi! I just saw an idea online that suggested blending silken tofu with soy milk to make a thicker vegan yogurt in the Instant Pot. Do you think this would work? I’ll use either the Belle & Bella nondairy starter or some store-bought vegan yogurt as the starter. Thanks!

Kaitlynn Fenley July 26, 2021 - 3:19 pm

hello! I’m not sure how it will work because I haven’t tested it and I don’t know what recipe you are referring to. I feel like in theory, it should work… but I can’t validate unknown recipes.

Juju September 21, 2021 - 6:19 pm

Can you make this recipe with zero sweetener, and once it is made into yogurt, add whatever sweetener that you might like or no sweetener at all?

Kaitlynn Fenley September 22, 2021 - 7:35 am

yes, you sure can!

juju September 21, 2021 - 6:25 pm

Another question, Have you made this vegan yogurt with coconut milk instead of full fat coconut cream? I’d like to tone down the fat content.

Kaitlynn Fenley September 22, 2021 - 7:39 am

Yes, but they do not sub evenly. You’ll need to reduce the amount. So instead of 24 ounces coconut cream, you can try 12 to 15 ounces of coconut milk.

Tina January 23, 2022 - 8:07 am

If im gonna sterilize the yogurt in the instant pot on the high yogurt mode how long should k put it for please . Thank u so much for the recipe 🌹

Kaitlynn Fenley January 27, 2022 - 7:46 am

There is a yogurt setting, with two options- sterilize and incubate. You have to use an instant pot with a yogurt setting. One mine the time is automatically set. Check our blog post “how to make yogurt in an instant pot

Molly February 1, 2022 - 2:08 pm

I made a recipe that is very similar to yours (no lemon juice and with a probiotic supplement instead of starter culture), which I incubated in the instant pot for 8 hours. The end result was pourable, rather than thick but the flavor is wonderful. I’m working in the office today and packed my lunch. I put a small portion of yogurt in a glass container which then sat in my insulated lunch bag with other cold items but no cold pack (it’s in the 30s in the morning here) and then commuted to work (about 1.5 hours) and placed it in the fridge. This afternoon when I went for my snack it had thickened! It tasted and smelled good. My question is: does this mean that it needed to incubate longer and therefore the slightly warmer temperature in my lunch bag did the trick?

Kaitlynn Fenley February 2, 2022 - 7:33 am

Did you chill it in the fridge before putting it in your lunch bag? It probably just needed time to set at cold temperatures.

Molly February 7, 2022 - 7:52 am

Thanks so much for the reply. Yes, that is what was interesting about it. Prior to putting it in the smaller container, it had been chilling in the fridge for 2-3 days. That is why I thought that either the brief/slight warm-up or the smaller container (it was in a 22-ounce jar in the fridge and I put about 1/3 cup in a smaller jar for transport) was what helped it thicken…

Tiffany June 21, 2022 - 10:01 pm

Loved. This. Recipe!!! I omitted the maple syrup… it got even yummier after a few days in the fridge.

Laura February 4, 2023 - 11:52 am

I love this recipe! I’ve been making it for over a year, and it never fails. It is luxuriously rich—I can only eat half a serving at a time. Just FYI, I use 1.5 cups cashews so it’s not quite as thick, a yogurt maker with 7 individual cups, and let it incubate for 9 hours. I use plain almond milk yogurt as the starter. It does take awhile to soak the cashews, heat the mixture, then cool it, so while making it is easy, it does require about 2 hours for me prior to incubation. It’s well worth it.

Sharelle January 24, 2024 - 10:56 am

I’ve made several other recipes and this one turns out VERY thick and creamy! I absolutely
L❤️VE this recipe!! It is the best one if you like your yogurt to be thick like Greek yogurt & not watery like Kiefer. The other ones I’ve made taste good but they were more like a drinkable consistency. The lemon juice adds a little tartness which is an awesome addition.
Thank You so much for such a FABULOUS RECIPE! 🙏

Kaitlynn Fenley January 25, 2024 - 6:45 am

Thank you for leaving a review! I’m glad to hear you loved the recipe.

Christine Jeanine February 7, 2024 - 7:47 am

Great recipe! Would this work just as well with other nuts?

Kaitlynn Fenley February 8, 2024 - 10:41 am

I’ve tried with raw pecans, and it worked well. Not sure about other nuts!

Sharelle February 22, 2024 - 10:23 am

THIS IS THE BEST YOGURT RECIPE EVER!! It is SOOO Much better than any plant based yogurt you can buy in the store and I have tried them all. I add some real vanilla to mine when it’s all done & it is absolutely amazing. I make it on a regular basis & do not buy yogurt at the store anymore. I have also tried other recipes and this one is the absolute best, it’s thick and creamy like Greek yogurt while all the others were thin and watery.

Kaitlynn Fenley February 22, 2024 - 11:17 am

I’m so happy you love this yogurt recipe!! It’s definitely the best way to make dairy free yogurt!