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The Best Vegan Sour Cream (Cultured)

This non-dairy sour cream is creamy and tangy. It's our absolute favorite!

Delicious vegan sour cream fermented using live probiotics. This relatively simple recipe that only requires a few ingredients produces my favorite vegan topping ever!

The best vegan sour cream

We've tried as many vegan sour creams as we can. Store bought options are super expensive and usually not the best tasting. Other recipes are great, but the result isn't quite sour enough because that flavor is just mimicked with only vinegar and lemon.

This recipe is by far the best, but it takes some planning. Instead of simply adding sour ingredients, we just toss in some live probiotics into the mix, and let them do their thing. While the end result is so, so good, it usually takes about 2 days.

What does cultured mean?

This non-dairy sour cream is considered "cultured" because it's fermented using probiotics. While the recipe starts with a simple cashew cream, which is naturally very creamy and neutrally flavored, it's the bacteria that really create the amazing flavor.

The primary bacteria that contribute to the fermentation process are lactic acid bacteria. They heavily contribute to the tangy, complex flavor and they thicken the mixture, which creates a really pleasant texture.

If possible, choose probiotics that offer several strains of Lactobacillus bacteria as well as beneficial Bifidobacterium strains. This will create a more complex sour cream flavor than using Lactobacillus acidophilus alone.

What is a good vegan substitute for sour cream?

A plain soy based vegan yoghurt or a thick batch of cashew cream could work depending on the recipe. However, they'd likely need added acid -- like lemon or vinegar. If you have the ingredients and the time this recipe is as close to the dairy version as you can get.

Uses for cultured vegan sour cream

You can use this recipe anywhere you'd normally use sour cream.

It’s perfect on tacos, nachos, beans, or any other Mexican-inspired dish. It can be a great addition to soups for a creamy, complex flavor addition. A lot of times I like adding a spoonful to my burgers.

This is probably my favorite vegan topping, so I put it on everything. Don't be afraid to experiment.

Cultured Sour Cream


Step 1

Soak cashews in very hot water for 1 hour or in cool water for 6 hours or overnight. Drain.

Step 2

Add drained cashews to a high-speed blender with water and blend until creamy and smooth, scraping down sides of blender as needed.

Step 3

Scrape mixture into a mixing bowl and add contents of probiotic capsules. Stir with a wooden or plastic spoon (not metal as it can react with the probiotics) until fully incorporated.

Step 4

Cover with a piece of cheesecloth or a very thin towel and secure with a rubber band. Let rest on the counter (preferably in a room warmer than 70 degrees F (21 C)) for at least 24 hours or up to 48 hours.

Step 5

Once the mixture has reached your preferred tanginess and texture, uncover and add the salt, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar. Stir thoroughly to combine.

Step 6

Taste test and adjust as needed, adding more lemon juice for acidity, salt for saltiness, or apple cider vinegar for tanginess.

Step 7

Use immediately, or for cold sour cream, chill at least 6 hours. Will keep covered in refrigerator for 5 days, oftentimes longer. You’ll know it’s gone bad when mold has formed or it no longer smells and tastes appetizing.


  • 1 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 2-3 probiotic capsules
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • tsp apple cider vinegar


  • High-speed blender

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