Today’s post is a little different. Instead of a recipe, I’m going to be testing different brands of vegan cream cheese.
Cream cheese is amazing. I love it SO much. It can be used for cheesecake, frosting, muffins, anything really. But it can’t be used for vegans. There are some recipes out there for vegan cheesecakes using cashews, but I have to say that they don’t have the true creaminess and tang that I love about cream cheese. I wanted to conduct a taste test to see which brand of vegan cream cheese was the best.
A little disclaimer: I purchased all of these cream cheeses with my own money. All opinions are my own.
I bought loads of vegan cream cheese, and got to work. I’m not vegan, but I called up a friend who is so we could have different perspectives on this. We tried to cream cheese by itself, and on toast. We rated it in terms of look, smell, taste, and texture.
First up: Daiya
Look: creamy, very creamy
Smell: “smells like frosting!”
Texture: really really smooth
Taste: Kind of tart and sweet? a little bit of an aftertaste, sweeter than it should be
Look: smooth, silky, thin
Smell: Kind of tangy?
Texture: Very silky
Taste: close to cream cheese, slightly sweeter
Vegan friend: “A little bit like frosting? Feels more like a dessert.”
Me (non-vegan): Bit of an aftertaste, tangy, spreads nicely.
Look: Smoother than daiya
Smell: Smells more like cream cheese than daiya
Texture: really thick butter
Taste: really mild, almost tastes like butter, not a lot of taste
Me (non vegan):
Look: Looks like plastic
Texture: Thick, almost in between spreadable cream cheese and block cream cheese
Taste: Creamy but not much tang, has an aftertaste
Vegan friend: like whipped spread, would probably put another cream cheese on top for actual cream cheese flavor
Me (non vegan): buttery, more like a butter spread
Smell: doesn’t smell like much
Texture: a little grainy, dusty, thicker
Taste: really tart, not sweet
Me (non vegan):
Look: Grainy and thick, a bit grey
Smell: Sour, acidic
Texture: Thick and grainy, but still smooth
Taste: Very tangy, not creamy enough
Vegan friend: could fool a non vegan with this, dusty
Me (non vegan): dusty, tangier than actual cream cheese
This one spoiled before my vegan friend had the opportunity to taste it, so the only opinions expressed are mine.
Me (non vegan):
Look: Smooth, silky, thin in consistency
Smell: Strange, almost sweet?
Texture: Very silky and smooth
Taste: Has an aftertaste, hardly tangy
I did not get the chance to try this on toast.
So, final thoughts?
At first Go Veggie and Daiya were my favorites for being the closest to actual cream cheese. For some reason when I tried Daiya again it didn’t taste how I remembered. A good thing to note is that Go Veggie and Trader Joe’s both spoil very quickly. All the vegan cream cheeses had a similar aftertaste. Baking with these is not recommended unless the recipe specifies one of these cream cheeses since most non vegan cream cheese recipes require block cream cheese which has a different consistency. I would use vegan cream cheese for spreading on toast or sandwiches.