While cashew milk may not have the popularity of other plant-based dairy alternatives, it is one of the most creamy and delicious options.
It can be used in multiple dishes, from dairy-free baked goods like brownies and cupcakes to breakfast foods like smoothies, cereal, and overnight oats.
Despite its creamy texture and mild flavor, you may be looking for a cashew milk substitute.
Luckily, there are plenty of dairy-free alternatives to cashew milk you can use around the kitchen.
Discover the best cashew milk substitutes for baking, coffee and tea, cooking, and other healthy meal ideas.
What is Cashew Milk?
Before jumping into substitutes for cashew milk, it may be helpful to understand how this dairy-free milk is made and its nutritional profile.
This can help you choose a suitable replacement based on ingredients and dietary needs.
Cashew milk is made by blending raw cashews with filtered water, similar to the process for making almond milk.
Typically, manufacturers soak cashews in water for several hours, rinse them off, then blend them with the right amount of water (typically a water to cashew ratio of 4:1) to reach the desired consistency.
More water equals thinner cashew milk, while more cashews give cashew milk a rich, creamy texture.
A popular plant-based milk brand, Elmhurst 1925, offers Unsweetened Milked Cashews with just filtered water and cashews.
This brand uses 4 times more nuts per serving than many commercial brands, which gives it a richer nutritional profile than some watered-down options.
A cup of this cashew milk contains:
Comparatively, making your own cashew milk at home with a pre-blended base like JOI gives you a cup of the beverage with:
Check out our Cashew Milk 101 video to learn more.
Best Cashew Milk Substitutes
Whether you’re looking for a different taste, texture, or nutritional profile than cashew milk, you may want to try other alternative milk in your food.
The following are the best plant-based milk substitutes for various culinary applications.
Best Cashew Milk Substitutes for Coffee and Tea
For many people, finding the right dairy-free milk for coffee and tea is a bit of a challenge. It can be difficult to mimic cow’s milk’s frothing ability, creamy texture, and sweet taste.
Cashew milk can be used in coffee, but hot coffee's high temperature and acidity can result in curdling. In tea, acidity from flavorings such as lemon can also cause cashew milk to curdle.
If you want a different plant-based milk for your tea or coffee, the following options work well:
Almond milk is a great cashew milk substitute for coffee.
It has a slightly sweet, nutty flavor that compliments many coffees and teas, especially iced varieties.
While it can have the same curdling effect as cashew milk, you can use it in coffees and teas with lower acidity or temper it before putting it in your morning brew.
Some brands, like Elmhurst 1925, offer Almond Barista milk specially formulated to work in hot drinks.
These options can have a few more ingredients than unsweetened versions but can help you stay on a plant-based diet by allowing you to use non-dairy milk in your coffee or tea.
Oat milk is the most popular non-dairy milk for coffee drinks like lattes, cappuccinos, and espressos, having been adopted by Starbucks as a plant-based staple.
With its sweet, mild taste and creamy texture, oat milk works well in iced and hot coffees and dessert-type teas.
Like almond milk, oat milk often comes in specialized barista varieties, such as Elmhurst 1925’s Oat Barista.
These barista blends contain dipotassium phosphate, a food additive that helps the milk stretch, foam, and bubble-like dairy milk.
Best Cashew Milk Substitutes for Smoothies, Chia Pudding, and Overnight Oats
Cashew milk’s creamy texture and light taste is ideal for making healthy staples like smoothies, chia pudding, or overnight oats.
However, you may want to switch it up occasionally or opt for a lower-calorie and carbohydrate option.
The following plant-based milk substitutes work well in place of cashew milk for these foods:
An unsweetened oat milk variety, such as Willa’s Kitchen, Unsweetened Oat Milk, will give you a similar creaminess and flavor to cashew milk in these recipes.
However, it also offers a much lower calorie count, at 80 calories per cup. At 1.5 g of fat per serving, it’s also lower in fat than some cashew milk and contains 2 grams of fiber.
Unsweetened almond milk, like New Barn Organic’s Unsweetened Almondmilk, is a great replacement for cashew milk in these foods if you’re on Whole30, keto, or just looking for a lower-calorie, lower-carbohydrate option.
This almond milk has just 90 calories, 1 gram of carbohydrates, and three ingredients, making it ideal for clean eating.
Hemp milk may seem like an unconventional option, but it is also a wonderful cashew milk substitute for recipes like overnight oats or chia pudding that need a sturdy, creamy base.
Made by blending omega-3-rich hemp seeds with filtered water, hemp milk is heart-healthy plant milk that’s smooth and delicious.
One serving of Hemp Mylk Concentrate from Good Mylk has about 150 calories, 10 grams of fat, 9 grams of carbohydrates, and 7 grams of protein. This gives it a nutritional profile similar to cashew milk, with a bit of extra protein.
Pea milk is a good choice if you’re looking for a cashew milk substitute with a bit more protein for your morning smoothie.
Pea milk is made from yellow peas and water, resulting in a thick, creamy beverage high in protein.
Although some say it has a bitter or chalky undertaste, these characteristics are well-balanced by fruit, veggies, nut butter, and other ingredients that are used in the typical smoothie.
Pea milk can offer you an excellent start to your morning at 79 calories per cup, 2 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fat, and 8 grams of protein.
It can also help you meet your protein goals without as much fat or carbohydrates as cashew milk in similar quantities.
Best Cashew Milk Substitutes for Baking
When baking with plant-based milk, cashew works well because of its high-fat content, sweet flavor, and full, creamy texture. In baking, fat helps the leavening process to create fluffy baked goods and gives them a soft, tender texture.
It also adds moisture, preventing a dry, cracked surface.
The following dairy-free cashew milk substitutes also work well in baked goods due to their high-fat content and earthy, nutty taste.
Walnut Milk, such as Elmhurst 1925’s Unsweetened Walnut Milk, makes a unique cashew milk substitute for baked goods.
It’s high in fat, with 11 grams per 8 ounces. It’s also low in carbohydrates and offers 3 grams of protein.
Since walnuts are often featured in baked desserts, such as brownies, ice cream, and sweet bread, this plant-based milk option can boost that nutty flavor and add extra richness.
Coconut milk is a great plant-based choice for baking over cashew milk.
It has about 150 calories per cult, 2 grams of carbohydrates, and 15 grams of fat. This high-fat content means it will help your baked goods come out moist and fluffy.
Coconut milk also has a slightly nutty, tropical taste, which can be ideal for baked goods with flavors complemented by coconut, such as pineapple, papaya, passionfruit, or guava.
Similar to walnut milk, hazelnut milk makes an excellent cashew milk substitute for baked goods.
Hazelnuts are used as the base for Nutella, providing a rich, luxurious texture to the spread.
Made with hazelnuts and water, hazelnut milk can add creaminess and sweet nuttiness to baked goods.
Elmhurst 1925’s Unsweetened Hazelnut Milk has 9 grams of fat and 1 gram of carbohydrates, with only 90 calories per serving, offering a high-fat content similar to cashew milk.
Best Cashew Milk Substitutes for Cooking
Cashew milk works in several cooking applications, such as sauces and stews.
People who follow a vegan diet often use cashew milk or cashew cream for plant-based alfredo sauce or to mimic heavy cream in other recipes.
The following dairy-free options work well in different recipes as a cashew milk substitute.
Made from soybeans and water, soy milk has been a vegetarian staple for several decades.
Soy milk has about 105 calories per serving, with around 4 grams of fat, 12 grams of carbohydrates, and 7 grams of protein.
With a slightly sweet, mild flavor and creamy texture, soy milk works well in cooking for almost any recipe.
Somewhat thinner than cashew or soy milk, rice milk is an ideal substitute for cooking dishes where you may want to reduce the fat content while still needing a touch of creaminess.
Rice milk has about 115 calories, 22 grams of carbs, and only 2 grams of fat per serving.
While it isn’t ideal for those on keto or who have diabetes, it is great for replacing cashew milk for a lower fat count or for those allergic to nuts.
Enjoy Cashew Milk Substitutes In Your Favorite Dishes
While these substitutes are great cashew milk alternatives for staying dairy-free, it’s important to remember that your personal preferences and the type of milk you buy might affect how they perform.
Some brands put additives in their products that boost their nutritional profile but often add gums and emulsifiers that can irritate some people’s digestive systems.
Also, the production method and amount of plant-based ingredients can affect the taste and texture.
When experimenting with plant-based milk, keep an open mind and try multiple kinds and brands to find the perfect one.