Tofu Cream Cheese Recipe

Danielle Copperman, author of Well Being: Recipes and Rituals to Realign the Body and Mind, shares her New York-inspired vegan cream cheese recipe made from tofu, perfect for recreating the classic NYC bagel.

Earlier this year I was in New York to launch the US edition of my book, Well Being, and while living in the East Village I frequented one of my favourite delis in the city – Russ & Daughters. It is such an amazing place and quite an experience; a really traditional, family-owned operation specialising in cured fish, bagels and other everyday specialities done inexplicably well. One of the things they’re most famous for are their bagels, for which they have a huge selection of different types of cream cheese, and different types of cured fish. It was here I first discovered tofu cream cheese – a vegan alternative to conventional cream cheese, and one of the most incredible culinary inventions I’ve ever come across.

Taking it upon myself to try and recreate it when I returned home, it turned out to be incredibly easy to make, and just as delicious as the one I’d tried in NY. Whether you’re looking for a new vegan spread for your sourdough, a dip for your crudités or something to add to a little flavour and creaminess to sauces and other hot dishes, this ones for you!


400g firm tofu
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
pinch salt
6 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tsp lemon juice


  • Simply add all of the ingredients to a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Use a tamper to help the mixture blend smoothly, and if you don’t have a tamper, stop the machine a few times to scrape down the sides and keep things moving – the mixture gets quite thick quite quickly so it might need some help. Add a little hot water to help the mixture blend if it becomes too thick, or if you would prefer a slightly smoother, runnier option.
  • Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 1 week.


Try Danielle‘s cashew and sweet potato vegan ice cream recipe.

Discover our suggestions for the best vegan restaurants in NYC.

Learn more about vegan substitutes for everyday staples including milk and eggs.