Seriously, Kittee and I are freaking out over this homemade block style cheese. It’s so-darn-good!! We have Somer McCowan to thank for the inspiration, as this recipe is adapted from her genius Coconut Gouda Cheese (Part Doux)

The flavor combo of this cheese is adapted from my Great Smoky Mountain Cheese recipe in Vegan Diner. That cheese, although very delicious, was before I knew about the magic of carrageenan and lactic acid (thank you Miyoko Schinner and The Gentle Chef for bringing them into our pantries).

Now that I know how easy it is to make delicious, sliceable, meltable, grate-able cheese at home, I’m totally hooked! You aren’t going to need to go to the store and buy vegan shreds or slices, at least not on the regular. This is the cheese equivalent of making vegan sausages at home. It’s nice to know you can always go to the store and buy them, but you can also make it super-easily yourself.

Our quick, smoky vegan cheese melted on a bagel from our e-book Bagel Factory.

So melty!!! On a Not Pumpernickel bagel from our e-book Bagel Factory.

After I made this cheese, I started going wild with all kinds of flavor adaptions; I made a pepper jack that’s super-delish, as well as a pizza cheese that melted better than commercial vegan shreds on top of a gluten-free crust.

Stay tuned, as we’ll post the pepper jack soon! We’re also planning to share the pizza cheese and gluten-free crust recipes in an upcoming on-line cooking class. 

Print Recipe
Quick, Smoky, Cheddar-Style Vegan Cheese
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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This recipe is adapted with permission from Somer McCowan’s awesome Smoked Coconut Gouda (Part Deux). This cheese is great out of hand, or slice and shred it wherever you crave melted cheese!
Photo of Vegan Gluten Free Cheddar Cheese
1 block
Photo of Vegan Gluten Free Cheddar Cheese
1 block
  1. In the jar of a strong blender, combine the water, cashews, nutritional yeast flakes, coconut oil, liquid smoke, salt, smoked paprika, granulated onion, and lactic acid, and blend until super smooth and there aren’t any bits of nuts. Add the tapioca and carrageenan, and blend for 5 to 10 seconds until smooth.
  2. Pour the cashew mixture into a large saucepan, and bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking continually. Continue cooking, whisking continuously, for about 7-9 minutes until the mixture has thickened nicely and is very glossy.
  3. Pour the cheese into a smallish container that can contain a minimum of 2 cups volume. I like small loaf pans or glass bowls.
  4. If properly cooked, the cheese will start to set right away. Allow the cheese to set at room temperature for 30 minutes. Then cover and refrigerate the cheese to finish setting for 3 to 4 hours.
  5. If the cheese doesn’t set up properly that means you haven’t cooked it long enough, if this happens to you, throw it back into the saucepan and cook for a few minutes more! It’ll re-melt and then you can pour it back into the mold for it to solidify.
  6. Remove the cheese from the mold and serve.
Recipe Notes


Beer Cheddar: Substitute 1 cup dark beer (GF or regular) for 1 cup water. Increase nutritional yeast flakes to 1/4 cup, reduce liquid smoke to 1 teaspoon, reduce smoked paprika to 1 teaspoon, increase lactic acid to 1 1/4 teaspoons and add 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic.

Thanks again to Somer for letting us adapt and share her awesome cheese recipe! We adore Somer’s recipes, and if you haven’t checked out her stuff you can find her on Instagram @somermccowan, her website and her fantastic cookbook The Abundance Diet!

There are only a couple of specialty ingredients you’ll need for our cheeses, and they’re easy to order from Amazon. Here’s a vegan lactic acid powder  and a Kappa Carrageenan from Amazon that are both great brands. Find a couple of friends to share with, as the bags will last a very long time!

Please let us know if you make this cheese! We’re so excited to hear what you think of it. #julieandkittee #smokycheese

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xo Julie & Kittee

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