Vegan Ghost Pepper Cheese | Julie's Kitchenette

Smoked Ghost Pepper Cheese

  • Author: Julie Hasson


This homemade cheese is delightfully smoky, creamy, with a spicy kick. It’s kind of the grown up version of paper jack.



2 cups cool water
1/2 cup raw cashews
3 1/2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
2 tablespoons melted virgin coconut oil (unrefined)
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
3/4 teaspoon vegan lactic acid powder
A few grinds or sprinkle of smoked Ghost Pepper
A few grinds of black pepper
3 tablespoons tapioca starch
1 1/2 tablespoons kappa carrageenan


In the jar of a strong blender, combine the water, cashews, nutritional yeast flakes, coconut oil, salt, liquid smoke, lactic acid, Ghost Pepper, and black pepper, blending until super smooth and there aren’t any bits of nuts. Taste and add more Ghost Pepper, if desired. Add the tapioca and carrageenan, and blend for 5 to 10 seconds until smooth. Don’t blend any longer or the mixture can start to thicken in the blender.

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. I like to drizzle a little of the mixture onto the back of a spoon, and make sure that it firms up. That’s how I can tell that it’s done cooking. 

Pour the cheese into a smallish container that can contain a minimum of 2 cups volume. I like small loaf pans or glass bowls.

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.

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.


Gluten-Free + Vegan