Smoked Coconut Gouda


Update: While this recipe is incredible, I have updated, simplified and made the cheese meltier in a new version, Smoked Cococut Gouda part deux.

I’ve been making vegan cashew cheez for a while now, but ever since Vegan Richa made some incredible looking coconut mozzarella I’ve had a serious cheez itch that wouldn’t go away until it was scratched.

My favorite cheese of all time before going vegan was smoked gouda. I needed a counterpart that would melt, stretch, slice, grate, and pair well with crackers or pizza and anything else I wanted to do with it.

After five six failed attempts I bring you:

Smoked Coconut Gouda

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk (it pays to go with the best quality in this recipe)
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • 1 T. liquid smoke
  • 1/4 C. water
  • 1/2 t. vegemite, marmite or vegan worcestershire sauce
  • 2 t. sea salt
  • 2 T. nutritional yeast
  • 2 T. agar powder or 8 T. of agar agar flakes (the powder is much more concentrated)
  • 2 T. potato starch, cornstarch or arrowroot
  • 1 T. tapioca starch
  • 1 T. dry pectin (I only use Pomona’s Pectin, it’s the cleanest pectin on the market and helps the cheez melt and stretch)
  • 1 t. xanthan gum

One of the failed batches. They tasted good, but weren’t the perfect texture. We used them up in pizzas, mac & cheez, grilled cheez sandwiches, quesadillas, soups and more.

You can find many or all the ingredients necessary to make this cheez at Whole Foods or your local health food store. If all else fails, try Amazon.

Read through this before you get started and have everything set up and ready to go before commencing cheez making. Speed is essential when creating cheez.

Method: Blend coconut milk, water, agar powder, pectin, liquid smoke, salt, vegemite (or substitutes above), and nutritional yeast until fully combined in your blender. Heat this mixture in a small saucepan over medium high heat, stirring constantly, until it all comes to a boil. Reduce heat to medium (still boiling) and continue to stir for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat. Have your tapioca starch, potato starch and xanthan gum mixed all together in a small container. This is your powder mixture. Quickly and carefully pour hot cheez mixture into your power blender or food processor. Add your powder mixture from above and promptly process until thick, scraping down sides if necessary. Immediately pour into a lightly oiled container and use a silicone (or other) spatula to scrape it out. I used a small round glass container, but an 8 or 9 inch round pie or cake tin like Kristy at Keepin’ it Kind used in this cheez recipe would also be fantastic and possibly allow for faster setting. Put the uncovered Smoked Coconut Gouda in the fridge. Allow to set up for an hour or two. Turn out onto a plate and leave uncovered for an additional 5 hours or overnight in the fridge. The cheez gets firmer the longer it sets. Once firm, store the cheez in a covered container and use or freeze within the week.

Tomorrow I’ll share my Vedged Out Calzone recipe with you that uses the Smoked Coconut Gouda

This stuff makes me MELT AND SWOON!

The best bit? Once you invest in ingredients for making vegan cheez, it’s incredibly affordable. One pound of this homemade vegan cheez costs less than $5 bucks a pound. Daiya and other commercial vegan cheezes cost about $12 a pound.



    1. Forget the smell! Without the liquid smoke this would be mozzarella. Which would be fine, but I promise you would like the gouda. Liquid smoke behaves totally different in recipes. Think fish sauce – pre-vedge I used it all the time. It smells awful, but makes incredible thai food….

        1. Totally. I know you probably have everything else. I’d love to know what you think. Plus the liquid smoke has a really clean label…. 🙂

  1. Amazing! Even though I prefer the real thing, you really can’t argue with those economics – and it really does look amazing! You may have twisted my arm with this one Somer! 🙂

    1. Thanks Shira! I had real cheese on accident a couple of weeks ago in a burrito. I requested it to be made without, but I caved and ate it because I get tired of being the snooty vegan who always needs their order corrected. I was bloated and uncomfortable all night and the next day I had swelling in my face and hands. It’s clear real dairy products and I just don’t get along. But yes, real gouda is incredible. I’ll take this one cause it doesn’t make me sick 😉

    1. I’m afraid my photos didn’t do it justice, it was just too dang cloudy yesterday to get good shots. If you make it, I wanna know what you think girl. I’m so in love!

    1. I hope you do! The initial investment in cheezmaking ingredients is a pretty penny, but now that I’ve got them all in my pantry, I can make vegan cheez any time I feel like it at very little expense for each batch. Plus, my ingredient list is a bit cleaner than store bought vegan cheez.

      1. thats anouther reason i hesistate when it come to vegan cheese, reading the ingredients! ive got all the ingredients apart from pectin so gonna pop to see the lovely ladies at my local health food shop and get some tommorow 🙂

        1. Yes! I buy Pomona’s Pectin in bulk I use it so often. I think this is going to make you very happy. I’ll be sharing my updated pepper-jack cashew cheez later in the week. Be prepared! 😉

    1. Yes, it’s in the fridge, I’ll update the directions to make it clearer 🙂
      p.s. I like this way better than Daiya. Daiya just tastes artificial to me. I don’t think this one does, it’s just delicious/

    1. Normally I would say real is better, but since cheese is packed with cholesterol, hormones, rennet and in America, loads of antibiotics, this is a good option. Obviously it’s not the exact flavor, but its a super good stand in!

  2. Somer, you are amazing. And the “smoked gouda” pizza you brought over was DIVINE- I still salivate thinking about it. Definitely need to make this a staple in our house, but may require a lesson for this one (as we know, I’m a bit challenged.)

    1. I’ve used the flakes and they work great in dessert, though you may have to grind them down into a powder to get the same measurement as the powder. 🙂

  3. I am spasming! Literally twitching at how good that looks! I adore you all! All of you vegan experimentalists who put your amazing recipes out there in the ether so that humble little Tasmanian vegan magpie desperado’s are able to find it, take it home to their nests and make their lives so much better than they were. What a triumph! I can see this melting all over all sorts of things. I can feel myself swooning and its only just gone 7am! I can’t wait till I make this and start thinking of all the interesting ways that I can use it :). You, and Vegan Richa, just made my month 🙂

    1. Wow, now that’s cheap. Thanks to Walmart and other corporate giants you can get cheese in the US for 3 to 4 bucks a pound depending on the cheese. But I think Gouda would be a bit more pricey. I love that going vegan doesn’t exactly mean giving up everything that I loved. I used to be more of a purist, but everyone needs to have a bit of fun eats now and again 🙂

  4. You need to sell this stuff. You could set up a stand at your local Farmer’s Market and seriously make some bank. You are a cheese whiz (sorry, I couldn’t not do it)! 😉

  5. That’s the failed cheez? I’ll take it. Wow. Can’t wait for the calzone. My crazyboy is going to attempt making some almond feta this week. Can’t wait. Thank you for sharing,

    1. Haha! Thanks Gigi! The failed cheez wasn’t firm enough to grate, it was like smoked cream cheez. Which wasn’t a bad thing, but not what I wanted 🙂 Ohhh, almond feta! Nice, my man doesn’t ever lay foot in the kitchen. Blast.

  6. Thanks so much for posting this recipe. We are a family of Nut Free Vegans due to our youngest son’s allergies. Most vegan cheez recipes call for nuts so I was super excited to see this recipe based on coconut milk. Half of our family won’t touch Daiya so I would love to find another alternative. Thanks!

    1. I think you’ll really like it, plus even though I make pepper-jack cashew cheez, there are lots of similar possibilities with this one. Omit the liquid smoke and add a few chopped sun dried tomatoes and kalamata olives, or a teaspoon of crushed chili flakes, seasoning the cheez helps it be more savory. Good luck!

  7. i have made other coconut cheese before with the actual coconut meat, and it is super delicious. it sucks to have to clean a coconut to do it, but the pay off is great tasting food. i have never made it with coconut milk before though. i will have to give this a shot.

    1. Wow, intriguing. I haven’t had a battle with a whole coconut yet where I’ve won, so I stick to the canned goods, which can’t be nearly as delicious….

  8. You are amazing Somer!! That looks so incredibly delicious!! You know what…I’ve never had vegan cheese or made vegan cheese. Never been interested in Daiya…not interested in processed soy or tofu yuckiness. Plus, the pics I’ve seen of it, it doesn’t melt well. My hubby would love this…he misses cheese and especially calzones so bad! Does it taste coconut-y??

    1. Holy Dooly, I missed this comment ages ago. It does taste slightly of coconut, but it’s a savory version so somehow it works really nicely.

  9. I don’t do “fake” cheese as a rule, but I think I am going to have to try this recipe! Last month’s VegNews magazine featured several gourmet cheese recipes–and I’ve been toying with the idea. Maybe this weekend. Thanks for the inspiration! –Melanie

    1. If you want to make an even cleaner cheez, try this one I made earlier this year while blogging at GCF:

      I tried using just the pectin with the coconut milk and it turned out too rubbery.

      To make it smoked cashew cheez, omit the jalapeno and pimiento. I would also reduce the water by 1/2 cup. Super clean recipe and of course you can omit the oil. It still melts and it would taste incredible!

  10. G’day Somer, does this melt like non-vegan cheese ? I see there is I can of full fat coconut so can I assume that the fat content would make a kind of melting thing happening ? Great post I would like to try this too… Cheers mate

    1. Thom, it DOES melt, you’ll see in the photos in my post later today. My cashew cheez also melts and it has a low fat content. It’s the pectin that helps it get melty 🙂

  11. This cheese looks amazing. I rarely buy pre-made non-dairy cheese anymore, because I’d rather make my own and control the ingredients, but I’ve never been able to handle the nut based cheeses very well. I’ll need to try making this soon. Thanks!

      1. I did ! And we didn’t have any vegemite so I left it out… but it still worked. I also used guar gum instead of xantham gum. I liked it.. smokey and creamy. Out of the 4 people I live with (all vegans) , 3 loved it and 1 was on the fence.. pretty successful all round. I’ll post a photo this morning! Thanks Somer X

  12. oh how in love i am with those smoky shreds! i can imagine this melting in my mouth! i agree with Kristy. you should sell it out in farmers markets, call it some new flavor happy cow( of course the cow is happy right) cheese:)) then tell whoever buys it to read the fine ingredient list;) no returns allowed 😉

    1. So cute, we need an exclusive cheez club for you, me, Annie and Kristy. I’m sure we could come up with some fabulous stuff! Happy Cow is an AWESOME name!

    1. Oh yes, the pepper jack has more natural ingredients. I’m working on the gouda to make it simpler as well! When you find people are actually making your recipes, it’s important to get it just right! 😉

  13. as a long-term vegan and someone who has no idea what smoked gouda even tastes like…

    this shit is legendary. just nibbling the bits stuck in the blender has me stoked. i’m currently 3 hours into the “sit in the fridge” stage, but i am very confident this is going to go over well with the non-compassionate folk in my life. 🙂

    1. Rand, I worship this!!! GOOD ON YOU! Glad you found me and the cheez. More to come! I’m in cheez mania mode over here. It’s the hardest thing for people to give up when people are considering a vegan diet, I want to show people that it doesn’t have to be that hard. Try the cashew pepper jack next. It’s epic!

      1. i intend to. once i find a reliable source of cheap raw cashews.

        i went to whole foods and spent way more than i normally would to put your recipe together, but i was excited to give it a try.

        i also try daiya out a lot. the mozz is ok (i’d give it a 7/10) and the cheddar is a 5/10. but their halvarti and pepperjack are both pretty good (8s or 9s).

        from what i’ve tasted of this gouda recipe, it should be a 10/10. 😀 where do you live that daiya is $12 a pound, though? it’s like $4.29 for 8 ounce packages here.

        i’m much more of a “sauce” person than a “cheez” one, though. but this should be pretty epic with the family and such. 🙂

        1. I got the prices directly off the daiya website some time ago, I wonder if it’s changed since then. I’m 40 minutes from the closest whole foods so the one and only time I bought daiya, I paid a fortune for it at a local health food store.

          Now that you have the ingredients, you can make several batches of cheez, which will off set the initial costs.

          I must admit, I loved cheese before going vegan, so this has become an obsession to make vegan cheez and make it delicious.

          p.s. I buy the cashews pieces in bulk and get them for about $5.50 a pound. At that price it makes it cheaper than buying dairy cheese! I worked out the recipe was something like $3.50 to $4.00 a pound. Rad.

  14. really? half a packet of pectin for the pepperjack… it comes with 2 packets in there. so does that mean 4 batches of pepperjack, or two?

    i think i can get cashew pieces for like 7 a pound… not too bad, i guess.

    1. 2 batches from one pack of pectin. The two packets do separate things. You only use 1 cup of cashews for the recipe, which is like 1/3 pound or something. It’s a steal!

  15. This is a very interesting recipe. Although I’m not vegan anymore, I was for 3.5 years. I still really appreciate and enjoy trying out creative recipes like this. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Hi Somer, thanks for liking one of my recipes…I’m new to, and only slowly getting into, this whole blogging thing and it’s great to have a friendly welcome. Your recipes here look great and for the sake of some vegan friends I am especially intrigued by your vegan cheese!

  17. Wow. Completely changed my vegan life. I licked out the food processor, spatula, and everything else that had traces of it cause it’s just too darn good to wait for it to set!!!

    Hubby said last week that he would go vegan if he found vegan cheese that could compete on flavour with dead baby cow cheese. My first batch of this is setting in the fridge this this evening’s dinner. Here’s hoping I make him a convert.

    Oh, and as a side note on the recipe ingredients: I subbed agar powder for flakes and just whirred the liquid and dry ingredients for longer in the food processor till all the flakes had dissolved. Seems to have worked out! 🙂

    1. Radical! It’s a good one!!! I hope he enjoys it and that you do too. It’s pretty yummy right out of the food processor! I hope your cheez sets up well, the powder is a stronger strength measured out than the flakes 🙂 I think you can find a conversion online somewhere. Let me know!!!

      1. I’m so bummed! My cheese didn’t set. 😦 It’s a really fantastic cheesey spread though! I’m using it for fancy grilled cheese sandwiches. 😀

        But, I’m still dying to have some that’s shredable! So… I’ll have to find some powder agar agar that I can order from the Internet so I can try again!

        And I’ll defo try Shira’s red pepper cheese sauce; it sounds lush!! I love enchiladas and burritos and while I have no regrets in choosing a vegan lifestyle, I truly miss cheese so I’m loving you vegan fromagiers! 😀 (I’m hoping to do some experimentation with vegan rennet and try to make ‘real’ vegan cheese with that! I’ll try to remember to let you know how it goes, that is, if I can get hold of vegan rennet!)

        1. Girl, hold on, I’m looking up the ratios. Here you go!

          1 tsp agar = 2 T. agar flakes….. best of luck next time. You’ll get it! xx

          Making Shira’s cheese sauce today. You’ll adore it!

          1. Aw, that was sweet of you to look it up! Was going to make Shira’s cheese sauce but forgot to get red peppers last time I went shopping. Next time! 🙂 For now I’m going to try out the new ratio conversion for this one, cause it’s just so freaking delicious. xx

            1. Yay, hope it works out better this time! Good luck!!! Oh and do try the red pepper one sometime. We had it again last night. So so good!

              1. It worked!!!! :))) So happy! I didn’t use the full amount of agar flakes because I didn’t have enough, but it solidified really nicely with only half the conversion amount above. (7 Tbs flakes)

                I got the red peppers and am thinking about enchiladas with Shira’s cheese tonight for dinner… mmm…

                Thanks again. You rock!!

  18. You’ve made me soooo happy!!! After 6 weeks of lusting after this recipe, I finally found a store to buy the agar. They only had flakes, but since it worked for Sunnyshans and I just could not wait a moment longer, I bought them (@ $11.59 for a one oz bag!), not even looking @ the price till i started cooking. The bag said it contained 11T, but it measured 7T for me. Go figure. I was a little queezy trying a new recipe with such a high price tag and am completely blown away by how freakin great it is! Thank you so much for sharing this with us common folk.

  19. Hi Somer! I finally collected all of the ingredients to make this marvelous vegan cheeze and it turned out sooooo well. I have made Grilled “Gouda” with Quorn naked “chicken” on Ezekiel bread and a vegan pizza! They were both an experience in ecstasy 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing. Next is the coconut mozzarella…

  20. This is so amazingly good! Just made it and it is still firming up in the fridge. But, I have to confess that I licked every last bit out of the blender. Yum, yum! Can’t wait to try it when it’s really ready.

    1. I’m sorry, because I obviously don’t use any kind of animal products in my kitchen, I have no idea whether or not gelatin would work in this recipe. I’m assuming not. It wouldn’t have the same texture as the pectin gives.

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