everything bagels and herb & garlic tofu cream cheese

Well I’m about to change your life! You can make these handmade everything bagels and herb & garlic cream cheese at home and indulge on the daily.

vegan everything bagels and herb & garlic cream cheese

I’ve been imagining recreating this classic comfort for a while now since I used to be hella obsessed with eating everything bagels and herb & garlic cream cheese from Tim Horton’s in my pre-vegan days.

I don’t understand why this popular Canadian chain won’t make any vegan options or serve nondairy milk for the coffee, but sometimes things just remain mysterious. Regardless, who needs them when you can be a kitchen wizard and impress all your friends with my help!

These aren’t nearly as complicated as you’re probably thinking they are to make, and this cream cheese is going to be in heavy rotation from this moment forward. TRUST ME!

Watch the video below to see how it’s done and then scroll for the recipes.

Just a note about the tofu. There are various textures of “firm” tofu depending on the brand you buy. The best one for this is a firm tofu that comes water packed. I usually buy the brand Wildwood. This is a bit softer and has more moisture than those really crumbly bricks that come vacuum sealed with little to no water in the package.

And a note about the flour! Thanks to an eager reader of hot for food blog, turns out that if you can’t get bread flour you can use all-purpose flour in the same amount but sub in 1/4 cup of vital wheat gluten to get that same chewy texture.

vegan bagels and herb & garlic cream cheese recipe
vegan everything bagels and herb & garlic cream cheese_hot for food
4.16 from 97 votes
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herb & garlic tofu cream cheese

This super easy and extra tangy spread is the best damn vegan herb & garlic cream cheese you’ll find anywhere!

Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword cream cheese, tofu, vegan cheese
Prep Time 10 minutes
refrigerate 4 hours
Servings 8
Author Lauren Toyota


  • x 450g pkg firm tofu, drained
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 C + 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tbsp dill, chopped finely
  • 1 tbsp basil, chopped finely
  • 1/2 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 tbsp finely chopped chives


  1. To make the cream cheese use a paper towel to pat the tofu mostly dry and soak up some of the excess liquid before blending.
  2. Blend tofu in a high-powered blender with lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, garlic cloves, onion powder, garlic powder, white pepper, sea salt, and coconut oil until smooth. You’ll need to use the baton inside the blender to get the thick mixture very smooth.
  3. Pour the cream cheese into a bowl and fold in the fresh herbs. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours until set.
best vegan recipe everything bagels
vegan everything bagels
4.34 from 59 votes
Print Recipe

everything bagels

Are you ready to change your life?! Make these everything bagels from scratch and top ’em with the vegan herb & garlic cream cheese or anything else you like.

Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword bagel, baking, bread, dough
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
proofing 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 bagels
Author Lauren Toyota


bagel dough

  • 4 C bread flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 1/4 tsp quick rise yeast
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 C warm water (between 120°F – 130°F)

everything bagel topping

  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 2 tbsp white sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp raw or roasted sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp granulated or minced dehydrated onion
  • 2 tbsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp sea salt (optional)

vegan “egg” wash

  • 2 tbsp nondairy milk
  • 1/4 tsp brown sugar

boiling solution

  • 2 qts water
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp brown sugar


  1. If you have a stand mixer it’s best to make the bagel dough with this method using the bread hook. This dough requires lots of kneading! In a stand mixer combine the flour with sugar, sea salt and yeast until well mixed. Then while the machine is running on low add in the oil and water. Gradually increase the speed slowly as the mixture comes together to form the dough. Once it’s coming away from the sides continue to knead it on a higher speed until the ball of dough is smooth and slightly sticky. However, it should not be sticking to your hands.
  2. Use a small amount of flour on your hands to remove the dough from the hook and get it out of the bowl onto a clean surface. You do not need to add excess flour, just a light dusting on the counter should be fine.
  3. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 425°F.
  4. Cut the ball of dough in half, each half in half again, and then each of those quarters in half so you have 8 pieces. Roll each portion into a ball which you can knead a couple more times to get smooth.
  5. To hand form the bagels, punch a hole in the centre of the ball of dough with your thumb. Then use two fingers to expand and stretch the hole forming a smooth bagel shape. Place bagels onto the baking sheet. The hole should be farely large as it will poof up when rising, boiling and baking.
  6. Cover the baking sheet with a damp towel and allow to rise for about 15 to 20 minutes. They should not double in size but just increase by about 50%.
  7. Meanwhile combine the everything bagel topping together in a wide shallow dish.
  8. Prepare the vegan “egg” wash by mixing the nondairy milk and brown sugar together in a separate small bowl.
  9. Once the bagels have proofed boil the water, baking soda, and brown sugar in a large pot on the stove. Add 1 or 2 to a rolling boil. Boil about 1 minute flipping half-way through. Remove with a slotted spoon onto a wire rack over another baking sheet to drain excess water.
  10. Brush each bagel gently with vegan “egg” wash on one side. Place brushed side down in the dish of everything bagel seasoning. Ensure you coat the top of the bagel well. You can use your hands to gently amass the seasoning all over the surface. Place onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Space bagels out about 1-inch apart. You will probably need 2 baking sheets to bake the bagels as they have increased in size quite a bit.
  11. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until golden brown on the top. Let the bagels cool on a wire rack before slicing. Top with a generous amount of herb & garlic tofu cream cheese and/or some of your other favorite toppings.

Recipe Notes

These bagels can be frozen for longer storage but are of course best served on the same day as baking!

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71 thoughts on “everything bagels and herb & garlic tofu cream cheese”

  1. Lauren…..you have outdone yourself. This is the best vegan cream cheese I’ve tried (kite hill included). I used dried herbs and it is still amazing. I ate three for breakfast/lunch. I’m having a bagel coma.

    1. Jaki Hendricks

      Do you think I could use previously frozen extra firm tofu? Or would that mess with the texture?

  2. Only made the cream cheese and it came out very tastey! I used all dried herbs except I did buy fresh chives. Definitely let the flavors sit in the fridge for at least 4 hours, I did let mine set over night. I did not have a tamper for my vitamix… so it was a labor of love and small batches until the consistency came out right!

    I google the fresh herb to dry herb conversion ratio and did 1tbsp fresh for 1 tsp dried a couple of shakes at the end. I mixed the dry herbs in with everything in the blender.
    Eating it on pumpernickel toast for breakfast!

  3. Any possible substitutes for the coconut oil in the cream cheese (I try to avoid oil where I can!)? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi,
      You mention “coconut oil “, but not whether it should be refined or unrefined. I have both. Does it matter for the cream cheese?
      Thank you!

  4. If anyone is curious, the recipe also worked without the use of a (kitchen aid) mixer. I used my bread machine on the "dough" setting and removed the dough after all of the kneed settings had completed, right before it was about to rise in the machine. I placed the dough on my floured counter for 15 min covered by a large bowl to rise then continued on with the recipe as lauren outlines. Do not used powered garlic and onion powder as I did.. it is far too overpowering.

    Thank you Lauren once again for a bang up job!

  5. What is the role of the coconut oil in the cream cheese? I would love to make it but without or with less oil! What do you recommend? I try to avoid oil due to my acne :/

    1. the oil is to add fat and for texture. It helps smooth the tofu and firm it up in the fridge. It won’t hold together without it. You can reduce it to just under 1/4 cup and I’m sure it would still be fine. But you do need to add fat in there. Unrefined virgin coconut oil is not bad for you and while I am no health expert I wouldn’t think it would contribute to acne as it’s antifungal.

  6. OMG, I totally feel you on the Tim Horton’s lack of alternatives! Not even soy milk, come on…

    Can’t wait to try this recipe since I was a big cream cheese lover…oh…damn…I have to wait four hours! Guess I’ll have to binge watch your videos now…

  7. Hi Lauren !
    You’re recipe is great and easy/fast to make, thanks ! 😀
    But I have a question, in fact it makes a really big bunch for one person, in you’re video you’re saying that you could probably put it in the freezer for later. Did you try it ?
    I am afraid to loose this good cream cheese because I didn’t manage to eat it entirely this week, ahah !
    Keep up the good work Lauren, you’re really inspiring ! 😉

  8. Okay. I made this twice. Once with coconut oil as the recipe states and once with vegetable shortening in place of the coconut oil. I really really disliked the faint coconut taste but thought everything else was great (others may not even taste or smell the coconut but I absolutely abhor the taste of coconut oil so I notice it more!) Using the vegetable shortening in place of the coconut removed that, however, there was a slight difference in texture. The coconut oil when cold gives you a firmer texture whereas the shortening is softer. All in all I think it was a good substitute because it still held together and there was no hint of coconut. If you have a coconut allergy this might be a good option for you. If you’re anti-oil there is just no substitute. Gotta have oil in this!

    1. Thanks for sharing, Malorie. I was going to try subbing the oil for shortening this weekend so I’m glad someoyelse have ot a go and it wasn’t a flop.

  9. This was great! A very simplified recipe that can be done from start to finish in 90 minutes (well the cream cheese should be done the night before). I also tasted the coconut oil but was told I needed to use super refined oil so that it tasted less like coconut. After a while I got used to it and it didn’t bother me. I also froze half and thawed it on the counter successfully! You definitely need the coconut oil because of its melting point. It only melts when it’s warmer than room temp, therefore, other oils that never harden will ruin the texture.

  10. Just made the cream cheese; it’s chilling in the fridge now waiting for me tomorrow. Looks so good! I used 3 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 tablespoon water because I don’t have apple cider vinegar on hand. I also made this in my food processor and managed to get a super smooth texture that way!

  11. Okay, I know this is waaay after the fact. But my husband and I started a new Christmas tradition of doing a Christmas Eve brunch. And this past Christmas (our very first brunch) we chose to make these bagels and cream cheese. And holy smokes! They were SO good! It’s all we ate for the next few days. Just thinking about them makes my mouth water. Seriously, SO. GOOD.

  12. I just made this, the bagels and the cream cheese, and I can confirm it is incredible! I followed the recipe exactly, no substitutions and I was so happy with how they turned out.

  13. Oh man, these bagels and the cream cheese turned out so perfectly! I was worried my dough wasn’t quite right because it didn’t look as soft and fluffy as yours when it came out of the mixer. After I boiled them and they were baking in the oven I knew they were going to be amazing – WOW are they ever good! I brought one to work for a coworker’s bday today and she has now professed she will pay me to make these for her every week!

  14. Made these 2 months ago and froze a few bagels and part of the cream cheese. 2 months later, they taste the same if not better than I remember. This is the best cream cheese ever! I’m definitely making these again

  15. I’m wanting to make these could I use another sweetner other than white or brown sugar maybe maple syrup. Could I also use gluten free flour instead?

  16. Ok, so I have a regular ninja blender and not a vitamix. In the ninja the first time I made it, it was grainy and the coconut oil solidified on the blade. It was still good but obviously not right. So I have a tip. If you have a bullet blender or a similar attachment for something like the ninja, cut this recipe in half and put it in the smaller blender. My ninja attachment never lets me down. It always blends better than the full sized pitcher. Anyway, it came out much much better than the first try. Coconut oil incorporated instead of solidifying. 👌

  17. Just made the cream cheese. I didn’t have the thyme or the chives, but still delicious. I used an immersion (stick) blender and it can out pretty smooth. Probably would have been smoother if my tofu wasn’t so cold, the coconut oil solidified a bit.

  18. Wonderfully addictive recipe. I added an extra garlic clove and used 1 tbsp total of extra virgin olive oil instead of coconut oil to keep it lower calorie. Tons of flavor and it did not disappoint. This is going to be a staple for me going forward.

  19. I made the cream cheese once before and for some reason all I could taste was the ACV, which happens to me a lot for some reason. And I read through recipes comments to see if it happens to anyone else but never find anyone…what’s my damage?!

    1. Hey, late to this, but same! I like everything else about the recipe but felt like there was way too much ACV. Maybe we are just sensitive to the taste? When I make it again I’m going to try using way less/none.

  20. Made this in a food processor and it blended super well! Only problem is I used unrefined coconut oil so you really get that after-taste of coconut. The texture is very on point with cream cheese.

  21. 👋🏿,
    I don’t have any of the appliances you mentioned, mixer w/dough hook or bread machine. What else can I use?
    Thank you for this recipe. I do miss bagels, and look forward to making these.

  22. I absolutely LOVE this cream cheese. It’s really tasty and inexpensive, especially given the amount of “cream cheese” one ends up with. Unless someone has already tried this, I might test to see if this also works as a neutral (i.e. non-herbal) cream cheese for cheesecake, since the store-bought vegan cream cheeses are so darn expensive. I think I saw a video where you used it without the herbs as a filling or something like that.

  23. Hi! Your everything bagels are awesome. Yesterday I made them and they were really delicious! These natural home-made products are definitely better than the ones full of chemical. Thank you for posting this!

  24. This was disgusting. Tasted like lemon and vinegar. Consistency was perfect but flavor was awful. Not cheesey or tasty. Absolutely gutted.

  25. Holy shit! This cream cheese is bomb!!! So good! Super stoked to use it in many things! Thank you for this amazing recipe! Didn’t make the bagels yet but they are on my list.

  26. A friend sent me here for the cream cheese recipe – I backed off a little bit on the coconut oil, but instead of herbs, pulsed in a few tablespoons of hot giardiniera at the end. It’s INCREDIBLE, thanks so much!

  27. This cream cheese is NEXT LEVEL!! I swear this is better than traditional dairy cream cheese. And this is coming from a new vegan who loves cheese. Lauren is the queen of all things vegan! I did use refined coconut oil rather than unrefined since I really hate even the slightest hint of coconut. And I couldn’t taste any coconut!

  28. Tofu cream cheese turned out great and addictive 😛
    I didn’t have onion powder so instead I used a quarter of a sweet maui onion and also forgot the two cloves of garlic. Nonetheless it was delicious. I’ve been dying to make this recipe and have been a long time follower and subscriber to Lauren. I used unrefined coconut oil! This may be my new favorite dip/spread (possibly beating Toby’s tofu spread).

  29. I make this cream cheese every week the moment we finish a batch!! We LOVE it! I still want to try making the bagels and will report back when I do. I use refined coconut oil and there is no coconut taste. I add fresh chives and dill and it’s amazing!!

  30. I’ve made everything bagels, cinnamon raisin bagels, sesame seed bagels and even swapped out 3/4 cups multigrain and added pumpkin seeds and flax. This recipe is the bomb. Haven’t had a good bagel since moving from Toronto to the East Coast Canada and am ever so thrilled to finally have fresh bagels

  31. i just made the cream cheese and it is the best vegan alternative I have ever tried! You will NEED a high power blender to get a super smooth texture. I ran out of garlic, so I just subbed it for some green onions.

    1. sure could! I’d add some spinach in or something to it as well to bulk it up, don’t just use all cheese. I would also reduce the coconut oil by half, so that when you bake it/heat the cheese it’s not too oily

  32. I made the cream cheese from this recipe because I have an all nut, coconut, and diary allergy. Unfortunately, any type of store bought cream cheese product is never an option for me (vegan or not), so I was super excited to try this one out! Results: It is very good! However, I found it was an EXACT recipe for the perfect sour cream substitute instead of cream cheese. I don’t know what I could add to it for it to taste more like cream cheese for me, but I will work on it. I have been using this recipe for sour cream every since- I make with a layered bean dip and oh my gosh… I am obsessed. Thank you!

  33. Did you use extra virgin coconut oil? Or did you use refined coconut oil??? I am confused of which oil to use?? Please tell us 🙂 🙂 🙂 Love your channel!!

  34. Unbelievable! I’ve made two batches of bagels and one batch of the cream cheese in the last 48 hours. I used two large garlic cloves and will use small to medium cloves next time, but everything about these bagels and cream cheese are perfection. I’ve always wanted to try making bagels but I’m shocked they actually turned out so insanely good!! These are going to be on repeat here.

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