Cosmic ray artifacts may be present in all photo-electric readout systems. In spectroscopy, they present as random unidirectional sharp spikes that distort spectra and may have an affect on post-processing, possibly affecting the results of multivariate statistical classification. A number of methods have previously been proposed to remove cosmic ray artifacts from spectra but the goal of removing the artifacts while making no other change to the underlying spectrum is challenging. One of the most successful and commonly applied methods for the removal of comic ray artifacts involves the capture of two sequential spectra that are compared in order to identify spikes. The disadvantage of this approach is that at least two recordings are necessary, which may be problematic for dynamically changing spectra, and which can reduce the signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio when compared with a single recording of equivalent duration due to the inclusion of two instances of read noise. In this paper, a cosmic ray artefact removal algorithm is proposed that works in a similar way to the double acquisition method but requires only a single capture, so long as a data set of similar spectra is available. The method employs normalized covariance in order to identify a similar spectrum in the data set, from which a direct comparison reveals the presence of cosmic ray artifacts, which are then replaced with the corresponding values from the matching spectrum. The advantage of the proposed method over the double acquisition method is investigated in the context of the S/N ratio and is applied to various data sets of Raman spectra recorded from biological cells.