Are you looking for something to replace cream cheese in a recipe?
Cream cheese is one of the most popular ingredients used in baking, but it can be difficult to find a good substitute.
Whether you’re looking for a vegan alternative or just want something lighter, there are plenty of options out there.
In this article, I’m going to discuss 13 of the best substitutes for cream cheese that will help you get the same delicious results without compromising on taste and texture.
What is Cream Cheese?
Cream cheese is a type of soft, mild-tasting cheese made from cow’s milk and cream.
It has a smooth, luxurious texture that makes it ideal for spreading on toast or crackers, as well as baking into cakes and other desserts.
Cream cheese is often found in the refrigerated section of your local grocery store.
It typically comes in an 8-ounce package with two layers: a top layer of white cream cheese and a bottom layer of whey.
The flavor profile of cream cheese is slightly tangy but still buttery and creamy, with slight hints of sweetness that make it very versatile in the kitchen.
It can be used to make both sweet dishes such as cheesecakes, frostings, dips, and spreads; or savory dishes like quiches or appetizers like bagel bites.
It also works great when added to sauces for extra richness and flavor!
The 13 Best Substitutes For Cream Cheese
Cream cheese is a versatile ingredient used in many dishes, but there may be times when you can’t find it or don’t want to use it.
Luckily, there are plenty of alternatives that will give your dish the same creamy texture and rich flavor.
Here are 13 great substitutes for cream cheese:
1. Sour Cream
Sour cream is a thick, creamy dairy product made by fermenting pasteurized cream with lactic acid bacteria.
It has a slightly tangy flavor and velvety texture that makes it an ideal substitute for cream cheese in many recipes.
Sour cream can be used to make dips, sauces, and baked goods such as cakes and muffins. It also works well as a topping for tacos or nachos.
When substituting sour cream for cream cheese, you may need to adjust the amount of other ingredients in your recipe to compensate for its thinner consistency.
For example, if your recipe calls for one cup of cream cheese, you may only need three-quarters of a cup of sour cream instead.
Overall, sour cream is an excellent alternative when you’re out of traditional cream cheese!
2. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is a thick, creamy dairy product that is made by straining whey from regular yogurt.
It has a tart flavor and higher protein content than regular yogurt, making it an excellent replacement for cream cheese in recipes.
The texture of Greek yogurt is slightly thicker than cream cheese and can be used to make dips or spreads.
To make it even more like cream cheese, you can add some salt and lemon juice to taste.
It also works well as a replacement for sour cream in baking recipes such as cakes or muffins.
Greek yogurt can also be used as a healthier alternative to mayonnaise in sandwiches or salads.
Overall, Greek yogurt makes an excellent substitution for cream cheese due to its similar texture and flavor profile.
Neufchatel is a type of French cheese made from cow’s milk and cream.
It has a mild, slightly tangy flavor that is similar to cream cheese but with a lower fat content.
Neufchatel can be used in place of cream cheese for most recipes, including dips, spreads, and baked goods.
The texture is slightly firmer than regular cream cheese, so it may require more stirring or blending when using it as an ingredient.
When substituting Neufchatel for cream cheese in baking recipes, you may need to add additional liquid or fat to compensate for the difference in moisture content.
Neufchatel also makes an excellent substitute for ricotta and mascarpone cheeses due to its creamy consistency and subtle flavor profile.
Mascarpone is a type of Italian cream cheese made from cow’s milk.
It has a velvety texture and a sweet, rich flavor that pairs well with both savory and sweet dishes.
Unlike regular cream cheese, mascarpone does not need to be refrigerated before use.
It can also be used as an alternative to butter or oil in baking recipes.
When substituting mascarpone for cream cheese, it’s important to note that it has a higher fat content than its counterpart – so you may want to reduce the amount of other fats in your recipe accordingly.
5. Silken Tofu
Silken tofu is a type of soft, custard-like tofu that has a smooth texture and mild flavor.
It is made from coagulated soy milk and can be used as an alternative to cream cheese in many recipes.
Silken tofu is incredibly versatile and can be blended into sauces, dressings, dips, desserts, or even smoothies.
When substituting silken tofu for cream cheese in baking recipes, it’s important to note that the texture will not be quite the same – however, its neutral flavor makes it easy to customize with other ingredients like herbs or spices.
For those looking for a dairy-free option when making cheesecakes or quiches, silken tofu could be just what you need!
6. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is a versatile and nutritious dairy product made from curdled milk.
It has a mild flavor and creamy texture that makes it great for spreading on toast or adding to recipes.
Cottage cheese can be used as an alternative to cream cheese in many dishes, such as dips, sauces, and baked goods.
When substituting cottage cheese for cream cheese, it’s important to remember that the former is higher in protein and lower in fat than the latter.
To make up for this difference, you may need to add additional liquid ingredients like milk or yogurt when using cottage cheese as a substitute.
It also helps to blend the cottage cheese until smooth before adding it into your dish of choice.
Hummus is a delicious, creamy dip made from chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil.
It has a nutty flavor that pairs well with vegetables or pita chips for dipping.
Hummus can also be used as a spread in place of cream cheese on sandwiches or toast.
It’s rich in protein and fiber and contains no cholesterol or saturated fat.
Plus, it’s vegan-friendly!
Hummus is an excellent alternative to cream cheese because it adds flavor without adding too much fat or calories.
Try using hummus in recipes that call for cream cheese like lasagna, stuffed peppers or quesadillas for an extra punch of flavor!
Quark is a soft, mild-tasting cheese that’s popular in Central and Eastern Europe.
It has a creamy texture and slightly sour flavor, making it an excellent alternative to cream cheese.
Quark can be used in both sweet and savory dishes, from cheesecakes to quiches.
It’s also great for spreading on toast or crackers as part of a light snack or appetizer.
Unlike cream cheese, quark doesn’t contain any added fat so it can be used as a healthier option if you’re watching your calorie intake.
Plus, its versatility makes it an ideal ingredient for creating delicious recipes without compromising on taste.
9. Cashew Cheese
Cashew cheese is a delicious vegan alternative to cream cheese that’s made from raw cashews and other plant-based ingredients.
The main ingredient in this creamy spread is soaked cashews, which are blended with nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic powder, and sea salt for flavor.
This dairy-free cheese can be used as a topping for toast or crackers, stirred into sauces or dips, or even baked into dishes like lasagna.
Cashew cheese has a mild nutty flavor and smooth texture that makes it an ideal substitute for cream cheese.
It’s also packed with vitamins and minerals like protein, magnesium and zinc.
For those looking to reduce their dairy intake without sacrificing taste, cashew cheese is the perfect solution!
10. Ricotta Cheese
Ricotta cheese is a versatile Italian cheese made from the whey of cow, sheep, or goat milk.
It has a creamy texture and mild flavor that makes it an excellent substitute for cream cheese in many recipes.
Ricotta can be used to make savory dishes like lasagna or sweet treats like cannoli.
It also works well as a spread on toast or crackers.
The key to achieving the best results with ricotta is to drain off any excess liquid before using it in your recipe.
This will ensure that your dish doesn’t become too watery.
For those looking for a healthier alternative to cream cheese, ricotta offers plenty of protein and calcium without all the fat and calories found in traditional cheeses.
Kefir is a fermented dairy product made from cow, goat, or sheep milk.
It has a tart and tangy flavor that can be used in place of cream cheese in many recipes.
Kefir is high in probiotics and beneficial bacteria, making it an excellent choice for those looking to boost their gut health.
It’s also much lower in fat than cream cheese and contains fewer calories per serving.
Kefir can be used as a spread on toast or bagels, added to smoothies for extra protein and calcium, or blended with other ingredients like honey and fruit to make delicious dips or sauces.
For those looking for a healthier alternative to cream cheese, kefir is definitely worth trying!
12. Vegan Cream Cheese
Vegan cream cheese is a dairy-free alternative to traditional cream cheese.
It is made from plant-based ingredients like cashews, coconut oil, and nutritional yeast which give it a creamy texture and tangy flavor.
It can be used in place of regular cream cheese for spreading on toast or bagels, as well as for baking and cooking recipes that call for the ingredient.
Vegan cream cheese also works great when added to sauces or dips for an extra creamy texture.
The best part about vegan cream cheese is that it’s cholesterol-free and low in saturated fat compared to its dairy counterpart.
It also contains probiotics which aid digestion and provide beneficial bacteria to your gut health.
13. Homemade Cream Cheese
Homemade cream cheese is a great way to make a delicious spread without having to buy store-bought options.
It’s made with just four ingredients: heavy cream, plain yogurt, lemon juice, and salt.
The process is surprisingly simple and only requires stirring the ingredients together in a bowl until they form a thick paste.
Once it has been refrigerated for several hours, the mixture will have set into an easily spreadable consistency.
This homemade cream cheese can be used as a dip or spread on toast or crackers. It also makes an excellent substitute for recipes that call for traditional cream cheese such as cheesecakes and frostings.
Making your own creamy cheese at home is not only cost-effective but also ensures you get the freshest product possible!
The 13 Best Substitutes For Cream Cheese
- Sour Cream
- Greek Yogurt
- Silken Tofu
- Cottage Cheese
- Cashew Cheese
- Ricotta Cheese
- Vegan Cream Cheese
- Homemade Cream Cheese
- Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
- Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.