Best Substitute for Cream Cheese You Will Love

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Are you looking for a substitute for cream cheese? Look no further. This article provides you with the best creme cheese substitutes.

Cream cheese is a type of fresh cheese that has at least 33% fat and 55% moisture. It has a soft, smooth texture that is similar to mascarpone. It is mildly flavored, but it has a slight tang. Click To Tweet

Cream cheese is low in lactose, a good source of Vitamin A, but it is high in fat and has little protein. It should be consumed in moderation. You can also consider healthier options that offer the same great taste and texture.

Read on and find the perfect substitute for cream cheese!

What is the Ideal Substitute for Cream Cheese?

Cream cheese is a mild, soft cheese made from milk and cream. Cream cheese is versatile and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.

It’s something many people love and others hate, from sauces to cheesecakes to toppings on breakfast bagels.

Are you looking to replace cream cheese with? Or maybe you are looking for something healthier that has a similar taste but doesn’t have as much fat content.

Below is a guide that contains all our recommendations for cream cheese substitutes.

You can substitute this ingredient for one you already have in your fridge.

The cream cheese gives a thick, creamy, rich texture to bagels, between layers of carrot cake, and in bowls of flavorful party spreads. What if you are halfway through a recipe and realize that someone else used your cream cheese to spread on their cinnamon raisin bread?

It’s difficult to recreate the flavor and texture of cream cheese, especially when you have many. However, there are excellent cream cheese substitutes. Some can be used as it is with great results while others require some tweaking. Click To Tweet

Some will work well in spreads or as dips, while others are better suited for baking and frosting. Avoid making full-fledged cream cheese-laden baked cheesecakes or other cream-cheese-heavy baking creations with anything but full-fat, real cream cheese.

These cream cheese substitutes can be used if you don’t have time or the determination to make cream cheese.

Mascarpone Cheese

Mascarpone cheese is a common cream cheese substitute. It’s richer and creamier than cream cheese and may make you wonder why you haven’t been slathering it on everything. It’s most commonly used in Italian desserts such as tiramisu.

However, it can also be used on toast or in sweet frosting. It isn’t quite as salty and tangy as the original, so you can add a pinch of salt to taste.

Mascarpone can be used in almost all dessert applications, including frostings and no-bake cheesecakes. It can also be used in fillings, most dips, and as a spread.

Plain Greek Yogurt

If you are looking for tang, yogurt is the best option. Greek yogurt is the best, while whole milk is even better. Still, you’ll probably want to strain it using cheesecloth to reach that ultra-thick, spreadable consistency — effectively turning the yogurt into hung curd cheese.

Once the yogurt is as thick as you want, add some salt to it and whip it up with a whisk until it becomes creamy.

Strained yogurt can be used to make tangy dips or spreads. It can also be used to make healthier frostings. You can make a creamier frosting by adding mascarpone, whipped ricotta, or drained, whipped ricotta to reduce the tanginess.


Regular ricotta cheese is not as rich and creamy as cream cheese, but you can make a good substitute with a little bit of finesse. Use whole-milk ricotta. If it seems a little watery, strain it until you have a firm consistency.

Mix it with lemon juice or a lemon juice substitute in a food processor until it becomes creamy. Add a little cream if necessary.

Ricotta cheese can be doctored up to make a spread for some dips and as a filling. It may also work well in desserts.

Neufchatel Cheese

Neufchatel is the best and most simple cream cheese substitute. The light bloom on the rind of this soft cheese is similar to Brie. It is usually found in the U.S. in its mass-market form, which are bricks packed in paper boxes.

It’s cream cheese with slightly lower fat. It is a little less rich but tastes and performs the same.

Neufchatel cheese can be used in the same way as cream cheese, on bagels, in cheeseballs, and even in desserts, such as cheesecakes. Although you may experience cracking from the lower fat content, swapping out the cream cheeses will produce the same result.

Nut-Based Cream Cheese

The vegan cheese world is vast, and there are many good options for dairy-free cream cheddars at your local supermarket. Kite Hill makes delicious spreads that can be used on bread products and crackers as well as in savory cold or hot dishes.

You can use vegan products such as this to make baked goods like cheesecake. However, you cannot simply swap them out for one another. For the best results, choose a recipe that uses your product.

You can make your nut spread with cashews, a blender, and a powerful mixer.

Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese may not look much like cream cheese, but with a bit of love, it can be turned into something cream-cheese-adjacent and pretty delicious. Blend until smooth and thick with whole-milk cheese.

If the mixture isn’t as thick as desired, you can strain it using cheesecloth until you achieve the desired texture. Dry curd cottage cheese can also be used, with cream added as necessary to ensure that the mixture blends well.

For light applications like dips, you can use creamy cottage cheese. Because this cheese is made with milk instead of cream, the mixture will have less fat. This means that it will not have the body needed to make cheesecake.

Farmer’s Cheese

Farmer’s cheese can be made at home with milk or kefir. It is a creamy, crumbly, fresh cheese that can be used in place of cream cheese. To make a thick mixture, blend the cheese with just enough heavy cream. Add some lemon juice if your farmer’s cheese doesn’t seem particularly tangy.

Farmer’s cheese is great for fillings and can also be used as a spread. It is not as good as cottage cheese in baking, and it doesn’t have the same properties.


Although you won’t get the same flavor, pureed silken tofu can give you a similar texture. For the desired tang, add salt and lemon juice. Vegan cheesecakes often use tofu as a replacement for cream cheese. This is because it provides the necessary structure and creaminess without the need to use dairy or eggs.

This recipe is not to be swapped. Instead, look for recipes such as this vegan cheesecake, which uses tofu. When some flavorful ingredients have been added, blended tofu can be used in dips or spreads. Tofutti is a popular prepared tofu spread and can be found in most grocery stores.

Goat Cheese

You don’t want the cream cheese’s tanginess to be lost so you can lean into it. You may need to add some cream as it is a bit crumblier than cream cheese. Allow the cheese to cool to room temperature before adding enough cream to achieve the desired texture.

Goat cheese can be used as a substitute for dips or fillings. However, it has a stronger, assertive flavor. Goat cheese is not always a good substitute for sweet recipes.

Gournay Cheese


This French cream cheese is best known for its brand name Boursin. It comes in many flavors. Although you can’t substitute this for all things, it is a great replacement for cream cheese in savory spreads and dips.

Spread it on a bagel or crackers to add a punchy, flavorful option. You may need to adjust the seasoning to suit your cheese.

Gervais Cheese

French Gervais cheese is fine if you don’t have any cream cheese. Spread the cheese substitute on bread, bagels, and in frostings where you don’t mind a stronger flavor. Or make a great cheese ball!


This creamy, thickened yogurt Middle Eastern cheese makes a great substitute for cream cheese. We also have a delicious recipe for labneh dip that you can try.

Vegan Cream Cheese

A great substitute for cream cheese is vegan cream cheese (we love Kite Hill). For best results, you should use it in baking.

Cashew Cheese

Cashew cheese can be used as a vegan, non-dairy substitute for cheese. It is typically made from a mixture of cashews and nutritional yeast, water, and a mix of seasonings. It can be found in specialty cheese shops, organic grocery stores, and natural food stores.

You can make your substitute: 1 cup regular cream cheese for 1 cup cashew butter in savory dishes such as soups and sauces. Or you can simply enjoy it as a schmear on toasted bagels.

It’s not a good substitute for frosting or baked goods. You can’t substitute for cheesecake if you are vegan or following a dairy-free diet.


Kefir is a yogurt-like drink made of fermented milk. It tastes tart and tangy. It is often used in homemade smoothies as a component. Kefir has many health benefits and can help with digestive disorders.

Kefir is more watery than regular cream cheese so it cannot be used by itself. Mix 1/4 cup chia seed with 1 cup kefir to get the best results. Allow the mixture to sit for 30 minutes to allow the seeds time to absorb the liquid.

It can be used as regular cream cheese once it has thickened. This substitute is best used in dips, sauces, and not in desserts or frosting.

Almond Cream Cheese (Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Vegan)

You can make an easy cream-cheese substitute by using almonds. This substitute is great for cooking and spreading, but I don’t recommend baking. Almond cream cheese can be used in no-bake sweets. It also makes a great fruit dip when you add a little honey. Need a substitute for Honey? 10 Great Options



Two cups of almonds should be soaked (sliced, skinless almonds are best). It’s best to let them soak overnight. Next, mix the almonds with 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup water.

Add two tablespoons of lemon zest (1/2 lemon should yield 2+ teaspoons) and two tablespoons of nutritional yeast. I use 1/4 teaspoon salt and adjust the taste to suit my tastes.

Mix in your favorite spices and herbs to add more flavor. To make a deliciously savory spread, add a garlic clove to the mixture.

What About Butter?

Can you substitute cream cheese with butter? It all depends on the recipe. The answer is “not really.” Butter is a different consistency than cream cheese. Butter is rich in fat and melts much faster than cream cheese. It will melt if you heat the butter.

You can substitute cream cheese for butter when frosting a cake. It will have a slightly different consistency. It can also have an impact on the color, depending on what butter you use. Click To Tweet

Butter is the best substitute for cream cheese in the frosting. However, it is not recommended for use in many other dishes.

A Cream Cheese Finish

There are many great choices for a substitute for cream cheese. There are many options available, whether you need them for health or dietary reasons, or simply because you prefer them. Plus, cream cheese can have a higher fat level which isn’t the healthiest choice.

However, our list has shown that there are many healthier options, so enjoy the sweet taste guilt-free!


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