4 Best Substitutes for Cream Cheese in Cheesecake

Cream cheese is an ingredient that creates magic in your recipes. This is something that can be used in many recipes, whether you are making something for dinner, some dessert or simply spread it on your baking goods.

Cream cheese is a very common ingredient and you can find it in many households. Its taste adds a distinct flavor to your sauces, cheesecake, and many other dishes. It is healthy and it’s actually the main ingredient in one of your favorite cakes- cheesecake.

But what if you don’t have any cream cheese left, is there something that you can replace it with? Yes indeed. No need to worry, I’ll provide you a list of products that will easily help you save your cheesecake like Cottage cheese, Ricotta cheese, Light greek yogurt, and Mascarpone.

Also, find out how to make your own cream cheese and what you need to make a cheesecake without cream cheese.

Cream cheese as an ingredient:

Cream cheese is an American invention that has a long history that dates back to 1872. Even though cream cheese is the main ingredient in cheesecake, this smooth and soft cheese can be added to many other dishes.

This cheese is made from cow’s milk and is considered as fresh cheese that contains at least 33% fat. Furthermore, this product can be found with full fat, low fat, or simply light. Generally, a regular cream cheese offers 99 calories, 2g of protein, 10g of fat, 2g of carbohydrates, 5% of the daily value of vitamin B2, and DV of vitamin A.

There is a well-known product that comes from America and that is the Philadelphia Cream Cheese that has a very long history and its roots are from 1873.

Home-made cream cheese:

If you run out of cream cheese, I will provide you with a recipe that you can easily make at home. These are ingredients that you can easily find and some of them you might even have at home.

All you need is:

  • Whole milk
  • Half and half
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Lemon juice (freshly squeezed is preferred)
  • Salt

Just follow the further instructions so you’ll get the best home-made cream cheese:

  • Firstly, you should add milk and cream into a pot and let them heat up. Then, add salt and bring it to a simmer. Once the mixture comes to a simmer, add lemon juice and stir.

After this, again let it simmer and remove it from the heat.

Line up a colander with a cheesecloth. Get a scoop and add it into the cheesecloth. Bring the ends of the cheesecloth and let it dry for 6 hours.

  • Once this is all drained up, you’ll have a super creamy and delicious cream cheese from scratch.

Additional tips:

When you are making your own cream cheese keep in mind these tips:

  • When you are mixing the combination of half and half and milk, be careful of the ratio.
  • Don’t turn up the heat real fast, because you’ll burn the milk. You can always have a thermometer around so you can keep an eye on the temperature.
  • Another important thing is that you should make sure that you have good cheesecloth. Have one that is wide when you line yo sieve so you’ll have enough room.
  • Patience is the key in this process, so take your time, add slowly, drain, and let the whole thing come to its form.

Substitutes for cream cheese:

Besides the home-made recipe for cream cheese, there is always the chance for you to buy another product that can easily save your cheesecake recipe.

Read below in this article to find out some of the substitutes that can make your recipe very tasty and delicious.

1. Cottage cheese

Cottage cheese

One of the options that always comes in handy is cottage cheese. This is a very healthy alternative because this type of cheese contains a lot of protein, calcium, and vitamins. Also, there is no difference in the taste when you are making cheesecake.

You can easily swap these two, and make it fit for your diet. If you use this type of cheese, you’ll get a very healthy and nutritious cheesecake.

2. Ricotta cheese

Another cheese that is a perfect fit for your cheesecake is ricotta cheese. When you use this type of cheese it might be firmer and you’ll have a more grainy texture, the cheesecake will be very delicious anyhow. It’ll make your cheesecake lighter and it will give a very unique taste.

The only thing you should know is that when you use ricotta cheese, leave it to dry because it is very watery. After it is fully drained, use it to make a thick cheesy, and creamier texture for your perfect cheesecake.

3. Light greek yogurt

yogurt

This light greek yogurt is another option that you will want to do again and again. The cheesecake that will come out of it will be very light and fluffy, but rich that will leave you with a feeling for you to want more. It contains fewer calories than cream cheese and low fat.

Also, it contains a lot of protein. When you use yogurt, the cheesecake will be so creamy and rich and you’ll never taste the difference.

4. Mascarpone

Mascarpone

This triple cream cheese which actually has the same health values as cream cheese will fit perfectly in your cheesecake. Even though the difference between cream cheese and mascarpone is in the flavor, the replacement will be amazing.

The recipe requires no baking and it’ll be the easiest cake you’ll make. This version is a bit richer and has an incredible flavor and crust. Instead of baking, this cheesecake can go directly into the freezer so you’ll have icy cake.

Cheesecake without cream cheese:

This type of cheesecake will be so light and creamy if you follow the instructions right. But there’s a pinch, this recipe comes with adding a bit of lemon that will give a unique taste.

Making Cheesecake

As I previously stated, cottage cheese is a great substitute for cream cheese, as we will use it in our recipe. You might be skeptical at first, but this cheese will make your cake even better.

All you need is:

  • ¼ cup of graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ cup of unsalted butter (melted)
  • 150 ml sweetened condensed milk
  • 400g cottage cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla
  • Lemon zest and juice of a half lemon

*When you are making the cream, blend the cottage cheese until it’s soft.

Related questions:

Can I use spreadable cream cheese in a cheesecake?

No, you can’t. It’s the same reason why whipped butter can’t be added into cookie and cake recipes. They are processed differently.

Can I use milk instead of cream cheese?

Yes, but instead of using whole milk, use a 1:1 ratio with heavy cream to make it creamier.

How soft should Cream Cheese be for cheesecake?

As long as it is not stiff from the fridge, you’ll be fine to use it. But it still takes around 15 minutes so you can use the cream cheese. Let it be softer so you can easily use it and there is no over-softening, so don’t worry.

Can I substitute butter for cream cheese?

Yes, an equal amount of cream cheese can be substituted with butter. Meaning, ½ cup butter equals ½ cup of cream cheese.

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