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Substitute for Cream Cheese in Baking

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Cheese is already a popular home staple enjoyed by both children and adults. And most of us are aware that it is a dairy product manufactured from curdled or cultured milk. However, cream cheese transcends this general rule, making it one of the most popular cheese components in the kitchen.

However, for a variety of reasons, you may choose to exclude it from your recipe. And if you’re accustomed to it, the idea of a replacement may sound absurd. However, in this section, we will look at alternatives to cream cheese. And we can see why they’re the ideal substitute for this delectable food.

What is Cream Cheese?

Substitute for Cream Cheese in Baking

Cream cheese is a mild-tasting, soft, unaged fresh cheese produced from milk and cream. Lactic acid bacteria are introduced to the cream during manufacture, causing it to lose pH. This drop depletes the liquid of its fat, causing coagulation or curdling. In industrial manufacturing, stabilizers such as carrageenan and carob bean gum are often used. Cream cheese does not ripen naturally and is intended to be enjoyed fresh. It differs from other soft cheeses such as Brie and Neufchatel, but is more comparable in texture, flavor, and manufacturing technique to Boursin and mascarpone.

Cream Cheese Nutrition Facts

Substitute for Cream Cheese in Baking

Cream Cheese in Baking and Cooking

Cream cheese may be used in both sweet and savory recipes, and it is often used alone or in combination with other ingredients such as yogurt or pepper jelly to produce spreads for toast, bagels, and crackers. It may also be used as a dip for chips and nachos, a basis for creamy salads, and a sauce thickening. It’s a common ingredient in various fillings, particularly shellfish and crab rangoon, and it’s often used with or instead of butter or olive oil in mashed potatoes and sushi rolls.

Cream cheese is also popular among gourmet bakers due to its gentle and sweet flavor with a hint of tanginess that lingers as an aftertaste. This is due to the fact that it is a dairy-based product, similar to cream, buttermilk, and yogurt. Cream cheese is an obvious ingredient in many of our favorite baked products. Cheesecake, for example, is the most common product of cream cheese in baking, which is where their distinct tastes come from.

Cream cheese is also often used in the preparation of pastry dough, brownies, and puff pastry filling. It is sometimes used in lieu of or with butter for creating cakes, cookies, and cream cheese frosting (usually two parts cream cheese to one part butter). It also improves the taste and profitability of baked products by serving as a filling and spread, in dips, and as a frost layer for cakes and other baked goods. Cream cheese is also used in baking recipes in the following ways:

  • Carrot cake
  • Shortcake cookies
  • Blueberry cookies
  • Key lime cheesecake
  • Cheesecake egg rolls
  • Pecan pie
  • Banana bread
  • Spreads
  • Hokey pokey slice
  • Muffin pan scrolls
  • Fillings
  • Pancakes
  • Slab shortcake
  • Jalapeno cornbread
  • Burgers
  • Red velvet cake
  • Cannoli cake

Cream Cheese Substitutes in Baking

It is difficult to recreate the tastes and texture of cream cheese in recipes. However, you may be in a scenario where you don’t have any or enough cream cheese. You could also avoid eating it for health or nutritional reasons.

Fortunately, different replacements are available to take its place. And, although some can function effectively on their own, others may need a few tweaks to get the intended outcome. Regardless, when you’re out of cream cheese, these substitutes might come in handy.

Mascarpone Cheese

Because it has a similar consistency to cream cheese, this option is a popular replacement. Furthermore, since it is richer and creamier, mascarpone cheese will increase the nutritious value of baked items. It’s very good in fillings, spreads, frostings, and desserts.

Mascarpone cheese, on the other hand, isn’t as salty or sour as cream cheese. However, by altering the taste, this problem may be resolved. To get the flavor up to the level of cream cheese, add a sprinkle of salt and one or two squeezes of fresh lemon juice. If you avoid such items, you should be aware that this alternative is particularly heavy in fat.

Plain Greek Yogurt

This low-carb snack is another wonderful cream cheese alternative, particularly if your recipe asks for tanginess. It not only adds a sour taste to your cuisine, but it is also high in protein, calcium, and vitamin B12. Plain Greek yogurt may be used in place of cream cheese in recipes, notably for preparing dips, spreads, and icing.

However, when it comes to consistency, this alternative falls short. To compensate for this lag, strain plain Greek yogurt through cheesecloth to thicken and match the consistency of cream cheese. When the mixture is thick enough, season with salt and whisk until creamy.


This alternative is well-known for its soft texture, sweet and tangy flavor, and high calcium, vitamin B12, protein, and riboflavin content. It’s also a great substitute for cream cheese in dips, fillings, spreads, and other baked products. Regular ricotta lacks the luxury and thickness of cream cheese, but with a little tweaking, it may be a fantastic alternative.

To begin, strain the Ricotta through cheesecloth until it reaches a firm thickness. Then, in a food processor, blend the cheese with the lemon and beat it until creamy. If it still doesn’t match up, thicken it with a little heavy cream. Once the desired consistency is achieved, use it in the same proportions as cream cheese in baking.

Cottage Cheese

This alternative is comparable to cream cheese, however it has a little lower fat content and a chunkier texture. However, by pureeing with a dash of lemon juice, the latter may be made smoother. If you’re still not pleased, strain it through a cheesecloth until it gets the texture you want. Consider using dry curd cottage cheese and adding cream as required to smooth the mixture. When baking, this notion will work well as a replacement for cream cheese.

Silken Tofu

You can get a similar textural profile with Silken tofu by adding salt and lemon for flavor. And you’ll have the ideal substitute for the vegan alternative in recipes. Because of its soft and creamy texture, tofu is often mixed and used in vegan cheesecakes and bagel spreads. It’s also quite healthy, since it contains a lot of protein, manganese, selenium, and calcium.

However, mastering this substitution takes some practice, particularly if you want a certain taste. To get the desired flavor, experiment with spices and condiments.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I substitute cream cheese for butter?

Yes, although not in a lot of recipes. Because butter has more fat than cream cheese, people who don’t mind the difference in fat content may use it in lieu of cream cheese. However, as a substitute for cream cheese, you will need to use less of it. The reason for this is because using equal parts butter and cream cheese may change the consistency of various recipes, such as frosting and icings.

Can I substitute sour cream for cream cheese in baking?

You certainly can. Sour cream offers a tart taste that is similar to cream cheese, and it works. And it’s really good in blueberry cakes.

How harmful is cream cheese?

Cream cheese is a versatile dairy spread that is high in Vitamin A. It is, however, poor in protein and rich in fats and calories, and should be consumed in moderation. Cream cheese is not inherently hazardous, although it has been linked to an increase in calorific intake and body fat.


Cream cheese is used in a variety of cuisines for a variety of reasons. You may need to reduce your calorie intake, avoid dairy foods, or just be out of it. So understanding how to locate and employ fast substitutions like these is critical information, and the alternatives listed above are some of the finest approaches to solve the problem.


What can I use as a substitute for cream cheese?

Sour cream may be used in place of cream cheese. Sour cream tastes similar to cream cheese but is lower in calories, making it an excellent low-calorie option.
Yogurt from Greece.
Tofu that has been silken.
Cottage cheese is a kind of cheese.

What is a substitute for 1 cup of cream cheese?

If you want something that has the texture of cream cheese but is lower in fat while cooking or baking, AllRecipes suggests two alternative cream cheese substitutes: 1 cup cream cheese = “1 cup pureed cottage cheese [or] 1 cup plain yogurt, strained overnight in a cheesecloth”

What can I substitute for cream cheese in no bake cookies?

11 Fantastic Cream Cheese Substitutes
Cottage cheese is a kind of cheese. Cottage cheese and cream cheese share many similarities, although cottage cheese has a lower fat content and a chunkier texture (1, 2).
Yogurt from Greece.
Kefir flavored with chia seeds.
Tofu that has been silken.

How do you mimic cream cheese flavor?

Chef’s Pencil’s culinary specialists advocate combining ricotta with an equal quantity of full-fat (unsweetened) yogurt as a 1:1 equivalent that better mimics both the texture and taste of cream cheese in savory meals.

Can I use mayo instead of cream cheese?

Can I substitute mayonnaise for cream cheese? You certainly can. Mayo has a creamy texture, spreadability, and a sweet taste similar to cream cheese. This will be determined by the taste character you choose as well as the consistency required for the recipe.

Can you replace cream cheese with butter?

whipped cream

In certain baking and culinary recipes, cream cheese, mascarpone, ricotta, and maybe cottage cheese can all be used in lieu of butter. Choose excellent quality so that they are not too watery (or drain through cheesecloth) and check the fat level, which might vary.

What can I use instead of 2 cups of cream cheese?

To make two cups of cream cheese alternative in baked dishes and dips, combine one cup ricotta and one cup plain yogurt. To make two cups replacement for frosting and cheesecakes, combine one cup ricotta and one cup heavy cream.

When a recipe says cream cheese What does it mean?

It’s a fresh cheese, which the FDA defines as having at least 33% fat and a moisture level of 55% or less. Cream cheese is soft, creamy, and mellow, with a taste and texture similar to mascarpone cheese.

Can milk replace cream cheese?

Cream cheese is a good milk alternative. It results in a delicious, creamy meal that you will enjoy. This is my personal choice when I don’t have any milk on hand. Cream cheese has a significantly thicker consistency, which results in a richer mixture after cooked.

What do vegans use instead of cream cheese?

Best Healthy Cream Cheese Substitutes (Vegan)
Cashew Cream Cheese that is vegan.
Sour Cream with Tofu.
Sour Cream with Cashews.
Tofu Vegano Ricotta is a kind of cheese.
Strawberry Chia Jam (Fruit Spread) Vegan Unsweetened Plain Yogurt

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