12 Best Cream Cheese Substitutes in Cheesecake

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Cream cheese is the dairy family’s sassy, creamy, and beloved comrade. It isndispensable in recipes to do with baking. It serves as a great base in sweet and savory recipes with its creamy, smooth texture. Not to mention the sweetness it adds to baked foods.

Cream Cheese

Being a fan of cheesecake (remember Rachel and Chandler and their iconic tussle for a cheesecake?)I simply wish to bake and relish it often in my comfort. As a gastronomic reader, you know that there is no cheesecake without cream cheese.

Can you accomplish the magical task of baking a cheesecake without cream cheese? The answer is a resounding yes! Some of the best substitutes for cream cheese in cheesecake are cottage cheese, Neufchatel, ricotta, greek yogurt, and mascarpone.

Let us first dive into the knowledge fountain before we get into the list of substitutes that I have found for you to swap cream cheese in cheesecakes victoriously.

Quick Peek: Cream Cheese In Cheesecake

Cream Cheese

The following scribbles tell you what cream cheese is, its flavor, texture, culinary uses, and health benefits.

What Is Cream Cheese?

Cream cheese is basically a mixture of milk and cream. It has a milky, glossy, smooth texture with overtones of sweetness and tanginess. It is a versatile ingredient in baking recipes. The cream cheese certainly gives a dense, rich flavor to your recipes.

How Is Cream Cheese Made?

Love to know how cream cheese is prepared as extra knowledge stuff? Simply boil low-fat milk over medium heat. Then, pour either lemon juice or vinegar into the milk while stirring occasionally. 

Bring it to a boil and transfer the mixture onto a muslin cloth. After fifteen minutes, smoothen the mixture, and your homemade cream cheese is ready.

Describing Cream Cheese: Flavor and Texture

Cream cheese has a mild, cheesy flavor. It has a smooth, shiny texture with a beautiful play of sweet and tangy flavors. Cream cheese is also easily spreadable with its soft texture.

Uses of Cream Cheese

Cream cheese is used as a topping in cakes, bagels, and desserts. It ensures your baked food items have a rich texture and appearance.

Its mild, sweet, tangy flavor makes it a popular, versatile ingredient in preparing sandwiches, bagels, frosting, sauces, omelets, meatballs, ice creams, etc. 

Cream Cheese On The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope

Cream cheese is one of the exquisite sources of calcium, phosphorus, proteins, and several other antioxidants. It is gluten-free and full of lactose but is rich in carb content. 

It is a good source of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D; all of these are significant for a child’s proper growth and development. Other than that, it is also rich in protein and essential amino acids needed for good health.

Why Should We Substitute Cream Cheese?

Cream cheese is a yummy, delightful addition to your recipes. So why should we bother about its substitutes? Cream cheese is indeed a red flag if you are on board the wagon of healthy eating, especially trying to shed those extra inches off your body. 

If you are lactose intolerant, you also need to strike cream cheese off your list. Another silly reason is that you are out of it sooner than you realize, being an avid user of cream cheese, and are forced to seek its alternatives.

I get it. You came here for the substitutes, craving a cheesecake in mind. I am not going to bore you further. See for yourself the substitutes available to replace cream cheese in cheesecake. 

Other Food Substitutes You Can Try

12 Best Substitutes For Cream Cheese In Cheesecake

Here is a list of 12 substitutes for cream cheese that you can use when making cheesecake. Read on to find out!

1. Cottage Cheese

Cottage Cheese

 Standard cottage cheese is a perfect and healthier (say goodbye to fat) alternative to cream cheese. Cow’s milk is acidified with the help of acid, resulting in the separation of curd from the whey. 

Salt is sometimes added to curd after they are rinsed. Cottage cheese is soupy, fresh cream with a delicious taste and a creamy texture. 

Cottage cheese can readily replace cream cheese in cheesecake, making it an ideal substitute for cream cheese. What’s more? You get the amazing, yummy, protein-rich, and healthy cheesecake.

2. Neufchatel


Neufchatel is the oldest, unripe cheese variety hailing from France. Many often deem Neufchatel the same as cream cheese, but it actually is not.

But, did you know the first-ever American cream cheese was produced by adding cream to Neufchatel? *bows in front of William Lawrence, the dairyman who did this magic*

This heart-shaped rind cheese has less fat content, high moisture, and granular texture. But there isn’t any compromise when it comes to taste. The rich, dense, milky, tangy taste of Neufchatel can be used to easily replace cream cheese in your cheesecake.

3. Ricotta Cheese

Ricotta Cheese

Ricotta in Italian translates into ‘recooked.’ Ricotta cheese is an Italian whey cheese variety made from cow, goat, or sheep milk. The whey that is produced during the production of other cheeses is used to make ricotta cheese.

It has a creamy and soft texture with a mild flavor and is used in sweet and savory dishes.

Ricotta cheese is fresh, unripen, fine, moist, with a grainy texture that can be used to swap cream cheese within your cheesecake. When it comes to flavor, ricotta ranks less when compared to cream cheese. 

4. Greek Yogurt

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is also known as strained yogurt or yogurt cheese. It is simply regular yogurt that has been strained. All the whey is removed during the straining process, and as a result, it has a thicker texture than yogurt and a sour taste.

Greek yogurt can be used as a healthy alternative to cream cheese. This is due to the rich, thick, creamy, and fluffy texture it adds without compromising much flavor. It has more protein and less fat, and you will simply love the gratifying tanginess it offers.

5. Mascarpone


Mascarpone is a rich Italian cheese made using heavy cream. It is the resultant product when you separate whey after you curdle milk with an acid.

As a result of the same, it has a sweet, buttery, less-acidic flavor. This ensures a subtle sweetness to your cheesecake. 

To get the tangy flavor of cream cheese, add lemon juice when baking cheesecake, use mascarpone as a substitute for cream cheese.

6. Sour Cream

Sour Cream

Sour cream results from the fermentation of cream with lactic acid bacteria. Sour cream has a different fan base for its taste and flavor. It ensures moisture to your cheesecake and softens it.

Word of caution is that it can’t emulate the sweet flavor of cream cheese due to its sour flavor.

7. Tofu


Tofu is also known as bean curd. It is a derivative of soy prepared by pressing curdled soy milk into dense, solid slabs. Tofu doesn’t have a characteristic flavor of its own, making it highly versatile to be used in any recipe to absorb flavors.

Tofu is the least recommended alternative to cream cheese. Why? Tofu may not give you the essential sweet flavor of cream cheese. However, it is a great option for vegans as it lends structure and creaminess to replacing eggs.

With a little bit of lemon juice and salt, you can get the desired tangy flavor from your cheesecake using tofu.

8. Coconut Milk, Coconut Butter, and Yeast

The blend of coconut milk, coconut butter, and yeast is a type of homemade cream cheese worth trying to substitute for cream cheese. For an even more profound sweet flavor, opt for full-fat coconut milk. 

This combination of coconut milk, coconut butter and yeast can give you a close flavor to that of cream cheese. The only disadvantage is that this substitute is incredibly high in fat content. 

9. Tofu, Lemon Juice, and Margarine

You might be wondering about the possibility of using this blend as an alternative for cream cheese. Don’t worry. I have found that many chefs use this recipe if they are out of cream cheese, and the flavor is unparalleled.

The mix of tofu, lemon juice, and margarine is a very healthy substitute for cream cheese that can be refrigerated and stored to achieve the proper consistency.

10. Hummus

Made from chickpeas, tahini, lemon, and spices, hummus is a delicious spread, commonly consumed in the Middle East and the Mediterranean cuisines. Some versions also include olive oil, paprika, and celery.

It is usually consumed as a dip in Middle Eastern cuisine. It is an intense creamy paste packed with garlicky and umami flavors and has a light, fluffy texture.

Hummus is a considerable alternative to cream cheese due to its flavor and texture, but it would give a different flavor when used in lieu of cream cheese in cheesecake.

11. Cashew Cheese

Vegans must finally thank me for giving them a substitute that caters to their beliefs. Cashew cream cheese is simply the blend of soaked cashews with water.

It has a rich, salty flavor and is a gluten-free, healthy, and tasty alternative for cream cheese in cheesecake. 

Cashew cheese may be a good substitute for cream cheese due to its flavor and health benefits, but it is not the best option when it comes to baking recipes.

12. Kefir

Kefir is fermented milk made using kefir grains. It features many homemade smoothies recipes due to its flavor profile and health benefits.

It is a good source of calcium, protein, and B vitamins. It has a tangy, sour, and sweet flavor with a liquid consistency. Kefir can be used to replace cream cheese in cheesecake due to the similarity in flavor.

But its watery consistency can be a problem. You can soak chia seeds and kefir together for an hour so that the liquid content is well absorbed. The resultant kefir, which is thickened, can be used very much like regular cheese.

Short Recap

If that were an extensive read on cream cheese substitutes in cheesecake, the following points would help you remember the details easily.

Flavor: The best substitutes for cream cheese in cheesecake in terms of flavor are cottage cheese, Neufchatel, ricotta, greek yogurt, and mascarpone.

Texture: In terms of texture, the best substitutes would be Neufchatel, ricotta, cottage cheese, and hummus.

Final Musings

Cream cheese is a versatile ingredient in baking, especially cheesecakes. However, if you watch your weight or out of cream cheese, the substitutes mentioned above can get your job done.

Be mindful of the substitute you choose and bring the necessary changes for the desired results. Happy baking and eating, foodies!

How To Use Cream Cheese In Cheesecake Substitutes In A Recipe

Cream Cheese

Cream Cheese In Cheesecake Substitutes

Cream cheese is the dairy family’s sassy, creamy, and beloved comrade. It isndispensable in recipes to do with baking. It serves as a great base in sweet and savory recipes with its creamy, smooth texture. As a gastronomic reader, you know that there is no cheesecake without cream cheese. That is why, if you don't have any on hand, you can use a substitute for the same!
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  • Cottage Cheese
  • Neufchatel
  • Ricotta Cheese
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Mascarpone
  • Sour Cream
  • Tofu
  • Coconut Milk Coconut Butter, and Yeast
  • Tofu Lemon Juice, and Margarine
  • Hummus
  • Cashew Cheese
  • Kefir


  • Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
  • Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
  • Use the substitute in the required amount and proceed to make the dish according to the recipe.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the healthy substitutes for cream cheese in cheesecake?

Cottage cheese, ricotta, greek yogurt, kefir, silken tofu are some of the healthiest substitutes for cream cheese in cheesecake.

What is a dairy-free substitute for cream cheese in cheesecake?

Some of the dairy-free substitutes for cream cheese in cheesecake are cashew cheese, tofu, almond butter, coconut milk and coconut butter.

Can cream cheese be made at home?

Cream cheese can be made at home by adding lemon juice or vinegar to boiled milk and then transferring the mixture on to a muslin cloth. The end product is simply homemade cream cheese.

What is the substitute for cream cheese in frosting?

Butter is the best substitute for cream cheese in frosting.

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