What are the best substitutes for cream cheese in cheesecake? You can use cottage cheese, mascarpone, soft tofu, cashew cream, sour cream, ricotta cheese, yogurt, or quark. Although you may have to make other adjustments to your recipe these are fantastic alternatives for those who do not possess cream cheese.
There’s nothing as delicious as a smooth cheesecake. If you like a traditional cheesecake with no toppings or many bells and whistles (fudge toppings and caramel sauce, cookie crumble, fresh berries, or caramel sauce) they will never disappoint.
But what happens when you’re getting ready to prepare the most delicious cheesecake and then look at the refrigerator, only to discover that you didn’t buy that cream cheese?
There are plenty of tasty options you can create the perfect cheesecake that will leave the guests forgetting that they ever had cream cheese at all the first.
Find out the best effective substitutes for cream cheese in your cheesecake.
Sarah is integral to our editorial team, ensuring articles are fact-checked and verified. She is a Registered Dietitian and freelance writer based in Canada. She has experience in various practice areas, including weight management, renal, oncology, diabetes, and gastrointestinal disorders. You can find her reading a fantasy novel or hanging out with her husband and two cats in her spare time.
1. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is a fantastic option for those who are seeking a healthier option than cream cheese.
It is a new unaged cheese created by heating milk in its entirety, then setting it with Rennet. The curds that are set are cooked until they’re soft and somewhat bouncy.
This texture makes cottage cheese an excellent alternative to cream cheese in the cheesecake recipe. To achieve the perfect texture, you’ll need to mix equal portions of the heavy cream and cottage cheese until it is smooth.
Once you’ve prepared this cottage cheese mix then you can serve it according to the instructions in the cheesecake recipe. If you’d like to add some tanginess that will more closely resemble that cream cheese add one or two teaspoons of lemon juice to each cup of cottage cheese mix.
Blend the lemon juice and you’ll have a delicious tangy rich, creamy substitute for cream cheese. This will enable you to create a delicious cheesecake with a distinctive taste and smooth texture that is very similar to a cream cheese cheesecake.
We’ve published a complete recipe to make a cheesecake that doesn’t use cream cheese with cottage cheese in place. It’s soft, moist, and delicious!
In the US it’s possible that we won’t be as acquainted with mascarpone cheese because it’s a traditional cheese utilized in Italy. But, mascarpone is rising in popularity and can be an excellent alternative to cream cheese.
It is a soft-set Italian cream cheese created by mixing acid into cream and slowly heating it until it becomes thicker. The cheese is then filtered through a sieve in order to produce a rich, tangy and smooth texture.
It is, as you can think, this resemblance with cream cheese is what makes this a fantastic substitute for cheesecake recipes as you can make only one substitution.
There’s no requirement to add anything additional except if you wish it to taste a bit tangier. In that case, lemon juice will suffice.
If you’re looking for something different, you could mix equal portions of mascarpone, cottage cheese, or silken. Blend them until smooth, then use them as a substitute for cream cheese to create a unique flavor combination.
3. Soft Or Silken Tofu
For those seeking a dairy-free substitute in place of cream cheese silken or soft tofu is an excellent choice. It is a gorgeous creamy texture as well as a pleasant flavor that will absorb any flavor or extracts you choose to add to it.
The only downside is that it lacks that distinctive tanginess that we enjoy in cream cheese. You’ll also need to blend it with coconut cream or dairy cream to achieve a creamy texture like cream cheese.
We recommend 32 ounces of tofu paired with 13.5-ounce coconut milk for the perfect quantity and consistency of one cheesecake. It is possible to add a few tablespoons of juice from a lemon to give it the zing you desire in a great cheesecake.
4. Cashew Cream
If you’re looking for another fantastic dairy-free alternative to dairy-free cream cheese for your cheesecake you can make your own homemade cashew cream. It’s an excellent alternative. It is easy to make your own cashew creme at home using just a handful of ingredients.
- Two cups cashews
- Three cups of water
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- 1 cup of coconut milk, or water
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoons of nutritional yeast (optional)
- The cashews should be soaked overnight or for minimum of 6-8 hours in 3 cups of water with 2 tablespoons of juice from a lemon.
- After the cashews are swollen in size and broken easily upon contact and poured through the strainer.
- Add the cashews and 1 tablespoon coconut milk, lemon juice sea salt, cashews, along with nutritional yeast into a high-speed mixer or food processor, and blend until the mixture is smooth. It is possible to add additional coconut milk or water to achieve a smooth consistency.
- Set it aside in the fridge for a few hours to set, then serve according to the recipe for cheesecake.
5. Sour Cream
Sour cream is incredibly soft and acidic, which is why it’s a wonderful alternative to cream cheese in recipes for cheesecake.
It may perhaps not have the same thickness as cream cheese but adding a small amount of corn starch, flour, or tapioca starch could aid in giving it the proper consistency.
You can also combine it with cashew cream or tofu, cottage cheese, mascarpone yogurt, or ricotta. These can make a delicious and decadent alternative to a classic cheesecake. Adding it to one of these alternatives will provide you with a unique and smooth texture that people will rave about.
6. Ricotta Cheese
Another exciting Italian cheese beginning to be more popular in America is ricotta cheese.
This alternative is just as good as the cottage cheese as well as mascarpone therefore we’ve created the recipe for a non-bake ricotta-cheesecake recipe that could be what you’re looking to find!
Ricotta cheese can be a wonderful alternative to cream cheese as it has a mild flavor with a pleasant milky flavor. Because it’s so fresh and not too fragile, you’ll want to mix it with another substitute for the most optimal results.
Below are some possible combinations to play with:
- Ricotta as well as Greek yogurt – It is believed that Greek yogurt can add more acidity and smoothness to the Ricotta cheese. We recommend using equal amounts of each and mixing them until they are smooth and creamy.
- Ricotta as well as Mascarpone Mascarpone and Ricotta freshly made Italian cheeses are an ideal match. You’ll want to make use of approximately equal amounts of each, and mix them until it’s smooth. You may also add lemon juice in the event that you think that the end result isn’t as tangy as you would like it to be.
7. Yogurt or Quark
Another great substitute for cream cheese could be to use quark or yogurt (specifically Greek yogurt or Skyr) or quark. Both are soft, creamy dairy options that can be utilized together with other alternatives listed here to create an interesting and tasty cheesecake.
Quark is similar to other cheeses in this list in that it is created by heating milk soured until it becomes thicker. Then it is filtered through a strainer to produce the creamy cheese spreadable that has a sweet and tangy flavor.
Greek yogurt, also known as Skyr, is one of the Icelandic dairy items that are similar to yogurt that’s rich in protein and low in fat. It can be utilized as a substitute for cream cheese, as well. Both have a pleasant taste and texture that can be used in baking.
In the end, it is recommended to mix quark with Greek yogurt, or Skyr with a different substitute to create the perfect texture of cream cheese.
- Greek Yogurt/Skyr/Quark, as well as Cottage Cheese Mixing equal portions of Greek yogurt and cottage cheese in a blender until they’re smooth and creamy, can give you an amazing alternative to creamy cheesecake.
- Greek Yogurt/Skyr/Quark as well as Tofu – mix equal amounts of Greek yogurt/Skyr, and soft or silky tofu into the blender. Mix until you have the smooth and creamy texture which you can then use to replace cream cheese to make your favorite cheesecake recipe.
The options you have to choose from are extremely intriguing and each one will provide a slight variation in taste in the final cheesecake.
Summary of Substitutes For Cream Cheese
There are a lot of tasty alternatives you can substitute for dairy products in the cheesecake recipe.
Some are excellent on their own, while others can be combined with other ingredients to create the ideal texture and flavor.
The best substitutes for cream cheese used in a cheesecake are cottage cheese, mascarpone, soft or silken tofu, cashew cream, sour cream as well as Greek skyr, and quark.
We love to mix the two options to create a smooth, silky, and delicious cheesecake.
Heya, I’m Norah! The foodie editor here at YummyTasteFood! I love absolutely everything to do with food, baking, and eating! I earned my stripes in the hospitality industry as a pastry chef, sous chef, and barista. I’m now a freelance writing nomad. I do not miss the hospitality industry! Be sure to join our Facebook group – it’s free to access!