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Baking Hacks: 5 BEST Cream Cheese Substitutes for Cheesecake

Craving cheesecake but out of cream cheese? No problem!

This isn’t the end of your baking day.

We’ve all been there, ready to whip up something delicious, only to find we’re missing a key ingredient. It’s a bummer, right?

Well, I’ve got some good news for you.

There are some pretty fantastic substitutes for cream cheese that might just save your dessert – and the day.

Stick around, and I’ll walk you through five of the best swaps to keep your cheesecake dream alive without skipping a beat.

The 5 Best Cream Cheese Substitutes for Cheesecake

If you are looking for a lower-calorie or vegan alternative, you might want to consider these five cream cheese substitutes that are perfect for making a delicious and unique cheesecake.

1 – Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is a curd dairy product made by draining the whey from regular cheese.

This smooth and creamy cheese has a mild flavor that can range from slightly acidic to sweet.

Its texture varies, as it has lumps depending on the type you purchase, which can range from small-curded to large-curled.

Cottage cheese is a great substitution for cream cheese in other recipes like cheesecake.

To make cottage cheese into cream-cheese consistency, place it with a slotted spoon into the center of a sheet of cheesecloth and squeeze out the liquid with your hands for about five minutes – resulting in a thick yet spreadable traditional-tasting cheesecake without any artificial ingredients or added sugar.

2 – Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt has become a staple in kitchens around the world with its thick and creamy texture that’s similar to sour cream or cream cheese.

This dairy product is strained several times to remove excess water, resulting in a protein-packed yogurt that’s great for breakfast or snack time.

Greek yogurt also works well as a substitute for cream cheese when making cheesecake, as it adds flavor and moisture without overpowering the dish.

To incorporate Greek yogurt into your favorite cheesecake recipe, simply replace the cream cheese with an equal amount of Greek yogurt, adding more sugar since Greek yogurt doesn’t have any added sweeteners.

You may need to adjust additional amounts of other ingredients, such as sour cream, based on your recipe instructions.

3 – Mascarpone Cheese

Mascarpone is an Italian cheese with a rich history and flavor.

One of the creamiest, richest cheeses you can find, mascarpone has become an important ingredient in many desserts, especially cheesecake – and it’s easy to understand why.

What sets mascarpone apart from other cheeses is its incredibly smooth texture and sweet, creamy taste.

It also substitutes wonderfully for cream cheese in traditional recipes for cheesecake if you’re looking to spruce up a classic dessert.

With just one try of mascarpone cheese, you’ll fall head over heels in love with its unique flavor profile and texture – be prepared to make it your go-to ingredient when baking desserts.

4 – Neufchâtel Cheese

Neufchâtel cheese is thought to have originated around the small village of Neufchâtel, situated in northern France.

This semi-soft cheese has a unique shape – typically presented as six individual triangular pieces – and is known for its mild, slightly salty flavor.

Like cream cheese, it has a rich texture, although neufchâtel cheese is lower in fat and calories than regular cream cheese.

In the culinary world, it can often be used as a great substitute for cream cheese when baking cheesecake; just ensure that you reduce the amount of liquid added to your recipe as that may be too thin if substituted 1:1.

5 – Ricotta Cheese

Ricotta cheese is a type of Italian cheese traditionally made from the whey left over from producing other cheeses.

A fresh, mild-tasting, and creamy cheese with a slightly grainy texture, it often features lasagna, ravioli, and other popular Italian dishes.

For those looking for something a bit different than cream cheese for their cheesecake, ricotta provides an interesting alternative due to its lesser sweetness but still rich and indulgent flavor.

To make a Cheese Ricotta Cheesecake substitute 1 cup of soaked and well-drained ricotta cheese or Pot Cheese for one 8-ounce package of cream cheese in the recipe.

The texture will be lighter and the flavor richer – perfect for those who want something unique yet still delicious.

The 5 Best Cream Cheese Substitutes for Cheesecake

Craving cheesecake but don't have cream cheese? Discover our top picks for creamy substitutes that will yield a luscious texture and rich flavor in your homemade dessert.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Cottage Cheese
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Mascarpone Cheese
  • Neufchâtel Cheese
  • Ricotta Cheese


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword Cream Cheese Substitutes for Cheesecake
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