How To Make Cream Cheese Recipe


Rather than buying cream cheese from the store, you can make it right in your kitchen. One of the enormous benefits of making your own cream cheese is that you can customize it any way you’d like, and it only takes a few minutes to come together. Plus, there’s a great chance that you already have everything you need right in your pantry.

What Is Cream Cheese?

Cream cheese is generally a thicker, velvety smooth variety of spreadable cheese that you can pop into delicious cheesecakes or add to your a.m. bagels.

cream cheese

How To Make Cream Cheese Recipe

Cream cheese is generally a thicker, velvety smooth variety of spreadable cheese that you can pop into delicious cheesecakes or add to your a.m. bagels.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 1 cup
Calories 93 kcal


  • 8 cups Milk
  • 5 Tbsp Lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoons Salt


  • Heat the milk until boiling in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Once the milk boils, turn off the heat and add lemon juice. You will notice curds forming over the next few minutes.
  • Once all the curds have formed, strain the milk through a cheesecloth or mesh strainer. You want to collect the curds and discard or save the whey for other recipes.
  • Put the curds in a blender and add salt. Blend for one or two minutes until you have smooth and creamy cream cheese
Keyword cream cheese

With just a little sugar added, this recipe makes for a great cream cheese frosting without butter. While cream cheese icing with no butter might not sound as decadent as what you’re used to, the milk will lend its tasty creaminess to things.

Tips & Tricks for Cream Cheese

cream cheese

One of the best aspects of this super simple cream cheese recipe is that you can make it as salty or savory as you’d like. So turn up the savory side by popping in some herbs, salt, or pepper, and use the cream cheese to top your bagels.

Alternatively, add some sugar to the mix and cream cheese to desserts. It’s heavenly as a topping to cupcakes or works well when blended into a cheesecake base. Why not double the recipe and make a little bit of sweet and salty?

You can also use this cream cheese recipe as the basis for different dips, specifically taco dips or jelly dips. Plus, since you’re making it from scratch by yourself, you can rest assured that it has far fewer preservatives than anything you can find at the store.

Nutrition Information of Cream Cheese

The calories in your homemade cream cheese will vary depending on the milk or cream you use and how much sugar or spices you add. Heavier milk or cream will yield a more caloric product. 

50g of homemade cream cheese contains about 93 calories.

One of the best things about homemade cream cheese is that it doesn’t have the preservatives of store-bought, so it’s inherently healthier in that way.

Anyone can make cream cheese from home with this simple, quick recipe that will convince your friends and family that you’re a true gourmet cook.

Frequently Asked Questions

Whenever you whip up something in your kitchen from scratch, it’s normal to have plenty of questions about how to make it and what to do with the leftover ingredients. These frequently asked questions and their answers will help you make the most of your homemade cream cheese and not waste anything.

cream cheese

How can I use the whey?

During the cream cheese-making process, you’ll have two parts; curds and whey. While you’ll use the curds in your cream cheese, it’s slightly trickier to determine what to do with the whey. Please don’t throw it out.

You can save the whey for your next batch of bread. Whey will lend your bread a more nuanced flavor and a hefty dose of nutrition. Your bread could also be a lot softer and even last a little bit longer. Another way to make your bread last long is to pop it in the refrigerator.

You can also toss a little bit of whey into your next smoothie. Bodybuilders use whey powder to give them those fabulous muscles, but regular whey works just as well.

Whey makes an excellent DIY skin toner too. Do a patch test to ensure you’re not allergic to any ingredients; otherwise, feel free to slather it on. Finally, whey is a fantastic marinade for meats and can tenderize even the toughest cuts in a flash.

What if I don’t have lemon juice on hand?

The alchemy that is homemade cream cheese making requires some kind of acid to separate the curds from whey. The easiest thing you can use is lemon juice, but failing that, there are plenty of other alternatives as well. 

Instead, you can use white vinegar to separate the ingredients. Don’t go for flavored vinegars unless you want to infuse your cream cheese with a specific profile. Also, lemon juice works well for cream cheese you’re planning to use in sweeter recipes.

Can I use any milk?

While you can technically use any milk, the general rule is that the fattier the milk is, the creamier your end product will be. Of course, you can also use heavy cream if you want a super great, velvety, delicious creation that will be more caloric than your standard cream cheese.

How can I keep my homemade cream cheese fresh?

Like all soft cheese, homemade cream cheese is best for five to seven days. Keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and it should stay good for a week. There’s a good chance you’ll eat it way before then, though, because this cheese is tasty.

Can I turn my cream cheese into a frosting?

You can turn your cream cheese into a sweet topping with a simple two-ingredient cream cheese frosting recipe that requires your homemade cream cheese and a little extra milk. If you want to be extra-fancy, try a three-ingredient frosting with a healthy splash of vanilla. This homemade vanilla frosting without butter is a refreshing break from the norm.

Join the Conversation

  1. wondermommy04 says:

    This was pretty good.

  2. Really good, everyone enjoyed this dish. Very tender with lots of flavor. Will definitely make again. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  3. Yum! Relatively easy to make and a good balance of flavors.

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