The 10 Best Substitutes For Cream Cheese In Cheesecake

What can I use instead of cream cheese in cheesecake? The best substitutes for cream cheese in cheesecake are soft, white cheeses like marscapone, Neufchâtel, quark, labneh, fromage frais, ricotta, and cottage cheese. Use other dairy products, including crème fraîche and sour cream. Use tofu for a plant-based option.

Cream cheese is a soft, white, unaged cheese made from cultured milk and cream. It is a standard cheesecake ingredient, part of the rich egg and cream custard filling. Cream cheese gives cheesecake richness, thickness, and a mild cheesy flavor. Here are the 10 best substitutes for cream cheese in cheesecake.

The Best Cream Cheese In Cheesecake Substitutes


Marscapone is the best substitute for cream cheese in cheesecake.

An Italian variety of cream cheese, marscapone is richer than regular cream cheese because it is made using heavy cream, not milk.

Cream gives marscapone a decadent, luxurious consistency and sweet flavor, as well as a higher fat and calorie count. In fact, marscapone is 76% fat.

You can replace cream cheese with marscapone when making any dessert, including tiramisu, San Sebastian cheesecakes, or filled fridge tarts. It’s ideal for cheesecakes with a soft, creamy texture.

Substitute marscapone for cream cheese 1:1. Add a dash of lemon juice if you want the marscapone to have a sour, cheesy tang.


Another great substitute for cream cheese in cheesecake is Neufchâtel.

Although there is a French variety of cheese with the same name, it is more like Camembert than cream cheese, so look for American Neufchâtel.

This delicious style of cream cheese has been made since the nineteenth century and is sweet, smooth, and mild.

American-style Neufchâtel has the same creamy consistency as cream cheese but is less rich as it contains less fat.

Use Neufchâtel instead of cream cheese if you want a lighter cheesecake or want to cut a few calories without compromising on flavor. It’s also great in a savory cheesecake with root vegetables.

Replace the cream cheese in your cheesecake recipe with the same quantity of Neufchâtel.


Another delicious cheese to use instead of cream cheese in cheesecake is German quark.

Quark is a fresh, white cheese made from buttermilk and heavy cream, which tastes like rich yogurt. The buttermilk gives it a particularly sour tang and means the cheese is lower in calories than regular cream cheese.

You’ll find many recipes for traditional German cheesecakes and Austrian Topfentorte that use quark, resulting in firm, slightly dry cheesecake with a seriously cheesy flavor.

Because quark has the same consistency as cream cheese, it makes an excellent replacement in cheesecake, especially a country cheesecake that also contains buttermilk.

Use quark as a 1:1 replacement for cream cheese in cheesecake.


Use labneh as a substitute for cream cheese in cheesecake.

Labneh is a Middle Eastern soft cheese made by straining the whey out of yogurt – the creamy cheese that remains is labneh.

With a deliciously smooth consistency and sour, buttermilk-like flavor, labneh is used as a dip, topping, spread, and thickener. It goes equally well with sweet and savory dishes, so tastes good over fruit or curry.

A thick brand of labneh makes a wonderful alternative to cream cheese in cheesecake, especially if you like a less sweet bake.

Replace cream cheese with equal quantities of labneh.

Fromage Frais

Instead of cream cheese in cheesecake, you can use fromage frais.

Fromage frais is a soft, white cheese popular in France. It is made from cream but still contains the live cultures that fermented it, so it has a sour, yogurt-like flavor and consistency.

If you like a cheesecake lower in fat and calories, fromage frais is an excellent alternative to cream cheese. It’s light and perfect for no-bake cheesecakes and tarts with gelatin.

Replace cream cheese in cheesecake with the same volume of fromage frais.


Ricotta cheese is a gorgeous alternative to cream cheese in cheesecake.

A soft Italian cheese, ricotta is made by recooking the whey produced when making other cheeses – it’s a cheese by-product.

This delicately textured and mild-flavored ingredient is often used in fillings and sauces, such as lasagna.

Ricotta is also the main ingredient in Roman or Italian cheesecakes, which are lighter and dryer in texture than the typical New York cheesecake.

Although ricotta is softer and less spreadable than cream cheese, it makes a delicious replacement in cheesecakes with fruit.

You can use ricotta as a direct replacement for cream cheese. However, if you’re concerned about its texture, blend a cup of ricotta with a cup of full-fat yogurt or heavy cream to replace two cups of cream cheese.

Cottage Cheese

Use cottage cheese if you want a convenient substitute for cream cheese in cheesecake.

Cottage cheese is a soft, white curd cheese made mainly with milk and a little cream. It is lower in fat than cream cheese and tends to have a moist texture, with large puffy curds.

Whipped cottage cheese is smooth and more similar in consistency to cream cheese.

Choose cottage cheese as a cream cheese substitute if you want a lower-calorie, healthier option cheesecake. It is lighter than cream cheese and won’t give your cheese cake the same richness.

Replace cream cheese with cottage cheese directly for low-calorie cheesecakes.

For a closer flavor and texture match, drain your cottage cheese through muslim, then mix 1 cup strained cottage cheese and 1 cup heavy cream to replace 2 cups cream cheese.

Crème Fraîche

Try crème fraîche as a tasty substitute for cream cheese in cheesecake.

Crème fraîche is a variety of sour cream popular in European cuisine. This ingredient contains more cream than regular sour cream and is thicker, more luscious, and less acidic.

Unlike sour cream, it doesn’t curdle when heated or combined with a hot dish.

You can use crème fraîche instead of cream cheese in cheesecake, but note that the ingredient isn’t cheese, so it will have a flavor difference.

It’s best for a no-bake cheesecake, especially with fruit, so you don’t notice the difference.

Most baked cheesecakes contain cream and cream cheese, so you could also use crème fraîche to replace some of the cream cheese in a Saint Sebastian cheesecake with its wobbly texture.

Replace cream cheese with similar volumes of crème fraîche.

Sour Cream

Another dairy product you can use instead of cream cheese in cheesecake is sour cream.

Like crème fraîche, sour cream is cultured by adding lactic acid to cream. It’s thicker than regular cream and has a lovely tang, similar to cream cheese, but it is even more acidic.

Sour cream is lower in fat than cream cheese but has the same consistency, making a lovely, light, airy cheesecake.

It’s a good alternative when you’re making a New York cheesecake and want to replace some of the cream cheese or if you’re making a savory cheesecake.

Replace cream cheese in cheesecake with equal quantities of sour cream.


For a vegan cheesecake, try tofu instead of cream cheese.

Tofu was invented over 1000 years ago in China. It consists of bean curd, that is, the curds made from coagulating soya milk.

Depending on how much liquid was strained off during processing, tofu’s texture can be soft, firm, or extra-firm. Silken tofu is a particularly delicate form of this ingredient, not having been pressed to drain off liquid.

Many recipes for vegan cheesecake use tofu instead of cream cheese as the filling. Depending on the recipe and texture, you can use firm tofu for baked cheesecakes and silken tofu for no-bake and Japanese cheesecakes.

Ideally, choose a recipe that uses tofu rather than substituting tofu for cream cheese in a non-vegan recipe.