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How to make Cream Cheese - 2 ingredient Homemade Cream Cheese. No cultures needed and it takes minutes to make.

How to Make Cream Cheese (Bold Baking Basics)

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Hi Bold Bakers!

To say I have received tons of requests for this recipe is an understatement. How to Make Cream Cheese has been the most-requested recipe for my Bold Baking Basics series.

Since starting Bigger Bolder Baking, you Bold Bakers have shown me what ingredients are and are not available in the countries you live in, and cream cheese was one that was not available or is a different texture in every country.

Cream Cheese was always that ingredient that when I used it in a recipe I was immediately asked to show you how to make it. I only like to use ingredients that are accessible to you no matter what country, however some ingredients still aren’t as mainstream as you would think. So what do we do? We make our own!

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When researching “How to Make Cream Cheese” I tried a lot of recipes and wasted a lot of milk. I couldn’t find a recipe that worked without having to buy active cultures or hang a cream cheese for hours. I hate waste, and I don’t want you to waste your ingredients so I have a foolproof recipe for you that yields delicious, and I really do mean delicious Homemade Cream Cheese. My one piece of advice would be to add a generous amount of salt and try eating it warm. It is just heaven on a cracker.

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Do you like Cheesecake? I have plenty of recipes where you can use my Homemade Cream Cheese like my No-Bake Oreo Cheesecake, my No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake and even my Tiramisu Cheesecake.

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Just a Note: This recipe yields 1 cup (8oz) of Homemade Cream Cheese so check your cheesecake recipe and see how much Cream Cheese you need and then multiply. You can really easily double or triple this recipe. Once made it will live happily in your fridge for 10 days. And if you don’t have cheesecloth, you can find one on Amazon.

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Use my Cream Cheese in these recipes:

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4.52 from 120 votes
How to make Cream Cheese - 2 ingredient Homemade Cream Cheese. No cultures needed and it takes minutes to make.
How to Make Cream Cheese
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

Learn How to Make Cream Cheese at home with a few ingredients! Once you know this simple recipe, you can make your own for my cheesecake recipes & more!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1 cup
Author: Gemma Stafford
Ingredients
  • 4 cups (32oz /1000ml) whole milk (full fat, not low fat)
  • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice (lime juice or white vinegar)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon salt (read notes)
Instructions
  1. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, heat themilk on med-high. Stirring constantly until it starts to a rolling simmer.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the lemon juice 1 tablespoon at a time, in 1 minute intervals. Continue stirring constantly.
  3. Continue cooking until the mixture curdles. Stir constantly till the mixture has separated completely, this should take just a few minutes. There will be a green liquid on the bottom and thick curdles on top. Remove from the heat. This should happens within a few minutes.
  4. Lay a sieve with a cheesecloth over a large bowl. Pour the curd mix into the sieve. Let it strain and cool for about 15 minutes.
  5. Transfer curds to a food processor and process until curds have come together and are totally smooth and creamy. It will take around 3-4 minutes. Keep going if your cream cheese is grainy.
  6. Add salt and taste. Add more if you want more flavor. Now is also a good time to add herbs, garlic or any other flavors you like.
  7. This cream cheese must be stored in the fridge. I always use it within 7 day but can last as long as up to 2 weeks.
Recipe Notes

SMALL CURDS: I have heard feed back that lemon juice yields a smaller amount of curd than vinegar, and this may very well be true for pasteurized milk. Choose a white vinegar, cider vinegar/white wine vinegar will do it. When using lemon juice use it fresh from the fruit.

Salt: Just add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and then taste. If you would like it saltier then feel free to add more.

 

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Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

Have you made a recipe? Share photos on my website or across social media with the hashtag #boldbaker.

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855 Comments

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  1. Liz on October 14, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    I had no idea you could make cream cheese this way!!! Has anyone tried it with unsweetened nut milk like almond or cashew?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 16, 2018 at 6:58 am

      Hi Liz,
      There are suggestions for this online. Cashew is a particular suggestion. I think it may work really well, but it will be a different thing. just google ‘Cashew nut cream cheese’ there are so many recipes there for you.
      I hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

      • liz martin on October 16, 2018 at 7:47 am

        Thanks! I will post when I try it.

  2. Anisoara on October 13, 2018 at 6:33 am

    Thank you very much for the home made cream cheese recipe! I will definitely try it. You are right. It may not be very suitable for cheese cake. I used 10% fat Greek yogurt in cheese cake and it came out very good. The only thing is that you need to strain the yogurt through cheesecloth overnight and then you can use it in lieu of cream cheese. There will be a slight sour tinge to it, but the sugar will easily compensate for that.
    Thank you once again for all your lovely recipes!

    • Gemma Stafford on October 14, 2018 at 8:38 am

      Hi there,
      what a great tip! Thank you for this. It is a matter of further straining the yogurt, removing even more of the whey, almost a curd! Well done you.
      Other bold bakers will be delighted with this tip,
      Gemma 🙂

    • Cynthia Robinsin on October 15, 2018 at 11:42 pm

      I have always made cheesecake from strained yogurt. I would use FULL FAT QUALITY yogurt leave it to drain overnight in the fridge. That cheesecake was amazing! People asked for the recipe & we’re shocked to learn it was made from yogurt “cheese” !

      • Gemma Stafford on October 17, 2018 at 6:54 am

        Hi Cynthia,
        that is great,I was aware of this method, and it too is how Greek yogurt is made. Now oyu need to fill us in on the recipe for the rest of the filling!
        Thank you for taking the time to let us know,
        Gemma 🙂

  3. Catherine on October 10, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    I used whole milk as recommended (3.25%M.F.), but would this same recipe work with higher milk fat content (eg half and half or coffee cream)?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 11, 2018 at 4:16 am

      Hi Catherine,
      YES!
      Mascarpone is a farmers/fresh cream cheese too, and that is made with high fat cream. 1/2 and 1/2 makes a great cream cheese, very delicious!
      The cream/milk needs to be fresh in order for the culture/lemon juice/vinegar to work. The vinegar produces a larger curd.
      I hope this helps,
      Gemma 🙂

  4. Vicky on October 10, 2018 at 8:24 am

    This is probably very good but way too much work for cream cheese.

    • Gemma Stafford on October 10, 2018 at 8:53 am

      Hi Vicky,
      Haha! and if you can readily buy it, and at the right price,then you may be right!
      Our audience is widely spread all over the world, where these products are not so easily located, or often really expensive, so for them it seems easy!
      Carry on baking in any case, good to have you with us,
      Gemma 🙂

      • NatInPW on October 11, 2018 at 6:02 pm

        Gemma – probably there other low-carb dieters like myself who want to control the sugar/carbs in our ingredients. I’m diabetic, but would like to enjoy an occasional cream-cheese based recipe (like cheesecake using substitute sweeteners). So while it may be a lot of work, it will hopefully be a good alternative for those trying to eliminate carbohydrates as much as possible which might get introduced in the commercial production of cream cheese.

        So thank you for this recipe. I hope to use it to make a cheesecake soon.

        • Gemma Stafford on October 16, 2018 at 1:42 am

          Hi Natin,
          You are right, there are lots of people who would choose to reduce carbs/sugars in their diets. Some for serious health reasons, others because they wish to, or that they consider sugars/carbs to be bad boys! I tend to think moderation in all things. The exception being people with diabetes, such a serious condition, and yet there is a desire for an occasional treat. This cream cheese recipe should be of help to you, the higher the fat in the milk the richer and more satisfying the result, do try it!
          You are coming to this at a time when there are a number of great alternative sugars available. Here we use one called Lakanto, but there is Truvia, and Swerve, really all much the same thing, using either monk fruit or stevia for the sweetness, and an alcohol sugar such as erythritol or xylitol, which will caramelize, and behave like real sugar in a bake. Stevia and Monk fruit will not caramelize on their own, but will be great in drinks and some puddings/custards etc. Do a little research into these products, they are a little expensive at the moment, but for you it would be so worth it!
          I hope this is of help, thank you for being in touch,
          Gemma 🙂

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