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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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My Homemade Cream Cheese recipe could not be easier to make, because everything you need to make rich, creamy, and tangy cream cheese is most likely already in your fridge.


Hi Bold Bakers!

To say I have received tons of requests for this recipe is an understatement because 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 completely different texture from country to country.

I usually only like to use ingredients that are accessible to you no matter what country you’re in, however, some ingredients still aren’t as mainstream as you would think. So what do we do? We make our own!

How to Make Homemade Cream Cheese

This Homemade Cream Cheese could not be easier to make, because everything you need to make rich, creamy, and tangy cream cheese is most likely already in your fridge.

Believe it or not, myHomemade Cream Cheese is actually made with milk. I use whole milk in this recipe to get the richness we all know and love in a thick cream cheese. It starts with milk, then I use lemon juice. That’s right: these 2 ingredients create a reaction which curdles the cheese. Then it’s just the process of straining the cheese from the whey, and what I have left is the beginnings of my cream cheese.

After blending thoroughly, I transfer the mix to an airtight container and store it in the fridge. This way, I always have cream cheese waiting on me for baking, cooking, and of course, spreading onto a freshly toasted bagel!

Is This the Same As Regular Cream Cheese?

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 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.

If you find after blending the cream cheese is a bit gritty, just keep on going. The added salt will season the cream cheese and help the curdles to break down farther into the most lovely smooth cream cheese.

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How to Use This Cream Cheese, and Can You Bake With It?

This cream cheese can be used just like any other, it’s not just for topping and eating plain, it can be baked and cooked with as well. I love to use this cream cheese in my Best Ever Cream Cheese Frosting and of course in the glaze I use to finish off my No-Knead No-Machine Cinnamon Rolls! This cream cheese also acts as a great substitute for yogurt in lots of recipes, the versatility really is endless.

If you enjoy making your own homemade ingredients at home you will love learning how to make Homemade Butter!]

How to Store Cream Cheese

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. Just like any other dairy product, it’s important to store the cream cheese in an airtight container in the fridge. Since this is made with fresh milk, and has nothing added to preserve it, I suggest you use it within 10 days of making it.

 

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4.49 from 196 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
 

My Homemade Cream Cheese recipe could not be easier to make, because everything you need to make rich, creamy, and tangy cream cheese is most likely already in your fridge.

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 the milk 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 happen within a few minutes.
  4. Lay a sieve with cheesecloth over a large bowl. Pour the curd mixture 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 days but can last as long as up to 2 weeks.
Recipe Notes

SMALL CURDS: I have heard feedback 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!

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1 Comments

Write a Comment and Review

  1. Vinky on April 18, 2019 at 12:55 am

    Hi can i use a condensed milk or the evaporated milk? I just want to bake a cake for my grad this upcoming monday 🙂

    • Gemma Stafford on April 18, 2019 at 7:38 am

      Hi there,
      I am not too sure what you are trying to do?
      If you are saying you want to make cream cheese then no! Condensed milk is really heading for caramel, and both have been denatured by cooking. You will be best to use fresh dairy milk, or powdered milk, for a good result. I think you could choose an easier option if you cannot get fresh milk. What about these ones (https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/?s=No+bake), evaporated milk can be use in place of fresh cream in some of these.
      I wish you a happy graduation, do not add stress to it,
      Gemma 🙂
      Gemma 🙂

  2. Anna on April 14, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    Hi Gemma,I did it today but it is really hard (hard to spread). It doesn’t look or taste like soft/creamy/spreadable cheese? Any idea what went wrong?

    Thank you

    • Gemma Stafford on April 15, 2019 at 12:17 pm

      That’s very strange, you might just need to blend it farther, i would try that. Let me know.

  3. Viby on April 8, 2019 at 1:32 am

    Hi Gemma,

    I love your website and all the great tips you share 🙂

    I always make my cheese at home and exactly the same way, but I usually use it in savoury dishes.

    Can I use this recipe be used for making cheese cakes? If yes, do you use caster sugar to make it sweet?

    Thank you so much for taking time to reply.

    Regards – viby

    • Gemma Stafford on April 8, 2019 at 11:41 am

      Hi, you can use this in any of my cheesecake recipes.

  4. Shirley on April 7, 2019 at 10:39 am

    Can I substitute Raw full fat Goats Milk for the cows milk?

    • Gemma Stafford on April 8, 2019 at 12:02 pm

      Hi, i’ve never tried that. If you give it a try let me know what you think!

  5. Aaron Cookson on March 31, 2019 at 11:12 pm

    Hi Gemma.
    I have a large container of low fat cooking cream that is going out of date soon.manufacturers website its also known as half and half cream.Is there anyway I could get away with making cream cheese out of it or does it simply not have the fat content(11%)?
    I will have to find something else to use it in if not.
    Aaron.

    • Gemma Stafford on April 1, 2019 at 10:53 am

      Hi, this will work it just might not be quite as thick.

  6. Paul on March 28, 2019 at 1:14 pm

    Hi Gemma, so I decided to try this recipe out, while I’m typing this comment I’m still waiting for the milk to curdle, I even added more lemon and vinegar mix to see if that would work and nothing, I’ve followed the recipe exactly and still nothing, maybe I’m doing something wrong?

    • Gemma Stafford on March 28, 2019 at 5:46 pm

      Paul, don’t worry. You might just need extra extra acidity. Add more lemon or vinegar. As long as the milk is fresh dairy milk then it will curdle.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  7. ugajin on March 25, 2019 at 9:37 am

    Thanks a bunch for this information about cream cheese, Gem. I don’t mind that this does not sound like cheese. The dairy industry will tell you, that cheese is a type of fermented food that must be made using animal milk.

    However, I am against dairy, and I just made my first vegan fermented cheesecake. It contains fermented non dairy cheese, as well as fermented fruits, as as sweetner, to balance the flavour of the cacao, for the nut base, (or is that a legume, or a drupe?)

    I regularly make non animal (soybean) milk, which can be easily curdled to make non animal (tofu) curd, which in turn can be easily fermented, to make a deliciously soft, tangy non animal cheese.

    You can substitute home made with store bought tofu, to make fermented tofu. However (although I haven’t tried), I believe that tofu cannot usually be made using store bought soybean milk.

    • Gemma Stafford on March 25, 2019 at 9:51 am

      Wow, ill have to try that, sounds like an awesome dairy free cheese!

      • ugajin on March 27, 2019 at 3:54 am

        Cheese … ‘a food made from the pressed curds of milk, firm and elastic or soft and semi-liquid in texture.’

        I made another cheesecake using unfermented soybean curd, using store bought organic UHT unsweetened soy milk, to which I then added some home made soybean yoghurt to add flavour interest.

        Of course yoghurt is a fermented food, so it makes sense that cheese does not have to be fermented.

        The method I use when fermenting tofu can take a week or more to cure.

        Thanks for a really interesting series on baking basics.

        I am thinking I may try making cheese using rice milk, as this may be more flavoursome, and sweeter than soybean milk, although warm fresh home-made is sweet too.

        • Gemma Stafford on March 27, 2019 at 3:53 pm

          WOW, that’s an awesome idea, please do let us know if the rice milk cheese works! So glad to year you enjoy or Bold Baking Basics!

    • Gemma Stafford on March 25, 2019 at 11:46 am

      Thank so much for the info, that sounds like an awesome dairy free cheese!

    • ugajin on March 26, 2019 at 4:50 pm

      Cheese… a food made from the pressed curds of milk, firm and elastic or soft and semi-liquid in texture.
      So, it does not have to be fermented!

  8. ravenclaw2001 on March 20, 2019 at 1:41 am

    Hey Gemma! Thank You for this amazing hack. I tried this recipe and used my homemade cream cheese in Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies (posting the picture). The results were amazing and it tasted so good. However, I had to use 6 cups of milk to yield 8 Oz of Cream Cheese. But it still costs much less than the store bought one and the results are pretty good.

    • Gemma Stafford on March 21, 2019 at 6:14 am

      Delighted to hear that!!! I love to eat this while it is still warm :).

      Check out my homemade ricotta if you haven’t already.
      Gemma.

  9. Michaela on March 19, 2019 at 12:23 pm

    Gemma, thank you! I had a revelation at the grocery store today. I wanted some cream cheese to go with my smoked salmon for lunch, so I popped in to get some. I am allergic to legumes (not fun), so when I checked, and found, that every single cream cheese has carob bean/locust bean gum in it, my mind thought, “Hmmmm….I wonder if these are legumes?” Duh. Bean. So I am looking forward to making your cream cheese that has no weird ingredients that I have to google at the store. 💖

    • Gemma Stafford on March 19, 2019 at 3:20 pm

      YAY i am delighted to hear that! Let me know what you think!

      • Kevin on March 23, 2019 at 11:49 am

        Going to try this today.. thank you

  10. Mariam on March 19, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    Is there any alternative for food processor?

    • Gemma Stafford on March 19, 2019 at 3:42 pm

      Hi you can use a blender or magic bullet instead.

  11. Maria on March 18, 2019 at 10:43 pm

    You are my favorite chef in all time,thank you very much,greetings from HK.Best regards,Maria.

    • Gemma Stafford on March 19, 2019 at 11:05 am

      😀 thank you for the lovely message!

  12. Karen Wiseman on March 16, 2019 at 3:44 pm

    OK I am officially thrilled with you.
    Just made a batch with lactose free milk, and used half to make cream cheese frosting for my daughter. She hasn’t had that in years since I haven’t been able to find LF cream cheese. While it may not be quite as smooth as store bought, it’s pretty darn wonderful. One happy birthday girl 🙂
    Karen

    • Gemma Stafford on March 16, 2019 at 9:09 pm

      I’m delighted to hear that, Karen!! I love to hear from happy Bold Bakers 🙂

      Thanks for trying it out.
      Gemma.

  13. Mo on March 15, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    This sounds great! Can you use this in cooked recipes, like potato soup or salsa chicken? I have a TON of dinner recipes that call for cream cheese and this would be way cheaper/easier then buying it at the store.

    • Gemma Stafford on March 16, 2019 at 8:53 pm

      Yes absolutely use it in cooked recipes. I don’t recommend it for my cream cheese frosting however.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  14. KimCluff on March 13, 2019 at 8:28 am

    Amazing! Made blueberry cream cheese by adding homemade blueberry syrup. So great for a place where good cream cheese is not available. Attempting cheesecake next week!

    • Gemma Stafford on March 13, 2019 at 4:05 pm

      I’m thrilled to hear that, Kim!!!! thanks for trying it out 🙂

      Best,
      Gemma

  15. Bianca Gebers on March 12, 2019 at 6:29 am

    Hi Gemma,

    Will this recipe work with long life full cream milk?

    Thanks ,

    Bianca

    • Gemma Stafford on March 13, 2019 at 3:07 pm

      Hi Bianca,

      I haven’t personally tried that but yes I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  16. Maryam on March 11, 2019 at 7:43 pm

    Can it be used as a frosting in red valvet cake?

    • Gemma Stafford on March 11, 2019 at 8:39 pm

      Hi Maryam,

      I don’t and I’ll tell you why. Store bought is really smooth and great for frosting. The homemade version is really hard to get that incredibly smooth so thats why I don’t recommend it. By adding in a little milk or cream while blending you can get it much smoother.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  17. Jenny manga on March 9, 2019 at 6:37 am

    Hi gemma,am a big fan of yours,i love your recipes they’re amazing,i want to ask can i use evaporared milk for the cream cheese?

    • Gemma Stafford on March 9, 2019 at 7:02 am

      Thank you so much, Jenny. I’m really glad you like my recipes.

      Unfortunately evaporated milk won’t work. You need a fresh milk to make cream cheese.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  18. LuAnne on March 8, 2019 at 5:24 am

    Could this recipe be doubled or tripled and stored in the freezer? This way I could make a bigger batch and have it on hand when needed.

    • Gemma Stafford on March 9, 2019 at 6:32 am

      Absolutely it can!! great idea.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  19. Kelsey on March 4, 2019 at 11:15 am

    I live in Guyana where many ingredients/materials are not readily available. I can’t find any cream cheese which led me to this recipe. We also do not have cows milk. Milk powder is widely used. Cheesecloth? Not a chance. Blender? A luxury item.

    I am happy to report that regardless of the many substitutions, I was successful with powdered milk, paper towels, and a cement brick. Many thanks for the recipe.

    • Gemma Stafford on March 6, 2019 at 7:16 am

      Hi Kelsey,
      Well done you! this is what it is all about, using what you have to hand. Remember these things were made at home way before there were any kitchen appliances. I am delighted that you managed this with the powdered milk, other bold bakers will appreciate this input,
      Gemma 🙂

  20. Rachelle Kim on February 28, 2019 at 5:01 am

    HI gemma, can I use full cream milk sterilized on this recipe? Thank you.

    • Gemma Stafford on March 1, 2019 at 1:36 pm

      Yes, that will work.

  21. Carolyn Garcia on February 26, 2019 at 8:49 pm

    Hi Gemma, Carolyn Garcia here, love your Blog by the way! My question is what else can you use if you don’t have a cheesecloth? Thank you, Carolyn.

    • Gemma Stafford on February 27, 2019 at 6:30 am

      Hi Carolyn,
      Good question! in the catering/professional kitchen we used cheesecloth when we could keep it, and J cloth when not. This kitchen cloth, this is what I mean (https://amzn.to/2EyE0HW). This is generally available in your local store in the US and elsewhere. Of course it will be a clean fresh one, we used to pop them into a pot of boiling water to sterilize them before use.
      I hope this is of help to you. Coffee filters work too for some things,
      Gemma 😉

    • Siddra Rehman on April 7, 2019 at 10:17 pm

      I used an old cotton see through shirt for it. It worked great.

      • Gemma Stafford on April 8, 2019 at 11:42 am

        Great trick 😀

  22. Bharti on February 26, 2019 at 5:21 am

    Hi. Can I use this homemade cream cheese to make cheesecake?
    Bharti

    • Gemma Stafford on February 26, 2019 at 10:57 am

      Yes, you can, great idea!

  23. Vishmi on February 25, 2019 at 5:51 am

    Hi Gemma I’m a big big big fan of you for many years and for future even,you got amazing tips for the beginners.THANKS A LOT FOR THOSE. Can I use a hand mixer instead a blender or a food processor cause I use my blender for many purposes like grinding spices and I feel like it will change the taste?

    • Gemma Stafford on February 25, 2019 at 9:14 am

      Hi, yes a hand blender will work for this too!

      • Vishmi on March 10, 2019 at 6:18 am

        THANKS A LOT

  24. Newbie on February 22, 2019 at 7:35 pm

    How do I save the recipe?

  25. Newbie on February 22, 2019 at 7:22 pm

    Can I use a stand mixer with a whisk for this recipe?and how does one save this recipe? I keep clicking on the but it does not work…

    • Gemma Stafford on February 24, 2019 at 2:21 am

      Hi there,
      Yes, I think that will work to blend the cheese, you may need to add back a little milk/whey or cream to bring it together. vinegar makes a larger curd so that is easier to blend too. Alternatively you can strain and compress the curd, press it with a weight to bring it together.
      The recipe should save for you when you select the heart symbol. I will have the tech people check it out, I did not realize it was causing an issue. Thank you for letting me know,
      Gemma 🙂

  26. barbara erb on February 20, 2019 at 3:52 am

    dont know what went wrong but my milk didn’t curdle used homo milk its 3.25 percent and lemon juice

    • Gemma Stafford on February 20, 2019 at 4:25 pm

      That’s very odd, sometimes it just need to be cooked a bit linger you can also add more lemon juice to make the reaction stronger.

  27. Karen Wiseman on February 19, 2019 at 11:23 am

    I love boursin cheese but it is expensive. I suspect this would work with the addition of garlic, herbs, and maybe a bit more salt….. if you ever get around to publishing an imitation recipe, or some advice on a herb garlic cream cheese I would be very grateful 🙂

    • Gemma Stafford on February 19, 2019 at 11:49 am

      Oh, that’s a great idea! Ill have to work on that!

  28. Rhonda on February 18, 2019 at 10:01 pm

    Can you blend it with a blender

    • Gemma Stafford on February 19, 2019 at 3:22 pm

      Yes, you can.

  29. Joseph Burke on February 18, 2019 at 5:06 am

    If you’re using only milk then it is not cream cheese, it is Neufchatel. Cream cheese gets it’s name because it is made with a blend of milk and cream. Neufchatel is made with milk only.

    • Gemma Stafford on February 19, 2019 at 2:56 am

      Ok! Joseph, I stand corrected!
      The problem is that this type of cheese was made in any number of cultures all over the world, and they called it Fresh Cheese, Farmers Cheese, Cottage Cheese, Paneer etc. The same applies to mascarpone, not owned by any particular culture, made by many. In Germany this is called ‘Doppelrhamstufel’ get your tongue around that one!
      Gemma 😉

      • Katie Fitzpatrick on February 24, 2019 at 9:25 am

        So excited to read your post!! I have made the paneer in the past (Same way) and had no idea I could turn it into cream cheese. WOW! Thank you. I also appreciated the follow up note regarding using vinegar vs lemon. Prior to your post, one of the times I tried making the paneer with lemon, it never separated. I later read that the UHT processed milk can’t be used successfully. Trying to find milk these days that is not UHT is quite the challenge. Will have to see if vinegar works for it. Thank you again

        • Gemma Stafford on February 25, 2019 at 4:41 pm

          I am delighted to hear that, really it’s my pleasure!

  30. Franx on February 17, 2019 at 12:05 am

    Hi Gemma,
    I would like to ask what would we do with the strained water from the cheese? Thank You. 🙂

    • Gemma Stafford on February 17, 2019 at 1:55 am

      Hi there,
      This is a bit like a whey, and acid ingredient, which will work really well in your baking. This has the effect of softening the gluten in baked goods to give a tender crumb. works really well in scones/biscuits in place of buttermilk, combined with fresh milk. Works too as a marinade, for chicken for instance and combined with spice.
      Lots of ways to use this!
      Gemma 🙂

  31. Rhonda on February 15, 2019 at 10:18 pm

    Can you mix it with a mixer or a blender I have no food processor

    • Gemma Stafford on February 16, 2019 at 4:13 pm

      Hi Rhonda,

      Yes you can, that is fine too. Try and get it as fine as possible. Add in a little milk or the whey to help it blend.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  32. Align on February 14, 2019 at 10:49 pm

    So, I made this homemade cream cheese. And it’s turned out beautifully. I used it to make mini cupcake bites for Valentine’s dinner😍

    • Gemma Stafford on February 15, 2019 at 5:19 pm

      Well done you!

  33. Leslie on February 10, 2019 at 11:26 am

    This question is probably bananas, but if I had some whole milk that was starting to sour, such that my daughter refused it over cereal…could I perhaps save the waste by making this recipe? And if so, would you dial back or skip the lemon as it has already started to curdle? I love your recipes, thank you!!

    • Gemma Stafford on February 11, 2019 at 3:39 am

      Hi Leslie,
      Sorry, but no!
      Milk nowadays, because it is pasteurized, does not sour as much as goes bad! There is only one thing to do with bad milk, and that is dispose of it, it would make you sick.
      Gemma 🙂

  34. JanP on February 10, 2019 at 10:13 am

    Gemma,
    You are genius! This is easy and much less expensive that store bought cream cheese (here in the US).
    Gallon milk has been around $1.25 /gallon in my area. So this is around .40 cents for 8 oz. (using 32 oz milk), vs $1.25 for 8 oz pre-made cream cheese.
    I make cultured cream using whole milk yogurt (also homemade) as a starter for the heavy whipping cream (only first batch is the yogurt used), which I like better than any store bought sour cream.
    I will add this recipe to my list of homemade items. Homemade is always better!
    Thank you!

    • Gemma Stafford on February 11, 2019 at 2:00 am

      Hi Jan,
      sounds like I have nothing to teach you, but you have bold ideas for us! Keep them coming, we appreciate this input.
      Thank you so much, even doing the math! not my strong suit 😉
      Gemma 🙂

  35. Hina on February 6, 2019 at 9:57 am

    U r love. A big thank you

    • Gemma Stafford on February 7, 2019 at 4:46 pm

      😀 thank you!

  36. Katherine DeMonico on February 6, 2019 at 9:53 am

    will this recipe work for non-dairy milk alternatives like coconut or almond milk?

    • Gemma Stafford on February 7, 2019 at 4:47 pm

      I’ve never tried that so i’m not sure it will come out the same.

  37. Align Tom on February 6, 2019 at 12:33 am

    Hi.
    I don’t have a food processor. Can I use a hand blender instead?
    I really need to use cream cheese for Valentine’s day surprise dinner for my husband 🙈 but I can’t get it easily in my city

    • Gemma Stafford on February 7, 2019 at 5:03 pm

      Hi yes this will work very well in the blender.

      • Align on February 7, 2019 at 5:17 pm

        Thanks 😘

  38. Kinjal Vora on February 3, 2019 at 10:30 pm

    Hi Gemma,

    Can we use this for baked cheese cake?

    • Gemma Stafford on February 4, 2019 at 4:16 pm

      Yes, you can 😀

  39. Norma Durr on February 3, 2019 at 1:34 pm

    Thank you for sharing your expertise with us.
    Cream cheese, ricotta & mascarpone are on my list to make at home.

    • Gemma Stafford on February 4, 2019 at 3:58 pm

      It’s my pleasure, you have to try it!

  40. komal on January 30, 2019 at 8:16 am

    Can we use this for cheesecakes? I had a similar attempt, but failed.

    • Gemma Stafford on January 30, 2019 at 1:26 pm

      Hi, yes you can 😀 enjoy!

  41. Susan VanOsdal on January 27, 2019 at 10:49 am

    Sorry Gemma, but this is not cream cheese. At best, and to be more accurate, this might be suitable to use as a cream cheese substitute if you would like. Real cream cheese is a cultured product that requires either a cream cheese starter culture or mesophilic culture to make it yourself. This is a recipe for ricotta cheese — which is NOT cultured. If I make a batch of ricotta (exactly like this using lemon juice or vinegar or citric acid) or I buy a tub of ricotta cheese at the store and put it into a food processor, it doesn’t miraculously turn into cream cheese. That would still just be a blended or creamier (non-cultured) ricotta cheese. To call this actual cream cheese is misleading. It’s the same as making sour cream from milk and calling it yogurt as, again, sour cream is not a cultured product but yogurt is cultured.

    • Gemma Stafford on January 28, 2019 at 2:21 am

      Hi Susan,
      I take your point, up to a point!
      What we have is what was known as a fresh cheese/farmers cheese/cottage cheese/curd. A homemade thing, before people had access to cultures for cheese making. It is a valid way to make a cream cheese, as that is what it is, a creamed curd. It is not for the purist though, and that is ok too, but it makes a good alternative for people all over the world who have access to fresh milk, but not necessarily the cultures etc.
      Ricotta too is actually made from the whey traditionally, but this is also a bridge too far for the home cook, generally, and given a world wide audience for this type of recipe. So, I am with you, and I know that my simple solution is not for everyone, but it suits a lot of my audience, and that matters too.
      Thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Suzanne on February 7, 2019 at 1:45 pm

        This recipe is Riccotta (in Italy), Quark (in Germany), Fresh Cheese almost everywhere else. I prefer it to the dense American processed version which is very heavy. I make a Riccotta for cheesecakes and process it with a bit of cornstarch for smoothness. Given how much milk is overproduced in the USA, we should all make our own fresh cheese. So simple and without chemicals!

        Thanks, Gemma! Your recipes are terrific😘😘🙋🏻🇨🇦

        • Gemma Stafford on February 7, 2019 at 4:24 pm

          Wow, i’ve never heard of adding corn starch. Great job!

    • KernersvilleMom on February 7, 2019 at 3:36 am

      Perhaps we could call it “Creamed Cheese,” instead. In reading the article, Gemma clearly states she wanted the recipe to NOT need a culture; for she desired people from varied countries to be able to make “cream cheese” from simple ingredients they could easily find. She’s done that.

      Thank you, Gemma! Can’t wait to try this!

      https://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2012/10/how-to-make-cream-cheese.html This is a recipe with links to the culture to make what we buy at the store.

  42. Sondae on January 26, 2019 at 8:45 am

    I used 18% butterfat coffee creamer that was about to expire, I doubled the amount of lemon juice, and cooked it longer. I was able to skip the straining and processing. It’s smooth, creamy, and delicious!

    • Gemma Stafford on January 26, 2019 at 1:02 pm

      Oh wow! That is just amazing! Who would’ve thought coffee creamer 😉

  43. David Parkison on January 25, 2019 at 4:47 pm

    I tried the recipe using lemon juice. I may have used to much juice as it has a lemony taste but to use it in my cheesecake recipe I could omit the lemon juice. All in all I’m much happier with this batch as I can work with the lemon flavor. ty

    • Gemma Stafford on January 25, 2019 at 5:55 pm

      Well done Bold Baker!

  44. David Parkison on January 23, 2019 at 8:51 pm

    I’m going to try it using lemon juice.

    • Gemma Stafford on January 23, 2019 at 8:54 pm

      Let me know what you think 😀

      • Joseph Reid on February 1, 2019 at 5:57 pm

        HOW. TO. MAKE. CHOCOLATE. ICEING

        • Gemma Stafford on February 2, 2019 at 6:22 pm

          Here you go:

          Best,
          Gemma.

    • David Parkison on January 25, 2019 at 4:50 pm

      I used the lemon juice and it came out much better. I may have used to much juice as it had a lemony flavor but I can work with that. Ty with the cost of milk here I can make it cheaper than I can buy it.

      • Gemma Stafford on January 25, 2019 at 5:55 pm

        Yes, you can easily adjust to yield a cheese with a flavor that works for you. Glad it worked!

  45. Dani on January 22, 2019 at 11:56 pm

    Can this be made with lactose free whole milk?

    • Gemma Stafford on January 23, 2019 at 8:46 pm

      Yes, it can!

  46. Dawn Hall on January 22, 2019 at 4:59 am

    I am not sure that I can get whole milk where I live – Albania. We regularly see “village milk” for sale; it is not treated in a way, so I only buy it for use in cooking. My first thought is I could use that, but I notice that it doesn’t separate like I would expect fresh milk to… I think someone told me that the villagers separate the milk before bottling it (in plastic liter bottles) because they can get more money for the cream. Does that make sense to you? I guess I need to find someone who owns a cow and get them to sell me fresh milk to try this out? I also need to find cheesecloth or something similar…

    • Gemma Stafford on January 22, 2019 at 6:27 am

      Hi Dawn,
      yes, that makes perfect sense. Usually though there is some cream left behind. If the milk is not treated then that cream should settle on the top, a little collar of cream, and very delicious!
      If this is produced in your village then you should be able to buy whole milk, and I think it will be perfect, for everything, if you trust the source!
      Thank you for this little glimpse into life in Albania,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Dawn Hall on March 26, 2019 at 7:12 am

        I finally got around to trying this. After talking to many different people, I decided just to try it with
        “village milk” which comes in 1.5 liter bottles, yielding 6 cups, and I am happy to report that it worked 🙂 I borrowed my friend’s food processor; honestly without it I don’t know that I would have been patient enough to cream it _ I started with my hand mixer and it just made a mess! I haven’t tried it in any recipes yet; I’ll let you know how that works out, since I have been wanting to make a cherry cheesecake. I can buy “philadelphia” cream cheese here but it cost about $2.25 for roughly 8 oz. So this, at about $.75 for the same amount, is much cheaper! Upon further thinking, I may try to buy some of the local product known as “gjize”, which looks like the curds I just made…. maybe if I blend those, I’ll get the same result — for less work, and I think even less cost, as “gjize” is widely used because it is inexpensive here (Albania). So glad I happened upon this !

        • Gemma Stafford on March 26, 2019 at 10:31 am

          YAY i am delighted to hear you gave this a try and had success, it’s a great recipe! Enjoy!

  47. David Parkison on January 21, 2019 at 12:50 pm

    Gemma I followed your recipe for cream cheese to the letter. I used Organic Cider vinegar and the finished product tasted like the vinegar very strongly, what did I do wrong?

    • Kevin Kurtz on January 23, 2019 at 9:55 pm

      Hi David,

      Sorry for my late reply. I’m not sure if ‘maybe’ it was your vinegar. I suggest lemon or a white vinegar. I wonder is apple cider to strong?

      Let me know,
      Gemma.

  48. Nate on January 19, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    This is a recipe for ricotta cheese…

    • Gemma Stafford on January 19, 2019 at 7:41 pm

      They are similar but treated differently so they yield a very different texture.

  49. Melinda Drabek on January 15, 2019 at 2:55 am

    What if I dont have a food processor? Can I use a bullet or blender? Thanks

    • Gemma Stafford on January 15, 2019 at 5:19 am

      Hi Melinda,
      Yes, you can do this in your bullet, other bold bakers have done this successfully,
      Gemma 🙂

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