Bold Baking Basics, Homemade Ingredients

How to Make Cream Cheese (Bold Baking Basics)

4.58 from 742 votes
My Homemade Cream Cheese recipe could not be easier, because you likely have everything you need to make rich, creamy, and tangy cream cheese.
How to make Cream Cheese - 2 ingredient Homemade Cream Cheese. No cultures needed and it takes minutes to make.

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!

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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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Watch The Recipe Video!

How to Make Cream Cheese

4.58 from 742 votes
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.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 1 cup
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.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 1 cup

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

  • In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the milk on med-high. Stirring constantly until it starts to a rolling simmer.
  • Reduce the heat to medium. Add the lemon juice 1 tablespoon at a time, in 1-minute intervals. Continue stirring constantly.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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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Tony Saliba
8 months ago

Bomb recipe! I can’t submit a picture because I ate it all before I could reach my phone😁

Randall
Randall
8 months ago

I have made this twice with lactose free milk. The first time with vinegar because I was out of lemons, and it was a good enough substitute to $6 lactose free cream cheese. But today I used lemon juice and let me tell you it is a world of difference. I Love this recipe It has become a new staple in my house! Thank you so much for posting it!

Afua Kyeh
8 months ago

I don’t have a food processor yet. Can I use a blender instead? And how do I use it?

Sabour
Sabour
8 months ago

Hi Gemma,
Can I freeze this cream cheese if i don’t need it right away? I plan on making a little bulk; and freeze and then use as required. Would it work?

April
8 months ago

I made this recipe with whole milk using lemon juice and adding the salt at the end while in the food processor. I found the cheese to be on the drier side. Is this because I over cooked it or cooked it too quickly? Any guidance on why it would be dry? I ended up using it for a dip and it was great and had great flavor it just didn’t work for eating plain on crackers.

Erich Beer
Erich Beer
7 months ago

I think the results will always be variable as cow’s milk is variable – it depends on what exactly the cows ate to produce the milk, and especially the fat content of the milk. I used two 1-liter sachets of fresh, full-cream milk bought from the supermarket. My curds looked different than those in the video but the cheese came out fine. I added about a tablespoon of fresh cream to make the “grains” come together in the food processor. The 2 liters of fresh milk yielded 300 grams of cheese. It might well be different the next time I… Read more »

Daniel H
Daniel H
5 months ago

Hi Gemma,

I’ve just made this, it came out fine was creamy and thick with a good yield but it tastes and smells like sour milk….is it supposed to be like that? I used fresh full fat milk from Tesco bought today (in date, not gone off….)

Brenda
Brenda
4 months ago

How does this differ from Ricotta, other than being smooth?

Ester Rowe
Ester Rowe
8 months ago

made it today with full cream longlife milk and vinegar. Used handblendr and blitz it for a second and it so creamy

Victor
Victor
3 months ago

Can you use this for cheesecake?

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!

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