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An American favorite, cream cheese is a terrific spread for bagels and nut breads and a key ingredient in cheesecake and other desserts. It comes in low-fat and nonfat versions; these work well as spreads but compromise the flavor and texture of cheesecakes. Cream cheese made without stabilizers is also disappointing in cheesecakes, though it makes for a more acidic and flavorful spread. Store in the refrigerator. Unopened foil-wrapped commercial cream cheese is good for about a month after the "Best when used by" date on the carton. Once opened, you should use it within 10 days. Throw it out if mold appears.

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Also known as

  • White cheese
  • Queso crema


2 cups cream cheese = 1 pound


Neufchâtel (lower in fat and moister than regular cream cheese) OR equal parts ricotta and yogurt OR soy cream cheese OR tofu (use 3/4 cup tofu + 1/4 cup margarine + 1 tablespoon lemon juice to replace one cup cream cheese). OR yogurt cheese (usually lower in fat than cream cheese) OR buttermilk cheese (usually lower in fat than cream cheese) OR tofu cream cheese
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