It’s no secret that cheesecake is one of the most delectable desserts that you can find on the planet. You might have a weakness for cheesecake that causes you to want to eat it more often than you care to admit.
This is why so many people are wondering whether it’s possible to make a cheesecake that is a little healthier for you.
The cream cheese part of most cheesecake recipes is a big contributor to the overall calorie content of the dessert. If you can substitute the cream cheese for something a bit less caloric, then it might be better overall.
Take a look at the following cream cheese substitute options so that you can make a cheesecake that will still be tasty without making you feel so bad.
1 – Mascarpone
This first option isn’t an incredibly healthy substitute, but it is something that is worth considering. You might be familiar with mascarpone if you have ever attempted to make tiramisu on your own.
This cream cheese substitute is quite delicious and it’s something that could allow you to make an interesting type of cheesecake if you want to try.
Some of the tastiest cheesecake recipes actually involve using both mascarpone cheese and cream cheese, but you can try to use just mascarpone if you’d like. The good thing about mascarpone is that it has the same flavor as cream cheese and it’s very similar.
If you’re looking for a substitute that is the closest thing you can get to normal cream cheese, then this is it.
2 – Cottage Cheese
If you’re looking to cut down on the fat content, then cottage cheese just might be the substitute that you are looking for. It’s so much healthier than cream cheese and it actually tastes really good, too.
Standard cottage cheese is generally going to be quite creamy and it could be an interesting ingredient in cheesecake.
Making a healthier version of cheesecake using cottage cheese is a good idea. Many people have done this and some wind up liking it just as well as the normal types of cheesecakes that you find on the market.
It won’t be as sweet as you’re used to, but it is a good dessert that has its own unique appeal.
3 – Ricotta Cheese
It’s very likely that you’re familiar with ricotta cheese if you have eaten various types of lasagna.
This type of cheese is used in lots of different things, but it can also be a solid substitute for cream cheese. There are many recipes that utilize ricotta cheese for cheesecake as well.
This cheese has the right flavor and texture to be used in baked goods. It isn’t going to give you the same sweetness as cream cheese, though. Don’t expect this to make cheesecake turn out exactly the same as a standard recipe.
4 – Neufchatel
Neufchatel is not the most common type of cheese that people use, but you could decide to use it as a cream cheese substitute in cheesecake.
This cheese is semi-soft, but it still has a firm quality to it as well. Overall, this is a spreadable cheese much like cream cheese and it could work out nicely.
This is going to be a solid substitute if you want to make a low-fat version of cheesecake. You should consider this as one of the top-tier recommendations for a healthier cheesecake version.
It will taste pretty good overall even if it isn’t quite the same as a standard cheesecake.
5 – Greek Yogurt
This idea isn’t going to involve completely replacing cream cheese. You need to use some Greek yogurt as a substitute for cream cheese while still utilizing a bit of the cream cheese to add sweetness and creaminess.
You’ll wind up with something that tastes quite similar to cheesecake with cream cheese only, but it’ll be a lot healthier.
Anyone who wants to enjoy desserts without having to worry about calorie content quite so much will enjoy this option. It doesn’t necessarily turn cheesecake into a healthy food, but it does make it less of a bad thing to eat from time to time.
Consider looking into this if you really love cheesecake and you want to make something that will taste quite close to the original recipe.
6 – Coconut Milk, Coconut Butter, and Yeast
You could combine some ingredients to create your own version of cream cheese as well.
Many people like to do this using coconut milk, coconut butter, and yeast. If you want things to be as sweet as possible, then you’ll need to use a full-fat version of coconut milk to get the desired sweetness.
The downside to this idea is that the fat content is going to be pretty high. However, it might be a bit more nutritious than a cheesecake that is made using standard cream cheese that you purchase from the store.
Also, this homemade cream cheese recipe is very rich and smooth overall.
7 – Tofu, Lemon Juice, and Margarine
Another option that has worked for many bakers is to use tofu, lemon juice, and margarine.
At first glance, this idea probably seems really strange and you might be thinking that it couldn’t taste all that good. It’s actually better than you might realize and these ingredients can make a good cream cheese substitute.
It’s often used in specific Vegan cream cheese recipes because this is non-dairy and it’s substantially healthier than normal cream cheese. Preparing this mixture doesn’t take all that long and you just need to let it refrigerate to develop the proper consistency.
Once it’s done, you’ll be able to use it in a cheesecake recipe to see how you like the end result.
8 – Sour Cream
Sour cream is another cream cheese substitute that many people don’t expect. There are actually fans of sour cream cheesecake out there that prefer it to the normal cheesecake recipes.
You can make a sour cream cheesecake that is quite satisfying if you’re interested in trying something a bit different.
Just understand that this isn’t going to have the same sweet flavor that you’re used to enjoying when you eat standard cheesecake. It’s a different type of dessert that has its own fans.
Give it a look if you think that you might enjoy it yourself.
9 – Hummus
Finally, you can consider using hummus as a substitute for cream cheese in cheesecake. Well, this is sort of a different take on things that Vegans like to utilize due to needing non-dairy options.
Most often, people make a type of “cheesecake dessert” that uses hummus instead of cream cheese.
It tastes very good overall and you’re probably going to like this whether you’re Vegan or not. Whether it tastes similar to normal cheesecake is up to you to decide, but it’s delicious and worth tasting for yourself.
Anyone who loves cheesecake will probably be keen on trying this dessert out.
Reasons to Substitute Cream Cheese
There are several reasons why someone might choose to substitute cream cheese for another ingredient. The first big reason is that cream cheese is not very healthy and you could be trying to watch your weight.
If your doctor thinks that you should be careful about what you’re eating, then you might be trying to come up with dessert ideas that won’t be quite so bad for you.
Using the substitute options mentioned above will be a good way to get solid results. You can replace your cream cheese and put yourself in a position to still enjoy incredible desserts on the weekends.
Of course, you’ll still need to be mindful of eating cheesecake in moderation, or else you won’t be seeing many benefits from making these changes.
Another reason to substitute cream cheese is that you might have run out of it at home. Sometimes you might be in the mood for a cheesecake, but you simply won’t have what you need to make it.
In this situation, you could try to see if you have one of the cream cheese substitutes mentioned above so that you can still bake your dessert.
These are the two most common reasons why someone would want to try to replace cream cheese in a cheesecake. It’s also worth noting that you’ll find lots of recipes for cheesecake that combine using cream cheese and some of the various ingredients mentioned above.
If you’re looking for recipes that don’t use any cream cheese at all, then try to be specific and search to see what you can turn up.
Enjoy Your Cheesecake
Now that you have learned about so many different substitute options, it should be easier to figure out which ones you will want to try for yourself. There are lots of things to consider and some of the above options might not be your cup of tea.
However, it’s very likely that you’re going to find a cream cheese substitute that will work perfectly for your needs.
Enjoy your cheesecake and try to remember to eat it in moderation for the sake of your health. It’s good to enjoy a scrumptious dessert like this with family members and friends.
Don’t be shy about sharing your cheesecake with those that you love if it turned out exceptionally well.
Here’s the right way to store cheesecake for maximum freshness.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.