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Best Cheese For Cheesecakes – Essential Guide

Norah Clark
Blueberry cheesecake on a cake stand.

The best cheese for a cheesecake is cream cheese, but there are different types of cheese that you can use. Each cheese has distinct characteristics that can make your cheesecake taste different.

It might be surprising to discover the many ways cheesecake is made. There are many ways of making cheesecake without using cheese!

In this article, we’ll show you the top cheeses used in making cheesecake. 

5 Best Cheese For Cheesecake

When you are baking a cheesecake, you can choose from a variety of different types of cheese.

The choice you make will depend on the kind of cheesecake that you’re creating or the flavor you’d like to create.

1. Cream Cheese

Using cream cheese is the most sought-after method of making cheesecakes.

This is the most popular cheese in America. Cream cheese is a popular choice as it has a creamy, smooth texture and the flavor is a bit smoky.

It is possible that you have heard of the well-known New York cheesecake which is made with cream cheese.

It has a silky and smooth texture, a delicious flavor, and a lovely thick consistency. Can it get much better than this?

Of course, cream cheese isn’t the sole ingredient. It’s usually paired with other ingredients such as egg yolks, heavy cream, sugar, and maybe a hint of lemon juice.

2. Ricotta

Although cream cheese is one of the most sought-after ingredients used in cheesecake in the US that’s not always the case in other countries.

Cheesecake that is made in Italy uses ricotta, which is denser and more textured. 

This cheese gets combined with eggs, flour, and honey to create the perfect sweet, light taste.

3. Neufchatel

Neufchatel is quite similar to cream cheese. This cheese is shaped, looks, and tastes similar to cream cheese in a normal cheesecake.

In reality, a lot of people choose Neufchatel since it is thought to be a low-fat cream cheese substitute.

However, the end outcome is a smooth and smooth cheese with a luscious yet light taste. 

In the countries where they make use of the crumbly block they typically mix it with gelatin to produce an emulsifying binding effect.

4. Sour Cream

Sour cream is not actually a cheese However, it’s often used to replace cream cheese in cheesecakes because it’s still a dairy food.

Sour cream is produced by fermenting cream.

The reason that some people prefer the sour cream option is that it is smooth and creamy which is similar to cream cheese.

The taste of sour cream is quite distinct. It can be described as tangy, and maybe even a bit sweet and sour.

A cheesecake that is made using sour cream is delicious with tart or sweet toppings. Some prefer using fruit or lemon to go with this.

5. Mascarpone

Last up is mascarpone, an Italian cheese similar to cream cheese. It contains a lot of fat in comparison to the traditional American cream cheese.

Do you know that tiramisu contains mascarpone

It’s a classic Italian ingredient and it produces light and airy cheesecakes.

The result will be comparable to that of cheesecakes made from cream cheese, however, it might actually be richer due to having a lot of fat.

This particular kind of cheese might be difficult to come across in certain areas. However, it’s a fantastic one to experiment with.

How To Choose The Best Cheese For Your Cheesecake. 

1. Taste

The first thing to take into consideration is how your cheesecake will taste

Perhaps experiment with the taste of each one of these choices.

2. Texture

You’ll notice that cream cheese, Neufchatel, and mascarpone all have a similar texture. However, ricotta and sour cream have a different textures.

Ricotta is not a terrible texture, but it’s got some graininess that can be noticeable. It is also not as sweet as other cheese options, therefore it is something to consider also.

3. Recipe

The final decision could be based on the type of cheesecake that you are creating and the other ingredients.

Many cheesecakes, even though they are made in a slightly different way, have the same basic ingredients. 

You could make a Roman, New York, Philadelphia, and Classic Cheesecake. That's not even counting all the cheesecakes available out  there. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use regular cream cheese for cheesecake, or are there better options?

Yes, regular cream cheese is a common and excellent choice for cheesecake. It provides a classic creamy texture and rich flavor. There are other options, not necessarily better. 

Are there any alternatives to cream cheese that work well in cheesecake recipes?

Yes, alternatives like ricotta cheese, mascarpone, or even Greek yogurt can be used for different flavor profiles and textures in cheesecakes.

What is the difference between New York-style cheesecake and other cheesecake varieties in terms of cheese choice?

New York-style cheesecake typically uses cream cheese, while other varieties may use different cheeses like ricotta, cottage cheese, or mascarpone, resulting in variations in taste and texture.

Is it possible to make a lighter or healthier cheesecake by using specific types of cheese?

Yes, using lower-fat or Greek yogurt in place of some cream cheese can make a cheesecake lighter while still maintaining a delicious flavor.

Profile Image Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, Editor of Boyd Hampers! Norah is a food writer with over a decade of experience in hospitality as a pastry chef, sous chef, and barista; former chef at the Savoy Hotel, Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons and Plaza Hotel.

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