Can I Use Cream Cheese Instead of Butter?

Last Updated on December 7, 2022 by Lauren Beck

If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to butter, cream cheese can be a great substitute. Cream cheese can provide a creamy texture and flavor that can mimic the effects of butter in many recipes. It can also be used as an alternative for those who can’t have dairy or want to reduce their fat intake.

When using cream cheese instead of butter, it’s important to consider how the recipe will be affected by this switch. Cream cheese has a much higher fat content than butter, so it can be a good idea to reduce the amount of cream cheese used in recipes or add more liquid ingredients like milk or water. Additionally, because cream cheese is already salty, you may need to adjust the overall saltiness of the recipe.

Butter Vs. Cream Cheese

Butter and cream cheese can both be used in baking recipes, but they can provide different results. Cream cheese can often lend a richer flavor to baked goods like cookies and cakes, while butter can create a more classic taste. The texture of each can also vary depending on the recipe; for example, when making pie crusts, butter can create a flakier texture while cream cheese can give a denser, smoother crust.

How to Replace Butter With Cream Cheese?

Here are some tips for replacing butter with cream cheese in recipes:

  • Use an equal amount of softened cream cheese as the butter called for in the recipe.
  • To reduce fat, use half cream cheese and half canola oil instead of all cream cheese.
  • If possible, add some liquid ingredients to ensure the batter isn’t too thick.
  • For pie crusts, chill the cream cheese for about 30 minutes before using it in the recipe. This can help create a firmer texture.

Can You Use Cream Cheese Instead of Butter in Mac and Cheese?

Yes, you can use cream cheese instead of butter in mac and cheese. Cream cheese can be a great addition to mac and cheese recipes as it can provide a creamy texture and richness to the dish. Additionally, it can help thicken the sauce without having to add extra thickeners like flour or cornstarch.

Can We Use Cheese Instead of Butter for Cooking?

Yes, you can use cheese instead of butter for cooking. While there are certain recipes that can benefit from the addition of cheese, such as mac and cheese or grilled cheese sandwiches, it can also be a great alternative in dishes like scrambled eggs or mashed potatoes. Cheese can add flavor and texture to these dishes without needing additional fats like butter.

What Can I Substitute for Cream Cheese?

If you can’t have cream cheese for any reason, there are some alternatives that can provide similar results [1]. For a dairy-free option, try using vegan cream cheese or a non-dairy yogurt. If you can tolerate dairy but not cream cheese, ricotta can be an excellent substitute. Butter can also be used as a replacement in some recipes.

What Tastes Like Cream Cheese?

Ricotta can be a good substitute for cream cheese in some recipes. It can provide a similar texture and can have a mildly tangy flavor that can mimic the taste of cream cheese. Other alternatives include mascarpone, goat cheese, or even cottage cheese blended until it is smooth.

Is There a Dairy-Free Cream Cheese?

home made cream cheese and sliced of bread

Yes, there are dairy-free cream cheese alternatives available. These can be a great option for those who can’t have dairy or want to reduce their consumption of animal products. Popular dairy-free cream cheeses can be made from nuts, coconut, and other plant-based ingredients.

When Should You Use Cream Cheese, and When Should You Use Butter?

Cream cheese is used when you want a richer flavor and creamier texture, such as in cheesecakes and pie crusts. Butter can also be used for these recipes, but can provide a more classic taste. For dishes like macaroni and cheese or scrambled eggs, either butter or cheese can be used to add flavor and increase the richness of the dish.


Cream cheese can be a great alternative to butter in many recipes, but can provide different results depending on the recipe. It can lend a richer flavor and can help thicken sauces. Cheese can also be used as an alternative for butter in some dishes. Dairy-free cream cheese alternatives are available for those who can’t have dairy or want to reduce their consumption of animal products. Ultimately, it can be useful to understand how each ingredient can affect the flavor and texture of a dish when deciding which one to use.


Lauren Beck
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