Homemade Cream Cheese

Breakfast, DIY, Sides

If you’ve ever thought Homemade Cream Cheese was too difficult to make, this post is here to prove you wrong. Homemade Cream Cheese is fluffy, fresh and so utterly delicious.

Homemade Cream Cheese

Naturally, cream cheese is also very important to me. I’ve been wanting to make homemade cream cheese 4evrrrrr. I’m so glad I finally got brave and decided to do it. It definitely took me a few times to get exactly right.

Supplies You’ll Need to Make Homemade Cream Cheese

Most of the supplies you’ll need to make homemade cream cheese are easy to find, especially on Amazon. Here is what you’ll need:

Homemade Cream Cheese

Homemade Cream Cheese

What’s the Difference Between Homemade and Store Bought Cream Cheese?

There are plenty of things that I think are silly to make homemade. Cream cheese IS NOT ONE OF THEM. The texture is a million times better than the cream cheese you buy at the grocery store. It’s so much smoother, lighter, creamier. The main difference is that store-bought cream cheese usually has a gum listed in the ingredients (guar gum, xanthm gum, etc.) which mean it’s a lot thicker and denser. Well, not this one.

It’s so good, that I probably won’t ever go back to store-bought cream cheese ever again.

Homemade Cream Cheese

How to Make Homemade Cream Cheese

  • Combine the milks. In a big pot, add the heavy cream, whole milk, buttermilk and salt.
  • Warm to 75 degrees F. Heat the milk mixture to this temperature.
  • Mix in the rennet. Add the rennet and mix throughout. This is going to make it so the solids separate from the whey.
  • Allow to stand at room temperature in a warm place. In order for this to actually work, the temperature has to be nice and warm.
  • After 14 Hours, strain it. This takes about 14 hours for the whey and solids to separate. Line a sieve or strainer with a few layers of cheesecloth. Nestle it over a large bowl. Pour the mixture into the cheesecloth.
  • Allow it to drain. This should take about 4 hours for it strain.

One thing I’m SUPER excited about is what I’m doing with the leftover whey. Be sure to save it, use it in place of buttermilk in biscuits or pancakes!

If you make it, let me know on Instagram!

Homemade Cream Cheese

Homemade Cream Cheese

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 16 hours 10 minutes
Serving Size: 2 cups of cream cheese
Calories: 75kcal
This Homemade Cream Cheese recipe is super easy. It's creamy, fluffy and tastes so much better than the store-bought version we're all used to.


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups whole milk, ultra-pasteurized is ok!
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 drops liquid vegetable or animal rennet, dissolved into 2 tablespoons of water


  • In a large pot, combine heavy cream, whole milk, buttermilk and salt. Heat to 75 degrees F. (Warm to the touch.)
  • Mix in rennet being sure it’s evenly distributed. Cover with clean kitchen towel and allow to stand in place that’s 75 degrees for 14 hours. Just a heads up, I tried this once during the day and once at night. No surprise that the batch that sat for 14 hours during the day was MUCH better. It was just warmer and was overall a better environment for the cream cheese.
  • Line a fine-mesh strainer with a few layers of cheesecloth; and then nestle it over a large bowl. Pour the cream/milk mixture into the cheesecloth and allow it to strain, on its own (don’t work it through), for about 4 hours to 5 hours. When it's completely drained, the final product should be a creamier, smoother and lighter version of cream cheese that you're probably used to. It keeps in the fridge for 2 weeks.


What to Do With the Whey Leftovers: 
Put them in homemade biscuits (in place of the buttermilk) 
Put them in cinnamon roll dough (in place of the milk) 
Vegetable Rennet | Cheesecloth | Stainless Steel Bowls + Glass Bowls 
CourseBreakfast, Condiment
CuisineAmerican, Jewish
Keywordcream cheese recipe, homemade cream cheese, how to make cream cheese
Nutrition Facts
Homemade Cream Cheese
Amount Per Serving
Calories 75
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @acozykitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #acozykitchen
Looking for more breakfast/brunch recipes? 
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Leave a Reply

  • Reply Lauren @ Lauren Caris Cooks June 24, 2015 at 3:17 am

    Awesome! I never knew how to make cream cheese, it’s just something I’ve never thought of doing myself but it seems so easy! And if the result is as good as you say… it’s definitely worth it!

  • Reply Tori@Gringalicious.com June 24, 2015 at 4:01 am

    This is such an inspiration. Cream cheese is very expensive where I live so knowing how to make it would be wonderful!

  • Reply Elle Bloggs June 24, 2015 at 5:50 am

    This is far easier than I was anticipating – I worried it would be a real painstaking process but seems like it could be do-able even for me!


  • Reply molly yeh June 24, 2015 at 7:18 am

    whoa this is so cool. i’ve always considered cream cheese to be one of those magical objects that can only be factory made and store-bought (i used to think this about marshmallows too!), but now i have to try this, i’m so intrigued!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme June 24, 2015 at 9:58 pm

      Same and marshmallows are also one of those things that are way better homemade!

  • Reply Kait June 24, 2015 at 8:54 am

    If I’m using vegetable rennet tabs, what’s the conversion from liquid drops?

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme June 24, 2015 at 9:11 pm

      I did some googling and this is the conversion that I found:

      The conversion is 1/4 teaspoon liquid rennet = 1/4 vegetable rennet tablet.

      • Reply RLT June 25, 2015 at 12:00 pm

        But your measurement is drops. How much liquid is in your “drop?” I too use the tablets.

        • Reply Nina March 13, 2017 at 8:02 pm

          Tried this this weekend with tablet rennet. I ended up using 1 tablet (started with 1/2 but it was not satisfactory and also it’s cold here right now and my lactic cultures did not develop in the 14 hours, as Adrianna warned) and all told, with 1 tablet and about 30 hours of culturing, my cream cheese finally worked– it’s extremely creamy and quite good, but if you wanted something firmer (this is very buttery) you might be able to get away with 1.5 tablets. I’d go with 1 first though and see how you like it.

  • Reply JC June 24, 2015 at 9:13 am

    Wow. Do you think this can be used for baking or just for spreading on toast/bagel?

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme June 24, 2015 at 9:10 pm

      Hmm…not sure completely since I haven’t baked with this but I personally wouldn’t bake with it because it’s just too good on its own.

  • Reply Greg June 24, 2015 at 10:15 am

    Do you have any recommendations on where to store the mixture at 75 degrees in a typical household? During summer, we keep the house cooler than 75 degrees and well under that in the winter. Looking forward to trying the recipe. Thanks!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme June 24, 2015 at 10:01 pm

      I turned on the oven to 200 degrees F and put the cream cheese mixture on top of the stove (in the pot), covered it and it worked! It did take a bit longer (around 16 hours) but it was great.

  • Reply Billy June 24, 2015 at 10:39 am


  • Reply Eileen June 24, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    Such a cool idea! I’ve never made cream cheese at home, but now I think I definitely need to try it out. 🙂

  • Reply stuart b. June 24, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    Being quite lactose intolerant, I have been unable to find lactose free heavy cream or buttermilk. But, I have found plenty of lactose free Half & Half and yogurt (unsweetened and unflavored with live cultures as a substitute for buttermilk). What do you think about using only the Half & Half as a sub for both the heavy cream and the whole milk. I would also use the yogurt in place of the butter milk. What do you think? I already make ricotta, Paneer and quark.

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme June 24, 2015 at 10:02 pm

      Hmmm…interesting. Not sure, it definitely will be a bit different. I imagine not as thick, not as tangy, not like cream cheese? But you’ll definitely end up with something interesting. If you try it, let us know how it goes!

  • Reply Tracey June 24, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    I’m also curious about the 75 degrees. We try to keep our house between 76 & 80 during the summer (outside is well over 100 most days) and the winter it rarely gets above 74. What happens if it doesn’t stay at 75 degrees? So excited to make cream cheese at home 🙂

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme June 24, 2015 at 9:09 pm

      A really good option is to put the oven on 200 degrees F and set the bowl on the stove. I did that for the overnight version and it took a bit longer (around 16 hours) but it still worked!

      • Reply Tracey June 24, 2015 at 10:15 pm

        That would be a great idea but I have a cooktop and oven that are separate 🙁 Could I put it inside my yogurt maker or would that be too warm? Any ideas on why it needs to be 75 degrees? I’m wondering if the temp messes with the length of the process. For instance, does it take longer at lower temps?

        • Reply Adrianna Adarme June 25, 2015 at 9:31 am

          Ahh I see. The importance re: the temperature is that the good bacterias from the buttermilk need a warm environment to do their thing, much like when you make yogurt. The temperature absolutely affects the time it will take. If you had a colder environment, it would take probably 16 to 18 hours. You could also put the pilot light on in your oven and stick the pot in the oven. (I wouldn’t cover it with a towel in this instance, but instead a lid for the pot.) It should be about 80 degrees in the oven with the pilot light on.

          • Tracey June 25, 2015 at 3:09 pm

            THANKS! I’m so excited to try this 🙂

  • Reply CHRISTINE June 25, 2015 at 2:38 am

    It is possible to use charcoal jiko for baking?

  • Reply CHRISTINE June 25, 2015 at 2:50 am

    Hope this homemade one will be cheaper for me than the shop one

  • Reply FoA June 25, 2015 at 2:54 am

    Very nice. I will try it at home

  • Reply Mary Frances June 25, 2015 at 6:52 am

    This looks fabulous! I love the idea of fresh homemade cream cheese that’s so natural without all the fillers.

  • Reply John June 25, 2015 at 8:55 am

    What a cool recipe! I love being able to know exactly what is in my food and this allows me to do that with this kind of cheese that I love so much.

  • Reply Leslie Rossi June 25, 2015 at 10:49 am

    YUM! I had no idea you would make your own cream cheese. I also love carbs! I secretly love bread baskets at restaurants and no meal is complete without bread!


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  • Reply Cynthia Bliss June 26, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    This has got to be more EXPENSIVE than store bought cream cheese. You have to buy 2cups of cream and 2cups of milk plus the rennet and cheese cloth. And the time that it takes you to make it. Plus you left your oven on for 16 hrs., what about the electricity cost?
    How much did you end up getting in the end?
    Here where I live store brand cream cheese goes for about $2.00 for 8ozs.

  • Reply Stephanie June 28, 2015 at 11:36 am

    I am a cream cheese freak! I never thought about making it myself, though. It doesn’t seem like it’s that hard, either.

    Thanks for sharing!


  • Reply Jem June 28, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    Can you further explain in depth the purpose and uses of gums in store-bought cream cheese? What are they made of and why are they bad to consume?

    -Curious, Cream Cheese Lover

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme June 28, 2015 at 9:08 pm

      Guar gum is usually the thickener and stabilizer that’s used in cream cheese. I don’t think it’s like the worst thing in the world for you (we consume them all the time in all sorts of foods). Here’s more info on it:


      I like this cream cheese not necessarily because “it’s better for me.” It more has to do with loving the texture without the gums. This is much lighter and fluffier, while store-bought cream cheese is a whole lot more dense.

  • Reply Roxi June 30, 2015 at 7:34 am

    What about fat free?

  • Reply ‘Everything’ Hamburger Buns July 1, 2015 at 12:00 am

    […] last week when I made homemade cream cheese and I told you to save that whey?!? Yeah! I put it in hamburger buns. Yass! And since I think I’m […]

  • Reply layla July 1, 2015 at 9:58 am

    have you ever simply drained yogurt thru cheese cloth? its almost exactly like cream cheese and much easier and cheaper 🙂

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme July 1, 2015 at 10:56 am

      Yes! It’s called lebneh! Very delicious but it tastes super different from cream cheese, in my cheese-loving opinion. 😉

      • Reply layla July 1, 2015 at 1:02 pm

        It may depend on the type of yogurt. I only had it in Egypt and it tastes the same to me. Perhaps the yogurt used is less tangy, I do add a bit of salt though. I also adore cheeses 😀 I hope I get the chance to try your recipe soon 🙂 thanks

  • Reply Sue Sheriff July 16, 2015 at 11:27 am

    I love homemade food and I also offten make cream cheese at home. Thank for your share. it ‘s very helpful.

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  • Reply Chelsea June 2, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    Thanks for sharing your recipe! We have only eaten raw dairy products for the past year due to health problems with pasteurized/homogenized dairy (lactose intolerant people typically are fine with raw dairy since lactase is not destroyed by the high temps of pasteurization). do you know if this an acceptable recipe for raw dairy?

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme June 2, 2017 at 9:09 pm

      Oh I think it will be delicious and perfect to make cream cheese. It will most likely be easier because ultra-pasteurized milk doesn’t have any cultures, making it sometimes difficult to make cream cheese with. But raw milk should work great! Let me know the results!

  • Reply How To Make Your Own Instant Cream Cheese | not just spice March 5, 2019 at 3:13 am

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  • Reply Megan August 26, 2019 at 11:45 pm

    Does the end product taste any different? If so, how? I am thinking of making my own cream cheese and sour cream for a New York cheesecake. Do you think the difference in texture would affect how the cheesecake would turn out?

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme August 28, 2019 at 12:28 pm

      I’m not sure, I haven’t made a cheesecake with it. But I suggest going through the trouble to make homemade cream cheese if you’re spreading it on a bagel or toast. It’s a much fluffier texture!

  • Reply Jacob October 29, 2019 at 9:45 pm

    What did you do with the Whey? It doesn’t say?

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme October 30, 2019 at 12:47 pm

      I made biscuits. They’re linked to the recipe in the *notes* section of the recipe!

  • Reply Jacob October 29, 2019 at 9:59 pm

    instead of heating the milks, could I just leave them out for an hour to come up to room temp before adding the rennet and do everything in a bowl or something similar?

    Or will leaving it out cause problems? Or does the faster change from cold to warm that the stove provides make a difference? I noticed the milks are supposed to be 75 before the rennet, and then you keep it at 75 in room temp.

    If my room temp is colder than 75 degrees, should I keep this on low flame? or just let it sit for longer?

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme October 30, 2019 at 12:48 pm

      Not sure since I didn’t test it that way–sorry!