How to Make the Creamiest Cream Cheese Ever

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Cream cheese is another one of those dairy products that we use a lot of at my house. You can use it plain to spread on sourdough toast or English muffins. You can flavor it sweet or savory to spread on crackers. Or, you can use it for dips or frosting for things like my Pumpkin Poundcake or my Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls. Or even for pin wheel roll ups or cheesecakes. And especially for one of our favorite deserts, Cherry Cream Cheese Pie. See, I told you. We use it a lot. 🙂

Homemade cream cheese from raw, grass-fed milk is nutrient dense, a good source of vitamins D and K2, calcium, and omega-3 fats. And it’s just down-right tasty! As an added bonus, it freezes well. What more could you ask for?

OK, y’all, let’s step into the kitchen and make us some! 

Pin for laterHow to Make Cream Cheese at Home


Homemade Cream Cheese

  • 2 quarts whole milk (not ultra-high pasturized)
  • 2 quarts heavy cream
  • 1 package of cream cheese starter culture (this is the one I use) This starter culture has both the culture and the rennet in it.
  • sea salt
  • fresh herbs (optional)
  • large non-reactive pot
  • colander
  • butter muslin

Culturing the milk

Put the milk and cream into the pot. Cover the pot and heat the milk to 86°. Remove the pot from the heat.

Sprinkle the cream cheese starter culture over the top and allow to rehydrate for a minute or so. Then stir the culture in well with an up and down motion to make sure it is disbursed through out. Don’t stir longer than 30 seconds.

Cover the pot and let it sit in a warmish (70° – 75°) spot to culture for 12 to 18 hours.

After the culturing time, the cheese should look like yogurt. Thick with some whey separating out. Whey is a mostly clear liquid that can be anywhere from a light yellow to a dark green.

homemade cream cheese recipe

Yogurty looking with whey

Straining the cheese

Now you need to put some butter muslin in a colander over a large bowl or over the sink. I usually double up my muslin. Don’t try to use what they sell as cheesecloth now a days. That won’t do the job because the holes are too big.

Easy Homemade Cream Cheese Recipe

Butter muslin in the colander over the sink

Ladle or pour the cheese and whey into the butter muslin lined colander. Pick up the corners of the muslin and carefully tie them in knots. Used the tied ends to hang the cheese so it can drain.

Hanging the Easy Homemade Cream Cheese

Notice the highly technical aspects of hanging cheese 🙂

Let the cream cheese drain for 6 to 9 hours. The longer it drains, the drier it gets.

Once it’s to the consistency that you like in your cream cheese, put it into a bowl and add salt. You can mix it in with a spoon or knead it in with your hands. It you are using fresh herbs like basil, mix them in now. I like to separate it into different bowls and flavor it in different ways.

Easy Homemade Cream Cheese

In the bowl and ready for whatever you want to add

Store, covered, in the fridge for a week. I like to store mine in canning jars. I’m sure that takes you all by surprise…lol. I also freeze it in the canning jars. Just make sure you have about 2 inches of headspace so the jar doesn’t crack in the freezer.

I like to mix some pureed fruit into it to spread on stuff. I also like to add minced roasted garlic and chives. It’s a pretty amazingly versatile cheese. What’s your favorite way to use cream cheese?


More homemade cheese and cultured dairy you should try:

Fast & Easy Homemade Cream Cheese


4 comments on “How to Make the Creamiest Cream Cheese Ever

  1. Hey Cery! This looks delicious and super easy! Do you happen to know if it would work with lactose-free milk? I’m lactose intolerant but I looove cream cheese 🙂

    • Hi Lauren! The information that I have found from my trusted cheese making sources tells me that mozzarella and ricotta work well with lactose free milk that has not been ultra pasteurized. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, those are the only 2 that are recommended. In this recipe, the cultures consume the lactose to provide the acidity needed for the curds to form, so I don’t think it would work. The good news is that ricotta and cream cheese are similar in texture so you could possibly use ricotta as a substitute for cream cheese in a recipe. The New England Cheesemaking Supply site has a kit to make mozzarella and ricotta that they have gotten good results with using lactose free milk. If you are interested you can follow this link I hope that helps!

  2. Hi, where do you find heavy cream. All I can find is whipping cream. I can find table cream but that is ultrapasturized like so many products

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