There are lots of cream cheese brands out there. Our Test Kitchen tried the most popular ones and found the best options for spreading on your bagel, turning into cheesecake or making into a tempting dip.
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Cream cheese is one of those necessary things that we keep in our refrigerators. When you open a box, you may quickly transform it into the best party dip, a beautiful cheesecake, or eaten as-is for breakfast or brunch. But do you know which types of cream cheese are ideal for cooking, baking, and snacking?
This is where our Test Kitchen comes into play. As chefs and bakers, we want to know which products will make our dishes sing. Discover which choices our experts preferred.
What Our Test Kitchen Looks for in a Great Cream Cheese
In this blind testing, we evaluated seven of the most popular cream cheese brands. All of them were normal, basic cream cheese brands. (no added flavors, no low-fat options). Our Test Kitchen team sampled each brand while keeping the following criteria in mind:
- Flavor: What did you think of the cream cheese? Did it have a nice tang? Was it wealthy?
- Texture: Was the cream cheese very soft or overly firm? Was it bone dry? Was it completely smooth?
- Spreadability: How simple was it to spread the cream cheese? Did it spread easily on a bagel or crumble?
Want to know how our Test Kitchen selects their top products?Examine our testing procedures.
Our Test Kitchen-Preferred Cream Cheese Brands
Our Test Kitchen discovered the finest cream cheese products for each taste by trying and slathering it on a variety of handmade bagels.
Tangiest: Philadelphia Original Cream Cheese
When you buy a block of cream cheese, you’re expecting for a tangy, creamy spread suitable for your morning meal. (or plenty of other cream cheese recipes). Philadelphia does not disappoint! The Philly brand was delightfully tart with a very soft, silky texture, according to our Test Kitchen crew. This is the cream cheese to purchase if you want to put it over your bagel with some smoked salmon.
Mildest Flavor: Dutch Farms Original Cream Cheese
We understand that not everyone like the tanginess of cream cheese. Some people are just interested in the creaminess, and that’s OK! If this describes you, go for Dutch Farms Original Cream Cheese. This is a pretty weak taste, however it is accompanied with a very light flavor. Because this cream cheese is light, it works well in savory dishes and dips.
Best for No-Bake Desserts: Prairie Farms
If you like no-bake sweets, particularly no-bake cheesecakes, Prairie Farms cream cheese is a must-have. This cream cheese was the firmest of the bunch. While this made it more difficult to spread on bagels, our Test Kitchen tasters agreed that this property makes it ideal for no-bake dishes. The texture keeps dishes like No-Bake Blueberry Cheesecake and Cookie Butter Pie from falling apart while still providing that slightly sour taste we want.
Best Budget Brand: Great Value Cream Cheese
If you’re buying a lot of cream cheese to create cheesecakes or other creamy desserts, you probably don’t want to spend any more money than necessary. The good news is that you can obtain superb cream cheese at Walmart for less money. Great Value cream cheese is less expensive than other brands (less than $2 for eight ounces) yet meets all of our standards. This cream cheese was really creamy and spreadable, making it ideal for incorporating into any dish. It didn’t have the strongest tang, so it wouldn’t be perfect for eating on a bagel by itself—but it would be fantastic with additional toppings!
What to Make with Cream Cheese
Sure, you can purchase a container of cream cheese to put on your bagel in the morning. However, there are several applications for this chemical. Of course, cream cheese is a dessert staple—how delicious does this chocolate swirl cheesecake look? It’s also great for dips and snacks, like this five-cheese spinach dip. However, these are just the top of the iceberg! We have much more to play with.
Check out our irresistible cream cheese dip recipes.
Baked Crab Dip
This delectable crab dip was served at my grandson’s wedding celebration. It seems to be complicated, but it is not. Fill the bread bowl ahead of time and refrigerate it until ready to serve. Simply take it out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.
Go to Recipe
If you’re looking for more cheesy ideas, check out our favorite cream cheese dip recipes.
Obatzda (German Beer Cheese Dip)
Obatzda, also known as German beer cheese dip, is rich and creamy. It’s ideal for making the night before during a get-together.
Red Velvet Pound Cake
This delectable red velvet pound cake is the ideal marriage of flavors. Before frosting the cake, make sure it has cooled completely, then sprinkle some toasted nuts on top for added crunch.
Heavenly Cheese Danish
This enticing cheese Danish shines with the simple sheen of an egg wash after baking to flaky perfection. It tastes like like a sumptuous morning pastry from a bakery or coffee shop.
Decadent Spinach-Stuffed Shells
I made this comfortable filled shells meal for Christmas Eve, but it’s so excellent that we eat it all year. It’s simple to assemble and freeze for later baking. If there is any leftover cheese mixture, it may be served cold as a dip or spooned into ramekins and baked until golden. If you don’t like roasted red peppers, use chopped sun-dried tomatoes in the stuffing and any other spaghetti sauce instead.
Key Lime Blondie Bars
Here’s my tropical spin on a classic dessert. The flavor of the traditional pie is combined with a blondie batter and cream cheese frosting in these key lime bars. If desired, create a thicker crust.
Strawberry Pretzel Pie
This refreshing no-bake strawberry pretzel pie is the ideal cure to your summer sweet appetite. It’s become one of my family’s most requested warm-weather treats, thanks to its use of pantry items and ease of preparation.
Apples ‘n’ Cream Pancake
This warm meal is ideal for breakfast or brunch. I normally double the recipe since everyone wants more! We have lots of Delicious and Winesap apples in our orchard, so this is a classic midwestern supper.
A colorful gelatin salad offers a splash of color to any meal. It goes great with this Christmas spread. With its silky texture and delicate taste, we kids couldn’t decide if it was a salad or dessert.Callao,
Mini Cherry Cheesecakes
These little cheesecakes create a delightful treat that’s ideal for chefs who don’t have a lot of time for complicated preparations. Plus, you get to devour a whole little cheesecake!
Pumpkin Swirl Bread
This golden pumpkin cream cheese bread is made with a blend of pumpkin, almonds, and dates. Inside, a deep creamy swirl is like a delectable layer of cheesecake in each slice.
The flaky cream cheese pastry provides a fantastic texture to these hot appetizers—and wait until you taste the delicious filling. I normally make a double batch and freeze some for when unexpected visitors arrive.
Pineapple Sheet Cake
This sheet cake is ideal for feeding a large group. It preserves so well that you may make it a day ahead of time and it will remain moist. I often bring it to church potlucks, yet I have yet to eat much of it.
Duo Tater Bake
This rich and soothing potato dish was a hit with my family for Thanksgiving. They advised include it at every holiday feast. This one is a keeper!
Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Sweets are a must-have in my kitchen as a mother of three boys! To create this cake, I purchase ripe fruit on cheap and freeze it. My banana cake with cream cheese icing is a family favorite at picnics and feasts.
Baked Simple Meatball Stroganoff
If you like meatball subs, you’ll enjoy this zesty casserole, which has all the rich taste of the famous sandwiches without the mess. A cream cheese mixture is placed over Italian bread, which is then topped with meatballs, spaghetti sauce, and cheese.
Red Velvet Thumbprint Cookies
These colorful sugar-coated red velvet cookies are ideal for the holidays. They’re as tasty as they are pretty.
Shrimp Appetizer Spread
This creamy seafood dish has no secrets—it’s just fantastic! I first tried it at a friend’s home and was so impressed that I asked for the recipe. Since then, it’s been a family favorite.
Pecan Pumpkin Dessert
This is a Thanksgiving tradition for me. The recipe was given to me by a friend, and I’ve subsequently shared it with many people.
When I serve these canapés, I usually receive requests for the recipe. The finger sandwiches are dainty, with a creamy herb spread and festive red and green garnishes.
Easy Cheese-Stuffed Jalapenos
I spotted a guy at the supermarket store a few years back purchasing a large bag of jalapeño peppers. When I asked him what he planned to do with them, he gave me this recipe for stuffed jalapenos right there in the shop
This delicious potato soup was brought to a meeting by one of the women in our church quilting club, and everyone appreciated how the cream cheese and bacon made it so rich. It’s simple to put together in the morning so it can simmer all day.
Red Velvet Jar Cake
These red velvet jar cakes are a favorite of mine to bake for friends, family, and instructors. During the holidays, my favorite cake and frosting flavor is red velvet, but you may use any flavor you choose. Then, for presenting, decorate the jars with handcrafted labels and ribbons. Don’t forget to attach a spoon to the jar; everyone enjoys digging straight in!
Spinach-Beef Spaghetti Pie
This cheesy ground beef, tomato, and spinach pie with angel hair pasta crust is usually a favorite when I serve it. Layers of pasta, cream cheese filling, and spinach top each tidy slice.
My mum is an excellent chef who enjoys recreating (and improving on!) restaurant food. That’s exactly what I did with these blintzes, and my family prefers my fruity version over the original.
Puff Pastry Chicken Bundles
Chicken breasts folded with spinach, herbed cream cheese, and walnuts are a tasty surprise within these golden puff pastry “packages.” When we have company or are celebrating a holiday or special event, I prefer to prepare this exquisite meal.
Paddy’s Reuben Dip
This slow-cooked spread is reminiscent of the classic Reuben sandwich. I end up with an empty plate even when I double the recipe
Cool Strawberry Cream
This delicious, delectable dessert is a perfect way to cap off a spectacular night. When fresh strawberries are unavailable, replace them with two packets frozen unsweetened strawberries, thawed and drained.
Walnut Pumpkin Cake Roll
This is a popular dessert dish in my family, particularly for holiday celebrations.
Pineapple Ham Casserole
Because I live in Hawaii, I wanted to share this pineapple-based dish with you. It is our primary fruit crop.
Cherry Cheese Windmills
These lovely cookies seem to be labor-intensive, but they are not. They’re appropriate for any occasion.
Creamy Strawberry Crepes
Tuck juicy strawberries and a creamy filling into these delicate strawberry crepes for an exquisite brunch entrée.
Italian Cream Cheese Cake
Every slice of this amazing Italian cream cheese cake recipe is moist and savory thanks to the use of buttermilk. This is a recipe I use all year.
This delectable chicken burrito recipe yields two casseroles, so you can have one today and freeze the other for a busy weekday. They’re great for last-minute dinners or to bring to potlucks.
Broccoli Potato Supreme
My family insists on having this two-in-one casserole at all of our big occasions. Every mouthful is twice as tasty!
Berry-Cream Cookie Snaps
This recipe was created by my mother and I by mixing two others. These adorable cookies have a crunchy outside and a soft and fluffy inside. If you want, you may bake the cookies flat and serve the filling like a cookie dip.
Cheesecake with Berry Sauce
This rich cheesecake is a family favorite, and I’ve even sent it to my daughter as a special treat. It’s a fantastic dessert any time of year since it uses frozen seasonal berries.
Creamy Grape Salad
When I bring this delicious, creamy grape salad to potlucks, everyone praises. Sprinkle with brown sugar and pecans for a wonderful finishing touch.
Peanut Butter Pudding Dessert
This is a delightful tiered dessert that will appeal to people of all ages. If you want it even nuttier, use chunky peanut butter, and if you don’t like cashews, use your preferred nut instead. One of my favorite pudding treats is this peanut butter lasagna.
Hash Brown Broccoli Bake
This dish is ideal for a potluck or holiday buffet. It complements fish, poultry, pig, and beef. Swiss cheese may be replaced with cheddar. I often double the recipe to feed a crowd.
My classic creamed corn recipe just requires five ingredients. It’s amazing whatever the occasion. Serve it on a barbeque buffet or as part of a holiday meal.
Marshmallow-Almond Key Lime Pie
Summer is peak season for Key limes, which are required for this pie’s particular sweet-tart taste. My Key lime pie features a smooth marshmallow coating on top, unlike other Key lime pies. This distinguishes it as a fan favorite.
Baked Onion Cheese Dip
A cup of pepper Jack cheese adds a wonderful spice to this cheddar-Vidalia dip. It goes well with a variety of crackers and breadsticks.
Contest-Winning Raspberry Cream Pie
This dish works well with either fresh or frozen raspberries. That implies you can make it all year. One piece of raspberry pie suddenly transforms winter into summer.
Pina Colada Fruit Dip
Your visitors will appreciate a taste of the tropics. The refreshing and creamy dip may be served as an appetizer or dessert.
Gingerbread Cookies with Lemon Frosting
I knew I had a winner when I topped these spicy gingerbread rounds with my lemony cream cheese frosting. Cardamom and allspice provide a chai tea taste.
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes
These vanilla bean cupcakes are a hit with my kid! Vanilla bean flecks in the soft, delicate cupcakes elevate them to special-occasion quality.
Crab & Artichoke Dip
My girlfriends and I almost always get together with this delicious and creamy snack and our favorite bottle of wine. It’s so easy to prepare this meal in the slow cooker—it’s ideal for our relaxing friend evenings.
Classic Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
On Christmas Day, these pre-made mashed potatoes save me a ton of time. There will be no more feverishly whipping the potatoes as hungry relatives and visitors gather in the kitchen!
Spinach Dip-Stuffed Mushrooms
I hollow out the mushroom caps with a melon baller to make them simpler to fill. For traveling, the applications fit easily into muffin tins or a deviled egg tray.
Lemon-Blueberry Pound Cake
Serve with a dollop of vanilla ice cream and a piece of this luscious lemon-blueberry cake. It’s a must-have for our family barbecues.
Artichoke Phyllo Cups
I intended to make a little version of a rich, creamy artichoke dip. These beautiful phyllo cup appetizers were a huge hit!
Cream Cheese Spritz
These Christmastime favourites are enhanced with a dash of citrus and cinnamon. Before baking, I like to top them with multicolored sprinkles. The recipe comes from a 1950s cookbook that came with a cookie press…which I still have!
Garlic-Herb Bagel Spread
Oregano, basil, garlic, and feta flavor this creamy spread. The delicious, savory combo goes well on a toasted bagel. However, don’t stop there. You can also use it as a dip for crispy breadsticks.
Pink Lemonade Stand Cake
If you like a delicious and creamy cake, this is the recipe for you. The lemon juice and lemonade provide a tart, zesty note to the layers, and the cream cheese icing with sprinkles makes it particularly gorgeous.
Carrot Cake with Pecan Frosting
My hubby often asks for this simple, old-fashioned carrot cake. Even without the nuts, the icing is delicious.
Mediterranean Pastry Pinwheels
These simple appetizers are delicious. The aromas of sun-dried tomatoes and pesto complement each other well.
Pineapple Upside-Down Cheesecake
My mother cooked pineapple upside down cake all the time, but I like something creamier. This recipe looks just like her cake, but it becomes much more delicious as pineapple upside down cheesecake.
Fontina Rolled Chicken
Good cuisine has the ability to take you to other lands. My chicken with fontina and cream cheese tastes like a relaxing vacation in Italy.
Cranberry Cream Cheese French Toast
My buddy makes hers with blueberries, while I make mine with cranberry sauce. It’s wonderful either way. It’s an excellent brunch option on Christmas morning.
Heirloom Tomato Pie
My green-thumbed neighbors are generous with their vegetables. I’m sure you’ve heard of the term “baking” before.
Creamy Taco Dip
When you walk home with an empty pan, you’ll know this snack was a smash at your next event!
Creme de Menthe Squares
This layered bar hits all the sweet spots: it’s light, creamy, and crunchy, with just the right amount of cold mint and rich chocolate. No one in our household can resist its antique dessert allure.
Cool and Creamy Fruit Salad
This dish was discovered in a magazine by my mother 25 years ago, and my family has been eating it ever since. I chill it overnight before serving. It looks like a triathlon, but it’s not.
Parmesan Creamed Spinach
This rich and creamy spinach meal comes together in minutes. If I’m having company, I’ll double or treble the recipe.
Bagel with a Veggie Schmear
This dish was inspired by my favorite bagel store in New York City. I now prepare this whenever I want a quick and nutritious breakfast. I prefer to top the schmear with chopped pitted green olives.
Rhubarb and Strawberry Coffee Cake
A Mother’s Day breakfast would not be complete without a vanilla cake with cream cheese filling and strawberry rhubarb sauce. This was designed to commemorate our mothers and grandparents.
Star-Spangled Lemon Icebox Pie
My no-bake lemon pie becomes a potluck favorite with a little cool time. My children like arranging the berries in a patriotic style.
Dilly Cheese Ball
My whole family enjoys this herby cheese spread, even my chef son. Serve with your favorite crackers.
Appetizer Tortilla Pinwheels
This recipe was given to me by a friend, and anytime I serve these tortilla pinwheel sandwiches, folks ask for the recipe as well! The cream cheese pinwheels may be prepared ahead of time and cut shortly before serving, giving you time to finish off any last-minute party details.
What brand of cream cheese is best for cheesecake?
Philadelphia Cream Cheese
Philadelphia Cream Cheese, $2.54 for eight ounces at Jet, is the best generally accessible option. This is the cream cheese I purchase when I need it for a recipe, such as cheesecake or icing. There’s a reason why it’s called the ‘cream of the crop’.
Which cream cheese is best for bakery?
The Test Kitchen-preferred cream cheese brands
- Philadelphia Original Tangiest.
- Dutch Farms Original has the mildest taste.
- Prairie Farms is the best for no-bake sweets.
- Best budget brand: Great Value.
Why is Philadelphia cream cheese the best for cheesecake?
“Balanced is the taste of the day: Scaff-Mariani emphasizes Philadelphia’s high silkiness and low moisture content in comparison to other brands. “In many ways, it has the consistency of butter,” she explains. She has also used it in macaron fillings and cookies, in addition to cheesecakes.
What is the most popular brand of cream cheese?
Popularity #1 Cream Cheese, Original Philadelphia 1 oz #2 Spreadable Creamy Spicy Pepper Jack Cheese The Laughing Camel 1 wedge #3 Whipped Cream Cheese Spread Philadelphia 2 tbsp #4 Cream Cheese Spread, Original Philadelphia 2 tbsp