Is it possible to replicate the texture of cheesecake without using cream cheese?

I really love the texture of cheesecake and I really love its aesthetic.

But I just really dont like the sour taste of cream cheese which destroys the entire experience of eating cheesecake for me.

So I'm trying to look for an alternative.

I'm thinking about, replacing all the cream cheese with just heavy cream, maybe add some cooked cornstarch to thicken it to try to replicate the consistency of cream cheese. My hypothesis is that it should hold perfectly like regular cream cheese/ be runnier but should have a lighter taste which should make it 100x more suited to my tastebuds.

But I also want to hear your opinions/alternatives you might have. I want to have the best chances of success

  • 2
    Other than marscapone, which @LightBender points out is used in what I'd typically call Italian Cheesecake and is a good answer, you may want to look at vegan recipes, which try to replicate the texture using no dairy. Usually this is using tofu, ground nuts and other ingredients.
    – GdD
    Commented Oct 16, 2020 at 7:10
  • 2
    @GdD reads like an answer to me?
    – Stephie
    Commented Oct 16, 2020 at 7:36
  • You can use gelatine to make something similar to cheesecake. Have you used different cheeses? I don't know what type you use but you can mill some lean quark, or try to thicken pancake cheese. Commented Oct 16, 2020 at 8:13
  • @Stephie, I know it's possible but I've never done it, so I wouldn't be able to make it a good answer with details on how to make it work or the benefits of different approaches.
    – GdD
    Commented Oct 16, 2020 at 8:18
  • You could consider something like a sernik, which is made with farmer's cheese, but the texture is quite different. Commented Oct 16, 2020 at 15:33

1 Answer 1


Cheesecake is essentially a baked custard with that substitutes cream cheese (and often some sour cream) for the dairy ingredient.

After all, a basic custard recipe is just milk, sugar, and eggs with some kind of flavoring added.

The cheese is the thing that gives cheesecake it's distinctive texture. Substituting cream and corn starch is going to end up with a much more pudding-like consistency.

All that being said, there are a number of recipes that substitute the much milder Mascarpone cheese in place of about half of the cream cheese. This may be sufficient to get you a milder sour flavor without drastically altering the texture. You could also give it a try with all Mascarpone, but you might be pushing into that pudding texture again.

Also, be prepared for the added cost with Mascarpone, which tends to cost 2-3 times as much as cream cheese.

  • 1
    @NeilMeyer I wouldn't think so. Cottage cheese has a very different texture, being lots of little lumps, and also has a much higher liquid content. You could potentially come up with a recipe that uses it, but you'd have to take those factors into account somehow.
    – senschen
    Commented Oct 16, 2020 at 13:12
  • 2
    @senschen In Poland (and slav countries) we use cheese called "Twaróg/tvarog" which in english is usually named "cottage cheese". And we use fine milled twaróg to make cheesecake Commented Oct 16, 2020 at 13:37
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    @SZCZERZOKŁY, twaróg*/*tvorog*/*twarc*/etc is often *mistranslated as "cottage cheese." The proper English name is quark. However, quark is uncommon in the US (not sure about the rest of the Anglosphere), so consumers are unlikely to know the word. It is available in grocery stores with large enough numbers of Jewish or other Eastern European shoppers, but in such cases, I've always seen it sold under the name "farmer cheese."
    – Juhasz
    Commented Oct 16, 2020 at 16:03
  • 5
    You absolutely can make a cheesecake with quark/farmer cheese, but it will not have the same consistency as New York cheesecake. New York cheesecake seems to have been adapted from a Central or Eastern European recipe that used quark, of which there are many: In Germany and Austria, Käsekuchen, Quarkkuchen, Matzkuchen, Topfenkuchen; in Poland sernik; in Russia vatrushka, tvorozhnaya zapekanka, or paskha.
    – Juhasz
    Commented Oct 16, 2020 at 16:03
  • 2
    @Juhasz Cheap ricotta (in the US) is basically just farmer cheese. I've used it often for blintzes, don't see why it wouldn't work for a Russian-style cheesecake.
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Oct 17, 2020 at 4:57

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