34 Cream Cheese Recipes That Go Beyond Cheesecake

I often forget about cream cheese until I need it: A forlorn, toasted bagel begs for some schmear. A craving for cheesecake hits—and hits hard. A last-minute party demands a savory, creamy dip. Or it’s someone’s birthday who loves carrot cake (which, i…

I often forget about cream cheese until I need it: A forlorn, toasted bagel begs for some schmear. A craving for cheesecake hits—and hits hard. A last-minute party demands a savory, creamy dip. Or it's someone's birthday who loves carrot cake (which, in my experience, actually means that they love cream cheese frosting). It's then that I search my fridge for the telltale foil-wrapped bricks, building blocks for any tangy, rich dish worth its salt (or sugar).

Recently, however, as I was putting cream cheese on the shopping list, I started wondering: what exactly is cream cheese, anyway? Is it cheese? How is cream involved? And why is it so dang delicious? So I decided to investigate—and rounded up a few (okay, 34) of my favorite ways to use cream cheese (both sweet and savory), in the process.

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The Best Homemade Cheesecake Recipe

This is the best cheesecake recipe ever! We’ve been making this homemade cheesecake for over 15 years and it never fails. The flavor is classic and the texture is so creamy. The recipe uses simple ingredients and it’s worth every bite. Shar…

This is the best cheesecake recipe ever! We’ve been making this homemade cheesecake for over 15 years and it never fails. The flavor is classic and the texture is so creamy. The recipe uses simple ingredients and it’s worth every bite. Sharing everything you need to know for how to make a cheesecake below! If […]

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Cheesecake Is The Best Summer Dessert. Here’s Why.

The way to my heart is through all things doughy: bread, pie, and biscuits. But I’ve baked a lot more cheesecakes since meeting my husband, because they are his favorite dessert. The way to his heart is through creamy custards, preferably with a tart h…

The way to my heart is through all things doughy: bread, pie, and biscuits. But I’ve baked a lot more cheesecakes since meeting my husband, because they are his favorite dessert. The way to his heart is through creamy custards, preferably with a tart hint of tang—add a cookie crust, and he’s done for. I’ve been experimenting more with cheesecakes ever since learning this, and along the way I fell in love by proxy. (And since cheesecakes are really custard in a crust—they sound a bit like a pie to me! #teamcheesepie.) In the most recent episode of Bake It Up a Notch, I dived deep into cheesecakes and shared a ton of recipes, as we head into my favorite season to make them. While I bake cheesecakes of all flavors year-round, they truly are a perfect summer dessert. Here are three delicious reasons that may convince you I'm right.

1. Cheesecake Is Served Chilled.

One of my favorite things about cheesecakes is that they are usually served cold. This alone makes them ideal for summer—what’s better than something chilled and sweet when it’s hot outside? (I’ve also heard of folks who enjoy eating frozen cheesecakes without letting them thaw, for an extra-cold twist.) This also speaks to me as a lover of make-ahead options. It’s a dessert that can be made whenever you have time to bake, then enjoyed for many days to follow (assuming it lasts that long). Since it can be made ahead, it’s also perfect to take with you—maybe pack some slices for a summer picnic or try some easy-to-serve cheesecake bars or mini cheesecakes to bring to a barbecue. It’s refreshing, it’s a crowd-pleaser, it’s the definition of creamy and delicious.

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No-Bake Peach Cheesecakes

No-Bake Peach Cheesecakes capture everything there is to love about summer. Sweet peaches, crunchy pecans, and no need to bake a thing! Have you ever gotten peaches from The Peach Truck? We’re big peach fans in this household and we’ve never had better peaches than the ones we’ve purchased from them. Only this year, they …

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No-Bake Peach Cheesecakes capture everything there is to love about summer. Sweet peaches, crunchy pecans, and no need to bake a thing!

Four assembled peach peach cheesecakes on a white countertop

Have you ever gotten peaches from The Peach Truck? We’re big peach fans in this household and we’ve never had better peaches than the ones we’ve purchased from them. Only this year, they didn’t come to our town, so we opted for home delivery.

Having peaches delivered to your doorstep might seem a bit over-the-top considering you can walk into any grocery store and grab them, but I promise you, these peaches are different. They’re the most fresh, flavorful, juicy, perfectly sweet peaches we’ve ever had. And their signature peach jam makes one heck of a PB&J.

You can make make this No-Bake Peach Cheesecake with frozen peaches – no problem, but if you can get your hands on some gorgeous, ripe, fresh peaches, that’s totally the way to go.

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Key Lime Cheesecake

Coconut graham cracker crust topped with Key Lime Cheesecake filling and a swirl of whipped cream creates a simple and delicious dessert for every summer occasion. INTRO KEY LIME CHEESECAKE WITH COCONUT GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST I first discovered this recipe in the cookbook Glorious Layered Desserts by my friend Glory of Glorious Treats.  I love …

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Coconut graham cracker crust topped with Key Lime Cheesecake filling and a swirl of whipped cream creates a simple and delicious dessert for every summer occasion.

Assembled key lime cheesecakes topped with whipped cream and lime wedges

INTRO

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No-Bake Frozen Cheesecake

No-Bake Frozen Cheesecake is the perfect way to celebrate summer. A sweet and salty crust combines with a layer of smooth cheesecake filling and fresh berries to create a delicious dessert for summer entertaining. It’s that time of year when I start thinking about simple summer recipes to share with you. As the temps heat …

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No-Bake Frozen Cheesecake is the perfect way to celebrate summer. A sweet and salty crust combines with a layer of smooth cheesecake filling and fresh berries to create a delicious dessert for summer entertaining.

Slice of no-bake frozen cheesecake plated on a white plate, topped with mixed fresh berries. Additional slices of cheesecake are in the background

It’s that time of year when I start thinking about simple summer recipes to share with you.

As the temps heat up, we’re outside most of the day, so I bake a lot less than I do throughout the fall and winter months.

Even though I’m not cranking up the oven as much as I normally do, I still want to share easy, delicious recipes that are perfect for the summer months and this frozen cheesecake is all of those things.

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Parmigiano Reggiano Cheesecake? Say No More.

We’ve teamed up with the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium to share a brilliant (and sweet!) new way to use one of our all-time favorite staples: Parmigiano Reggiano. This cheese is made with only three ingredients, but the real magic comes after it’s bee…

We’ve teamed up with the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium to share a brilliant (and sweet!) new way to use one of our all-time favorite staples: Parmigiano Reggiano. This cheese is made with only three ingredients, but the real magic comes after it's been aged for more than a year (in Italy, according to old-school methods). That aging gives it the singular taste, crumbly texture, and unique aroma we can't resist.


It’s true: A shower of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese can make any pasta dish taste even better (and, if you ask me, is an absolute must). But there are so many ways to use this umami-rich ingredient that go way beyond a garnish—or even savory dishes, for that matter.

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Taco Salad

We LOVE taco night at our house, but sometimes we mix it up and make Taco Salad. Everyone needs a good taco salad recipe, it’s a classic! This recipe is the very best because it’s loaded with LOTS of fun toppings. It is colorful and the fla…

We LOVE taco night at our house, but sometimes we mix it up and make Taco Salad. Everyone needs a good taco salad recipe, it’s a classic! This recipe is the very best because it’s loaded with LOTS of fun toppings. It is colorful and the flavors are outstanding! It is the perfect salad for…

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Baileys Cheesecake

Baileys Cheesecake has a delicious chocolate cookie crust topped with Irish cream-spiked cheesecake filling and ganache layers. Back in my college days, I managed a small Mediterranean restaurant near campus. It was both a place for the local neighborhood to grab a quick bite to eat and for college kids to hang out and pretend …

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Baileys Cheesecake has a delicious chocolate cookie crust topped with Irish cream-spiked cheesecake filling and ganache layers.

Slice of Baileys cheesecake next to a fork on a gray plate

Back in my college days, I managed a small Mediterranean restaurant near campus. It was both a place for the local neighborhood to grab a quick bite to eat and for college kids to hang out and pretend to study while sipping cappuccinos. 

And since I worked a lot, and free food was a perk of the job, I pretty much lived on hummus and pita bread for over 4 years.

There was a super friendly older couple that were weekly regulars. Every week, they’d split a tawook dinner with extra steamed veggies. The husband would finish his meal with a piece of cheesecake, and the wife would order Baileys and coffee with just a smidgen of whipped cream and chocolate sauce (similar to an Irish coffee cocktail). 

It’s funny the things I remember from more than 15 years ago. The names of any of my undergrad professors? Not a chance. But a meal a couple ordered every week? Yep, right down to the extra veggies.

Now, I’ve never been much of a drinker, but I developed quite an affinity for Baileys and coffee with just a smidgen of whipped cream and chocolate sauce. It’s just one of those drinks that reminds me of being in my 20s, and makes me all warm and fuzzy for so many reasons.

A few weeks ago, I picked up a bottle of Baileys Irish Cream to make Simple Homemade Truffles…and perhaps whip up a Baileys and coffee or two. And then on a whim one night, I decided to try making a Baileys Cheesecake. 

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Red Velvet Cheesecake

Red Velvet Cheesecake
Layers of red velvet cake sandwich creamy cheesecake in this Red Velvet Cheesecake recipe. It’s a homemade version of the Cheesecake factory.
READ: Red Velvet Cheesecake

A slice of red velvet cheesecake on a white plate from the side with a fork in front.

Red Velvet Cheesecake

Layers of red velvet cake sandwich creamy cheesecake in this Red Velvet Cheesecake recipe. It's a homemade version of the Cheesecake factory.

READ: Red Velvet Cheesecake