Can I Use Cream Cheese Spread Instead Of Cream Cheese

Is Whipped Cream Cheese Spread The Same As Cream Cheese?

It is not a secret that we love cream cheese. We love it because of its creamy nature and the ability to use it as a spread. For some people, cream cheese is excellent, but cream cheese spread seems better, which could be for many reasons. That is why today we are looking at cream cheese vs. cream cheese spread and the question, can I use cream cheese instead of cream cheese? 

Cream cheese spread is a version of cream cheese. While cream cheese is made from milk, cream cheese spread is made from skimmed milk and other ingredients. You can use a cream cheese spread as a substitute for cream cheese for some food, but only for some food preparation. 

The difference between both cheese types is slight and often confuses most people. Overall they serve the same purpose but with a bit of variation. Keep reading, and you will discover the differences and whether you can use them interchangeably. 

What Is The Difference Between Cream Cheese And Cheese Spread

The production method is the primary difference between cream cheese and cream cheese spread. Cream cheese spread is made from skim milk, cream cheese, and other ingredients, making it softer. While cream cheese is made from milk as pure cheese. They are other differences which include the following: 

  • FDA Standard

The FDA standard for cream chees is a minimum 30 percent milkfat content, while cream cheese spread has a 20 percent milkfat content minimum. Therefore, cream cheese has more fat content than cream cheese spread. More fat content means that it has more flavor and richer content. 

  • Texture

Cream cheese spread has a lighter, creamier texture than cream cheese. It is made from whipping cream cheese with milk and other ingredients. Cream cheese spread is easier to spread across your bread while eating. The difference in texture is due to the presence of more water than fat content in the cream cheese spread. 

  • Flavor

Cream cheese has a more intense flavor than cream cheese spread due to its higher fat content. Cream cheese spread has a more subtle flavor and low-fat content. 

  • Taste

Cream cheese has a tangy taste that is smooth and creamy. This tangy taste makes it the best breakfast for toast, bagels, and biscuits. The tangy flavor is a result of its high acidity. 

While cream cheese spread has a lesser tangy taste due to other components like yogurt, sweetener, flavor, and sour cream, cream cheese is better for baking and cooking than cream cheese spread due to its taste, thickness, and low fat. 

  • Calories 

The amount of calories in cream cheese is higher than that of cream cheese spread. Cream cheese contains 99 calories compared to the 88 calories in cream cheese spread. This difference is because cream cheese is made from whole milk, but cream cheese spread is made from skim milk. 

Cream cheese has more fat than cream cheese spread, with 9 grams to 7 grams in the spread alternative. However, the difference in calories and fat is not much. If you are very concerned about such issues, consider using a cream cheese spread instead. 

  • Uses

Cream cheese spread is used more on crackers, bread, toast, bagels, and other breakfast meals. It is not suitable for sauces and dips due to its thin consistency. But cream cheese serves perfectly as spreads, dips, and sauce. 

  • Lifespan And Price

Cream cheese spread has a longer life span than cream cheese. It contains preservatives that help extend its expiration timeframe. Cream cheese spread can last 3 to 5 months on the shelf, while cream cheese can only stay 2 to 4 weeks before expiration on the shelf. 

Cream cheese spread is cheaper than cream cheese because it is made from skim milk. Cream cheese is made from whole milk, which is quite expensive. 

Asides from the cream cheese spread thin consistency that makes it unsuitable for dips and sauces. It can be an alternative to cream cheese in almost every other aspect. It is also healthier if you consider lesser calories as more beneficial. 

Can You Use Cream Cheese Spread Instead Of Cream Cheese

You can use cream cheese spread instead of cream cheese in some circumstances but not all. Cream cheese spread has a higher salt content and moisture too. You can substitute it for cream cheese while using it as a spread for eating fresh. But never replace cream cheese for baking and cooking. 

The cream cheese spread will serve poorly when heated. It has more water than cream cheese. The extra flavor content can also interfere with the taste of your dip or sauce. It also had a lot of salt and might ruin your baking. 

Cream cheese spread is not suitable for baking and cooking. Instead, you can use cottage cheese as a substitute for cream cheese. Use the cream cheese spread for dressing and toasts only. 

Can You Use Cream Cheese Spread Instead Of Cream Cheese For Cheesecake

No, we do not recommend using cream cheese spread as an alternative to cream cheese for cheesecake. The texture and consistency of cream cheese spread make it a wrong choice for cheesecake recipes. 

Cream cheese spread is soft and contains additives like Whey protein that change the texture of the cheese. Its making process uses aeration to blow air into the cheese, making it smoother. This texture and technique make it difficult for the cream cheese spread to set while making cheesecake.

Although both cheese types taste and look the same, substituting might turn out differently than you expect. Or else you whip the cream cheese spread and add plain yogurt and gelatin to improve the texture first. Sometimes with whipping, the spread might still become crumbles and not give that smooth texture cream cheese will provide. 

Can I Substitute Cream Cheese Spread For Whipped Cream Cheese

You can substitute cream cheese spread for whipped cream cheese. You can obtain cream cheese spread by whipping cream cheese and adding other ingredients. 

The whipping action will increase the consistency and moisture content of the cream cheese, making it easier to spread. You can get a cream cheese spread if you wish to add flavor or sweetener. 

You can use whipped cream cheese as an alternative for spreads and other uses. However, instead of wasting energy and time. Why not buy the cream cheese spread? It will contain lesser fat content. 


Cream cheese and cream cheese spread have been confusing people for a long time. Probably due to its similarities and almost the same uses. However, they are not the same thing. Cream cheese has a harder texture and higher fat content. While cream cheese spread has a softer texture and is suitable for spread alone

The differences between both cheese types might seem inconsequential until you get into a situation where you find yourself wondering, cream cheese vs cream cheese spread: can I use cream cheese spread instead of cream cheese? Thankfully, this article has supplied the answer.

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