Can I Use Cottage Cheese Instead Of Cream Cheese for Cheesecake?

Cottage cheese is a versatile ingredient often used in the pastry industry in sweet and savory doughs and fillings. Many fruits and spices go well with cottage cheese, it can be baked or used raw.

If you often make cheesecake, you may have wondered whether you can use cottage cheese instead of cream cheese. The purpose of my post is to answer this question as a confectioner who often uses cottage cheese in desserts.

The answer is clearly yes, you can use cottage cheese instead of cream cheese for making cheesecake. I regularly make both baked and non-baked cheese cakes with cottage cheese. 

The cakes made with fresh farm cottage cheese are very tasty, they are amoung my favorites.
However, there are a few things you should pay attention to when replacing cream cheese with cottage cheese:

• Cottage cheese sometimes contains too much whey, which can adversely affect the quality of the prepared cheesecake or other dishes. Therefore, it is best to drain the excess liquid before use.
• Since the texture of cottage cheese is not smooth, but lumpy, I recommend that you homogenize it with an immersion blender before use.
• I would like to emphasize the fact that the taste of the cheesecake made with cottage cheese will be different from the usual cream cheese taste, it will be different from the usual taste as it is slightly sour.

Throughout Europe, there are cake variations made using fresh cottage cheese, such as the German Käsekuchen, which is somewhat similar to the New York-style cheesecake.

The Hungarian Rákóczi túrós is a cottage cheese cake made with a Linzer dough base, apricot jam, and meringue.

Cheesecake with cottage cheese

What is the difference between smooth cottage cheese and cream cheese?

The immediately visible difference between cottage cheese and cream cheese is their texture. The cream cheese has a smooth, homogeneous consistency. Cottage cheese is lumpy and loose, as the curd and whey are separated.

Another difference between cream cheese and cottage cheese is the way they are made. Cottage cheese is made from skimmed milk with minimal processing, while cream cheeses also contain cream.


Industrially made cream cheeses are completely drained of the whey, mixed until smooth, and improved with various emulsifying and stabilizing additives for a homogeneous texture. Cream cheese is a popular ingredient for cheesecakes, especially in the United States.

In Central and Southern Europe, cottage cheese is often used as an ingredient in desserts. Among the creamy cheeses of European origin, the best known is the Italian Mascarpone, from which Tiramisu is made.

No-bake cheesecake with cottage cheese

How is cottage cheese made?

Cottage cheese has been present in human nutrition for thousands of years, and its place of origin is probably the Middle East. The ancient Greeks and Romans also prepared and consumed it.

It is made from partially or completely skimmed milk, with the addition of lactic acid bacteria culture and/or enzymes. It can also be made from milk by letting it sour naturally and draining it with a cheesecloth after it has coagulated.

Cottage cheese can be fat, semi-fat, or low-fat. The quality, taste, and texture of cottage cheese are affected by the type of milk used and the geographical location of production.

What is the liquid in cottage cheese?

The liquid in cottage cheese is called whey, and it is actually a by-product of cheese making.


When making cheese, the milk is separated into two parts: the dry ingredients that make up the cheese itself, and the liquid that is drained from it. Whey is a yellowish, sour, opaque liquid. It consists of water, lactose (milk sugar), minerals, and proteins. It also contains vitamins and fat.

The famous Italian ricotta is a type of cheese made from whey. Whey can be used as a liquid when making yeast dough, as its acid content helps the yeast ferment, so the baked yeast pastry will be soft and airy. I have often used whey instead of water when baking bread, with excellent results.

How do you drain cottage cheese?

The traditional and best way to drain the curd is to put it in a cheesecloth, which is placed in a strainer, over a bowl. Press down with something heavy, such as a dish, and let the whey drip for a few hours.

Some types of cottage cheese can have too much whey, and in such cases, I recommend that you drain it before using it for cheesecake.

You can homogenize the chunky cottage cheese with an immersion mixer or a blender, so you can combine it evenly with the other cheesecake ingredients.

cottage cheese in a bowl
Cottage cheese

Is cottage cheese healthier than cream cheese?

Cottage cheese contains fewer calories than cream cheese. Since it is made from partially or completely skimmed milk, it has lower fat content than cream cheeses, which also contain cream.


While the fat content of cottage cheese is between 2 and 7 percent, that of cream cheese is 33%. 100 g of cottage cheese contains only 84 calories, compared to 100 g of cream cheese, which contains 300 kcal.

Calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium are some of the significant minerals present in cottage cheese. It also contains beta-carotene, known as the provitamin of vitamin A.

The advantage of cottage cheese is that it contains a large amount of protein in addition to its low-fat content, which is why it fits well into many different diets. One of the good qualities of cottage cheese is that it can be widely used in both savory dishes and desserts. It can be combined well with fruits, vegetables, and various spices.

Final thoughts

Both baked and non-baked cheesecakes can be prepared using cottage cheese, but the taste and texture of the cake will be somewhat different from the usual one with cream cheese.

The big advantage of cottage cheese is that it has a much lower fat content than cream cheese, and therefore significantly lower calorie content. It is definitely worth trying the desserts and savory snacks made with cottage cheese.



My name is Debora, the founder of My Delicious Sweets, and a qualified confectioner with broad experience in the confectionery industry. On my blog, I will share important, interesting, and fun facts about food, along with some of my favorite recipes.


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