Homemade Cream Cheese Recipe

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Homemade Cream Cheese Recipe

Make creamy and delicious cream cheese at home that is fun to make and superior to store bought cheese.

By Ricki Carroll and Sarah Carroll
August 2018

Say Cheese! (Storey Publishing, 2018) by Ricki Carroll and Sarah Carroll is a guide to cheese making packed with step-by-step photos, fun facts, and instructions for teaching kids the magic of kitchen chemistry and lifelong cooking skills.  Kids learn about cheese history, about animals that make cheese possible, and uncover the science behind cheese making through recipes from around the world including ricotta, feta, and cream cheese.

You can purchase this book from the Grit store: Say Cheese!

American farm families were making cream cheese in the 1700s. A century later, it was being made in factories in New York. This homemade version is creamier and more delicious than store-bought, plus it’s fun to make!

Makes approximately 1-1/2 pounds


  • 1 gallon whole milk (not ultra-pasteurized)
  • 1 pint heavy cream (ultra-pasteurized is fine)
  • 1 packet buttermilk culture or 1/4 cup cultured buttermilk
  • 8 drops single-strength liquid rennet mixed into 1/4 cup cool, unchlorinated water


  • 5- to 6-quart pot with cover
  • Dairy thermometer
  • Measuring spoons and cup
  • Slotted spoon
  • Towel for wrapping pot
  • Colander
  • Butter muslin
  • Rimmed baking sheet or large bowl for draining
  • 2-quart glass storage container


1. Pour the milk and heavy cream into the pot, and heat over medium heat to 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius).

2. At 86 degrees Fahrenheit, add the buttermilk culture, and stir slowly for 2 minutes.

3. Add the rennet mixture by pouring it through the slotted spoon while moving the spoon over the pot. Stir gently for 1 minute, moving the spoon from the top to the bottom of the pot.

4. Cover the pot, wrap it with a towel, and let it sit undisturbed on the counter for 8 to 14 hours.

Photo by Kim Lowe Photography

5. Put the colander on the baking sheet or in the bowl. Line the colander with butter muslin, letting the cloth hang over the sides.

6. When the curd has developed a few cracks and is pulling away from the sides, gently ladle it into the lined colander. Fold the ends of the cloth over the curds and let them drain in the fridge for 7 to 14 hours, or until they reach the desired consistency.

7. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Photo by Mars Vilaubi

Cheese maker’s notes:

 If you make this cheese before you go to bed, it will have plenty of time to set while you sleep. When you wake up, set it up to drain so you can enjoy a delicious afternoon snack.

More from Say Cheese!:

From Say Cheese A Kid’s Guide to Cheese Makingby Ricki Carroll and Sarah Carroll (Storey Publishing, 2018) Copyright Ricki Carroll and Sarah Carroll, photography copyright by John Polak. All rights reserved. Used by permission of the Storey Publishing.

Cheese Recipes

Best-selling author Ricki Carroll — known around the world as the Cheese Queen — and her daughter, Sarah Carroll, bring easy cheese making right into your kitchen with this fun guide for kids and families. Step-by-step photos guide kids ages 8–12 through the cheese making process, then teach them how to make 12 classic favorites, including mozzarella, feta, ricotta, and cream cheese. A hearty helping of kitchen chemistry and math along with bits of international cheese making history add to the education. A bonus log sheet lets young cheese makers keep notes just like the pros, while punch-out labels and colorful flags will embellish homemade cheeses and global cheese platters. Order from the Grit Store or by calling 800-803-7096.

Need Help? Call 1-866-803-7096