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Cheesecake vs. Cream Cheese: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on December 23, 2023
Cheesecake is a sweet dessert made primarily with cream cheese, eggs, and sugar, while cream cheese is a soft, mild-tasting fresh cheese used in various culinary contexts.

Key Differences

Cheesecake is a dessert that combines cream cheese with sugar, eggs, and often a crust, while cream cheese itself is a versatile dairy product used as a spread and in cooking.
Cheesecake is characterized by its smooth, rich texture and sweet flavor, whereas cream cheese is soft, spreadable, and has a mildly tangy taste.
Cheesecake is often enjoyed as a sweet treat or dessert, whereas cream cheese can be used in both sweet and savory dishes, including cheesecake.
Cheesecake comes in many flavors and styles, like New York or no-bake versions, while cream cheese is available in various forms, including whipped or flavored.
Cheesecake is generally high in calories and sugar, while cream cheese contains fat and protein, and can be found in full-fat or reduced-fat versions.

Comparison Chart


Dairy Product

Key Ingredients

Cream cheese, sugar, eggs
Milk and cream


Smooth, dense, creamy
Soft, spreadable


Sweet, rich
Mild, slightly tangy


Eaten as a dessert or sweet treat
Used as a spread, in baking, or in cooking

Cheesecake and Cream Cheese Definitions


A sweet dessert featuring a mixture of cream cheese, sugar, and eggs, often on a crumbly base.
She made a strawberry cheesecake for the party.

Cream Cheese

Known for its smooth, spreadable texture and slightly tangy flavor.
He used cream cheese to make a creamy pasta sauce.


Known for its creamy, velvety consistency and crumbly base, usually made from biscuits or pastry.
The menu featured a cheesecake with a graham cracker crust.

Cream Cheese

A key ingredient in cheesecakes, frostings, and savory dishes.
She mixed cream cheese into the mashed potatoes for extra creaminess.


A dessert that comes in various flavors and styles, such as chocolate, lemon, or no-bake.
For her birthday, they ordered a blueberry cheesecake.

Cream Cheese

Used as a spread on bread, bagels, and crackers, and in cooking and baking.
The recipe called for a cup of cream cheese.


A rich, creamy cake with a soft, dense texture, typically baked or set in a fridge.
His favorite dessert is classic New York-style cheesecake.

Cream Cheese

Available in various forms, including whipped, flavored, and low-fat.
They chose whipped cream cheese for the dip.


Often served with toppings like fruit, chocolate, or whipped cream.
They enjoyed cheesecake topped with fresh raspberries.

Cream Cheese

A soft, mild-tasting fresh cheese made from milk and cream.
She spread cream cheese on her morning bagel.


What is the main ingredient in cheesecake?

The main ingredient in cheesecake is cream cheese.

What makes cheesecake different from other cakes?

Cheesecake's distinct feature is its creamy texture from cream cheese, differing from sponge or layered cakes.

Can cream cheese be used in savory dishes?

Yes, cream cheese is versatile and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.

Is cream cheese healthy?

Cream cheese can be part of a balanced diet but is high in fat and calories.

Are there vegan alternatives for cheesecake?

Yes, vegan cheesecakes use plant-based ingredients instead of cream cheese.

Does cheesecake always require baking?

No, there are no-bake cheesecake varieties that set in the fridge.

What is the difference between whipped and regular cream cheese?

Whipped cream cheese is lighter and fluffier, having been whipped to incorporate air.

Can cheesecake be made without eggs?

Yes, there are eggless cheesecake recipes available.

What are common cheesecake toppings?

Popular toppings include fruits, chocolate, caramel, and whipped cream.

Can cream cheese be used as a frosting?

Yes, cream cheese is commonly used in frostings for cakes and cupcakes.

Can cheesecake be made gluten-free?

Yes, by using gluten-free ingredients for the crust and filling.

Can you freeze cheesecake?

Yes, cheesecake can be frozen and enjoyed later.

Is cream cheese suitable for lactose intolerant people?

Cream cheese contains lactose, so it might not be suitable for those with lactose intolerance.

How long does cheesecake last in the fridge?

Cheesecake typically lasts up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

How is flavored cream cheese made?

Flavored cream cheese includes additional ingredients like herbs or fruits for taste.

What's the origin of cheesecake?

Cheesecake has ancient origins, with variations existing across many cultures.

Does cream cheese melt well in cooking?

Cream cheese melts well and is often used to add creaminess to sauces and soups.

Are there low-fat versions of cream cheese?

Yes, low-fat and reduced-fat cream cheese options are available.

Can you make cheesecake without a crust?

Yes, crustless cheesecake is an option for those preferring only the creamy filling.

Is cream cheese spreadable when cold?

Cream cheese is more spreadable at room temperature.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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