Cream cheese is a versatile ingredient that could be added both to sweet and savory foods. From cheesecakes to pasta, pizza, and bagels, there's something exciting to look forward to when we know there's cream cheese. Since the pandemic started and we had no choice but to stay at home, some of us have been trying out new recipes involving cream cheese.
Among many cream cheese brands, we have gathered our best picks in our top 10 list. We will also discuss the points you need to consider when choosing cream cheese in our buying guide fact-checked and reviewed by registered nutritionist-dietitian Samantha Morales.
Samantha began her career in clinical nutrition and weight management at a tertiary hospital in Manila, Philippines. Her practice allowed her to give nutrition counseling and plan modified diets for patients with medical conditions. Presently, she does private practice to focus on true holistic wellness - an approach that believes in aligning one's mind, body, and spiritual well-being.
Our recommendation articles are carefully researched and crafted by the mybest Philippines team of writers and editors. To stay true to our company’s mission and vision to help users’ selection process easier, we also collaborate with experts from various fields to ensure that our content stays factual and useful.
The expert oversees the Buying Guide only, and does not determine the products and services featured.
Table of Contents
The acid causes the dairy to curdle and the liquid to coagulate. From there, fat droplets are broken into smaller drops, ending in a smooth mixture. Additives can be added to thicken the cheese. Examples of these are carob bean gum and carrageenan.
Then finally, to improve firmness, a clotting enzyme is added. Manufacturers produce different types of cream cheese, but whatever variant it is, cream cheese is a good source of vitamin A and is low in carbs. However, it is best to consume in moderation because of the high-fat content.
Here are some key points to consider:
We can all agree on one thingーcheese makes everything better. There are various types of cheeses, and each type is not made the same as it could either be natural or processed. Below we discuss their differences.
Natural cheese is made from simple, basic, and natural ingredients that include fresh milk, salt, natural colors, and enzymes. It doesn’t contain whey, and it has a shorter shelf life. While this short shelf life might seem like a disadvantage, it actually means that it does not contain a high level of salt and preservatives.
Natural cheese is made from raw, unpasteurized milk and is full of healthy fats, probiotics, and vitamins D, B2, and B12. The fresher it is, the more you can enjoy its flavor and deliciousness. Unfortunately, it is not very prevalent in many of the cheeses sold in grocery stores. You can typically find natural cheeses in artisan shops or smaller specialty stores.
Processed cheese is made from a portion of natural cheese mixed with emulsifiers, preservatives, vegetable oils, whey, artificial food coloring, and more. When making processed cheese, its fermentation is stopped so that the flavor doesn't change. It has a longer shelf life due to the preservatives. Unfortunately, all these additives mean that it is not quite a healthy choice.
You can frequently find processed cheese used in fast food restaurants because of its high "melt factor," that creamy smooth texture of the melt. This is something that natural cheeses don't have. If you do consume processed cheese, make sure to do it in moderation because it can lead to weight gain, heart disease, and hypertension.
Cream cheese typically comes in either a jar, tub or in a block form. Each has a different texture which determines its best usage.
Those in jars or tubs are softer and are formulated in a way that is easy to spread. They're often used in bagels, toasts, crackers, and many more. This type is also easier to store because of the presence of the tub or jar's lid.
Those in bars or blocks have more versatile uses when it comes to cooking or baking. This is the type of cream cheese used in cheesecakes, pasta, and many more. Cream cheese blocks are usually plain or mild in flavor.
Plain-flavored cream cheeses give you more freedom by allowing you to customize according to your liking. You could combine or top it with different things like fruits, jams, berries, nuts, chocolates, and many more.
There are many types of cream cheese available that range from full-fat, whipped, double cream, low-fat, and the list goes on. Nutrition facts vary depending on the type and brand, but in general, one tablespoon of regular cream cheese contains 50.8 calories, 5 g of fat, 0.5 g of sugar, 0.9 g of protein.
Almost 90% of the calories come from fat, and it is mostly saturated fat. That's a little on the unhealthier side if you don’t use or eat in moderation. Light versions have fewer calories and less fat content.
A tablespoon contains about 35 calories, and compared to its regular counterpart, it has less than 70% calories from fat. It, however, may sound like a disappointment, but some of the lower-fat or fat-free types’ flavor isn’t as good as their regular counterpart.
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Original Cream Cheese Block
Top Choice for Households, Bakeries, and Restaurants
Original US Cream Cheese
Firm American Cream Cheese With Zero Trans Fat
Natural Cream Cheese Plain
Creamy Fresh Taste With No Artificial Additives
Perfect Base for Cheesecakes
Elle & Vire
Real French Style Cream Cheese
Natural French Cream Cheese for Any Recipe
Versatile Australian-Made Cream Cheese
Cream Cheese Garlic
Aromatic Touch of Garlic and Herb With a Creamy Texture
Light Spreadable Cream Cheese
Guilt-Free Low-Fat Spread With a Milder Flavor
Cream Cheese Spread
A Tangy and Sweet Cream Cheese Spread
Vegan Cream Cheese
Vegan Cream Cheese for a Healthier Choice
Made with only 5 ingredients that consist of pasteurized milk and cream, salt, carob bean gum, and cheese culture, this cream gets the thumbs-up from bakers, chefs, and households worldwide.
This cheese has a rich and flavorful taste and is perfect for spreading on freshly toasted bagels and any kind of bread you want. But more than that, it's great for adding texture, a slight tang, and creaminess to your dishes or desserts. Chefs rave about its "plasticity," or its ability to be molded however they wish.
Another plus is its high silkiness and low moisture content compared to other brands, being similar to butter inconsistency in many ways. It also naturally emulsifies, so it's easy to whip into anything, even ice cream. It is truly a versatile cream cheese!
This brand carries both "cream cheese" and "American cream cheese," but what's the difference? According to Emborg, the former has a higher spreadability texture, perfect for bread, crackers, and the like, while American cream cheese has a firmer texture, making it better for cooking and baking.
Not only is this smooth and creamy, but it also contains no trans fats and is enriched with calcium, vitamin B, and iron. It comes from natural cheese, too. Plus, despite being on the firmer side, it is still perfect as a spread or topping for bread. At its budget-friendly price, it's definitely a steal!
With very few natural cream cheese options in the Philippines, Arla's Natural Cream Cheese dominates the market. Boasting of its simple, fresh, and natural ingredients that make its cream cheese of high quality and taste, Arla is the brand for you if you would prefer natural cream cheese.
There are only 4 ingredients in this original variantーmilk, cream, lactic acid, and salt. To retain quality and freshness, it is packed right after production. Spread it on your bread or crackers, top it with fresh ingredients like fruits or salmon. Just remember to consume it quickly because it has a shorter shelf life.
At a whopping 1 kg-weight, this heavy brick is a traditionally cultured type. This is a mild, unripened cheese with a smooth and creamy flavor. A lot of bakers prefer it when making cheesecake because it has just the right balance of tang and serves as the perfect base for fruity types of cheesecakes.
It blends just as beautifully with savory flavors as well. Whether you use it for hot or cold recipes, it holds its texture quite well, which is why cooks and chefs make sure that they have a stock of this in their refrigerators.
You can't talk about cheese without mentioning the French. This product from Elle et Vire brings the best of the French culinary prowess to the table. Made from cow's milk, this has a natural and fresh taste that you will surely love.
You can use this for both baking and spreading on your favorite bread due to its intense creaminess, plus its soft and easy-to-work texture. This can also be easily incorporated with other ingredients so you can create the most delicious recipes like dips, mousses, and cheesecakes with no fuss.
This familiar brand among Filipinos brings tasty cream cheese to the table. Despite being in block form, this cheese works well both as a dip and spread to accompany your favorite bread and crackers. Of course, it is also perfect as a base for your cheesecakes.
What's exciting is that the cheese's packaging offers you a variety of recipes you can use the cream cheese in. Some of these recipes include cream cheese penne pasta and even tinapa dip! Even better, this product is fortified with vitamin A and phosphorus, making this cream cheese a great choice for you and your family.
Made with garlic, herbs, and 100% all-natural ingredients, this is surely one of the freshest cream cheeses around. Arla, as a brand, is dedicated to offering natural and high-quality products worldwideーthis philosophy is definitely lived through this garlic cream cheese.
This product is wonderful as a spread on wraps and sandwiches and as a dip for just about any finger food of your choice. And you don't have to stop at breadーyou can also use this to give your sauces a rich garlicky flavor! It also conveniently comes in a tub that makes it convenient to use and store.
If you love to use cream cheese on everything but are trying to watch your weight or your health, this product might be the one you need. Its flavor is a little lighter than its original or regular counterpart, but at only 45 calories per 25 g, it is definitely a much healthier option.
This variant comes in a tub and is more spreadable than the classic brick since it is formulated with more water. This gives you a thinner and softer texture. Enjoy it as a spread on wraps and bagels or as a dip. You'll get full satisfaction with this cream cheese's superior taste and quality and none of the guilt!
If you like the original Magnolia Cream Cheese brick, you'll love this one, too. Adjusted to the Filipino palate, this cream cheese spread, compared to other brands, is a little sweeter but still has that tangy twist with a balanced taste of saltiness.
It has a thick yet easy-to-spread consistency that you can enjoy with your tasty bread and pandesal. You can even spread it on top of cookies. In fact, some users say that it's great as a cheese dip for nachos and fries. Surely, this is a cheese spread your kids will love!
If you're tired of good old plain cream cheese and you're looking for something new, this special offering from the Plant Creamery is the perfect fit. Made with coconut milk and cashew base, this is a great alternative for those who can't consume dairy products. Reviewers raved about its great taste, which is both sour and a little bit salty.
This works well as a spread on bagels and crackers since its consistency is on the softer side. This also has very few ingredients, including lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and salt, so there is no need to worry about additional preservatives. Definitely, this cheese proudly made by a local company is something worth trying.
Below are some of the most asked questions on the web answered by the mybest team.
You can easily soften cream cheese using basic kitchen appliances and utensils. If you have a microwave on hand, simply heat up around 8 ounces of cheese for 15 seconds on high heat using a microwave-safe plate or bowl.
To ensure even heating and softening, you can opt to place the cream cheese, still in its foil packaging, in a bowl of warm water. Leave it in for 15 minutes, flipping the cheese every 5 minutes to warm the cheese on every side. This makes your cheese warm and soft, ready to be used for your chosen recipe.
Soft cheeses have to be placed in a cool environment to lengthen their shelf life. Always make sure to place your cream cheese in the refrigerator and never leave it outside at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Placing it in the freezer is not advisable either since the cheese will separate as it thaws.
Cream cheese frosting tends to liquefy due to the mixing of confectioner's sugar and the liquid content of the cheese. The low-fat type of cheese has more water, so it is best to use full-fat cream cheese. It will also be beneficial to reduce the amount of liquid in your frosting by using less lemon juice or by replacing it with lemon zest.
Another reason why your frosting is runny is over beating the cheese before adding the sugar. Try to quickly blend the cheese and sugar in a food processor for around 1 minute. Lastly, as an alternative, you may opt to try a recipe that contains both butter and cream cheese, as the additional fat will help stabilize the frosting.
Make your kitchen a world of wonder with the best products and tools for carefree baking sessions. Check out our other article reviews of ovens and bakeware below.
Our buying guide was carefully researched and crafted by the mybest team of writers and editors, in collaboration with the expert featured in this article. We used the buying guide as a basis for choosing and ranking the product recommendations, and we looked at reviews and ratings from different E-commerce sites like Lazada, Shopee, and more.
No. 1: Philadelphia｜Original Cream Cheese Block
No. 2: Emborg ｜Original US Cream Cheese
No. 3: Arla ｜Natural Cream Cheese Plain
No. 4: Anchor｜Cream Cheese
No. 5: Elle & Vire｜Real French Style Cream Cheese
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