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MYO ‘Cream Cheese’

Try this super easy recipe to make your own “cream cheese”. One one ingredient necessary!

Homemade cream cheese is not the same thing as traditionally packaged “cream cheese” at the store and is often called Farmer’s cheese or “Cottage” cheese. This Farmers (cream) cheese is slightly less “creamy” than store packaged cream cheese.


You will need:
2-3 cups 2% or whole milk
Cheese cloth
Medium bowl

When your milk gets close to the bottom of the jug, save the last few cups for this recipe. Close to expired or completely expired milk will be the best option as it is primed to separate. As long as the milk does not have a sour smell, it can still be used to make cream cheese.

Step 1: Remove jug, with remaining milk, from the fridge and set on it’s side on the kitchen counter. Leave it on the counter for 24-48 hours, the time depends on how long it takes the milk to separate the cream from the whey. You will know it is ready when you can visually see the separation of white liquid and clear liquid in the jug. (FUN FACT: This step is called clabbering).

Step 2: Collect a bowl which can gather the whey drippings and a cheese cloth, which will hold the cream. Drape the cheese cloth over the bowl and pour the contents of jug into the bowl, using the cheese cloth as a strainer. (I fold my cheese cloth in half to have a finer strain, so the cream can’t seep through). Next, gather the edges of the cheese cloth together and tie together to form a sac. Suspend over the bowl and let the draining process continue for 24 hours. (I use twine, or a rubber band, to tie together and to hang from a cupboard handle.)


Step 3: The cream cheese is now finished and ready to enjoy. Refrigerate for up to 2 months. Add flavors and ingredients to your plain cream cheese if desired. Just note that once the ingredient is added to the cream cheese, it’s shelf life is shortened to about 10 days.

NOTE: Try substituting plain whole yogurt for the milk. Follow the same pattern, by placing the yogurt on the counter for clabbering. The process for yogurt only takes 2-4 hours however and then is ready to strain. Step 2 and 3 are the same.

Here are a few of my favorite additions to cream cheese:

  • My own canned Jellies and Jams
  • Fresh Strawberries
  • Fresh Blueberries
  • Fresh Avocado
  • Poppy Seeds
  • Cinnamon
  • Fresh basil or mint leaves
  • Shredded veggies and/or onions
  • Honey
  • Agave Nectar
  • Peanut Butter (my son’s favorite dip for apple slices)
  • Ranch dressing

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / olenayemchuk

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12 thoughts on “MYO ‘Cream Cheese’”

  1. i’m afraid you’re going to have some disappointed people trying this. cream cheese needs to have fat percentage of around 33 percent, hence the name cream cheese. Please consider retitling this to just farmer’s cheese or cottage cheese.

  2. oh my goodness! you forgot one very important step!! i do this all the time when milk goes off.

    you must bring the curds and whey to a boil first. let it cook and then hang in a muslin square to drain. (save the whey in a bucket and water down to use to water your tomatoes to save them from blossom end rot) if you don’t bring it to a boil the bacteria that made it sour in the firs place will keep working and just making it stronger and stronger. also add salt to taste as this will improve the flavor even more and help preserve it.

    i use this as homemade ricotta and have made fantastic lasagna with it.

  3. using technique mentioned in note, for one cup of ‘cheese’ add 1 cup sugar, and whisk until sugar is incorporated. Add almonds, saffron, and refrigerate before serving.

    • Why couldn’t you just use buttermilk?

      Buttermilk is the by product that is created when you make butter from full fat or heavy cream. Once the butter is created all that is left is a Very Low or NO Fat “Milk” which would Not make good cream cheese/cottage cheese or Farmers Cheese.

  4. I accidentally did this with cottage cheese a few days ago. I was draining the cc to use in lasagna. where i live all the ricotta is adultered with bizarre ingredients (as is the cream cheese).

    i am not eating them, so i knew that i just needed to drain the cc. it was such a nice fine texture that i tried just a bit on a cracker. delicious.

  5. You can make a nice creamy cheese with yogurt. To one quart plain yogurt add one tablespoon salt. Mix well.

    Line a bowl or collander with double thickness of cheese cloth or use fine muslin from the fabric store. (bleach before and after use) Pour yogurt mixture in and bundle. Hang over night.

    Very yummy. Think it is called labna from Egypt or Middle East.

  6. Please, nobody make this with pasteurized milk. That is a very good way to get food poisoning. Raw milk has naturally occurring good bacteria; some bad bacteria can also get into it, which is why they pasteurize it, but in most cases the good bacteria crowds out any bad.

    When milk is pasteurized, however, both the good and the bad bacteria are killed. This is not a problem if you drink you milk before it spoils.

    But it spoils because the bacteria eventually grows back, and since all the good bacteria was killed by the pasteurization, it is mostly the bad kind that grows back. And it is bacteria which causes the milk to clabber.

    Back when our grandmothers did this, they used raw milk; the good bacteria had not been killed, and it crowded out any bad that wanted to grow. Using pasteurized milk to do this without a good bacteria starter is unsafe! Cooking it like werecat said might make it safe, but I wouldn’t want to risk it.


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