Homemade Cream Cheese

Traditional French-Style Homemade Cream Cheese

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Cream cheese is so simple that it’s perfect for beginners. Try making a French-style cultured cream cheese or flavor it with berries, herbs, or garlic. See the sections above for more information.


Units Scale
  • 4 cups milk (any percentage)
  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • 2 drops of food-grade calcium chloride (mixed with 2 Tbsp chlorine-free water)
  • 3 drops of liquid rennet or 1/4 tablet (mixed with 2 Tbsp of chlorine-free water)
  • Mesophilic culture (optional, see section above for options)
  • 1 tsp non-iodized salt (preferably cheese salt)


  1. Heat milk and cream up to 72 F.
  2. Gently whisk in calcium chloride for 1 minute. Then mix in the rennet, being sure to use an up and down motion so that it is fully mixed in. If you want to make cultured French-style cream cheese, add the mesophilic culture with the rennet. See the section above for more details.
  3. Leave the pot of milk to set for 24 hours. It needs to be maintained at roughly 72 F. See the notes for different ways of maintaining the temperature. 
  4. After 24 hours the milk will have firmly curded. Without cutting the curds, pour the entire pot of curded cream into a strainer lined with several layers of cheesecloth. Tie the corners together and hang the curd to drain for 6-8 hours.
  5. Remove curds from the cheesecloth and place them in a bowl with the salt. Stir with a spoon to combine. Add any additional flavors at this point. See the section above for flavor options.
  6. The cream cheese will be quite soft, however, it will firm up after being refrigerated. Homemade cream cheese tastes best if used within 2 weeks.


  • If you have never made cheese before, here is a post on the steps involved in making cheese.
  • I use a folding fermentation box for all of my ferments, however, an exact temperature is not required. You can keep your curding milk warm by putting it near your hot water heater or on top of your fridge.

Keywords: probiotic, easy, flavours, berries, roasted garlic, cinnamon, herb, keto, Boursin, traditional, fermented, gluten-free