33 Recipes You Can Make with a Block of Cream Cheese

Cream Cheese Pound Cake
Photo: Photographer: Jennifer Causey Food Stylist: Ana Kelly Prop Stylist: Kay Clarke

Cream cheese is one of those simple yet hardworking ingredients that plays a role in some of our favorite recipes. It's so versatile it can be used for every course and meal from breakfast to dessert including appetizers, dips, casseroles, cakes, and more. We'll always love using cream cheese in classic desserts like cheesecakes and of course in frostings, but these recipes will show you just how many different ways there are to use cream cheese while cooking.

We have inventive desserts like Cream Cheese Brownies, Rhubarb-Cream Cheese Spoke Cake, and Frozen Cheesecake Bites. We've got appetizers that will wow any crowd—our recipe for Stuffed Celery with Cream Cheese and Walnuts couldn't be any easier to pull off. And we have ideas for main dishes, too from Salmon Bagel Sandwiches to Skillet Corn with Shrimp and Sausage. So next time you have an unused block of cream cheese in the fridge, put it to good use with one of these delicious recipes.

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Cream Cheese Brownies

Cream Cheese Brownies
Micah A. Leal

Recipe: Cream Cheese Brownies

Upgrade your next batch of homemade brownies and make them even sweeter by swirling a cream cheese mixture over the top for perfectly soft squares.

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Instant Pot White Chicken Chili

Instant Pot White Chicken Chili
Photographer: Greg DuPree; Food Stylist: Rishon Hanners; Prop Stylist: Christina Daley

Recipe: Instant Pot White Chicken Chili

Your Instant Pot will help you get chili on the table from start to finish in just 45 minutes.

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Shrimp on Seasoned Crackers with Pepper Jelly and Cream Cheese

Shrimp on Seasoned Crackers with Pepper Jelly and Cream Cheese
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke

Recipe: Shrimp on Seasoned Crackers with Pepper Jelly and Cream Cheese

We've upgraded the South's favorite appetizer of cream cheese and pepper jelly by using seasoned crackers as the base and then topping it with pan-fried shrimp.

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Rhubarb-Cream Cheese Spoke Cake

Rhubarb-Cream Cheese Spoke Cake
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

Recipe: Rhubarb-Cream Cheese Spoke Cake

Make the most of rhubarb's short growing season with this tangy spoke cake.

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Leek-and-Mushroom Grits Frittata

Leek-and-Mushroom Grits Frittata
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Leek-and-Mushroom Grits Frittata

Delicious when served for breakfast, brunch, or dinner, this cheesy frittata will come together in just 35 minutes

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Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Bars
Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe: Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Bars

These pretty cheesecake bars taste just as good as they look.

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Apple-Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

Apple-Cream Cheese Bundt Cake
Greg Dupree

Recipe: Apple-Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

This recipe starts with apple cake batter that's combined with cream cheese filling and then topped with praline frosting. Need we say more?

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Skillet Corn with Shrimp and Sausage

Skillet Corn with Shrimp and Sausage
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Skillet Corn with Shrimp and Sausage

Creamy skillet corn serves as a flavorful base for smoked sausage and shrimp.

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Praline-Cream Cheese King Cake

Praline-Cream Cheese King Cakes
Photo: Greg DuPree; Prop styling: Claire Spollen; Food styling: Chelsea Zimmer

Recipe: Praline-Cream Cheese King Cake

You'll need not just one but two 8-ounce blocks of cream cheese for the filling of this decadent homemade King Cake.

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Party Poppers

Party Poppers
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Party Poppers

These two-bite appetizers are sure to please, in fact, don't be surprised when they fly off the platter. Just go ahead and double this easy recipe.

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Strawberry Cheesecake Salad

Strawberry Cheesecake Salad
Photographer: Jennifer Causey Food Stylist: Melissa Gray Prop Stylist: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

Recipe: Strawberry Cheesecake Salad

Get the favor of cheesecake in a bowl in just 15 minutes.

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Baked BLT Dip

Baked BLT Dip
Skyler Burt

Recipe: Baked BLT Dip

We turned the beloved sandwich into a crowd-pleasing dip.

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Red Velvet Cake with White Chocolate-Cream Cheese Frosting

Red Velvet Cake with White Chocolate-Cream Cheese Frosting
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl Jones

Recipe: Red Velvet Cake with White Chocolate-Cream Cheese Frosting

Perhaps the most classic dessert that makes use of cream cheese is the Red Velvet Cake.

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Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Muffins

pumpkin cream cheese swirl muffins
Photographer: Antonis Achilleos, Prop Stylist: Claire Spollen Food Stylist: Chelsea Zimmer

Recipe: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Muffins

Make sure to allow your cream cheese time to come to room temperature before you start preparing your muffins.

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Warm Spinach-Sweet Onion Dip with Country Ham

Warm Spinach-Sweet Onion Dip with Country Ham
Warm Spinach-Sweet Onion Dip with Country Ham

Recipe: Warm Spinach-Sweet Onion Dip with Country Ham

This creamy dip can be prepared ahead of time and heated just before serving. Pita chips or toasted French bread are ideal for dipping.

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Lemon Cream Cheese Bars

Lemon Cream Cheese Bars
Micah A. Leal

Recipe: Lemon Cream Cheese Bars

Jarred lemon curd and cream cheese create the gooey layers that sit on top of the cookie base. This citrus treat comes together in less than 30 minutes.

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Cranberry-Jalapeño Cream Cheese Dip

Cranberry Jalapeno Cream Cheese Dip
Photographer: Greg DuPree, Food Stylist: Emily Neighbors Hall Prop Stylist: Christine Keely

Recipe: Cranberry-Jalapeño Cream Cheese Dip

This dip needs to chill for at least two hours before serving, but can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week making it a great make-ahead option.

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Frozen Cheesecake Bites

Frozen Cheesecake Bites
Micah A. Leal

Recipe: Frozen Cheesecake Bites

These no-bake bites are not only refreshing but they're also patriotic making them great for summer holiday cookouts.

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Toasted Coconut-Pecan Cupcakes with Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting

Toasted Coconut-Pecan Cupcakes with Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe:Toasted Coconut-Pecan Cupcakes with Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream cheese frosting is the ideal finishing touch for these rich coconut cupcakes.

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Stuffed Celery Recipe with Cream Cheese and Walnuts

Cream Cheese-and-Walnut Stuffed Celery
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Stuffed Celery Recipe with Cream Cheese and Walnuts

Pull together this 10-minute appetizer anytime you have company for a filling pre-dinner snack.

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One-Dish Blackberry French Toast

One-Dish Blackberry French Toast

Recipe: One-Dish Blackberry French Toast

Throw this one-dish breakfast together the night before serving and let it chill. The next morning, simply pop it in the oven for a decadent breakfast the whole family will love.

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Cream Cheese Ice Cream

Red Velvet-Berry Cobbler Recipe with Cream Cheese Ice Cream Recipe
Photo: Jennifer Davick / Food Styling Marian Cooper Cairns

Recipe: Cream Cheese Ice Cream

This recipe can be compared to cream cheese frosting in ice cream form, so it's acceptable to eat with a spoon.

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Baked Goat Cheese Spread with Pepper Jelly

Baked Goat Cheese Spread with Pepper Jelly
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Baked Goat Cheese Spread with Pepper Jelly

If you're tasked with making an appetizer, a cheesy dip is always a good idea.

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Cream Cheese Pastries

Brunch for a Crowd Cream Cheese Pastries
Alison Miksch

Recipe: Cream Cheese Pastries

This recipe makes four loaves, so there's plenty for every member of the family.

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Hummingbird Cake

Hummingbird Cake
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Hummingbird Cake

Cream cheese is one of the most important ingredients in our most popular cake ever.

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Smoky Field Pea-and-Greens Dip

Smoky Field Pea-and-Greens Dip
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl Jones; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

Recipe: Smoky Field Pea-and-Greens Dip

Cream cheese, mayonnaise, and shredded cheese come together to make one indulgent dip. You'll know it's ready to take out of the oven when the top is golden and bubbly.

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Cheesecake Cookies

Cheesecake Cookies
Caitlin Bensel

Recipe: Cheesecake Cookies

While these cookies were made with holiday cookie swaps in mind, they can also serve as a bite-sized treat year-round.

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Salmon Bagel Sandwiches

Salmon Bagel Sandwiches
Photo: Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Torie Cox; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke

Recipe: Salmon Bagel Sandwiches

Mixing cream cheese with chives, radishes, dill, lemon zest, and lemon juice creates a flavor-packed spread for this indulgent bagel sandwich.

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Black-and-Blue Buttermilk Tart

Black-and-Blue Buttermilk Tart
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Black-and-Blue Buttermilk Tart

Top this chilled tart with fresh summer berries and basil leaves just before serving.

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Strawberry Swirl Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Strawberry Swirl Cream Cheese Pound Cake
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Strawberry Swirl Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Upgrade this pound cake by garnishing with fresh strawberries and whipped cream.

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Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes with Cream Cheese

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
Southern Living

Recipe: Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes with Cream Cheese

You can thank two blocks of cream cheese for the extra creamy texture of these make-ahead mashed potatoes. Just don't over beat your spuds or else they could get gummy.

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Cream Cheese-Banana-Nut Bread

Cream Cheese-Banana-Nut Bread
Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas

Recipe: Cream Cheese-Banana-Nut Bread

This quick-bread recipe can be made in either loaf or muffin form.

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Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Cream Cheese Pound Cake
Photographer: Jennifer Causey Food Stylist: Ana Kelly Prop Stylist: Kay Clarke

Recipe: Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Once you've added cream cheese to your pound cake, you'll never want to make it any other way again.

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