15 Luscious Cream Cheese Desserts That Aren't Straight Up Cheesecake

Decadent Cheesecake Cups
Photo: hopefuleesoon

You already know and love the rich, creamy structure and tangy flavor that cream cheese brings to cheesecakes. So, why stop there? Keep reading to get 15 luscious desserts you can make with cream cheese, including our popular lemon cream cheese bars, cinnamon-topped sopapilla cheesecake pie, cheesecake brownies, and more — plus tips for working with cream cheese so you get the best results.

01 of 17

Sopapilla Cheesecake Pie

Sopapilla Cheesecake Pie on a white plate
Melissa Goff

"It's fantastic! The only change I made was to prebake the bottom crust for 7 minutes. It's less likely to be soggy this way. Everyone I serve this dessert to, loves it," says Jackinmad.

02 of 17

Lemon Cream Cheese Bars

Lemon Cream Cheese Bars on a plate

"This is simply delicious! The lemon filling is light and can also be used as a dip . It was easier to cut into bars, in the baking dish and using a pizza cutter after chilling in fridge. You won't be disappointed," says Shell051nj.

03 of 17

INCREDIBLE Raspberry Cheesecake Cookies

INCREDIBLE Raspberry Cheesecake Cookies

If you need a quick and easy shortcut treat, give this 4-ingredient cookie a try. "These are excellent! I couldn't find the raspberry chunks either so I used 2/3 cup of fresh chopped raspberries and 1/4 tsp of raspberry extract. Quick side note: watch these cookies! They don't look done, even when they are," says Cold.bostongirl.

04 of 17

Annie's Strawberry Dessert

Annie's Strawberry Dessert

Janpie says, "This was absolutely delicious! And very easy to make. I did make a graham crust that I baked for 10 minutes first. Instead of buying glaze I made my own from 5 Tablespoons strawberry jello, 1-1/2c water and 4 Tablespoons cornstarch. Combine and bring to a boil stirring constantly. Remove from heat and spread on the strawberries when it is cool."

05 of 17

Heavenly 'Apple of My Thigh' Dessert

Heavenly 'Apple of My Thigh' Dessert

"Easy and wonderful. Cut the sugar in half and use Fruit Fresh (found in the canning section of the grocery store), to keep the apples from browning. Everyone at my party ate this, and everyone asked for the recipe," says mamakatie1346.

06 of 17

Red Velvet Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

Red Velvet Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

squeeziebrb says, "Wonderful and very pretty! These will take care of your cheesecake and red velvet cravings. Taste best the next day. TIPS: Don't use reduced fat or fat free cream cheese. After you have made the swirls, and before you put in oven, VERY gently tap the pan on the counter to remove some bubbles that may have formed when swirling."

07 of 17

Glazed Cheese Danish Squares

Glazed Cheese Danish Squares

"The perfect choice for a lazy Sunday morning breakfast," says lutflcat. Refrigerated crescent dough makes this pastry even easier to make. It's filled with sweetened cream cheese and baked, then finished with light glaze.

08 of 17

Decadent Cheesecake Cups

Decadent Cheesecake Cups

"Personal cheesecakes topped with decadent ganache and a beautiful strawberry. This is a delicious and beautiful presentation that is easy to put together and sure to impress," says hopefuleesoon.

09 of 17

Strawberry Cream Cheese Clouds

Strawberry Cream Cheese Clouds
Kerry Norton

SMClanton says, "I couldn't find the shells so i just used squares of puff pastry. So good! Also good with a berry mixture."

10 of 17

Cheesecake-Stuffed Strawberries

Cheesecake-Stuffed Strawberries

"One thing I would do is to twist a paper towel and try and dry out lightly the inside of the strawberries before filling that way the filling doesn't slide out," says chrissy.

11 of 17

Whipped Cream Cream Cheese Frosting

Whether you're decorating a red velvet birthday cake or frosting cupcakes for a bake sale, this silky-smooth cream cheese frosting is all you need. "The BEST cream cheese frosting I have ever had," says Sheri.

12 of 17

Raspberry Chocolate Supremes

Raspberry Chocolate Supremes

naples34102 says, "Quite possibly one of the better, easy dessert recipes I've tried in awhile. Memorable actually. Rich, decadent and beautiful. Tender, buttery crust, creamy white chocolate filling, and the timeless combination of chocolate and raspberry. This unquestionably reminded me of petite gourmet desserts you'd find at fine quality brunch buffets."

13 of 17

Chunky Cheesecake Brownies

Chunky Cheesecake Brownies

"This is an excellent recipe! They were excellent warm, and they were just as good the next day. They have the perfect mixture of the sharp cheesecake taste and the sweet brownie taste in a soft, smooth texture. Overall, excellent," says dpink13.

14 of 17

Strawberry Angel Food Dessert

Strawberry Angel Food Dessert

Joy says, "Love this recipe! We made homemade whipped cream instead of the store bought stuff and also made our own strawberry glaze."

15 of 17

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Cream Cheese Pound Cake III

Most cakes begin by beating butter and sugar together. Adding cream cheese here makes this pound cake even more moist and tender. "This cake was absolutely phenomenal," says little biscuits.

16 of 17

Top Tips for Working With Cream Cheese

Cream cheese
annick vanderschelden photography / Getty Images

1. Temperature matters. Cream cheese should be at room temperature so it blends better with other ingredients. If you forgot to take your cream cheese out of the fridge, you can try these tricks to bring it to room temperature. Cut it into cubes and spread them in a single layer, sitting out for about 20 minutes. Leave the cream cheese wrapped in foil and submerge in warm water for 10 minute. Or unwrap the cream and microwave it in short bursts, turning it over after each burst, until it's at room temperature.

2. Tub vs. block. Whipped cream cheese can be substituted for block cream cheese ounce for ounce in recipes that are not going to be cooked. Be sure to weigh the whipped cream cheese rather than measure it with a cup or spoon. If a recipe is going to be cooked, block cream cheese will always give the best results; whipped cream cheese contains too much moisture and will make your cooked recipe runny.

3. Full-fat vs. low-fat. You can substitute lower-fat cream cheese for full-fat measure for measure, but the texture and flavor won't be quite as rich.

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