Cream Cheese vs Butter – What's The Difference? | Boyd Hampers (2024)

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Norah Clark

Cream Cheese vs Butter – What's The Difference? | Boyd Hampers (1)

Butter and cream cheese have the same nutrients and ingredients, so they are frequently used to substitute for one another.Cream cheese is more suitable for those looking to decrease calories and fats in their diets, but both have benefits.

If you’re looking to become more aware of your food choices and perhaps cut down on the fats you consume in your diet,then we’ve included everything you should be aware of to help you understand the distinctions between them and the differences between them!

Cream Cheese vs Butter

When comparing cream cheese and butter, it’s essential to note that various types exist, including full-cream butter, light butter, full-cream cheese, and reduced-fat cream cheese.

Each has unique nutritional values and ingredients, so you can choose based on taste preferences or health considerations.

Cream Cheese vs Butter – What's The Difference? | Boyd Hampers (2)

Cream cheese and butter are both dairy products, but they have different textures and flavors.

Cream cheese is soft and spreadable, with a tangy flavor, while butter is solid at room temperature and has a creamy, rich flavor.

Cream cheese is made from a mixture of cream and milk, while butter is made from churning cream or milk to separate the fat from the liquid.

Read also: Mold On Butter – What’s The Cause And What To Do

Ingredients

Butter is made from sweet cream and is often salted, while cream cheese is produced using milk, pasteurized cream, stabilizers, salt, and cheese cultures.

Butter, made by churning cream, is simple and contains more fats, contributing to its creamy taste and texture.

Cream cheese is a blend of milk and cream with other ingredients. Full-fat butter and cream cheese have the simplest ingredients, while reduced-fat and light versions contain extra components.

Be sure to read the labels.

Nutritional Benefits

Examining the nutritional content of cream cheese and butter can help you determine which is better for your needs:

  • Calories: Butter is higher in calories (about 717 per 100g) than cream cheese (around 350 per 100g).
  • Carbohydrates: Both have low carbohydrate levels, with butter containing 0.06g per 100g and cream cheese 5.5g per 100g.
  • Sugar: Both are low in sugar, with butter containing 0.06g per 100g and cream cheese about 3.8g per 100g.
  • Protein: Cream cheese is higher in protein, containing 6.2g per 100g, while butter has 0.85g per 100g.
  • Saturated Fat: Both are high in saturated fats, but butter has more (50.5g per 100g) than cream cheese (20.2g per 100g).
  • Trans Fat: Unsalted butter has less trans fat than cream cheese, which contains about 1.2g per 100g.
  • Calcium: Cream cheese is a better calcium source, containing 97mg per 100g, compared to butter’s 24mg per 100g.
  • Potassium: Cream cheese contains more potassium (132mg per 100g) than butter (24mg per 100g).

Which Is Healthier: Cream Cheese or Butter?

Cream cheese is generally a healthier option due to its lower calorie and fat content and higher protein levels.

It can be an ideal spread or dip for those on a calorie-restricted or high-protein diet.

If you prefer butter’s flavor but want less fat, light butter is a tasty alternative.

Butter is often used when frying food, as an ingredient in baking, as part of a flour roux for sauces, and as a base spread on any form of bread or cake.

Cream cheese is used mainly as a spread but is used a lot in baking things like cheesecake.

Cream Cheese vs Butter – What's The Difference? | Boyd Hampers (3)

Frequently Asked Questions

Is cream cheese healthier than butter?

Cream cheese and butter are both high in fat and calories, but cream cheese contains less saturated fat than butter. However, cream cheese also contains more additives and preservatives than butter. In moderation, both can be part of a healthy diet, but it’s important to balance your intake of fats and calories.

Can you replace butter with cream cheese?

Cream cheese can be used as a substitute for butter in some recipes, but it may not always produce the same results. Cream cheese has a different texture and flavor than butter, so it’s best to use it as a replacement in recipes that can handle the change, such as in frosting or dips.

Is cream cheese a healthy fat?

Cream cheese is high in fat and calories, but it can still be part of a healthy diet when consumed in moderation. It contains some beneficial nutrients, such as protein and calcium, but it’s also high in sodium and saturated fat. It’s best to balance your intake of cream cheese with other healthy fats, such as nuts and seeds, and limit your overall intake of high-fat foods.

Is cream cheese actually butter or cheese?

While cream cheese differs significantly in taste, appearance, and texture from other cheeses like cheddar or Gouda, it is still classified as a cheese according to the FDA.

What is Philadelphia Cheese?

Philadelphia cheese is a popular brand of cream cheese, recognized for its smooth, rich, and delicious taste. It is a widely enjoyed type of cream cheese available in the market. Cream cheese is popular in cheesecakes.

Can Cream Cheese Be Eaten On Its Own?

Although it’s possible to eat cream cheese by itself, its flavor is enhanced when combined with other ingredients. Cream cheese is often spread on bagels, used in baking, or serves as a dip for fresh-cut vegetables and tortilla chips.

Cream Cheese vs Butter – What's The Difference? | Boyd Hampers (4)

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, Editor of Boyd Hampers! Norah is a food writer with over a decade of experience in hospitality as a pastry chef, sous chef, and barista; former chef at the Savoy Hotel, Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons and Plaza Hotel.

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Loved this very informative article and I learned valuable information from it. Thank you!

I was a bit surprised to see one main difference of butter not listed: cooking! You can cook, Sautee, grill, bake, etc…with butter, but not cream cheese. I assume that’s because there are no cheese cultures, higher fat content and the moisture is easily dissipated for higher temp cooking.

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Cream Cheese vs Butter – What's The Difference? | Boyd Hampers (2024)

FAQs

Cream Cheese vs Butter – What's The Difference? | Boyd Hampers? ›

Cream cheese and butter are both high in fat and calories, but cream cheese contains less saturated fat than butter. However, cream cheese also contains more additives and preservatives than butter. In moderation, both can be part of a healthy diet, but it's important to balance your intake of fats and calories.

What is the difference between cream cheese and butter? ›

Cream cheese also has higher amounts of calcium and lower amounts of salt. For protein we see that cream cheese has about 2 grams of protein and butter does not, giving cream cheese another benefit over butter. Cream cheese has 1.07 grams of sugar whereas butter has no sugar. Both have no added sugar.

Is butter or cream cheese worse for cholesterol? ›

A new study finds that consuming butter induces a significantly greater increase in LDL cholesterol compared with cheese, and the effects are particularly pronounced in participants with high baseline LDL cholesterol.

What is healthier, cream or butter? ›

Clinical studies show a significant difference between butter and other higher-fat dairy foods on blood cholesterol. In a nutshell, hard cheese and even heavy cream had a neutral or beneficial effect on cholesterol, but equivalent amounts of butter (measured as calories or as grams of fat) had a detrimental effect.

What is healthier, peanut butter or cream cheese? ›

Peanut butter may be higher in calories than cream cheese (95 calories per tablespoon versus 50), but it delivers what cream cheese doesn't: heart-healthy fats, fibre, B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, potassium and phytochemicals. Peanut butter is also a much better source of protein than cream cheese.

Which is more unhealthy butter or cream cheese? ›

Cream cheese is generally a healthier option due to its lower calorie and fat content and higher protein levels. It can be an ideal spread or dip for those on a calorie-restricted or high-protein diet. If you prefer butter's flavor but want less fat, light butter is a tasty alternative.

How do I substitute cream cheese for butter in baking? ›

Cream cheese, mascarpone, ricotta and even cottage cheese can replace the butter in many recipes. Use high-quality whole milk cheeses in a 1:1 ratio for butter and consider straining ricotta or cottage cheeses through cheesecloth to help ensure they aren't adding too much liquid to your recipe.

Is it healthier to eat a bagel with butter or cream cheese? ›

Cream cheese is healthier than butter; at 2 Tablespoons, the calorie count is just 98, there are only 10 grams of fat, and you do get a tiny bit of protein (less than 2 grams). The real trick here is not guesstimating – it's easy to smear 2 Tablespoons on each half and then you've made it just as bad for you as butter.

What is the healthiest cheese for your heart? ›

Using lower-fat cheeses – such as mozzarella, feta, cottage cheese or reduced-fat cheeses – will provide less saturated fat. Our table at the end of the page shows how the fat content of different cheeses compares.

What is the healthiest butter to eat? ›

Grass-fed butter offers some health benefits to counteract the health risks it poses. It appears to have lower levels of saturated fats and more unsaturated fats than standard butter. This is because grass-fed butter is made from the milk of cows that are allowed to graze instead of being fed high-grain diets.

Is country crock better for you than butter? ›

Because we use plant-based oils, all our Country Crock® products contain less saturated fat than dairy butter, as well as zero cholesterol. Are Country Crock® products gluten-free? None of our products contain gluten ingredients. All Country Crock® products are tested as gluten-free.

What is the best butter for high blood pressure? ›

We found an association of shea butter consumption with lower BP, which provides the rationale for investigation through rigorous study designs to evaluate the benefits of shea butter consumption for prevention of hypertension and improved cardiovascular health.

Is Philadelphia cream cheese healthy for you? ›

While cream cheese is high in fat and calories, it also contains essential nutrients like calcium, vitamin A, and protein. Consuming cream cheese in moderation can be part of a healthy diet, especially if you choose lower-fat varieties or pair it with nutritious foods like whole-grain bread and fresh vegetables.

What's a healthier version of cream cheese? ›

Sour Cream. Sour cream replicates cream cheese's taste but isn't quite as caloric, making it a good choice for a lower-calorie substitute. It gives baked goods a texture that's airy and moist, and even adds an extra bit of creaminess to cheesecake.

Are graham crackers healthy? ›

So, while graham crackers are not necessarily unhealthy, since they're not astronomically high in calories or saturated fat, they're also not a great source of any nutrients.

Which is healthier, cheese or butter? ›

Cheese helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis because it has a higher percentage of calcium whereas butter helps to build healthier muscles. Butter exfoliates dead skin whereas cheese has properties that nourish the skin. Cheese contains less fat compared to butter.

Is cream cheese healthy to eat? ›

Cream cheese is a versatile dairy spread. It's a good source of vitamin A and doesn't provide much lactose. However, it's low in protein and high in fat and calories, so it's best to use it in moderation. Notably, versions like whipped cream cheese are lower in fat and calories.

What is the basic difference between cream and butter? ›

A skin cream is thinner than a body butter but thicker than a lotion. Creams usually consist of an oil blend and water. With skin creams, there is a higher concentration of oil than in lotion–usually about half oil and half water. Creams may also contain mild thickeners, beeswax, and aloe.

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