Pantry Made Cream Cheese

10 Jan

Print the recipe card!  pantry made cream cheese

It’s all about the ingredients!  Today and again on Friday I’m excited to introduce you to my new favorite pantry friend, Heavy Cream Powder with 72% butterfat.  I hear your brains reeling out there.  For real, did you even know such a product existed??!

I heard about it three months ago thanks to a comment from Plickety Cat (Jennine).  After ordering I was anxious to go online to see how it was used but didn’t find much outside of using it for coffee creamer.  Professional chefs use it to add richness to a dish without adding liquid, but that’s all I could find.  There aren’t even mixing instructions on the package(s).  I called the company (Wilpowder) for more information, but outside of explaining that mixing it should be 3:1 (water to powder), they couldn’t tell me anything.  So we’re on our own in figuring out applications for it.  I’m happy to test things out with it myself if it means I can make actual cream cheese (and other such wonders) from my food storage.


I tested two brands, Artistre at $23.05 for a 16 oz container ($1.44/oz) and Willpowder at $23.52 for a 16 oz container ($1.47/oz).  I bought both on Amazon and paid $13 shipping for the order.   The Willpowder, btw, qualified for free shipping.

Pantry Made Cream Cheese (9)

The Recipe

Based off a “fresh” recipe for making homemade cream cheese (which combined heavy cream, half and half and whole milk) I figured out that I needed an “average” butterfat percentage (all combined) of 18% for the milk mixture I was going to cook up.  Since the beginning percentage of the powder itself is 72% butterfat, I determined that I needed to go with a 2:1 ratio (water to powder) to achieve the 18%.  I tell you this because (if you’re anything like me) you want to be sure you’re using the least amount of powder needed to get the desired result, since it’s pricey.  So this is how I came to the amount of powder I ended up using and it worked.


3/4 cup Heavy Cream Powder

1 1/2 cup warm water

1/4 tsp salt

2 1/4 tsp. white vinegar


Heat the water over medium heat.  Once warm, add the powdered heavy cream and combine until smooth.  Heat all just until boiling.  Remove from heat and add 2 tsp. vinegar.  Return to heat, lowered to medium low, and stir until milk begins to separate into curds.  Strain into a colander draped with cheesecloth and allow to drain.  Return the “milky” whey (from the first strain) to the pot, adding 1/4 tsp. vinegar to curd.  Strain a second time through the cheesecloth.  Once the strained curds have cooled to room temperature you can gently squeeze the remaining whey out.  Transfer to a bowl and add salt.  To “cream” it, blend with a mixer or egg beater until smooth.


Pantry Made Cream Cheese (12)

Heat the water and once warm add the powder and stir to dissolve.  Once the mixture begins to boil, add the vinegar.  Return to low medium heat and stir, watching for small curds to develop.

Pantry Made Cream Cheese (13)

Don’t expect the curds to separate into large curds (like in making ricotta cheese).  In this next picture you can see as far as they’ll separate.  The first straining’s whey will be milky, return it to the pot, heat to boiling and added another 1/4 tsp. vinegar.  Turn down the heat and stir until further curds develop.  Strain again through the cheesecloth and in straining it the whey should then strain clear.

Pantry Made Cream Cheese (14)

Pantry Made Cream Cheese (1) Pantry Made Cream Cheese (2)

After straining for a while (atleast a couple of hours), you can gently (GENTLY) squeeze out some of the extra whey that’s being stubborn.

Pantry Made Cream Cheese (4)

After all is said and done, this recipe yields 4 oz. of cream cheese.  I weighed the powder (at 3 oz.) before beginning.  In all, this cream cheese cost about $4.50 to make since it was made successfully with the Wilpowder brand (free shipping, $1.47/oz).

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I used my manual egg beater to cream it and make it smooth.

Pantry Made Cream Cheese (6)

As far as taste and texture goes, the homemade cream cheese most closely resembled Philedelphia brand’s “1/3 less fat” product.  There was a detectable taste difference as far as it’s salt content, the Philedelphia brand being more salty.  Other than that though, the two products were surprisingly similar.

Pantry Made Cream Cheese (8)

Philedelphia brand on the left, homemade on the right.

Pantry Made Cream Cheese (7)

I’ll see you back on Friday when I’ll post about another “testing” of it … making butter.



  • Just, FYI, when making any cheese, do not use iodized salt as it interferes with the coagulation of the curds.
  • A little more about the heavy cream powder.  After being opened, Wilpowder brand (per the company) has a shelf life of 12-18 months so long as you don’t expose it to temperatures exceeding 80 degrees and 70% humidity.
  • Both brands worked in this recipe with similar results.

15 Responses to “Pantry Made Cream Cheese”

  1. Amanda S. January 10, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

    This brand might be worth a try as well! Is there going to be a print option for a recipe card?

    • myfoodstoragecookbook January 10, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

      Thanks Amanda–it’s good to know about another powdered cream option! I was really hoping the price on that one was going to be significantly less all the way through the ordering process (since it was just $16.00 to begin with) but they nailed on $20.43 for shipping at the end, so just FYI, it’s $36.43 with shipping. (Unless, perhaps if you live in Las Vegas and can buy it directly.)

      And yes, there will be a recipe card. My sister is my helper in making the cards so I can post them for you so as soon as she gets it to me I’ll post it. It should be available in a few days. Thanks again!!

  2. Debi January 10, 2013 at 10:34 pm #

    I am always impressed with what you find and come up with!

    So…16oz, I’m guessing that’s by weight. How many recipes do you expect to get out of one container?


    • myfoodstoragecookbook January 11, 2013 at 1:26 am #

      Thanks Debi! For this recipe I should get 5 batches out of it and still have 1 oz. left (just about 1/4 cup).

  3. Lisa Derr January 11, 2013 at 5:12 am #

    It looks wonderful, Meg. I’m going to have to try this one!

  4. plicketycat January 12, 2013 at 10:21 am #

    If you really like tangy cream cheese and feel a bit adventurous… you can always omit the vinegar, and let the cream sour in a cool pantry for a couple days, to properly culture it and get that authentic cream cheese flavor, before curdling it with the vinegar. But, it should just be *sour*, not stinky or foamy, and definitely not gray, green, black or fuzzy 🙂

    Of course, artificially souring it with vinegar or lemon juice during the curdle works well, too… especially stuffed in roasted jalapenos!

    • Tiffany Daumueller April 29, 2013 at 3:01 am #

      I love this! I have never even heard of Heavy Cream Powder until a post I read from you the other day. This is pretty awesome. I was just telling someone two days ago that I need to start experimenting with products and learn how to make Cream Cheese. You are amazing 🙂

  5. Ashley October 3, 2014 at 7:34 pm #

    I just stumbled upon your blog and LOVE everything about it! I am currently working my way through all of your recipes my family may enjoy. Homemade ricotta for lasagna was a huge hit and so easy. We’ll be having the leftovers in manicotti tonight.

    Question regarding cream cheese at is the next item I am going to try pantry style…do you think this recipe would work with the shelf stable cream from Gossner’s? I live very close to their factory and will be purchasing a case soon.

    Thanks for helping us learn how to not eat wheat and beans & beans and wheat in an emergency 😉

    • Megan October 3, 2014 at 9:45 pm #

      Haha….that last comment is great 🙂 That’s fantastic that you’ve gotten yourself on a test and trial schedule! So glad you’ve liked everything you’ve tried so far!

      And yes, the Gossner’s would work beautifully. I’m jealous, I wish I had that resource close by where I live. Just go with the amount given for liquid in mixing up the powder and you’ll be good!

  6. ces July 17, 2015 at 9:54 pm #

    Just wonder how long this cream cheese sit at room temperature? How long the this heavy cream powder last at room telperature after rehydrated? Thanks 🙂

    • Megan July 17, 2015 at 11:53 pm #

      My intentions (as far as emergency purposes, and how I’d go about using it if there weren’t refrigeration) would be to use it right away. I’d make it the night before I’m planning to use it, allow it to drain overnight and use it the next day. I don’t know, as far as food safety goes, and wouldn’t venture to guess beyond immediate use. I hope that helps some. Same goes for the heavy cream powder after it’s rehydrated – it would go right into a recipe.


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