17 Things To Bake With Cream Cheese, Because This Ingredient Is More Than A Spread

While cream cheese may be the ideal schmear for bagels, its potential lies far beyond the breakfast table. This food is not just a simple spread, or a simple tool to make carbs taste even better — it has so many uses, and there are so many things you can bake with cream cheese. Yes, this is an ingredient that has some serious versatility.

It’s a known fact that cream cheese makes an incredible dessert ingredient — after all, we do love and cherish cream cheese frosting maybe more than we do any other type of frosting. Nothing else makes a red velvet or carrot cake taste so divine. Cream cheese is also an obvious ingredient in cheesecake, the most well-known and well-loved cheese-based dessert of all time. But still, there is more potential there. What about a cheesecake brownie recipe? Or soft, flakey cream cheese biscuits? It’s time to think beyond the bagel, and start getting a little bit cheesy in your baked goods.

These 17 recipes prove that cream cheese can be a bit of a miracle worker when it comes to baked goods. Need to make some cake-like cookies? Cream cheese can help. Need to make sure your scones don’t taste dry? Thank cream cheese. It’s time to stop relegating cream cheese to just a brunch spread, and these recipes can help you do just that.

1. Coffee & Cream Cheese Cake

As A Beautiful Mess proves, cream cheese is a time-tested, key ingredient in cheesecake. A vanilla wafer crust and some espresso make this version even better.

2. Red Velvet Cream Cheese Muffins

Sure, we usually enjoy our red velvet cake with a generous spread of cream cheese frosting on top. But Taste and Tell shows that it can also help to make moist muffins when it's mixed in.

3. Cream Cheese-Filled Banana Bread

Imagine a soft, warm loaf of banana bread — that also has a cream cheese filling. That is the majesty that is Averie Cooks' recipe.

4. Chocolate Chip Cookies And Cream Cookies

Chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, and Oreo pieces mix together in Inside BruCrew Life's certifiably indulgent cookie recipe.

5. Strawberry Cream Cheese Cookies

Think pink! Taste and Tell's strawberry cream cheese cookies are a sweet treat that are easy to make with a box of cake mix.

6. Chocolate Haystack Cream Cheese Squares

Layers of shredded coconut and ground graham crackers give Mel's Kitchen Cafe's squares a delectable texture, but it's the cheesecake-like middle that really makes them unbeatable.

7. Cheesecake Bars

You can't go wrong with simple. Bakerella's three-layer cheesecake bars are easy-to-make, non-fussy to serve, and all around delicious.

8. Lemon Cheesecake Cookies

A bit of a citrusy punch makes The Kitchn's cookies a refreshing alternative to their chocolatey counterparts.

9. Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Scones

Since some scones tend to run on the dry side, Cookies and Cups is here to save the day. Top with a sugary glaze and you're good to go.

10. Soft Batch Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies

Looking for an extra chocolatey, extra thick cookie recipe? Averie Cooks has got your back if you like 'em soft and gooey.

11. Cookies And Cream Cheese Brownies

Oreo pieces. Cream cheese. Taste And Tell's brownies may be the ultimate chocolate cookie-lover's dessert.

12. Cheesecake Nutella Twists

These toaster strudel-inspired treats by Inside BruCrew Life make a festive breakfast or a satisfying dessert. Plus, with crescent roll dough, they're a cinch to make.

13. Oreo Cheesecake Cookies

Why not use Oreo cookies to make a batch of even better cookies? Table for Two coats these cheesecake cookies with Oreo crumbs and mini chocolate chips.

14. Overnight Strawberry Cream Cheese Sweet Rolls

Forget about cinnamon rolls — Mel's Kitchen Cafe mixes strawberry jam with cream cheese to make this sweet breakfast pastry.

15. Kit Kat Cream Cheese Brownies

If there's anything to take away from this recipe by Bakerella, it's that desserts can only get better when they include pieces of your favorite candy bars.

16. One-Bowl Cream Cheese Biscuits

Not all baked goods need to be sweet. The Kitchn shows that cream cheese can act as a secret weapon when making some of the most moist biscuits ever.

17. Cream Cheese-Filled Snickerdoodles

With a little extra effort (and plenty of cream cheese), Cookies and Cups makes snickerdoodles even better than you could possibly imagine.

Images: Taste and Tell (3); A Beautiful Mess; Averie Cooks (2); Inside BruCrew Life (2); Table for Two (2); Mel’s Kitchen Cafe (2); Bakerella (2); The Kitchn (2); Cookies and Cups (2)