The Ingredient That Can Take Your No-Bake Desserts To The Next Level

Sometimes you might want an easy, no-fuss dessert that can come together quickly. Other times the weather is just too hot to even think about turning the oven on. But whatever your reason for turning to a no-bake dessert, chances are you should be incorporating one ingredient into no-bake desserts that you might not suspect. And according to The Kitchn, that ingredient is cream cheese.

Naturally, there are tons of no-bake recipes you can turn to in order to use up your leftover cream cheese. You can turn to Martha Stewart to make a no-bake cheesecake or a no-bake peach or chocolate peanut butter pie, per Parade; There are seemingly endless ways to get creative with the ingredient. But you don't have to work around cream cheese as the star ingredient to make the most of it in no-bake desserts. In fact, adding it to unexpected no-bake desserts might actually make them better.

This is why you should be using cream cheese

As it turns out, there is a lot that cream cheese has to offer no-bake recipes, and it is not just its creamy goodness. According to The Kitchn, cream cheese adds key components to no-bake desserts that many of them could use. The soft, tangy cheese actually helps stabilize many desserts that have soft fillings or creamy textures that make up their base. Even if the dessert doesn't have the taste of cream cheese, more stabilization can improve the overall dessert.

One great but unusual example of cream cheese going above and beyond in a no-bake dessert is using it for better homemade ice cream (via Taste Cooking). Cream cheese helps the ice cream achieve a more premium mouthfeel and taste because it add more whey proteins which are excellent for working more air into the dessert for that ultra-creamy, almost whipped texture. Other dairy products like Greek yogurt or mascarpone can be swapped into no-bake desserts instead of cream cheese, but, as the Washington Post explains, the desserts will not have as much structure as they would with cream cheese. 

So if cream cheese is called for in a no-bake dessert, know that it will play a big part in the texture. You just might be surprised by how much it can improve the look and taste of even the most unexpected sweet treats.