Culinary question: Which is better, cream cheese pie or cheesecake?

Photo of cheesecake
Isabella Carreno/Staff

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There is an age-old debate in my house on which cream cheese dessert is truly the best: cheesecake or cream cheese pie. So, I figured I might as well settle this debate once and for all. However, before we dive into this battle, it’s important to provide you some foundational knowledge. Cheesecake is a baked pie, often contains eggs and sour cream and has a rich, crumbly consistency. On the other hand, cream cheese pie is made of only five ingredients and requires no baking. It is creamy and smooth with more of a lemon flavor. So, now we can begin the side-by-side battle to determine the easiest and most delicious cream cheese dessert. 



  • 4 room temperature eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 14 oz softened cream cheese
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Mix cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth 
  2. Add sugar and mix until smooth
  3. Add sour cream, vanilla and salt. Mix until creamy
  4. While mixing slowly, add in four beaten eggs one at a time until just combined (do not over mix, or else the cake will be clumpy).
  5. Pour batter into crust and bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 75 minutes, until the edges are slightly browned and the inside is still jiggly.
  6. Turn off the oven, and leave it a crack open to allow the oven and cheesecake to cool together for 10 minutes.
  7. Take the cheesecake out of the oven and let it set on the counter for 1 hour.
  8. Refrigerate overnight, and enjoy!

Difficulty: 3.5/5

Consistency: 4/5

Taste: 3.8/5

The first thing to note about the first contender is that cheesecakes require a decent amount of culinary knowledge in order to make them. You cannot overbeat the eggs, or have the oven too hot, and a cheesecake is always at risk of cracking in the oven. It is a difficult task and requires the cake to set overnight. But tasting the fruits of your labor definitely makes it worth it. The cheesecake was a perfect consistency, and baking it in the oven gave it a nice smooth taste. It was a bit on the sweeter side, but nothing a berry sauce can’t fix. Overall, I enjoyed the cheesecake and I thought the work was worth it, and my family did too. 

Cream Cheese Pie


  • ¾ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ lemon with zest
  • ½ tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 blocks softened cream cheese
  • Premade graham cracker crust


  1. Mix cream cheese until light and fluffy.
  2. Add in sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice with zest and vanilla.
  3. Mix until combined.
  4. Pour into graham cracker crust.
  5. Set overnight. Enjoy!

Difficulty: 1/5

Consistency: 5/5

Taste: 4.5/5

There are two things that give the cream cheese pie an advantage in the rating category. The first is that making a cream cheese pie only requires five ingredients. The second advantage is that since there are no eggs and it does not need to be baked, you can adjust the recipe to however you like along the way, without having to worry about how the flavors will change in the oven. Overall, the cream cheese pie consistency was soft and fluffy, and the flavor was a happy medium between sour and sweet. 

The Winner

After numerous opinions, the winner comes to be the cream cheese pie. Overall, the cream cheese pie was more flavorful and the texture was light enough to leave you wanting more. It paired perfectly with some cherry sauce and the ease of the recipe makes you want to make it over and over again. So, there you have it, folks: Cream cheese pie is objectively better than cheesecake. 


Contact Isabella Carreno at [email protected].