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Cream Cheese Boards Are Blowing Up on TikTok—Here’s How to Make One

Any respectable FoodTok scroller has seen dozens of butter boards cross their feed. (In case you haven’t, a butter board is just what it sounds like: a communal appetizer that centers softened butter swooped across a cutting board or cheese platter, served with dippers and garnishes.) Now, there’s a new board on the block that we never saw coming: cream cheese boards. Read on for everything you need to know about the viral TikTok trend, including how to make a cream cheese board at home.

Butter Boards Are the 2022 Entertaining Trend Nobody Asked for (but We’re Not Mad About It)


What Are Cream Cheese Boards?

Cream cheese boards are exactly like butter boards, but instead of butter being artfully smeared across a serving board or plate, it’s cream cheese. Once the cream cheese is swirled just so on the platter, it’s adorned with toppings and served with dippable sides. Popular options range from a lox board served with bagel pieces to a baked potato board topped with cheese, bacon and scallions.

Both butter and cream cheese boards are alternatives to charcuterie boards, which tend to be more time-consuming and expensive to put together. They’re also equally riffable: You can use herbed or flavored cream cheese instead of plain, top it with sweet or savory garnishes (such as fig jam, apple slices and honey, or smoked salmon, red onion and capers) and serve it with any dippable you crave.

How to Make a Cream Cheese Board

The possibilities are truly endless. Anything you can pair with cream cheese—from red pepper jelly and olives to chocolate chips and cinnamon-sugar—is fair game. Here are a few tips for assembling one at home:

  • Use a nice cutting board, cheese board or serving platter. Your cream cheese board is only as elegant and beautiful as what it’s served on, no? (Amelia Nierenberg of The New York Times says marble or slate boards are easier to clean than wooden ones.)
  • Make the cream cheese as spreadable as possible, whether that means letting a block soften on your counter or using already spreadable whipped cream cheese. It should be easy for guests to swoop through once it’s served, plus it’ll be easier for you to maneuver when you assemble the board if it’s soft. (Oh, and in case you’re vegan, feel free to use dairy-free cream cheese on yours instead of regular.)
  • Create divots and swirls in the cream cheese to keep the toppings in place. You’ll likely be using tiny, spillable garnishes like everything bagel seasoning, citrus zest or fresh herbs, so you’ll want to make sure they stay on the board despite everyone digging in.
  • Pile on the toppings. There’s really no limit to what you can put on top, but we love The Kitchn’s tip to create different “zones” on the board, in case some guests would prefer to avoid certain toppings.

Taryn Pire is PureWow’s associate food editor. A former bartender and barista, she’s been writing about all things delicious since 2016, developing recipes, reviewing restaurants and investigating food trends at Food52, New Jersey Family Magazine and Taste Talks. When she isn’t testing TikTok’s latest viral recipe, she’s having popcorn for dinner and posting about it on Instagram @cookingwithpire.