10 Fromage Frais Substitutes [In Desserts & More]

If you love all things French, particularly French gastronomy, you may have heard of fromage frais or have had a dish containing it.

Fromage frais is a French word that literally translates to “fresh cheese.” It’s a soft, creamy, fresh curd cheese prepared from whole or skimmed milk and cream.

This low-fat, gluten-free white cheese contains about 50 calories per 100 grams. It is rich in protein, calcium, and vitamins A and B, making it a healthy ingredient for cooking and baking.

Its texture is similar to cottage cheese and cream cheese, but fromage frais is blended until it’s smooth and lump-free.

Fromage frais is commonly used in French cooking to give dishes a rich, creamy texture and is found easily in France, Poland, and other European countries.

However, if you live outside Europe, you may not find this ingredient that easily.

The best overall substitute in sauce spreads and salad dressings is cottage cheese. However, you can also switch to crème fraîche, tofu, or sour cream in pancakes, pies, and pizzas. To substitute fromage frais in desserts, use Greek yogurt, frûche, or cream cheese.

In case you are unable to get it at your local specialty store like me or you are allergic to it or wish to reduce your calorie intake, we bring you a list of 10 fromage frais alternatives you can use.

They are also healthy, allergen-free, gluten-free, and kid-friendly, making them great for all kinds of recipes.

Fromage Frais Substitutes

1. Plain Yogurt

Fromage frais is often used as a spread for crackers or bread or is added to sauces and dressings to thicken them.

Plain yogurt has a smooth and thick texture like fromage frais and a slightly tart and sweet taste, making it a delicious, kid-friendly alternative to the latter in sauces, spreads, and dressings.

You can use it in recipes that call for fromage frais like this low-fat roasted beetroot pasta sauce or this creamy peppercorn sauce recipe in a pinch.

In case you would like to use yogurt but in a vegan setting, you can also make yogurt from the milk of coconut, cashew, or soy.

1 teaspoon fromage frais = 1 teaspoon plain yogurt

Plain Yogurt

2. Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is a commonly used substitute for fromage frais as both of them have a low-fat content, slightly sweet flavor, and creamy texture. So is fromage frais the same as cottage cheese?

No, although both are made from the same ingredient—skimmed milk—cottage cheese has a rougher, lumpier texture.

If you’re using this healthy, allergen-free ingredient as an alternative to fromage frais in sauces and spreads, blend it first in a food processor or blender to eliminate lumps.

You can also add a little milk or yogurt to get a slightly thinner, smoother consistency.

1 teaspoon fromage frais = 1 teaspoon cottage cheese

Cottage Cheese

3. Quark Cheese

Quark or quarg cheese is a soft, fresh specialty cheese that is made from whole, semi-skimmed or skimmed pasteurized milk or buttermilk.

The smooth texture of this allergen-free, gluten-free cheese is like a cross between Fromage Blanc and Greek yogurt.

Is quark a good substitute for fromage frais? Yes, the former’s mildly tart taste and smooth, rich texture make it a wonderful, kid-friendly alternative to fromage frais in salad dressings, sauces and spreads.

However, are our fromage frais and quark the same thing? No, quark cheese is commonly used in Germany and other East European countries for cooking, whereas fromage frais is a French product that is prepared with whole or skimmed milk and cream.

If you don’t belong to an East European country, you may find quark cheese hard to get. But check out specialty stores or online marketplaces to see if they have this ingredient in stock.

1 teaspoon fromage frais = 1 teaspoon quark cheese

Quark Cheese

4. Tofu

Tofu aka soybean curd is a curd made from condensed soy milk that is pressed in the shape of solid white blocks.

It is a gluten-free, allergen-free, and vegan ingredient that has no cholesterol and is low in calories. It has around 76 calories per 100 grams. It is also rich in protein, iron, and calcium.

Can I use it as a substitute for fat-free fromage frais? Yes, tofu is a low-fat, healthy ingredient that can be blended into recipes that call for fromage frais.

Use it in dishes like pancakes and pies to reap its numerous health benefits while avoiding fat in your diet. 

1 tablespoon fromage frais = 1 tablespoon tofu 


5. Sour Cream

Sour cream is a gluten-free, allergen-free milk product prepared by fermenting cream with lactic acid bacteria (LAB).

If you’re thinking, “What can substitute fromage frais in your pizza or pie recipe, sub in some sour cream. It works well in recipes like this healthy pancake recipe or this tarte flambée.

But note that sour cream has a sour taste, as its name suggests. So mix in a little sugar, honey, or another sweetener to cut down on the sourness and get a flavor and creamy texture similar to fromage frais in your cooking.

If you’re counting calories, though, you may want to use sour cream in lower proportions or avoid it altogether, as it has 193 calories per 100 grams.

1 tablespoon fromage frais = ½ tablespoon sour cream

sour cream

6. Crème Fraîche

Crème fraîche, which translates as “fresh cream” in French, is very similar to sour cream in flavor.

But it has a thicker and richer consistency compared to sour cream, making it a rich and luxurious ingredient in cooking.

You can easily use crème fraîche as a substitute in recipes that require fromage frais like this yummy cottage pie.

It serves as an excellent alternative to fromage frais not only in pies but also in pizzas, pancakes, and other dishes and gives them a delicious, creamy texture.

But it has 193 calories per 100 grams, making it quite indulgent compared to fromage frais. So stick to low amounts while using it, and you should be fine.

1 tablespoon fromage frais = ½ tablespoon crème fraîche 

Crème Fraîche

7. Frûche

One of the most common uses of fromage frais is in desserts, be it brownies, cheesecakes, mousses, cupcakes, tarts, and so on.

If you’re thinking, “What is a fromage frais substitute in desserts?”, check out frûche.

Frûche is a European variant of fromage frais with a sweet vanilla or fruit flavor. Its rich flavor profile makes it popular among kids too.

Use it as a substitute for fromage frais in your dessert recipes for an extra kick of flavor and also a rich, velvety, smooth texture that your little ones will love.

It is also low-fat and gluten-free, making it a rather healthy ingredient in desserts.

1 tablespoon sweetened fromage frais = 1 tablespoon frûche

8. Greek Yogurt

If you need a healthy, allergen-free substitute for fromage frais in your cheesecake recipe or this airy, delicious, vegetarian mousse recipe and are wondering, “Can I use Greek yogurt instead of fromage frais?” yes, you can.

Thick, unsweetened Greek yogurt is a wonderful alternative to the latter and provides a luxurious, smooth texture to desserts.

It is soft like fromage frais and has a more sour and acidic flavor than the latter. But you can always add a little sugar and salt to balance out the flavors.

Most importantly, Greek yogurt is easily available in grocery stores and local supermarkets.

1 teaspoon fromage frais = 1 teaspoon Greek yogurt

Greek Yogurt

9. Cream Cheese

If you’re allergic to fromage frais or can’t find it locally, cream cheese makes for an allergen-free, gluten-free substitute in cheesecakes, mousses, and other desserts.

It has a lovely, sweet, slightly tangy flavor, and a creamy texture that makes it close enough to fromage frais in flavor and consistency.

Cream cheese is also found in most grocery stores, making it a widely available ingredient.

However, it has 342 calories per 100 grams. So if you’re on a diet, use it in low amounts or use another substitute from this list instead.

1 teaspoon fromage frais = 1 teaspoon cream cheese

Cream Cheese

10. Almond Cheese

If you need another vegan alternative to fromage frais in your dessert recipes, switch to almond cheese.

It has a gorgeous spreadable and creamy consistency, which allows you to blend it into recipes for a rich mouthfeel. It also has a crumbly texture that makes it great in cheesecakes and other desserts.

However, note that almond cheese has around 357 calories per 100 grams. So it is not as healthy as fromage frais. Try to use it in low amounts to avoid piling on the calories in your diet.

1 teaspoon fromage frais = ½ teaspoon almond cheese

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can You Eat Fromage Frais Plain?

Fromage frais has a pretty much bland flavor, but many people love to eat it plain. You can also add other ingredients like spices, honey, vanilla essence, or fruit purée to dial up the flavor.

Fromage frais can also be added to desserts or savory recipes to give them a smooth, creamy, velvety texture.

Does Fromage Frais Split When Heated?

If you’re using fromage frais in recipes that call for it to be heated, be careful as it may split quickly.

Mix it with a little sauce, gravy, or other liquid, and add it to your dish at the very end dish moments before taking it off the stove to prevent curdling.

Are Fromage Frais And Crème Fraîche The Same?

No, fromage frais is made from milk, while crème fraîche is made by fermenting cream.

This makes crème fraîche higher in fat content, although it is gluten-free like fromage frais. Fromage frais also has a slightly more acidic, sharper flavor, and softer, smoother consistency.

Final Considerations

Fromage frais is a popular French ingredient that can lend recipes an extra creamy richness and flavor, especially in sauces, salads, desserts, and cooking. But we know that it can be tough to find locally.

So check out our substitutes that are easily available in your nearby grocery stores, supermarkets, and specialty stores.

How did you find the substitutes in your recipes? Do you have any other substitute ideas up your sleeve? Tell us in the comments section below!

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