Panera Honey Walnut Cream Cheese

There’s nothing like a unique deli-style spread to complement a chewy, delicious bagel. Panera honey walnut cream cheese is one of the best choices if you’re looking for distinctive but subtle flavors that don’t overwhelm your bagel.

a bowl of homemade Panera honey walnut cream cheese


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Panera Bagels and Cream Cheese Spreads

Grabbing a bagel from a bakery or bagel shop can be a delight for many reasons. But one of the most important is the spreads and toppings you can get, which can turn even the most ordinary baked goods into a breakfast or snacking star.

Fortunately, simply “ordinary” baked goods aren’t something you have to worry about when dealing with Panera, which offers a whole host of delicious bagels. They range from familiar flavorings like savory Everything bagels and sweet blueberry to mouthwatering, only-at-Panera styles like cinnamon crunch and asiago.

They’re complemented by what some see as the real star of the show – the cream cheese, made from the lighter Neufchatel. Along with a classic plain spread and a herby chive-and-onion variety, Panera lovers may find themselves craving the chain’s mouthwatering honey walnut cream cheese.

But a daily trip to Panera can take up a lot of time, not to mention money. Luckily, it’s easy to enjoy that distinctively sweet, nutty creaminess at home.

Why This is the Best Recipe for Honey Nut Cream Cheese

This spread will be a hit at any breakfast or brunch event, helping elevate your bagel toppings from any old homemade cream cheese spread for bread to a conversation-worthy side. It’s also a money-saver. Depending on your location, an eight-ounce tub of Panera’s official honey walnut cream cheese will run between $3.50 and $6.

Home cooks can produce equal amounts for much cheaper, especially since many of the shelf-stable ingredients can be bought in bulk. With only a couple minutes of work, it’s a tremendous value for the flavor it provides. 

Ingredients

Just a few ingredients are required to make this honey walnut cream cheese recipe. Here’s what you need:

  • Cream cheese (unflavored)
  • Honey
  • Molasses
  • Brown sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Walnuts

Most of these can be conveniently stashed in your pantry or refrigerator, ready to craft a batch on short notice. 

Panera honey walnut cream cheese ingredients

Ingredient Substitutions

While this honey nut cream cheese is simple to put together, it’s also easily customizable for food allergies or preferences.

Walnuts can be swapped with other nuts for similar texture and taste.

Varying styles of molasses offer different levels of sweetness and intensity of flavor.

There are also seemingly endless varieties of honey, each offering its own consistency, taste, and aroma, from familiar clover honey to more exotic styles like orange blossom or tupelo.

Those avoiding dairy aren’t out of luck either, thanks to the availability of non-dairy and vegan cream cheese alternatives that perform similarly to the real thing.

How to Make Panera Honey Walnut Cream Cheese Spread

It doesn’t get much simpler than this honey walnut cream cheese recipe. 

  1. Let the cream cheese soften at room temperature for a few minutes.
  2. Combine cream cheese with the honey, cinnamon, molasses, and brown sugar in a large bowl and mix well.
  3. Fold the chopped walnuts into the cream cheese mixture.

All that’s left to do is spread it on your favorite bagel or baked good!

honey walnut cream cheese in a bowl

Recipe Variations

As you can see, the simple process of making Panera walnut cream cheese makes variations of all kinds pretty straightforward. Along with the substitutions listed above, it’s easy to toss in extras like additional nuts or dried fruit like raisins.

One of the best variations involves simply toasting the chopped walnuts in a heated, dry skillet for a few moments. This brings out their natural oils, creating an even more intense nuttiness. They should be allowed to cool down before they’re mixed into the cream cheese. 

toasted walnuts in a skillet

What Goes Well with Panera Honey Walnut Cream Cheese

There’s nothing like the pairing of a bagel and cream cheese, especially when it’s a high-end spread like Panera honey walnut cream cheese. A spread like this one can pair well with any of Panera’s sweeter bagel options like cinnamon swirl, blueberry, chocolate chip, or cinnamon crunch (or their supermarket-bought or homemade siblings.)

Plain bagels are always a solid choice, and more adventurous eaters may enjoy pairing the spread with savory bagel options like everything or asiago.

You’re certainly not limited to just bagels. This recipe works just as well as a homemade cream cheese spread for bread, English muffins, biscuits, and more. It can even be enjoyed as a dip with fruit or crackers. 

homemade Panera honey walnut cream cheese in a bowl and spread on a bagel

How to Store

Homemade Panera honey walnut cream cheese is as easy to store as it is to make and enjoy. Keep it refrigerated in an airtight container. Freezing isn’t recommended, so only prepare as much as you think you’ll use in the near future.

It’ll stay good for up to ten days in the fridge, but with a recipe this delicious, it may not last that long anyway. 

If you love another great schmear for your bagel, try my copycat recipe for Zabar’s Cream Cheese Spread.

honey walnut cream cheese and bagels

Love Panera Bread? Try these copycat recipes

Savory Cream Cheese Recipes

Sweet Cream Cheese Recipes

Be sure to take a look at the best restaurant copycat recipes and CopyKat favorites.

a bowl of homemade Panera honey walnut cream cheese

Panera Honey Walnut Cream Cheese

If you don’t have a Panera Bread near you, you may never have had the chance to try this type of spread. Be assured this honey walnut cream cheese spread is just like Panera’s. It’s super easy to make and absolutely delicious.
5 from 23 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: honey walnut cream cheese, Panera Recipes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 121kcal

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts

Instructions

  • If you wish, toast the walnuts in a skillet over medium-high heat until they just turn fragrant. Watch the skillet closely – there is a short time between the nuts being toasted and burnt. Take the nuts off the heat and allow them to cool completely. 
  • In a small bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, honey, molasses, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Stir until all of the ingredients are well blended. 
  • Stir the walnuts into the honey cream cheese.
  • Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 121kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 91mg | Potassium: 57mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 380IU | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 0.2mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Meg

    5 stars
    This is delicious! Thanks so much for sharing! I added a little vanilla extract to round out the flavor (although it’s still excellent without it!).

  2. Rita Curry

    5 stars
    Just made it today and had to taste before putting in fridge and it tasted amazing!!!! Why did I never think of making my own…. with your recipe of course. This is my favorite flavor from Panera and now I can have it whenever I want!!!! Thank you so much…. waiting for it to chill is the hardest part!!!!😅😅😋😋☺️☺️

  3. Alicia

    5 stars
    Delicious even with vegan cream cheese!!! Thank you for this recipe! I miss so many of the dairy foods I could once eat and this tastes sooo much like the Panera cream cheese I used to love 🙂

  4. Sandi

    5 stars
    I haven’t tried the original (Panera) version of this but made some to serve with banana bread and sampled on a piece of toasted French bread. Yummy!!!!!🤤

  5. NYCmom

    5 stars
    Dear Stephanie, my pregnant self cannot thank you enough for this recipe. Never knew why I waited so long to look up the recipe when I love the honey walnut recipe from Panera so much and am always buying ( and it is not cheap). Made it today and love it.
    Thank you thank you and thank you again.

  6. Sheree

    5 stars
    Love love love this cream cheese! Do you think you could do your magic and turn this into a cheese cake recipe? I really enjoy your site and look forward to the emails everyday! Thank you for all that you do!

  7. Harry

    This cream cheese spread is just like Panera’s! I would maybe add just a tad bit less molasses. Overall AMAZING!!!

  8. Julie

    5 stars
    My husband was really craving the Panera Honey Walnut Cream Cheese spread, and since I had all the ingredients at home, I gave it a try. Super easy to make and absolutly delicious. Tastes as good or better as Panera. Thanks for the recipe!

  9. Chloe

    Does the molasses add quite a bit? It’s not an ingredient I have on hand or would use very often. Just wondering if it’s one of the key ingredients for making it taste just like Panera’s!

  10. writKuhnhack

    If you live in the US You can easily find tons of free coupons hereInstant Access to New coupons I saved money and time on this site

  11. Angla

    Thank you so much!!! I love this spread and have everything on hand to make my own tonight for my breakfast tomorrow =)

  12. Michelle De La Cerda-Nash

    I’ve never had Panera anything, but that doesn’t matter, this looks like something I would love! Thank you.

    • Cornella Coppedge

      You don’t know what your missing. You have to try Panera Bread, OMG!!!
      My Favorites
      -cheddar broccoli soup
      -bacon turkey bravo sandwich
      -tuna salad sandwich
      -cinnamon crunch bagel
      -cobblestone
      -chocolate chip cookie
      -braided pecan twist
      -lemonade
      And the list goes on

      • Tami Miles

        Can you copycat their granny smith something or other (I can’t remember what its called but it’s made with green apples) dressing? I’ve looked EVERYWHERE FOR IT and Pantera doesn’t sell it by the bottle.

      • Rhonda Martin

        I’m sure I will. I love all the ingredients. We don’t have a Panera Bread near us so I’ve never had the chance to try this type of spread but when I read your recipe I knew I had to pin it to try it soon.

  13. Christine

    I bet it costs less too:) We were denied walnuts as a child since my mother didn’t like them. I can’t resist a good walnut recipe today:p

5 from 23 votes (10 ratings without comment)

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