cream cheese

Several dishes use cream cheese as an ingredient for different recipes. But most of them require softening cream cheese for their particular recipe. There are many recipes for making cream cheese, but you will find very few softening recipes. There’s no need to concern as in today’s article; I will explain every possible recipe for softening cream cheese. So, you do not have to search on different websites for this as you will find it all in one post.

But first, let me explain what softened cream cheese is? Also, how does it vary from regular cream cheese?

Soften Cream Cheese 

How to soften cream cheese

A beginner may think that cream cheese and softened cream cheese is different. But there is no significant difference between cream cheese and softened cream cheese. The only difference is in their texture. Soften cream cheese is easy to spread as compared to cream cheese. Also, it has longer shelf life than cream cheese. Most people prefer to soften cream cheese over cream cheese because its texture is easier to use.

How to Soften Cream Cheese? 

One of the simplest methods to soften cream cheese is to keep it at room temperature.

STEP 1. For this purpose, cut the bar of cream cheese into cubes. It will help the cream cheese to soften faster. While if you keep it in the same block or bar form, it will slow down the softening process. Because it will ease the outer portion first and then the inner part and delay the softening process. To avoid this, use a butter knife and cut the bar or block of cheese into small cubes.

STEP 2. Now allow the cream cheese to soften at room temperature. When cream cheese reaches room temperature, it will be softer, and even softness will be visible. Check it with touch. If you feel it’s not smooth enough, then again, let it be at room temperature for 25-30 minutes.

Note: The cream cheese can be kept in its original container or transferred to a new one.

STEP 3. If the cream cheese isn’t soft enough after an hour, add another item to soften it, such as milk, lemon juice, and whipped cream. 

Faster Approach 

  • To soften your cream cheese, manually stir it for around 5 minutes. Without adding any heat, spreading the cream cheese out might help it soften. For example, you may put the cream cheese in a bowl and whisk it using the back of a spoon. The softer the cheese becomes, the more you stir it.
  • To assist the cream cheese, soften even faster, spread it out thinly. Place the cream cheese between two pieces of parchment paper and break it up with a rolling pin or even the flat side for a faster method. The cheese should soften quite rapidly as it spreads out.

How to Soften Cream Cheese by Heat 

Method 1. To soften the cream cheese rapidly, microwave it in 15-second increments. Fill a microwave-safe bowl with cream cheese. Microwave the cream cheese for 15 seconds on high, then check for desired consistency.

Continue microwaving it in 10-second intervals if it isn’t soft enough. Check it after each session of heating.

Tip: If the cream cheese becomes too soft, place it in a chilled bowl and set it aside for about 5 minutes to come to room temperature. If you like, you can cool it for two minutes in the refrigerator.

Do not microwave the foil that came wrapped around your cream cheese.

If any liquid, known as whey, separates from the cream cheese when heated, mix it with the solids in your recipe.

Method 2. To gently warm the cream cheese, place it in a water bath for 10 minutes. Fill a bowl halfway with lukewarm water, add the cream cheese box, and set aside 10 minutes. If the cream cheese needs to soften even more, leave it in the water for another 10 minutes. If it’s still not soft enough after that, fill the bowl with warmer water. Hot water, on the other hand, may cause the solids in the cream cheese to melt.

To maintain the cream cheese’s texture, don’t overheat it. When trying to soften cream cheese, it’s possible to overheat it. The proteins in cream cheese can melt, leaving you with a soupy mess that may or may not return to its original texture when cooled.

In this case, prevention is the best prescription. To avoid overheating, use mild heat and limit warming periods. If you want a softer texture, gradually increase the temperature and time.

Tip: If you have opened the cream cheese, place it in an airtight plastic bag to keep water out.

Use cold water rather than lukewarm if the cream cheese is frozen. Although it will take longer, the cold water will aid in the even heating of the cream cheese.

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How to Soften Cream Cheese with Other Ingredients?


Method 1. The first ingredient you can add to soften cream cheese is milk or unsweetened cream. Put 225 g of cream cheese in a mixing bowl, then add one tablespoon of milk or unsweetened cream and stir well. If necessary, add a bit more cream cheese until the cream cheese reaches the required consistency.

Note. These bland-tasting dairy products are ideal for softening cream cheese without significantly altering its flavor. They can make the cream cheese less sour, but most recipes don’t notice the change.

Method 2.  Another acceptable option for thinning cream cheese is butter. For smooth, thin cream cheese, add melted butter. Melt roughly one tablespoon of butter in the microwave to thin a box of cream cheese (225 g). Mix the butter and cream cheese in a separate bowl and stir gently. You can also add lemon juice to soften the cream cheese.

Read more: How to make gold buttercream.


Please do not allow the softened cream cheese to settle for more than 2 hours, as it degrades quickly at room temperature, as do many dairy products. Try to use your cream cheese as soon as possible once you have warmed it.

Above I have mentioned possible and most accessible methods for softening cream cheese. You may require soft cream cheese for several recipes, and now you can quickly ease the cream cheese at home.


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