how to soften cream cheese

How To Soften Cream Cheese

Cream cheese is a great staple to have in your refrigerator. Cream cheese is a wonderful ingredient to use when baking, but before any of the steps are done, it may need to be softened up. After all, hard cream cheese is not easy to mix with other ingredients.

There are a few tried and tested ways to soften your cream cheese, and whichever you choose will depend on your preference, what kitchen equipment you have handy, and how much time you have to soften your cream cheese.

Method One : Just Leave It

  1. Place the block of cream cheese in a bowl to keep it clean and prevent any accidents
  2. Simply leave the block of cream cheese in room temperature until it softens.
  3. Always check every 30 minutes or so. If the packaging is still cool to the touch, leave it to soften some more.
Time estimate: About one hour

Method Two : Cut It Up

  1. Unwrap the block of cream cheese and cut it up into smaller, one inch pieces.
  2. Place your cream cheese cubes into a bowl if you are planning to blend them afterwards anyway.
  3. If you’d prefer to keep the cubes separate, put the cubes on a plate, making sure each cube has some distance from the other to prevent sticking.
  4. Leave your cream cheese cubes at room temperature.
Time estimate: About 30 minutes

Method Three : Hot Water Bath

  1. Put your block of cream cheese in an airtight, ziplock bag.
  2. Dip this bag in warm to hot water. The temperature of the water will help the cream cheese soften quickly.
  3. Every few minutes, lift the ziplock bag and feel the block of cream cheese.
  4. If not to your desired softness, dip your ziplock bag again.
Time estimate: 10 minutes

Note: Don’t leave this unsupervised, as your cream cheese may melt. Make sure your ziplock bag is closed properly, or you may accidentally dilute your cream cheese with water.

Method Four : Microwave It

  1. Put your cream cheese, unwrapped, in a bowl and cover.
  2. Heat your cream cheese in the microwave for 7-10 seconds.
  3. Check if the cream cheese has achieved the desired softness.
  4. Heat again if necessary, only in 7-10 second intervals.
Time estimate: Less than 5 minutes

Note: Do not heat for more than the prescribed time, as this will lead to melting and even unwanted splatters. Be warned that if you want to use your softened cream cheese as a spread, this method may not work well for you as it might affect the structure of the cream cheese. If you’re planning to bake and are short on time, microwaving might be your best bet.

Hope these methods help you. Happy cooking!

About the Author Hong Quy

Born in Hanoi, can speak English and Japanese fluently. Become interested in cooking after married, and love to share easy Japanese recipes with anyone has the same interest.

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