So you wanna know how to soften cream cheese do you? Well there are a lot of dishes that need to contain cream cheese and mostly it should be soften before you add it to the dish right? Here we will talk about all the ways you can soften your cheese for the perfect cake or what ever it is you’re making. The most obvious way you can think of is to just heat it up right? Or maybe even just leave it out and let it soften by itself, below are the best ways to soften cream cheese for any use.
1. How to soften cream cheese with heat
The fastest way to soften cream cheese is just to heat it up. Make sense right? By using a microwave you can just place the cream cheese inside a bowl and stick it in there. Make sure to set the microwave to “high” and heat it for a short period of time. Try 15-20 seconds for a medium size dish ( eight ounces or less ). If after one heating session the cream cheese is not soft enough, just stick it up there again for another ten seconds. Check the texture after each heating session. If you overheat it and it’s now too soft, just let it sit for five minutes in a bowl or just two minutes in the fridge.
2. Just let it sit in room temperature for a while
The simplest way to soften cream cheese is just to take it out of the fridge, leave it in its original box and just place it on the counter top, after about a half an hour it should be really soft once it reaches room temperature. After waiting for like 30 minutes, open the box and check the cheese, if it’s still cold and not very soft, you should let it sit for another 30 minutes or so, and if that won’t help as well, you should use one of the other methods mentioned in this post.
3. Use a bowl with hot water to soften your cream cheese
Another easy way to soften cream cheese is just to place it in a bowl of warm water. Fill a bowl with warm(not hot) water and place the cream cheese inside with the original package. When you let it sit for a good 10 minutes the warm water will slowly transfer its heat to the cheese and making it softer.
A few things to note about this method though. If the original package has already been opened, put the cream cheese inside an airtight plastic bag or just wrap it good in cling wrap to stop water getting in.
If this didn’t work and your cream cheese is still hard, give it a few more minutes in the bowl, if that doesn’t help either, you can use warmer water, but make sure not to use hot water because that will just melt the cheese completely.
Last tip is if the cream cheese was frozen solid, then use cold water in the bowl because warm water will just distribute the heat unevenly.
You gotta check the consistency of the cream cheese before using it
After you used one of the methods mentioned in this article to soften the cream cheese you need to check that it has the right consistency, you can do that by using a spoon and press it against the cream cheese, you can either do it directly on the cream or on the wrapper it’s fine. If it has no resistance and it’s really easy to press, it’s soft alright, but if you feel it’s still firm and hard, you need to warm it some more before testing again.
Don’t let your cream cheese sit outside for too long
Like a lot of other dairy products, cream cheese will go bad if left outside at room temperature for 1-2 hours. So after you soften our cheese, make sure to use it as quickly as possible or otherwise just throw it away. In general cream cheese can last a few weeks if you keep it in the fridge, and even more than that if you keep it in the freezer, but never leave it too much outside.
Don’t over heat your cream cheese
It’s rather easy to over heat cream cheese, if you ever did it you know that what’s left is just a soupy, runny mess that you can’t really do much with. Don’t melt the solids of your cheese, use short warm heat waves and check the cheese every time to make sure you won’t over heat it. Like the good old saying ” better safe than sorry ” really can apply here.
Sometimes you can’t use heat, so you need to use other methods to soften your cream cheese
You can soften your cream cheese by using other ingredients. Here’s a few examples:
You can add milk or cream to soften the cheese. Using these dairy products is a perfect way to thin out cream cheese without causing it to lose any flavour. It will make it a little bit less ” tangy ” but you won’t really feel any difference. Adding these ingredients is easy:
- Add a table spoon of milk to the cream cheese.
- Start stirring it slowly and notice that the cream cheese will be softer.
- You can add a little bit more milk as needed until you reach the desired softness you want.
You can also soften cream cheese by adding melted butter to it
Easy way to soften your cheese is to add melted butter. If you want the smallest chance of loss of taste of the cheese, use unsalted butter. Just melt the butter in the microwave ( in a separate bowl from the cream cheese obviously ) and than combine the cream cheese and melted butter together and stir it well. Don’t try and heat these two again after they’re mixed because you will melt the cream cheese completely.
Try using lemon juice to soften the cheese
You can also use lemon juice to thin out solids in the cream cheese, it also gives the dish a strong taste of tart. Make sure though that it’s what you want because this method works great for frosting and other sweet or sour desserts, but it won’t fit anything. So use it with caution.
You should use really little lemon juice with this method because it has such a strong taste. While some recipes say you need to use as little as two tablespoons of lemon juice otherwise you will have issues with the finish product being too runny.
Yup, you can use marshmallow fluff
If you’re looking for something sweet to go along with your frosting, opposite to the lemon juice method. You can actually use marshmallow fluff, while it seems like this won’t work well with cream cheese, you will be surprised how well it blends and it helps you to create the perfect thinning for your frosting. If you’re the person who wants sweets all around, this is the method of choice for you.
You can also use mascarpone to soften your cheese
If you don’t already know what it is, mascarpone is an Italian spread that’s very similar to cream cheese. It is a little bit lighter and softer which makes it a perfect fit to be mixed with the cream cheese and soften it. The effect of the mascarpone is subtle but noticeable. It is mostly used when you want to make spread for yummy dishes such as french toast and bread pudding.
How to soften cream cheese short video: