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Do you have a recipe that asks for soft cream cheese in it? It is not necessary to heat it. With these four simple techniques to soften cream cheese, you can keep it cool and fresh.

Fresh cream cheese is an essential ingredient in so many recipes. It’s the hidden hero of so many foods, whether it’s jalapeño popper recipes, soup toppings, or grilled cheese sandwiches.

Many recipes ask for softened cream cheese, which is easily accomplished if you have a microwave. However, whether you’re making frosting, a party dip, or a basic bagel spread, you’ll want it to remain cool.

We’ve got your back. These four fast and simple procedures will provide you the desired cream cheese consistency.

The Cube Method

The cube approach is the first method we’ll look at. It entails chopping a block of cheese into smaller cubes, enough for your dish. It is also simpler to soften the block if it is chopped into smaller pieces. You want to work with smaller pieces since this ensures a more uniform and smoother texture. Make the cubes as consistent as feasible in size.

Then, arrange the cubes on a dish or tray, ensuring sure they don’t touch. If you want a rather soft cheese, let it out at room temperature for 45 minutes to an hour. Cubes will begin to soften. You only have to keep an eye on them since cream cheese does not always take an hour to soften. The length of time will be determined mostly by the temperature of the room. Just make sure you don’t leave the cheese out in the sun.

Because cream cheese has a high fat content, letting it out at room temperature on a warm day is an excellent approach to gently thaw it. Because the cubes are tiny, there is a vast surface area exposed, enabling more of them to soften equally. However, if you are in a rush and do not have an hour to spare, this may not be the greatest choice.

Warm Water Bath

The warm water bath is the approach we’ll look at next. It will take much less time than thawing it at room temperature. It will take around 15 minutes. It’s also a good option for individuals who don’t want to overcook the cheese in the microwave. Warm water will gradually soften the cheese.

The first step in using this procedure is to ensure that the cheese is in puncture-free packaging. There is a chance that water may leak through the holes in the bag and spoil the cheese if there are any. Then, in a basin, add some warm water. Every 5 minutes or so, flip the cheese package over to soak in the warm water on both sides.

Allow the cheese to soak in the heated water for a few minutes. After around 10 minutes, you should feel it softening. Flipping it occasionally will also allow you to feel how soft the cheese is and whether it is ready to use. Apply little pressure on the wrapping. Remove it from the bowl as soon as you believe it is mild enough for your recipe.


The microwave is often the first technique that most people try. This is mostly due to its simplicity and convenience. The key selling feature is that it is also speedy. To soften cream cheese in the microwave, first remove the desired quantity from the refrigerator. Then unwrap it, ensuring sure there is no foil or other portion of the package that would not only obstruct the procedure but would also be harmful to put in the microwave.

Place the quantity of cream in a microwave-safe dish, then microwave on high for 15 seconds to cook the cheese. When the timer goes off, open the cheese and examine the texture. You may do this by piercing the middle of the cheese with a skewer or toothpick that won’t do too much harm. If the cheese is still not soft enough, microwave it for another minute. You may utilize 10 seconds at a time for this.

Because you will be using it on high, you must continually monitor it to ensure that it does not overheat and become unusable for what you want to use it for. None of the king’s horses or soldiers will be able to reassemble it after it has completely melted. You’d prefer it be somewhat firmer than you expected than excessively mushy and sticky. When you push down on the cheese, it should be soft enough for you to see your fingerprint.


This approach, like the cube method, relies on ambient temperature as the principal agent of change. The key difference is that the cheese is not sliced into smaller cubes in this manner. The countertop approach should take around 30 minutes to soften the cheese sufficiently to utilize in your recipe.

Wipe out the countertop before you begin using it; nevertheless, you will still need to separate the cheese into smaller parts. This method gradually brings the cheese temperature to room temperature. Distribute the cheese evenly on the countertop. Allow it to rest for a few minutes before testing to see if it is soft enough by softly pressing down on it. While it may seem like you’re watching paint dry, resist the urge to use a counter near the sun. Also, utilize the cheese as soon as it’s soft enough.

How to Soften Cream Cheese

Got a baking or dip recipe that calls for soft cream cheese? There’s no need to heat it. Keep it cold and fresh with these four easy ways to soften cream cheese.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15mins
Total Time 45mins
Course Cooking Tip
Cuisine American, European
Servings 1


  • microwave-safe bowl
  • 1 ziplock bag


  • cream cheese


Warm Water Bath

  • Place cream cheese in a plastic bag and carefully seal.
  • Pour warm water into a large mixing bowl
  • Place the cream cheese in a heated water bath that has been sealed. Leave for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
  • Remove and serve immediately


  • In a microwave-safe dish, place the cream cheese. Microwave for 15 seconds on high power.
  • Check the texture of the cheese and the interior consistency with a toothpick.
  • If necessary, heat for 10 seconds longer, or serve immediately.

Cube Method

  • Slice firm cream cheese into 1-inch cubes
  • Place cubes on a tray, allowing an inch between each cube.
  • Allow to soften at room temperature for 45 minutes.


How long can cream cheese sit out?

Cream cheese may be left out on the counter for 2 hours at room temperature. If you really want to push it, you can go as far as four hours, but no farther.

Can you freeze cream cheese?

Yes, as long as it’s in its original packing or in an airtight container or package. It may be stored in the freezer for up to two months.

Can I leave the cream cheese out overnight to soften?

It is not recommended since it will soon spoil within a few hours.


How do you quickly soften cream cheese?

A dish of warm water can help your cream cheese soften even quicker. All you have to do is immerse the sealed cream cheese block in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes, turning it every 5 minutes or so. Several times throughout the process, softly pierce the wrapper to check for stiffness.

Can you put cream cheese in microwave to soften?

Place an 8-ounce block of cream cheese, totally unwrapped, on a microwave-safe dish and microwave for 15 seconds on high. Add 10 seconds for every additional 8 ounces of cheese, or until the cream cheese is melted.

How do you soften cream cheese to room temperature in the microwave?

Quick: in the microwave

Remove the cream cheese from the package and set it on a microwave-safe dish. Microwave it for 10 seconds increments. After each 30 second interval, check the texture and temperature.

How do you bring cream cheese to room temperature quickly?

Fill a dish halfway with warm water. Allow for a 10-minute resting period. Remove all of the cream cheese packing. Microwave for 30-40 seconds in 10 second spurts, flipping after each blast.

Can you heat up cream cheese to soften it?

Remove the cold cream cheese from its package and set it on a platter that can be microwaved. Microwave on high for 10-15 seconds at a time. It should take around 1 to 1.5 minutes to soften to the desired texture.

How many hours does it take for cream cheese to soften?

Because cream cheese contains so much fat, it doesn’t take long to reach to room temperature if the environment is somewhat warm. It takes around thirty minutes to soften considerably on the counter, and about an hour to completely get to room temperature (depending on the temperature outdoors and in your kitchen).

How long to beat cream cheese until fluffy?

In a food processor or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip the cream cheese and milk for 1 to 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy. You’ll need to stop and scrape a few times in a big food processor.

What happens to cream cheese when you microwave it?

If you want to microwave cream cheese, use a lower temperature. Because of the high fat content. Curdling will occur at high temperatures, thus it must be melted slowly and gradually. Furthermore, the acid in the cream cheese will cause curdling.

How long can you let cream cheese sit out to soften?

Cream cheese may be left out for up to two hours at room temperature. Cream cheese, being a dairy product, may degrade or become a breeding ground for germs such as Salmonella if left out for too long or not adequately cooled. Throw aside any cream cheese that has been out for more than two hours.

Can you put cream cheese back in fridge after softening?

What exactly is this? If cream cheese is left out of the fridge for more than two hours, it might deteriorate. Set a timer if you’re concerned about forgetting about perishable goods. If you change your mind about using room temperature cream cheese, return it to the refrigerator.

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