Trying to figure out how to soften cream cheese quickly? In this post, we’re sharing 4 different ways to soften cream cheese!
There really is nothing worse than reading a recipe only to realize you need softened cream cheese instead of chilled. In this post, we’re going to share 4 different ways on how to soften cream cheese quickly.
Best Kind of Cream Cheese for Baking
First things first, let’s chat about the best kind of cream cheese to use for baking and cooking. Typically cream cheese comes in 2 forms – in a brick (like in these photos) and in a tub.
We always recommend to use brick-style cream cheese for a few reasons:
- it’s easier to measure – most packaged brick-style cream cheeses have a measuring tool right on the packaging, making it super easy to cook and bake with.
- it softens faster – it softens faster than in a tub, which ultimately is the big win here.
Method 1: Countertop
Total time: 30 minutes to 1 hour
Softening cream cheese on the countertop is probably the most tried and true, classic methods. Simply remove the cream cheese from the refrigerator and place it on the countertop to soften. This will take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Want to speed things up?
- Slice your block of cream cheese into cubes like the photo shown below. This can cut the time it takes to soften in half!
- Turn your oven on to low and place your block of cream cheese on top of your stovetop. make sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn’t soften too much!
Method 2: Warm Water
Total time: 5-10 minutes
While this isn’t a super popular way to soften cream cheese, it sure is a quick one! For this method, you need to make sure you’re using a sealed brick of cream cheese. The reasoning for this is so that no water can seep onto the cheese itself.
Fill a large bowl of water with warm water. Make sure it is NOT boiling, but warm-hot. Then, place your wrapped brick of cream cheese into the bowl of water and let the magic happen. BONUS: the bigger the bowl, the more bricks you can soften at once!
Method 3: Hands
Total time: 10-15 minutes
Ready for a hand workout?! Keep your cream cheese wrapped in its packaging and place it in your palms. Go back and forth squeezing it between your hands. To speed things up, you can run your hands under warm water so that the warm temperature helps speed things up.
Method 4: Microwave
Total time: 1 minute
Softening cream cheese in the microwave is the fastest method out of the four. However, it’s the most risky because you really have to watch it so you don’t accidentally cook your cream cheese!
Unwrap your brick of cream cheese and place it on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave it on high in increments of 10-15 seconds until it’s reached the desired softness.
What’s our preferred method to soften cream cheese?
This may surprise you, but our preferred method in softening cream cheese is actually the countertop and for a few reasons.
- Consistent texture – we found that the countertop method leaves your cream cheese the most evenly softened. Other methods such as the microwave can sometimes soften unevenly and even accidentally bake part of the brick!
- Hands-of – that’s right, no hands involved in this method. It’s a set it and forget it kind of method.
Recipes that use Softened Cream Cheese
How to Soften Cream Cheese
- 8 oz. cream cheese brick-style
- Remove chilled cream cheese from its packaging and place it on a microwave-safe plate.
- Microwave on high in increments of 10-15 seconds. It should take around 1 minute to 1.5 minutes to soften until your desired texture.
- Remove cream cheese from its packaging and place it on a plate.
- Either leave it whole or slice it into chunks for faster results and let it sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour to soften to desired texture.
- Tip: turn your oven onto low and then place the cream cheese wrapper on top of the oven and then place the cream cheese on top of the wrapper.
- Fill a large bowl with warm water.
- Keep cream cheese in it’s sealed packaging and then place the cream cheese into the water.
- Let sit in the warm water for 5-10 minutes or until softened.
- Keep cream cheese in its packaging.
- Then, use your hands to massage the cream cheese brick for 10-15 minutes or until softened.
- Tip: run your hands under warm water so that the heat helps speed up the process.