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How to Soften Cream Cheese in Three Ways

Many baking or savory recipes require folding in the butter or cream cheese. It may sounds like a complicated process, but it is simply amalgamating the cream cheese into the recipe. However, store-bought cream cheese is stored in freezers. Sometimes it is rock solid like ice and can be softened using the following techniques:

How to soften cream cheese in warm water?

A microwave oven heats or reheats cheeses and butter unevenly. Some spots may be at the ideal temperature, while the remaining spots are cold to the touch. Similar can happen to a block of butter as well. An overly beaten or non-ideal cream cheese state will deflate the batter or the icing. 

Today, we learn how to soften cream cheese in warm water with the following steps:

  • Remove the block of cream cheese from the packaging and place it on the cutting cardboard slap. Do not puncture it but leave it in the internal foil wrapping.
  • Pick up the cream cheese block and place it in a bowl filled with hot water. Regular warm water straight from the tap will work fine too. Leave the block to rest in the water for 15 minutes.
  • You must turn the block every five minutes or so, so the cream cheese softens evenly. Unlike the microwave method, you can physically turn and monitor the cream cheese state for better assessment.
  • Continue to assess the cream cheese state by poking using your fingers. Once it has reached its desired state, take it out of the water bath and remove the wrapping. Now you may slice the block and use it as the recipe requires.


cream cheese

How to soften cream cheese on the kitchen countertop?

Many people choose to leave it out in the open without microwaving or bathing it in water. They prefer the traditional process to maintain the taste and integrity of the cream cheese block. However, it is advised if you choose to leave the block out in the open, slice and dice it. Otherwise, it may take up to an hour to soften. You can use a vegetable slicer for easy slicing. 

  • Begin this softening procedure by removing the cream cheese block from the final packaging and foil wrapping. Place it on the counter.
  • By using the sharpest knife or a vegetable slicer you own, cut into the cream cheese block to form one-inch cubes.
  • Now transfer the cubed cream cheese onto a plate. Cover the plate with the plastic and let it rest on the counter for 30 minutes.
  • Assess the cream state by poking the block from outside the plastic cover. Leave it to rest further if it is firm.

How to soften cream cheese quickly in a microwave?

  • If you intend to soften an eight-ounce cream cheese block quickly, you can microwave it. However, before doing so, remove it from the foil packaging and place it in an oven-safe bowl. Again, we do not want any collateral damages.
  • Place it in the microwave oven unwrapped, and blast it on high for 15 to 20 seconds intervals.
  • Poke the center of the cream cheese block with your finger. If the cream cheese feels softer to the touch, you are done. Otherwise, you may microwave it additionally for 10 more seconds if it has not softened to your desired consistency.
  • If you see that the cream cheese is overheating, add additional whey to the mixture to solidify it.


Be very careful when it comes to softening cream cheese quickly in a microwave oven. A well-softened cream cheese still feels cold to the touch and leaves a fingerprint mark. If you are hesitant to microwave it, the remaining methods should work just fine.

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