3 Easy Ways To Soften A Full Block Of Cream Cheese

Cream cheese is a wonderful ingredient that adds a silky luxurious texture and flavor to many recipes. It is such a versatile food that you can use it in almost anything from sausage balls to brownies. But cooking, and particularly baking, with cream cheese can be tricky. For one, mixing cold cream cheese into your recipe will surely result in unpleasant lumps


But, three tricks can help you warm up your cold cream cheese in a snap. One very quick, but risky, way is to set your block of cream cheese in the microwave. You will want to first remove it from its box and then from its foil wrapping, and then set it on a microwave-safe plate. Make sure to microwave the cheese at 10-second intervals, checking to make sure that it hasn't melted before adding more time. It should be stated, however, that this method is the riskiest of the three warming methods, but it can come in handy if you're working on an extreme time crunch. Just be careful you don't end up with a pool of liquid cream cheese!

Cube your cold cream cheese

Although microwaving your cream cheese is a quick way to get it to room temperature, there are some better, and less risky ways to get the job done. The second way to warm up your cream cheese is simply by letting it sit out. However, the USDA recommends you not leave your cream cheese out in environments above 40 degrees Fahrenheit for more than two hours as harmful bacteria such as Listeria monocytogenes can form. So, to help speed along the warming process first cube your cream cheese, reducing its surface area which will bring your cream cheese to room temperature in about 30 minutes.


But, if you want to keep your block intact, you can, but will take about an hour to get to the temperature. You will want to make sure to remove your cheese from its packaging and foil wrapping first, to help the cheese come to temperature in less time. However, maybe you want a method that takes less time but is also less prone to melting than microwaving. And, that's where water comes in.

Put your cold cream cheese in water

The third method of warming up your cream cheese is to set it in a warm water bath. This method will take about 15 minutes and is the perfect middle ground between microwaving and letting your cream cheese warm-up on the counter. All you need for this hack is your block of cream cheese, a bowl, and some very warm water. 


You'll want to take your cream cheese out of its box but keep it wrapped in foil, then simply place it in the bowl of warm water, flipping it occasionally to prevent one side from warming faster than the other. This method is simple, and less time-consuming than setting your cheese to warm up on the counter, and allows for a more even warming than the microwave method. However, it's up to you how you choose to handle your cream cheese, and each of these preparations might work best in different situations.