Whether you want to enjoy it as a condiment or need to use some up for a recipe, sometimes you just have too much left and wonder how to preserve it.
Maybe you can freeze cream cheese? In short – yes, you can!
There are many methods on how to store your cream cheese and one of them is by putting it in the freezer. Before doing so, here are some tips and tricks to remember.
How to Freeze Cream Cheese?
Depending on whether the package is already open, the preparation changes slightly.
Here’s how to freeze it:
If the package is unopened, you can simply place the cream cheese in the freezer as is. You can then store it for at least up to six months.
If the cheese has already been opened, you usually can’t freeze it for as long. However, it depends. In any case, you should always check if the cheese still smells good before eating it.
Freezing your cream cheese:
- Take the desired amount out of the container and put it in a zip-lock back or airtight container.
- If using a zip-lock bag, make sure there is no air left in the package before sealing it. You can also wrap the cream cheese into a plastic wrap as a double layer.
- Note down the name and date of freezing.
- Put into the freezer.
Tip: Always keep your cream cheese tightly wrapped and sealed when not in use. Make sure nothing spills into it, such as oil or other condiments, and make sure there is no water on it either.
How Long Can You Keep Cream Cheese in the Freezer?
I recommend keeping it in the freezer for just a couple of months max. If you keep it longer chances are that cream cheese loses more taste and texture. That’s actually a general rule when freezing food or dishes. Freezing will slow down the process of spoilage, but it won’t stop it completely.
To give you a number, I’d say you can leave cream cheese in the freezer for about 6 months (if it’s unopened) and 2 months (if it’s opened).
How to Thaw Frozen Cream Cheese?
In order to thaw your frozen cream cheese, putting it in the fridge for a couple of hours and letting it defrost slowly is the best way to keep the texture.
To speed up the process, you can lay it in a bowl of lukewarm water first.
I recommend avoiding too much heat, because this may affect quality negatively.
If your cream cheese is fully thawed and lost a bit of its creaminess, below we provide some tips on how you can get it creamier again.
What kind of Cream Cheese can be Frozen?
There are many types of cream cheese that you can freeze. You can freeze cream cheese made from whole milk, low-fat milk or with herbs.
In principle, this should work well with most types of cream cheese. Possibly varieties with other additives can cause problems.
This would have to be checked individually.
It will also not preserve consistency and taste equally well with all cream cheese varieties, since the composition already makes a difference (fat content, etc.).
Can You Freeze Philadelphia Cream Cheese?
Yes, you can also freeze Philadelphia cream cheese, but the taste will suffer in the same way. Also, the consistency will be different and not as good as fresh.
Can You Freeze Cream Cheese Dips?
Do you have some cream cheese dips left from the party? Do not throw it away! Just put the dip in the freezer for later usage. Be aware though that the taste may suffer, but you can at least extend the life of your leftovers.
Can You Freeze Cream Cheese Frosting?
Cream cheese frosting is one of the most popular types, especially for cake lovers out there. You can easily freeze cream cheese frosting by putting it in the freezer before it’s completely firm. Make sure to use a clean and airtight container, such as an air-tight zip lock bag (after squeezing out any excess air).
As cream cheese has the tendency to crumble, this will also affect the frosting – if you freeze and thaw it.
As a result, your cream cheese frosting will not have perfect consistency and shape anymore, but it still tastes good.
Can You Freeze Cream Cheese in a Casserole?
Yes, you can also freeze cream cheese in a casserole! But keep in mind that it possibly won’t taste the same anymore. The change in the consistency of cream cheese may affect your casserole in a negative way.
But this depends also on the other ingredients that were added to the recipe.
How does Freezing Change the Fresh Cream Cheese?
Freezing changes the texture of the cream cheese from a smooth, creamy product to a more crumbly one because of the water content. This is similar, for example, when you freeze coconut milk. The taste will also change slightly.
It’s certainly ideal for cooking and baking, but maybe not as good as a spread. But that’s also a matter of personal taste and tolerance, I think.
What are some Benefits of Freezing Cream Cheese?
Freezing cheese can come in handy frequently. Maybe you need to bake something for an event and don’t want to use the same batch of cream cheese for months. Freezing it will let you thaw out just enough to meet your needs without wasting any.
Another benefit of freezing cream cheese is the ability to mix it with other ingredients without worrying about spoilage or imparting flavor to other foods in the fridge.
The Disadvantages of Freezing Your Cream Cheese
Losing consistency or texture and taste is certainly one of the major drawbacks.
But if you can live with it well, I don’t see any other drawbacks worth mentioning.
Can You Get Frozen Cream Cheese Creamy Again?
When you freeze your cream cheese, it is quite normal that it is a bit crumbly after thawing. For cooking or baking, this is not a big deal, as the cream cheese is usually still processed.
As a spread, however, this is not ideal. With a few tricks, you can try to get this under control and so nothing stands in the way of enjoyment.
Different ways you can make the cream cheese creamy again:
- Warm the cheese slightly, for example, in a water bath and stir it vigorously during thawing.
- Add a few drops of cold water to the frozen block of cream cheese and stir until the desired consistency is reached.
- Add some fresh cream cheese and mix the two well.
Just try it out to see what works best for you. However, do not heat the cheese too much and if only carefully add water.
What are Some Good Things to Make with Frozen Cream Cheese?
You can use your frozen cream cheese in baked goods like cheesecakes, muffins or cake pops. You can also use it in cream-based soups like chowder. By the way, you can also freeze chowder.
What about these little cheese balls? I bet they’ll taste great with some frozen cream cheese!
You can also use cream cheese for a special dumpling variation.
Conclusion – Is Freezing Cream Cheese a Good Idea?
Freezing cream cheese is a great way to store it and make it last longer. Just freeze the desired amount for a few months and so you always have (almost) fresh cream cheese in the house. It still tastes good, but its texture and flavor will change.
That is why frozen and thawed cream cheese is generally better used for cooking than as a spread.