Can You Microwave Cream Cheese?

Cream cheese is a great thing to add to all sorts of recipes, including sweet and savory dishes.

Cream cheese is often used for cream cheese frosting, as well as in a lot of pasta dishes.

But, if you do not have the desired softness for an icing recipe, what do you do?

There’s nothing worse than unpleasant lumps in your cream cheese icing, as well as hard cream cheese.

Well, how do you resolve these issues?

Is there a microwave method for getting cream cheese to room temperature, or it is too risky?

After a close search, we have the best answers and tips for you and your cream cheese needs!

At What Temperature Does Cream Cheese Melt?

Cream cheese melts at around 130F, but it begins to soften at 90F. This is because cream cheese contains solid milk fat, which breaks down at room temperature, beginning to liquify.

The amount of fat and acidity within the cream cheese will let you know how long it needs to soften.

Softened cream cheese is necessary for cream cheese frosting, and with cold cream cheese, it will not work.

To soften cream cheese quickly, let the cream cheese sit for a while. It will reach room temperature naturally, meaning you will not have to use the microwave.

Why Won’t My Cream Cheese Melt In The Microwave?

Cream cheese contains acid, and solid milk fats/ Sometimes, it will not melt. There are a few reasons why this may be.

It could have a lower fat content, meaning it is more likely to completely curdle, rather than actually melt.

Melting cream cheese is pretty simple, but if it is low fat, the cream cheese will struggle to soften, often developing a strange texture.

Additionally, cream cheese may not be melting because the heat is too high.

If you microwave cream cheese, you need to do it on a lower temperature. This is due to the high fat content.

Curdling will occur at high temperatures, and it needs to be melted low and slow.

Additionally, acid within the cream cheese will create curdling.

Before you add your softened cream cheese to recipes, make sure the other ingredients are mixed together at room temperature, too.

Can You Microwave Cream Cheese?

Well, the answer is yes. You can indeed melt cream cheese in the microwave. It is safe to microwave cream cheese, but never ever microwave it in its original packaging.

Foil wrapping will react at high heat in the microwave, and it may even set alight. The foil wrapper should not be used, and plastic wrap should be avoided, too.

To microwave the cream cheese, pop it on a microwave safe plate, and heat cream cheese in the microwave.

To prevent lumps, it may be a good idea to cut the cream cheese into small pieces, and even cubes.

Microwave the cheese on high power for around 15-20 seconds, but it is preferable to use a less powerful microwave.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Take the cream cheese out of its cardboard packaging/foil, and pop it on a microwave safe plate. To soften the whole slab at once, leave it whole.

It you want it for an icing recipe, it may be better to cut it into cubes. After you have microwaved it, it will be easily spread, and soft.

Can you microwave cream cheese (1)

Can You Use Water To Soften Cream Cheese?

Another way to quickly soften cream cheese is to use warm water. A water bath is a great method for softening cream cheese, and it is easy to do.

This also works for frozen cream cheese.

Start by removing the block of cream cheese from the refrigerator. Great recipes call for softened cheese, especially in cheesecake.

Cheesecake needs cheese in order for it to be a cheesecake, and you may not want to use the microwave to soften it.

Place your cream cheese in a ziplock bag, or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap.

This is necessary for the cheese to reach room temperature from chilled.

Get a bowl, and fill it with very warm water.

The bowl will be warm, and the cream cheese will soften in the water. Pop the cheese into the bowl, and leave it for around ten minutes.

The time may vary depending on the temperature of your water.

Remove the cream cheese from the bowl, and mix it into your desserts or use it for baking.

Can You Whip Cream Cheese?

Whipped cream cheese may be used for recipes such as cheesecake, or for soft and fluffy desserts. Often, mixing butter with whipped cheese creates delicious and rich bakes.

Softening cream cheese is super simple, and once it has softened, whip it up, and bake it, among other ingredients for your baked goods.

Why Soften Cream Cheese?

Microwaving cream cheese is the most popular way to soften cream cheese, but why does it need to be soft?

By softening the cream cheese, you are making it easier to use, and shortening your prep time.

Cooking is time consuming, and you do not want to spend an hour mixing your cheesecake batter because the cream cheese is still cold.

You can let it sit on the side for an hour, but by choosing to soften it, you are using heat to create a better texture, and a quicker baking process.

Cream cheese from the refrigerator is only good for savory cooking, not baking. Softened cream cheese is so much better to use in a mix or batter, along with butter, cream, and other desserts.

However, you probably do not want melted cream cheese, as this is not good for anything.

Melted cream cheese may be used in savory dishes, but once you melt cheese in the microwave to soften cream cheese quickly, there is no going back.

Final Thoughts

Softening cheese in the microwave is a great way to get that block of cream cheese ready for baking.

The cube method is another great way to soften cream cheese in the microwave, as a lot of baking recipes require the cheese softened. We hope you found this article interesting!

Picture of Kathryn Sewell

Kathryn Sewell

Hi! I'm Kate and I have been baking and cooking for as long as I can remember. I like to share the most interesting tips and recipes I try here on What Kate Baked for you to enjoy. If you have a favorite recipe you'd like to share send it over on social.

About the Author