This Is The Easiest Method To Soften Cream Cheese

Cream cheese is literally everything when it comes to cooking — it's the deliciously smooth bagel spread, heavenly baking ingredient, or special secret in your most beloved dish. This delicious cheese is effortlessly versatile in thousands of recipes, from dips to cheesecakes, but that doesn't always mean it's ready to go when you need it most.

There's nothing quite as frustrating as preparing a meal or toasting a bagel and pulling out a super cold, super stiff block of cream cheese from the fridge that you forgot to soften first. A standard method of doing so is to leave it on the counter to find its way down to room temperature. The only bad part is that this option can take upwards of two hours, says All Recipes, and most of us don't always have that kind of time on our hands.

A quick solution, as you might already know, is sticking that cream cheese block in the microwave for a few seconds at a time. But if you're not careful, you could end up with messy splatter or a pretty gnarly liquified end product.

Here are more quick and easy ways to soften cream cheese

Another popular way of softening cream cheese quickly is to securely seal it in a bag and submerge it in warm water for about 10 minutes. This article from Southern Living explains how this method is not only quick and easy, but leaves you without any extra dishes to clean up afterwards, which we consider a win.

A perhaps less widely known trick is using your hand or automatic mixer to attack that pesky block of cream cheese and beat it until it softens. While this does require the cleanup of an extra bowl afterwards, this method usually only takes about a minute to complete. Plus, if you need softened cream cheese to mix with a bunch of additional ingredients, this is a great way to do so and have a bowl ready for your extra add-ins, advises The Stay at Home Chef.