Can you freeze cream cheese? Everyone knows it tastes best when it’s fresh. While many people use it often, many ask if it is okay to freeze it.
Cream cheese is a delicious cheese that is soft in texture and has a high-fat content along with a mild taste. The cheese is most useful as a spread on top of bagels, crackers and vegetable sticks. Others use it for making creamy sauces for pasta dishes. Or for making creamy frostings that top cupcakes and cinnamon rolls. As you can tell, those popular uses won’t be that good with frozen and thawed cream cheese.
Freezing cream cheese changes its texture significantly. The texture becomes crumbly. In most dishes, crumbly cream cheese is a no go. But if you plan to use it for baking goods, the altered texture is not a big deal because you cannot notice it. With that said you could stock up on cream cheese when it is on sale and freeze it if you plan to use it for baking goods only.
Otherwise, cream cheese is best, as it is fresh out of the package and not frozen. You can keep it stored in your refrigerator safely for about a month without it spoiling. So the freezing method should only be used if you do not plan to use the cream cheese up within that time. Below is a guide on how can you freeze cream cheese:
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How to Freeze Cream Cheese?
Freezing Unopened Cream Cheese
If you do decide to freeze cream cheese, it is best to freeze it once you buy. Leave it in its original packaging, but place the entire package into a freezer bag and freeze it that way. This prevents any frost burn from occurring on it.
You can keep cream cheese frozen this way for up to 6 months, but storing it any longer than that is not a good idea.
Freezing Leftover Cream Cheese
If say, you have leftover cream cheese that’s nearing its expiry date, you can use its original packaging or transfer the product to an airtight container prior to freezing.
If you’re using the original packaging, wrap the product well to seal it. Then, place the product in a resealable plastic bag. The extra layer of protection will prevent frost from seeping into the cream cheese. Squeeze out the air as you seal the plastic bag. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer.
On the other hand, if you’d like to transfer the leftover cream cheese in an airtight container, do so using a spoon. Carefully spoon in the product into the container, filling it halfway through. Cover with cling wrap before sealing with the lid. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer.
How to Defrost Frozen Cream Cheese?
To thaw it, remove it from the freezer the day before and allow it to defrost in the refrigerator overnight. After, you can use the cheese for whatever recipe you decide to use it in, but keep in mind it will not make good creamy sauces or spreads.
During the freezing and defrosting process, your cream cheese will become dried out and crumbly in texture and even a bit watery. The cheese though will still keep its mild-tasting cheesy flavor.
When it comes to freezing cream cheese it should only be considered if you cannot use it within a month or only plan to use it in baked goods. Otherwise, buy it from the store on sale in bulk and just leave it in your refrigerator this way.
Now that you know how to freeze cream cheese properly, the product will keep fresh for a while and hold its true creamy texture for months.