Cream cheese is a staple ingredient in everything from mashed potatoes to cheesecakes, but you don’t always use up a whole container. You may use your freezer to make the most of every last piece of cream cheese. You can freeze cream cheese, but you’ll need to consider how you plan to use the thawed cream cheese as the texture may become grainy. The good news is that it may still be used (and eaten!) in baked products, casseroles, and dips.
How Long Will Cream Cheese Last in the Refrigerator?
The experts at Philadelphia Cream Cheese recommend using cream cheese by the “best by” date on the package. After opening, cream cheese will last for up to 10 days in the fridge or by the “best by” date. Opened cream cheese should be stored in an airtight container.
How to Freeze Cream Cheese
Don’t throw out that brick of cream cheese in your fridge! Unopened containers of cream cheese should be frozen for the best results. The original packaging’s layers of foil and cardboard will help avoid freezer burn. If you’re freezing opened cream cheese, transfer it to an airtight container or freezer bag with the air pressed out. A vacuum sealer may also be used to help retain freshness.
To freeze individual portions of cream cheese, fill one large freezer bag with cream cheese and gently use your finger to score the cream cheese into smaller portions. After the cream cheese has frozen firm, cut it into pieces along the scored lines. Fill a big freezer bag with the pieces and use just what you need.
How Long Can You Freeze Cream Cheese?
Cream cheese may be frozen for up to two months. Be sure to label all packages and containers to help ensure you’re using it within the two month period. After thawing, do not refreeze cream cheese.
How to Thaw Frozen Cream Cheese
When you’re ready to thaw the cream cheese, the best method is to let it defrost in the refrigerator overnight. After the cream cheese has thawed, it may have separated. A short whisk will put the mixture back together, but the texture will be altered. When cream cheese is frozen, it forms ice crystals because it contains half water. The water separates from the cheese curds, resulting in a gritty texture. “Cream cheese can be frozen, but the texture may alter and may become gritty, affecting the final product’s texture. From a food safety point, it is fine, but the integrity of the product will change once frozen,” says Lynn Blanchard, Better Homes & Gardens Test Kitchen director.
Best Uses for Frozen Cream Cheese
“You may use frozen cream cheese in casseroles or baked items, but if the texture of the cream cheese would be noticeable, use refrigerated cream cheese instead,” Blanchard advises. Instead of putting frozen cream cheese on your bagel or using it in cheesecake, use it in dishes where texture is less important. Try incorporating it into a batch of baked cookies or a thick pound cake. It’s also great in creamy casseroles (like this homemade mac and cheese) or stirred into a bubbly baked dip recipe.
Can You Freeze Cream Cheese Frosting?
Because of its high fat content, cream cheese frosting may be frozen for up to 3 months. For optimal freshness, ensure the cream cheese frosting is stored in an airtight container or freezer bag. Any air that gets in creates moisture, which can cause freezer burn. Thaw the cream cheese frosting in the refrigerator overnight when ready to use. If you microwave it, the cream cheese frosting will lose its texture and consistency, which is not what you want from a frosting.
Can You Freeze Cream Cheese Dip?
You may freeze cream cheese dips for up to two months if you create them ahead of time or buy ready-made dips ahead of time. If you have any leftover cream cheese dip, store it in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to two months. If using a freezer bag, be sure to remove as much air as possible. Remove the container and leave it in the refrigerator overnight to defrost. Give it a thorough swirl when it has thawed. After thawing, you may notice changes in texture, consistency, or flavor, but it is still safe to consume.
Now that you know how to freeze cream cheese, you can stock up on it during grocery store bargains. Use this helpful guide to freezing cream cheese to ensure it stays fresh and freezer burn-free.
What happens when you freeze cream cheese frosting?
Cream cheese has a propensity to become crumbly after freezing, but since cream cheese frosting contains other ingredients, this impact may be lessened or even avoided after properly thawing the frosting.
Does cream cheese frosting freeze well?
Yes! This frosting freezes well because to its high fat content. In an airtight container, this frosting may be frozen for up to 3 months. Because it is not safe to leave this frosting at room temperature, it should thaw in the fridge.
Does freezing cream cheese change the taste?
Ice crystals will form inside the cream cheese after it has been frozen. This is typical and will have no effect on the flavor. However, it will have a gritty and crumbly texture. Many individuals may be put off by the texture.
Why doesn’t cream cheese freeze?
This is due to the formation of ice crystals during the freezing process. Cream cheese is half water and half emulsified cheese curds. The ice crystals break down the emulsion, causing the water and cheese curds to separate, leaving a grainy, crumbly consistency once the cream cheese is thawed.