The best way to consume cream cheese is when it is still fresh. However, if you can’t eat it by the expiry date, can you freeze it? Can you freeze cream cheese?
You can safely freeze unopened cream cheese in the freezer with its original packaging. The packaging, including the foil wrapping, will protect the cream cheese from freezer burn.
Once it is frozen and you keep the cream cheese in the freezer, it will be good for a maximum of two months.
You can preserve opened cream cheese for a longer period of time if you put it in a resealable bag or an airtight container and then store it in the fridge. Whatever type of cream cheese you have, consume it within 10 days after opening its original packing.
Read on to learn more about freezing cream cheese, how long you can freeze and store it, and relevant information to help you better use this food item.
Can You Freeze Cream Cheese?
You can freeze cream cheese. It is perfectly alright for you to store the unopened cream cheese package inside the freezer to extend its shelf life. Once you freeze it, its consumable life will be extended up to two months.
To better preserve leftover cream cheese, put it in a completely sealed container or resealable bag, and then store it in your fridge or freezer. Remember that you have to consume the remaining cream cheese within 10 days once you open the package.
How Long Can You Freeze Cream Cheese?
If you store unopened cream cheese inside the freezer, you can extend its shelf life up to two months. Its foil wrapping and the box will help protect the inside contents from freezer burn.
You can also extend the cream cheese’s shelf life after opening its package by storing the leftovers inside a tightly sealed container or plastic bag.
Then put this airtight container inside the fridge. The fridge temperature should be kept at 40°F or even lower. Keeping the leftover cream cheese inside a sealed container will prevent moisture and other contaminants from spoiling it.
Can You Freeze Cream Cheese Spread?
You can freeze cream cheese spread. However, the contents of the spread may separate when it undergoes the freezing process.
Thus, the spread may not be as pleasant as you may want it to be when you spread it on bagels. However, you can restore some of its original consistency so that you can use it for baking and in dips.
Cream cheese spread is whipped, so it is lighter and airier. This makes it best when eaten fresh. However, you can freeze it, but it won’t be as good.
Once thawed, the texture of frozen cream cheese spread is crumbly and less creamy. When cream cheese spread is frozen and then thawed, its solid and liquid contents tend to separate.
The resulting texture will be somewhat grainy. But don’t think that the spread has already gone bad. It’s only the texture that has changed, nothing more.
So, can you freeze cream cheese spread? You can freeze cream cheese spread. Cream cheese spread will last for 2 to 3 months in the freezer. When you thaw out the cream cheese spread, keep in mind that it will be crumbly.
Can You Freeze Cream Cheese Frosting?
You can freeze cream cheese frosting. Cream cheese frosting freezes very well because of its high-fat content. If you use an airtight container, the frosting will stay frozen for up to 3 months. Please do not leave the frosting at room temperature because it will easily melt. You should at least store the leftover inside the fridge.
If you store the leftovers of frosting in the fridge, it will last up to 3 days. Allowing the frosting to stay at a cool room temperature will enable it to last up to 8 hours. But if the room temperature is quite high, the most it will last is only a couple of hours.
But always remember that it is not safe to leave cream cheese frosting at room temperature. It would be best if you thawed frozen cream cheese inside the fridge.
Move it from the freezer to the fridge one day before you plan on using it. If the cream cheese is on the topping of a cake, you can freeze it along with the whole cake.
So, can you freeze cream cheese frosting? Cream cheese frosting can be kept in the freezer. With an airtight container, the frosting will stay frozen for up to 3 months. Move it to the fridge one day before you plan on using it.
Can You Freeze Cream Cheese Icing?
You can freeze cream cheese icing. Cream cheese icing freezes well because of its high-fat content. If you put it inside an airtight container, you can extend its shelf life up to 3 months.
Again, don’t leave the icing to thaw at room temperature. It is best to thaw it inside the fridge.
You can freeze cream cheese icing, whether alone or on cupcakes or a cake. If you allow it to sit at room temperature, it will remain viable for up to 8 hours. After that, you should put it inside the fridge, or it will start to spoil.
If you put the icing inside an airtight container and put it inside the fridge, it will last up to 3 days. If inside the freezer, it will remain viable for up to 1 month.
So, can you freeze cream cheese icing? You can freeze cream cheese icing. If you store it in an airtight container, it can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months. Move the cream cheese icing to the fridge a day before you plan to use it.
How to Freeze Cream Cheese?
You can freeze both unopened and opened cream cheese. The freezing technique for the former is slightly different from the latter.
Here are the steps on how you can freeze respective cream cheese products:
Unopened Cream Cheese
If you bought a good amount of cream cheese to be used for a certain purpose, it is a good idea to freeze them to extend their shelf lives. Straight from the grocery with all their original packing, put the cream cheese inside your freezer.
The cardboard box and the cream cheese’s foil wrapping will be sufficient to protect their contents from freezer burn. You can keep them in your freezer for up to a maximum of two months.
Opened Cream Cheese
After you have opened the cream cheese package and consumed some of its contents, transfer the leftovers to an airtight container or resealable plastic bag. Then put it inside your freezer.
Write the storage date on the container before putting it inside the freezer. You have up to two months from this date to consume its contents. Be sure that the cream cheese is not past its expiry date before storing it in your freezer.
How to Store Cream Cheese in the Fridge or Freezer?
It is important to store cream cheese properly in the fridge or freezer to ensure that it is still viable when you are ready to use it.
Here’s how to properly store cream cheese in the freezer or fridge:
- Grab cream cheese last when you are grocery shopping. Get it only when you are ready to check out your food items at the cashier;
- You should never leave cream cheese at room temperature for over two hours;
- Always keep cream cheese inside the fridge or freezer. Your fridge’s temperature should be kept at 40°F or lower consistently;
- Don’t use plastic containers softer than foil-wrapped blocks in storing cream cheese to keep its consistency;
- If still unopened, refrigerate cream cheese with its original package; and
- Once the package is opened, transfer its content to an airtight container or resealable wraps or freezer bags.
Tips to Properly Freeze Cream Cheese
If you want to freeze cream cheese effectively, you have to ensure that the container you will use is completely airtight. You have to remove as much oxygen and moisture as possible in this container.
You can make sure of this if you use a vacuum sealer. Before you seal the bag, you should press out as much air as possible. You can also double bag it, repeating the same process to the second bag. For instance, use a zip lock bag first and then put this bag inside an airtight container.
Once you freeze cream cheese, its texture will become crumbly and grainy. Like any cheese, it is composed of fat and protein networks where water is trapped inside. Cream cheese is composed of 50% water.
Since water is denser than ice, when it freezes, the ice crystals expand. This causes the protein and fat networks to rupture.
The cheese structure collapses, and the protein and fat separate from each other, resulting in the texture of the cream cheese becoming crumbly and grainy. This change in the texture of cream cheese is irreversible.
How Long Does Cream Cheese Last in the Fridge?
Philadelphia Cream Cheese, one of the most popular cream cheese brands, says that unopened cream cheese, kept inside a fridge at a constant 40°F temperature, will be viable for at least one month past its “Best When Purchased By” date. But once the pack is opened, you have to consume its contents within 10 days.
How to Thaw Cream Cheese?
The proper way of thawing cream cheese is to let it sit in the fridge for a couple of hours or even overnight. Its texture will have changed because of freezing. It will become crumbly and grainy than normal refrigerated cream cheese. I already explained the reason for this above.
Allow the frozen cream cheese to soften completely inside the fridge before taking it out. Once it has thawed, you have to use or consume it within a week.
Again, can you freeze cream cheese? Yes, you can. It’s better to freeze an unopened cream cheese since the packaging can prevent it from freezer burn. But you can also freeze opened cream cheese by putting it in a freezer bag or an airtight container.
How to Tell When Cream Cheese Is Going Bad?
Yes, just like any food, cream cheese can also spoil. There are many signs when cream cheese is already going bad.
Here are some of them:
1. Mold Growing on the Surface
If you see mold already present on the surface of cream cheese, don’t use it anymore.
2. Separation and Cracks on the Surface
If these conditions are present, the cream cheese has gone bad. The surface of good-to-eat cream cheese is uniform and smooth in appearance. But as it gets old, it will dry out, and cracks will form and separate.
3. Foul Smell
If the smell of the cream cheese is sour or moldy, discard it. It isn’t good.
4. Surface Has Dried Out
If the cream cheese’s surface is hard, yellowish, waxy, and dry, it is no longer good to eat. Although it is not really spoiled, it does not taste good. You can cut out the dried-out part and see if the rest is still pleasant to eat.
5. Presence of Big Pools of Liquid or Moisture on the Surface
Large pools of liquid mean that the cream cheese is no longer fit to eat. If there’s liquid but only a small amount, it is still viable.
Uses of Cream Cheese
You can utilize cream cheese in various ways, even those that have dried out and look unappealing. They are perfect ingredients for a lot of baked dishes, such as cheesecakes.
You can use cream cheese as an ingredient for dips and icing. You can also utilize it in making Chinese dishes.
Here is one recipe that includes frozen cream cheese as an ingredient:
Pineapple and Cream Cheese Recipe
- 8 ounces Philadelphia Cream Cheese (softened)
- 15 ounces crushed pineapple (Do not drain the juice.)
- 2 cups boiling water
- 6 ounces JELL-O lime-flavored gelatin
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 1/2 cup cold water
- Frozen fruit (assorted)
- 8 ounces (1 tub) cool whip
- Dissolve gelatin in two cups of boiling water. Then whisk in softened cream cheese until it is completely blended. Then add pineapple juice, crushed pineapple, and 1/2 cup of cold water. Pour into a 6-cup mold and refrigerate to set.
- Turn out mold onto the serving plate. Spoon cool whip into the mold’s center.
- Put the frozen fruit on top as you like. You can add fresh fruits if you like.
- Serve immediately.
- This recipe is good for 4 servings.
Conclusion – Can You Freeze Cream Cheese?
It is safe to store unopened cream cheese in the freezer with its original packaging. The foil wrapping and the packaging can protect the cream cheese from freezer burn. Once the cream cheese is frozen, it can still be kept in the freezer for a maximum of two months.
But keep in mind that frozen cream cheese, when thawed, is not as pleasant to eat as fresh cream cheese. When thawed, the texture of cream cheese becomes crumbly and grainy. But of course, you can still use it for other dishes such as the recipe we gave above.