Got some leftover cream cheese you’re worried you’re not going to finish up in time?
Or maybe you bought a dozen tubs of cream cheese on offer at the grocery store, only to realize you have no idea how to store it.
Either way, you’re here because you’re wondering: “can I freeze cream cheese?”
The answer is yes! Cream cheese in an excellent dairy product to freeze.
Make the most out of your soft, mild cream cheese by freezing it, to extend its storage life to an impressive 2 months!
Keep scrolling to find out about any changes you can expect in the process, plus how to freeze cream cheese. We even include a handy section on what to use thawed cream cheese in!
Is It A Good Idea To Freeze Cream Cheese?
Unfortunately, your cream cheese won’t be exactly the same when it comes out of the freezer. It will be more crumbly and less creamy.
Don’t expect your thawed cream cheese to spread in that same smooth way over your cracker or sandwich.
Therefore, it’s recommended that you only use cream cheese mixed in with other things, or cooked up in a dish. More on that in a bit.
This one’s important: never refreeze cream cheese. It encourages bacterial growth and can make you sick!
How To Freeze Cream Cheese
When it comes to freezing cream cheese, you’ve got 4 options. The first is just to chuck your unopened tubs of cream cheese in the freezer.
Since tubs of cream cheese come with a foil covering and a lid, your cream cheese will be just fine like this.
However, if you want to limit the texture change, store unopened tubs of cream cheese within an airtight freezer-proof container. This will really go the extra mile in protecting your cream cheese from that chilly freezer air.
Your third option is for if you’ve already opened up your tub of cream cheese. Transfer your cream cheese to an airtight container, and you’re done!
Ready for the final option? This one’s good if you have a ton of cream cheese – maybe you have a huge tub. Simply pour your cream cheese into cupcake trays, then cover with aluminum foil, and flash freeze for 2 hours.
Once the cream cheese in the cupcake tray has frozen solid, pop them out and transfer them to one big airtight container. The flash freezing step means you can save on freezer space without your cream cheese being frozen as one big solid chunk.
Once it comes to thawing, put your tub or container in the refrigerator overnight.
In a hurry? Thaw your cream cheese in a container in cold water on your counter. But only do this up to 2 hours, and then move your cream cheese back to the fridge to finish off. Otherwise, you risk your cream cheese going bad.
How Long Frozen Cream Cheese Lasts
Expect your frozen cream cheese to last up to 2 months in the freezer if stored straight in the unopened tub.
However, if you double wrap your cream cheese in an airtight container, it will stay good for up to 3 months.
Once thawed, try to consume your cream cheese within 5 days.
What To Use Frozen And Thawed Cream Cheese In
We’ve already covered that thawed cream cheese won’t be great as a spread. If you’re out of ideas on how to use your thawed cream cheese, here are some ideas:
- Cake frosting
Other Storage Options For Cream Cheese
Before you go, let’s go through the other storage methods, so you can be sure you’re making the right choice.
Cream cheese actually lasts quite a long time in the refrigerator, since most commercial brands contain stabilizers, like carob bean gum or carrageenan.
Expect your unopened cream cheese to last 2-3 weeks past its sell by date, if you’ve stored it well. That means keeping your cream cheese deep in the refrigerator, not in the fridge door – that’s the warmest part of the fridge and the part most prone to temperature fluctuations.
Once opened, your cream cheese will last for up to 10 days.
Obviously, use some common sense here. If you open your cream cheese 3 days past the sell by date, don’t expect it to last longer than a few more days!
The Summary On Cream Cheese
That’s it! Now you know whether freezing your cream cheese is the right option for you, plus how to do it. Here’s a quick summary if you need it:
- Thawed cream cheese shouldn’t be used as a spread, due to the texture change. Instead, use it in cheesecake or fudge.
- Cream cheese lasts up to 2 months in the freezer. Double-wrapped, it lasts up to 3 months.
- If you have lots of cream cheese but still want easy portioning, consider flash freezing. This will also save space in your freezer!
- You might not need to freeze your cream cheese. Stored properly, cream cheese will last 2-3 weeks past its sell by date.