How to soften cream cheese – 3 methods

It is very important to make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature when making the dip. If you use it straight from the refrigerator, no matter how long it is beaten there will still be little lumps. No one wants lumps in their fruit dip! There are a few methods I like to use for bringing cream cheese to room temperature depending on how much time I have.
  1. The first method is to simply set the cream cheese out on the counter for 30 minutes to an hour in its original packaging. It shouldn’t be left out much longer than an hour.

  2. The second method is a hot water bath. Fill a bowl with hot tap water and place the cream cheese, still wrapped in foil, in the bowl for 5-10 minutes to bring it to room temperature. If the foil has been opened, place the cream cheese in a resealable plastic bag before placing it in the water bath.

  3. The third method is to soften it in the microwave. This is my least preferred method because it can melt and overcook. Most microwaves have a “soften” setting. If not, cut 8 ounces of cream cheese in cubes and microwave on high for 15-20 seconds. Stir. If not softened to the desired consistency, continue to microwave at 10 second increments until completely softened. This recipe makes approximately 2 cups of dip.