Cream cheese should be smooth, easy to spread, and ideal not just for bagels but has many baking uses too.
It’s one of my favorite ingredients, but have you ever noticed that sometimes it’s lumpy?
Not what you expect to see, and it can be quite off-putting!
If you are cooking with cream cheese, the lumps can ruin the texture of your dish, which is a bit frustrating.
So, what causes lumpy or uneven cream cheese?
Has it been stored or handled incorrectly?
Does overmixing it for a recipe cause the cheese to go lumpy?
Let’s delve into the world of unexpected lumps!
Cream cheese could become lumpy through incorrect storage and handling. It should be kept refrigerated and not exposed to high humidity. Cream cheese should always be used before its expiry date. However, lumps are not generally a sign that the cheese has gone off; it can still be consumed. When using cream cheese for a recipe, it should be mixed thoroughly but avoid overbeating it. Lumpy cream cheese can still be used for baking but may change the texture of the dish. To remove the lumps from cream cheese, it can be microwaved or gently pulsed in a food processor.
What Causes Lumpy Cream Cheese?
If you’re anything like me, the thought of lumpy cream cheese can be somewhat disgusting!
It should be soft, smooth, and spreadable and is made from milk and cream.
But does it really matter if the cream cheese has lumps in it?
Let’s have a look at what causes it.
How you are storing the cream cheese could be the problem.
It must always be refrigerated, preferably in an airtight container.
Only take it out when you are ready to use it, and don’t allow it to be exposed to high levels of humidity any longer than necessary.
Always respect the expiry date, even if the cheese looks fine.
Lumps don’t necessarily mean that the cream cheese has gone off.
That would be indicated by a bad odor, the growth of mold, or a change in color.
Realistically, cream cheese should last for around two weeks once opened and sealed tightly.
If you are using the cream cheese for baking or making a sauce, then you could have created the lumps by overbeating it.
Mix thoroughly without being too aggressive!
However, you can still use lumpy cream cheese for baking, but do be aware that the texture could be different.
And it won’t look very attractive as lumpy frosting!
How to Fix Lumpy Cream Cheese?
So, now we’ve established that lumpy cream cheese is still edible, how do we fix it?
The first option is to microwave it, but do this in short bursts, just a few seconds at a time.
It goes without saying that you need to transfer the cream cheese to a microwave-safe dish and not keep it in its original packaging.
Stir it gently after each burst of microwaving until you see all the lumps have gone.
The next method is to use a hand mixer to beat the cream cheese.
Now, this sounds counter-intuitive, given that over-beating can cause the lumps in the first place, but I can assure you it works!
Using a food processor can achieve the same results; just pulse it gently until the lumps are gone, and the cream cheese is at the right consistency.
But although you can fix lumpy cream cheese, it’s best not to let it happen in the first place, as it’s usually your own fault!
Keep it refrigerated, don’t overbeat it, don’t expose the cheese to high humidity, and don’t use it past the expiry date.
Lumpy Cream Cheese Frosting
- Lumpy cream cheese can be caused by incorrect storage
- It should be kept refrigerated at all times
- Don’t overbeat the cream cheese
- Microwaving can remove the lumps, as can hand mixers and food processors
- Lumpy cream cheese is perfectly safe to eat
Let me know if you have ever come across the lumpy cheese problem and how you solved it.
On a similar subject, why not find out what to do if there are bubbles in your cottage cheese?