How long is cream cheese good for?

In this article, we will answer the question “How long is cream cheese good for?”, and how to store cream cheese?

How long is cream cheese good for?

Dairy products do not last long. Once opened, c=it is recommended to consume cream cheese within a week for peak quality. The following table shows an estimated shelf-life of opened and unopened cream cheese.

In the fridge 
Cream cheese (unopened)3-4 weeks past the sell-by date
Cream cheese (opened)7-10 days 

Homemade cream cheese vs store-bought cream cheese

The homemade cheese will only last long as the most quickly expiring ingredient. While the additional ingredients enhance the taste of the homemade cream cheese, they can sometimes limit its shelf-life.

Store-bought cream cheese comes with an expiry date and usually lasts longer than its homemade counterpart. It is because it has preservatives. Store-bought cream cheese comes in different varieties e.g plain and reduced-fat, that use different ingredients. Therefore each type of cream cheese will have a varying shelf-life depending upon its ingredients. Unopened store-bought cream cheese will last 4 weeks on average.

How to store cream cheese?

Like buttermilk, yogurt, or kefir, cream cheese should be refrigerated at all times. Once opened, it should be sealed tightly to prevent spoilage. If the original packaging of the cream cheese is not resealable, consider transferring it to an air-tight container or a freezer bag. Alternatively, wrap it up in plastic or aluminum foil and secure it with rubber bands.

If you are using cream cheese as a spread, double-dipping might sound tempting but it should be avoided at all costs. Use clean spoons for scooping out the cream cheese.

Can you freeze cream cheese?

Cream cheese can be frozen but the quality won’t be the same. Cream cheese will dry out during freezing and become crumbly after thawing. In some recipes, the altered texture won’t be a big problem. But the thawed cheese cannot be used as a sandwich spread.

How the cream cheese behaves during freezing depends a lot on its initial consistency, ingredients, and overall quality.

For freezing cream cheese, use heavy-duty freezer bags or aluminum foil wraps. An ice cube or muffin tray can also be used.

How to store cream cheese frosting?

Store the prepared cream cheese frosting in an air-tight container, saleable plastic food bowls of freeze bags in the fridge for up to 3 days. Refrigeration will stiffen the frosting. Therefore, beat it using a whisk or an electric beater to soften the peaks. For storing muffins, cakes, or cupcakes with cream cheese frosting put them in an air-tight container and keep them in the fridge.

Other FAQs about Cream Cheese which you may be interested in.

How long does cream cheese last?

How to tell if cream cheese is bad?

How to tell If the cream cheese has gone bad?

  1. If the cream cheese develops discolored patches or spots due to mold growth or becomes slimy to touch, it has gone bad. Similarly, crumbly cream cheese won’t provide the same flavor and should be discarded.
  2. If the cream cheese smells sour, throw it away immediately.
  3. If the cheese has been sitting long enough, taste it before spreading it on a toast or adding to other recipes. If the cream cheese has a sour taste, get rid of it.

How to make cream cheese at home?

Cream cheese can be eaten plain, spread on toast, added to baked goods, or used in cooking.


  • 2 liters full-fat milk
  • 1 lemon-5 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • pinch of dried herbs garlic powder, dried chilies, etc (optional)


  1. In a saucepan, pour all the milk. Heta the milk on medium-high heat.
  2. When the milk starts to boil, add lemon juice to it and turn off the heat right away.
  3. Let the milk rest. After few minutes, curdles will form in the milk leaving behind a yellowish fluid.
  4. When the curdling is complete, filter the filter to remove the whey fluid using a sieve. Alternatively, use a slotted spoon to filter the whey from the curdles.
  5. Rinse the whey in cold water to remove any adhering whey. Squeeze the curdles after washing. This would make sure all the water is drained along with the whey.
  6. In a food processor, add the strained clumps and salt. Run the processor at high speed for a few minutes or until the cream cheese is light and fluffy.
  7. At this point. Any flavoring including garlic powder or dried herbs can be added. However, keep in mind that the added flavoring will affect the shelf-life of the end product.
  8. Store the cream cheese in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 7 days.


In this article, we answered the question “How long is cream cheese good for?”, and how to store cream cheese?


Hello, I'm Sana Ameer. I'm a student of Food Science and Technology at UVAS. I like to bake and I aspire to become a Food blogger.