This cream cheese wonton recipe is also an ultimate guide to making sweet, spicy and regular cream cheese wontons with options to deep fry, air fry and bake in the oven. This guide makes homemade wontons quick and simple!
Grandma Mickey – Where the Wontons Started
Hot Tom’s grandma is from Japan. Her name is Michiko but we call her Grandma Mickey. She is this sweet little Japanese woman with some killer cooking skills. I love her and her cooking more than I can explain.
Every year on Thanksgiving Mickey makes homemade sushi, wontons and her famous teriyaki chicken wings for appetizers. To say her food is amazing would be a vast understatement.
Anyway, many years ago I went to my first Thanksgiving with Tom’s family (well before we were married). I asked if there was anything I could help with. Grandma Mickey said I could make the cream cheese wontons and started showing me how to fold them.
After she gave me a quick wonton folding lesson, she looked me straight in the eyes and sweetly says in her thick Japanese accent, “If your wontons explode when we fry them, you can’t come back but if they don’t explode you’re ok. So fold them right.”
Being as I didn’t know Tom’s family very well at this point, I had no idea if she was serious or not. She seemed pretty serious so I folded all my wontons VERY carefully and said a little prayer to the wonton gods.
When it came time to fry the wontons I folded, not a single one exploded. THANK GOD! I WAS WELCOME BACK! Haha this story always makes me laugh.
Quick Recipe Overview
Flavor: This recipe includes three different cream cheese wonton flavors to choose from; regular, spicy and sweet cream. They are crunchy and deliciously creamy. Eat the wontons as they are or dip them in soy sauce, sweet & sour sauce, teriyaki sauce or spicy mayo if you like!
To Make: Homemade wontons are much easier to make than you might think. I’ll show you exactly how I fill, fold, make ahead, store, freeze, fry, bake, air fry and much more. To make a batch of 30 or so takes less than 30 minutes start to finish.
My Favorite Thing About This Recipe: The cream cheese to wonton ratio is perfect. It is such a disappointment when you bite into a wonton at a restaurant to find there is more air than cream cheese in the middle. That is never a problem when you make your own!
How to Make Cream Cheese Wontons
Ingredient Questions Answered
What are wonton wrappers?
Wonton wrappers are small squares of very thin dough used to make wontons, dumplings, egg rolls and other delicious snacks.
Where to buy wonton wrappers in grocery store?
Wonton wrappers can be found at most grocery stores. The location within the grocery store depends the store. I most often find them in the refrigerated produce section. However, I’ve also seen them in the deli area or in the dairy section.
How many wonton wrappers are in a 12 oz package?
Wonton wrappers most often come in 12-14 oz. packages. On average, each package contains about 50 wonton wrappers.
Can you freeze wonton wrappers?
Yes! Just put them in a sealed baggie before putting them in the freezer. Thaw them in the fridge.
Best oil for deep frying.
Oils with a high smoke point are best for deep frying because they remain stable at the higher cooking temperatures needed for deep frying.
I recommend using canola because it has a high smoke point, has a mild flavor and is very affordable. Other oils with high smoke points such as peanut oil, coconut oil or corn oil can also be used to deep fry.
Do not use olive oil because it has a low smoke point and is quite expensive to use the quantity needed for deep frying.
Below are three different cream cheese fillings that are only 1 or 2 ingredients. Yes, they are that simple! When I make a batch of wontons, I usually make all three flavors. Sweet cream cheese wontons are my personal favorite.
Regular Cream Cheese Wontons
Regular cream cheese wontons are just that, cream cheese! No other ingredients are needed to make the filling.
Sweet Cream Cheese Wontons
To make a sweet cream cheese filling, combine 1 Tbsp. of powdered sugar per ounce of cream cheese. So, for every 8 ounce package of cream cheese, add 1/2 cup of powdered sugar.
Once the wontons are folded, fried and ready to be eaten, sprinkle them with a little more powdered for extra sweetness.
Spicy Cream Cheese Wontons
To make a spicy cream cheese filling, combine 1 tsp. of sriracha (or other hot sauce) per ounce of cream cheese. So, for every 8 ounce package of cream cheese, add about 2 1/2 Tbsp. of sriracha.
For a milder filling, use less sriracha. For a spicier filling, use more sriracha.
How to Fold Wontons
There are a ton of ways to fold wontons. I’m going to show you the open envelope style because it is quick and easy whether you’re a novice or expert!
You will need wonton wrappers, your filling and egg wash (1 egg + 2 Tbsp. water whisked). Egg wash acts as the glue when you’re folding your wontons.
- Step 1 – Place a single wonton wrapper on a clean counter or cutting board. Make the egg wash by whisking the egg and water in a small bowl.
- Step 2 – Put 1-1 1/2 teaspoons of filling in the center of the wonton wrapper.
- Step 3 – Dip your finger in the egg wash and “paint” the edges of the wonton wrapper. The egg wash acts as the “glue” to keep the wontons together once folded.
- Step 4 – Fold the bottom corner up to the opposite corner so the wonton is in the shape of a triangle. Pinch the edges to seal the wonton. Make sure there aren’t any large air pockets.
- Step 5 – “Paint” more egg wash onto the bottom two corners of the wonton.
- Step 6 – Fold the left corner over the center of the wonton.
- Step 7 – Fold the right corner over the center of the wonton.
- Step 8 – The wonton should look like an open envelope. To make sure they are really folded tightly, lightly pinch the four corners of the “envelope”.
- NOTE: If baking your wontons, use a little egg wash to fold the top corner down so the envelope looks closed. Otherwise the “point” will burn when baking.
How to Cook Wontons – 3 Methods
Fried Cream Cheese Wontons
Pros – Deep frying cream cheese wontons creates the crispiest texture. They fry up pretty darn fast. Usually 1-2 minutes depending on how hot your oil is and the size of the pot.
Cons – Fried cream cheese wontons are higher in fat and calories than baked or air fried wontons. Deep frying also requires an additional ingredient, canola oil.
Air Fryer Cream Cheese Wontons
Pros – Air fried wontons are a healthier option than deep frying because no oil is needed to cook them. They have the second crispiest texture (pretty close to deep fried!). They only take 3-5 minutes per batch to cook.
Cons – Because air fryers are smaller appliances, you can only make 5-10 wontons at a time depending on the size of your air fryer. So, air frying a large amount of wontons will take a bit of extra time.
Baked Cream Cheese Wontons
Pros – Baked wontons are a healthier option than deep frying because no oil is needed to cook them. You can cook more wontons at one time.
Cons – Baked wontons have the least crispy texture and longest cooking time. They are much easier to burn and have more concentrated areas of golden brown while deep fried and air fried wontons are evenly golden all around.
Can you prepare wontons ahead of time?
Yes! You can fill and fold wontons a day ahead of time. Place the folded wontons of a sheet pan in a single layer. Cover the wontons with a slightly damp paper towel. If the paper towel is too wet, the wonton wrappers may get soggy. Then cover the entire sheet pan with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until it is time to cook them!
Frozen Cream Cheese Wontons
Can you freeze wontons?
Absolutely! Cover a sheet pan with plastic wrap. Then place your uncooked wontons on the sheet pan in a single layer. Freeze for at least 1 hour. Once frozen transfer the wontons to a plastic Ziploc bag for easier storage in the freezer.
Can you fry frozen wontons?
Yes! You can deep fry your wontons straight out of the freezer just as written in the recipe. HOWEVER, start by only dropping one frozen wonton in the oil and slowly add more. Adding too many frozen wontons right away at one time will cause the oil temperature to drop too low.
Can you bake frozen wontons?
Yes! Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a sheet pan with cooking spray. Lay your frozen wontons on the sheet pan and spray the wontons. Put in the preheated oven for 4-6 minutes. Flip the wontons and immediately return to the oven for an additional 4-6 minutes.
Can you air fry frozen wontons?
Wonton Tips & Tricks
Fill wontons extremely fast with this hack.
If making a large amount of wontons, I have a GREAT time saving hack for adding the filling. Put the cream cheese/filling in a gallon-sized Ziploc baggie (or piping bag). Snip the corner of the Ziploc baggie (about 1/2″ in width) so you can squeeze the cream cheese out the corner. Just like how bakers pipe frosting onto cupcakes.
Lay a bunch of wonton wrappers out on the counter to be filled. Then use the cream cheese baggie to squeeze cream cheese onto each wonton wrapper. If the cream cheese is nice and cold, you can squeeze out the cream cheese and use a kitchen scissors to cut the exact amount you want to put in your wonton.
As I’m explaining this, it seems tedious but seriously is SO CLEAN AND FAST! I use this trick every time I throw a wonton party… which is fairly often. 🙂
How to deep fry wontons without a thermometer.
Personally, I never use a thermometer when deep frying. For whatever reason recipes that require the use of a thermometer deter me from making those recipes. So, for this recipe I do the Wonton Test to see if the oil is ready for frying instead of using a thermometer!
Here’s how you do it. Put your oil on the stove over medium/high heat. To test if the oil is ready or not, rip off a piece of a wonton wrapper and drop it in the oil.
The oil is ready when… the piece of wonton wrapper sinks to the bottom, immediately starts bubbling and then pops back up to the surface within the first 5 seconds and starts to become golden in 15-20 seconds.
The oil is not hot enough when… there is very little bubbling and/or the piece of wonton wrapper sinks to the bottom and stays there for more than 5 seconds.
The oil is too hot when… the bubbling seems a little too out of control and the piece of wonton wrapper turns brown very quickly (less than 20-30 seconds).
When the oil is ready to go add the first batch of wontons one at a time, waiting 30 seconds or so between wonton. Adding too many wontons right away at one time can sometimes cause the oil temperature to drop too low.
What to dip cream cheese wontons in?
The wontons are delicious eaten as it but who doesn’t like a little sauce for dipping? Serve regular and spicy cream cheese wontons with soy sauce, sweet and sour sauce, teriyaki sauce or spicy mayo.
For sweet cream cheese wontons, sift or sprinkle them with a little powdered sugar. If you really want to go all out, serve them with chocolate sauce.
Other Handpicked Recipes I Thought You’d Like
Spicy Ahi Tuna Wonton Nachos – This is one of my favorite ways to eat nachos of all time! They are so good and pretty healthy!
Quick & Easy Shrimp Taco Wonton Cups – These cute little cups are tasty and the perfect grab n’ go appetizer for parties!
Crispy Tofu Summer Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce – I love these summer rolls because they are absolutely delicious and incredibly healthy.
Common Problems & Easy Fixes
How do you keep wontons from drying out?
Wonton wrappers and uncooked wontons dry out very easily. Cover wonton wrappers and uncooked wontons with a slightly damp paper towel while you’re folding them. Store extra wonton wrappers in the fridge in a sealed baggie with as little air as possible. These little tricks will keep your wontons from drying out!
Why do my wontons fall apart?
Egg wash (1 egg + 1-2 Tbsp. water) acts as the “glue” when folding wontons. Not enough egg wash and the edges won’t seal correctly and may fall apart. So, when folding your wontons make sure you use enough egg wash to sufficiently wet all the edges!
How do you keep wontons from leaking?
If wontons are leaking, they likely aren’t sealed all the way around. Use egg wash (1 egg + 1-2 Tbsp. water) as the “glue” around all the edges and make sure to seal them completely when folding your wontons.
How do you keep wontons from exploding?
Wontons that have air in them tend to explode. When folding wontons make sure there aren’t any big air pockets around the filling.
How to Make Cream Cheese Wontons
- 32 wonton wrappers*
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- 1 egg
- 1-2 Tbsp. water
To Deep Fry:
- canola oil, enough to fill a medium/large pot with 3 inches of oil
To Air Fry or Bake:
- Cooking spray
Optional Ingredients For Spicy or Sweet Wontons:
- powdered sugar**
To Fold Wontons:
- Place a single wonton wrapper on a clean counter or cutting board. Make the egg wash by whisking the egg and water in a small bowl.
- Put 1-1 1/2 teaspoons of filling in the center of the wonton wrapper.
- Dip your finger in the egg wash and "paint" the edges of the wonton wrapper. The egg wash acts as the "glue" to keep the wontons together once folded.
- Fold the bottom corner up to the opposite corner so the wonton is in the shape of a triangle. Pinch the edges to seal the wonton. Make sure there aren't any large air pockets.
- "Paint" more egg wash onto the bottom two corners of the wonton.
- Fold the left corner over the center of the wonton.
- Fold the right corner over the center of the wonton.
- The wonton should look like an open envelope. To make sure they are folded tightly, pinch the four corners of the "envelope".
- NOTE: If baking your wontons, use a little egg wash to fold the top corner down so the envelope looks closed. Otherwise the "point" will burn when baking.
To Deep Fry:
- Heat Oil: Fill a medium to large pot or dutch oven with canola oil 3-4 inches deep. Put the oil on the stove over medium/high heat. If using a thermometer, heat the oil to 350 degrees. If not using a thermometer, test the oil by ripping off a piece of a wonton wrapper and dropping it in the oil. The oil is ready when the piece of wonton wrapper sinks to the bottom, immediately starts bubbling and then pops back up to the surface within 5 seconds and starts to become slightly golden within 15-20 seconds.
- Fry Wontons: Gently place 4-7 wontons in the oil at a time (depending on the size of the pot). Using tongs, chopsticks or a slotted spoon move the wontons around as they fry. Fry for 1-2 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Place the wontons on a few layers of paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Serve immediately.
To Air Fry:
- Preheat Air Fryer: Preheat the air fryer for about 5 minutes at 350 degrees.
- Air Fry: Spray both sides of wontons with cooking spray. Put a single layer of wontons in the air fryer for 3-5 minutes at 350 degrees or until lightly golden and crispy. Serve immediately.
- Preheat Oven: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Bake: Spray both sides of wontons with cooking spray and place them on a sheet pan. Put in the oven for 4-5 minutes. Flip the wontons and immediately return them to the oven for an additional 4-5 minutes or until the wontons are lightly golden and crispy. Serve immediately.