Sometimes, I want to try a recipe that calls for a small amount of heavy cream. Can the remainder be frozen and then used to make whipped cream? If so, how long will it keep in the freezer?

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    Voting the question up because I think that this is not a good idea - I want to see if somebody offers an explanation to prove me wrong. It seems to me that the freezing/thawing process would mess up the emulsion, but I'm no chemist. Also: cream keeps for a really long time anyway. Why do you feel the need to freeze it? How much do you need to buy?
    – Pointy
    Commented Jul 23, 2010 at 3:32
  • One can try the experiment. It will not whip the same.
    – papin
    Commented Jul 23, 2010 at 3:49
  • I once froze Mascarpone. It turned yellow but after thawing it was white again and it tasted good in a sauce.
    – nalply
    Commented Aug 2, 2010 at 17:29
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    I frequently (more frequently when I lived in a house where there was a big chest freezer that usually had free space in the back of the kitchen) dollop any extra whipped cream (note, already whipped/sugared/vanilla-ed) onto waxed paper on a baking sheet and freeze it, then move the frozen dollops into a freezer bag. Most get eaten as a frozen treat, but they can be thawed, and while not quite the same as fresh, they are a lot less work if you just need a dab.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented May 28, 2015 at 15:12

3 Answers 3


Heavy cream can be frozen but only if intended to be used in its liquid form (soups, sauces, etc.) It will not whip properly once frozen.

I agree with Pointy that there's really no point in freezing it because it's usually dated about 2 months out from the time I'm purchasing it. Additionally, if kept cold and not left out on the counter unnecessarily (as with most dairy products) it will keep well beyond the date on the carton.

I'm not a milk drinker but use it baking/cooking. If I have a recipe that requires milk I use a 50:50 ratio of heavy cream and water and haven't had any issues yet. If I was using milk it would be whole milk so it's kind of like making your own version.

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    Great to know the milk substitution! I've wondered before if that would be a successful sub. Commented Jul 23, 2010 at 13:30
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    Pure fresh cream has a refrigerator life of less than a week! You must have preservatives in that cream?
    – TFD
    Commented Aug 31, 2012 at 9:55
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    The refrigerator-lifespan of dairy products is reduced dramatically once they're opened and exposed to whatever bugs you have in your kitchen. As someone who makes kimchi and keeps it in the main fridge, I get the smallest containers possible because they will almost certainly sour in 4 days or less once opened.
    – kitukwfyer
    Commented May 27, 2017 at 17:51
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    Note that the best-by date is for an UNOPENED package. Once you open it, that date goes right out the window, and you need to use up the cream in about a week, max. So freezing is definitely not pointless.
    – Marti
    Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 17:41

I regularly freeze excess cream and use it then to bake, cook - lemon creams; scrambled eggs or just as a dessert pouring cream. If you have cream that lasts as long as you say it must have preservatives or be ultra heat treated? Our cream has, at the most, 2 weeks refrigerated shelf life.

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    I buy store-brand heavy cream pretty often and easily get a month in the fridge, even on the top shelf (where my fridge is the warmest - though I do store it in the back of the top shelf). I find that my experience is in line with Darin's, I'll often get 2 months and sometimes a little more depending on how close it was to the stamped date when I bought it. Although I'm not very strict about food safety for myself, I cook for my wife and always make her smell the carton before I use it, and even with her sensitive nose we're able to get 1-2 months average from the purchase date. Commented Feb 24, 2011 at 3:01

You can freeze it once whipped. It's delicious. No special instructions needed, just make it how you like it, and freeze it. You can either freeze spoonfuls for putting in drinks or the whole thing. Once it's thawed it's the same as fresh, frozen is harder at least all my attempts were but my mom insists that a few decades ago it was commonly sold like that and soft while frozen.

Oh and it takes a long time to go bad.

  • Your mother might've been thinking of non-dairy frozen whipped topping, e.g. Cool Whip. Though even that isn't precisely soft until it's thawed.
    – Marti
    Commented Apr 21, 2023 at 18:26

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