Heavy cream is that smooth and silky element that makes soups, stews, pastries, and beverages oh so creamy. Usually, though, recipes only require a small amount of cream, leaving you with a lot leftover.
Of course, you don’t want it to go to waste, but it only keeps well for around 5 to 7 days in the fridge (after opening). So, what do you do?
Well, fortunately, heavy cream keeps well in the freezer. No need to rack your brain for ways to use up all that leftover cream within a few days!
Just follow these easy instructions on how to freeze heavy cream and you’ll never have to waste a dollop of cream ever again.
How to Freeze Heavy Cream
There are several ways to freeze heavy cream, depending on how much you plan to store. When frozen and stored properly, heavy cream will last for up to 4 months.
Freezing Small Quantities
If you only have a little bit of heavy cream left, pour it into a clean ice cube tray and freeze. Once the cream is completely frozen, take it out of the tray and transfer it into a freezer-safe bag.
Tip: For easier future use, measure the amount of cream you put in each cube. Usually, one cube is equivalent to two tablespoons, but I suggest you use a measuring spoon for more accuracy.
Freezing Large Quantities
For larger quantities, just freeze the heavy cream in the carton it came with. If the carton is full, pour out some cream to allow at least half an inch of headspace. This step is important because the cream will expand as it freezes.
If you don’t give it enough room at the top, the carton will explode in the freezer which isn’t only a waste of perfectly good cream but also a big mess to clean up.
Freezing Previously Whipped Cream
If you’ve got leftover whipped cream, just transfer it into an airtight container and freeze.
If you want to freeze it in smaller quantities, you can pipe small rounds onto a lined cookie sheet in a single layer and freeze for 2 hours. Then transfer the piped rounds into a freezer-safe bag. Squeeze out any excess air, seal, and freeze.
By freezing smaller quantities, you’re able to easily pull out exactly what you need for any given recipe.
How to Thaw Heavy Cream?
If you froze the cream in its container, transfer it to the fridge and let it defrost for 1 to 2 days. The larger the quantity, the longer it will take to thaw.
Shake the container well to redistribute the butterfat, restoring its smooth and silky texture. If it’s still grainy after a good shake, stir in some powdered sugar and it will help smooth it out.
If you froze previously whipped cream, let it sit at room temperature for 15 minutes to defrost.
How to Use Frozen Heavy Cream
You can use frozen heavy cream in a variety of dishes, from soups and stews to cakes and pastries.
Frozen heavy cream makes a fantastic whipped cream! Just give it a good thaw in the fridge and shake well before using to redistribute the fat.
If you’re using it as an ingredient in hot dishes, no need to defrost the cream. Just toss it into the mix as-is.
If you’re using it to flavor hot cocoa, just drop a few ice cubes or piped rounds into the drink.
To use as a cake topping, let the cream thaw at room temperature for a good 30 minutes.
Tips & Tricks
- Do not refreeze previously frozen and thawed heavy cream! It’s more prone to bacteria and may not be safe to consume anymore.
- To check for freshness, give the heavy cream a quick sniff. Any off smell already tells you it’s time to let it go. Also, if the texture has turned lumpy and thick, it’s no longer safe to use.