How to freeze cream

Heavy cream is often an ingredient in soups, sauces, desserts, and, of course, whipped cream. But these recipes usually call for small amounts, leaving a partially full container of heavy cream that can go bad if left unused for too long. Luckily, heavy cream can be frozen until you need it next. The process differs for freezing small or large amounts of heavy cream, but either method will take just a few minutes.

Freezing Small Amounts of Cream

If you most often use small amounts of cream when cooking, then it would make the most sense to freeze the cream in smaller quantities. An ice cube tray is an ideal tool. Pour the heavy cream into the tray and place in the freezer. Once the cubes are frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag. Each cube is usually equal to 2 tablespoons of heavy cream, but it is best to first measure your ice cube tray to see how much it holds (use water and a tablespoon measure). To make larger cubes, use a 2-inch ice cube tray where each cube is equal to 1/2 cup of heavy cream.

Freezing Large Amounts

If the recipes you most often cook that require cream are more likely to call for larger quantities, then it may be best to freeze the cream in the carton that it came in. If the container is full, pour out an inch of the heavy cream to allow room for expansion when it freezes. Then simply place the carton in the freezer.

Using Frozen Heavy Cream

How you incorporate the frozen cream into a recipe will depend on how it was frozen and whether the dish you are making is hot or cold. If the entire container was placed in the freezer, you need to thaw it in the refrigerator first. Once it is no longer solid, give it a good shake (or stir) to redistribute the butterfat. Previously frozen heavy cream will behave the same way as refrigerated cream, and will still whip into stiff peaks. In fact, cold cream actually whips better.

If you're planning to use the frozen cubes of heavy cream in a hot dish, just add them directly to the recipe. There's no need to thaw out first. If the recipe will not be heated, or you plan on whipping the cream, then the cubes need to thaw beforehand. Use or defrost only as many cubes as needed, calculating one cube for every 2 tablespoons of cream called for in a recipe. For example, if a recipe calls for 1/4 cup of cream, use two cubes, for 1 cup, eight cubes. If the ice cube tray is large, figure one cube equals 1/2 cup of cream.

Fresh Heavy Cream Substitutes

If you are making a recipe calling for heavy cream and find yourself without, there are a few alternatives to choose from. The closest substitution to heavy cream is half-and-half; it may be fewer calories but it will provide similar taste. Greek yogurt mixed well with some milk is also a decent stand-in for heavy cream. Another option is to combine milk and cooled melted butter. While these last two replacements will contribute the same flavor and texture, they cannot be whipped. If you need whipped cream, you can try using half-and-half. Just keep in mind you won’t get the same stiff peaks as whipped heavy cream.

If you don't have heavy cream on hand when you need it, or it always goes bad before you get to use it, consider switching to powdered heavy cream. It's shelf-stable and allows you to mix up heavy cream on demand. You aren't likely to find it in your local grocery store, but it's readily available online.

Tips and Hints

If you always seem to have too much heavy cream left over, and you don’t want to freeze it, there are plenty of recipes that use heavy cream. You can use it to make sour cream, butter, whipped cream, ice cream, and cheese, or to thicken soups, add heft to pasta sauces, and even to upgrade scrambled eggs.

Before you decide to freeze your heavy cream or use it in one of these recipes, make sure it is still good. Often just a sniff will let you know.

Freezing Other Dairy Products

After you learn how to freeze heavy cream, take a bit of time to discover how to freeze milk, butter, buttermilk, cream cheese, and sour cream. This way, you can safely stock up when on sale, or prevent leftovers from going to waste.

Heavy whipping cream is often used for mixing up frosting, pastry filling, making whipped cream, or as a thickening agent in hearty soups and velvety sauces. But too often, recipes call for only a small portion of the heavy whipping cream you bought for such an occasion, leaving you with a half-empty container that's headed towards its expiration date.

Utilizing your freezer with these tips can help save you money and reduce food waste by extending the life of your heavy whipping cream. Learn how to safely freeze and thaw heavy whipping cream for future use.

Can You Freeze Heavy Whipping Cream?

Yes, you can freeze heavy whipping cream straight from the carton. Whether you intend to cook with it or whip it, it will still be good to go with a bit of stirring after it's thawed. As for heavy cream that's already been whipped, you can freeze that, too. Read on to learn how to freeze heavy whipping cream before it reaches its use-by date.

How to Freeze Heavy Whipping Cream

It's easy and quite convenient. You can freeze liquid heavy whipping cream one of two ways:

Freezing Large Portions of Heavy Whipping Cream

To freeze large portions of heavy whipping cream you can place the carton (or whatever container it came in) directly in the freezer. The liquid will expand some when frozen, so if your carton is full, pour out an inch or two of the heavy cream to allow for expansion.

Freezing Small Portions of Heavy Whipping Cream

Sometimes, recipes may call for just a few tablespoons of heavy whipping cream for a creamy flavor and texture. If you want to save smaller portions of heavy whipping cream for individual use, you can freeze it in an ice tray.

Each cube will equal about two tablespoons, although you should measure to be sure. Once the cubes are frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe plastic bag. Anytime you need a bit of cream for a recipe, you've got some on hand, without wasting a whole carton. For hot dishes, you can skip the thawing and just pop these ready-to-go cubes into the pot or pan.

Freezing Whipped Cream

If you have heavy whipping cream that's already been whipped, it's so simple to freeze and use it again as a whipped topping. Simply stick in the freezer in an airtight container.

Another great trick to try with prepared whipped cream is to spoon mounds or pipe out mini twists onto a Silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet in single portions. Freeze the tray for several hours, or overnight, until the whipped cream dollops are solid, and transfer to a plastic bag for any time hot cocoa or coffee toppers, or delicate dessert garnishes.

How Long Will Heavy Whipping Cream Last in the Freezer?

With proper storage, heavy whipping cream will last about four months in the freezer at best quality, but it will remain safe even beyond that.

How to Thaw Heavy Whipping Cream

To thaw frozen heavy whipping cream, leave it in the refrigerator for one to two days before you need to use it. The amount of thawing time will depend on the size of your container and how much you're trying to thaw.

Before using it, give it a good shake (or stir) to redistribute the butterfat. If you're still noticing a grainy texture, you can add some powdered sugar to smooth it out (as long as the sugar won't affect your final dish). Previously frozen heavy whipping cream will whip just fine. In fact, cream is easier to whip when it's very cold.

How to Thaw Whipped Cream

To thaw frozen heavy whipping cream that has been whipped prior to storage, allow it to sit for about 10 to 15 minutes before use so that it will reach the right consistency. Use it as whipped topping for pies or desserts. If you have frozen individual whipped cream toppers, drop them straight from the freezer into your steaming hot mugs. Don't leave your whipped cream out to thaw completely or it will melt.

Leftover whipped cream? Just freeze it! This method is perfect for topping hot cocoa or making a midweek dessert feel extra-special.

Emma Christensen is the Associate General Manager for Simply Recipes, the author of three books on home brewing and a graduate from The Cambridge School for Culinary Arts.

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I know, I know. Who in the world has a problem with leftover whipped cream?

But let's imagine a hypothetical situation wherein you have misjudged your guests' enthusiasm for whipped cream-topped pie following a big holiday meal, and now you find yourself faced with a fairly large amount leftover.

Do you throw it away? Do you save it, knowing that it will likely lose its billowy magic over the next few days?

Let me offer a third option: Freeze your leftover whipped cream for later.

Whipped cream freezes – and thaws – surprisingly well. Just drop mounds of it onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze overnight. The next day, peel off the frozen whipped cream clouds and transfer them to a freezer bag or container for longer storage.

When a situation arises for a few spoonfuls of whipped cream, just pull out what you need.

In my opinion, the very best use of these frozen whipped cream puffs is to top a hot mug of cocoa or coffee. Not only do they melt slowly into the hot beverage, providing time-release doses of cream, but they take the edge off a steaming hot cup (without cooling it too much!).

How to freeze cream

You can also use the leftover whipped cream to top a slice of pie or other dessert – yes, this works! Place the frozen whipped cream on top of your dessert, then let it sit at room temperature for 15 minutes or so to thaw before serving.

As a dessert topping, the whipped cream holds its shape quite well without becoming grainy or separating, but it does lose some of its perkiness. The frozen edges also have a tendency to crumble as you handle them, as well.

This is perfectly acceptable for a midweek dessert casual family gathering, but less ideal for situations where looks are important, like a dinner party or a special occasion. For those, I'd recommend making a fresh batch of whipped cream.

How to freeze cream

How to Freeze Heavy Cream

By Erin Huffstetler | 07/23/2020 | No Comments

This post may contain affiliate links. View our disclosure.

Here’s how to freeze big and small amounts of heavy cream, so you can keep your leftovers from going to waste, and stock up when you find a good deal.

How to Freeze Leftover Heavy Cream

If you bought heavy cream for a recipe, and you’re now left with a partial container that you aren’t sure what to do with it, freezing it is a good option.

Since most recipes only call for a small amount of heavy cream, it’s smart to freeze your leftovers in small portions. This makes it easy to pull out just what you need, while leaving the rest frozen; and it greatly reduces, or even eliminates, thaw time.

How to freeze cream

To do this, simply pour heavy cream into ice cube trays or muffins pans, and pop them in the freezer. Most ice cube trays make two Tablespoon cubes, and most muffin pans hold between 1/4-1/2 cups in each muffin cup. Use water and a liquid measuring cup to figure out how much yours holds.

How to freeze cream

Once the heavy cream is frozen, transfer the cubes, or cups, to freezer bags, and return them to the freezer. Be sure to label the bags with the contents and portion sizes. This will make it easy to know how many you need to grab for the recipe you’re working on.

Leftover whipped cream can also be frozen for later use. Here’s how I recommend freezing it.

How to freeze cream

How to Freeze Full Containers of Heavy Cream

If you like to stock up on heavy cream when it’s on sale, or you don’t grocery shop often, you can also freeze full containers of heavy cream, until you need them.

Since liquids expand when they freeze, you just need to remove an inch or so of heavy cream from each carton, before you stick them in the freezer.

How to Use Frozen Heavy Cream

As soon as you thaw your heavy cream, it’ll go right back to being able to do all the things it was able to do before. This includes whipping into stiff peaks. If the butterfat appears to have separated during thawing, just stir it back in, before you use it.

Need to add a small amount of heavy cream to a soup, sauce or hot dish? Then, there’s no need to thaw it first. Just add it directly to the pot or pan, and it’ll thaw as the recipe cooks.

If your ice cube tray makes two-Tablespoon cubes, here’s how to convert your cubes to cup measurements:

2 cubes = 1/4 cup
4 cubes = 1/2 cup
6 cubes = 3/4 cup
8 cubes = 1 cup

How to freeze cream

Uses for Heavy Cream

If you don’t have much room in your freezer at the moment, consider using your leftover heavy cream to make homemade ice cream, sour cream or whipped cream.

How to freeze cream

How to Freeze Heavy Cream

Here’s the best way to freeze heavy cream, so it’ll be easy to grab and use.

  • Author:Erin Huffstetler,
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes (or less)
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: Varies
  • Category: Ingredients
  • Method: Freezer
  • Cuisine: Global


  • Heavy cream


To Freeze Small Portions: Pour heavy cream into ice cube trays or muffin pans. Freeze. Then, transfer frozen cubes or cups to a freezer bag.

To Freeze Full Containers: Pour an inch of heavy cream out of the carton, or bottle, to allow room for expansion. Then, stick the container in the freezer.

To use: If you just need a small amount for a soup, sauce or hot dish, go ahead and add the cream, while it’s still frozen. It’ll thaw, as the dish cooks. If you need a large amount for ice cream, etc., thaw the cream in the fridge, before using.

Most dairy products are safe to freeze but what about double cream? Can you freeze double cream successfully? The short answer is yes, you can freeze double cream but certain things should be considered first.

Double cream is named as such because the term refers to the amount of fat found in the cream.

There are three different types of cream: single, double and whipping cream. Single cream contains about 18% fat while whipping cream contains 36%. Double cream contains double the amount of fat than regular cream at 48%. Before thinking how can you freeze double cream, let’s take a look at the factors you need to know prior to freezing.

How to freeze cream

Double cream on a spoon

The fat molecules of double cream are evenly distributed but when frozen, these molecules stick together. If the cream has been frozen improperly, the original texture of the cream will change. That said, the thawed double cream is safe to eat or cook with but its consistency will be different.

When freezing double cream, always remember the water content of the cream, which expands when frozen. As such, use a larger container to store the cream and do not fill said container to the brim. The container may burst or overflow as the cream expands during freezing.

When frozen, double cream should keep in the freezer for 1 to 3 weeks. Ideally, you want to freeze double cream when it’s in whipped form so it doesn’t lose its original texture as it thaws.

Here is a step-by-step guide how can you freeze double cream properly.

How to freeze cream

Image used under Creative Commons from jules

How to Freeze Double Cream?

Regardless if you’re freezing leftover double cream or not, transfer the cream to a plastic container. Do not freeze the double cream in its original packaging so it won’t burst in the freezer.

For small amounts of double cream, pour the product into a food-grade resealable plastic container. Mark the bag with the name of the product and the storage date. Place the plastic container in the freezer and you’re done.

On the other hand, if you’re freezing unwhipped double cream, you can use an ice cube tray to freeze and store the product. Of course, this technique won’t work if you’ve got cartons of double cream to freeze.

For a large batch of double cream to freeze, pour the product into a rigid plastic container with an airtight cover. Do not fill the container to the brim, leave about an inch or two of space. This way, the cream could expand as it freezes. Cover the double cream, mark the container with the name of the product and the date, and stick it in the freezer.

How to freeze cream

(credit: moggs oceanlane)

How to Defrost Double Cream?

To defrost the frozen double cream, simply transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the product to thaw for several hours to overnight.

Once it thaws, the moisture and butterfat would clump together so the thawed cream looks watery. Before using the cream, give it a good stir to re-emulsify the ingredients.

Thawed double cream should whip just fine but it may lose a bit of its body. Whipping the cream, it may appear grainy at first. But adding sweetening ingredients will smoothen the consistency.

Never re-freeze thawed double cream unless you’ll use the product for cooking. Refreezing thawed double cream will cause the fat molecules to break down.

How to freeze cream

Image used under Creative Commons from nerissa’s ring


Most people – particularly bakers – avoid freezing cream with a fat content of less than 35% so double cream can be frozen successfully. However, due to the high-fat content of this cream, freezing it will require extra prep. If you don’t, the cream will end up runny or watery after thawing!

Remember, watery double cream will no longer whip properly so it can’t be used for baking. We hope that this simple guide has been a useful resource for you.

We’ve discussed how to freeze double cream but what about heavy cream? Can you freeze heavy cream? Heavy cream is a dairy product often used to make pastries and desserts. With just a whisk, this thick cream transforms into whipped cream! Heavy cream has a mild creamy taste and a luxurious texture that makes anything it touches a little bit better! And if you’ve got heaps of heavy cream, that’s not a bad thing at all!

Yes, you can freeze heavy cream! Heavy cream is a delicate product and though you can freeze it for future uses, it won’t transform into fluffy whipped cream once it’s been thawed. But don’t let that stop you from freezing leftover heavy cream. You can still use defrosted heavy cream for a variety of treats. You can use it as topping or ingredient for cakes, sauces, hot drinks, desserts, and so much more.

How to freeze cream

Image used under Creative Commons from Heather Katsoulis

But what about heavy cream that’s already been fluffed into whipped cream, can you freeze it? Yes, you can also freeze whipped cream as is but there is a right way to do it. When kept in the fridge at below 40°Farenheit, heavy cream should last for 2 to 3 weeks. On the other hand, freezing heavy cream will extend its shelf life to 3 to 4 months! If you’d like to know how can you freeze heavy cream, continue reading below:

How to Freeze Heavy Cream?

In its natural, un-whipped state, heavy cream is a thick, liquid cream so it’s easy to store in the freezer. We do recommend freezing the cream in single-serving portions so you don’t have to take the whole container out of the freezer to defrost each time you need it.

To freeze heavy cream, use rigid plastic containers or a couple of silicon molds. If you’re using a plastic container, just pour the cream into it and then close the container. Leave about an inch or two of space to give the cream extra room to expand. Choose a container with a snapping or a locking lid so the cream won’t leak during freezing. Get a marker and label the container with the storage date then stick in the freezer.

If you’re using silicone molds, pour the cream into each mold, cover the top with tinfoil and then stick in the freezer. Make sure to place the mold on a level surface so the cream won’t pour out. Once the cream has been frozen solid for two to four hours, take out each mold, pop the single serving frozen heavy cream and place them all in a resealable freezer-safe plastic bag. Get a marker, label each bag with the storage date and stick them right back in the freezer. Each time you need a serving of cream, just get a single portion from the freezer.

For leftover heavy cream that’s been whipped already, just stick the cream in the freezer after transferring in an airtight container. The cream will freeze into a semi-solid state.

How to freeze cream

Image used under Creative Commons from Melizza

How to Defrost Frozen Heavy Cream?

Defrosting frozen heavy cream couldn’t be any easier. Just take the cream out of the freezer and then transfer it to the fridge. Leave to thaw overnight. After thawing, the cream will take on a runnier consistency and there will be separation. This is normal. Just give the cream a good stir to incorporate the ingredients again and it’s ready to use.

For frozen heavy that’s been whipped prior to storage, do not leave the cream to thaw completely or it will melt. When at its semi-frozen state, just wait for 10 to 15 minutes then add the whipped heavy cream on desserts or pies.


Heavy cream is a versatile ingredient, one that you can use for baking and cooking. There’s no such thing as having too much heavy cream. Now that you know how can you freeze heavy cream, you can store this dairy product without worrying about spoilage or unnecessary waste.

This time of year, it’s not unusual to have extra whipped cream sitting around.

And whether you made a big batch for pumpkin pie, to serve over hot chocolate, or spoon over waffles, if you have leftovers you don’t want to waste (or eat with a spoon), you should absolutely take that leftover whipped cream and freeze it.

How to freeze cream

Can you freeze whipped cream?

Yes. Instead of throwing it out, you can easily freeze extra whipped cream in individual servings for later use. These single servings are great for adding to hot drinks like mochas or lattes or on top of individual desserts.

And while frozen and defrosted whipped cream is never going to be as beautiful and voluminous as freshly whipped cream, it’s still going to be sweet and creamy and delicious.

Tool Notes

  • Piping bag/tip: You absolutely do not need to pipe your whipped cream to freeze it; a spoonful of whipped cream freezes just as well. But piped cream does look pretty. If you’d like to recreate the swirls I have here, I used a 1M open star tip.
  • Parchment paper: Parchment paper makes the whipped cream so much easier to move and work with. You could technically freeze these directly on a plate, scrape them loose with a knife, and freeze them in a bag, but it’s kind of like handling ice cream with your bare hands. I don’t recommend it.

How to Freeze Whipped Cream

1. Prepare your freezing surface: Line a baking sheet or large plate that will fit in your freezer with parchment paper. Make sure to double check the fit. You’re going to be real mad if you have a tray of perfectly piped whipped cream and it doesn’t fit in your freezer!

How to freeze cream

2. Pipe and freeze: Pipe or spoon dollops of whipped cream onto the parchment paper and freeze until solid, 3 to 4 hours.

How to freeze cream

3. Transfer: Remove the frozen whipped cream from the freezer and, working quickly, cut the parchment paper into pieces so each dollop of whipped cream is on its own square. Whipped cream starts defrosting fast, so have your tools and storage container ready to go so you can get it back in the freezer as quickly as possible.

Transfer the squares of whipped cream to a freezer bag or airtight container, and store for up to 1 month.

How to freeze cream

4: Use and enjoy: When you’re ready to use the whipped cream, place frozen dollops directly into hot beverages or place them on whatever you’re serving them over and allow them to sit at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes to thaw. Serve and enjoy!

Whipped Cream Recipes to Try

(All of these freeze nicely and are excellent in hot chocolate)

Can I freeze a big batch of whipped cream to serve to guests later?

I would not recommend making a large batch of whipped cream just to freeze it and serve later. Frozen whipped cream is a great use for leftover whipped cream, but it’s not going to be as beautiful and fluffy as freshly whipped cream. Save the frozen whipped cream for your morning coffee, and make a fresh batch for guests.

How long will frozen whipped cream last in the freezer?

For best results, use your frozen whipped cream within a month of freezing it, preferably within a couple of weeks. Because of its delicate flavor, I find whipped cream more susceptible to picking up off flavors from the freezer if left for too long.

Heavy cream is a high-fat dairy product that is used in many recipes. It can be whipped into cream, used in sauces, or added to coffee. If you have leftover heavy cream, can you freeze it? And if you do, will it still taste good?

How to freeze cream

Quick Answer

Heavy cream can be frozen, but there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure to leave enough space at the top of the container so that the cream can expand as it freezes. Second, do not freeze the cream for too long, or it will start to develop ice crystals and lose its flavor and texture. Finally, thaw the cream before using it in recipes.

Can you Freeze Heavy Cream?

The high fat content of heavy cream (approximately 36% or more) allows it to be frozen well. Experts believe that freezing heavy cream can make them last for three to four months.

If frozen in a jar, make sure that it has enough room for expansion. It is wiser to put dates on the jar as to when it was first frozen so that keeping track of its shelf life will not be a problem.

You cannot whip heavy cream right away once it is frozen. Make sure to thaw it in the refrigerator first before using it right away.

Depending on how much cream is thawed, defrosting can last for 15 minutes or overnight. Remember to shake it well before using to blend the separated butterfat.

The texture of the heavy cream might appear grainy when whipped. If so, adding some sugar or other sweeteners can help smooth it out.

Other than the grainy texture when whipped, the flavor and texture of heavy cream stay the same once thawed. When a sour smell emerges and lumps begin to form, you’ll know that it has gone bad.

How to Freeze Heavy Cream

Freezing heavy cream is a quick and easy process. Depending on how much of it you usually use are the following options on how to freeze it.

  • Divide the cream into parts by pouring them in ice cube trays or silicone molds.
  • Transfer the frozen cubes or shapes into a plastic bag to save up space in the freezer.
  • Attach a masking tape to the bag and write the date when freezing started to serve as a record.
  • Transfer the cream into a jar or use the original container. Make sure that either one of the aforementioned has enough space for expansion.
  • Place the jar in an upright position to prevent leaking and spilling.
  • Label the container with a date to help track the cream’s shelf life.

NOTE: Refrain from mixing exposed and sheltered heavy cream to prevent spoiling and contamination.

Heavy Cream Recipes

Paired with some crusty French bread and al dente pasta, this Creamy Alfredo Sauce will create the ideal Italian meal. Get the recipe here:

With just the right blend of banana and toffee, these Banoffee Parfaits will complete your desert table. Find out how to make it here:

Make your favorite ice cream flavors at home using this two-ingredient ice cream base. Check out the fast and easy recipe here:

Wrap Up

Yes, you can freeze heavy cream. Freezing heavy cream will last for 6-8 months. Here are the steps on how to do it: transfer your desired amount of heavy cream into a freezer bag and leave enough space for air inside the bag so that it won’t be an obstacle in freezing; seal tightly and label the bag with today’s date; store properly in your freezer!

What will you use your frozen heavy cream for? Share with me in the comment section below. I always look forward to hearing from you soon

Instead of letting any bit of a carton of heavy cream spoil in your refrigerator, turn to your freezer instead. It is possible to freeze heavy cream—here’s the best way to do it.

How to freeze cream

Instead of letting any bit of a carton of heavy cream spoil in my refrigerator, pour the extra into an ice cube tray and freeze. Once the cubes are frozen, pop them out of the tray, and place them in a plastic bag. Each ice cube weighs about 1 ounce, or equals about 2 tablespoons. This way you’ll reduce waste and always have a bit of cream handy.

How to freeze cream

If you have a large amount of leftover cream, simply freeze it in the carton that it came in. If the carton is completely full and unopened, you need to pour off a few tablespoons to allow room for expansion during freezing.

Product Recommendations

Interested in cooking? Need some supplies?

Check out some of the tools we like. All products featured on Cuisine at Home are independently selected by our editors; we may earn an affiliate commission from qualifying purchases through our links.

Nordic Ware Half-Sheet Pan

Redecker Beechwood Pastry Brush Set

Stanton Trading 18 x 24-Inch Plastic Cutting Board

Wusthof 8" Chef's Knife

OXO Good Grips Box Grater

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