How to Freeze Heavy Whipping Cream

Freezing cream

Earlier this week I had the privilege of hosting a party for some wonderful bloggers who live in my area. I had always wanted to meet the creators of some of the blogs that I loved reading so I decided to throw a party and invite them! We had such a fun time! I can’t wait to do it again. :-)

As part of their “parting gift” at the end of the evening, each of the guests got a pint of Honey Butter Ambrosia and a mini loaf of my Mom’s English Muffin Bread.  We had invited close to 70 bloggers, so my daughter Britta, daughter-in-law Kaitlyn and I made LOTS of honey butter & LOTS of english muffin bread!

 

english muffin bread

honey butter ambrosia

We might have made a slight miscalculation of how much CREAM we needed for the honey butter however, because we ended up with A LOT leftover. Like a couple of QUARTS leftover. I just couldn’t bear the thought of it going to waste and I knew there was no way I would use up that much cream before it went bad….so….I decided to try something I’d never tried before. FREEZE it.

I don’t know why I’ve never tried freezing cream before, because it makes perfect sense! I even talk about freezing MILK in my post about “31 Things You Can Freeze To Save Time And Money.” But for some reason CREAM never occurred to me. Which is crazy because I never seem to use up all the cream I buy for a recipe before it goes bad.  Then the spoiled cream goes right down the drain. What a waste!

 

Freezing cream

I didn’t want to freeze the cream in one big chunk in the carton, because I knew that most of the time I would only need it in smaller quantities. So I utilized one of my silicone molds. I would guesstimate that each mold holds about 1/2 cup.

 

Freezing cream

After I filled the molds I put them in the freezer until they were frozen solid.

 

Freezing cream

I then stacked them in plastic storage bags so they took up less freezer space.

I wasn’t sure how it would hold up after being frozen and then thawed to use again, but I have used it several times now in different things and I haven’t been able to tell any difference!

To use the cream, take it out and leave it in the refrigerator overnight. Larger packages, like a liter or quart, will take longer to defrost than a 1/2 cup or a cup of cream.

Before using it, give it a really good shake as the butterfat can settle to the bottom of the container and it may need to be re-emulsified. Then you’re good to go. You can use it for any recipe, and it can be whipped as well. It may appear a bit grainy at first, but sweetening it will smooth it out. But make sure you’ve incorporated the butterfat completely, because watery cream won’t whip.

 

Freezing cream

In case you’re wondering, like I was, you can ALSO freeze cream that is already WHIPPED.

 

Freezing cream

I haven’t personally tried it yet, but from what I’ve read, all you do is whip the cream until it forms peaks, then spoon or pipe dollops onto a plastic-lined baking sheet and freeze. When the dollops are frozen, peel them off the plastic, place in a freezer container or bag and return to the freezer. They’ll keep for a couple of weeks.

When it’s time to serve a dessert that you want to decorate with a cream topping, place dollops on top and let stand about 10 minutes at room temperature. The cream will thaw but will still hold its shape.

 

Now that we are all armed with this money and time-saving tip, from this day forward there should not be a DROP of cream going down the drain. :-)

 

What kinds of things do YOU freeze?

 


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Comments

    • Dee says

      Great ideas. I always freeze milk now because we have to order via a delivery service, so to keep down delivery costs, we freeze 4 gallons at a time (using one a week). Frozen milk does good if under about 4 months, after that, when thawing it separates into lumpy things, though tastes ok but not a good consistency.
      Tip, when freezing whipped heavy cream, be sure to add in your sugar, then freeze, no way to add it after it’s frozen. Tip, use small molds and then add it to your coffee.
      Tip, I usually make flavored butter with any extra cream, put it in your mixer or blender and mix until it becomes soft butter, empty the liquids and if desired add garlic (I use powder), onion, herbs, etc, then refrigerate. Is great on bread, or as a hostess gift, and this butter freezes very well!
      I also freeze breads, cakes, raw cookie dough, and bagels. Love my freezer.

  1. Melinda Miller says

    I had to pour out almost an entire container of the exact cream you have posted in your picture today. I think it spoiled the day after I got it (expiration date was July 24th). The greatest dismay I had as I watched it swirl down the drain was the thought that I could have used it to make awesome sour cream and never thought of it until it was gone. Thanks for a great idea to freeze that last half of the container that always seems to go to waste!

  2. Karyn Craw says

    Love the fact that I can freeze my left over cream and not watch it go down the drain after it spoils. My favorite things to freeze are fresh herbs in olive oil. And pesto, I use and ice cube tray to freeze it in. Works perfectly every time. :)

  3. ashley p says

    Would this be possible to do with half and half as well? I am forever throwing away 1/2 a carton of half and half because I only use about 1 tablespoon a day in my coffee. Thanks!

  4. Kathleen Frye says

    Heck yeah, you can return opened expired food. I return food that is expired, or whose taste I didn’t like. (New brand/flavor Pickles) My BFF returns all the food she doesn’t use after her Thanksgiving feast. I think that is going too far, but hey! You do what you gotta do.

    • Mary says

      You should be able to without any problems. I freeze breastmilk and thaw it for the baby all the time. It is essentually the same thing, raw unpasturized milk. The color may be a little off, yellower, but it won’t hurt it. Just make sure you shake it to death to incorperate the fat back into it before you serve it.

  5. Lula Mae VanWinkle says

    When I was a child and cream was scarce as well as butter, my mother skimmed the cream and made butter. Many times it would sour and we still made butter. So, many times I have had cream sour and instead of sending it down the drain I make sour cream butter. It is delicious. Make sure you rinse it well after making the butter. I guess that is why they put sweet cream butter on most butter packages. You can cook with it or eat it on toast or use it like sweet cream butter. No need to throw it out.

  6. Jen says

    Great tip! In case you’re wondering, you can do this with buttermilk too. I use ice cube trays to freeze left over buttermilk and pull out one cube at a time as I need it. Works wonders! Love your blog Jillee! Thank you!

  7. says

    That is very interesting regarding being able to whip cream after its been frozen.. I’ve been told for years that it wont whip.. but I guess now we know its because the butterfat wasnt incorporated back in.. I’ll have to experiment with this.. Thanks Jillee!

  8. says

    I freeze all kinds of things as I hate to see any food go to waste. One of my favourites is chopped fresh herbs, mixed with a little bit of olive oil. I pour the mixture into snack-sized ziplock bags, press the air out, seal and freeze flat like an envelope. When I need some herbs, I just open the bag, break off a chunk of the oil/herb mixture and add it to the dish. Garden-fresh flavour, all year round!

  9. Sara says

    I would love to have the recipe for the Honey Butter Ambrosia. Any luck in your sharing this with us (me)? Thanks and I will keep an eye out for it. I have lots of Tupelo honey and even the name of this sounds so delish.

  10. Sara says

    I found your recipe for the Honey butter Ambrosia after I posted the request/comment. Please disregard. Thanks and I look forward to making it now that I have the recipe. Love your Blog and look forward to them daily.

  11. jenw says

    I tend to use the left over half in half in other recipes that call for milk. Even Kraft mac n cheese is better when made with fat free half in half instead of milk! :) I will try freezing in the future.

    Also, remember that the date on the carton is the SELL BY date, not a expiry date (expiry meaning it’s not good after that date).

  12. says

    I have to say that I am stunned people would return expired fresh food to the store for a refund or exchange. I don’t think that is ethical. The costs are passed down to others I assure you. The store, the dairy, the producer…someone pays for it somewhere.
    Great idea to freeze it in small amounts. I use a vacuum sealer for everything so it would stay fresh longer. My mother in law would always put her leftover whipped cream bowl in the freezer and use it over a couple of days.

    • Carrie N says

      I don’t believe in returning things I bought in error or bought in too big a quantity but if it expires before the best by date i sure do. If they can’t stamp the date on milk correctly that’s their fault not mine.

      • Toni says

        I bought some milk from a mini-mart in my small town, and it expired before the date on the carton. In the week that followed, I noticed their entire milk delivery sitting on the sidewalk in the sun. Needless to say, I never bought milk (or anything else) there again! Point: If something expires before it is supposed to, it might be because it was mishandled. You are entitled to a certain quality. Most grocery stores will also tell you that if you purchase produce, and it doesn’t taste good (not ripe enough, spoiled, etc.) to bring it back. I usually don’t bother, but when I paid $15 for a tasteless watermelon, I returned it for another!

  13. Doris says

    Some of the “artificial creams” have expiration dates for months. Can you imagine what chemicals we are ingesting. Very good idea to freeze real cream–especially for one person families that like cream in her/his coffee!

  14. Sylvia says

    What a coincidence.Just the other day my friend was telling us about her mother freezing whipped cream all the time. She buys the larger containers as that is cheaper in the long run, then she whips it, makes dollops like in this post but she also makes circles just the right sizes for around a banana cream or key lime pie!! She freezes them flat on parchment paper, then slides them into large freezer bags and into the freezer. When she is ready to bake she pulls them out and puts them in the fridge before she starts baking. They are still a little frozen when she pops them on top of the pie and just perfect when it is time to serve.

  15. Liz Bulmer says

    Melinda Miller – I have experienced he same thing…cream was curdled and obviously bad in the container although the expiration date said otherwise. I called the grocery store and they allowed me to exchange it – since it was not past the expiry date. Just call the store first to make sure you don’t waste the trip.

    I started freezing my cream and buttermilk a few months ago. Although it looks funky when it thaws, it works and tastes just the same! I never thought if the silicone molds though – that’s brilliant! The buttermilk, though…doesn’t seem to work as well. I’d be interested to see if you have a solution for it??

    Thanks! I’m a new reader and I’m in love with your blog!

  16. says

    I love this solution and all of your creative ideas Jillee! Seriously, you’re making me fall even more in love with my freezer and giving me an excuse to go and buy some cute silicone molds. Thanks so much for the tips. Now if I can just remember to freeze it before it goes bad.

  17. Maggis says

    I have always frozen whipped cream, it´s so good to use when you need just a little.

    I also freeze apple sauce, I make it without sugar and – as we are only two in the family, it gets bad if you have it in a bigger contanier. I do as you do with the cream – freeze in silicon muffins moulds and after freezing, put them in a plastic bag -in the freezer of course! One piece is just enough for one
    person.

  18. Sharon H says

    Another use for soured cream, half & half, or milk….pull out some of your frozen bananas and make banana bread, or muffins. Lots of recipes call for sour milk. Why drag out the vinegar or lemon juice and add it to sweet milk?

    Use extra cream to make sour cream, and oh-so-tasty homemade butter….yummy

    By the way, just because a product has an expiration date doesn’t mean it still isn’t good to use. Think about it. NOBODY can predict when a product will suddenly one day be unfit for human consumption. It does not ‘go bad’ that day or the next. An expiration date is the company’s suggested date for optimal quality, taste, texture, etc.

    Chips, for example, usually say on the package they’re guaranteed fresh until
    x-date. Doesn’t mean they won’t still taste fresh the next day. Nor that they’re no longer edible. And Sell-by dates just mean a product may start to lose a little quality. And usually it means you get a cheaper price on it, too! Take advantage of that, and use it up first.

    Great post, Jillee. Now I’m going to look for that Honey butter Ambrosia recipe…

  19. Sharon H says

    just finished reading all the comments on the Honey Butter Ambrosia post…wow, lots of ideas there.

    have you ever mixed peanut butter and maple syrup to spread on bread? That’s a nice tasty change of pace occasionally. I wonder how this ambrosia would be mixed into peanut butter like that….I’ll have to give it a try.

    Also, I’m wondering why it couldn’t be processed in a hot water bath and then sealed, like you would jelly or jam. With or without pectin. Who cares if it’s rather loose? It would keep at least a year, or two, preserved in jars. Yes, I know that would destroy the natural honey properties, but sometimes we just need a little sweet thing to satisfy our taste buds….doesn’t always have to be healthy….if it did, we wouldn’t be eating this in the first place, now would we?? Another reason to ‘can’ it….don’t have to quickly consume in fear of it being wasted! LOL

  20. Lissa says

    Having worked at a grocery store for 20 years I can say that at least some (usually ones with better customer service, like the one i worked at) will let you return products even if it is just because you overbought, but all of that becomes landfill! You can’t turn around and resell product that has left the store to another customer! So when you make a bad decision about how much to purchase and expect the store to take care of it for you, you not only pass those costs onto every other customer, but it’s also incredibly wasteful!

    • Stephanie says

      This is good to know, Lissa. I hadn’t thought about what happens to the product. It’s not like a blouse that is the wrong size!

      If the food item is spoiled or damaged, it should go back if the store is willing to take it. For those occasions where someone ‘overbuys’, how about donating to the local food bank? I’m all for pinching a few pennies, but it would seem that donating would be a much better way to see that someone can use it. Of course, you have to be careful with perishables, but it is definitely worth checking into.

      Love your ideas, Jillee! Thanks for your posts!!

    • Patty says

      I use all food scraps to make great black gold compost…anything organic can be composted….animal, vegetable, most wood ashes ( not treated), most all paper…it goes into the bokashi composter…once its broken down aprox 2 weeks its ready for the garden or outside composter.

      No plastic, glass, metal or any feces other than chicken or horse. We have cut our garbage by more than 50%….also have a worm factory. Its been a great learning experience for my grandchildren and I must say My plants and I enjoy the results. :)

  21. CTY says

    I am not new to freezing dairy items–but I don’t do it often because most pancake recipes can be made with any dairy product. I have used milk, yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese, half/half, cream, buttermilk and combinations of them. I even used fruit flavored yogurt before. When dairy is leftover it’s pancakes for dinner.

    But what do I freeze? These days from the garden: extra tomatoes- I cut an X in the bottom and add them to a zip lock bag, there they stay until I have enough for sauce or to can; when they thaw the peels slip right off. Red pepper strips, extra herbs in olive oil, I make Peachberry pie filling from fresh peaches, strawberries, & blueberries- it freezes better than canned because berries are stirred into the cooled cooked peach filling to help them retain their shape better. I freeze chicken/beef bones to save up enough for making stock. I freeze carrots peels, celery tops, onion ends etc for adding to stock pots. I also have a bag of orange & lemon rinds left from canning marmalades & lemonade concentrate. I cook a frozen rind in the microwave for 1 min to make cleaning it easier, I dip the cooled rind with baking soda to clean the range/hood and then toss it in the garbage disposal when I’m done to clean that.

  22. Leslie says

    Jillee, I learned from my mother-out-law about freezing milk and cream years ago, but I’d never thought about freezing whipped cream until this post. Thanks!

    I like to freeze fresh lemon juice and chicken broth; they’re both things that I often seem to need just a little of. I pour the desired amounts into ice cube trays or muffin tins and freeze them. Then I put the frozen pieces in freezer bags, remove as much air as possible, and return them to he freezer. It’s great to be able to grab a couple of “broth cubes” or “juice cubes” for a recipe.

  23. Bookworm says

    I freeze homemade soup this way. I make a potful, and since there’s only 2 of us, there’s lots to freeze. So easy to pop a block of soup into a soup mug and microwave!

  24. Janet Williams says

    Thank you for this article on freezing whipping cream. I use a lot during strawberry time :-)
    and cream doesn’t last long around here – I just don’t know where it goes to…

  25. Tracy says

    I remembered looking at the Ambrosia when it was first posted here. So went back to look at it again. Wondering why there’s sugar in it. Why not just use more honey in stead of sugar?

    • Katy says

      It’s probably for a combination of two reasons: one, sugar behaves differently than honey since it’s a solid at room temp (unlike honey), so it probably helps give some thickness and stability to the final butter. And two, sugar doesn’t have the strong flavor profile that honey does, so the combination would create a milder flavor. I bet this would be awesome with brown sugar instead of white sugar, too!

  26. Stephanie Sheller says

    My sister and I put peppermint flavoring in our whipped cream, pipe it in circles the size of our mugs on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets, and then slide it into the deep freeze. once they are good and frozen we pop them into a ziploc in the freezer and they are ready to top the kids hot chocolate and our coffee. You can use whatever extracts and flavorings you want. Sprinkle of cinnamon, some vanilla, maybe orange oil, etc. Get creative with it. YUMMMM!

  27. Chaucea says

    *chuckles* What is this “left-over cream” you speak of? Left-over cream… is a concept I absolutely can not relate to whatsoever. ;-D

    In this household, any cream sitting around unused for more than a half a day goes directly into making ice cream (well, making ice cream is the primary reason I get cream in the first place).

    But hey, it *does* gets frozen so yeah, making ice cream is an AWESOME way to freeze any cream just sitting around innocently in the fridge, minding its own business. Tee hee! :-)

  28. says

    I have frozen whipped cream to use as toppings for coffee or hot chocolate. (hint: add some cocoa powder and sugar first! yum!)

    Just a note from my experience: my dollops of whipped cream quickly got freezer-burned. So leave them uncovered in your freezer for just as long as it takes for them to get hard, then transfer to an air-tight container.

  29. pegt13 says

    hello, also I would like to add my 2 cents. jillie love your website and all your posts. you can also freeze coffee creamer I usually buy a few at a time when they are on sale. The bottle says DO NOT FREEZE, but I do it all the time and it is still good. I just place it in the fridge to thaw overnight and it is good as new. Love your ideas and recipes and posts.

  30. Kim says

    WOW. I always wondered about this. Thanks so much for this post, one of my worst peeves is having to throw out the last half or quarter container of cream, it is expensive and I love this idea, can’t wait to give it a try. thanks for putting it to the test and sharing. Your blog has become one of my favorites.

  31. Pat W. says

    Hi Jillee, Love your site and your Mom’s bread. Got a couple of questions. We are trying to cut back on carbs, would love to make the small loaves. Did you use the multiple mini loaf pan or the individual tinfoil pans and approximately how long did you bake them? Thanks for any info you can give. Pat

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