Can you use cream that has gone sour?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “Can you use cream that has gone sour?”, list down a few uses of cream, and tell you how to make sour cream.

Can you use cream that has gone sour?

No, you can not use cream that has gone sour because sourness is a sign that the cream has gone bad. Cream has a shelf life of 2-3 weeks if placed in the refrigerator after it has been opened.

Pasteurized cream, on the other hand, can be used for 1-3 weeks past its expiry date because it does not contain the bacteria that usually spoils the cream. Pasteurization is a process by which harmful bacteria found in milk is killed by exposing it to heat.

Cream that tastes sour has definitely gone bad. The sour taste is a sign that there has been enough bacterial growth on it which is not safe for consumption. Such spoiled cream will more often than not have a clumpy texture and a bad smell as well.

The smell of spoiled cream is so bad that you may even get a whiff of it when you open the refrigerator door. 

Consuming spoiled cream can lead to food poisoning. Its symptoms are fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, malaise, headache, and dehydration.

Learn more about spoiled cream and its shelf life here.

What can I add cream to?

Cream is made from milk by sterilizing and processing it. It is basically a product of skimmed top fat layers of milk. It is used in many drinks and foods to enhance the flavor and also achieve a smooth, rich texture.

It also dials down the flavor of any dish, for example it is used in tomato based pasta sauces to make the overpowering taste of tomatoes a little mild.

You can add cream to:


Cream is the ingredient of choice for many people for coffee. It instantly enhances the flavor of coffee. It can be used in hot coffee and even cold coffee mixtures.


Cream is added in a lot of curry recipes, especially the Indian curry recipes. It gives the gravy a nice smooth texture and also brings down the spice level. It is frequently used in chicken curry, chicken karahi, and butter chicken.


Cream is the main ingredient in white sauce pasta or alfredo pasta. It is mixed with cheese and other ingredients like garlic powder to get a rich flavor profile.

Cream is also used in tomato sauce based pastas. Cream dials down the overpowering flavor of tomatoes in a pasta.


Fresh cream is also used to make soups such as cream of tomato soup or cream of mushroom soup.

Sour cream

You can make sour cream from fresh cream and use it to top your nachos, taco, or burritos.

Ice cream

As the name suggests, ice cream has cream as its main and basic ingredient mixed with fresh fruits, chocolate, or any other flavor of choice.


Cream greatly enhances the flavor of any dessert it’s poured on to. Be it custard, brownie, or cheesecake.

You can also whip the cream and use it as frosting for cakes and other desserts. Some people even prefer eating ice cream with a dollop of whipped cream on top.

How to make sour cream from fresh cream?

Is the cream you bought past its expiry date but you do not think it has gone bad so you do not want to throw it out? Well, you do not have to because you can use this cream to make sour cream.

Pour out whichever type of cream you have in a jar and leave it out at room temperature for 12-24 hours. If you are using pasteurized cream, then add one tablespoon of live plain yogurt or buttermilk to it, stir it, then leave it out at room temperature.

After 12-24 hours, you will notice a tangy, sour smell coming from it and voila! The sour cream is ready. You can refrigerate this sour cream for another ten days for later.

Other FAQs about Cream that you may be interested in.

What is the creamer to coffee ratio?

Is cream in coffee bad for you?

How much cream and sugar should I put in coffee?


In this brief guide, we answered the question “Can you use cream that has gone sour?”, listed down a few uses of cream, and told you how to make sour cream.


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