Does heavy whipping cream go bad?

In this article, we will answer the question “Does heavy whipping cream go bad?”, how long does heavy cream last, how to store heavy cream, can you freeze heavy cream, and how to tell if the cream has gone bad. 

Does heavy whipping cream go bad?

Like all other dairy products, heavy whipping cream also goes bad. If the whipping cream gives off a sour smell, a foul taste develops discoloration, or a lumpy texture, it has gone bad. 

The accumulation of some liquid on top of the cream is not a sign that it has gone bad unless accompanied by other signs of spoilage. The liquid separation is a natural process that happens when the cream has been sitting for too long.

Similarly, a color shift to pale yellow is also normal. It is caused by certain enzymes harboring in the cream. Lastly, a dense and thick cream may not necessarily be spoiled. 

Because some varieties of cream are naturally thicker. Therefore, you need to have a thorough inspection before deeming the cream unfit for consumption. 

How long does heavy cream last? 

Heavy cream or heavy whipping cream comes with an expiry date after which it does not retain its best quality. The product may remain safe to eat after the printed date, depending on how you store it.

Old or expired heavy whipping cream has poor whipping potential. Therefore, you may choose to discord it for quality purposes. We recommend keeping your heavy whipping cream no more than 3-5 days past the expiry.

Once opened, the shelf-life of heavy cream is dictated by its storage and its production process. For example, ultra-pasteurized heavy cream has a longer shelf-life than pasteurized heavy cream. 

The longer you keep the heavy cream after opening, the poorer its quality will get. We recommend finishing it within 3 days of opening for the best results. 

(Unopened) Refrigerator Freezer 
Past Printed Date Past Printed Date
Half and half7-10 days 
Light cream 7-10 days 2-3 months 
Whipping cream 1-2 weeks 3-4 months 
Heavy cream 2-3 weeks 3-4 months
Double cream 2-3 weeks 3-4 months 
Canned dream whip2-3 months 
Cool whip 1-2 weeks 5-6 months 
(Opened) Refrigerator Freezer 
All liquid creams 5-7 days 
Canned dream whip 2-3 months 
Cool whip 7-10 days 3-4 months 

How to store heavy cream? 

Whether opened or unopened, heavy cream needs to stay refrigerated at all times. Keep the heavy cream near the back of the fridge, where it is the coldest. A colder and stable temperature will do a better job at preserving the quality of the heavy cream.

Make sure the container of the heavy cream is sealed in between uses. It is ideal if the original container or package of the whipping cream is intact. 

If not, you can do with a good quality air-tight container with a sound seal. You can also use a piece of foil and a rubber band to secure it in place as a makeshift seal.

Can you freeze heavy cream? 

Yes, you can freeze heavy cream but it is not recommended. Because the freezing environment is too harsh for the quality of the heavy cream. However, there is still one way out.

You can whip the heavy cream and then freeze it. This will result in minimal damage to the quality and texture of the cream. If you have lots of frozen heavy whipping cream, all is not lost. Because frozen and thawed heavy cream works great in cooking or baking.

Feel free to use creamy soups, casseroles, and pies using the frozen cream. You do not even have to thaw the cream in case you are making soup.

How to tell if the heavy cream has gone bad? 

Mold: The presence of discolored fuzzy patches or spots on the surface of cream accompanied by the separation of water and fat layer is a sign that your cream is done for. You need to discard moldy cream right away since its consumption can lead to food poisoning. 

Sour smell: If the fresh dairy smell of heavy cream is replaced with a sour or foul smell, it needs to be discarded.

Off-taste: Inspect the taste of the suspected cream by tasting a wee bit of it. If it tastes sour or weird, it is of no use.

Bloated container: If the container of the cream is unopened and it appears swollen, it has gone bad. The bloating is due to the gas accumulated as a result of fermentation by bacteria. 

Improper whipping: If the heavy cream is old, it will lose its whipping properties. It can be used elsewhere but not anywhere that requires whipped cream 

Other FAQs about Whipped Cream that you may be interested in.

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In this article, we answered the question “Does heavy whipping cream go bad?”, how long does heavy cream last, how to store heavy cream, can you freeze heavy cream, and how to tell if the cream has gone bad.