Rich and silky, whipped cream is one of life's little pleasures. Whether it is dolloped on top of berries, plopped into hot chocolate or piled high on top of pound cake, whipped cream is an easy and elegant way to finish a dish or cozy recipe. Even if there is some heavy whipping cream or whipped cream left over, do not throw it away. Both whipped and liquid heavy cream can be frozen and stored for use at a later time. With a little help, no heavy whipping cream should ever go to waste again.
Can You Freeze Heavy Cream?
Despite its high fat content and the tendency for butter clots to form, heavy cream can be easily frozen and stored for use at a later time. Both light whipping cream, which has a fat content of 30 to 36 percent, and heavy whipping cream, which is 36 to 38 percent fat, will appear clotted at first because they separate after being frozen and thawed. Do not worry; it is still perfectly safe to use. Half-and-half, which has a fat content between 10 and 18 percent, also freezes well.
How to Freeze Whipping Cream
There are three ways to freeze heavy whipping cream. The first is to freeze heavy cream that has already been whipped. Whipped cream should be dolloped onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. For a look with a little effort that is less rustic than the dollop, you can pipe the whipped cream into rounds. Freeze the rounds in a single layer until all of the whipped cream is used, then store in the freezer in a sealed plastic bag.
The other ways to freeze heavy cream are in its liquid state. To store large quantities of heavy whipping cream, the liquid can be frozen in its carton. Make sure the carton is not completely full, as the cream will need room to expand as it freezes. To freeze smaller, pre-proportioned measures of heavy whipping cream, use an ice tray. A standard size ice tray will yield two tablespoons of heavy whipping cream per frozen cube, so two cubes will be the equivalent of one-quarter cup of cream. For larger quantities, use a 2-inch ice cube tray. Each 2-inch ice cube of frozen heavy cream is equal to one-half cup of liquid cream.
Thawing Heavy Whipping Cream
Once the heavy whipping cream is thawed, do not refreeze. Heavy whipping cream that has been frozen, thawed, refrozen and then thawed again is not safe to consume because of the bacteria that can grow when the frozen heavy cream comes to room temperature before being refrozen. Using ice cube trays for smaller quantities is great because it allows you to thaw only the amount of frozen heavy cream that you need so there is no waste.
If using frozen heavy cream in a hot recipe, the frozen cream cubes can be directly added to the dish. If you want to use frozen heavy cream in a drink or a cold recipe, allow the cubes to thaw in the fridge first.
To place one of the dolloped or piped rounds of whipped frozen heavy cream on top of a cup of hot chocolate, go ahead and place the disc right on top of the steaming mug. To use the whipped cream as a topping for fruit or cake, allow it to thaw at room temperature for up to 30 minutes. To make the transfer of the whipped cream to the top of the dish easier, allow it to thaw over the room temperature bowl of fruit or slices of cake.
Molly is a freelance journalist and social media consultant. In addition to Leaf.tv, Molly has written for Teen Vogue and Paste magazine. She is the former assistant editor of the Design and Style section of Paste magazine. View her work at www.mmollyharris.com.