Check the expiration date on the carton of whipping cream. If it's kept closed in the refrigerator at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the cream may last for one week past that date and is usable as long as it does not taste or smell sour.
Smell the whipping cream. Soured cream has a distinctive smell as bacteria starts eating away at the components and the milk fat starts to oxidize. Usable whipping cream has a mild, milky smell, and spoiled cream smells rancid.
Dip a finger into the whipping cream and taste a little bit of it. Do not take any more than a very small taste, as you don't want to ingest any harmful bacteria. Soured cream tastes bitter and definitely won't be palatable as whipped cream.
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One cup of whipping cream yields about 2 cups of whipped cream.
Whipped cream can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. You can freeze whipped cream for one to two weeks, but do not freeze whipping cream, as it will not whip once thawed.
Annelies de Groot was first published in 2007. She has contributed to local east coast papers and has worked for environmental and educational nonprofits. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from St. John's College in Maryland.