» Does Heavy Cream Go Bad?How Long Does It Last?

Does Heavy Cream Go Bad?How Long Does It Last?

Does Heavy Cream Go Bad How Long Does It Last
Image: Lucky Belly

Do you have a big jar of heavy cream at the back of your fridge? Are you wondering does heavy Cream goes bad? We know that fresh, whipped heavy cream is mouth-watering! Once you are a fan of this, you want to use it in every recipe possible. To do this, you need to know how heavy cream goes bad and the best ways to store it.

In this article, we share our top tips to help you get to know when heavy cream has gone bad and how to store it the right way to get the most out of it.

Does Heavy Cream Go Bad?

Does Heavy Cream Go Bad
Image: Lucky Belly

Heavy cream, also known as Heavy Whipping Cream, comes with an expiry date. Usually, whipping cream can be consumed even one week after the expiry date. But consuming it weeks and months after the date of expiry can cause food poisoning or stomach upsets. And it’s best you avoid doing that.

Do you know a big difference in the taste between expired heavy cream and the fresh one?

After expiry, the taste of fresh cream becomes weird. If you have expired heavy cream, you’ll miss the freshness and wholesomeness of the cream.

All heavy creams are not the same.

There is a difference in their shelf life based on its fat content and pasteurization. The ultra-pasteurized heavy cream lasts longer than the normal one.

Old heavy cream is difficult to whip. Expired cream also tends to curdle and form lumps.

Wondering how to use your whipped cream the right way? Watch this Youtube video for more:

How Long Does Heavy Cream Last?

So, how long does heavy cream last?

The heavy cream’s longevity and freshness of the heavy cream depending on how you care for it and how you use it.  The processing methodology, packing date, exposure to heat, and storage style are important factors that determine the shelf-life of heavy cream.

Since the cream is made of the creamy, buttery layer taken out from the top of the milk, it has a limited shelf life like all dairy products.

The fat content in the cream and how you store it are also important factors determining how long the cream will remain fresh and tasty.

Chart showing Cream Expiration Date


Half and Half Cream Past Printed Date

Past Printed Date

Light Cream

7-10 days
Whipping Cream 7-10 days

2-3 months

Heavy Cream

1-2 weeks 3-4 months
Double Cream 2-3 weeks

3-4 months

Canned Dream Whip

2-3 months
Cool Whip 1-2 weeks

5-6 months

All Liquid Creams

Refrigerator Freezer
Cool Whip 2-3 months

Check out this helpful table that shows you the shelf life of heavy cream and its different varieties.

As researched, these dates are guidelines for how long heavy cream can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer before it gets expired.

Do note that all kinds of heavy creams cannot be stored in the freezer.

Some of them last longer when stored in the freezer. Avoid storing light cream, canned dream whip, and cool whip in the freezer to spoil the quality and texture of the cream completely.

Make your heavy cream last longer with the tips in this video:

4 Tips to Tell the Heavy Cream Has Gone Bad or Not

Now that you know how to store heavy Cream the right way, it may still end up going bad. Here are the top signs to tell if your can of heavy cream has expired:

  • Formation of Mold or Discoloured Surface: Molds can lead to cream’s discoloration, and the fat will be separated. If you notice this, it’s time to throw away the cream.
  • Sour, Fermented Smell: The Cream should not smell like sour cream.  If it smells like sour cream, you must not consume it.
  • Wacky Taste: Try some of the creams. If it doesn’t have the original creamy taste and tastes like curd, it’s not suitable for consumption.
  • Improper Whipping: Bad or stale cream does not whip properly. The whipped cream should appear smooth; otherwise, it is a thick cream. At times what happens is that old or hot cream does not whip properly.

If the cream is somewhat liquid on the top, it doesn’t mean that it is bad. It is a standard case, and you can easily have the cream.

At times the cream appears light yellow, somewhat very close to white. It doesn’t mean discoloration. This slight color change happens because of some enzymes present in the cream. The presence of enzymes doesn’t mean that your heavy cream has gone bad.

If it’s within the best before date, it’s fair to consume. If you notice a sour taste and cream getting separated from the liquid – those are clear signs that it’s not fit for consumption. In this situation, it’s better to discard the pack. If the cream spoils your dessert, it is probably expired; you can discard the package.

It is okay if there’s a little bit of separation on the top of thick, heavy cream. It might appear somewhat like sour cream or ricotta cheese, and it’s normal.

Heavy cream comes majorly in a liquid form. If you get a denser variety of cream in the market, don’t think it has gone bad. There are some denser varieties of cream available with a thicker consistency like that of sour cream.

Top 6 Tips to Store Heavy Cream for Longer

Now that you know how to know when heavy cream goes bad check out the top tips to store your heavy cream to use it for longer:

  • The first thing that needs to be kept in mind is that heavy cream must be refrigerated before breaking the seal and breaking the seal.
  • To store the heavy cream container for a more extended period, you must place it in the fridge’s back rather than in the front. Doing this helps maintain the temperature and the cream remains fresh.
  • Always seal and pack your cream container tightly before placing it back in the fridge.
  • If you have thrown away the cream carton, don’t worry! You can always store it in an airtight container and then keep it inside the refrigerator. This way, you’ll ensure that no moisture gets inside the can and will not spoil your delicious heavy cream.
  • In case you don’t have any proper storage container, you can keep the cream inside a large bowl, cover it with a clean foil and tie it with a flexible rubber band.
  • Never store your cream in a paper or cardboard container. The container will become soft and get damaged entirely.

Keeping these few points in mind will help you store cream better and increase its shelf-life to a considerable extent.

Never add sugar or salt to the cream while storing; otherwise, the heavy cream would become watery, mushy, and tasteless.

What Is the Risk of Consuming Expired Heavy cream?

What Is the Risk of Consuming Expired Heavy cream
Image: Lucky Belly

Wondering what happens if you consume expired heavy cream?

First of all, expired heavy Cream emits a foul smell, so you’ll know right away if it has gone bad. If you are doubtful of it going bad, do smell it.

Still, if you end up consuming the expired heavy cream, you’ll quickly notice the odd and sour kind of taste. The fat content also starts separating from the liquid in the heavy cream if it is past its consumption date.

If you have a lactic allergy, avoid accidentally consuming expired heavy cream as it can cause health issues.

Consuming expired cream with a lactic allergy can cause painful gastric problems and may cause you to vomit. Many people who are allergic to dairy products may find rashes or boils on their skin or face after consuming expired heavy cream.

Can you Freeze Heavy Cream?

Can you Freeze Heavy Cream
Image: Lucky Belly

The majority of heavy cream manufacturers do not recommend freezing heavy cream. This recommendation is given because freezing fresh cream ruins its texture and makes it taste watery and bland.

But you may have brought a big can of heavy cream, and it may not finish up with one use. Now to get the most out of it, it’s better to freeze it. Storing it carefully in the freezer helps it stay fresher for longer.

Never freeze heavy cream in the freezer or defrost it after freezing it. The texture, taste, and quality of the cream will be completely ruined. And your heavy cream may not taste the best when used in baked dishes, thick soups, pies, and curries.

There are a few varieties of creams that should only be refrigerated and not frozen. During summers, never keep fresh heavy cream at the average temperature for more than 2 to 3 hours. Immediately after you use it, return the heavy cream can to the refrigerator.


We all love heavy cream in our recipes to make them even more delicious! To enjoy its smooth and yummy taste for longer, you need to store it tightly and consume it before the manufacturer’s recommended expiry date.

Here’s how you can make your can of heavy cream last longer:

  • Store it at the back of the refrigerator
  • Always keep it refrigerated (even before you break the seal of the can)
  • Use an airtight container for storage to avoid getting any moisture in

When in doubt, it’s best to throw away your expired cream package since it cannot be reused in any manner. Are you thinking of making cheese from it? Quit that thought as heavy cream gone bad will also ruin your taste and cause unnecessary health issues that you’d rather avoid.

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