Made way too much whipped cream, and not sure how long does homemade whipped cream last in the fridge?
Or maybe you bought one of those aerosol whipped cream products (often called “whipped topping”) or Kraft’s Cool Whip, and you need to know by when you need to finish it so that it doesn’t go bad.
If that sounds like you, you’re in the right place.
Below, we talk about storage periods and best practices for all three popular whipped cream options. Go to the section you’re interested in:
Homemade Whipped Cream
Homemade whipped cream keeps for about a day in the fridge. You can stabilize it with gelatin, cornstarch, non-fat powdered milk, or a commercial whipped cream stabilizer (like Whip It). This way, it can last for up to 3 to 4 days without a considerable quality loss. If you need more time, you can freeze it.
If you’ve whipped your cream and didn’t add any stabilizing ingredients, it’s too late for that now. That’s because no matter the stabilizer, you add it at some point during the whipping (usually once you’re at the “soft peaks” stage), not once you’re done with it (when the peaks are stiff).
If you have leftover whipped cream on hand, my advice is to freeze it.
If you want it in specific shapes, pipe it on a cookie tray (possibly lined with a silicone mat), and freeze it until solid. Once it’s frozen, transfer all the portions into a freezer bag or container and back into the freezer. Otherwise, just freeze the leftovers in a container.
If you’ve just opened your whipping cream, and want to whip and stabilize it, here are some options based on what you have on hand:
- Stabilized whipped cream with gelatin
- Using powdered skim milk
- With corn starch or instant pudding mix
Besides the stabilizers, use powdered sugar instead of regular sugar because it contains a bit of cornstarch which also helps with stabilization.
If you top your cupcakes or brownies with unstabilized whipped cream, they’ll keep quality only for a day or so.
Does Homemade Whipped Cream Go Bad? How To Tell If It’s Bad?
When checking your a-few-days-old homemade whipped cream, start by checking for mold in the container and on its sides. If there’s any, discard it.
Next, look for separation and loss of volume. A bit of water on the bottom is okay, but if there’s a lot, the cream is too old. Same with volume – a minor loss is expected, but nothing more than that.
Another thing is to check if it’s turned sour. If the leftovers smell or taste more like sour cream, it’s time for them to go.
If everything seems to be in order, and the whipped cream doesn’t sit in the fridge for more than 4 to 5 days, feel free to use it.
Homemade whipped cream lasts only a day or so if it’s not stabilized, so it’s best to always make it fresh. Heavy whipping cream lasts much longer than that, even after opening.
Aerosol Whipped Cream – Reddi Wip & Similar Products
Aerosol whipped cream lasts for a couple of weeks after its “best-by” or “best if used by” date printed on the label. You cannot freeze the canister to prolong the storage time, but you can pour a few portions and freeze them.
Aerosol whipped cream, sometimes labeled as “whipped topping,” is convenient to use and lasts much longer than your average homemade whipped cream.
The date on the label isn’t an expiration date, and it only informs how long the seller guarantees the quality. As you might imagine, there’s no way of telling if the product will keep quality for two weeks or two months past that date.
Try to use whipped topping products within 2 to 3 weeks after their date. If yours is older than that, always check its quality before decorating your pies or topping fruits.
If you need more time than that, divide what you have left into several portions, and freeze them the same way you freeze homemade whipped cream.
When it comes to checking if your aerosol whipped cream is still okay to use, pour yourself a small portion, and assess the quality. If it’s watery, sour, or anything else is off, discard that container.
Keep the nozzle of the canister in tip-top shape by wiping it dry after every use. This way, it doesn’t grow mold or host other microbes.
You can store Cool Whip and other similar whipped cream imitation products for 18 months or even more. That’s because they require freezing.
To use the product, you first need to defrost it in the fridge. The leftovers can sit in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, but you can also refreeze them for months more.
Refreezing Cool Whip degrades its quality a bit, but even Kraft says you can thaw and refreeze the product up to 5 times. That means the quality loss after those five rounds of freezing and defrosting isn’t that bad.
If you’re using whipped cream once in a blue moon, and you only need a little each time, Cool Whip might be your best option to avoid any food waste.
If you’re unsure if your old tube of Cool Whip is still okay to use, do the following:
- Consider storage period. If it already sits in the fridge for like three weeks, discard it.
- Visual check. Check the thawed product for mold, any discolorations, or significant texture loss. If either is present, let it go.
- Give it a whiff. If it smells off or sour, it’s time for it to go.
- Taste it. If everything else seems to be okay, try it and decide if it’s good enough.
Last but not least, remember that the date on Cool Whip is just a recommendation. If you left it in the freezer for like two years, it should still be fairly okay (quality-wise) after thawing. Give it a shot instead of discarding it right away.
- Homemade whipped cream keeps for a day, or up to 4 days if you go with stabilized whipped cream. You can also freeze it.
- Aerosol whipped cream retains quality for a couple of weeks past the date on the label, no matter when you open it.
- Cool Whip lasts for months if you freeze it and for about two weeks in the fridge. You can refreeze it if you don’t use the whole container.