Whipped cream is a light and fluffy dairy-based topping that can instantly elevate both sweet and savory dishes. From topping cakes and pies to making frothy coffee drinks, whipped cream is a versatile ingredient that no home cook should be without.
However, since whipped cream is made by whipping liquid heavy cream with sugar until it becomes airy, it also has a relatively short shelf life. So what should you do if you’ve whipped up more than you need for a recipe and want to avoid waste?
Add Whipped Cream to Breakfasts
One of the simplest ways to use up extra whipped cream is to add a dollop or two to your morning breakfast foods. Whipped cream can make typical breakfasts like oatmeal, pancakes and waffles feel more like a special weekend treat.
Pancakes and Waffles
What’s better than a tall stack of fluffy pancakes or golden waffles? Pancakes and waffles topped with a cloud of sweet whipped cream, of course!
Folding a spoonful of whipped cream into pancake or waffle batter is also a great way to use it up while adding moisture and richness. The whipped cream will melt into the batter as it cooks, giving you tender and fluffier results.
Tip: For over-the-top decadence, make whipped cream pancakes by folding 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 cup whipped cream per 1 cup of pancake mix into the batter before cooking.
Oatmeal might not seem like the most logical place to use up whipped cream, but it works beautifully. Stir a dollop of whipped cream into a bowl of cooked oatmeal to add sweetness and moisture.
You can also swirl it decoratively on top along with fresh fruit, nuts, maple syrup or other favorite oatmeal toppings. The cream will add a pleasant contrast to the hearty grains.
French Toast and Baked Oatmeal
Baked French toast casseroles and baked oatmeal are two morning treats that pair fabulously with whipped cream. Simply fold some whipped cream into the egg mixture before baking for a creamier interior texture.
Then pass more whipped cream at the table for topping individual portions. The sweet cream balances the eggy custard richness perfectly.
Tip: Flavor your whipped cream with spices like cinnamon and nutmeg or extracts like vanilla, almond and maple before using it in baked French toast or oatmeal.
Using leftover whipped cream to top your morning brew is an easy way to start the day feeling like you’re getting a special treat. The whipped cream will add body, silky texture and subtle sweetness to coffee, espresso and tea drinks.
For festive coffee drinks, you can even use a pastry bag to pipe the whipped cream into fun shapes on top. Add chocolate shavings, crushed candy canes or cinnamon for extra flair.
Fold into Batter and Doughs
Whipped cream can do more than just top baked goods—it can also get folded into batters and doughs to keep them moist and tender. Using leftover whipped cream in baking is a great way to prevent waste while benefiting your recipes at the same time.
Adding a bit of airy whipped cream to cake batters is an easy way to create bakery-style cakes with fine, moist crumb. Fold it into the batter just until combined—too much mixing deflates the cream, while under-mixing leaves pockets of cream that collapse while baking.
Tip: When adapting recipes, replace 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 cup of the milk or buttermilk with whipped cream per 1 cup of flour.
Quick breads like banana bread, zucchini bread, pumpkin bread and coffee cakes all benefit from a dose of whipped cream in the batter. The whipped cream helps keep these breads super moist and velvety soft for days after baking.
Whipped cream makes muffins like blueberry, bran, corn and lemon poppyseed rise higher with an extra tender crumb. Fold 1⁄4 cup whipped cream per 1 cup of flour into the batter gently to maintain that airy lift.
Buttery, flaky scones are even richer and more melt-in-your-mouth delicious when you use heavy cream whipped with sugar in place of milk or buttermilk. The whipped cream creates steam to make the scones lighter too.
Sweet yeast rolls get amazingly soft and fluffy when you incorporate whipped cream into the dough. Cinnamon rolls, caramel pecan rolls and orange rolls made with leftover whipped cream will be your new favorite treat.
Make Decadent Desserts
From mousses to trifles and ice creams, leftover whipped cream comes in handy for making all kinds of fabulous desserts. Don’t let that leftover whipped cream go to waste—turn it into a delicious after dinner treat instead.
This classic French dessert is a breeze to whip up with leftover cream. Simply melt quality dark chocolate and fold the warm chocolate into cold whipped cream. Chill to set, then garnish with shaved chocolate before serving if desired.
Layer leftover whipped cream with berries, cake pieces and pudding in a glass to create an impressive no-bake trifle. Top with more berries before serving this cake-like dessert.
Homemade milkshakes made with ice cream and whipped cream are so much better than drive-thru versions. Blend ice cream, milk and whipped cream with your choice of flavored syrups or extracts for thick, creamy shakes.
If your leftover whipped cream is very stiff, you can use it as a luscious frosting for cakes and cupcakes. Just beat in powdered sugar and vanilla extract until it reaches a spreadable consistency.
No-Churn Ice Cream
Make Savory Dishes Extra Luxurious
While we often associate whipped cream with desserts, it can also add a touch of luxury to savory dishes. Extra whipped cream transforms everyday meals into special bistro-style plates with ease.
Stir a few big dollops of whipped cream into blended vegetable or tomato soups just before serving for a richer, creamier texture. Garnishes like fresh chives or croutons add nice contrast.
Toss hot pasta with leftover whipped cream, Parmesan, garlic, salt, pepper and fresh herbs for a quick cream sauce. The heat from the pasta melts the cream to coat each strand in velvety goodness.
Fluffy Mashed Potatoes
Using whipped cream instead of milk or cream gives mashed potatoes an ethereal, cloud-like texture. Potatoes whipped with cream are also less likely to get gluey.
Eggs and Omelets
Adding a tablespoon of whipped cream per egg when scrambling or making omelets gives them a lush, creamy element. It works for making eggy dishes like quiche and stratas too.
Stirring a few tablespoons of whipped cream into seafood risottos at the end adds even more richness to this elegant, creamy rice dish. Shrimp, scallops and crab shine with this simple finish.
Freeze for Later Use
If you just can’t use up all of that leftover whipped cream right away, don’t worry - you can easily freeze it for later use. There are a few tricks to freezing whipped cream properly.
For storing larger amounts of whipped cream, transfer it to a rigid plastic freezer-safe container, leaving 1-inch headspace to allow for expansion. Press plastic wrap directly on the surface before sealing to prevent freezer burn.
For small portions, spoon individual mounds of whipped cream onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until solid, then transfer to freezer bags.
Label and Date
Always label frozen whipped cream with the contents and date so you use the oldest portions first when thawing. Eat within 2 to 3 months for best quality.
Thawing and Using
Thaw whipped cream in the refrigerator overnight. Give it a good stir once thawed - a little separation is normal. Previously frozen cream may lose some volume, so rewhip briefly if needed to restore its light texture.
Tip: Fold thawed whipped cream into batters, doughs, soups or sauces to disguise any texture issues rather than topping dishes or using as-is after long freezing.
Rewhip Leftover Whipped Cream
If your leftover whipped cream has only been refrigerated for a day or two and still looks and tastes fresh, you can easily rewhip it into freshly made cream.
To rewhip, place the leftover whipped cream in a chilled bowl. Add an equal amount of chilled heavy whipping cream and 1-2 tablespoons sugar. Using a cold whisk or electric mixer beat just until stiff peaks form, being careful not to overbeat.
Rewhipped cream will increase your yield and give you fresh cream with ideal whipped texture. Use within 2 days.
Creative Ways to Use Every Last Bit
When you’re down to just a spoonful or two of leftover whipped cream, you can still put it to use creatively:
- Swirl into hot chocolate or coffee drinks
- Fold into yogurt, oatmeal or overnight oats
- Spoon over fresh fruit
- Mix into milkshake or smoothie
- Use as “glue” between layered dessert bars
- Dollop onto cupcakes before frosting
- Fold into cookie doughs like snickerdoodles
- Stir into fruit compotes and sauces
- Garnish plates with a decorative drizzle
With so many sweet and savory ways to use whipped cream, that leftover bowl doesn’t have to lead to waste. Get creative with these ideas to transform every last dollop into something delicious.
How long does homemade whipped cream last in the fridge?
Homemade sweetened whipped cream will keep for 2-4 days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Stabilized whipped cream lasts 5-7 days refrigerated.
Can you freeze leftover whipped cream?
Yes, whipped cream freezes very well for 2-3 months. Transfer to freezer containers leaving headspace, press wrap directly on the surface before sealing, and thaw in the fridge before using.
Can you rewhip cream that has been refrigerated?
Yes, as long as refrigerated whipped cream still looks and tastes fresh, you can rewhip it by beating with an equal amount of fresh cream. This restores the light texture.
What’s the best way to use a small amount of leftover whipped cream?
When you only have a spoonful or two left, stir it into beverages like coffee or hot cocoa, dollop over oatmeal or fresh fruit, or mix into batters and doughs for a little added richness.
Can you substitute whipped cream for milk in recipes?
Yes, whipped cream can often be used in place of milk or buttermilk in recipes, particularly baked goods. Replace 1/4 to 1/2 cup milk with whipped cream per 1 cup flour.
Is it safe to freeze and re-freeze whipped cream?
It’s best not to freeze whipped cream more than once, as each freeze/thaw cycle causes more breakdown of the delicate structure. Use leftover frozen whipped cream within 2-3 months.
Whipped cream is a versatile ingredient that can rapidly go from topping desserts to getting wasted in the fridge. But with a bit of creativity, you can find endless ways to use every last delicious drop of your leftover whipped cream.
Repurpose it into breakfasts, incorporate it into baked goods, transform it into creamy desserts and gourmet dinners, or simply freeze it for later use. Follow these tips to avoid wasting whipped cream and enjoy it to the fullest instead.