Can You Freeze Single Cream?

Single cream is such a versatile dairy product! It can be used in desserts and sauces as well as soups and stews. Also known as pouring cream or light cream, single cream has a minimum fat content of 18%. If say, you bought single cream in bulk and you’d like to extend the shelf life, how do you store the product? Can you freeze single cream? What about the leftovers?

Image used under Creative Commons from yoppy

As with most cream products with high fat content, single cream is a little tricky to keep in the freezer because of the high probability of texture changes. Frozen and thawed single cream will not whip properly and the texture will become a bit grainy. This is normal. Since single cream is homogenized and pasteurized, thawed single cream is best used in cooking.

When kept in the fridge, single cream will only keep for a week beyond the printed expiration date. Unopened single cream will keep much longer. When kept in the freezer, single cream will stay fresh for 4 months or so.

The shelf life of dairy cream will depend on several factors, such as the product’s processing method, heat exposure, and how it is packed for storage. To lengthen the shelf life of the cream, keep the temperature at a steady 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, the leftovers must be packed properly prior to storage. Now let’s take a look at how can you freeze single cream:

Creamy dessert
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How to Freeze Single Cream?

If you’re freezing unopened single cream, there is no need to repack the product for freezing. Just stick the packs of single cream in the freezer. But for leftover single cream, you have to transfer the product in an airtight container.

If you’d like to divide the dairy cream into manageable portions, you can use an ice cube tray to store the cream. Just pour the product into the ice tray and pop it in the freezer for an hour or so. Once the cream is frozen solid, take the ice tray out of the freezer. Pop each cubed cream and place them all in a resealable plastic bag. Write the storage date and stick in the freezer.

If you’d like to freeze the cream in a single container, pour the leftover cream in a rigid, airtight plastic container. Leave about an inch or two of space so the cream has enough room to expand as it freezes. Cover with the airtight lid, write the storage date with a marker then stick in the freezer.

Cream-based dessert
Image used under Creative Commons from Mark Bonica

How to Defrost Frozen Single Cream?

To defrost frozen single cream, just transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the single cream to thaw for several hours to overnight. But if you’re in a hurry, try submerging the container (or sealed plastic bag) in a bowl of tap water. This should thaw the single cream quickly.

Separation between proteins and liquids might be an issue when defrosting single cream. Just give the cream a good stir to restore its original consistency.


Now that you know how can you freeze single cream, you’ll never run out of this dairy product ever again! You can buy single cream in bulk and keep the rest of your stash in the freezer for future uses. How’s that for convenience?