How to Tell If Heavy Whipping Cream Is Bad

Written by monica patrick
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How to Tell If Heavy Whipping Cream Is Bad
Use fresh creams to make lush toppings for coffee or hot chocolate. (Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Double cream contains 36 per cent or more of butterfat making it perfect for cream fillings or decorating cakes. If you want to get a custom flavour, colour or consistency, make toppings and fillings yourself with store-bought cream. Before beginning the recipe, check the freshness of the cream. If you use soured cream, your product will separate and have a bad taste. While heavier creams do have a longer shelf life than milk, they still have the potential to sour.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Look at the outside of the cream carton for the expiration date. If the current date is past the expiration date, do not use the cream.

  2. 2

    Open the carton and look at the cream. The cream should be white or slightly yellow. Creams that are sour will turn grey, brown or dark yellow. Swirl the cream in the container. It should be smooth, not lumpy or oily.

  3. 3

    Smell the cream for sour notes. The cream should smell milky, slightly sweet. If the cream smells off, throw it away.

Tips and warnings

  • Heavy whipping cream has a shelf life of two to three weeks when refrigerated.

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