Clever Uses for Leftover Heavy Cream

Milk products on wooden board
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Don't let your leftover heavy cream go to waste. Read on to learn imaginative, tasty, and practical ways to use up this versatile food.

Make Sour Cream

Real sour cream tastes much better than the commercial varieties they sell at the grocery store. Just mix your leftover heavy cream with one other ingredient, and you'll be on your way to making your first batch of homemade sour cream.

Make Butter

Use the last of your heavy cream to make homemade butter. Make a small batch by shaking the cream in a jar, or make a large batch by whipping the cream in a mixer or blender until all the buttermilk separates out. This is a really fun project to do with kids.

Make Whipped Cream or Ice Cream

Turn your leftover heavy cream into an excuse for a treat: Make homemade whipped cream. Then, use it to top pancakes, pie, ice cream sundaes, or coffee.

Alternatively, throw your heavy cream into an ice cream maker, and enjoy a batch of homemade vanilla ice cream. If you don't have an ice cream maker, you can make ice cream in the blender or with no special equipment at all. Just do a quick web search, and you'll turn up plenty of tips on using heavy cream to create ice cream in a blender.

Enhance Your Pasta, Soups, and Eggs

You don't have to use heavy cream to create a completely new dish; use it to upgrade your pasta, soups, and eggs:

  • Pasta: A little cream makes just about any pasta dish better. Add it to a tomato-based sauce, or use it to make Alfredo.
  • Soups: Add a bit of heavy cream to soups to make them creamier, or try some of the cream-based soups such as cream of mushroom, broccoli, potato, leek, and more. To prevent curdling, add the cream at the end of the cook time.
  • Eggs: Just add a splash to improve the flavor and texture of your eggs. It's an easy way to turn an everyday dish into something special.

If you're feeling a bit more ambitious, ricotta, mascarpone—a thick, spreadable Italian cheese—and many other kinds of cheese are easy to make at home.

Keeping Heavy Cream Fresh and Other Tips

Heavy cream actually has a really long fridge life. If one of the previously mentioned suggestions looks good but you don't want to make it right away, just tuck your cream in the back of the fridge (where it's coldest and the least likely to get knocked over), and use it later.

If you're short on time, you can also freeze heavy cream, so it'll be easy to use in recipes later. Frozen cream will still whip and do all the things you need it to do. If you don't want to freeze your heavy cream or worry about how long it will stay good, consider switching to powdered heavy cream. You can keep it in your pantry and mix it up whenever you need it—and in whatever quantity you need—thereby eliminating all future leftovers.