How to Freeze Heavy Cream and Make Cream Cubes

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Wondering what to do with leftover heavy cream? You can freeze it! Learn how to freeze Cream Cubes and what to use them for.

Wondering what to do with leftover heavy cream? You can freeze it! Learn how to freeze Cream Cubes and what to use them for. #freezingheavycream #creamcubes #usesforcreamcubes 

Can You Freeze Heavy Cream?

Ever find yourself with leftover cream from a recipe that only called for a small amount? Or wanted to make a recipe that calls for a small amount of heavy cream when you’re out? You need Cream Cubes! Cream Cubes are a great way to preserve leftover heavy cream in the perfect portion for use later in other recipes.

Once I was separating my cream from my raw milk and trying to decide what to do with it this time. I wanted to try freezing fresh cream, so I decided to make some Cream Cubes.

Cream cubes are really easy to make and so convenient because you can pull out the exact amount you need. Because they are small, they defrost quickly and can be used in anything that you regularly use cream for, even for whipping! Ever since I first tried to make these, I always freeze my heavy cream this way.

So can you freeze heavy cream? Yes, heavy cream is incredibly easy to freeze. You can freeze in small portion sized amounts or in large amounts.

Does Freezing Heavy Cream Ruin It?

Heavy Cream that has been frozen can still be used in most recipes. I’ve even been able to whip it after freezing. Freezing may change the texture depending on the water or the high-fat content of your cream.

Unlike most dairy products, frozen liquid cream is still very usable after thawing.

How Do You Defrost Heavy Cream?

After you’ve frozen the cream and need to use it, you can simply defrost what you need on the countertop or in the fridge. If you are adding it to a warm recipe such as soup, you can just put it right in with the rest of the ingredients.

If you need it to thaw quicker you can put it in the microwave (for a very short amount of time!) or you can thaw it on the stovetop.

Freezing Milk

Freezing Cream in Cubes

When freezing heavy cream, you will be using an ice cube tray. These can be found very inexpensively at the Dollar Store or rummage sales. I keep a bunch of them for these kinds of projects.

Ice cube trays can be used to make all kinds of things! In the same way you freeze and use cream, you can freeze leftover broth, fruit juices, buttermilk, milk, coffee, and pesto. You can even chop up herbs and freeze them in olive oil in cubes to add fresh herb flavor to your meals!

— We use ice cube trays regularly to Save Orange Juice!

Measurements for Cream Cubes

Freezing in cubes is a great way to have these things “preserved” and easy to grab the exact amount that you need. As a general rule of thumb, you can use these conversions to get the right amount of ingredients out of the freezer when you’re ready to use them!

This is the measurements using a standard sized ice cube tray. If you have a smaller cube tray, these measurements might be off.

2 cubes = 1/4 cup
4 cubes = 1/2 cup
6 cubes = 3/4 cup
8 cubes = 1 cup

If you are going to freeze anything besides water in an ice cube tray, I highly recommend getting Silicone Ice Cube Trays like these ones from Amazon. It will be MUCH easier to remove whatever you are freezing!

How to Freeze Heavy Cream

Wash and dry your ice cube trays.

Milk in Ice Cube Trays

Pour the cream into the trays and stick them in the freezer. Make sure they are flat so they don’t spill out! Nothing worse than trying to clean frozen liquids off the sides and racks of your freezer.

After a few hours of freezing when the ream has frozen solid, pop your cream cubes out of the trays and into a freezer bag. (Remember those Silicone Ice Cube trays? This is why you need them!)

Cream Cubes

Label and date your freezer bag and pop it in the freezer. You can grab a cube or two when you need small amounts of cream! Cubes will be good for up to 4 months in the freezer and are perfect to adding to desserts, sauces, stews, and other delicious recipes.

Freezing Heavy Cream in a Hurry

If you’re in a hurry and you need to freeze large amounts of cream, you can freeze the cream in the carton it came in.

Make sure you pour out an inch of the cream before popping it into the freezer to allow room for expansion as it freezes. When frozen this way, it will take longer to defrost (about 2-3 days in the fridge, so make sure your cream isn’t close dated) and you’ll have to use it all or toss it because cream should not be re-frozen. give it a good shake before using so that it won’t have an odd consistency.

It’s not as convenient as freezing in cubes but it could come in handy if you have large amounts of cream.

Cream Cubes

How to Use Cream Cubes

To use frozen heavy cream, take out the amount you need and set it in the refrigerator to thaw before you are ready to use it. Heavy cream will separate when thawed, so don’t be alarmed if it looks curdled or clotted, shake or stir it really well to redistribute the butterfat.

If you’re planning to use your cream in a hot dish, such as soup or pasta (or coffee, yum!), you don’t need to thaw them. Simply remove the cream cubes from the freezer and toss them into your dish or cup.

–We love to toss frozen cubes into our Orange Strawberry Smoothies. They make them so smooth and creamy!

Once thawed, frozen cream cubes can be used in any recipe that calls for heavy cream. You can even still use it to make whipped cream and it might even be easier since cold cream actually whips better.

Tips for Freezing Heavy Cream

If you have a lot of ice crystals in your cream, you may notice that you won’t get quite the same volume as with fresh cream but it shouldn’t affect the taste.

To help prevent ice crystals, make sure to get all the excess air out of the bag and keep your frozen cream stored in the coldest part of your freezer (don’t put it in the door.)

Whipped Cream

Freezing Whipped Cream

If you have trouble getting whipped cream out of your frozen cream cubes or if you want to have whipped cream ready to go in the freezer whenever you need it, it would be better to follow these steps.

First, make your whipped cream out of your heavy cream. If you need a full tutorial on how to do this, go to my post on Homemade Whipped Cream.

Make sure that the texture of the whipped cream is stiff peaks not in soft peaks. Place a dollop of the whipped cream (whatever amount you might use in a recipe or to top a pie) on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. If you want to get fancy, you could also freeze the whipped cream in some silicone molds.

Place the molds or the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze until firm. Remove from the tray or molds, place in a freezer-safe bag or container, and freeze your whipped cream dollops until you are ready to use.


Recipes Using Heavy Cream

Have you ever frozen heavy cream? What do you do with your Cream Cubes?

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Me and KadyMerissa has been blogging about and living the simple life since 2009 and has internationally published 2 books on the topic. You can read about Merissa’s journey from penniless to the 100-acre farm and ministry on the About Page. You can send her a message any time from the Contact Page.

This post on Cream Cubes was originally published on Little House Living in September 2012. It has been updated as of February 2023.

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  1. I saw a post some time back about buttermilk. Measure it out in tablespoon size cubes and freeze. Need 3 tablespoons of buttermilk for a recipe? thaw 3 cubes!

  2. It seems I have the opposite problem–I never have enough cream! I also make butter out of ours, and I use it in place of milk in recipes for a richer taste. Or, since we buy raw milk, I never separate it from the milk to begin with. 🙂

    1. I am with Phoebe….we leave our cream in the milk, helps the coffee be more rewarding and the young kids need the fat in their milk. I do love this idea, though!! I love many ideas on this site and am so blessed to learn everytime I visit!

    2. I didn’t think it was possible to buy raw milk. How/where do you get it? (I would like some to make clotted cream-had it in England, fell in love with it, and found a recipe, but can’t legally buy the raw milk required.)

      1. It is legal to sell in CT. Strictly regulated and inspected. Our local dairy farmer sells out every day.

  3. I love how yellow your cream is. It looks very healthy. Thanks for sharing the wonderful idea. My cow is about to calve in a couple of weeks and I will have plenty of cream everyday. I’m looking forward to making butter, cheese and yogurt like crazy.

    1. Set the bottom of the trays in cold tap water for just a few seconds and it will loosen them enough to pop right out.

  4. Great idea! If you add a little honey or other flavoring to them, then once they are frozen you could run them through a Champion juicer, Vitamix or sorbet maker and have instant ice cream!

  5. I DO get annoyed when I have to buy an entire pint for one small recipe-normally I comb through my recipe box to find something else that will use up the rest. This is so smart! I’m totally doing this!

  6. Ok, I thought this was an awesome idea, but obviously I did something wrong. I cannot get the cubes out of the ice cube tray. Any suggestions?

  7. What a great idea! I have a friend who makes pesto and freezes it in cubes, and I have heard of freezing eggs in cubes, but I hadn’t thought of doing it with cream. I had to throw out some buttermilk yesterday because it had gone past the date, and we are very careful to try to use all our food and not throw out any. If I had thought of this, I could have saved it way before it was ready to expire. Sometimes I need some cream, also, but I never can use it all and don’t want to eat that much at once, with all the fat in it. This is a great idea. Thanks! One question: Does the consistency or texture change when they are thawed?

    1. How would you know if buttermilk had gone bad? The smell? lol It’s just basically soured milk anyway! 🙂

    2. Yes it will separate some while thawing but just stir or shake it up really well and it will be fine. The key to getting the same taste is letting it thaw completely.

  8. Would love to try making some butter, if someone would like to share with me how to do it. Great idea! I will definitely be doing this! Thanks!

  9. I thought about freezing the half and half I get for my coffee and just tossing in a cube when I want. My cats would disown me though since they wouldn’t get their treat any more. LOL

  10. I do that for all kinds of stuff. Cooking for one causes many problems with left over what ever. I cube freeze broth, tomato sauce, soups, juices, all kinds of liquid things. I also process cilantro and other savory herbs with some olive oil and freeze them flat out in zip lock freezer bags, then when I need a little, I just break off a piece and add it to whatever I’m making. I got tired of throwing away herbs because I never got around to using them all. And some things dried just don’t taste the same. Like Cilantro. 🙁 I buy onions (any kind, even green) and dice them small and freeze them in baggies too. Haven’t had much luck with potatoes though, so I just buy 5 lb bags.

    1. You need to par boil potatoes to freeze, they are great for roasting etc, and saves time when you are in a hurry, put into your hot fat while frozen, be careful because they do spit a bit

  11. My son would take my leftover heavy cream and mix it up with an old fashioned egg beater to make instant pudding.

  12. When we are in AZ for the winter in January and February the lemons are quite plentiful so I freeze them in ice cube trays then transfer them to our seal vacuum bags.

  13. Can you freeze only “heavy” cream or will it work with any cream? i.e. half & half, light cream etc. I’m tired of pouring it down the drain. Thanks

  14. So glad to have found this post via Pinterest! I had previously frozen some heavy cream in a half pint jar and thought it was ruined when it thawed chunky. I’m so happy to know it is still good. I recently donated all my ice cube trays to the thrift store; I’ll definitely order silicone replacements. Thanks again!

  15. I live in belize, so when my grocery store has heavy cream I buy 3 containers..tried using the defrosted cream in the 2 ingredient ice cream and it came out “grainy”..very disappointed.. but we will still eat it as ice cream is fairly expensive here as is the heavy cream $17.00 a quart…
    Enjoyed reading the responses. Thanks for the info

    1. Frozen cream really only works in recipes where it’s used to create richness or as an added ingredient, not on its own. In my experience, all milk products change texture slightly in the freezer.

  16. Another good reason to use silicon trays:

    You can measure how much each compartment holds and write with a Sharpie on the bottom of the tray. I have one that makes 1/2 cup cubes. I freeze leftover broth and have freezerbags I can reach into and grab as many premeasured, half-cup cubes as I need for my recipe. No measuring cup to clean either!

  17. I have read the comments and am impressed with all the wonderful ideas. However, butter and ice cream were mentioned but no onethought of cottage cheese. Not sure how to process it without a cream separator, though.