How do I use up heavy cream?
November 8, 2010 4:11 PM   Subscribe

What should I do with all of this heavy cream?

I have a ton of leftover heavy cream. What can I make that will use it up?

This time of year, pumpkin pie is an obvious solution, but I have more heavy cream then I’ll use in just a few pumpkin pies. What else might I want to try?
posted by suncoursing to Food & Drink (51 answers total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
It makes very rich and luxurious quiches. Also, finishing soups. Also also, bolognese sauce.
posted by padraigin at 4:14 PM on November 8, 2010

Also, breakfast cereal. Now, I wouldn't do it every day, but man, once in a while...
posted by GuyZero at 4:17 PM on November 8, 2010 [4 favorites]

Creme fraiche and a few batches of homemade ice cream?
posted by hansbrough at 4:19 PM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Cardiac arrest-inducing (but soooo delicious) wild mushroom cream sauce for pasta or ravioli or roasted butternut squash soup.
posted by gertrude at 4:19 PM on November 8, 2010 [2 favorites]

Potatoes gratin. Cheesecake. Chocolate ganache. Key lime pie (second recipe here).
posted by me3dia at 4:19 PM on November 8, 2010

I found a bunch of recipes for you at, one of my favorite sites.
posted by bearwife at 4:21 PM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

It's okay to freeze it. Separate it into useful quantities and freeze it.

Or, alfredo sauce, which is just cream, butter, nutmeg, and parmesan cheese, simmered to the thickness of your choosing and tossed with cooked pasta. The thickness when ready should coat a spoon without running right off -- it'll thicken as it cools.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:22 PM on November 8, 2010 [2 favorites]

Pana cotta
posted by leigh1 at 4:22 PM on November 8, 2010 [2 favorites]

Depending on how early you like to start making eggnog, the best eggnog recipe in the world uses a fair amount of heavy cream. Despite that, it's quite light and fluffy. Unlike most eggnogs, it's not a loose custard.

Speaking of finishing soups: AB's leek and potato soup is a good one for this time of year. I like to add a bit of crumbled crispy bacon.

You can also use it to make whipped cream, which has all sorts of applications. Horseradish whipped cream for steaks, for example. Or for ridiculous decadence, fold whipped cream into hollandaise sauce to make Chantilly sauce.
posted by jedicus at 4:23 PM on November 8, 2010

Heavy cream also enriches many curries, if you like Indian food. Google will give you about 350,000 recipes, which should take care of your leftover cream.
posted by Quietgal at 4:25 PM on November 8, 2010

Eton mess!
posted by prettypretty at 4:26 PM on November 8, 2010 [3 favorites]

More recipe ideas at
posted by bearwife at 4:27 PM on November 8, 2010

Creamy Boscaiola

1 lb pasta
6 slices bacon, chopped
6.5 oz mushrooms, sliced
2.5 cups of cream
2 green onions, sliced
1 tbsp parsley, chopped

Heat oil , add bacon and mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes
Add cream, cook over high heat for 15 minutes or until thick enough to coat a spoon
Stir in green onion, season, pour over pasta and toss. Serve sprinkled with parsley.

And there's also the deliciousness we just finished eating for dinner tonight: Basil Cream Sauce
posted by puritycontrol at 4:28 PM on November 8, 2010 [3 favorites]

Creme brulee?

Also, homemade fresh butter is a very nice treat, if you appreciate butter the way I do.
posted by small_ruminant at 4:29 PM on November 8, 2010 [2 favorites]

Seconding quiche. Here's an (imo unnecessarily complex but) very good vegetarian Quiche Florentine recipe. I made it last month--taking liberties with a few simplifications--and the end result was wonderful.
posted by applemeat at 4:44 PM on November 8, 2010

This won't use up a huge quantity, but I like to drink my morning mug of tea with heavy cream.
posted by athenasbanquet at 4:44 PM on November 8, 2010

Creme Anglaise!! I could live on that stuff if it had any sort of nutritional value whatsoever.
posted by inmediasres at 4:46 PM on November 8, 2010

posted by CunningLinguist at 4:49 PM on November 8, 2010

stir lots of melted chocolate into it plus liqueur or other flavouring, roll into balls, leave to set in the fridge, roll the balls in cocoa powder or crushed nuts or icing sugar or similar, and voila! truffles to give as presents or foist on people at Thanksgiving....
posted by runincircles at 4:51 PM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Drink some White Russians.
posted by Silvertree at 4:58 PM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Caramel sauce--very simple, and stores for a long, long time.
posted by drlith at 5:00 PM on November 8, 2010


1 cup of cream to 8oz dark chocolate = ganache. Break the chocolate into small bits (use a knife if necessary). Heat the cream on the stove until it just starts to boil (watch carefully, it happens fast). Add cream to chocolate and whisk smooth.

Dip cupcakes in it/pour over cake when warm and it'll cool to a glossy, delicious finish.
Chill in the fridge then whip (best with an electric mixer) to make awesome frosting.

So. Good.
posted by phunniemee at 5:05 PM on November 8, 2010 [2 favorites]

French toast, using heavy cream instead of milk or half-and-half, is so damn decadent.
posted by Johnny Assay at 5:07 PM on November 8, 2010

we're using cream this week in a clam/cream sauce over pasta
posted by nadawi at 5:15 PM on November 8, 2010

If you really have a lot of it, I'd make cream-based pasta sauces, and freeze them in small portions. Then you'll always have a quick dinner on hand.

Smaller uses include waffles (the best recipes are the ones with lots of cream in the batter IMHO!) and scones with whipped cream and jam. Yum!
posted by lollusc at 5:18 PM on November 8, 2010

Salted caramels.
posted by elsietheeel at 5:22 PM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

You can make butter, creme fraiche, and buttermilk with some of it -- add a little creme fraiche to a bowl of cream, leave it somewhere warm overnight for it to thicken a bit and to develop some flavor. The next day - reserve however much you want to end up as creme fraiche and throw the rest of it into a mixer. With a whisk attachment, whip it until it breaks into lumps of butter, strain out the butter, kneed it until the moisture is gone, salt it, and throw it in the fridge. Take the reserved creme fraiche and the liquid that came from the butter and put them in separate bowls back where you left the cream the night before (I use the top of my espresso machine as a warm place for things like this). The next morning you'll have thickened buttermilk and read-to-use creme fraiche.
posted by foodgeek at 5:22 PM on November 8, 2010 [3 favorites]

Line an ice cube tray with plastic wrap, and then fill with cream, and cover with another layer of wrap. Freeze. Then, take the wrapped cream-cubes and put them in a ziploc or plastic container, and store in your freezer. Then for the rest of the year, every time you're making something that only needs a tablespoon or so of cream, you can cut off a cube, unwrap, throw your frozen cream into your soup or pasta sauce or whatnot.
posted by Kololo at 5:23 PM on November 8, 2010

add whole milk, make ricotta
posted by weaponsgradecarp at 5:44 PM on November 8, 2010

Another vote for caramels.
posted by maryr at 5:52 PM on November 8, 2010

James beard's drop cream biscuits. Simpler and lighter than trad buttermilk.
posted by Diablevert at 6:02 PM on November 8, 2010

Butter is the most obvious solution to your "problem".

I bet you can use it up before it goes off. My wife and I recently splurged on a whipped cream dispenser. You might ask, who needs a $50 canister so they can always have instant fresh whipped cream? EVERYONE.
posted by pjaust at 6:04 PM on November 8, 2010 [4 favorites]

Well you could make homemade whip cream for your pumpkin pies.

For a savory application, Steak au Poivre is delicious.
posted by mmascolino at 7:22 PM on November 8, 2010

Right now I'm sipping on half and half and nibbling on some plain dark chocolate.
posted by aniola at 7:23 PM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

I had some left over heavy cream a few years ago; I used it to make pancakes, substituting the cream (and a little water) for milk in the pancake recipe. They were DIVINE. I ate them all straight off the grill, no syrup, no butter, no nothing.
posted by fings at 7:31 PM on November 8, 2010

here is a recipe for an amazing Russian appetizer: Mushroom Julienne
posted by pyro979 at 7:36 PM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

make a variety of compound butters, roll butter logs in parchment, store in freezer. later on when you want to add a pinch of flavor to a meal, slice a disc off of the log and add to whatever you're making!
posted by spinturtle at 7:52 PM on November 8, 2010

Nthing salted caramels, but for goodness sake make some of your own Bailey's Irish Cream! Dead easy, there's a recipe on Keeps for a couple months and GREAT for gifts.
posted by cyndigo at 8:15 PM on November 8, 2010

Cream scones.

Whip, eat, and put on buttermilk pancakes with jam. Or just use a spoon.
posted by archagon at 8:25 PM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Whoops, that "eat" shouldn't be there.
posted by archagon at 8:26 PM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

If you have unopened cartons of heavy cream, know that they will last a long long time. You may be able to get a few rounds of pie (with homemade whipped cream, or homemade ice cream) out of them after all. They'll definitely still be good for Thanksgiving.
posted by bink at 8:51 PM on November 8, 2010

When I was doing low carb, I'd sweeten half a cup of cold heavy cream with Splenda, add a drop of vanilla extract, and sip it for dessert.

If drinking it straight seems too decadent, use the mixture to make ziploc ice cream instead.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 9:35 PM on November 8, 2010

Homemade marscapone.
posted by carolr at 11:21 PM on November 8, 2010

I think ice-cream would have to be the obvious choice.
posted by h00py at 5:28 AM on November 9, 2010

Chicken Tikka Masala.
posted by usonian at 6:16 AM on November 9, 2010

Not going to use up a bunch at once, but it seems to help me get through the Costco-sized containers we keep on hand: We only drink 1% milk normally, so if I have a recipe that calls for 2% or whole milk, I'll just mix a little bit of cream into the milk until it's the desired consistency.

Also, as has already been said, homemade ice cream!
posted by terilou at 6:22 AM on November 9, 2010

houston's spinach artichoke dip

potato soup.

my grandmother made a yummy salad dressing using heavy cream. start with about a cup of cream, add a couple of teaspoons of salt and then top off with white vinegar, stirring until it thickens. maybe 2T of vinegar. tart and salty.
posted by domino at 7:11 AM on November 9, 2010

This chicken soup recipe has an outrageous amount of heavy cream in it, and it's absolutely delicious.
posted by heatvision at 1:00 PM on November 9, 2010

Chocolate ganache, yum.

A very easy and tasty way to use up heavy cream is James Beard's cream biscuit recipe:

They take literally about ten minutes to mix up, and I always do them as drop biscuits because I'm too lazy to roll them out. But if you do roll them out, you can freeze them unbaked and eat them later. These are also great with all sorts of flavorings -- I like maple syrup for a sweet version, and bacon, cheddar, and scallions for a savory version.
posted by chickenmagazine at 1:40 PM on November 9, 2010

Pastry cream filling- make eclairs!
posted by small_ruminant at 11:21 AM on November 10, 2010

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