Cool Whip, one of America’s favorite dessert toppings, does not last forever (even though we wish it would).
It has a fluffy, smooth, whipped texture that is the perfect finishing touch.
It can even turn plain fruit into a decadent dessert.
Since it is a dairy product, it is important to be mindful of its shelf life.
Let’s find out more about one of America’s favorite dessert toppings, and how to store it properly to maximize its longevity.
How Long Does Cool Whip Last In The Fridge?
When stored in the fridge unopened, cool whip lasts one to two weeks.
After you open it, Cool Whip can last seven to ten days in the refrigerator.
However, if you defrost it and put it back in the freezer, it can last much longer—up to three to four months.
You will just have to make sure it thaws completely inside the refrigerator before using it so it can be refrozen again.
Most recipes only call for one to two tablespoons of Cool Whip, so you will not need much of it each time.
Overall, it lasts for up to two weeks in the fridge but can go between the refrigerator and the freezer as many times as you need, as long as you ensure that it thaws completely before placing it back into the freezer.
How Long Does Whipped Cream Last?
Whipped cream can last from two days to three months, depending on how it was prepared and stored.
This is influenced by many factors including the type of cream used, processing method, packaging, packaging date, heat exposure, and storage.
Cream is a dairy product made from the high butterfat layer that is removed from regular cow’s milk before it is homogenized.
Whipped cream is made by whipping cream with 30 to 36% milkfat or heavy cream with 36 to 48% milkfat.
Unopened whipped cream in aerosol canisters should last for two to three weeks in the refrigerator.
Unopened homemade whipped cream lasts for two to three days in the refrigerator and can be frozen for two to three months.
Freezing homemade whipped cream is not advised, though, because it can harm the texture and consistency.
If you must freeze it, thaw it in the refrigerator instead of the countertop for best results.
After you open the whipped cream in the can, it can last two to three months in the refrigerator.
Most store-bought whipped creams have “sell by” dates that you can reference for personal use.
You can usually consume products for a little while past the “sell by” date because it is not the same as the expiration date.
Just be mindful of that distinction when looking for a date.
If you want to keep your whipped cream outside of the refrigerator for an extended period, storing it in ice will prolong the quality and longevity of the product.
Try to grab your dairy and meat products right before checking out at the grocery store to minimize the amount of time they are exposed to warm temperatures where they could spoil.
Also, be sure to never freeze any type of aerosol canister, including whipped cream, because it can rupture.
How Long Do Other Dairy Products Last In The Fridge?
The shelf-life of dairy products will vary greatly depending on the processing and packaging procedures, in addition to storage methods, the quantity of dairy in the product, and whether it has been previously opened.
Nearly all dairy products need to be stored in the refrigerator, with exceptions such as powdered milk, ultra-high temperature products, and items stored in the freezer such as ice cream.
The period that dairy products stay consumable varies significantly.
For example, unopened pasteurized milk can last 12 to 14 days if kept below 39°F.
Yogurt and kefir are fermented and can therefore remain in the refrigerator for four to six weeks.
Hard and semi-hard cheeses can maintain their quality for several weeks or months, depending on their quality.
Salted butter can last approximately four weeks whereas unsalted butter can last for about two to three weeks.
Ice cream and frozen yogurt, which of course, are kept in the freezer and not the refrigerator, may have a shelf life of two to six months or more.
If you find that your dairy products are spoiling before the use-by or sell-by dates on the package, you may want to investigate adjusting the temperature on your refrigerator.
Now, let’s get back to our Cool Whip.
What Is Cool Whip?
Cool Whip is manufactured by Kraft Heinz as the company’s alternative to whipped cream.
It is a great no-bake topping for cake, pie, ice cream, fruit, or any kind of dessert.
It can also be used for other amazing no-bake desserts like a chocolate pudding pie because unlike heavy cream, it does not need to be whipped before consumption.
Be warned, though, Cool Whip does not taste like whipped cream and is about 50% more expensive per ounce.
It can be found in the freezer section of the grocery store, so you will need to defrost it before use.
If you want to use it regularly, you can store it in your fridge for one to two weeks.
Otherwise, you can store it in the freezer and put it back when you are finished, and just defrost as needed, similar to the way you consume and store ice cream.
What Are The Origins Of Cool Whip?
Cool Whip first went on sale in 1966 as a non-dairy product, even though it contained a milk product called casein.
It is no longer marketed as a dairy-free option because it contains skimmed milk, heavy cream, and casein
After it went on sale, it quickly became one of the manufacturer’s most popular products and was marketed with the advantage of being sold frozen instead of refrigerated, so it had a longer shelf life than other dairy products.
There are now a lot of Cool Whip varieties including Original, Extra Creamy, Light, Fat-Free, and Sugar-Free.
There are also seasonal flavors: French vanilla, chocolate, sweet cinnamon, strawberry, peppermint, and cheesecake.
Cool Whip is the number one most popular brand of whipped topping in the United States.
Even Reddi-Whip, which dominates the whipped cream market, reports lower sales revenue than Cool Whip.
How Can I Quickly Thaw Cool Whip?
Cool Whip is found in the freezer section, which means it is not ready for consumption just yet.
If you want to use your Cool Whip, you should plan because it takes about one to two hours to thaw outside of the refrigerator.
Some people prefer to let it thaw inside the fridge, which takes about four to five hours.
You can also let it defrost in there overnight.
It is recommended to thaw it in the fridge to preserve the taste and texture.
Countertop defrosting is not recommended for maintaining the quality of your product, but it can be done if you are short on time.
Since it is a dairy product, though, be careful to not let it sit out too long because skimmed milk and cream can easily spoil in temperatures warmer than 40°F.
If countertop defrosting is your only option, do not let your Cool Whip (or any dairy product, for that matter) sit outside of the refrigerator for more than two hours.
This should only be a last resort because some people report decreases in the quality of the Cool Whip if left out for too long.
If you need your Cool Whip immediately, you can also microwave it, but you must be careful, and heed the following advice.
Take off the lid and place the frozen carton in the microwave.
Choose the defrost setting on your microwave and set a timer for 30 seconds.
When time is up, take the Cool Whip out of the microwave, stir it, and then put it back in on defrost for 30 more seconds.
Keep repeating this process until the Cool Whip is completely defrosted.
For most microwaves, it takes approximately two to three minutes.
The stirring between each microwave session is crucial to prevent texture degradation.
If you skip this step, the Cool Whip could turn yellow, and you will not be able to use it.
Microwave defrosting is not a recommended option because it does not preserve that unique texture, but it is an option if you are short on time.
It is also important to note that you cannot refreeze your Cool Whip after defrosting it in the microwave.
Another way to thaw your Cool Whip is to use cold water.
First, choose a large bowl that is big enough to fit a Cool Whip container submerged in water.
Fill the bowl with cold water and then add the unopened Cool Whip container.
Allow it to float in there for about 30 to 40 minutes.
After this, you should be able to consume your Cool Whip.
This is the second-best way after the refrigerator because you are still allowing the Cool Whip to thaw in a cold environment.
Some people choose to use lukewarm instead of cool water, but this might carry the same risks as defrosting it at room temperature.
How Will I Know If I Thawed Cool Whip Incorrectly?
You will know if your Cool Whip did not thaw correctly if it turns yellow, loses its fluffiness, or liquefies.
Look for a decreased volume in the Cool Whip.
This could indicate a decline in quality.
Also, check to see if the liquid has separated from the cream.
If it has separated a good deal, you should replace your product.
Take a small bite to taste-test your product before using it.
If it tastes even a little bit off, you are better off buying a new product because spoiled dairy products can make you sick.
You can also look for mold on the Cool Whip.
Examine the sides and surfaces of the whipped topping before consumption.
Here are some tips for avoiding incorrect thawing.
If you are defrosting the Cool Whip at room temperature, it can spoil and degrade because it contains dairy products.
Be sure to not leave it out for too long at room temperature or higher.
If you do not follow precise directions when defrosting, you can risk your Cool Whip liquefying.
Another thing to be wary of is over-beating or whipping the product too much, as it can lose its signature fluffy texture.
Do not overheat your Cool Whip when using the microwave method.
Are There Substitutes For Cool Whip?
You can also use regular whipped cream if you are looking for an alternative sweet dessert topping.
If you are lactose intolerant, vegan, or kosher and looking for a non-dairy Cool Whip alternative, you can try Truwhip.
It is always advisable to check the nutrition facts to be sure you do not consume anything that might be harmful to your body or beliefs.
All varieties of Cool Whip have sodium caseinate in it, which is not dairy but is a protein derived from milk.
When the product first hit the markets, it was lactose-free.
Dream Whip is another alternative to Cool Whip.
When prepared, the texture and taste are like Cool Whip, but it is sold in powder form instead of frozen.
How Can You Prepare Cool Whip At Home?
You can prepare Cool Whip at home, which is a great alternative for people who want to tweak one or two of the ingredients and still use one of the best dessert toppings on the market.
All you need is cream cheese, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar.
First, you will mix four pounds of softened cream cheese in a bowl with one teaspoon of vanilla extract, and one-half cup of powdered sugar.
Then, use a mixer to beat the mixture together.
It should come out fluffy and creamy.
Then, pour it into a bowl and whisk it.
You can use it immediately or store it in the refrigerator.
Feel free to modify the recipe by using dairy-free products if you wish but be aware that the consistency and flavor may not be the same as regular Cool Whip.
Cool Whip is one of America’s favorite dairy-dessert toppings.
Since so many North American households have this product on hand, it is important to be mindful of how to store Cool Whip and prolong its shelf-life.
For people who consume it regularly, it is fine to keep Cool Whip in the refrigerator if you plan to consume it within about two weeks.
If you want your Cool Whip to last longer, you can always take it out and put it back in the freezer when finished.
The best way to thaw your Cool Whip is in the refrigerator for four to five hours, which certainly requires some planning ahead, but it’s also the best way to preserve the quality of the product.
If you defrost Cool Whip any other way, you risk harming the signature texture and taste.