How Long Can Whipped Cream Be Left Out At Room Temperature?

To some, whipped cream is a mere garnish for a favorite milkshake or the extra something to top off a slice of a favorite pie, but try serving these favorite sweets without a dollop of this creamy, sweet, and whipped to perfection treat, and you may have some discontented guests on your hands. Surprisingly, whipped cream is not a modern day culinary invention. In fact, this creamy concoction has been around since the 16th century, according to Food & Wine, and was known as "milk snow." But before there were fancy whisks, electric beaters, or even cocktail shakers to aerate your heavy cream into a fluffy cream that is sweetened with sugar to form a delicious confection, people actually used tree branches to create this sublime cream. 

Today, whipped cream can be made with heavy cream or non-dairy ingredients. It can even be purchased in a can. It is a necessary component of a strawberry shortcake or the much loved addition to that cup of hot chocolate. Per Spruce Eats, add a little vanilla extract and you have yourself Chantilly cream to pile high on a white cake with berries (via Love from the Oven) to serve for a celebration dinner or just because. But however you like your whipped cream, you may wonder if it, along with the desserts it adorns, can be left out at room temperature.  

You should't leave your whipped cream out for long

The answer is surprising black and white on this one. According to the Smarter Homemaker, whipped cream can only be left at room temperature for 2 hours regardless if it is dairy or non-dairy. Our EveryDay Life blog explains further that if your whipped cream's temperature gets about 40 degrees Fahrenheit for longer than those 2 hours, you will probably want to toss it. That means if you made a cake or cupcakes and frosted them with whipped cream, you will need to store it in the refrigerator and only take it out right before serving. 

But what if you have left your whipped cream sitting out on the counter and lost track of time? It certainly can happen. Our EveryDay Life cautions that your nose and taste buds may not be the most reliable lines of defense when it comes to determining this cream's safety. And honestly, who wants to risk a possible foodborne illness? Instead, err on the side of safety and dispose of your whipped cream and or the dessert it was topped with.