People often keep cool whip in the freezer until they are ready to use it. If you have cool whip in your freezer, they best way to thaw it is by planning ahead.
If you place the cool whip in the refrigerator for four or five hours, or even overnight, it will be ready to use, and it will maintain its consistency, flavor, and texture.
However, if you are in a time pinch, and you need to thaw the cool whip quickly, there are a few ways you can do this. You should always be careful and pay close attention when using these methods, as any of them done for too long can ruin your cool whip and render it useless.
1 – Counter Top
You need to pay close attention if you choose this method to thaw your cool whip. The problem is that cool whip is made using skimmed milk and cream, and both ingredients will spoil quickly if they sit out in temperatures above 40 degrees for too long.
The absolute longest amount of time that you should leave cool whip (or any dairy products) sitting out at room temperature is two hours. If your room is warmer than 90 degrees, you should only let it sit out for one hour.
Often people thaw their cool whip on the counter and find that the texture or consistency changes, so you need to keep a close eye on the cool whip if you choose this method.
If using cool whip for frosting on a cake or cupcakes, you can thicken your cool whip to make it more stable at room temperature.
2 – Microwave
This method can thaw your cool whip if you are in a hurry, but again, you need to pay attention. You should place the cool whip in the microwave without the lid for 30 seconds on the defrost setting.
Take it out, stir it, and return it to the microwave for another 30 seconds. Keep going until it is thawed. This method will take between two and a half and three minutes.
The problem is that you will lose some of the texture by using this method. In fact, if you don’t take it out and stir it gently every 30 seconds, the entire container of cool whip can turn into a yellow mess of syrupy liquid, and you will not be able to use it.
The other thing to keep in mind is that you will not be able to refreeze the cool whip once you have used this method. Whatever texture you end up with is what it will be, and freezing it won’t change a thing.
If you thaw it in the microwave too long and end up with a yellow syrup, the freezer will only give you a yellow frozen block of syrup.
3 – Cold Water
This is probably the best method to thaw cool whip if you don’t have time to wait for it to thaw in the refrigerator. You can take a medium sized bowl that is big enough to hold the container of cool whip, and fill it with cold water.
Place the entire cool whip container in the water inside of the bowl, and let it float for 30 to 40 minutes. The cool whip will be ready to use after this time.
Some people do use lukewarm water for this method, but it is risky. You are best to stick with cold water to ensure that the dairy products aren’t heated too quickly.
What Happens If You Thaw Cool Whip Incorrectly?
There are several answers to this question. If you leave cool whip sitting out for too long of a time, it will spoil. It is made with dairy products that can go bad in just over two hours at room temperature.
In addition, thawing cool whip at room temperature can cause it to liquefy. If you beat the cool whip too roughly, it can also lose fluffiness and volume. If you are stirring the cool whip between thawing, make sure that you are gentle so that you don’t alter its texture or consistency.
If you aren’t careful, you can ruin cool whip in the microwave, and once this happens, it can’t be salvaged. If you are going to use the microwave, follow the steps above, but this should only be done in a pinch.
The best way to thaw your cool whip and preserve the fluffiness and volume is by placing it in the refrigerator for four or five hours.
Check out these Tasty Ideas for Leftover Whipped Cream.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.