How to Make Whipped Cream

Makes 2 Servings

  • Total Time: 21
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 1

Some desserts just aren’t complete without a dollop of whipped cream on top – whether it’s a slice of pie or a bowl of fresh berries.

While many of us turn to cans and tubs for a whipped topping, there’s nothing quite like making it from scratch. If it sounds a little intimidating, think again. Here’s how you can make whipped cream at home.
 

Ingredients

  • Cold heavy whipping cream

  • Granulated or powdered sugar

  • Pure vanilla extract



If you’re not going to use the whipped cream right away, add a stabilizer like cornstarch, gelatin or cream cheese. Each ingredient builds a unique texture that holds its own depending on how long it will be out and in what temperature.


Scroll on to find the ingredients, measurements, and method to make your preferred consistency.

Instructions

The key to making whipped cream at home is to make everything – your cream, bowl and whisk – as cold as possible. At least 20 minutes before start making the whipped cream, place your bowl and hand mixer whisk in the freezer.

First, a note on portion size and tools: One cup of cold heavy whipping cream yields two cups of whipped cream. If you plan to double or triple this recipe, be sure to use a stand mixer instead.
 

Light Texture: Cornstarch

For whipped cream that will be refrigerated until served, and not held at room temperature, use cornstarch. It provides the lightest texture with these proportions and steps:

  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Combine powdered sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan and slowly stir in ¼ cup of the cream.
  2. Stir the mixture constantly as you bring it to a boil, then simmer for a moment until it’s just thickened.
  3. Scrape into a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature, then stir in the vanilla.
  4. In a chilled mixing bowl, beat the remaining cream until the faintest of beater marks start to show, then add the room temperature cornstarch mixture as you whip. Stop as soon as stiff peaks form.
     

Medium Texture: Gelatin

For whipped cream that will stand for a few hours at a room temperature of no more than 75°F, use gelatin for maximum stability—in addition to these ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon powdered gelatin
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Combine powdered sugar and gelatin in a small saucepan, then gradually stir in ¼ cup of the cream. Stir constantly until mixture is just up to a boil and thickening slightly.
  2. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and have it cool to room temperature.
  3. Stir in the vanilla
  4. In the chilled mixing bowl, whip the rest of the cream until only traces of the beater marks start to show. Add the room temperature gelatin mixture as you whip. Stop as soon as stiff peaks form.
     

Dense Texture: Cream Cheese

For whipped cream that will be refrigerated until served, and not held at room temperature, add cream cheese. It provides a slightly denser texture, and use a chilled stand mixer.

  • 3 oz. cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ¾ heavy cream
  • ¾ cup crème fraîche
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until it fluffs.
  2. Set the stand mixer to a low speed and slowly beat in the cream.
  3. Return to medium speed and whip until the mixture can form small hills when dropped from a spoon.
  4. Add the crème fraîche and beat until stiff peaks form one beater is raised.
  5. Quickly beat in the vanilla.
 

Make Stiff Peaks


Above: Stiff peaks form when a chilled hand mixer and bowl work on whipping cream for one minute on high speed.

Take care to not over-whip your cream, as it can start turning into butter, like this:

Above: This is what overwhipped cream looks like, and it’s practically butter.

Now that you have some whipped cream on hand, here are ways to enjoy it.