Three ingredients and 15 minutes are all you need to make the freshest tasting whipped cream that is a dreamy topping for so many desserts.
Homemade whipped cream adds an irresistible finishing touch to a variety of desserts, from pies and ice cream sundaes to hot chocolate and fresh strawberries. The following tips ensure a light, pillowy mixture that holds its shape and is sweetened to your level of perfection.
Start with cold everything
Using chilled cream allows the fat globules to emulsify faster and stay that way longer.
A cold bowl and beaters will keep the cream cold, further helping it to thicken and increase in volume. Pro tip: Place the mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes before starting.
What type of cream is best for whipped cream?
In order for the cream to whip properly, you need cream that has at least 30% fat. Heavy cream typically contains 36 to 40% fat and will make the thickest, most voluminous whipped cream that will hold its volume the longest.
Light cream, on the other hand, contains 18 to 20% fat, so it won’t whip up as thick and won’t maintain its volume as well over time. With 10½ to 12% fat, half and half is lower in fat yet.
What type of sugar is best for whipped cream?
Confectioners’ sugar is my preferred sugar for its lightness and because it seamlessly incorporates with no grittiness. Plus, the cornstarch in confectioner’s sugar provides an element of stabilization to the whipped cream and minimizes any “weeping” as the whipped cream sits. (This simply refers to liquid that separates from the cream and doesn’t mean the whipped cream is bad.)
Fun fact: Whipped cream that uses confectioners sugar is also called “Chantilly cream.”
Caster sugar (which is also known as castor sugar, superfine sugar, or baker’s sugar) works similarly well, although many people may be less likely to have this on hand. Granulated sugar may be used, but it’s slower to incorporate and there can be a trace of grittiness.
Vanilla extract is a simple addition that takes the whipped cream to a higher level.
Is it better to use a whisk or stand mixer?
The whipped cream recipe can be made by hand with a whisk, but it will take a long time and your arm may tire before the job is done! I recommend going by look rather than time, but you can definitely get the job done in five minutes or less when using a stand mixer.
What type of bowl is best for whipping cream?
A stainless steel bowl is best because it will chill readily. It will also better keep the ingredients cold during the whipping process compared to plastic, glass, or ceramic. Glass would be a second choice.
Copper, though excellent for whipping egg whites, is not recommended for whipped cream. Interestingly, the same chemical reaction that encourages volume when whipping egg whites hampers the process with cream.
When do you add the sugar?
Many recipes call for adding the sugar once soft peaks have formed and then adding the vanilla at the end. I like to sprinkle the sugar over the cream right at the beginning (I add the vanilla then too), because I think it ensures the most even distribution of these ingredients and does not impede the peaks from developing.
Can you salvage overwhipped cream?
Over-whipped cream is on its way to becoming butter—if you keep beating, the fat and liquid will separate, forming butter and buttermilk—but it can usually be salvaged with an easy trick: With the mixer running on low speed, slowly drizzle cold, unwhipped heavy cream into the mixing bowl. Continue to add cream until the broken whipped cream becomes fluffy again.
How much whipped cream will this make?
Heavy cream will roughly double when whipped, so 1 cup of heavy cream will yield approximately 2 cups of whipped cream. You may cut the recipe in half or double it as desired.
How long will freshly whipped cream last?
If the cream is fresh, whipped cream will keep up to 4 days in the refrigerator. You may notice a very small amount of liquid separation at the bottom of the bowl, which is normal. You may pour this liquid off, although I gently fold it into the portion I am about to use because adds a smooth creaminess to the leftovers.