How to Make Real Whipped Cream

Do you make real whipped cream?

bowl of whipped cream with stiff point
Silky smooth with stiff peaks, the perfect whipped cream.


Also Read: How to Flavour Real Whipped Cream, How to Recover from Overwhipped Cream, Strawberry Shortcake

I’m always surprised when people tell me they’re afraid to make whipped cream. They’re worried it’s too difficult, too time consuming or that they’ll make butter. The fact is, making whipped cream is quick and easy. Sure, if you overbeat cream for a super long time, you could make butter – but you’d really have to work at it.

I highly recommend you give it a try. You’ll be surprised and fall in love with homemade whipped cream.  whipped cream stages

The transformation from liquid cream to fluffy whipped cream happens very quickly – about three minutes. Throughout the process, you’ll see the cream go through different stages. The smooth yet stiff stage we want for whipped cream, happens within two to three minutes depending on your blender.  If you continue to beat it, at some point, it will begin to separate into liquid and fat (buttermilk and butter).

For silky smooth whipped cream, stop whipping at the stiff peak stage as shown in this photo.  stiff peaks

At this stage, your beaters will leave a clear trail in the cream.  When you lift the beaters, the peaks that form at the end will point straight out and will not flop or fold over, even if you hold the beaters straight up.  The cream should be stiff with a velvety smooth appearance.

You may think to yourself, “That can’t be it, that was too easy, I must have to whip it more.”  No. Don’t do it. Just stop. When it looks and feels like the way you want it, stop.

stiff peak on beater
Stop beating when smooth and stiff. It only takes about 3 minutes.

What Kind of Cream to Buy

In this post, I am referring to whipped cream made from dairy cream. It is rich and luscious. In the dairy aisle, look for cartons that say Whipping Cream or Heavy Cream. It should have somewhere between 33 to 38% milk fat.

How to Make Real Whipped Cream

1. Use a chilled glass or stainless steel bowl and hand held beaters for best results.  I don’t have a standing mixer, but you certainly could use that to – just pay attention to the cream, don’t walk away! If you’re feeling particularly strong, you could also use a wire whisk and beat the cream by hand.  It’s a good way to feel what’s happening to the cream as you beat it, but it will take way longer than 3 minutes and it will give your arm a good workout!

2. Pour 1 cup (250 ml) of fresh, cold whipping cream into a deep bowl.  A deep bowl will help prevent splattering.

3. Begin beating the cream.

4. After about 1 minute you’ll notice the liquid becomes a little thicker. It will still drip off the end of the beater, but it is definitely thicker than when you started.  At this stage add any flavouring you’d like. For lightly sweetened heavenly whipped cream, I recommend 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) of sugar (icing or granulated) and 1 tsp vanilla.  You could also add other flavourings like liqueur, cinnamon, maple syrup, squash puree, pumpkin spice, vanilla, cocoa, coffee, fruit, herbal essence, etc. as I explain in 7 Ways to Flavour Whip Cream.

5. Continue to beat the cream for another 45 seconds. Check the tips of the beater and observe the peaks – are they drooping (soft peaks that flop down) or standing straight up (stiff peaks that hold their shape).

6. Continue to beat and stop every 20 seconds to check the cream.  At this point, the cream can go from smooth and stiff to grainy quite quickly.  Don’t be tempted to go any further once you have smooth stiff peaks.  Stop whipping. You are done. Serve and enjoy.

If you do happen to go a little too far, click on this post on How to Recover from Over-Whipped Cream.

NOTE: The times indicated are only approximate and will change depending on room temperature, freshness of the cream, temperature of utensils, strength of your blender and so on.  I’ve listed them here just to give you an indication of how fast this process really is.

NOTE: Whipping cream commonly sold in most grocery stores today contains carrageenan – a compound extracted from red seaweed used as a thickener, stabilizer and emulsifier. It helps keep the whipped cream thick and stable. I find that I do not have to add extra stabilizers like cornstarch, gelatin, pudding powder, etc. to keep it stiff. In fact, I use this whipped cream to decorate cakes like this one.

whip cream Easter cake
White cake with lemon curd layers decorated with whipped cream for Easter.

We use whipped cream for serving with fresh fruit or topping pies, cakes, puddings, beverages, breakfast favorites and so on. And, in classic German tradition, we also use real whipped cream to decorate cakes.  Like these.

choco whip cream cake
Mocha flavored whipped cream chocolate cake for Fathers’ Day.
black forest cake
Traditional black forest cake for a birthday.

I don’t have recipes or how to’s for any of these cakes. They just sort of happen over a couple of days starting with baking a cake. The fillings and decorations are all based on the occasion and what’s around the house.

However, I do have a recipes for delicious Raspberry Jelly Roll, Blueberry Lemon Jelly RollStrawberry Shortcake and Pumpkin Pudding with Gingersnaps.

blueberry lemon roll whole
Blueberry lemon roll cake.
Pumpkin Spice Pudding
Pumpkin and Spice Pudding with whipped cream and gingersnaps.

And, I have this post on 7 Ways to Flavor Whip Cream so you can make awesome mocha or chocolate flavored whipped cream.

cocoa flavored whip cream

Making real whipped cream is so easy, my daughter has been doing it and using it to decorate cakes since she was 8.

daughter piping whip cream

 More Interesting Tid Bits

  • 1 cup of liquid cream makes 2 to 3 cups of whipped cream
  • Whipped cream with sugar and vanilla is called Chantilly Cream.
  • Confectioners’ sugar or icing sugar will dissolve more quickly than granulated sugar, but both will work.
  • Stabilizers can be added at the same time as the sugar, in fact sugar is also a good stabilizer. Stabilizers help prevent the whipped cream from seeping and losing its shape. This is particularly useful and important when using cream that does not contain carrageenan and you’d like to decorate cakes. Stabilizers can include cream of tartar, dry milk powder, corn starch, vanilla pudding powder, gelatin, cream cheese or mascarpone cheese.
  • You can change the flavour of whipped cream by replacing the vanilla with other ingredients such as liqueur, espresso, chocolate, lemon curd, almond extract, cinnamon, maple syrup, etc.
  • Infuse cream with your favourite herbs or tea flavours before whipping to create unique taste experience.  Simply add your essences to the liquid cream, let soak in the fridge overnight then whip the cream as usual.
  • Try it without sugar or flavouring and just enjoy the velvety smooth taste!

Click on the following links to read more about adding flavours to whipped cream and how to recover from over-whipped cream.

Special thanks to the Canadian Home Economics Foundation for their support in helping me share ideas for making home cooking easy and enjoyable! The depth of research that went into this post, wouldn’t be possible without their support.


Show me your whipped cream and your favorite way of using it.  Take a photo, post it on Instagram and tag #getgettys so I can see it and like it!

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Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. You’ll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this. Getty is a Professional Home Economist,  speaker and writer putting good food on tables and agendas.  She is the author of Manitoba’s best-selling Prairie Fruit Cookbook, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener.

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