Do you make real whipped cream? I get questions about making homemade whipped cream a lot. Here’s a step by step guide to making perfect whipped cream every time.
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.
How to Make Whipped Cream
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.
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.
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.
Recipe for Real Whipped Cream
Real Whipped Cream
- 1 electric mixer chilled
- 1 glass or stainless steel bowl chilled
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream 33-38% MF, milk fat
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Keep cream cold until ready to beat. Use a chilled glass or stainless steel bowl and hand held beaters for best control.
- Pour 1 cup whipping cream into a deep bowl (to prevent splattering).
- Begin beating the cream on low, then turn beater to high. After about 1 minute you’ll notice the cream gets a little thicker, but it will still drip off the end of the beater. Add sugar and vanilla.
- 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).
- Continue to beat and stop every 20 seconds to check the cream. The cream can go from smooth and stiff to grainy very quickly. Don’t be tempted to go any further once you have smooth stiff peaks. Stop whipping. You are done.
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
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.
How to Use Whipped Cream
I doubt you need too much inspiration. Using up whipped cream is never an issue at my house. But in case you do, here are a few of my favourite ways to enjoy whipped cream.
We use whipped cream for serving with fresh fruit or topping pies, cakes, puddings, beverages, breakfast favourites and so on. And, in classic German tradition, we also use real whipped cream to decorate cakes. Like these.
Flavoured Whipped Cream
Read more here for 7 Ways to Flavor Whip Cream.
More Whipped Cream Tips
- 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!
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 favourite way of using it. Take a photo, post it on Instagram and tag #getgettys so I can see it and like it!
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.