Whipped Cream

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A dollop of homemade whipped cream makes every dessert special, and it takes just 5 minutes to make.

Whipped cream, or Chantilly cream, is a mixture of heavy cream and sugar whipped in a mixer (or by hand) until it’s soft, billowy, and doubled in volume. With only two ingredients, it takes just 5 minutes to make, and it’s so much better than the imitation non-dairy whipped topping from the store. However, like most super-simple recipes, it’s easy to mess up! The key is to avoid over whipping it; whipped cream can go from perfectly silky and voluminous to grainy and curdled in an instant. You’re aiming for soft to medium peaks when the whisk is lifted out of the bowl. To avoid over whipping, keep a close eye on it the whole time, and when it’s close to done, remove the bowl from the mixer and finish whipping by hand. Homemade whipped cream makes almost any dessert better. Dollop it on pies (applepumpkinsweet potato), cobblers (peachapple, blueberry), fruit crisps (peachstrawberry rhubarbpearapple), fresh berries, and more.

What you’ll need to make whipped cream

whipped cream ingredients

Cold Heavy Cream: You’ll need heavy whipping cream (30% to 35% fat) or heavy cream (minimum of 36% fat) – these two creams are interchangeable in recipes. For the fluffiest whipped cream, it’s important that the cream is very cold, so keep it in the fridge right up until you’re ready to use it. Note that organic heavy cream will give your whipped cream an off-white/yellowish hue, while regular cream will make bright white whipped cream.

Confectioners’ Sugar: While you can use granulated sugar (or any sweetener) to sweeten whipped cream, confectioners’ sugar (or powdered sugar) is ideal because it dissolves easily. Additionally, the cornstarch in confectioners’ sugar helps stabilize the whipped cream, allowing it to hold its shape for longer.

One cup of cream makes about eight 1/4-cup servings. If you need more whipped cream for a larger dessert, keep in mind that whipping will approximately double the volume of cream, so if you need 3 cups of whipped cream, start with 1-1/2 cups of heavy cream and 3 tablespoons of confectioners’ sugar.

Step-by-Step Instructions

If you have time, stick the bowl and whisk in the fridge or freezer for 10 to 15 minutes prior to making the whipped cream. (This is not absolutely necessary but it helps to give the whipped cream more volume.) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or in a large bowl if using a hand mixer), beat the cream on medium speed (or medium-high speed if using a hand mixer) until it starts to thicken, about 2 minutes.

slightly thickened whipped creamAdd the confectioners’ sugar and continue beating on medium speed until soft peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes more.

whipped creamKeep a close eye on it – it’s always done before you think it is, and it goes from perfectly smooth and billowy to grainy and curdled in a few seconds. For extra insurance, when it’s close to done, remove the bowl from the mixer and finish whipping by hand (you don’t need to dirty a whisk; simply hold the whisk attachment with your hand). It should have a smooth, creamy texture and dollops should just barely hold their shape, like the whipped cream in the image below.

perfect whipped cream in mixing bowl
Can Whipped Cream Be Made Ahead of Time?

Whipped cream is best made right before serving but can be made up to three hours ahead of time. If you don’t plan on serving it immediately, it’s best to under whip it slightly and then whisk it by hand to the desired consistency right before serving.

How To Fix Over-Whipped Cream

You’ll know you’ve over whipped the cream if the texture becomes curd-like and clumpy. The image below shows cream that is over whipped by just a few seconds. At this stage, you can still salvage it by adding a few more tablespoons of cold cream and gently whisking it in by hand until smooth.

over whipped creamHowever, if you take it way too far (i.e., it looks almost like butter, like in the image below), there is no way to fix it and it’s best to start over. Don’t throw it away though! You can whip it until stiff, add a pinch of salt, and use it as fresh-made butter for spreading on toast.

over whipped cream

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Whipped Cream

A dollop of homemade whipped cream makes every dessert special, and it takes just 5 minutes to make.

Servings: 2 cups
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Total Time: 5 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cold heavy cream or heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

Instructions

  1. If time allows, stick the bowl and whisk in the refrigerator or freezer for 10 to 15 minutes prior to making the whipped cream.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or in a large bowl if using a hand mixer), beat the cream on medium speed (or medium-high if using a hand mixer) until it starts to thicken, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and continue beating on medium speed until soft peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes more. Keep a close eye on it – it's always done before you think it is, and it goes from perfectly smooth and billowy to grainy and curdled in an instant. It should have a smooth, creamy texture and dollops should just barely hold their shape. If you're nervous about over whipping it, when it's close to done, remove the bowl from the mixer and finish whipping by hand (you don't need to dirty a whisk; simply hold the whisk attachment with your hand). Use immediately or cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 hours. If you don’t plan on serving it immediately, it’s best to under whip it slightly and then whisk it by hand to the desired consistency right before serving. Leftover whipped cream will keep for a few days in the refrigerator but will lose some of its volume. You may need to rewhip for a few seconds before serving.
  3. Note: If you accidentally over-whip the cream by a few seconds, you can salvage it by adding a few more tablespoons of cold cream and gently whisking it in by hand until smooth. If it's beyond repair (i.e., it looks like butter), continue whipping until stiff, add a pinch of salt, and spread it on your toast.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (8 servings)
  • Serving size: 1/4 cup
  • Calories: 110
  • Fat: 11 g
  • Saturated fat: 7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 3 g
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Sodium: 11 mg
  • Cholesterol: 41 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • I’ve made whipped cream this way for years but recently experimented with adding mascarpone to that basic mixture, after getting the whipping cream partially whipped. After adding some mascarpone (amount varies/haven’t measured it – just experiment!), I continue the whipping process with the cream, mascarpone and confectioners sugar, and it has turned out great. It holds its stability much longer, has a delicious creamy flavor and is, as you might expect, very rich.

    • — Annie on June 10, 2022
    • Reply
  • This is what I’ve always done for whipped cream! Lol, I didn’t know there was a special name for it! (I thought I made it up, haha)….didn’t even know there was a science to it, which was interesting to read, yes, I’ve done all the right and wrong ones! It is FAR better than store bought, esp on hot cocoa!

    • — Steph Down Under on June 2, 2022
    • Reply
  • Do you ever use a food processor to whip cream? I read that it makes for a more stable cream. Thank you and I always love your recipes. I find them so reliable and delicious!

    • — Michele on June 2, 2022
    • Reply
    • So glad you like the recipes! I can’t say I’ve used a food processor. I’d be concerned that I’d overwhip it.

      • — Jenn on June 3, 2022
      • Reply

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