I haven't used store-bought whipped cream since.....well, ever actually. My mom would occasionally buy it when I was growing up, but ever since I've spent my own money on groceries, I've made my own whipped cream. It just tastes SO much better than the stuff in the can or Cool Whip (in my humble opinion). I often find the store-bought stuff way too sweet and I also prefer to make things from scratch as much as possible.
The other day, I told Kyle that he should make some whipped cream and his response was "I don't know how." I was absolutely flabbergasted because it's so easy and worth it that I honestly forget that not everyone makes their own whipped cream all the time.
So here is my super easy 3 ingredient whipped cream and answers to a few common questions!
Do I have to use heavy whipping cream?
Short answer: No, but you should and here's why.
Heavy whipping cream and heavy cream are essentially the same and can be used interchangeably; however whipping cream (without the heavy in the name) or light whipping cream is different and won't work quite as well.
Heavy cream, light whipping cream, half and half, milk, etc. all have different fat percentages. In order to whip the whipped cream into stiff peaks and have it stay stable for more than a few minutes, you need a higher fat content. Heavy whipping cream and heavy cream have a 36% fat content whereas whipping cream or light whipping cream may only have a 30% fat content meaning it won't hold it's shape as well or for as long. TLDR; lower fat content will do in a pinch, but use heavy cream if you can.
Can I use regular granulated sugar instead of powdered sugar?
Yes, but powdered sugar is better for a couple reasons.
Powdered sugar is much lighter than granulated sugar and will better incorporate into the whipped cream. This also means that it won't weigh down your whipped cream and it will stay more stable and hold it's shape better so it will last longer in the fridge. Powdered sugar also has cornstarch in it which helps stabilize the whipped cream.
However, I have definitely used regular sugar when I'm out of powdered sugar and it still works!
Can I use homemade whipped cream instead of Cool Whip in a recipe?
Yes!! I would use about 1 ¼ cups of homemade whipped cream for every 1 cup of Cool Whip, and add an extra 3-4 tablespoons of powdered sugar to help make it a little more stable. You can also make stabilized whipped cream instead and use that as a 1:1 substitute!
How to make stabilized whipped cream
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream, cold
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons flavorless powdered gelatin
- 2 tablespoons water
- Add the water to a microwave safe bowl and sprinkle the unflavored gelatin on top. Allow to sit for a few minutes.
- Transfer the gelatin mixture to the microwave and microwave for 5-10 seconds, until the gelatin is fully dissolved. Stir the mixture, then set aside to cool.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, combine the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Whip the mixture until it starts to thicken and soft peaks form, then turn the mixer to low speed. Slowly pour in the gelatin mixture until well combined. Increase the mixer to medium speed and continue mixing until stiff peaks form.
Can I use add in's other than vanilla?
Absolutely! I do this all the time depending on what I'm making! I love using my Homemade Bourbon Vanilla Extract as my go-to, but obviously regular vanilla is just as good too.
I also like to add a teaspoon of almond extract if I'm making whipped cream to go with something nutty (like a lemon almond cake) or a teaspoon of peppermint extract if I'm making whipped cream for hot chocolate or something else Christmas-y.
The sky is the limit! Lavender extract, rose water, lemon zest, etc are all great additions based on whatever you're pairing the whipped cream with.
What's the deal with soft vs medium vs stiff peaks?
Soft peaks flop over immediately when the beaters are lifted. At this stage, the whipped cream has a smooth, luxurious texture. Soft peaks are perfect for folding into desserts or floating on top of hot chocolate!
Medium peaks hold their shape pretty well but the tip of the peak curls over a bit when the beaters are lifted. Medium peaks are my personal favorite for most agine a slice of classic pumpkin pie dolloped with homemade whipped cream—that’s what medium peaks look like. At this stage, the whipped cream will have more significant swirl marks and a more stable structure.
Stiff peaks stand straight up when the beaters are lifted. Also known as firm peaks, stiff peaks have an intensely rippled texture when you lift the beaters. Stiff peaks aren’t quite as luxurious and decadent as the former two, but you could ice a cake with this texture!
Why is it taking so long for my whipped cream to come together?
The most common problem people have is using cream that isn't cold enough. Maybe you set it out on the counter before you got started and then got distracted for a few minutes, or you're using a bowl that's slightly warm because it just came out of the dishwasher.
Whipped cream whips best when very cold! A couple tricks for making it go faster are:
- Not taking the cream out of the fridge until right before you use it.
- Chill the bowl and beaters in fridge or freezer for a few minutes before you get started.
- Set the bowl you're using inside a bigger bowl that has a layer of ice in the bottom to keep your bowl cold while you're working.
These tips are especially helpful when making a large quantity of whipped cream!
Can pups eat whipped cream?
Heck yes! (just maybe not in large quantities). Whipped cream is Barley's favorite treat and she comes running when she hears the beaters. But if you've ever heard of a puppuccino, that's just Starbucks homemade whipped cream in a cup and pups love them!
Homemade Whipped Cream
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled
- 1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
- ¼ cup powdered sugar, you can always add extra!
- Add whipping cream and vanilla extract to a large chilled mixing bowl.
- Use a hand mixer (a stand mixer works too but it's more cleanup in my opinion) on a medium to high speed to beat the whipped cream until it starts to get a little thick.
- Add the powdered sugar and continue to beat the whipped cream until stiff peaks* form. Do NOT continue to beat the whipped cream after you get those stiff peaks or else it will start to get lumpy and butter-like.
- Put on big dollop on top of your favorite pie and enjoy! And don't forget to let you pup lick the beaters (homemade puppuccino ftw).
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