Homemade Whipped Cream
Knowing how to whisk together a quick homemade Whipped Cream is an essential cooking skill for making an easy dessert out of fresh fruit, or for elevating other desserts. Here’s my go-to method for making it.
Simple as it may be, there are few things in this world as delicious as fresh homemade whipped cream.
I actually don’t understand how Cool Whip became an acceptable substitute for it, because there really is no comparison.
Whenever I whip cream, members of my family fight over who gets to lick the beaters, and we can easily eat the stuff by the spoonful.
While delicious on its own, whipped cream is also wonderful for serving with fresh fruit like berries or Grilled Peaches, or as components in other favorite desserts.
I use it all over the blog, dolloping it onto Butterscotch Budino, Cream Cheese Pound Cake, and Pavlova with Blackberry Compote.
I also use it as an essential layer for the tops of pies like Peanut Butter Pie, Banoffee Pie, and Coconut Cream Pie.
There’s so much to do with it!
The recipe I’ll share below is for sweetened whipped cream, which technically makes it a Chantilly cream, though you are welcome to leave the sugar out if that’s your preference.
Ingredients and Equipment You’ll Need:
All you truly need to make whipped cream is heavy whipping cream, a large bowl, and a whisk.
However, I like to add sugar for sweetness, and vanilla extract for flavor, and find that most people prefer these additions as well.
Use HEAVY Whipping Cream
When you’re at the grocery store, look at the label and make sure it says “Heavy Whipping Cream” or “Heavy Cream,” which is required to be at least 36% milk fat.
If the label says only “whipping cream,” and has no “heavy” in the title, that only has to contain between 30 and 35% milk fat, and will not whip as well. This is sometimes called light whipping cream.
Because we’re using simple ingredients here, try to use good quality dairy and vanilla.
Step by Step Overview:
While there are many different ways to make homemade whipped cream, I almost always use a bowl and a whisk, or a bowl and my hand mixer.
See the recipe card at the bottom of the post for additional methods using the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or a jar.
Why Whisking By Hand Is Best
If you want the absolute best whipped cream, you will want to whisk it by hand. This allows the air bubbles to develop more slowly and evenly than any other method, and makes for the fluffiest whipped cream possible.
Just know it will take probably about 5 minutes and your arm might be a little tired at the end.
If this doesn’t sound fun to you, know that an electric mixer works too. Err on the slower side for best results.
Start by pouring cold heavy cream straight from the fridge into a large mixing bowl:
If you want to go the extra mile, use a chilled bowl, but know that it’s not necessary for whipping the cream.
Next add a couple tablespoons of granulated sugar:
White sugar is best, but you can also get away with using brown sugar, confectioner’s sugar (aka powdered sugar), or liquid sweeteners like maple syrup or honey.
Next add a touch of pure vanilla extract:
Start whisking the mixture together, and you’ll notice that it will start to develop little bubbles on the surface, and look frothy:
Whisk for another minute or two, and you’ll see the cream mixture begin to thicken.
But, if you lift the whisk up, you’ll see that it’s still too thin and runny:
Whisk a little more, and you’ll see it get even thicker:
This is soft peak territory, and you can test for it by pulling the whisk straight out of the bowl and flipping it upside down.
Look at how the peak just barely falls to the side:
Soft peaks are perfect for most recipes calling for whipped cream.
However, sometimes you will want stiff peaks, or firm peaks, where the dollop at the end stands straight up, and does not fall ever so slightly to the side.
You can see stiff peaks here:
Make sure to not go any further than stiff peaks, or the heavy whipping cream will separate into butter and buttermilk, and you’ll have to start over with a new batch of ingredients.
At least you can spread your homemade butter on some English Style Scones though!
Hand Mixer Option:
For optimal speed, an electric mixer of some kind is a great option, but you have to be careful that you don’t go too far with it. Watch for soft peaks closely.
It’s okay to use medium-high speed at the beginning, but turn the mixer down to low speed if you see signs it’s coming.
Using a hand mixer in my opinion is the easiest way overall, for speed and easy clean up (you have to hand wash the stand mixer parts).
Stand Mixer Option:
Using a stand mixer works well if you’re making enough whipped cream at one time. I do not recommend trying to make any less than 1 cup. Use the whisk attachment.
When the whipped cream is either at soft peaks or firm peaks per your liking, try to use it up within a couple of hours, and keep it in the fridge.
If you try to keep freshly whipped cream too long, it will start to “fall” and you’ll notice liquid at the bottom of the bowl. If you want to keep whipped cream longer than this, you need to stabilize it with something like gelatin.
Look how pillowy the cream is. So much better than the canned stuff!
Most desserts benefit from a dollop of whipped cream, but it’s an especially perfect topping for a slice of Pumpkin Pie, apple pie, French silk pie, or Lemon Buttermilk Pie.
It’s also wonderful over a cup of Homemade Hot Chocolate, with fresh berries, or on top of an ice cream sundae.
It’s also essential for strawberry shortcake, cream pies, and puddings!
Did you enjoy the recipe? Please leave a 5-star rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page.
Homemade Whipped Cream
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Combine the heavy whipping cream, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract in a large bowl.
- Using a balloon whisk, whisk by hand for 3-4 minutes, until the cream reaches the soft peak stage. You test for this by lifting the whisk straight out of the bowl, flipping the whisk upside down, and seeing if the whipped cream falls ever so slightly to the side.
- For recipes calling for firm peaks, simply whisk for about another minute, until the peak stands straight up. Be careful not to go beyond this point, or the cream will start to separate into butter and buttermilk.
- Serve the whipped cream promptly.
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.