Ever wondered how to make whipped cream at home? It’s SO easy and all you need are 3 ingredients you can find at any grocery store! Serve it with pie, fruit crisp or just a pile of fresh berries – this is the BEST addition to any dessert!
Homemade whipped cream
I don’t know about you, but I prefer homemade as long as it’s a) not a huge hassle and b) tastes a lot better. Homemade puff pastry: Way too much effort and way too finicky. Homemade whipped cream, though? Yes yes yes yes!! Absolutely.
- It tastes so much better than store bought
- It’s incredibly simple to make
- You end up with a pillowy cloud you could just keep eating and eating…
So I guess homemade whipped cream is also pretty dangerous ? But all dangerously inviting factors aside, you will not regret making your own.
- Homemade whipped cream
- Ingredients you’ll need
- How to make whipped cream
- Recipe tips
- Serving ideas
- Printable recipe
- More kitchen basics
Ingredients you’ll need
Here is a visual overview of the ingredients in the recipe. Scroll down to the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for quantities!
- Cream: Make sure to use cream that’s labelled as “heavy cream”, “heavy whipping cream”, “whipping cream” or similar. Coffee creamer is not the same and will not work. Cream for cooking (often called “pouring cream”) or light cream or half-and-half all will not work, either.
- Icing sugar: If you are making a single batch with 1 cup of heavy cream, you can easily use granulated sugar in place of the icing sugar in case you don’t have any on hand. If you are making a larger batch, I very strongly recommend using icing/confectioner’s sugar. If your icing sugar is very lumpy, sift it before adding.
- Vanilla extract: I use a homemade vanilla extract, so I end up with some vanilla seeds in the whipped cream (which I think looks super pretty and homemade). Just in case you were wondering why my vanilla extract looks so spotty. Store-bought vanilla works exactly the same, minus the vanilla seeds.
How to make whipped cream
This is a walk-through of the recipe with step photos. Skip to the printable recipe card at the bottom for exact times and temperatures.
1. Chill the cream and equipment: It’s very important to have well-chilled heavy whipping cream (no low fat or pouring cream!) for whipping. Warm cream or low fat cream just stays liquid.
If you have time, chill the bowl and beaters you’re going to use for 5-10 minutes in the freezer. It really helps to yield a firmer cream, but you’ll also be fine without this step if you’re in a hurry. I like using a metal bowl because it chills faster.
2. Beat cream until frothy: Before adding sugar and vanilla, I like to beat through the cream on medium speed for 30 seconds until it looks frothy. Sugar interferes with the whipping process and beating through the cream initially gives it a quick head-start.
This also helps to distribute the milk fat evenly again before adding the sugar if you use shelf-stable cream, which often collects the fat at the top.
3. Make whipped cream: Add the icing sugar and vanilla, then beat the cream on medium to medium-high speed for 3-4 minutes, until medium-soft peaks have formed.
add sugar and vanilla
after 1 minute of whipping
after 2 minutes
after 3 minutes/finished
The exact whipping time hugely depends on the exact speed of your specific hand mixer, on the temperature of your cream, on the size bowl you’re using… So keep checking on the texture of your cream every 30 seconds, in order to avoid over-whipping.
- Don’t overbeat because you’ll turn the cream into butter. If that happens, there’s no way to turn it back into whipped cream. Instead, you just made vanilla butter to top off hot waffles and pancakes.
- I usually whip cream with a hand mixer and not a stand mixer, because a stand mixer is more vigorous (and better suited to larger volumes). Use medium to medium-high speed (never the highest speed!) to avoid turning the cream into butter.
- You can use as much or as little sugar as you like. I stick to a maximum of ½ cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon of flavor extract per 1 cup of whipping cream – that yields a very sweet topping though. For lightly sweetened whipped cream, try 1-2 tablespoons of sugar and ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract per cup of heavy whipping cream.
Pro tip for extra firm cream
If you need your cream to hold up especially well, OR you live in a very humid climate and find this makes it impossible to whip cream, you can (I make a commission for purchases made through the following link) buy some whipped cream stabilizer on Amazon to add at this point, too.
It’s a German product and the instructions are in German. So here’s how to use whipped cream stabilizer in English:
One packet is enough for ¾ – 1 cups of heavy whipping cream. Once you have added the sugar and vanilla to the frothy cream, start beating with your hand mixer. Slowly add the whipped cream stabilizer while continuously beating. Finish beating the cream as instructed
This will help the cream hold up very well and keep its shape for hours if refrigerated.
Can you make whipped cream ahead of time?
Yes, you can store freshly whipped cream in the fridge for about 24 hours. It may begin to separate if you don’t add the whipped cream stabilizer I mentioned above. Homemade whipped cream is generally best eaten right away, or within 2 hours (keep it refrigerated at all times).
A dollop on a slice of pie, some ice cream, or on top of a sweet blueberry cobbler… We also love it as a simple dessert with a large bowl of fresh berries in the summer – it’s just so good!
PS If you try this recipe, please leave a review in the comment section and add a star rating in the recipe card – I appreciate your feedback! Follow along on Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram.
Recipe first published on 04/15/2018. Updated with new photos, better recipe and better text on 04/12/2021.