Homemade Whipped Cream

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This ultimate Homemade Whipped Cream recipe is perfect for all your favorite desserts. Whipped cream is simple to make at home in under 5 minutes. It’s the perfect dessert toppings for everything from chocolate cake, to cream pies, and weekend waffles. Try it over your morning coffee, hot chocolate or chai latte. Whichever way you choose to serve this homemade whipped cream, it will add so much to any sweet treat.

Side view of whipped cream in a pottery bowl with a gold spoon in it!

Whipped cream is so easy to make, there’s no need to ever buy whipped topping! It comes together in just minutes and is the perfect way to top your favorite desserts and cozy drinks.

This whipped cream has 2 ingredients that make it extra special, or the ‘ultimate’ whipped cream if you will. First up is just a touch of salt. This is crucial to balance out the flavor of whipped cream so don’t skip it!

The second ingredient is adding a bit of creme fraiche. This adds incredible dimension to regular homemade whipped cream, so be sure to check out that variation below.

I got this idea from an article I read a while back about how Nancy Silverton, (of the famous La Brea Bakery) adds creme fraiche to her whipped cream. So I decided to try it out, and I’ve never looked back.

Whipped Cream being lifted out of a pottery bowl with a gold spoon.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Heavy cream, vanilla, powdered sugar, and salt in bowls on a wood cutting board.
  • Heavy cream – also called whipping cream or even heavy whipping cream. The main thing you want to look for is at least 36% milk fat. This is crucial to making whipped cream. Whole milk and half and half don’t have enough fat to whip. If you’re dairy free, try my Homemade Coconut Whipped Cream.
  • Powdered sugar – just enough to lightly sweeten the whipped cream. It’s sometimes labeled as confectioners’ sugar. You don’t want to use regular granulated sugar because it will be gritty in your whipped cream. If you don’t want to use powdered sugar you can fold in maple syrup or agave nectar to taste. You whipped cream will be a touch looser in texture.
  • Vanilla extract is also very important for the best flavor, so you want pure vanilla not imitation in this recipe.
  • Salt – just a pinch of salt really balances the flavor and adds depth to whipped cream, I don’t recommend skipping it.
  • Optional creme fraiche – just a little folded in at the end adds incredible flavor to regular whipped cream. Creme fraiche has a naturally nutty flavor with a hint of sourness that really does add dimension. But it is just a matter of personal preference and you can definitely leave it out. This recipe is great either way!

How to make this recipe step by step

Softly whipped cream in a metal mixing bowl with the whip attachment.

Step 1: Start by adding cold heavy whipping cream to an electric mixer or large bowl and whip on medium-high speed until the cream is starting to take some shape. You want to whip the cream until soft peaks form. This means if you scoop the cream up it will create a peak that will fall back down and not hold much shape.

You can use a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, electric hand mixer with beaters, or a whisk and large bowl and beat the cream by hand.

Tip: Chill your mixing bowl for the best most consistent results. Whipping cream whips into the best whipped cream when it’s cold. However I usually don’t bother with this extra step and just work quickly. Once you take the heavy cream out of the fridge you want to give it your full attention until it’s whipped, about 3-4 minutes.

Adding the powdered sugar and vanilla to the softly whipped cream in a metal mixing bowl.

Step 2: Next sift the powdered sugar over the top, and add the vanilla as well as the sea salt. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Whip again just until combined for a loose whipped cream or a touch longer for ‘stiff peaks’ where it will hold it’s shape.

Finished whipped cream in a pottery bowl with a gold spoon in it.

Step 3: Serve immediately with your favorite dessert, or refrigerate and use within 4-5 hours for the best texture. And that’s it, so simple to make and so much better than the store-bought stuff!

A dollop of whipped cream on a grey plate next to raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries.

Ways to serve this

FAQ’s

How long does it take to whip cream?

About 3-4 minutes with an electric mixer, about 6-10 minutes whipping it by hand with a whisk.

What is the difference between heavy cream and whipping cream?

They are the same thing and there shouldn’t be any difference, heavy cream and whipping cream should have at least 36% milk fat to qualify. The brand I buy is labeled as 40% milk fat and whips up beautifully into silky smooth whipped cream. If you’re unsure what to buy in the store start by looking for at least 36% milk fat. Anything less than that isn’t going to turn into whipped cream, or at the very least it won’t work well! Milk and half and half will not whip into whipped cream because they do not contain enough fat.

What happens to cream if you over whip it?

At first it will become grainy, then it will start to clump and if you over beat it long enough it will turn into butter with the liquid left behind. Whipped cream comes together in just a few minutes, so you want to give it your full attention.

Where does heavy cream come from?

Heavy cream is naturally occurring in cows milk and will naturally rise to the top as it sits to be skimmed off. Sheep’s milk and goat’s milk contains very little cream and is naturally emulsified in the milk, so that’s why you don’t see it in the store.

Storing leftovers

  • To store – leftover whipped cream can be kept 4-5 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. The texture isn’t quite as good the longer it sits and sometimes a touch of liquid will separate out. Simply stir the liquid back into the whipped cream before serving. The texture of the whipped cream will continue to be looser as its refrigerated.
  • Make ahead – I don’t recommend making whipped cream ahead more than 4-5 hours because it’s best served right away. However it’s still pretty good even a few days later, so if you really need to make it ahead it can be refrigerated as directed above.
  • To freeze – Whipped cream can be frozen in an airtight container in the freezer, and thawed again in the refrigerator. The texture isn’t ideal, but it’s pretty good for topping hot chocolate/coffee. Make little plops or pipe the leftovers into individual portions on a parchment lined baking sheet. Freeze until hard, then transfer to an airtight container and use within 1 month for best results.
Downwards view of whipped cream in a pottery bowl with a gold spoon in it.

Tips & Tricks

  • Don’t walk away from the electric stand mixer, it’s too easy to over whip heavy cream and it will become grainy. Using a hand electric mixer keeps you on your toes.
  • If you want to make 1/2 the recipe of whipped cream or less, I recommend whipping it by hand. Your arm will probably be on fire, but it’s too hard to make good whipped cream in small amounts if you have a stand mixer. I use a flat bottomed whisk and make whipped cream in small batches as little as 1/2 cup of whipping cream. Then just add sweetener and vanilla to taste.
  • If you’re new to making whipped cream, stop the electric mixer often to make sure you don’t over whip it. After a few batches you’ll get the hang of what it should look like!

Dietary Options & Substitutions

  • Dairy free / Paleo / Vegan & Vegetarian – try my Homemade Coconut Whipped Cream recipe, so good!
  • Whipped cream without powdered sugar – You can sub in maple syrup or agave to taste in place of the powdered sugar in this recipe, the whipped cream will be a little looser in texture.
Close macro view of swirls of whipped cream.

More Dessert Topping Recipe Inspiration

I really hope you enjoy this ultimate Whipped Cream recipe! If you do get a chance to make this recipe, I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Finished whipped cream in a pottery bowl with a gold spoon in it.

Homemade Whipped Cream


Author: Kari Peters
Total Time 10 mins
Yield: 8
Course: Dessert

INGREDIENTS  

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp sifted powdered sugar - or Grade A maple syrup
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Optional: 1/2 cup creme fraiche

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Add the cream to a mixing bowl, you can chill the bowl to help keep the whipping cream cold as you beat it.
  • Use the whisk attachment or an electric hand mixer and beat the cream on medium working up to medium high to avoid splattering. Beat just until the whipped cream begins to hold soft peaks.
  • Stop the mixer and add the sifted powdered sugar, pinch of salt, and vanilla. Beat again just until combined or until stiff peaks form.
  • Once the whipped cream is your desired texture, fold the creme fraiche in by hand if you're using it in.
  • Serve with your favorite dessert, or refrigerate for 4-5 hours before serving.

NOTES

Grade A maple syrup has a very light maple flavor that doesn’t interfere with the flavor of the whipped cream.
The nutritional information was calculated without the optional creme fraiche.
Category: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keywords: Best Whipped Cream, Easy Whipped Cream Recipe, How to make Whipped Cream, Perfect Whipped Cream, Whipped Cream Recipe

nutrition facts

Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 110kcal (6%)Carbohydrates: 3g (1%)Protein: 1g (2%)Fat: 11g (17%)Saturated Fat: 7g (44%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 34mg (11%)Sodium: 13mg (1%)Potassium: 29mg (1%)Sugar: 3g (3%)Vitamin A: 437IU (9%)Vitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 20mg (2%)Iron: 0.03mg
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This post was originally published in 2015, but has been updated in 2022 with new photos, new information and tips.

4 thoughts on “Homemade Whipped Cream”

  1. I’m so glad your mom prompted you to share this with us! I love whipped cream, it is so versatile and I like to plop it to just about everything =) I think the vanilla bean just adds so much, even if it is a bit of a splurge. And you’re frugal like I am so I’m sure you just make several recipes at once using the vanilla bean so your (in my case $6 bucks) feels well spent! I think it’s worth it, vanilla bean makes me weak in the knees. Can’t wait to try.

    Reply
    • Six dollars does sound like a lot, I can buy them individually from our local health food store for just $1.50! If you’re as crazy about vanilla bean as I think you are, you might even try ordering in bulk which really reduces the cost per bean, then you just vacuum seal them with one of those handy little machines (I don’t have one personally but my mom lets me borrow hers from time to time).

      Reply
    • The Grade A maple syrup is my favorite light flavored sweetener because it isn’t as overwhelming as honey can be. Let me know if you get a chance to make it!

      Reply

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