There is nothing as good as homemade whipped cream – don’t be afraid to give it a try! It’s easy.
What is whipped cream?
Whipped cream is a high-fat cream that is whipped by hand with a whisk, or by a hand-held or stand mixer until it is light and fluffy. Whipped cream with sugar and vanilla is called Chantilly cream or Crème chantilly.
Harold McGee, author of On Food and Cooking, is an authority on the history and science of food and cooking. First, he tells us how we get cream which is important to the fat content:
Cream is a special portion of milk that is greatly enriched with fat. This enrichment occurs naturally thanks to the force of gravity, which exerts more of a pull on the milk’s water than on the less dense fat globules. Leave a container of milk fresh from the udder to stand undisturbed, and the globules slowly rise through the water and crowd together at the top. The concentrated cream layer can then be skimmed off from the fat-depleted “skim” milk below.
I grew up on a hobby farm and can still remember the thick cream rising to the top of a huge jar of milk. It was my job as a young’un to scoop the cream into a separate container.
Which cream to use for whipping?
You absolutely have to use a high-fat cream in order for it to whip into a luscious foam. Harold McGee explains why:
Whipped cream is an intimate intermingling of liquid and air, with the air divided into tiny bubbles and the cream spread out and immobilized in the microscopically thin bubble walls…the cream foam is stabilized by fat.
Don’t try to go “light” when making whipped cream. It just won’t work. Literally.
The minimum fat concentration for successful whipped cream is 30%. More is better.
What NOT to use for whipped cream
The fat content for these creams are too low to use in homemade whipped cream.
- light cream
- half and half
- cereal cream
- coffee cream
- table cream
- sterilized cream
- single cream
- evaporated milk
- whole milk
- clotted cream
- extra-thick double cream
What cream to use for whipped cream
- heavy cream
- whipping cream
- double cream
- full cream
- manufacturer’s cream
Non-dairy cream substitutes for the best whipped cream
*Chill them first.
- coconut milk or cream (but not sweetened cream of coconut which is different)
- unsweetened cashew cream
Whipped Cream Preparation
Required Equipment to Whip Cream
First in whipped cream preparation is your choice of equipment:
You can make whipped cream with a whisk and muscle power. This gives you more control over the consistency of your whipped cream.
Most people use a hand mixer or a stand mixer when whipping cream. Keep close watch and stop when you have firm peaks, because over-whipping can create homemade butter instead!
Former L.A. Times Test Kitchen director Donna Deane recommends using a food processor to whip cream. Put cold cream u0026amp; other ingredients in the food processor (which does not have to be chilled), and process for a minute or two. It’s easier to over-whip, so be extra vigilant. She says it produces a richer whipped cream with a nicer texture.
An important part of whipped cream preparation is to keep everything chilled.
Basic Whipped Cream Recipe
Time needed: 15 minutes.
This is a basic whipped cream recipe to make moments before you serve your dessert, pie, or beverage with a dollop for a topping.
- Chill equipment.
Put large metal bowl and whisk or beaters in freezer for 5 – 10 minutes. (You need a large bowl because it tends to splash, and will double in volume.)
- Pour cream straight from the fridge into the bowl.
The cream will double in volume, so 1 cup of heavy cream makes 2 cups whipped cream which is enough for 6 – 8 large dollops.
- Begin whipping on medium speed.
In about 30 seconds you’ll see bubbles forming and then it will become frothy. In about 5 minutes there will be “ribbons” forming, which are indentations that stay in the cream after the beaters pass through.
- Stop whipping when there are firm peaks.
In 7 – 8 minutes there is double the volume and the indentations in the cream will stay longer. If you take your whisk or beaters out of the cream, it will cling to it with a soft peak that holds.
Stabilized Whipped Cream
Whipped cream on its own loses its shape and volume quickly, so if you’re planning to use your whipped cream as frosting on a cake, a filling for a cake or as part of a stunning dessert, you will need to use a stabilizer to help it keep its froth and shape for a longer period of time. Read our article below for easy stabilized whipped cream.
How to Fix Over-whipped Cream
You can fix over-whipped cream if you catch it in time. If it looks stiff u0026amp; coarse like it’s separating, you’ve whipped it too much.
If your whipped cream begins to lose its smooth texture, stop whipping immediately and you may be able to fix it.
At this point, whisk by hand so you have more control. Pour in a little cream (a couple tablespoons) and gently whisk, repeating until you have the proper texture.
(Of course, this rescue assumes that you still have some cream on hand!)
Flavoring Whipped Cream
You can add an extra pizzazz to your desserts by flavoring whipped cream with chocolate, extracts, liqueurs, coffees or citrus zest.
It’s time to get all the liqueurs out that were left over from Christmas, and check your spice cupboard for the extract you used for that one marvelous dessert but has been sitting neglected.
Add 1 Tbsp sugar and flavorings at the soft peak stage, when the cream starts to thicken, after about 5 minutes. Experimenting? Begin with 1/4 teaspoon of flavoring, whisk for a moment, taste and add more if necessary. You need to have all your flavorings added to the whipped cream before it is a firm peak or it won’t blend properly.
When using a liqueur, brandy or rum use 1 tsp at the most.
Check out the OliveNation extracts and flavorings. You can make anything your heart desires!
Try these combinations for flavoring whipped cream
Add these ingredients per 1 cup of cream (makes 2 cups of whipped cream.) I recommend using a stabilized whipped cream recipe when flavoring.
1 Tbsp sugar + 1/4 tsp almond extract
1 Tbsp sugar + 1 tsp apricot extract + 3 drops red food coloring + 7 drops yellow food coloring
1 Tbsp sugar + 1 tsp OliveNation Bacon Natural Flavoring
1 Tbsp sugar + 1 tsp banana extract
2 Tbsp brown sugar + 1 tsp caramel extract
1 Tbsp sugar + 1 tsp chai extract + 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp sugar + 1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp sugar + 1 tsp cherry extract + 2-3 drops red food coloring
2 Tbsp of cocoa + 1 Tbsp sugar + 1 tsp of vanilla extract
2 Tbsp sugar + 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon + 1/4 tsp ground ginger + 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp sugar + 2 tsp coconut extract + 2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp instant coffee + 1 tsp vanilla extract + 1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp sugar + 1 tsp OliveNation Cotton Candy extract + 2 drops red food coloring
2 Tbsp brown sugar + 1 tsp OliveNation Eggnog Extract
1 Tbsp sugar + 1 tsp hazelnut extract + 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp sugar + 1 tsp OliveNation Key Lime extract
1 Tbsp sugar + 1 tsp mango extract
2 Tbsp real maple syrup
2 Tbsp sugar + 1/4 tsp peppermint extract + 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips + 3 drops green food coloring
2 tsp instant coffee + 1 Tbsp of cocoa + 1 tsp vanilla extract + 1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp sugar + 1 Tbsp orange zest + 2 tsp fresh squeezed orange juice + 1/2 tsp vanilla extract + 3 -5 drops red food coloring + 5-7 drops yellow food coloring
1 Tbsp sugar + 2 tsp passionfruit extract
2 Tbsp sugar + 2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter + 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp sugar + 1/4 tsp peppermint extract
1 Tbsp sugar + 2 tsp coconut extract + 2 tsp pineapple extract OR
1 Tbsp sugar + 1 tsp coconut rum + 1 tsp pineapple rum
2 tsp lemon extract + 1 Tbsp sugar + 1/2 tsp vanilla extract + 2 drops red food coloring
2 Tbsp sugar + 1/4 c very well mashed raspberries + 1/4 cup very finely chopped white chocolate OR
2 Tbsp sugar + OliveNation red raspberry extract + OliveNation white chocolate flavoring
(see photo above)
1/2 tsp rose water + 1 Tbsp sugar + 3-5 drops red food coloring