Homemade whipped cream tastes far superior than store bought whipped topping sold in the freezer section. Plus, it’s easy to make and can be whipped up in just a few minutes using just a handful of simple ingredients. 

whipped cream in a small wooden bowl

What You’ll Need

To make whipped cream from scratch you will need heavy whipping cream, either powdered or granulated sugar, and vanilla extract (optional, but highly recommended). If you’re using more than a couple tablespoons of sugar, I recommend using powdered sugar to avoid a gritty whipped cream, otherwise granulated works just fine.

Difference Between Each Type of Cream

  • Heavy whipping cream has 36% butterfat and will produce the greatest amount of foam compared to all other creams. 
  • Regular cream only has about 30% butterfat, which will whip, but will not produce as stable of a whipped cream as heavy whipping cream.
  • Half-and-half contains about 10.5-12% butterfat which will not whip at all. 

The minimum amount of fat that is necessary to make whipped cream is 30%. A high fat content is desirable when making homemade whipped cream because it will yield a fluffier, more stable end product. 

cream being poured into a stand mixer

Equipment You Will Need

To make whipped cream you’ll need one of these 5 things:

Ingredients You Will Need

  • cold heavy cream or heavy whipping cream
  • confectioners’ sugar or granulated sugar
  • pure vanilla extract

How to Make Whipped Cream…

By Hand 

After combining the cream, sugar, and vanilla extract in a medium sized bowl, gently start to combine the ingredients using a whisk. After a minute, start vigorously whisking the mixture.

This method is great if you have plenty of preparation time and want to get a good wrist/arm workout in! However, I personally prefer using a hand held mixer! Props to my grandma who always whipped cream by hand when I was growing up. 

whipped cream in a stand mixer

Using a Hand Held or Stand Mixer

After combining the cream, sugar, and vanilla extract in a medium sized bowl, turn your handheld or stand mixer (fitted with the whisk attachment) on low speed to mix the sugar and vanilla into the cream. Once the mixture is bubbly, increase the speed to medium-high and whip until stiff peaks form. 

This method quickly incorporates air into cream and works great for larger batches of whipped cream.

Using a Food Processor

After combining the cream, sugar, and vanilla extract in the bowl of a food processor, pulse the cream on continuous high speed for about 30 seconds. After 30 seconds have passed, pulse your whipped cream until stiff peaks form. 

A food processor quickly makes a large batch, but can become unstable over time compared to using a mixer or blender, but is great if you are using the whipped cream right away. 

Using a Blender

After combining the cream, sugar, and vanilla extract into the blender, pulse the mixture on low speed a couple times to combine. Next, turn your blender to the highest setting and blend for 10–20 seconds. Blend in 5 second increments until stiff peaks form. 

Blenders are a quick way to make whipped cream, however you have to keep your eye on the whipped cream to avoid over whipping it (and essentially creating butter). 

How to Tell When it is Done

To ensure you whip the cream to desired stiffness, I’ve put together a guide of what to look for to form soft, medium, or stiff peaks. Why would you need different stiffness? I’ve answered that too! 

Soft peaks barely hold their shape and peaks flop over when the whisk or beaters are removed. Whipped cream that forms soft peaks are great to use on scones, cream puffs, or pancakes. 

Medium Peaks hold their shape fairly well except the top of the peak curls over when the whisk or beaters are removed. Whipped cream that forms medium stiff peaks are great to use on strawberry shortcake.  

whipped cream in a stand mixer with whisk attachment

Stiff Peaks stand straight up when the whisk or beaters are removed and hold their shape. Whipped cream that forms stiff peaks is great to use on top of pies, tarts, or pipped on top of a cake.

If you start to see lumps in your whipped cream, you  have overwhipped your whipped cream and are essentially starting to make butter.

General Tips

The following tips can be total time savers when it comes to making homemade whipped cream:

  • Use a chilled bowl, whisk, and cold whipping cream, the cold fat in cream is what traps the air and makes it light and fluffy when whipping, if your cream cools down too much, the fat melts and makes it harder to create a stable end product.
  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream will yield about 2 cups of whipped cream.
  • Add a ¼ teaspoon of cream of tartar to your whipped cream to stabilize the whipped cream if you’re not going to use it right away. Cream of tartar holds the protein molecules in place in the whipped cream which keeps the water in the cream from seeping out and in turn deflating the whipped cream.
  • If you over whipped your whipped cream, gently fold in cold heavy whipping cream into the over-whipped cream until it regains a fluffy texture. It will have a slightly more buttery/fatty mouthfeel than regular whipped cream.

How to Use Whipped Cream

How to Flavor Whipped Cream

Flavoring whipped cream is an easy way to elevate it and make it more interesting! Switch out vanilla extract for almond, rum or orange extract, all of which would pair perfectly with pound cake. Use peppermint extract to flavor your whipped cream and top hot cocoa for the perfect cozy winter pairing. 

Sweeten your whipped cream with a couple tablespoons of maple syrup for the perfect fall flavored whipped cream. Or try using a couple tablespoons of honey to sweeten your whipped cream for the perfect pairing on top of a lemon tart or olive oil cake. 

How to Store Whipped Cream

Whipped cream can be stored in your refrigerator for 1–2 hours. If you do not plan to use it right away you can store whipped cream in the freezer.

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whipped cream in a small wooden bowl

How to Make Homemade Whipped Cream

  • Author: Allie Hoepker, RDN

Description

Light, airy, fluffy—this recipe makes the best whipped cream from scratch.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup cold heavy cream or heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar or granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Combine the cream, sugar, and vanilla in the chilled bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
  2. Whisk the mixture on low until bubbly, 1 minute.
  3. Increase speed to medium-high and whip until stiff peaks form, 30–45 seconds.

Notes

A chilled metal bowl + chilled whisk works best for whipping. 

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About The Author

Allie Hoepker is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist that believes all foods can fit as part of a healthy lifestyle. Her approach to finding personal balance is to allow yourself to enjoy your food while focusing on nutrient-dense food choices. Currently, Allie works as a Clinical Dietitian helping others discover how health and joyful eating intersect. In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors, practicing yoga, and cooking for family and friends.

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