Homemade Whipped Cream
Make homemade whipped cream with just 3 ingredients and in only 5 minutes! Once you taste fresh sweetened whipped cream, you’ll never want to grab a tub or can from the grocery store again. It’s the perfect accompaniment to fruit, to top your favorite cakes or pies, and add as layers in pretty trifles.
Fresh whipped cream might seem like second nature to most people, but when I first started making it myself years ago, I was admittedly intimidated. While there’s nothing better than a cream-based pie piled high with clouds of fresh whipped cream, there is certainly a sweet spot when it comes to getting it whipped up perfectly. If you stop too soon, you’ll end up with watery whipped cream, and if you whip it for too long, you’ll end up with butter.
Once I landed on the perfect combination of ingredients and technique, I’ve never looked back. This may seem basic to many, but I’m sure there are others out there like me who may be intimidated by it or who can never get it quite right.
Let’s do this!!
Ingredients for Fresh Whipped Cream
Technically, you only need one – heavy cream! But if you want something at least a little bit sweet (you do, trust me!), then you need three total ingredients:
- Heavy cream (or heavy whipping cream)
- Sugar (powdered sugar or granulated sugar)
- Vanilla extract
You may have seen both heavy cream and heavy whipping cream at your grocery store and wondered if they are the same thing, or if they can be used interchangeably. Let’s discuss…
The Difference Between Heavy Cream and Whipping Cream
This all comes down to fat content. Heavy cream has a slightly higher fat content than whipping cream; they will both turn into delicious bowls of fresh whipped cream, but heavy cream will hold its shape for a longer period of time, while the whipping cream will give you a lighter, softer texture. I always use (and recommend!) heavy cream.
How to Make Homemade Whipped Cream
This comes together easily and quickly! Here’s how we do it…
- Place the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a mixing bowl (you can use a stand mixer with a whisk attachment or use a hand mixer).
- Beat at medium until frothy and beginning to thicken, then increase to medium-high speed and beat until you start to see trails left by the beaters.
- Stop and scrape the bowl. I find that sometimes the cream along the sides and bottom of the bowl don’t get whipped up very well, so once we’re close to finished, I like to scrape the bowl so the straggling cream gets whipped in well too!
- Beat until stiff peaks form – I like my whipped cream nice and thick, but you don’t want it to become curdled. It’s important to watch closely at the end so you don’t overmix it (if you’re new to making whipped cream, I find that a hand mixer allows for more control and lessens the chance of overbeating it). If you take the beater out of the cream, it should hold its shape and not droop off of the beater.
Recipes that Use Fresh Whipped Cream
Aside from topping fresh fruit or waffles, you can use it for all of these delicious desserts:
- Easy Strawberry Shortcake
- Pavlova Layer Cake with Whipped Cream & Berries
- Caramel Tres Leches Cake
- Strawberry Pie
- Chocolate Cream Pie
- Tres Leches Cake
- Banana Cream Pie
- No Bake Peanut Butter Lover’s Pie
- Banoffee Pie
- Salted Caramel Apple Cheesecake Pie
- Coconut Cream Pie
Whipped cream definitely deserves its own little corner of the Internet, and whether you choose to top a pie, dollop it on a bowl of fruit, or pipe some rosettes on a cake, this recipe will serve you infinitely well.
Homemade Whipped Cream
- 1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream, or heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup (57 g) powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1. Pour the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla extract into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
- 2. Turn the mixer to medium speed and whip. The cream will start to get frothy, and then will begin to thicken (around the 2-3 minute mark).
- 3. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for another 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the cream looks billowy and there are distinct trails left by the whisk in the whipped cream. If you remove the whisk from the mixer and turn it upside down, the whipped cream should remain upright and not droop off.
- Top your favorite fruit or pie! The whipped cream can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.
- You can use a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, a hand mixer, or make the whipped cream by hand with a whisk!
- I recommend using heavy cream (vs whipping cream) for thicker whipped cream that holds its shape better.
- You can use either powdered sugar or granulated sugar; some people swear by one or the other, and I've had success using both.
- You can make fresh whipped cream up to 1 day in advance. Cover and refrigerate, then whisk briskly before using.
Update Notes: This recipe was originally published in April 2014 and updated in April 2019 with a refreshed recipe, new photos, and better recipe instructions.
[photos by Ari of Well Seasoned]