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How to Make Whipped Cream

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Updated April 04, 2014

homemade whipped cream

A Bowl of Homemade Whipped Cream

Photo © Angelo Gilardelli
Making your own whipped cream is easy, and the flavor and texture leaves the store-bought stuff in the dust (that stuff is usually neither whipped nor cream). Here's how to whip cream, for delicious homemade whipped cream in 5 minutes.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 5 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Put cold heavy cream and flavorings in mixing bowl. Avoid ultra-pasteurized cream if possible (see tip below). Try 1 to 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract per cup of cream, and 1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar equivalent, such as Splenda or Equal. Adjust to taste. Other extracts or flavorings (such as mint or chocolate) can be used as well.
  2. With an electric hand mixer or a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat cream. You can use a hand whisk; it just will take longer. Start slowly -- if you set it on high at first, you'll have cream all over the place. Set the mixer so it goes as fast as possible without splashing.
  3. As the cream thickens, turn the speed up. As it gets foamier, start checking for a soft peak, which is what you want. Stop the mixer and lift the beater(s) from the cream. The peak should bend over at the top when you remove the whisk. As it gets close, slow down, because if it goes too far, it will lose volume, then clump and separate (essentially become butter). This can happen quite quickly if you're not paying close attention at that point.
  4. If you forget to adjust the flavorings, you can still do it at this point. Ta-da! Whipped cream!

Tips:

  1. Ultra-pasteurized cream is harder to whip, and the texture isn't the same, but it can be done. It helps if you use a metal bowl and the equipment is cold -- put the beaters and bowl in the freezer for a few minutes before using.
  2. One cup of heavy cream will yield about 2 cups of whipped cream. After a few hours, it will start to lose volume, but you can mix it again and it's still good to eat, even after a day or two.
  3. The higher the butterfat content, the better it will whip, since the whipped fat traps the air bubbles.
  4. Refrigerate whipped cream and anything you make with it (such as a frosted cake).
  5. When using sugar substitutes, liquid types of Splenda, such as Sweetzfree, work well but you can also use powdered.

What You Need

  • Mixing bowl and beaters or whisk
  • Heavy cream
  • Vanilla, sweetener, and/or other flavorings
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