How to Make Whipped Cream (4-ways!)

Jump to Recipe

Learn how to make whipped cream using four simple methods; whisking by hand, stand mixer, blender, and food processor. It only takes a few minutes to create a light and fluffy topping or filling!

Clear glass jar of homemade whipped cream

Making homemade whipped cream is easy! You really only need one ingredient, heavy cream. Whisking adds volume and that amazing light smooth texture, but it’s important to know when to stop whipping otherwise you’ll end up with a curdled consistency. Follow my steps and you’ll be a pro in no time!

There are various tools you can use to make this whipped cream recipe. Go minimal with hand whipping or use a faster mechanical method. It’s up to you! It’s a quick topping to add to your favorite sweet treats like a cream pie, ice cream sundaes, waffles, cakes, hot chocolate or serve with fresh fruit.

Mixing bowl and ingredients to make whipped cream

Homemade whipped cream from scratch

  • Hand whipping is great for smaller batches, takes a little longer, but gives the most control.
  • Stand Mixer (or hand mixer) is great for large batches and works quickly.
  • Blender yields a stable product due to its small sharp blade and quick rotation used to add air to the cream, however, it needs to be carefully monitored.
  • Food processor swiftly makes a large batch. A little less stable over time compared to mixer and blender, but good if using right away.

Hand Whipping

Hand whipping cream with a whisk in a bowl

I recommend chilling the large metal bowl and whisk for at least 15 minutes before beating the cream by hand. This will accelerate the process because the cold utensils keep the fat in the cream chilled, making for a light and airy product that can better hold its shape.

The process takes about 4 to 5 minutes, causes a little more fatigue on the body, but gives the most control of the peaks. You can really see the cream transform and gain volume. Take breaks as you need to!

Stand Mixer

Making whipped cream in a stand mixer

Use the whisk attachment on your stand mixer or handheld mixer. These incorporate air very quickly into the cream. If you’d like you can chill the bowl and beaters or whisk, but I find that it doesn’t significantly lower the time compared to hand whipping. Use different speeds during the process to be sure it doesn’t get over whipped.

I like to start with a medium-low speed to fully mix in the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla just to get the mixture foamy. Ramp up the speed to medium-high until soft peaks form. Lower the speed slightly to create medium or stiff peaks. This is the critical point where it can get curdled in seconds if not carefully watched and gradually whipped.

Blender

Making whipped cream in a blender

The sharp and quick blades of a countertop blender can make whipped cream in under 30 seconds! My Vitamix has a variable speed setting from high to low. Start with the lowest speed to incorporate the ingredients together and begin to thicken the cream. Turn to the highest setting to quickly add in air. It only takes 10 to 20 seconds, depending on the desired consistency. Blend in short 5-second intervals as it thickens quickly!

Food processor

Making whipped cream in a food processor

The wide bowl and big blade of the food processor can aerate the cream in less than 1 minute. I use my 8 cup food processor to make the whipped cream which has plenty of volume for doubling in size. It takes about 30 seconds using the “high” setting to thicken the cream, then just a few additional seconds for more firm peaks. I found in my testing that this method is best if using the cream the same day. It doesn’t hold its structure well the next day.

What is the difference between heavy cream and whipping cream?

Heavy cream (or heavy whipping cream) has not less than 36% milkfat. Whipping cream (or light whipping cream) is at least 30% milkfat, but less than 36% milkfat. I tested both and there is a noticeable difference in taste and texture.

Heavy cream is much richer due to the additional fat, it also aerates faster and holds its shape better for a longer period of time. Whipping cream works well as a lighter topping for ice cream and shakes. If you want a creamier and more sturdy filling, use heavy whipped cream.

Can you use different sweeteners?

You can substitute granulated sugar for powdered sugar. When testing I noticed the granules made the cream whip quicker. They act like tiny rocks inside the cream that help create air pockets until they dissolve over time. Since the crystals are larger, you may taste little crunchy pockets of sugar.

Powdered sugar gives an even sweetness because it’s finely ground. It’s perceived as slightly less sweet because there aren’t granules that have to dissolve in the mouth. Honey or maple syrup can also be used, although I recommend using half the amount of liquid sweetener. They contain water and need a longer whipping time, but the end result doesn’t have the best stability.

Compilation of four photos showing the different types of whipped cream peaks

How do you know when the whipped cream is done?

  • Soft plop: Looks like slightly melted ice cream. Lift the whisk out of the bowl and cream barely clings to it. Just starting to see trails of cream when whipping that doesn’t dissolve right away. Not ready!
  • Soft peaks: Looks like stirred yogurt and it doesn’t hold a prominent shape. Cream clings to the whisk, but the peak falls over. In the bowl, the trails of cream stay floating on top. Use for a delicate, super silky, and scoopable topping to eat right away.
  • Medium peaks: Looks like cool whip or soft-serve ice cream. Lift the whisk and the cream firmly clings on, turn over and the peak will hold but have a tip that slightly falls over. In the bowl, the trails will be noticeably stiffer and the cream fluffier. Used for most applications like cake layers, frosting, pie toppings, fillings in cream puffs or profiteroles.
  • Stiff peaks: Looks like shaving foam. Lift the whisk and the cream is completely stiff, turn over and it holds its peak. The cream will have a definitive ripple when whipped. It will start to become more slightly grainy in appearance and feel like if you mixed it once more it would clump. Used as a stronger filling for cakes, layered desserts like trifles, topping for pies, folding into other ingredients like no-bake cheesecakes.
  • Over whipped cream: Looks like shaving foam, but with noticeable lumps. The smoothness is lost and the more you mix the more bumpy it gets.

Gelatine stabilizer in a small clear jar

Is there a way to stabilize the whipped cream?

You can use a small amount of melted gelatin to help stabilize whipped cream. I use ½ teaspoon gelatin per 1 cup of heavy cream. I tested 1 teaspoon of gelatin, but you lose that smooth melt-ability and the gelatin leaves a film in your mouth.

When the warm gelatin is dissolved in the cream it eventually solidifies as it cools down, keeping the pockets from collapsing and losing volume. It also keeps the cream from weeping (fat separating from the water). Stabilized whipped cream lasts for 2 to 3 days. It’s great for layered cakes or frostings for cupcakes and gives more insurance when transporting a dessert.

How much whipped cream will heavy cream make?

Incorporating air into the cream approximately doubles the volume. Therefore, if you need 2 cups of whipped cream, start with 1 cup of heavy cream. To dollop on a dessert, plan for 2 tablespoons per serving. For cupcakes use about ¼ to ⅓ cup of whipped cream. Follow recipe suggestions for larger pies, cakes, and desserts.

Fun ways to use whipped cream

Cupcake with whipped cream and colorful sprinkles on top

What happens when you over whip the cream?

When air is vigorously whipped into the chilled cream, the cold fat helps to trap the air bubbles and creates a thick stable foam. If you add too much agitation the fat joins together into larger clumps, giving a grainy consistency. You cannot smooth out the whipped cream at this point. If you keep mixing, eventually you’ll create churned butter as the liquid buttermilk separates from the fat.

Pin this recipe to save for later

Pin This

How to Make Whipped Cream

Learn how to make whipped cream using 4 simple methods; whisking by hand, stand mixer, blender, and food processor. A light and fluffy topping or filling!
Pin Print Review
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time0 mins
Total Time15 mins
Servings 8 servings
Course Condiment
Cuisine American

Ingredients

Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup heavy cream, or heavy whipping cream, cold
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Stabilized Whipped Cream

  • 1 ½ tablespoons cold water
  • ½ teaspoon unflavored gelatin, powdered
  • 1 cup heavy cream, or heavy whipping cream, cold
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions 

Hand Mixed Whipped Cream

  • Refrigerate a large metal bowl and whisk for 15 minutes before making the whipped cream.
  • Add the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla to the chilled bowl.
  • Slightly tilt the bowl and vigorously whisk until the desired peak stiffness is reached. For soft peaks about 4 minutes, for medium peaks 5 minutes, and stiff peaks 5 ½ minutes.

Stand/Hand Mixer Whipped Cream

  • In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla to the bowl. Alternatively, if using a hand mixer use the whisk or beaters attachment and a large bowl, whipping times may vary.
  • Whip the mixture on medium-low speed (setting 4), until the cream is frothy with bubbles on the surface, 1 minute.
  • Increase the speed to medium-high (setting 8), and whip until a fluffy and smooth consistency is reached, about 1 to 2 minutes for soft peaks. Stop at this point, or continue to whip in 5-second intervals until medium or stiff peaks form. Be careful, the consistency will change quickly.

Blender Whipped Cream

  • Add heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla to the blender.
  • Process on the lowest setting (variable speed 1 on a Vitamix) for 10 seconds.
  • Immediately increase the speed to the highest setting (variable speed 10 on a vitamix) and process until thickened, about 10 seconds. Immediately stop and check the stiffness, gently stir. This should make soft peaks. If needed, process for 5 more seconds. Stop at this point or continue to blend for 5-seconds for medium peaks and 10 additional seconds for stiff peaks.

Food Processor Whipped Cream

  • Add heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla to the food processor.
  • Process on high speed for 30 seconds, immediately stop to check the stiffness. This should give soft peaks. Stop here or continue processing for 5 seconds for medium peaks, 10 additional seconds for stiff peaks.

Stabilized Whipped Cream

  • Add water to a microwave-safe bowl and sprinkle gelatin on top. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes, it will harden.
  • Microwave the gelatin mixture on high power in 5-second increments until the gelatin dissolves, about 15 seconds total. Stir and allow to slightly cool, but not harden before adding to the cream. If the gelatin solidifies, microwave for 5 seconds.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add cream, powdered sugar and vanilla.
  • Mix on low speed (setting 2) until bubbles form, 1 minute.
  • Turn speed to medium (setting 5), when a trail of cream forms (just below soft peaks), about 2 minutes.
  • Slowly pour in the gelatin mixture, then increase speed to medium-high (setting 8) until desired peaks form, about 30 to 60 seconds.

Notes

  • Recipe Yield: 2 cups
  • Serving Size: 1/4 cup
  • When to Stop Whipping:
    • Soft peaks: Looks like stirred yogurt and doesn’t hold a peak when lifted.
    • Medium peaks: Looks like cool whip and peak slightly falls over when lifted.
    • Stiff peaks: Looks like shaving foam and holds a peak when lifted.
  • Less-sweet Whipped Cream: Sugar can be reduced to 2 tablespoons.
  • Sweetener Substitutes: Granulated sugar can be substituted for powdered sugar. Honey or maple syrup can be used, reduced to 2 tablespoons for the recipe.
  • Storing: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Briefly whisk if water begins to weep from the cream or loses some volume.
  • Freezing: Freeze in an airtight container for up to 1 month. Defrost at room temperature until cream softens, can be stirred and still cold. This could take 15 to 45 minutes depending on the size of the batch. Stir with a spoon to gently mix together before using.

Want to save this recipe?

Create an account easily save your favorite content, so you never forget a recipe again.

Register now

Nutrition Facts
How to Make Whipped Cream
Amount Per Serving
Calories 118 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 7g35%
Cholesterol 41mg14%
Sodium 11mg0%
Potassium 22mg1%
Carbohydrates 5g2%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 437IU9%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 19mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Tried this recipe?

Tag @jessica_gavin on Instagram. I'd love to see how it turns out!

Tag @jessica_gavin

Filed under:

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

Jessica's Secrets: Cooking Made Easy!
Get my essential cooking techniques that I learned in culinary school.
Jessica Gavin standing in the kitchen

You May Also Like

Reader Interactions

Leave A Reply

Recipe Rating