How to Make Whipped Cream

$1.12 recipe / $0.14 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.62 from 13 votes
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It’s the season for cozy mugs of hot cocoa, pumpkin pies, and other delectable desserts, all of which are made even better with a heaping spoonful of fluffy, cloud-like whipped cream. And not just any whipped cream, homemade whipped cream. If you’ve been using pre-made whipped cream your whole life, you need to know how to make whipped cream at home. It’s too easy and too good not to. This homemade whipped cream recipe requires only three ingredients, takes minutes to make, and is the smoothest, creamiest dream you’ve ever tasted. Please promise me you’ll try it, at least once!

Side view of whipped cream being spooned onto a mug of hot chocolate.

Ingredients for Whipped Cream

Making homemade whipped cream is incredibly fast and easy. In fact, you’ll only need these three simple ingredients:

  • Heavy Cream: Use cream labeled “heavy cream” or “heavy whipping cream” which are 36% fat. “Whipping cream” can be as low as 30% fat and may not whip up as well. Keep your cream chilled for the best results.
  • Sugar: Simple white sugar is all you’ll need to add just the right amount of sweetness to your homemade whipped cream.
  • Vanilla Extract: For an extra creamy flavor, we add a little bit of vanilla extract. You can play around with different flavored extracts to make more fun flavors of whipped cream.

Do I Need a Mixer to Make Homemade Whipped Cream?

Homemade whipped cream can easily be made with nothing more than a bowl, a whisk, and about five minutes of intense tricep work. That being said, it’s a lot easier if you have a hand mixer or stand mixer. It takes me about five minutes to whisk heavy cream into whipped cream by hand, but only about two minutes to do it using a basic hand mixer.

How Long Does Homemade Whipped Cream Last?

Homemade whipped cream is best when whipped fresh just before serving. Luckily, it’s so fast and easy to make that this is usually doable. If you can’t use it right away, you can refrigerate it for a day or so, but it will slowly deflate over that time. There are ways to stabilize homemade whipped cream and make it last longer, usually by adding additional ingredients. Here’s a great article from Food52 about ways to stabilize whipped cream.

Whipped cream being scooped onto a slice of Maple Brown Butter Pumpkin Pie

Can You Freeze Whipped Cream?

Another option for saving leftover whipped cream is to freeze it! Simply add dollops of your whipped cream to a parchment lined baking sheet, freeze until solid, then transfer to a freezer bag for long term storage. The frozen whipped cream dollops can be stored for about three months in the freezer. To use the frozen whipped cream, add the dollop directly to the top of a hot mug of coffee or cocoa, or let it sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes to thaw.

Tips for Making Whipped Cream

Making whipped cream is pretty fast and easy, but here are a few tips and tricks to make sure it turns out perfectly every time!

  • Use heavy whipping cream, not just whipping cream, because it has more fat and will whip up more easily.
  • Use a chilled glass or metal bowl to whip the cream. The cream will whip up faster when the proteins and fat are kept cold while whisking.
  • Don’t over whip. If you keep whipping past the point of stiff peaks, the proteins will begin to clump and your whipped cream will separate (that’s how you make butter!). I usually stop when the cream is whisked to medium or medium-stiff peaks. Leaving it slightly soft makes for pretty dollops.
  • If you accidentally over whip the cream, it can be recovered by folding in a tablespoon or two of fresh cream until it becomes smooth once again.

What to Serve with Whipped Cream

Everything is better with a dollop of homemade whipped cream, IMHO! But here are some of my favorite desserts that are traditionally served with whipped cream:

Soft peak in a bowl of homemade whipped cream

Medium peak whipped cream pictured above.

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Homemade Whipped Cream

4.62 from 13 votes
Learn how to make whipped cream with this fast and easy 3-ingredient recipe for homemade whipped cream. Easy and delicious!
Side view of whipped cream being spooned onto a mug of hot chocolate.
Servings 8 ¼ cup each
Prep 5 minutes
Total 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar ($0.04)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract ($0.30)
  • 1 cup heavy cream or heavy whipping cream, chilled ($0.78)
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Instructions 

  • Add the sugar, vanilla, and heavy cream to a glass or metal bowl. Use a hand mixer or stand mixer* to whip the cream on high until medium or stiff peaks form (depending on your preference, about 2-3 minutes). Stop the mixer occasionally to test the stiffness of the peaks, to avoid over whipping.

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Notes

*This can be done by hand. If whipping by hand, it can help to pre-chill your bowl and whisk.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25cupCalories: 114kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 1gFat: 11gSodium: 8mg
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Homemade whipped cream goes perfectly on a mug of homemade hot chocolate!

How to Make Whipped Cream

Heavy cream being poured into a bowl with sugar and vanilla

Add 2 Tbsp granulated sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and 1 cup cold heavy cream to a bowl. If you’re going to be whipping by hand, pre-chilling the bowl in the freezer will make the task a lot easier.

Whipped cream in a bowl, close up, with beaters still in the cream

Use a hand mixer or stand mixer to whip the cream on high for about 2-3 minutes, or until medium or stiff peaks form. Whether you want the whipped cream to be softer or stiffer is a personal preference. I like mine slightly on the soft side for pies, a little more stiff for hot cocoa.

Whipped Cream stiff peaks

As you whip the cream, occasionally lift the whisk or beaters out of the cream to see how stiff the peaks are. If they slump over, they are soft peaks, if they bend slightly they are medium peaks, if they stand straight up they are stiff peaks. Do not whip past stiff peaks or the cream will begin to separate and you’ll make butter.

Whipped cream on lined baking sheet ready for freezing

If you want to freeze your leftover whipped cream, line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then drop dollops of the whipped cream on top (about the size that you’d use for serving). Freeze the whipped cream on the baking sheet until the little mounds are solid.

Transfer frozen whipped cream to freezer bag

Then once frozen solid, transfer them to a freezer bag for air-tight long term storage. You can keep them in your freezer for about three months. Either pop them directly onto a hot mug of cocoa or coffee, or let them thaw at room temperature for about 10 minutes.

Overhead view of whipped cream being spooned onto two mugs of hot cocoa.

I’m tellin’ y’all. Homemade whipped cream is where it’s at!! Try it in my Blueberry Lemon Curd Shortcakes, Apple Crisp, Strawberry Shortcake, No-Churn Balsamic Peach Ice Cream, Jello Salad, or Peanut Butter Fluff Cups. It’s also great on pies, cakes, flan, and other desserts!

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Comments

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  1. The perfect whipped topping from scratch. Not too sweet but great for my strawberry Schaum Torte!

  2. Awww man this stuff is great! This whipped cream on a milk shake is a match made in heaven! For a stand mixer it whips surprisingly fast, so keep an eye on it! My only complaint is mine came out a little chunky but it might just be me making whipped cream for the first time. Other than that though it’s amazing!

  3. Great recipe. I recently bought a half gallon of heavy whipping cream and froze it prior to whipping in smaller portions. I took some from the freezer, defrosted in the refrigerator, and it won’t whip. Can you tell me what I am doing wrong? I thought the larger container was a thrifty choice, but now it looks like waste.

    Your site is my “go to” for recipe ideas. Thank you for so many delicious and thrifty meals.

    1. Ben, what do you think went wrong? I might be able to help you! (I have a background in pastry and made whipped cream almost every day…for one thing or another.) Best, Marion :)

  4. Love the whipping cream instructions. Haven’t done “home” in decades.
    Thanks.

  5. With newly purchased hand blender with whipping blades, I’ve made it just now. Although it has took a bit longer. But, done. Thank you 3000 for sharing awesome info.

  6. Tried this for the first time today. Bam. A hit! My advice for anyone trying by hand with a whisk: don’t give up! I had to hand this off to my partner for a few minutes when my arm became tired. It definitely took over 7 minutes but maybe we weren’t whisking correctly? Oh well. We arrived at the finish line eventually and literally high fived when we created peaks. 

  7. Just whipped this up ;) It took two minutes and tastes delicious! Enjoying a cup of coffee topped with whipped cream now. Thank you for the recipe!

  8. Sometimes I’ll take some to work to put with pumpkin soup or other soup, not sweetened of course. I will fill a portion into a small bottle with a screw-on lid, and at lunchtime shake it until its whipped cream. Only takes a few minutes and makes my colleague smile. :-)