Today I’m sharing a simple, 3-ingredient homemade whipped cream recipe. Skip the store-bought and make your own using just heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract, ready in just 5 minutes!
A Foolproof Recipe for Whipped Cream
If you’re still buying your whipped cream from the grocery store in a little plastic tub, today’s recipe is going to be a game changer for you.
We’re ditching the store-bought, chemical-laden, poor excuses for whipped cream and we’re making it at home, from scratch. And you’re never going to look back. All you need is 3 ingredients (heavy cream, powdered sugar, vanilla extract) an electric mixer, and just 5 minutes.
This is a completely different animal from the store-bought variety: The taste is fresher, richer, better. Ever since sharing my homemade version with my family, they won’t even touch any imposters from the store. We are legit whipped cream snobs here.
As a bonus, my recipe is essentially foolproof (lots of notes in the FAQ section!), perfected to be easy, stable, and pipe-able. It’s perfect for topping off a slice of cheesecake or using in your strawberry shortcake. Let’s get to it.
What You Need
Just three things:
- Heavy Cream or Heavy Whipping Cream. This is critical, you need a rich cream that’s heavy on the fat (at least 30%) in order for it to ultimately whip properly. See my FAQ section below if you are seeking an alternative cream (including a non-dairy option).
- Confectioners Sugar. I use confectioners sugar instead of granulated sugar because the cornstarch in confectioners helps to stabilize the homemade whipped cream, helping it to last longer and keep its shape better. It of course also adds sweetness. Because of the sugar, this recipe could also be considered “chantilly cream” (and can be used on a Chantilly cake!).
- Vanilla Extract. This adds a simple but necessary flavor that takes the cream to the next level.
I also recommend a few tools:
- A medium/large metal bowl. I’ve successfully made this recipe in a glass bowl, but a metal bowl that you’ve chilled in the freezer for ten minutes is best, and will get you to fluffy cream fastest.
- An electric mixer or stand mixer. Yes, this recipe can be made by hand with a whisk, but it takes a long time and a heck of an arm workout.
How to Make Whipped Cream
SAM’S TIP BEFORE YOU BEGIN: Homemade whipped cream is most easily made when all your tools and ingredients are cold. If you’ve struggled to whip cream in the past, place a metal bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes before adding the cream, and make sure your cream is very cold!
- Combine cold heavy cream, confectioners sugar, and vanilla extract in a chilled bowl (for best results, use a metal one).
- Whip! Beat ingredients together on low speed, gradually increase to high-speed (see tip below), and beat until the cream is thick, fluffy, and billowy.
- Stiff peaks. This simply means that when you lift the beater out of the cream, the peak that forms on the beater will hold its shape even when you turn the beater upside down (if you’ve made my meringue cookies or pavlova, you’re familiar with this technique, but here is a great visual). It will feel fluffy and full and offer more resistance to your whisk or beaters than it initially did. Once I reach stiff peaks, I beat just a few seconds longer to ensure the cream will stay stable (many recipes stop shy of this, but this is my secret tip for best results!). Just don’t overdo it or you run the risk of over-beating your cream.
- Enjoy! Serve with any dessert you’d like (I recommend angel food cake), or just eat it straight out of the bowl.
SAM’S TIP: Start with your mixer on low-speed, then gradually increase to high speed. This will not only keep you from splattering cream everywhere, it will also allow you to more slowly incorporate air into the cream, which results in more stable, pipe-able, and sturdy results!
A Note on Organic Cream
Organic heavy cream is a great option for making homemade whipped cream and I use it often. However, I’ve noticed that I consistently have slightly different results when I use organic cream. The cream does not increase in volume quite as much and the resulting cream is denser and thicker. It will still work (unless the label on your heavy cream specifically states it is not meant for whipping), but you just won’t have quite as much!
Frequently Asked Questions
I have successfully made and stored this recipe in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. It holds its shape perfectly on pies in the refrigerator for days.
Please note that this recipe is not ideal for frosting a cake (unless you’re just using it over the top of a sheet cake as I do with my tres leches cake) as it is too soft.
Double cream will work as a substitute. “Whipping cream” will also work, but the end result won’t hold its shape as well as heavy cream.
Light cream or half and half will not work as neither contains enough fat, which is critical to giving whipped cream its sturdy texture. If in doubt, check the fat content. The liquid you’re using must contain at least 30% fat.
As for non-dairy options, I’ve had some people say that well-chilled, full-fat coconut milk will work, but I’ve never tried it myself.
Most likely you simply haven’t whipped it long enough (use an electric mixer or it will take a long time!). However, is it possible that your cream was too warm? Cream that’s too warm may never thicken to the stiff peaks we’re looking for.
Accidentally overdone it and found yourself with nearly curdled cream? Don’t panic! If you haven’t gone too far with it, you can save it by adding a tablespoon or two of additional cream and stirring on low-speed.
If it’s not salvageable, you can always keep mixing until you have some homemade butter!
Did you try this recipe? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!
Homemade Whipped Cream Recipe
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream¹ cold (355ml)
- ½ cup powdered sugar (60g)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (5ml)
- Place a medium-sized bowl (preferably metal) in the freezer for at least 10 minutes to chill.
- Once bowl has chilled, remove from freezer and add heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract.
- Using an electric mixer², beat ingredients on low speed, gradually increasing speed to high, and beat until stiff peaks form. Don't over-beat, but don't stop beating until cream has reached a thick, billowy consistency (think the thickness of Cool Whip).
- Keep unused whipped cream refrigerated in an airtight container.
Heavy Cream¹I recommend using “heavy cream” or “heavy whipping cream” rather than “whipping cream”. Heavy cream holds its shape better after whipping, but whipping cream will work in a pinch. Double cream will also work and some people have reported success using full-fat coconut milk. Note that organic whipping cream does not tend to whip as nicely/fluffy as its non-organic counterpart.
Mixer²I definitely recommend using an electric mixer for this. Whisking cream to stiff peaks by hand can be done with a whisk and some tenacity, but it takes forever and is not fun. If you’re using a KitchenAid or stand mixer, use the whisk attachment for best results.
Making in AdvanceI have made this whipped cream up to 3 days in advance and had it keep beautifully in an airtight container in the refrigerator. However, because all baking environments differ I generally recommend you make it the same day you intend to use it.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.