Part of Thanksgiving

How to Make Whipped Cream

Master the simple art of whipped cream peaks.

While you can use a mixer to whip cream, I think it's better to do by hand. It gives you more control over the final texture and is so fast and easy that it's not even worth pulling out fancy equipment.

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1 Prep Your Cream

To start, you'll need cream with at least 30% milk fat. Anything less, like half and half (10% milk fat) or light cream (20% milk fat), doesn't whip well. Look for whipping cream or heavy cream, and be sure it's nicely chilled before you begin. 

Use a metal whisk and either a glass or metal bowl. To make whipping easier, chill the bowl and the whisk in the freezer for about 10 minutes.

2 Start Whisking

Add the cream to your bowl and whisk vigorously. After about a minute the cream will become frothy, and after two to three minutes, it will thicken up to a mayonnaise-like consistency. Once the thickening process has begun, add sugar and any desired flavorings.

To sweeten your whipped cream, you can use either granulated or confectioners' sugar —confectioners' sugar dissolves into cream much faster. For every cup of cream, use between 2 to 3 tablespoons of sugar.

3 Make it Your Own

Tailor the flavor of your whipped cream to suit your needs. For classic vanilla, add ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract for every cup of cream. You can also experiment with adding other flavors, like ground cinnamon, cocoa powder, lemon zest, fruit purée or even rum.

4 Whip Until Peaks Form

Continue whipping until the cream forms very soft peaks (about four minutes). Once the cream begins to form peaks, it can go from soft to clumpy and granular in the blink of an eye, so it's best to stop early and err on the side of too soft. 

If you accidentally over whip your cream, all is not lost. Continue whipping until the fat and liquid completely separate and you'll have a sweet homemade butter that's perfect for spreading on biscuits or your toast.

5 Store or Serve

Homemade whipped cream is best if used immediately, but it can be covered and refrigerated for a few hours before use. Just scoop and enjoy your refrigerated whipped cream, or stir gently to loosen it up before adding a dollop to your favorite dessert.

Want more? Watch our video for more whipped cream tips and tricks. 

Find more helpful How-Tos here »

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About Budget Bytes

Beth from Budget Bytes is a food lover and a number cruncher who dishes up healthy recipes on her blog that won't put a huge dent in your wallet. She is the author of the cookbook, Budget Bytes: Over 100 Easy Delicious Recipes to Slash Your Grocery Bill in Half, and she also works as a microbiologist in a hospital laboratory. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.