Nothing excites me more in my self-taught cooking journey than learning to make things from scratch. Especially foods that are deceptively simple, like homemade whipped cream. Two ingredients, a chilled bowl and whisk, a working arm and five or so minutes--that's all it takes to make fresh, light and fluffy whipped cream. If you're lucky and own a stand mixer, it takes even less work.
In fact, homemade whipped cream is so easy to make I'm baffled I didn't learn how to do it growing up. Am I the only one that thinks elementary school kids should be taught basic cooking techniques? It's not like they need to eat whipped cream every day, but imagine the smiles on their faces watching a bowl full of creamy liquid transform into pillowy whipped cream. That's pretty darn close to magic for us Muggles. (Harry Potter reference, for those of you who aren't privy to the word.)
Fast forward 10 or 15 years: when those kids, now adults, want whipped cream, they're not going to reach for a can or tub of "whipped topping". Oh, no. They'll sacrifice the extra five minutes it takes to make it from scratch. Please know I write the word sacrifice with extreme sarcasm. Know why?
Well, many proponents of the aforementioned "whipped topping" claim it's much more convenient to pull a blue tub of Cool Whip from the fridge and dollop it on whatever they're fixing at the time. Or, that this faux whipped cream holds up better for picnics or hot outdoor activities where genuine whipped cream would melt.
Hm, I wonder why this product withstands the heat? It's certainly not because Cool Whip is dairy-free. Sure, that's how it started in the 1960s, but as of 2010, Cool Whip is made with dairy products--barely.
Wait, Cool Whip never announced the change, you're lactose intolerant and you thought it was safe to eat it? How uncool of them. No worries. Keep reading. I'll provide a link for how to make homemade coconut milk whipped cream further down in the post. And I promise it's just as simple to make as the dairy version.
Let's take a gander at the ingredients list for an eight-ounce tub of Cool Whip Original:
WATER, HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL (COCONUT AND PALM KERNEL OILS), HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CORN SYRUP, SKIM MILK, LIGHT CREAM, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF SODIUM CASEINATE, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, XANTHAN AND GUAR GUMS, POLYSORBATE 60, SORBITAN MONOSTEARATE, BETA CAROTENE (COLOR).
And for Cool Whip Lite:
WATER, CORN SYRUP, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL (COCONUT AND PALM KERNEL OILS), LESS THAN TWO PERCENT OF SODIUM CASEINATE (FROM MILK), NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, XANTHAN AND GUAR GUMS, POLYSORBATE 60, SORBITAN MONOSTEARATE, SODIUM POLYPHOSPHATES, BETA CAROTENE.
See the single item highlighted with blue? That's the sole ingredient in both products that resembles the main ingredient in whipped cream. You'll notice that in the "lite" version, there isn't a drop of cream. Sigh.
The only two ingredients needed to make whipped cream are heavy cream and sugar. Some people stir in vanilla extract or cacao powder to make it fancy, but that's totally optional.
And let's say you want your whipped cream a bit thicker. Simply incorporate powdered gelatin (the stuff you use to make gummy products like jello). My favorite right now is this high-quality bovine gelatin from 100% grass-fed, pasture-raised cows and for cold recipes (that don't need to firm up) I use this high-quality hydrolyzed collagen.
If you'd like to learn more about the "ingredients" in Cool Whip, read these articles by Organic Authority, Fooducate and Snack Girl.
It's high time we move on to the positive aspect of this post--the recipe! However, I promised I'd provide a dairy-free option using coconut milk. And who better to consult than The Coconut Mama herself?
Here's her homemade, dairy-free coconut milk whipped cream recipe. Never tried coconut milk before? It's downright delicious! This BPA-free canned brand of coconut milk is extremely popular.
Homemade Whipped Cream Recipe
Ditch the over-processed ingredients and additives in store bought whipped topping and make your own homemade whipped cream from scratch in five minutes with only heavy whipping cream, sugar, and a little elbow grease.
1 pint (2 cups/16 ounces) of heavy whipping cream (I prefer raw and/or organic & grass-fed)
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of organic powdered sugar or cane sugar
large metal mixing bowl, chilled
wire whisk, chilled (get one here)
electric hand mixer, optional (chill the whisk attachments)
stand mixer with whisk attachment, optional (chill the bowl and whisk)
Want more real food & gadget recommendations? Check out my shop page.
Chill the bowl and whisk in the freezer for at least 20 minutes. If you're using a stand mixer, detach the metal bowl and whisk attachment and place them in the freezer. I threw mine in a couple hours before I made the whipped cream, but it doesn't have to be in there that long. This helps keep everything cold and you DO NOT want the whipped cream to melt. Trust me, chilling your tools will make things much easier.
Method #1: By Hand
Pour the cream into the cold bowl and immediately start whipping it briskly with the whisk. Do this continuously for several minutes. Once the cream has doubled in thickness, stop and stir in the sugar. I prefer powdered sugar because it's finer, but cane sugar will work also. Whip it for another minute and taste. If it's not sweet enough, add more sugar.
Keep whipping at a fast pace, switching the whisk between hands so your arms don't get too tired until the cream has formed soft peaks and looks like whipped cream. To test it, dip the whisk into the cream and hold it upside down over your bowl. Does it slide off? If it's firm and doesn't move, it's done. If not, keep whipping.
Be careful not to get too zealous with your whipping. If you whip too long, the cream will turn into butter! Don't worry, you won't go instantly from whipped cream to butter. It takes several more minutes before you achieve the butter stage.
All in all, I would say making it by hand will take somewhere between 5-10 minutes depending on how quickly you can whip.
Method #2: Electric Hand Mixer or Stand Mixer
Pour the cream into the cold bowl and turn the speed to 2 for about 30 seconds. Switch to a 4 or 5 speed for about 3 minutes or until the cream has doubled in thickness. Turn off the mixer and stir in your sugar. I prefer powdered sugar because of its fine texture but cane sugar will work also. Whip it for another minute on 4 speed then stop again. Taste the cream and if need be, add more sugar.
Starting low, increase the speed to 5 or 6 and whip the cream for 2-3 minutes more minutes, or until it has formed soft peaks and looks like whipped cream. To test it, dip the whisk into the cream and hold it upside down over your bowl. Does it slide off? If it's firm and doesn't move, it's done. If not, keep whipping.
Be careful not to get too zealous with your whipping. Especially, if you're using a stand mixer. Do not walk away while it's mixing. If you whip too long, the cream will turn into butter! Don't worry, you won't go instantly from whipped cream to butter. It takes several more minutes before you achieve the butter stage.
Once you've formed the perfect whipped cream, use it immediately or store in a tightly covered container in the coldest part of your refrigerator (probably the back). It should keep about two days before going liquidy. I've heard you can also freeze fresh whipped cream but haven't tried that myself.
Ready to make a batch and use it right away?
Homemade whipped cream is excellent scooped on top of spicy hot cocoa with cacao powder or pumpkin spice latte with vanilla almond milk!
I'd like to hear from YOU!
What's your favorite way to use fresh whipped cream in a recipe? Are there any ingredients you love to pair with it?
P.S. Keep Reading! More Posts From The Rising Spoon:
PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. However, I ONLY recommend helpful products that I myself would use. And I'm really picky about what I share with you guys. Because I myself am super choosy about what I buy and consume. Recommending products that I love or want to own helps me cover the costs of running this blog and keep providing you with free, helpful information. And it costs nothing extra for you. Thanks!