Whether it’s decorating fruit, gracing desserts, or even adding flavor to your favorite hot drinks, whipped cream is an indulgent and luxurious topping that’s even more delicious when it’s homemade. And thankfully, it’s just as quick and simple to prepare. With only three steps and three ingredients, here is how you can make your own whipped cream at home in less than 10 minutes:
What you’ll need
Approx. 2 cups
- 1 cup heavy cream or cold whipping cream
- 2 tbsp sugar (powdered or granulated)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
The difference between heavy and whipping cream
While they are quite similar, they aren’t exactly the same – the difference between heavy cream, whipping cream and heavy whipping cream lies in their milk fat percentage. While classic whipping cream contains about 30% milkfat, both heavy cream and heavy whipping cream have a milk fat content of around 36%.
Although all of these creams can be whipped and used in a number of recipes, it’s important to remember that the “heavier” ones tend to hold their shape for longer, making them an ideal option for homemade whipped cream.
Method of preparation
- Make sure the heavy cream is fully chilled before you start preparing the recipe, in order to whip it more quickly and easily. You could also put a metal mixing bowl and your beater into the freezer of the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes, although not necessary.
- Pour the cream into the mixing bowl, and carefully combine it with the sugar and the vanilla extract.
- Whip using your preferred mixing method:
- Using a mixer: If using a handheld electric mixer, start whipping the ingredients on low speed for the first couple of minutes, and then slowly increase the speed to medium until you reach the desired peak. When using a stand mixer, set it on medium-high speed and pay close attention to the mixture, as the whipped cream could change textures in a matter of seconds.
- Whisking by hand: Similarly to the electric mixer, you can whip the cream by hand using a whisk, starting slowly, and then increasing your speed, until the whipped cream reaches the desired peak. Keep in mind that this method takes much longer, usually 10 or more minutes.
- Mixing in a jar: Whipped cream could also be made in a jar – all it involves is placing the ingredients in a tightly sealed jar, and then shaking it until it reaches a thick and fluffy consistency.
Depending on how long you mix, whipped cream could have various “peaks”, all of which differ in texture, consistency, and density, and can be used in different types of recipes.
Soft peaks form after 5-6 minutes and have a creamy consistency almost resembling half-melted ice cream. Although the whipped cream could be a bit loose and runny at this stage, it has a lush texture that’s ideal for combining into desserts or plopping into sweet hot drinks.
Forming after 6-7 minutes, medium peaks are exactly what you would imagine dolloped onto a slice of homemade pie. During this phase, the whipped cream would be a bit firmer and more stable, with more prominent swirl marks, and a consistency that holds onto the whisk, while still having soft tips.
Also called stiff peaks, firm peaks form after 8-9 minutes, and have a more intensely rippled, slightly grainy texture that’s completely stiff when scooped out with a whisk. Although not the most elegant and indulgent consistency, it’s a perfect option for icing cakes.
Additional recipe notes
- While all types of sugar and sweeteners could work for small quantities, larger batches might require powdered sugar, for a completely smooth texture.
- The cream usually doubles in size when it’s whipped, meaning you could multiply the heavy cream measurement by two, to get the desired amount of whipped cream.
- Before mixing, you could also add flavorings such as honey, cocoa powder, lemon zest, or a few drops of liquor, for a more prominent and unique aroma.
This sweet and easy recipe only requires three simple ingredients, three quick steps, and a couple of minutes to prepare, but it makes for the most delicious and luxurious homemade whipped cream.