Sweetened Whipped Cream With Variations

whipped cream
Diana Rattray
  • Total: 10 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings
Ratings (43)

Frozen and powdered whipped toppings are convenient and long-lasting, but nothing beats the flavor and texture of fresh, homemade whipped cream. It's the perfect topping for gingerbread, fresh strawberries or strawberry shortcake, and it is the best topping for a luscious cream pie. It also makes a delicious filling for cream puffs.

Did you know you could freeze whipped cream? All you have to do is whip it, drop or pipe mounds of whipped cream onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and then freeze until they're solid. Transfer the whipped cream mounds to an airtight container or freezer bag and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. Take the frozen mounds out of the freezer about 10 to 15 minutes before you plan to serve. 

The basic recipe for sweetened whipped cream gets its flavor from sugar and vanilla, but there are many other possible variations, including tints and flavor additions. Below the recipe, you'll find some helpful preparation tips and several popular whipped cream variations.

What You'll Need

  • 1 cup heavy cream (or whipping cream, chilled)
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons confectioners' sugar (or superfine granulated sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

How to Make It

  1. If you have time, place the bowl and beaters in the refrigerator for about 15 to 20 minutes. The cream will whip faster in a chilled bowl.
  2. In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer, whip the chilled cream until almost stiff (soft peaks).
  3. Sprinkle confectioners' sugar or fine granulated sugar over the partially whipped cream and add the vanilla.
  4. Continue beating the cream to stiff peaks.

Serving Suggestions

Spread the whipped cream over the top of cooled pie or pipe it around the edge of the pie in a decorative fashion. Or you might serve the whipped cream on the side; drop a dollop of whipped cream on servings of bread pudding, gingerbread, peach cobbler, apple crisp, or other desserts.

Tips

  • Whipping cream (or "light whipping cream") contains 30 to 36% milk fat while heavy cream (or "heavy whipping cream") contains 36 to 40%.
  • One cup of whipping cream or heavy cream will yield 2 cups of whipped cream.
  • Confectioners' sugar contains cornstarch which helps stabilize the whipped cream. You can use granulated sugar—preferably superfine—or brown sugar, but it will lack the extra stability and might remain slightly grainy. 
  • Begin whipping the cream on a low or medium-low speed and increase the speed as it thickens. Gradually increasing the speed will keep spatters to a minimum.
  • Use a bowl that is deep enough for the cream to double in volume. A deep bowl will also keep spatters contained.
  • Don't add sugar or flavorings until the cream is thick and begins to form soft peaks.
  • Don't overbeat the whipping cream. If solid clumps of butter are beginning to form, you've gone too far.
  • Use clear vanilla extract for the whitest whipped cream.

Recipe Variations

  • Maple Whipped Cream: Omit the sugar and vanilla and beat 3 tablespoons of the darkest maple syrup into the cream when it begins to form soft peaks.
  • Chocolate Whipped Cream: Put 3 ounces of chopped semisweet chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream with 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar. Bring the cream to a boil and then pour it over the chocolate; stir until smooth. Refrigerate the chocolate and cream mixture until thoroughly chilled. Transfer the chilled mixture to a larger bowl and beat it until soft or stiff peaks have formed.
  • Spiced Whipped Cream: Add 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon along with the powdered sugar and flavoring.
  • Citrus Whipped Cream: Replace the flavoring with about 1 tablespoon of finely grated lemon or orange zest.
  • Lemon Curd Whipped Cream: Make the whipped cream with 1 tablespoon of confectioners' sugar and omit the vanilla. When stiff peaks form, whisk 3 tablespoons of chilled lemon curd into the cream.
  • Liqueurs: Replace the flavoring or add to it with a tablespoon or two of a flavored liqueur. Try coffee-flavored liqueur, amaretto (almond-flavored), Cointreau or Grand Marnier (orange), Chambord (raspberry), or a hazelnut liqueur, such as Frangelico. The possibilities are endless!
  • Coffee Flavored Whipped Cream: Add 2 teaspoons of instant espresso or coffee granules to the cream before whipping and use the larger amount (4 tablespoons) of powdered sugar.
    Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
    34 Calories
    1g Fat
    5g Carbs
    0g Protein
    (Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)