Vanilla whipped cream couldn’t be easier to make at home! Made with just three simple ingredients and about five minutes of active time, this is one of the easiest recipes on my blog. This recipe also includes my favorite tip to make whipped cream at home even faster.
This homemade whipped cream with vanilla extract can be used on top of mini pumpkin pies, peppermint brownies, salted caramel hot cocoa, and more—the possibilities are endless! Whipped cream is typically best served the day it’s made; however, this lightly sweetened whipped cream has been stabilized with powdered sugar. This vanilla whipped cream (also called Chantilly cream) holds its shape much better than regular whipped cream and can be piped on baked goods stored in the fridge up to two days in advance.
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Ingredients for Homemade Vanilla Whipped Cream
With just three ingredients, you’ll really be able to taste every one. For the best flavor, you’ll want to use vanilla bean paste if you have it on hand, though vanilla extract will still work beautifully.
- Heavy cream. Sometimes labeled “heavy whipping cream,” you want full-fat heavy cream to ensure your homemade whipped cream thickens up properly.
- Powdered sugar. Powdered sugar works the best (it dissolves the fastest), but you can substitute granulated sugar if you don’t have any on hand. You’re welcome to use a Tablespoon more or less than I have written in the recipe depending on how sweet you want your whipped cream.
- Vanilla bean paste. In addition to being a bit stronger than vanilla extract, vanilla bean paste has vanilla beans. These add a fun speckle to the whipped cream, but vanilla extract will work, too.
How to Make Homemade Whipped Cream with Vanilla
Whipped cream is made by trapping a network of tiny air bubbles inside of fat globules. Too much whipping can turn the cream into butter and buttermilk, but just the right amount gives you an airy yet rich topping best suited for pies and baked goods of all sorts.
Chilling the Bowl for Whipped Cream
The fat in heavy cream needs to be solid to trap those air bubbles. A little bit of warmth can soften the fat, which will weaken the structure. The whisk sliding against the bowl hundreds of times while whipping the cream generates a small amount of heat through friction. It’s hardly noticeable by touch, but to counteract that bit of heat, I recommend chilling the bowl in advance.
This not only ensures you get thick, solid whipped cream; it also speeds up the whipping process by a minute or two.
Whipping Heavy Cream with Vanilla
Pour the heavy cream into the chilled bowl and begin whisking, either with a whisk or an electric mixer. After about a minute, small bubbles of foam will rise to the top of the cream.
Add the powdered sugar (anywhere from 1-3 Tablespoons, depending on how sweet you want it) and vanilla, then continue whisking for another 3-5 minutes until the whisk leaves trails and the cream forms soft peaks on the beaters.
At this point, it’s really easy to overwhip the cream. I’ve done it almost every single time I’ve made whipped cream because I always think, “It’ll get a little bit thicker… Just a few more whisks!”
When you think that, it will rarely get thicker. Instead, the butter will start separating from the buttermilk, and you’ll be left with a bowl of clumps. Whipped cream is not typically used as frosting for cakes, so it will not be as thick as buttercream frosting.
Whisk for just a few more seconds after the whipped cream hits soft peaks, then check to see how stiff the peaks are. Once they are stiff and voluminous like the picture on the right below, you’ve made whipped cream! Dollop onto baked goods or transfer into a piping bag and enjoy.
Recovering Slightly Overwhipped Cream
It is possible to recover slightly overwhipped cream. In my experience, though, by the time you realize it’s overwhipped, it’s usually too late.
If you start to notice the cream has some texture and is separating, stop whisking immediately and—with a spatula—fold in a drizzle of cold heavy cream. This may be enough to save the whipped cream!
If the whipped cream doesn’t look lumpy, use it as you intended. If it looks even lumpier than when you started, you’ll have to start over and either toss it or turn it into vanilla butter.
Turning Overwhipped Cream into Vanilla Butter
If you have overwhipped Chantilly cream, you can still do something with it: Make vanilla butter! It’s my favorite thing to do with overwhipped cream (also maybe the only thing…).
Continue whisking the heavy cream until the butter has fully separated from the buttermilk. This only takes another couple minutes of whisking. You can drain some of the buttermilk if it splashes and makes a mess while you’re whisking (it does for me).
Once the butter clumps around the whisk, pour out the buttermilk completely and rinse the butter thoroughly in ice cold water. Shape the butter, then remove from the water and place in an airtight container. Store in the fridge for up to two weeks.
FAQs about Homemade Whipped Cream with Vanilla
If you dip a whisk or beater in the whipped cream and then flip it upside down, a properly whipped cream will stick straight up.
Keep a close eye on the cream as you whip it. Once the cream starts taking on texture, you’re getting close to overwhipping it.
Two Tablespoons is the perfect amount for me, but you can use one Tablespoon more or less if you like.
This recipe held its shape for a week in the fridge in an airtight container on top of mini pumpkin pies. For best results, pipe the whipped cream immediately after making it, and plan to consume the baked good with it in two to three days.
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Dish Cleanup: Piece of Cake
I rate my recipe cleanups on a scale of 1 to 5. 1 is only a handful of dishes, and 5 is everything including the kitchen sink.
My vanilla whipped cream recipe has a cleanup rating of a 1. There’s a larger bowl, a measuring cup, a whisk, and two measuring spoons. That’s it! Everything rinses off easily in warm water if you can get to quickly. Otherwise, I recommend throwing the bowls and measuring cup in the dishwasher.
Vanilla Whipped Cream Recipe
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream (240 ml)
- 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar (30 g)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (recommended for best flavor; extract also works) (15 ml)
- Place a medium bowl and a whisk (or beater attachments) in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to chill.
- Pour heavy cream into the chilled bowl and whisk by hand or with an electric mixer until frothy, about one minute.
- Add in powdered sugar and vanilla, then continue whisking for another 3-5 minutes until the cream forms soft peaks on the beaters. (This is characterized by a point that droops instead of sticking straight up.) Please note: It's very easy to accidentally whisk this into butter at this point; whisk sparingly from this point on.
- Whisk for a few more seconds (about 10 seconds with an electric mixer and around 20 seconds by hand), just until the cream is still very smooth but reaches stiff peaks and sticks straight up off the whisk. It will not get stiffer than this, so stop whisking to prevent overwhipping.
- Troubleshooting: If the whipped cream starts to look less smooth and a little lumpy, stop whisking immediately. The fat has started to separate. You can leave it and use it as is, or fold in a splash of cold heavy cream with a spatula. If it doesn't improve, just leave it. Stirring it more in an attempt to fix it will likely render it overwhipped.*
- Dollop directly onto baked goods, or transfer to a piping bag fitted with your preferred tip, then pipe as desired. Enjoy!
The powdered sugar helps stabilize the whipped cream. It will hold its shape best when piped on top of baked goods and stored in an airtight container in the fridge (with only the slightest bit of weeping!) within two days.
*If your vanilla whipped cream is heavily overwhipped and very lumpy, you can continue whisking it until it turns into a ball of butter. Rinse well with ice cold water to remove any buttermilk, then shape and store in the fridge. This sweetened vanilla butter is great on sweet rolls or turned into vanilla pie dough!
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Serving Size:1/4 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 110Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 8mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 3gProtein: 1g
The nutrition facts are estimated and may vary based on specific ingredients used.
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