A while back, I posted a photo to Facebook of homemade Lemon Vanilla Pound Cake (recipe from Ina Garten’s “Back to Basics” cookbook), fresh strawberries and my first-ever homemade whipped cream. I got many responses from my friends “oohing and ahing” over the dessert, but the one response I wasn’t expecting was the plethora of “I make my own whipped cream all the time.”

It seems everyone except me has been making fresh whipped cream forever. Now I know why. It’s easy and it tastes so good. It’s also less expensive than buying the canned version.

If you’re one of the seemingly few people who has never made your own whipped cream, here’s how to do it yourself:


  • 8-ounce container of heavy whipping cream, organic or from a trusted dairy if possible
  • 2-3 tablespoons powdered sugar, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla, optional
  1. Place a metal or glass bowl and the beaters you’ll be using in the refrigerator for one hour or freezer for 20 minutes before making the whipped cream. According to one of my friends who went to culinary school, this isn’t absolutely necessary. It does help get the job done faster and your whipped cream will be colder.
  2. Put the cream in the bowl and beat on medium speed until soft peaks begin to form.
  3. Add the sugar and vanilla (if using), and continue to beat until peaks are well formed and stay put when you take the beaters out of the bowl, but go no further. If you beat it any longer, you will start to make butter.
  4. Serve immediately or chill until needed.
My notes
  • The sugar and vanilla aren’t necessary, but if you’re used to canned whipped cream, unsweetened will be a big change.
  • The real test for this was my boys. They loved it. I rarely buy whipped cream because they tend to gravitate toward the can in the fridge and I find them shooting it in each other’s mouths. (This takes care of that problem, too.)
  • You can use a stand mixer or a hand mixer to whip cream. If you have neither of those, a good, cold wire whisk can be used, too, and your arm will get a good workout.
So tell me. Do you make your own whipped cream? Sugar or no sugar? And, do you ever flavor it with chocolate, spices or liqueur?

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

DIY: Whipped cream
It’s easy, it tastes good and it's less expensive than the canned version.