How to Make Stabilized Whipped Cream

Have you ever wondered how professional bakeries get that amazing, perfectly shaped whipped cream on their fancy desserts?  The kind where you think it’s frosting, but then you take one bite into it and realize it’s the most perfectly light, whippy, fresh cream?  Chances are it’s just stabilized whipped cream.  With the holiday season approaching, this is one little trick you need in your cooking arsenal.  This method produces the perfect whipped cream that you love, but with a stabilizing agent, which means that it won’t fall flat or melt or get all goopy if it sits around for a while.  If I’m taking dessert somewhere, or I know it’s going to sit in my fridge or on the counter for a bit, I always use this method.  I also use this method to frost cakes and cupcakes when I want something lighter than a traditional heavy buttercream.  

Decorative Whipped Cream

This is what I used on my Orange-Cranberry Cheesecake last week.   There are a few options you can find for stabilizing whipped cream, like adding instant pudding mix, but I don’t recommend those.  If  you want pure, white, delicious whipped cream that tastes like normal whipped cream, go with this method.  It starts with most of the same ingredients as regular whipped cream.

stabilized whipped cream ingredients

The little secret is a bit of unflavored gelatin.  This won’t change the flavor or really the texture either, it simply provides some staying power.  Sprinkle a teaspoon of gelatin over some cold water.  If you’ve never worked with unflavored gelatin, it might seem weird, but it’s normal!  You need to let this mixture sit for about 5 minutes to “bloom”.  It will be thick and semi-solid.

blooming gelatine

Once it’s done blooming, you’ll heat it in the microwave just until melted.  It only takes about 5-10 seconds, no need to boil it.  Just whisk it until smooth.  (Cutest-ever heart whisks from our Shop!)

how to bloom gelatin

I recommend you do this in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment.  If you don’t have a stand mixer, use a hand mixer. Place the heavy cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar in the mixer and beat for about a minute. 

whipped cream ingredients

Then very slowly add the gelatin in a smooth, steady stream, as the mixer is running.  Continue beating as normal until you reach medium-stiff peaks.

Stabilized Whipped Cream by Our Best Bites

At this point, just use the whipped cream as you normally would.  It works really well for spreading and piping.  Like I said, I love this on cupcakes!  As it sits in the fridge, it will set up a little more, and it will last significantly longer than regular whipped cream.

Decorated Fall Cheesecake

 

I hope to see this on lots of beautiful pies this holiday season!

 

 

Stabilized Whipped Cream

Prep Time 10 min Total Time 10 mins

A method of making bakery style whipped cream that doesn't fall or melt. Great for piping onto desserts or even icing cakes and cupcakes. Double if desired.

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (like Knox, found near Jell-o in the baking aisle)
  • 4 teaspoons cold water
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (more or less to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Place cold water in small bowl and sprinkle gelatin over it. Let sit for 5 minutes. While it's sitting, place heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment or in a mixing bowl if using an electric beater. Once gelatin is set, place bowl in microwave and heat until gelatin turns to liquid, about 10 seconds.
  2. Turn mixer on to start beating cream. Let it run for about 1 minute and then with the mixer on high, very slowly pour the melted gelatin in, in a small steady stream.
  3. Continue beating cream until you reach medium-stiff peaks. Spread or pipe whipped cream as desired.

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91 comments

  1. I can’t wait to try this! How long do you think this will “last”? I make a chocolate truffle pie with a top layer of whipped cream and am wondering if I could do this a full day before Thanksgiving and the whipped cream would still look good the next day (or even the day after, if we’re lucky enough to have leftovers).

  2. Once I was in a bind looking for a stabilized whipped cream solution, and had no gelatin. The other option I found was cream of tartar. Bad idea! Don’t do it!

      1. I always have really great luck with cream of tartar as a stabilizer. My grandma taught me to use 1/8 teaspoon in the cream to help it hold. Sorry it didn’t work for you.

  3. I’m totally using this for cupcakes! Question- for your banana cream pie recipe you guys recommend making it a day in advance but you don’t use stabilized whip cream for the topping. Does it end up being watery? Do you think I should top it with this instead or does it come out ok the next day using the non-stabilized whipped cream?

  4. Genius! I’m not on pie duty for Thanksgiving. I’ll probably just give myself an assignment for a pie at home. Haha!

  5. Hi , I have tried a few different methods to stabilize whipped cream, including one using gelatin.
    Also, there is a product called “Whip It” (I think) that will do this. But the method I like the best is using cornstarch. You put a little cornstarch (1 tsp) with a little confectioner’s sugar ( 1 T) in a saucepan. Then you blend in 1/4 cup heavy cream. Cook it until it just starts to thicken. Then add a little vanilla. When it cools, gradually add it to 3/4 cup of heavy cream as you are whipping. it. I like the texture of this cream much better that the gelatin-stabilized whipped cream, which I find a bit spongy. Probably most would not notice the difference, though.

    1. What a great idea and less expensive than gelatin, plus should be okay for vegetarians. I wonder if it could be done in the microwave, little by little?

  6. Gelatin makes it no longer vegetarian. Sucks. Dang. Sad to hear this is what restaurants probably are using. 🙁

    1. That is true but I have another tip I learned by mistake! If you don’t have a ban on alcohol that is. YEP I was making cream puffs and wanted a rum raisin flavor. I used powdered sugar as usual and then to give it a bite I added little rum…like one cap full. I was so surprised when it just stayed and stayed! No animals were hurt in the process hahahah

  7. I’ve used a bit of honey as well, to prevent separation if I have some leftovers I want to keep overnight (who does that?!), but I’ll try this next time I want dimensional whipped cream goodness. = )

  8. I am so glad you posted this! I have always wondered how to make it so it is not so runny! Great idea!

  9. Thank you for this. I’ve always wondered how this was done and this is a perfectly times post with the holidays fast approaching. Thank you!!

  10. Will this work in a CO2 creamer? And if so, what will the time of use period be? Don’t want it to set in the creamer!

    1. I tried it last tuesday with cocoa powder and whipped cream and until now the texture and the taste of the frosting is still the same nothing change

  11. This sounds great. Unfortunately, my daughter is a vegetarian and won’t eat anything with gelatin. Is there another alternative you can recommend?

  12. I could have used this last week! I made a coconut cream pie for a church supper and didn’t want the whipped cream to wilt, so I left it to the last minute. Then I forgot I needed to whip it…and the pie ended up covered in Cool Whip! I’ll make this next time!

  13. How long will this hold once outside the fridge? I want to use this for making cupcakes. But the cupcakes will be outside of frigde for at least 3 hours. Do u think it will start to droop by then?

  14. Thanks for the wonderful tip. Hate when whipped cream gets all wilty. In hot, HUMID Florida that can happen in seconds. Have to tell you a funny story. My mom was a stupendous cook & would make goodies for the 2 boys who lived behind them. One day the 10 year old called & asked if she had some whipped cream. Curious, my mom asked what he was going to put it on (since his mom didn’t cook or bake). He said “my friend is here & I was telling him you make REAL whipped cream & now he wants to try it”. He was used to having only the stuff from a can. HAHAHAHA Of course, then she quickly fixed something for him to put the REAL whipped cream on 🙂 When I think of whipped cream I always think of this story.

    Tavette – S. Fla.

  15. Would stabilized whipped cream be a good option for an icebox cake? I have one in the planning phase, but the only pan available is a loaf pan, and I’m worried about turning it out and transporting it anywhere.

  16. So good to know! Thanks for the tip! Also, have you ever tried whipped ganache? I had never heard of it till one of my YW brought it to Night of Excellence a couple weeks ago. She used it as frosting and it. was. so. good!!!!!! It was like chocolate mousse. I’m not sure on the proportions they used, but it was basically chilled ganache that was whipped. It held up very well! So good! I would eat it plain any day!

  17. This I need to try. One of the chefs I’ve been watching on utube uses sour cream believe it or not. Check it out, his name is Bruno Albouze. For 2.5 cups of whipping cream he will use 4 Tbs of sour cream. that’s it, never tried it myself though but you can watch him preparing it in the video.
    Thank you for sharing this precious info.. I was really looking for a was to stabilize the whipping cream.

  18. For some reason I can’t see the rest of the comments. My whipped cream is coming out a little lumpy/grainy. Any thoughts? Thanks!

  19. So glad I found this! I do need a little help though… I am needing to decorate in advance and have frozen buttercream frosted cakes without issue. Does this recipe freeze and thaw well after decorated? Also I need to make it orange.. Could I use orange jello mix in place of the gelatin and powdered sugar?

    1. For the flavor, you’ll want to still use unflavored gelatin and just add extract and food coloring. You should however be able to freeze it no problem.

  20. Hi and Thank You! This looks great! Would you please tell me what you used for the sugar coated “berries” shown in the last photo. They look so pretty.

  21. If you double the recipe, or more, do you have to double the amount of gelatin as well to accommodate the larger volume? Sorry if this is a dumb question, I just always have a difficult time with stabilized whipped cream! Thank you so much!

  22. This tip is great! I tried this recipe just for experiment. My whipped cream flowers have been standing for 3 days and the shape have not changed a bit!

  23. I made this recipe recently to ice a cake and it was great. Now, I’d like to do it again but attach an edible image/sugar sheet to the stabilized whipped cream after the whipped cream icing has been applied. Could you give me some parameters for that? Should the cake be freshly frosted or can I frost done hours ahead of applying the image? Should the image be applied immediately before serving or can it be applied a few hours ahead? I have information on applying it to buttercream and to non-stable whipped cream, but none for a stable whipped cream.

    1. Hi, have you used the image/sugar sheet on this icing yet? I was wondering how it worked if you did. Thanks.

  24. I’m making a strawberry shortcake, how do I adjust using the gelatin to a quart of heavy whipping cream

  25. I have a birthday party coming up and mother wants whipped icing but it’s going to be outside in 90\100 degrees weather will this hold up? I won’t have a cooler or frig either.

  26. I have used powdered milk added to the whipping cream to stabilize, worked well for me and so much easier.

    1. I have been told to use skim or non-fat powdered milk but only have full cream milk powder available. Will this work?

  27. Can this be made and stored in the fridge a day in advance, then piped onto the dessert the following day? How would you suggest storing it? Thanks in advance!!

  28. Im using this method for stabilised whipped cream but since i am making a lychee cake im subtituting lychee syrup for watee to bloom the gelatin… Hope thus will work since thw gelatin bloom nicely…

  29. Hi Thanks for this great tip. Would like to make a choc version. How would I incorporate the cocoa? Many thanks in advance Kathy

  30. I was wanting to make a stabilized cream to pipe into cream horns, but I was wanting to make a flavored cream. Will I be okay to add blueberry pie filling/ other flavorings to this? Perhaps more powdered sugar to make up for the extra liquids? Thank you!

    1. I have used banana extract in whipped cream and it works great .any flavor of extract would work

  31. I haven’t tried it with gelatin yet but I made whipped cream for my cheesecake & used 1 tbsp piping gel to 2 cups heavy cream. 24 hours later it’s still holding strong.

  32. Hi there, I was reading a comment about the cream becoming grainy after adding the cooled gelatin to it. I had that happen once and it was awful… what I did was put about 2 TBS of cream into the gelatin while it was melting, once it was melted and the cream was combined, I removed it from the heat. I then allowed it to cool, after my heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract was beaten to a slight thickness, I kept the mixer running and slowly poured the gelatin/cream mixture in. It helped a lot in preventing the gelatin from clumping… I think pouring the gelatin in slowly is really the key.. 🙂 hope this helped a little….. now I have to figure out how to prevent it from destabilizing while on a wedding cake that will be out for maybe 3 hours…….

  33. Would this make a good alternative to Cool Whip on Better than Sex cake? (I live in Ireland so I don’t have access to Cool Whip.)

  34. I don’t own a microwave oven. Could I heat the gelatin/water in a small pot until it liquified? Can’t wait to try it.

  35. i made this just the way you described , i tripled the recipe cause i had mad 3 Easter desserts that all needed whipped cream , it was lumpy looked like rice pudding i kept trying to fix it , even adding Whip it also ……finally i sent my daughter out on a hunt looking for more heavy cream , the store had just enough , so i tossed 1st 1 . it happened again still today i cant imagine what i did wrong?

    1. Oh man, that’s so frustrating, Karen- I’m sorry that happened! Whipped cream can become lumpy if your gelatin is added to quickly (it solidifies in little lumps instead of blending nicely into the cream) You do have to add it in a very slow and steady drizzle.

  36. U have been of a great help, always wondered how i could keep my whip cream to last longer. A big thank you. The comments also helped. Am so trying it soon

  37. Can you use this in place of cool whip in a trifle? I’m doing an angel food cake, strawberry and blueberry trifle for July 4th. The recipe calls for cool whip but I’m not a cool whip fan. Could I layer this whipped cream between the layers and have it hold for a day?

    1. Traditional English trifle is made only with real whipped cream (no stabilizer required). It will “hold” for a day 🙂

  38. Do you think this would hold up in an air-conditioned car for about an hour? Either piped out on the cake first or in a bag to be piped at the destination?

  39. Thank you, this recipe worked perfectly the first time. I piped it in a big fat swirl on chocolate cupcakes and topped with chocolate sprinkles and a maraschino cherry–delightful. The leftover cupcakes still looked and tasted great (after refrigeration) several days later. I like the flavor and texture so much better than buttercream or canned frosting.

  40. Made this to frost two tres leches cakes requested by a friend for her thesis defense party. I used 4 cups of cream and 4X everything else in the recipe to compensate. Followed the modifications suggested by Christina L. above (on 3/26/17) i.e. added a bit of cream while melting the gelatin to prevent lumps. I put the gelatin/cream/water mix in a measuring cup so that I could easily pour it in very slowly while whipping the cream. The samples I tried (for quality control, obviously) were not granular like some people describe. I needed stabilized whipped cream so that I could pipe decorations on top of the cake. I colored the whipped cream by using Wilton gel colors to color a small amount (1/2 tsp?) of un-whipped cream, then mixed that with the freshly-whipped cream + gelatin. This resulted in lovely colors, and at least a few hours after making the stabilized whipped cream it’s holding up beautifully! I know regular whipped cream would already have deflated a bit.

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