How to Stabilize Whipped Cream
Learn how to stabilize whipped cream by adding gelatin! Stabilized whipped cream is a must-have recipe for the busy holiday baking season. It’s just as fluffy and light as homemade whipped cream, but doesn’t become soggy.
- Skill Level: Beginner
- Component Used: Basic Whipped Cream
To avoid watery desserts, many professional kitchens use stabilized whipped cream in place of traditional whipped cream. This is the perfect topping for holiday desserts like pumpkin pie, cranberry apple crisp, or French silk pie.
Stabilized whipped cream tastes just like regular homemade whipped cream made with simple ingredients but it holds up for much longer.
Why I like to use stabilized whipped cream
- Holidays are busy enough without making fresh whipped cream right before serving. Stabilized whipped cream can be made several days in advance to simplify the process of making and serving holiday desserts.
- Homemade whipped cream has a tendency to weep the longer it sits out. By stabilizing the whipped cream, it stays fluffy and thick for much longer.
STABILIZED WHIPPED CREAM INGREDIENT FUNCTIONS
- Whipping cream or heavy cream is the main structure of the whipped cream. These creams have at least 30% butterfat content which is the minimum amount required to form a foam with the fat globules and the air whipped into the cream.
- Powdered sugar, confectioners’ sugar, or icing sugar sweetens the whipped cream. These finely ground sugars are used because they fully absorb into the cream and result in whipped cream with a smooth texture.
- Unflavored gelatin and water are the secret ingredients to stabilized whipped cream. Melt gelatin into the water to create a thick liquid. This mixture thickens up the whipped cream and helps the whipped cream hold its shape for an extended amount of time.
- Vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste is an optional flavoring, although it is a very traditional flavor for whipped cream.
How to Flavor Whipped Cream
Chocolate Whipped Cream: Add 10 grams (2 tablespoons) cocoa powder in with the cream.
Almond Whipped Cream: Add ½ teaspoon almond extract in with the cream.
Cinnamon Whipped Cream: Add 1 teaspoon cinnamon in with the cream.
Espresso Whipped Cream: Add 1 teaspoon instant espresso in with the cream.
How to Stabilize Whipped Cream
The process of making homemade whipped cream is incredibly easy. For stabilized whipped cream, we add melted gelatin.
Before you Begin
If you’ve ever made a basic whipped cream, you know how important it is that the cream is very cold. If the cream is not cold enough, the crystals cannot form properly around the air bubbles and it will not whip up. I like to keep the cream in the refrigerator right up until I’m ready to use it.
If your kitchen is very warm you may also want to put the mixing bowl and your beaters in the freezer for a few minutes before starting. While whipped cream can be made in virtually any mixing bowl, using a chilled stainless steel bowl is the best way to get stable whipped cream.
Melt the Gelatin
Measure cold water in a microwave-safe bowl or cup and sprinkle the unflavored gelatin powder over the top. Do not stir. Set aside for a few minutes to bloom. Blooming gelatin is the process in which gelatin is hydrated and softened in a cold liquid.
After the gelatin has bloomed, microwave the mixture for 5 seconds to melt. Stir together until the gelatin is fully dissolved. If it’s not fully melted, microwave for another 5 seconds. Stir together once more and set aside to cool slightly. There should not be any visible clumps.
Whip the Cream
Combine the cup of heavy cream, sugar, bloomed gelatin mixture, and vanilla (if using) in the bowl of a stand mixer or large mixing bowl. If the gelatin has started to thicken and clump, microwave it for a few seconds, just until it’s liquid again.
Using the whisk attachment on your stand mixer or hand mixer, begin whipping on low speed and then medium speed until medium peaks begin to form.
Turn the mixer to full speed and whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Pay close attention and stop the mixer as soon as stiff peaks are formed. Refrigerate until ready to use.
How to use Stabilized Whipped Cream
I highly recommend using stabilized whipped cream for any recipe you want to make in advance or if your dessert is going to sit out at room temperature for several hours.
This recipe is a game changer for your favorite desserts, especially for holidays like Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
Why is my whipped cream grainy?
If your stabilized whipped cream feels grainy, bits of gelatin that did not melt that were likely mixed into the cream. Unfortunately, there’s no way to re-melt the gelatin once it’s been mixed into the cream.
It’s important to fully melt the gelatin in the microwave before adding it to the cream. Give it a good stir and if needed, microwave it for a few additional seconds just until it’s liquid.
What if I don’t have gelatin?
There are many different methods for stabilizing whipped cream. I find using gelatin the best way to prevent grittiness in homemade whipped cream.
The different ways to stabilize whipped cream include using cornstarch, cream cheese, milk powder, or even instant pudding mix.
How to Store Stabilized Whipped Cream
Stabilized whipped cream has a longer shelf life than regular whipped cream. For best results, regular homemade whipped cream should be served immediately however, it can be stored in the refrigerator for a day or two.
Whipped cream that has been stabilized can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. You can also go ahead and pipe or top your dessert with the finished whipped cream and put the whole dessert in your fridge for 3-4 days before the whipped cream starts to weep.
If your homemade whipped cream starts to become watery or unstable in the refrigerator, re-whip it using an electric mixer until it’s thickened.
- 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin powder
- 1 tablespoon water, cold
- 235 grams (1 cup, 240 milliliters) heavy cream or whipping cream, cold
- 80 grams (⅔ cup) powdered, confectioners, or icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste, optional
- It is important that the cream is very cold in order for it to whip up properly. If your kitchen is very warm you may want to put the mixing bowl and your beaters in the freezer for a few minutes before starting.
- Sprinkle the gelatin (1 teaspoon) over cold water (1 tablespoon) in a microwavable cup. Set aside for 5 minutes to bloom.
- Microwave the cup for 5 seconds to melt. Stir together until the gelatin is fully dissolved. If it's not fully melted, microwave for another 5 seconds. Stir together once more and set aside to cool slightly.
- Make the whipped cream by whipping the cold heavy cream or whipping cream (235 grams/ 1 cup) with the bloomed gelatin, powdered sugar (80 grams (⅔ cup), and vanilla (1 teaspoon), if using, in the cold bowl of a stand mixer or using a hand mixer and large mixing bowl. Whip until thickened and holding stiff peaks.
- Refrigerate until ready to use.
You can double or triple this recipe to top a taller pie or larger desserts.