firm whipping cream


When making whipped cream, it always turns out a little sluggish. How can I improve the outcome and make it a little firmer. I am using whip it, but it just does not seem to get the job done.
I am thankful for all advise I can get!!

badge posted by: abeal on July 27, 2011 at 11:04 am in Q & A
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reply by: --jej on July 27, 2011 at 11:35 am

Heidi, I grew up on a dairy farm, and of course, whipped cream was guilty of topping chocolate cake, gingerbread, and several other things at our table. (Thank goodness, there were enough chores for all 6 of us to keep that cream off our hips!!! LOL)

Now, I don't recall it's ever being really firm. The thing was, if whipped too long, it became butter. I think of it in terms of 'dollops' which can settle a little. I know there are recipes for extending the life of whipped cream, but I've not used them. I think some may even use gelatin in some manner, which would add more body. Maybe you can scour the web for additions you can use; I saw one in a Martha Stewart magazine once, but didn't keep it. It looked like it could be worthwhile trying at least once.

Maybe you could see what additions Ready-Whip uses. They say it is real whipped cream, but I don't know if they add anything other than gases to make it 'stand up.' I think it doesn't hold its shape for long, though.

Good luck in your quest. I'm sure some of the folks here will give you some other ideas.

reply by: swirth on July 27, 2011 at 11:52 am

Here are some tips I saved from the oldBakingCircle that should help you:

RLB Cake Bible, page 255

2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
8 ounces heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Refrigerate the bowl and beater for at least 15 minutes. The cornstarch mixture must not be warm when added to the cream. The cream must be cold when beaten. Do not overbeat. In a small saucepan place powdered sugar and cornstarch adn gradually stir in 2 ounces of the cream. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and simmer for just a few seconed (until the liquid is thickened). Scrape into a small bowl and col to room temperature. Add vanilla. Beat in the remaining 6 ounces craem, just until traces of the beater marks begin to show distinctly. Add the cornstarth misture in a steady stream, beating constantly. Beat just until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised.

2 cups. Store up to 24 hours refrigerated.

Whipped Cream-Quart

1 qt. heavy cream
1 cup sugar
1 envelope gelatin
1/3 cup water
vanilla to taste (I use about 3 drops)

Dissolve gelatin in cold water, stir. Heat until gelatin dissolves; remove from heat.

Begin whipping cream and vanilla, adding sugar slowly. Increase speed and whip until almost ready. Fold cream from bottom. Begin beater again then slowly add gelatin. Fold from bottom one more time, then give it a last quick whip. Don't add gelatin too quickly or you'll have globs as it hits the cold cream.

I would use the highest percent you can find, in my local stores it's called heavy cream or whipping cream.

To stabilize: Combine 1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin and 4 teaspoons cold water in a saucepan. Let stand until thickened. Place over low heat, stirring constantly, just until gelatin dissolves. Remove from heat and cool, but do not let it set. Whip 1 cup heavy or whipping cream, sugar to taste and 1/2 tsp. vanilla, if desired, until slightly thickened. Continue beating at a low speed while gradually add the gelatin to the cream mixture. Then whip at high speed until stiff.

I may find more 'recipes' but these will get you started.

reply by: carolinorygun on July 27, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Also, if your cream is "reluctant" to whip, look for heavy whipping cream that has not been ultra-pasteurized. Ultra-pasteurized cream does not whip as well.


reply by: swirth on July 27, 2011 at 3:04 pm

I, too, grew up on a dairy farm, 160A and we milked Jersey and Guernsey cows. I was even born on that old farm; didn't have hospitals nearby til a year or so later.

Dad's butterfat was the highest of any producer selling to the up the road Prairie Farms Dairy so he always got a little 'premium' in pay for such a high butterfat.

Our milk was at least, if not more than, one half cream as it sat in the jugs or pitchers in the refrigerator. It was so high in butterfat that we had problems with whipping it many times. We used to laugh that we didn't want to jiggle the milk jug around getting it over to the house because it would turn to butter before we got there and that is what it did many times when we tried to whip it...just turned to butter and we were outta luck on the whipped cream for that occasion.

As much cream as we used it is a sheer wonder we didn't die from clogged arteries but we all worked so hard that I guess we worked off the 'bad-ness' was almost 20 hour days many days of the year keeping that old dairy farm running and I always add that it was a 'no boy' dairy farm so I got quite a lot of exercise for a girl.

Gotta love good old Jersey and Guernsey milk!

reply by: LoveVT on July 27, 2011 at 4:22 pm

This takes me back. Grew up on a farm... not a large dairy farm, but one that had these cows. Oh the cream with fresh PA. peaches for breakfast was heaven. :)

reply by: --jej on July 28, 2011 at 3:02 am

Just have to add: Our cows were Holsteins, those lovely blotchy black and white ones! Maternal grandparents had Guernseys... We drank our raw milk on the farm, of course, and ugh! When we went to school and had to start drinking that awful pasteurized stuff!! Yuck and double Yuck!! What memories!!

reply by: mumpy on July 28, 2011 at 3:22 pm

this is called 'stabilized whipped cream' and it's a bit firmer than you can get cream just by whipping....i often use it (double batch) as frosting for a cake:

1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1 TABLESPOON cold water
1 cup heavy cream
2 TABLESPOONS confectioner's sugar
1/2 to 1 teaspoon vanilla or flavor of choice

Soften gelatin in water for 5 minutes, then heat slowly till gleatin melts (I do this in the microwave - it only takes seconds).
Whisk gelatin/water into cream till well combined; chill for a minimum of one hour.
Add sugar and flavoring; whip till thick and cream holds its shape. This frosting will thicken more when refrigerated.

reply by: omaria on July 28, 2011 at 10:43 pm

Just have to save this on my page, so here is my story. I was born in Holland in a little town on the river IJssel. So our cows were Rood-Bont IJsselvee.Reddish brown cows with white and/or black spots.

reply by: KingBill on July 29, 2011 at 3:39 am

If you're using it for topping (vs. layered in a cake or something like that), I'd urge you to not worry about it being a bit 'sluggish'. The best whipped cream for topping purposes seems that way compared to the highly engineered stuff that we call "whipped cream" today (such as, shudder, from an aerosol can). I've had many folks look a bit skeptical at my whipped cream and 30 seconds later be gushing over it due to it's great mouth feel and flavor which was not sacrificed for "stiff peaks that keep for weeks".

Gelatin and other thickeners for this purpose are cheating and destroy the mouth feel (and, slightly, the flavor).

Get PURE heavy (whipping) cream (it's not always easy to find - but it seems organic brands qualify more often) - NO guar gum or carrageenan! Look at the ingredients list (it should contain ONLY "heavy cream" or "cream").

Put the beaters and the mixing bowls in the freezer in advance and make sure to have an frozen ice cube tray or equivalent available in advance.

Just before serving, slip into the kitchen (trust me, this takes about 90 or 120 seconds after you've done it a couple times).

Use two nested bowls with the gap between the bottom and top bowl filled with ice cubes/chips and water (as much ice as possible, water to fill the open space and efficiently conduct heat from the inner bowl to the ice). Whip the cream in the inner bowl (use an electric mixer - no points are awarded for manual labor!). Taste early and often to get the vanilla and sugar ratios right - IMHO, usually you need less sugar than you think and more vanilla than you think (but it's much easier to add than remove!). With the additional cooling, you can get a pretty stiff whipped cream w/o ending up with butter (personally I usually stop at the soft peak stage but tastes vary).

reply by: --jej on July 29, 2011 at 4:51 am

Good suggestions, KingBill. I don't know if others would have small dairies about, but a few years ago, I used to visit one in the country near us. I bought heavy cream by the quart a couple of times. What joy! I'd forgotten about them...

reply by: mumpy on July 30, 2011 at 10:28 am

i agree with much of what you posted, like using pure cream and chilling everything, but i have doubts about gelatin qualifying as 'cheating'...we all use things that assist in achieving the results we need - things like diastatic malt in lean breads - and sometimes it's just necessary to prepare things in advance...the gelatin does make a difference when the whipped cream can't be left till the last minute, and i think the difference in taste is barely noticeable.
and yes, the stuff in spray cans is shudder-worthy!

reply by: SusanReid on August 06, 2011 at 9:53 pm

Heidi: Depending on what I'm doing, I have a few tricks up my sleeve I can share with you. I often need to pipe whipped cream that will stay put long enough to be photographed. If you're doing anything that can pair with coconut, our coconut milk powder is a great whipped cream stabilizer without bringing a lot of cornstarchy mouthfeel to the party. It's got a lot of fat in it anyhow, so it meshes nicely with the cream. I whisk it through a strainer with a bit of sugar and add it to the cream after it's started to thicken in the mixer.

My other weapon is a teeny, tiny bit of Instant ClearJel (say, 1/2 teaspoon to a cup of heavy cream), combined with a tablespoon of superfine granulated sugar. Don't add it until the cream has reached soft peak stage. Once it's in, the cream will thicken noticeably; let the beaters on the mixer go around 4 or 5 times after you've added it and then cease and desist.

Either of these will give you a whipped cream that's firm enough to use as a filling in a cake, or tat can be piped and hold its shape.

Susan Reid, editor, The Baking Sheet

reply by: frick on August 08, 2011 at 6:53 pm

I've never added stabilizers before but this is great info. Putting it in "My Discussions".

reply by: swirth on September 06, 2011 at 8:33 am

Bringing up this thread which has Susan Reid's ClearJel instructions for whipped cream stabilizing.

reply by: --jej on September 06, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Now, this is a mystery to me!!! I can see where one can click on "My Discussions" -- but I'll be hanged if I can figure out how to find them then, when one needs them. I'm up a tree!! Would appreciate a bit of help here.

And thanks~~~

reply by: Mrs Cindy on September 06, 2011 at 10:15 pm
Mrs Cindy

Adding this to my discussions. Really useful information


reply by: uninvited-guest on September 06, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Great ideas... you never know when you will need to pull this info out!

reply by: swirth on September 07, 2011 at 7:32 am

jej...if you click on My Discussions it will bring up a page (or more) of the threads you've participated with the most recent first. Just click on a thread title and you'll see the whole thread and can find what you posted. It will show if there are new posts to the thread with a 'red' word 'updated' and sometimes you'll see '1 new' or '2 new' etc., and if you click on the '1 new' etc., it will pull up that thread right to that position of the 'new' post.

Kinda hard to explain but very easy to follow thru.

Hope that helps you to find your Discussions.