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How to Make Sweetened Whipped Cream

Learn how to make sweetened whipped cream, and you’ll never want store-bought again! It’s a perfect dessert topping and an important part of many dessert recipes!

How to Make Sweetened Whipped Cream

Photo ©mofles via

I firmly believe that once you’ve made homemade whipped cream, there’s no going back to store-bought. Not only is it so much tastier, but it’s also ridiculously easy to make.

There are few things that are as simple and versatile as whipped cream. Use a dollop to top off a dessert, mix it with fruit, use it for a simple cake frosting, or incorporate it into a pie filling.

No matter how you use it, I think you’ll be enamored with it from your very first bite!

Tips for Making Sweetened Whipped Cream

  • It may seem obvious, but make sure your cream is cold before whipping it. I wait to take it out of the refrigerator until I’m ready to use it.
  • While it’s not a requirement, I like to place the bowl and whisk attachment in the refrigerator for 20-60 minutes before I plan to make whipped cream. You want to keep the cream cold while you whip it. If you have a warm kitchen, a cold bowl and whisk will be your friends.
  • It is often recommended to use a metal bowl for whipping cream. That’s because it will stay colder longer than a bowl made of another material. If you have a warm kitchen, this is certainly something worth considering.
  • Make sure your mixing bowl is deep so you don’t make a mess when you start whisking. Start mixing on a lower speed and ramp up as you continue mixing to minimize splatter.
  • While you can certainly use a whisk to make whipped cream by hand, I always go for my handheld mixer. It’s much quicker and less taxing.
  • Whipping cream will essentially double the volume of the cream. So, if you need 2 cups of whipped cream, start with 1 cup of heavy cream. The recipe below yields 2 cups of whipped cream. If you need more or less, simply scale the sugar to the amount of cream you’re using.
  • You can use either granulated sugar or confectioners’ sugar. I have used both, and I prefer confectioners’ sugar. Confectioners’ sugar makes a more stable whipping cream, due to the starch in it. That makes it a good choice if you’re not using the whipped cream immediately.
  • If your cream isn’t whipping, it may have become too warm. Put the bowl in the refrigerator for a few minutes and then try again.
  • It can be easy to over-whip cream. If you’ve over-whipped your whipped cream just a bit, try pouring in a small amount of cream and folding it into the whipped cream. That will likely get you back on track. Of course, if you keep whipping, you’ll end up with butter. While I don’t think you’re likely to let things get that far, just know that if it starts looking grainy and a little greasy, you’re on your way to butter.
  • Adjust the sweetness to your taste. I adjust the amount of sugar depending on how I’m going to use the whipped cream. If it’s going to top off something that’s already pretty sweet, then I dial it down a bit. The best way to know if your whipped cream is appropriately sweetened is to taste it. Now, there’s the perfect excuse to swipe a bit off the whisk and give it a try!
  • In most cases, I recommend using the whipped cream as soon as it’s made, although it should keep well for a few hours or even a day or so, especially if it’s made with confectioners’ sugar. Just keep in mind that it will break down over time. If you aren’t using it immediately, cover it and refrigerate.
  • Try different flavors in your sweetened whipped cream. I routinely add vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste. But, don’t stop there. Try other extracts, cocoa powder, honey, lemon juice, cinnamon, or a liqueur. Start with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon per 1 cup of cream and go from there. Remember you can always add more, but you can’t take away what’s already been added.

What Kind of Cream to Use for Whipped Cream

Choosing the cream for your homemade sweetened whipped cream is all about the fat content. As a general rule, you can use heavy cream, heavy whipping cream, or whipping cream. However, those don’t all have the same milk fat content, so you’ll get different results.

A milk fat content of at least 30% is best. Light cream, half-and-half, and other products with low milk fat contents just won’t work nearly as well or sometimes not work at all.

In particular, whipping cream (without the word “heavy” in front of it) has less milk fat (about 30%) content and will make a softer, lighter whipped cream.

My preference is to use heavy cream or heavy whipping cream, which both have about 36% milk fat. They tend to whip into a thicker, sturdier whipped cream that just seems to work better in my opinion.

How to Use Sweetened Whipped Cream

Oh, the possibilities are endless! I love to add a dollop of it on top of so many desserts. In fact, I usually prefer it to ice cream for topping cakes, fruit crisps, and pies.

You’ll also find that whipped cream (often without the sugar) is a component in a lot of chilled pies and no-bake cheesecakes.

Sweetened whipped cream can also be used as a simple “frosting” for cheesecakes, cakes, and more. I think you’ll find that it’s wonderfully versatile!

Sweetened Whipped Cream

Yield 2 cups
Prep Time 5 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Once you've mastered homemade whipped cream, you'll never use store-bought again!

How to Make Sweetened Whipped Cream


  • 1 cup cream*
  • 2-3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar or granulated sugar**
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)


  1. Place the cream in a large, cold mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the cream until it begins to thicken. Start at medium-low speed and work your way up to medium-high speed over a minute or so to minimize splatters.
  2. Sprinkle the desired amount of sugar over the cream. Continue whisking until combined. Add the vanilla, if using.
  3. Continue beating until you achieve the desired consistency. For soft peaks, the cream should fold over when the whisk is lifted out of the cream. For medium peaks, the tip of the peak should curve downward. For firm peaks, the peak should remain straight up.


*You can use heavy cream, heavy whipping cream, or whipping cream. My preference is to use heavy cream or heavy whipping cream, as they tend to hold up better when whipped.

**Confectioners' sugar will make a more stable whipped cream.

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    7 Comments on “How to Make Sweetened Whipped Cream”

  1. My mom always used to make homemade whipped cream as “icing” for our birthday cakes so it has a certain nostalgia for me. Love it!

  2. I love making whipped cream. There really is no comparison!

  3. I don’t have a whisk attachment, can I use a regular beater attachment that comes with my kitchenaid?

  4. I enjoy reading your articles!. They are very informative and I always learn something new. You have helped me become a better baker. Love you recipes too!

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