Stabilized whipped cream is a quick & easy recipe for making a whipped cream suitable for cakes, pies, and pastries - it won't split & weep!
If you’ve ever wondered how bakeries,, and grocery stores manage to display items with perfect whipped cream accents for a long time, I’ll let you in on a little secret:
Those perfect cream puffs that hold their shape without flattening or liquifying? They’re not filled with basic whipped cream, they’re filled with stabilized whipped cream!
The general concept is one of the first things that pastry chefs learn in school. There are many different ways to do it - and different whipped cream stabilizers that can be used - it’s all a matter of personal preference.
Using Stabilized Whipped Cream
In the end - with just a little tweak - you end up with a whipped cream that can not only be used for as the perfect topping for pies that you intend to serve later (perfect for bringing to Thanksgiving dinners, etc!), but a stabilized whipped cream frosting for cake decorating.
It is particularly nice with lighter cakes, and with fruit.
This stabilized gelatin whipped cream can be used as a filling, frosting, and as a piping whipped cream for decorating - just be sure to keep the cake chilled!
Aside from cake use and as a pie topping, it’s my favorite way to accent a fruit bowl. Dollop some on top of a bowl of cut fruits, and you have a onw of my favorite desserts to serve on a hot summer day!
So put down the tub of Cool Whip, and I’ll show you how to make this!
What is Stabilized Whipped Cream?
Stable whipped cream frosting is a whipped cream that has been fortified with one or more ingredients during the whipping process.
There are slightly different methods and different ingredients that can be used, but they all aim to achieve the same goal - strengthening the structure of a whipped cream, to extend its “life”.
Whipped cream is what you get when you beat a lot of air into a high butterfat cream - I use 35%, but you can go as low as 30%.
The fat creates a structure - kind of a web - around the air, trapping bubbles of air and forming the foamy structure of whipped cream.
The higher the fat content of the whipped cream you use, the easier it will whip up, and the stronger this structure will be.
With stabilized whipped cream, other ingredients are added, binding with the fat molecules to give more strength to the structure.
This can be anything from a small amount of cornstarch, xanthan gym, meringue powder, milk powder, or even instant pudding mix (usually vanilla pudding mix), to melted cream cheese and/or sour cream.
After trying different versions back in the day, this is the stabilized whipped cream recipe that I stick with - stabilized whipped cream with gelatin.
This is an incredibly easy recipe to make, with a simple ingredient list, readily found in most grocery stores.
Here are the basic ingredients you’ll need:
- Unflavored gelatin powder. This is the “secret ingredient” - it not only protects against the weeping, but it helps the whipped cream hold its shape to be used for cake decorating, etc. I use Unflavored Beef Gelatin Powder, but Knox Gelatin Powder works great as well. You can find this in the baking aisle.
- Heavy whipping cream, AKA Heavy Cream or Whipping Cream. Aim for a 35% fat content if possible.
- Icing sugar, AKA powdered sugar, confectioner’s sugar / confectioners’ sugar. This adds a little more to the structure, and brings a delicate sweetness.
- Flavor extract. You can use whatever you want for this - I love it with a little almond extract - but vanilla extract is the usual choice.
How to Stabilize Whipped Cream
The full recipe follows in the recipe card at the end of this post, this is a pictorial overview for the technique, with some additional tips and info.
Sprinkle gelatin over the cold water in a small bowl and let it absorb for five minutes.
Once mixed, whip on high speed until soft peaks start to form, then stop whipping.
Fold cooled gelatin mixture into the cream mixture, then whip until stiff peaks form.
Tips and Tricks
- If you’re putting this on something that starts out hot but is meant to be served cool (like cooked puddings), let the item cool down before piping or spooning the whipped cream on top.
- Pro tip: cold whipping cream will whip up a lot easier and nicer than room temperature cream. For best results, chill your whisk/beaters AND use cold cream.
- Soft peak stage is when it’s whipped up and looks like a very soft whipped cream, stiff / firm peaks are when you can take the whisk out, turn it upside down, and the “peak” doesn’t flop over.
- If your powdered sugar has any small lumps in it, you’ll want to sift it into the mixing bowl, rather than measuring it straight in.
- Once whipped, this - or anything it’s used on - should be stored covered or in an airtight container in the fridge. It’s still a dairy product - so you don’t want to keep it at room temperature for long.
Additionally, the structure makes it prone to pick up unwanted flavors from other items in your fridge. You’ve gotta keep it separated! 🙂
- To make an alcoholic whipped cream, add a small amount of your favourite spirit or liqueur AFTER the final whipping, to taste.
Stabilized Whipped Cream FAQ
Why does my whip cream always go liquid?
Whipped cream will liquify if nothing has been added to fortify the structure that surrounds the air bubbles that have been beat into the whipped cream.
Does stabilized whipped cream taste different?
Stabilised whipped cream is slightly sweeter than plain whipped cream, and will have flavour from whatever you add to it.
If you normally add vanilla to your whipped cream, then the slight sweetness of this recipe will be the only difference you’ll taste.
Does stabilized whipped cream melt?
Well, yes and no.
It won’t melt in the fridge, or when left out at room temperature... but if it gets too hot, it will absolutely melt. Not only is the fat structure heat-sensitive, but so is gelatin.
How long will stabilized whipped cream last?
Stabilized whipped cream is generally good for 4-5 days, in my experience. Definitely keep it - and anything frosted/filled with it - in the fridge, though.
Can you freeze stabilized whipped cream?
Yes! Put it in an airtight container, with plastic film pressed closely to the surface of the whipped cream. You’ll want to prevent air from touching the whipped cream, as much as possible.
It’ll keep for up to 3 months in the freezer, when packaged appropriately.
How far ahead of time can you whip cream?
If you’re not stabilizing it, you can whip your cream an hour or so ahead of time if needed ... but deflation starts almost immediately.
For best results, make stabilized whipped cream. You can whip stabilized cream several days ahead of time, so it’s ready to use when you need it!
More Cake Recipes!
Looking for more ridiculously delicious cake recipes? As the "Evil Cake Overlord", I've got you covered! (Ps: Check out my instructions for making Marshmallow Fondant, as well!)
Bundt, Sheet, & Upside Down Cakes
Bananas Foster Upside Down Cake
Brandied Apple Upside Down Cake
Deep N Delicious Cake
French Martini Bundt Cake
French Martini Upside Down Cake
Mango Mojito Upside Down Cake
Pina Colada Bundt Cake
Strawberry Mango Marble Cake
Share the Love!
Also, be sure to subscribe to my free monthly email newsletter, so you never miss out on any of my nonsense. Well, the published nonsense, anyway!
Finally, if you love this recipe, please consider leaving a star rating and/or a comment below!
Stabilized Whipped Cream
- 2 teaspoon Unflavored gelatin powder
- 3 tablespoon Cold Water
- 2 cups Heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup Confectioners / Icing / Powdered Sugar
- ½ - 1 teaspoon Flavor extract
- Sprinkle gelatin over the cold water in a small bowl and let it absorb for five minutes.
- Combine heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and flavor extract in a mixing bowl. Whip until soft peaks start to form.
- Transfer gelatin mixture to the microwave. Heat in 10 second increments until the gelatin dissolves into the water.
- Fold gelatin mixture to cream mixture, then whip until stiff peaks form.