How To Make Stabilized Whipped Cream
Stabilized whipped cream holds its shape and stays light and fluffy much longer than regular whipped cream! Use it to decorate cakes, cupcakes, pies, and more.
What Is Stabilized Whipped Cream?
If you’ve been following along for a while, you may recognize this stabilized whipped cream. Originally published in 2018, it quickly became a reader favorite because of how easy it is to whip up. Since it’s been a few years, I decided to give this post a much needed update with more tips and tricks for success!
In essence, this stabilized whipped cream is just whipped cream that’s been stiffened with unflavored gelatin. Regular whipped cream can deflate and become watery after just a few hours. However, whipped cream that’s been stabilized holds its shape and remains fluffy for up to two days.
I highly recommend using this stabilized whipped cream recipe any time you’re decorating a dessert in advance or if you know it will be sitting out at room temperature for a couple of hours!
Ingredients in This Recipe
Making whipped cream with gelatin might sound strange, but I assure you it tastes the exact same as regular whipped cream! Let’s quickly review the ingredients needed:
- Gelatin: This acts as the whipped cream stabilizer. Any brand of gelatin will work fine, just make sure that it’s unflavored. I typically use Knox unflavored gelatin and can usually find it in the baking aisle close to the Jello.
- Water: The gelatin must be sprinkled over a few teaspoons of cold water to hydrate it.
- Heavy whipping cream: Keep the heavy cream in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. Cold heavy cream will whip up faster and fluffier!
- Powdered sugar: Sweetens the whipped cream without making it grainy.
- Vanilla extract: Use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
How to Stabilize Whipped Cream
If you’ve made regular whipped cream before, you can easily make this recipe! There’s just one extra step to stabilizing whipped cream with gelatin. Here’s an overview on how to make it:
- Chill your bowl and beaters: This will ensure that your whipped cream thickens properly.
- Dissolve the gelatin in water: Add cold water to a microwave-safe bowl and sprinkle the unflavored gelatin powder over the top. Let the gelatin sit for 3 to 4 minutes. It should start to dissolve and look wrinkly, like the picture above.
- Heat the gelatin mixture: Place the gelatin mixture in the microwave and heat it for a few seconds. Remove it from the microwave and give it a good stir. If all of the gelatin has not fully dissolved, microwave it for just a few more seconds.
- Cool slightly: Once all of gelatin has fully dissolved, set it aside to cool slightly while you mix together the whipped cream.
- Make the whipped cream: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Whip the mixture just until it begins to thicken and soft peaks form.
- Add the cooled gelatin mixture: With the mixer running, slowly pour the dissolved gelatin mixture into the whipped cream. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until stiff peaks form. This won’t take long, so be careful not to over mix it!
- Use as desired: The stabilized whipped cream can be used as frosting for cakes and cupcakes or to decorate other desserts.
Different Ways To Use It
You can use this stable whipped cream for just about anything you’d like! Pipe it onto cakes as a finishing touch or use it to fill cream puffs. Here are a few recipes where you can use it:
- Banana Cream Pie
- Tres Leches Cake
- Key Lime Pie
- Chocolate Cream Pie
- Strawberry Shortcakes
- Cream Puffs
How Long Can the Whipped Cream Sit Out?
Since this recipe contains fresh dairy, the whipped cream shouldn’t sit out for more than 2 hours. It will stay fluffy and hold its shape the whole time, but after 2 hours it must be refrigerated for food safety reasons.
How Much Does This Recipe Make?
This recipe yields 2 cups of stable whipped cream, which is enough to frost 12 cupcakes, a 9×13-inch cake, or lightly frost a two-layer cake.
- It’s best to chill your bowl and beaters before getting started. This will help your whipped cream thicken up quicker and increase the volume too!
- Let the gelatin sit on the cold water for 3 to 4 minutes. This will allow the gelatin to hydrate and ensure that it completely melts when you heat it in the microwave.
- Once you microwave the water and gelatin, the gelatin should be fully dissolved. If it’s not, microwave it for another 3 to 4 seconds.
- Make sure to let your gelatin cool just slightly before mixing it in, you don’t want it to be too hot when you add it to the bowl.
- Once you make the whipped cream, you can pipe it on your dessert, then refrigerate until you’re ready to serve it. This whipped cream will hold up just fine at room temperature for a couple of hours, but it’s best to keep your dessert refrigerated and avoid leaving it anywhere too warm for too long.
More Frosting Recipes to Try!
- Cream Cheese Frosting
- Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
- Peanut Butter Frosting
- Chocolate Buttercream
- Strawberry Frosting
Stabilized Whipped Cream
- 4 teaspoons cold water
- 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
- 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream (240 ml)
- ¼ cup powdered sugar (30 grams)
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Add the water to a microwave safe bowl and sprinkle the unflavored gelatin on top. Allow to sit for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Transfer the gelatin mixture to the microwave and microwave until the gelatin is fully dissolved, this will just take a few seconds. Stir the mixture, then set aside to cool slightly.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, combine the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Whip the mixture until it starts to thicken and soft peaks form, then turn the mixer to low speed.
- Slowly pour in the gelatin mixture until well combined. Increase the mixer to medium speed and continue mixing until stiff peaks form.
- Pipe the whipped cream on your favorite dessert (or use it to frost it) and refrigerate your dessert until ready to serve.
Thank-you so much for all your tips, so helpful
I can’t wait to try some of these goodies
You’re welcome, Patt. I’d love to hear if you try any recipes! 🙂
I’m doing mini apple pie tarts that need that finishing touch. Think this would be perfect! Have you ever flavored the whippped cream with this?
Hi, Emily! I’m not quite sure what you mean about flavoring the whipped cream?
Like a cinnamon whipped cream or bourbon whipped cream. Just wondering if the ratios would need to change
If you added something like cinnamon, you wouldn’t need to change any ratios. I would try maybe 1/4-1/2 teaspoon and add more if you think it needs it. I think a little bourbon would be fine too as long as you use it sparingly. It’s fine to add extracts or flavor it, just be careful not to add too much liquid otherwise it may not thicken as well.
Thanks so much!
what about chocolate whipping cream?how much cocoa powder and would anything else change?
it looks great i am sure going to be trying it.
You could try adding 1-2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder.
Hello I have a question about adding gel food coloring to this… recommended types?
I haven’t tried adding food coloring to this whipped cream, but I’ve used Wilton gel food coloring for frosting and it works well.
How many days would you say this lasts in the fridge?
It will hold its shape for 3-4 days. I do suggest using it right after you make it for what you need (piping, frosting, etc.). If you just leave it in a bowl and cover it, it will firm up because of the gelatin and be hard to stir and pipe after that.
Thanks so much! Question, do I have to add powdered sugar? Or so much anyway? Was trying for a not sweet whipped cream. Thanks ?
I wouldn’t leave it out completely, but you can start with 1-2 tablespoons and then add more if you think it needs it.
Would it work to use a flavored gelatin to add color instead of food coloring? Was thinking of using raspberry jello to make a pink frosting…
I haven’t tried it, but it may work. I’d love to hear if you do give it a try!
I have a cream whipper (you know, the kind that takes the little nitrogen cartridge). Can I stir the gelatin mixture into my heavy whipping cream, vanilla extract and sweetener, then pour onto the container and pull the trigger for stabilized creamy bliss?
I’ve honestly never used one before, so I’m not quite sure.
I made this recipe, but when I added the gelatin to the cream, the gelatin hardened into small clumps. I was still able to use it (I took out as many of the clumps as I could), but I’m not sure what I did wrong?
Make sure you pour the gelatin in slowly and continue mixing as you’re pouring it in too. That should prevent any clumping 🙂
You can avoid the problem of gelatin not mixing properly by ‘tempering’ it: mix a few tablespoon of cream whipped just past the soft peak stage into the prepared and cooled gelatin, then stir that mixture back into the rest of the whipped cream and continue beating til stiff peaks form.
Officially hooked on stabilized whip! Made it to frost a cake since buttercream is too much for me
So glad you liked the whipped cream, Arielle!
How would it freeze? I mean I want to frost my cake with it but if there leftover cake with whipped cream I want to freeze it … would the whipped cream be ok if frozen?
I’m honestly not sure how well it will freeze. It may be okay, but I haven’t tried it yet.
I’m excited to use this recipe, however I do not have a microwave. Could you suggest an alternative way to heat the gelatin/water mixture?
You could heat it in a small saucepan on the stove top.
Hi I may have missed it in your recipe but do you know how many cupcakes you can swirl pipe with your 1 cup of whipping cream recipe?
It will frost about one dozen cupcakes.
Do you have a suggestion re how many batches might be needed to frost and pipe a 2
2 layer cake? 9” layers.
It kind of depends on how much you need to decorate the cake. For a two-layer cake with 9-inch layers, I use about 4-4.5 cups of buttercream frosting to frost the cake and decorate the top. I would probably double the recipe or multiply by 2.5 so you can have enough. You could always just double it and then make more as needed. Hope that helps!
Hey thanks for this – Cook Illustrated suggestion gelatin as well – thing is I don’t have microwave and never will – can I just add hot water the the gelatin and get the same result?
You do need to let the gelatin bloom by sprinkling it on top of the water first, then you can heat it. If you don’t have a microwave you could add it to a small saucepan on the stovetop.
I had the same clumping problem as another person who commented, but mine started clumping as I heated it. I finally got most of it to heat up enough to blend, but as it cooled even a little it got really sticky and clumpy – any thoughts?
Hi, Caitlin! You might try using a slightly larger bowl for the water so that all of the gelatin touches the water when you sprinkle it on top. I find that if some of the gelatin doesn’t fully touch the water and then I try to heat it, it can cause that to happen. Hope that helps!
Can we add strawberry puree to this to make stable strawberry whipped cream frosting?
I haven’t tried it, but I find that strawberry puree can sometimes curdle frosting so it may do the same thing in this whipped cream. You could use freeze-dried strawberries and blend them up into a powder, then mix it in.
There is a recipe I’m following that has 1 c whipping cream, 1/4 c seedless raspberry preserves and 1 1/2 teaspoons raspberry liquor, (no powdered sugar at all) adding the preserves and liquor at the soft peak stage. If I added the gelatin in at that same time do you think it would work, or will the pectin in the preserves be enough to stabilize the whipping cream?
I’m not sure if the pectin would be enough, but I do think it would be okay to add the gelatin at that stage. Just make sure to pour it in slowly and mix well.
Thanks so much, the cake, including the raspberry whipped cream turned out wonderfully! Tasty too!
So glad to hear that, Sharon!
Wonderful recipe!!! I made this tonight to top my chocolate mayonnaise cake cupcakes and they are the BOMB!! Came out beautifully, piped very well, and set even better. Hubby and kids love it!! Will be using this recipe a lot in the future, thank you!!!
I’m doing a marbled wedding cake that needs the whipped cream frosting. They want a rum flavor in the frosting also. What’s the best way to do this ? Use liquor or is there a good flavored rum extract?
I would probably use a rum extract so that it doesn’t thin out the whipped cream too much. I don’t really have a specific brand that I’ve tried, but I do like Watkins extracts.
Can I use a gel dye for this ?
Yes, that would be fine.
Would this be good for cream horns, if I make it a day in advance? Also could it be made with cocoa powder? Thanks
Yes, this would work if you pipe it into cream horns a day in advance. You could probably add some cocoa powder to it too, I would start with about 1 tablespoon and add more if you think it needs it.
Hi Danielle! Thanks for posting this super detailed recipe! I am making a number cake next Thursday (very similar to the very on trend ‘cookie cakes’ but using cake layers instead). I have made these many times before but have always used a swiss meringue buttercream. This time I have been asked to use cream. From what you have posted it seems like this will definitely hold its shape which is good because piping the little ‘blobs’ makes the look of the cake. What I am wondering is, do you think that this stabilised cream piped will be able to hold the weight of lots of toppings ie macarons, figs etc? I am concerned that if I start to place these on top the cream will soften and the toppings will sink. If I put the piped cakes into the fridge for about an hour or so, how firm exactly does the cream go? Would you say its a similar consistency to a swiss meringue buttercream after its been refrigerated?
Thanks! Sorry for the essay
Stressed and confused Baker.
Hi, Sian! Even though the whipped cream is stabilized, it’s still soft like regular whipped cream (even if you refrigerate it). If you put too much weight on the whipped cream, it will likely sink.
This turned out very good!! It wasn’t too sweet either & is very much approved by my daughter who doesn’t really care for icing or frosting, since it’s too sweet & over powering. It had just the right sweetness & it went really well on my mini grasshopper cheesecakes for St. Patty’s Day dessert! Win win!!
Works every time Thanks so much! :)))
Not sure what I did wrong- my whipped cream had lots of air pockets- so my piping was horrid looking (as opposed to just not very good) The picture looks so smooth! Not sure if I overwhipped maybe? After adding the gelatin, when I turned the mixer up it thickened up immediately and started to stick in the whisk.¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Was the whipped cream lumpy? If so, you have to make sure to pour the gelatin in slowly and mix well as you’re pouring it in.
How long will the whipped cream without gelatin stay in the fridge? Can I put it in a piping bag to keep in the fridge so it will be ready the next time I use it?
If you don’t use gelatin, it will hold up for about a day but it may also become watery. If you’re wanting it to hold up longer, I would suggest using the gelatin. Also, keep in mind that if you prepare it with the gelatin and then refrigerate it the whipped cream will firm up. I suggest piping it on your dessert before placing it in the refrigerator.
I have sheet gelatin. Any suggestions on using in place of powdered? Thank you !
I did a little research and it looks like 1 tablespoon of gelatin powder is equal to about 3 sheets. Since this recipe only uses 1 teaspoon of powder, I would probably use 1 sheet.
I gave it a go and all was well until I SLOWLY added the gelatin. After adding that, I whipped it on high for a few seconds and it became almost yellows tinged, watery and separated. I’m almost wondering if I over beat it!? ??
Did you whip the cream to soft peaks before you added the gelatin? If you overbeat cream it will turn to butter, which is what sounds like happened.
I appreciate this recipe; can i freeze it?
I’m haven’t tried it, so I’m not quite sure.