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.
I’m looking to make a whipped cream cheese frosting could I add cream cheese without ruining it?
I haven’t tried it, so I’m not quite sure. I think you could beat 2-4 ounces of cream cheese separately, then fold this whipped cream into it.
Monica, you can use cream cheese in this recipe. Replace the water and gelatin with 8oz of cream cheese. Beat the cream cheese until smooth before adding the remaining ingredients.
I tried a bunch of other recipes before trying this one…. and this one is AMAZING?? I didn’t have the unflavored Gelatin so I just mixed 1 teaspoon of jello with one teaspoon of cornstarch and it worked! I will definitely be using this recipe from now on! Love it!
I was wondering if this would work with 1/2 and 1/2 instead of whipping cream???? Anyone try this???
Hi, Katherine! Half and half doesn’t have enough fat in it and won’t thicken enough to make whipped cream. You’ll need heavy whipping cream with at least 36% fat in it.
Can you add food coloring to the mixture?
Yes, that’s fine! You can add a few drops of liquid food coloring. If you’re looking for a darker color, I recommend using gel food coloring so it doesn’t thin out the whipped cream.
I was wondering if there was a vegan option for the gelatin.
I haven’t tried it, but something like agar agar may work.
How does this recipe hold up if you add food coloring?
As long as you only add a few drops of liquid food coloring, it will be fine. I would recommend gel food coloring if you’re needing a darker color.
I was curious if anyone has tried to eat this while its frozen? Ive been looking for a good whipped cream to put in a frozen chocolate cream pie.
I haven’t, sorry!
I tried it on an ice cream cake today. Works great
Brilliant recipe – and so delicious!! Thank you.
I followed your instructions but still ended up with gel chunks. I used 6 tsp water to 1 tsp gel. Heated it for 6 seconds, stirred, slowly put it in and they did not smooth in. Is the gel suppose to be liquid when stirring in? Thank you! -Joy
Hi, Joy! This gelatin mixture should be liquid when you pour it in. If you make it again, you can increase the speed of your mixer as you’re pouring it in and see if that helps it blend better. I recommend sticking with the 4 teaspoons of water per the recipe too.
You can add a tablespoon of cream to the liquid gelatin mix before adding to that whipped cream. This will help eliminate the gel strings! Good luck!
Just my two cents about gelatin…I always allow it to ‘bloom’, or soften, before I heat it to melt, by adding the required water to a small bowl, sprinkling the gelatin over the top and allowing it to sit for a minute or two. I’ve never had the chunks you describe, so perhaps the brief delay in heating helps the gelatin melt evenly? I’m no chef or scientist – just thought I would share. 😀
I did all the instructions but the icing did not come out smooth when we piped on to a cake even after using a spatula to smooth it, is it normal?
Also, would you use this icing for cake decorating?
Hi, Jennifer! If the whipped cream wasn’t smooth, it’s likely that the gelatin was added too quickly and not mixed fast enough. I recommend pouring the gelatin in very slowly and mixing well as you’re pouring it.
How many cupcakes will this whipped creamrecipe frost, like in your picture?
It will frost about one dozen cupcakes.
Whipping cream is called that for a reason. Half and half would not whip up because it is, well, half cream (Which does whip up) and half milk (Which doesn’t). Hope I helped!
is it possible to do this with an immersion blender or electric whisk?
I haven’t tried it, but I think an electric whisk would work.
I don’t own a microwave, what should I do?
You can melt the gelatin into the water in a small saucepan on the stove.
Can I add coco to make it chocolate? I was thinking of adding it with the sugar.
That would be fine! I would probably start with 1 tablespoon and add more if needed. I would recommend sifting the cocoa powder to avoid any lumps too.
Would it be possible to make this and pipe your cupcakes a day before your event ? Would it hold well overnight (in the fridge)?
Yes, that would be fine! Just be sure to store the cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator after you frost them.
I did all of the above and my cream split.. whey separate and milk separate.. right after adding the gelatin.. what should I do ?
Sorry you had trouble with the recipe. If the mixture was separating, I’m wondering if it may have been over mixed after you added the gelatin?
Hello, can I use less powdered sugar for this recipe? I like my heavy cream almost unsweetened because I use it just to give texture to a dessert
Yes, feel free to reduce it to 1 to 2 tablespoons.
If using sheets of gelatin, how many sheets to use instead of one teaspoon?
I would probably use 1 to 1.5 gelatin sheets.
Hi danielle thanks for the recipe but can i use another ingredient in place of the heavy whipping cream and also give me a tutorial on how to make a heavy whipping cream
Hi, Rebecca! You’ll need heavy cream or heavy whipping cream for this recipe. There’s quite a few recipes online for how to make your own, I’d recommend doing a quick search and you should be able to find one.
How much gelatin shall I use for 1 cup 200 ml
Hi, Namita! 1 cup should equal 240 ml, so I would recommend following the recipe in this post.
I made this recipe and it turned out amazing and tasted even better!! The only issue that happened to me was that when I spooned the Fresh cream mixture into a piping bag after piping one cupcake, my fresh cream mixture started to slit and become watery as I was piping cupcakes. My cupcakes started looking grainy and the cream just was no piping smoothly☹️☹️☹️Is this because I had my hand on the piping bag too long and made it warm?? Or maybe I whisked for too long ?? Please help.
It’s really hard to say. If the whipped cream was too warm it can cause that to happen. Did you make sure it was whipped to stiff peaks too? If it’s too soft, that could be another reason.
Hello. How can i fix it… If I added gelatin before whipping it to stiff peaks
When did you add the gelatin? If it’s lumpy or not mixing together well, you may just need to start over.
I have not tried the recipe yet, but I was just wondering if the gelatin affects the taste of the whipped cream at all? Thanks!
As long as you used unflavored gelatin, you can’t taste it.
Hi! I am in the process of making a smash cake using stabilized whipped cream frosting for my daughter’s first birthday. I noticed a pretty unpleasant odor when heating the gelatin, so I was nervous about adding it to the cream. It is unflavored Knox brand. Is it normal to have an odor, and will it affect the taste of the frosting? Thank you!
Hi, Shelby! Have you double checked the gelatin to make sure it’s not expired? I’ve noticed a little bit of a smell to the gelatin when I heat it up too, but once it’s added to the whipped cream I can’t taste it or smell anything.
How about gelatin replacements, like pectin? Doable? Thanks!
I’ve only tried it with gelatin, I’m not quite sure how it would work with pectin or another gelatin replacement.
can I use granulated sugar instead of powdered sugar? We have a corn allergy in our family
That should be fine. Granulated sugar is denser than powdered sugar, so if you use it you will only want to use about 2 tablespoons instead of 1/4 cup.
Hello! Do you know if this would survive a chocolate drip on a cake? Thank you!
I think it would be okay. It may be best to let the whipped cream chill in the refrigerator on the cake for a little while first. I would make sure the drip has fully cooled too before you add it.
I just realized as I was frosting my cake there was gel chunks of the gelatin?? I didn’t see them when I was whipping it up with my hand mixer. I don’t know if the clumps form over time while I was waiting for my cake to cool or where I went wrong.
They more than likely formed when you added the gelatin to the whipped cream. You want to make sure to add it very slowly and mix it quickly, otherwise, that can happen.
Is this stable enough to use for layering for strawberry shortcakes?
Yes, you can use it to layer strawberry shortcakes.
I am using this for Wisconsin State Fair Cream Puffs! No WI State Fair this year. Could I whip this up the evening before and leave it in a container to spoon on the following day. Oh, Unflavored Gelatin is hard to find up in the Midwest at the moment. Guess distributor not shipping it. Could only find the big container and needed it bad so paid I did! ?
Hi, Debbie! If you mix it up, then refrigerate it, it will firm up in the refrigerator and won’t be as easy to spoon or pipe into your cream puffs. I would make the filling, fill the cream puffs, then refrigerate them. I hope that helps!
I’m making mini cheesecakes for an upcoming wedding. I’d like to use this whipped cream to garnish them, but am doing them ahead and freezing. Will this freeze well, then be smooth when I thaw the cheesecakes? I read through comments and did not see that anyone had asked this. Thank you!!
I haven’t tried freezing it, but I’m not sure that it would work well. I would recommend making the whipped cream and topping the mini cheesecakes the same day you plan to serve them.
This is the best recipe i found! I just want to know what is the shelflife of the stabilised whip cream? I want to use it in the swissroll.
I recommend adding it to your dessert right after you mix it up, but it will keep for 3 to 4 days on a dessert just fine!
I made this today with a hunch that it was not going to hold up well and I wasn’t wrong. I read through all the comments and tried to follow the tips, making sure that my gelatin was fully dissolved and that I added it into the ‘soft’ whipped cream slowly, while it was fully liquid, and by slowly trickling it in on low speed. However, I still ended up with small gelatin chunks and honestly, nothing about this “Frosting” is pipeable. It’s extremely light and airy and doesn’t have anything closely resembling the texture of regular frosting.
The taste is fine, but there’s no way at all this can be piped and look anything like the cupcakes in the picture. To be honest, I’m not even convinced the cupcakes in the picture were made using this frosting.
Overall a disappointing recipe, sadly I don’t have time to make it again so I’m stuck with a sad cake that has a ring of blobby circle around the top. I put the “finished” cake in the freezer and I’m just praying the icing will hold enough shape to make it the 45-minute drive to it’s recipient. :/
Was the whipped cream just too soft to pipe? If so, it may have just needed to be whipped longer and may not quite have been at the stiff peak stage. As for the gelatin, you do have to be very careful otherwise you can end up with some chunks. Also, this isn’t meant to be like buttercream frosting, it’s still soft like whipped cream, but you should be able to pipe it. The whipped cream on these cupcakes was made using the same recipe in this post.
This turned out well for me. I had some leftover whipping cream to use up so I made this. I didn’t have a problem with gelatin bits but I microwaved it until it I could swirl it in the bowl and then tempered it with the whipped cream and then poured it into a medium fast mixer in a stream. Not that different than making marshmallows… Set up well in the fridge but I’ve only been using it to top coffee.