Recipes / Whipped Cream

Whipped Cream

By Mark Bittman

Published July 9, 2024

Whipping cream is so easy—even by hand, with a whisk and a bowl—please promise me you’ll never buy the canned stuff. All you need is cold fresh cream with no additives, a clean metal or glass bowl, and a balloon whisk or a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. See the following list for some flavoring ideas to add after the cream starts to take shape.

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images
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Make The Recipe!

Whipped Cream

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Makes about 2 cups, enough for 4 servings 1x

Time 5 minutes

Units Scale


  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Up to 1/4 cup sugar (optional)
  • Flavoring (optional; see below)


  1. In a large bowl, use a whisk or electric mixer to beat the cream to soft or stiff peaks, as desired (see the illustrations). If you’re sweetening it, when soft peaks form, start sprinkling in the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time.
  2. Fold in flavorings if you like and serve immediately. Or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 hours. If it starts to separate, whisk it lightly until it comes together again.

– Recipe from How to Cook Everything: Completely Revised Twentieth Anniversary Edition

Recipe variations

8 Ways to Flavor Whipped Cream

  1. Scrape the seeds from half a vanilla bean into the cream, or use 1 teaspoon good-quality vanilla extract.
  2. Use honey instead of sugar.
  3. Sprinkle and fold in ground cardamom, cinnamon, freshly grated nutmeg, or any finely ground sweet spice.
  4. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons bourbon, brandy, Kahlúa, Grand Marnier, framboise, amaretto, or other liqueur.
  5. Add about 1/2 teaspoon grated citrus zest.
  6. Add 1/2 teaspoon finely grated or very finely minced fresh ginger.
  7. Add a tablespoon or 2 sour cream, or crème fraîche or mascarpone, which will be tangier or thicker, respectively.
  8. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons rose water or orange blossom water.