Yes, you can whip cream without a mixer, and yes, it is totally worth it! Skip the cool whip and learn how to whip cream by hand–you won’t regret it.
- Start with very cold whipping cream and a chilled bowl
- Use a large whisk or bubble whisk
- Add a small amount of sugar and/or vanilla, as desired
- Use small movements, from the wrist
- Don’t overbeat!
If you learn to make whipped cream by hand, you may never want to go back to tubs or cans of whip again. Read on for all the tips you need for whipped cream success.
Use Cold Whipping Cream and a Cold Bowl
The only ingredient you really need is heavy cream or whipping cream. Your cream will whip better and last longer if you chill it thoroughly before whipping. You can also chill your bowl (ceramic, glass, or metal work best) to keep your cream cold.
Use a Good Whisk!
You don’t have to use a whisk at all–you can whip cream with a fork if you are in a whipped cream emergency situation. However, it will be easier and faster to whip using a large whisk with lots of tines.
Add Sugar and/or Vanilla
You don’t have to add anything at all, but you may want to add a little flavor or sweetness depending on what you are using your whip for. If you are topping a very sweet dessert, you will want to add less sugar. Start with 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla and adjust to taste.
Some chefs use powdered sugar, though others claim it intereferes with the flavor and texture of the cream. If you dissolve the granulated sugar in the cream slightly before you start whipping, and you should be good to go with regular sugar.
You can also use 1 Tablespoon of honey or maple syrup if you prefer those flavors.
Use Small Movements
You can whisk however you want, and vary your strokes in whatever way keeps your arm from getting tired. Keep your arm relaxed against your side and try to just move from your wrist. Switch arms if you get tired!
You can just go around the bowl, making sure to whisk all the cream evenly, or do patterns like figure eights–whatever works for you. Rest if you get tired and come back to it.
You can whip your cream to whatever texture you desire. Whipping cream by hand gives you more control than you have when using a hand mixer, so you are less likely to overbeat.
You may want to just make soft peaks that give you a nice pillowy dollop of cream. If you beat a little longer, you will have medium peaks that stick to the whisk without falling off but don’t have a firm edge. Firm peaks will look more like cool whip or icing.
If you overbeat, you will have gloppy cream. If you really overbeat, you will have butter!
It should take around 2 minutes to whip cream by hand.