Making Stabilized Whipped Cream

Sure, there are plenty of purists out there who don’t believe cream should be adulterated with stabilizers. I’m with them…some of the time. The rest of the time I’m worried about my whipped cream holding up for long periods, on warm days or in the freezer. Then I’m looking for a little somethin’-somethin’ to help me get by.

That something is gelatin. Just a little will do wonders for your whipped cream’s stability, and honestly, it barely impacts the taste or texture. Start by melting a little gelatin. For 2 cups of cream you’ll start with a 1 teaspoon of powdered gelatin and a little ice water. Yes, these are my little silicone Trudeau bowls again. I love them, that’s why I plug them. They’re wonderful:

Pour about two tablespoons of the ice water into the gelatin and let it sit for five minutes (no stirring).

What you’re doing here is creating a little protein gel. See?

To use it you need to melt it. Zap your little silicone Trudeau bowl — if you have one — in the microwave. Use short full-power bursts of 5 seconds. That should be all you need to liquify it.

With that in hand, whip 2 cups cream.

Partially. Get it part-way thickened, then add your sugar…about 1/4 cup for this much cream.

Whip it for another ten seconds, than add any flavoring you want. Here I’m putting in about 3 tablespoons of espresso syrup.

Whip another ten seconds (you’ll probably be getting close to soft peaks by now) and pour in the melted gelatin.

Whip the cream the rest of the way, somewhere between soft and stiff peaks, according to your liking.

You’ll need to use this within about half an hour, which is when the gelatin will start setting up, making smooth spreading more difficult. Consume any leftovers on scones.

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41 Responses to Making Stabilized Whipped Cream

  1. Lisa says:

    Does this also work with vegetarian/vegan gelatins (eg, agar-agar)?

    • joepastry says:

      Hey Lisa!

      Yes it does. The preparation process might be a little different and the hold not quite as strong, but it definitely does work with other kinds of gelatin. Thanks for the question!

      - Joe

  2. happy-bowl says:

    hi joe, after reading your post on gelatin, i have my own inhibitions in using them, since we don’t eat pork; a teeny weeny bit of china grass will also do wonders to stabilise the cream (low fat too).

    • joepastry says:

      Good point, HB! There are several other thickeners and non-porcine gelatin substitutes out there that can be used.

      - Joe

  3. Chris says:

    I love your site, this leads to my questions:

    1) Why did you dissolve gelatin powder with ice water and then microwave it instead of dissolving gelatin powder in warm/hot water and let it cool to room temperature?

    2) Is this the ratio to use in a chocolate mousse cake even when egg yolks are in the recipe? I want my mousse to be more stiffer and doesn’t melt as quick (here’s my chocolate mousse recipe: 400 ml heavy cream, 4 large egg yolks, 3 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp light corn syrup, 2 tbsp water, 7 oz bittersweet chocolate, 1 tsp pure vanilla extract).

    3) When substituting 1 sheet of gelatin (aprox 1.67 g each) with gelatin powder, how much gelatin powder and water should I use? It’s difficult to find gelatin sheets in Toronto, supermarkets/Bulk Barn don’t carry them.

    4) Can I use gelatin powder and water instead of gelatin sheets in a mango mousse cake?

    Thanks a lot!

  4. malini says:

    Did the flavour of the coffee syrup come through strongly? The amount going into the bowl looks small.

    • joepastry says:

      It gave the cream a noticeable coffee flavor if that’s what you mean. That syrup is quite strong. A little goes a long way!

      - Joe

  5. Joe says:

    Hi Joe,
    I’ve used piping gel (2 tablespoons/8fl.oz. of whipping cream) to stabalize whipped cream and it works pretty well. I want to try your method because the gelatin is easier to come by.

    Thanks,
    Joe

  6. Bams says:

    Hi Joe,

    could you please tell me the ratio of cream and sugar?

    Thanks
    Bams

    • joepastry says:

      Hey there! I’m pretty sure the proportions are in there…but for every 2 cups of cream you want 1/4 teaspoon sugar, 2-3 tablespoons flavoring and 1 teaspoon of gelatin melted with 2 tablespoons water.

      Cheers,

      - Joe

  7. Carly says:

    My gelatin didn’t look the same so I read one of your comments and you restated the quantaties differently. I’m so confused. I just added 1 teaspoon of gelatin to 2 tablespoons of ice water, it looked kinda the same so I went with that.

    • joepastry says:

      You know, Carly, I think 1 teaspoon is really the right proportion…which is to say I might have messed you up. I made the correction. So sorry about that.

      - Joe

  8. Macy says:

    I love your site. Using this for my science project! <3 Do you know if there is anything else i could use as a stabilizer?

    • joepastry says:

      Hi Macy!

      Thanks for the kind words!

      Sure, there are a few things you can use to stabilize whipped cream. You can simply add an ounce of sugar per cup of cream. That turns to syrup when it comes in contact with the water in the cream, and since syrup is more viscous than water it helps hold up the bubbles walls. At least for a while.

      Another good option is cornstarch. Whisk a tablespoon of it into the cold cream before you start to whip. It works in a similar manner as the protein in gelatin, creating a mesh of intertwined starch molecules that help to reinforce the bubble walls.

      Good luck with the science project…and let me know how it goes!

      - Joe

  9. KC Delfino says:

    Dear Joe, thanks for all this information. I want to make a recipe which calls for stabilized whipped cream (it is refrigerated for 24 hours) and will be served to a group with vegetarians in it.
    KC

  10. Tish Desloges says:

    Why am I getting big globs of gelatin in my whipped cream??? What am I doing wrong?

    • joepastry says:

      Hi Tish!

      Is the gelatin completely melted when you add it? If it has cooled to the point that it’s starting to re-solidify, that could be the issue. Could that be it do you think?

      - Joe

  11. pam says:

    Hi joe!! I wanted to thank you for pastry cream recipe, best i’ve tried and i’ve tried many for the perfect consistency. I also wanted to share with you the best way to whip cream, perfect every time, the same every time, and no need for a stabilizer ,no need to chill a bowl….use a food processor…you will never go back to a bowl and whip!

    Thanks for all you do,
    Pam

  12. Pingback: Fresh strawberry summer cake: How to achieve the perfect whipped cream | The everyday artisan

  13. marc says:

    Joe, can I add liquor? Like cointreau or grand marnier?
    Will the alcohol affect its consistency?

    • joepastry says:

      You can add a little to “perfume” it shall we say. The alcohol won’t do anything provided you don’t add so much that the butterfat content gets diluted! Try a tablespoon. That should be fine!

      - Joe

  14. Jenn S says:

    IS it possible to freeze the stabilized whipped cream? Specifically, I have made an icecream cake that is frozen solid and want to frost ahead of time — thanks!

    • joepastry says:

      Hey Jenn!

      The addition of gelatin will help, but the whipped cream will still lose volume and go grainy to a large extent. Depending on what you want to use the cake for, it’s still not advisable. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news!

      - Joe

  15. Britney P says:

    I also find that using a bit of white corn syrup in place of some of the sugar helps to stabilize the whipped cream. We use only corn syrup in the whipped cream when we make tres leches cake. It keeps the cream stable for a long time even in the fridge. Also you have to try tres leches cake it it amazing.

  16. rabia riaz says:

    Pls kindly tell me that how to stabilize a whipping cream with a fat of 35% or 35.1%.I can’t find a heavy whipping cream here in Hong Kong

  17. kavya_krishna@yahoo.com says:

    hi Britney P
    can you please post the method how to use corn syrup with whipping cream
    thanks
    kavs

    • joepastry says:

      Hello Kavs!

      Stabilizing whipped cream with cron syrup is the same process as the others, but instead of sugar or gelatin, add 1 tablespoon of corn syrup to the mixture.

      Cheers,

      - Joe

  18. Ash says:

    Hi, I would like to know how you can make a cheesecake with whipped cream,condense milk, and cottage cheese… will it be stable? i don’t want to add gelatin or agar agar..please help

    • joepastry says:

      I’m sorry, Ash. I don’t know a cheesecake formula like that. Where did you hear about it?

      - Joe

  19. Sophia says:

    Hi…can u tell me if gelatin can stabilized low fat cream as well? Enough stiff for piping. ?

    • joepastry says:

      Hey Sophia!

      Gelatin probably isn’t the best stabilizer for ice cream since it tends to form a fairly firm gel, and once it’s stirred it loses a lot of its rigidity. Also to be honest I’m not sure how well it freezes. A gum (xanthan, guar, carrageenan) is probably better choice.

      Cheers,

      - Joe

  20. Praveena says:

    Dear Joe,

    Hi, can you tell me how you would
    Color whipped cream (say blue ) to cover a cake ?

    • joepastry says:

      Hello Praveena!

      Just color the cold cream before you begin. Add a liquid food color and begin! It will end up lighter in color once it’s whipped, but you can always whip in more color at the soft peak stage if need be.

      Have fun!

      - Joe

  21. Lisa says:

    Hi Joe!

    Just stumbled across this site and I love it!

    Is there a way to do a stabilized flavored whipped cream using something like a strawberry jam?

    Lisa

    • joepastry says:

      Hey Lisa!

      You could certainly try that. It won’t be as effective as sugar since jam has a water component, but I think it would be interesting! Let me know how the experiment goes!

      - Joe

  22. Rebecca says:

    Hi Joe,

    Your site is invaluable. I use it so often to try and teach myself about baking and patisserie. I love how you usually include the science behind your methods.

    In September I’ll be catering a hugely complicated anniversary banquet. The meal is all focused around the memories of the Lady we are celebrating. The pudding is an edible version of a piece of art she made with bits of glass she bought over from her hometown.

    Quite a complicated dessert so am doing a dry run next week.

    For part of the edible art work I’ll be making a blueberry pavlova and was wondering if the texture of stabilised cream becomes thick and claggy to eat? Is there a trick to keeping it light or is it not an issue?

    Thanks in advance for the help!

    Rebecca

    • joepastry says:

      Hi Rebecca!

      And thanks very much for the very kind words!

      Regarding your question, it depends on how long you want to hold the pavlova and what the room temperature is. A little stabilization (i.e. some sugar) is useful under any circumstances. The more adverse the conditions, the more stabilization you’ll need. Some gelatin isn’t too noticeable. Too much can indeed make it gooey, but my suggestion is to try a few test batches this month. Start with half a teaspoon per cup, see what you think of the texture and the holding power. I think you’ll be pleased with the rest. And if you feel more is warranted give it a go!

      Let me know how the experiments go!

      - Joe

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