Basics: How to Whip Cream by Hand

Make your whipped cream the old-fashioned way

In our Basics series, we tackle the simple kitchen tasks; no job is so small that it doesn’t deserve to be done perfectly.

It's no secret that fresh, homemade whipped cream tastes a lot better than anything you'll get out of a can. You can whip it with a stand mixer, an electric mixer, or even in a jar, but if you only need a small quantity, sometimes it's easier to just whisk it by hand. You'll have more control—and stronger forearms—if you do it the old-fashioned way.

Grab a cold bowl, and chill your heavy cream before beginning; cold cream whips better. Once chilled, use a whisk to beat the cream back and forth until soft peaks begin to form. Be patient with the process, and you'll have soft, whipped cream in no time. When your whip cream reaches soft peaks, you can sweeten it by folding in sugar to taste; be sure to do this before you reach stiff peaks, however, or you run the risk of over-whipping it as you fold in the sugar. If you do take it too far, just add a little liquid cream and fold it in gently until it's the right consistency again. Dollop it on pies, ice cream sundaes, or fresh summer berries.