The 1-Ingredient Upgrade for Better Whipped Cream (Works Every Time)

Make a more delicious whipped cream with staying power.

<p>Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer</p>

Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

Whipped cream is like that one charming friend I can bring anywhere. It gets along with pretty much any dessert—layered between cakes, on top of pies, fizzy drinks, and hot chocolate, and my favorite, strawberry shortcake. If I make a bowl of whipped cream, there’s a 100% chance of a great dessert.

For all the love I have for whipped cream, it isn’t without problems. If my mind wanders while whisking the cream I can accidentally over-whip it. It tends to lose air the longer it sits. And the moment whipped cream gets too warm, it weeps (I imagine they are tears).

There’s one easy solution to all of these problems which I learned from Chef Nancy Silverton and Mark Peel's cookbook, The Food of Campanile. Add a little sour cream for a smoother, glossier, fluffier whipped cream that stays airy for longer. The sour cream not only acts as a stabilizer, it gives the whipped cream a fuller flavor with just a little tang and brightness. Unless you’re a super-taster, you won’t notice the taste of the sour cream.

According to Chef Silverton, “The addition of a little sour cream or crème fraîche to every cup of whipping cream will ensure that beautiful sheen, extra smoothness, and fuller flavor."

Her recipe for stabilized whipped cream calls for crème fraîche—a French style of cream that's similar to sour cream, but thicker, fattier, and less tangy—with the option to use sour cream. The latter is more affordable and easier to find at any grocery store, so it’s the best option for me. You can use crème fraîche if you have it. Similarly, I’ve tried making whipped cream with cream cheese and plain yogurt, but those flavors are too strong. When I want whipped cream, I only want to taste the cream.

<p>Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm</p>

Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

How To Make Whipped Cream With Sour Cream

For every cup of heavy cream, you’ll add two tablespoons of sour cream. Make sure your bowl, whisk (whether hand, handheld, or stand mixer), and the ingredients are cold. If you forgot, that’s OK. Pop them into the freezer for five minutes.

Don’t add the sour cream yet. Whisk just the heavy cream (and sugar, if using) until soft peaks form. Soft peaks mean the whipped cream will flop over to the side when you lift it with the whisk. When you tilt the bowl, it’ll slide.

Add the sour cream and continue whisking until stiff peaks form. The whipping cream should stay upright when you lift it with the whisk, and it’ll stay in place when you tilt the bowl. I've noticed that adding sour cream makes it harder for heavy cream to overwhip and get grainy.

Whipped cream should be kept cold until ready to use—it tastes better chilled anyway!

<p>Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer</p>

Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

The Secret To Storing Whipped Cream

I make whipped cream once a week because my kids love them on berries. Though most of the time one of them will lick the bowl clean, sometimes we have leftovers. Whipped cream needs to be refrigerated, but it’s a magnet for all the funky fridge smells. Don’t even think about covering the bowl with plastic wrap—in just an hour in the fridge, it'll smell and taste off.

My trick to storing whipped cream in the fridge is to transfer it into a Mason jar—it must be glass with a tight-sealing metal lid. Glass and metal are great for storing whipped cream because they don’t take on the smell of food. And no smell can penetrate the airtight seal of the jar.

Place the jarred whipped cream on the bottom shelf, towards the back and away from the door, where it’s the coldest. I've had a jar of whipped cream (with sour cream, of course) in the fridge for up to five days and it’s never stinky. It’s as airy and fresh as when I first whipped it. This makes it a great way to plan and make whipped cream before you need it.

<p>Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer</p>

Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

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