Beating a small amount of a stabilizing ingredient into whipped cream creates a sturdier product that won’t fall into an unappetizing puddle the moment you take it out of the refrigerator. Stabilized whipped cream has a light, slightly sweet flavor that complements whatever you choose to pair it with, while having the added benefit of longer staying power than pure whipped cream. Use this versatile concoction to ice or fill to cakes and other baked goods.
Setting the cream with gelatin prevents it from losing its texture or softening. Chill most of the cream and the beaters in the freezer while your prepare the gelatin. Combine the chilled cream with any sweetener you’re using and beat it until it forms medium peaks. Pour the gelatin mixture into the whipped cream while beating it on “Low” until the gelatin is combined.
Make the gelatin by mixing 1 teaspoon of unflavored gelatin and 1 tablespoon of water for every 1 cup of heavy cream. Let the gelatin and water stand for approximately 10 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Stir a small amount of cream into the gelatin and heat it to completely dissolve the gelatin, using 1/8 cup plus 1 tablespoon of the cream for every 1 cup of heavy cream being whipped.
Heat the gelatin and cream mixture in a bowl set over simmering water, or by microwaving it for 25 to 40 seconds. Stir it just until it’s smooth and the gelatin dissolves. Let it cool before mixing it into the whipped cream.
Using Dry Ingredients
Other additives may help prevent whipped cream from collapsing. For example, beating in 1/2 packet of instant pudding into each 1 cup of heavy cream adds firmness to the cream, but it also adds the flavor of the pudding into the cream. For a more neutral, natural flavor, Fine Cooking recommends whisking 1 1/2 tablespoons of powdered sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar together and beating it into every 1 cup of cream that’s been whipped to the soft-peak stage. Another option is to beat 1 tablespoon of cornstarch into every 1 cup of cream that’s been whipped to the soft-peak stage. Once you’re added the dry stabilizer, continue whipping the cream to the firm-peak stage.
Incorporating Piping Gel
Piping gel is a product that typically contains gelatin. It’s commonly used to decorate cakes with a glass-like effect, or to add lettering. Commercially made piping gel is readily available in the baking aisle at your local grocery store or at cake decorating stores. Alternatively, you can make it at home by combining equal parts of gelatin and water and heating it enough to dissolve the gelatin. In a separate saucepan, heat light corn syrup — using 1 cup of corn syrup for every 1 tablespoon of gelatin. Once the syrup is hot, mix in the gelatin and stir until everything’s combined. Allow it to cool before adding it to the heavy cream.
Beat 2 tablespoons of piping gel into each cup of heavy cream being whipped. Use clear gel to avoid coloring the cream, or choose a color for a fun twist.
Mixing In Cream Cheese
By whipping the cream with cream cheese, marscarpone or creme fraiche, you add extra body and stiffness to the whipped cream. These ingredients also add varying degrees of tangy flavor to the cream, which becomes less noticeable once you add sugar and vanilla, or whatever sweetener you prefer. Use approximately 1 part cream cheese, marscarpone or creme fraiche per 2 parts heavy cream.
Start by whipping softened cream cheese until it’s aerated. In a separate bowl, whip heavy cream to the soft-peak stage. Add the cream cheese and whip the mixture on “High.” Once the whipped cream forms stiff peaks, beat in any sweetener or flavoring agent that you’re using.
Stabilizing With Marshmallows
Melting marshmallows isn’t an effective method for stabilizing whipped cream. According to The Kitchn, this typically leaves you with a glob of marshmallow that just spins around in the cream. Instead, Pillsbury recommends warming 1/2 cup of marshmallow creme for every 1 cup of heavy cream until the marshmallow creme is softened. Allow it to cool slightly before beating it into chilled cream that’s been whipped to the soft-peak stage. Continue whipping until the cream forms firm peaks.
References and ResourcesBaking; James Peterson
The Kitchn: Long-Lasting Whipped Cream: Which Method Works Best?
The Kitchn: Tip: Whipped Cream with Cream Cheese
The Kitchn: Tip: Stabilize Whipped Cream
Fine Cooking: Decorator's Never-Fail Whipped Cream
Wilton: Stabilized Whipped Cream Icing
Pillsbury: Star-Berry Cupcakes
The Baltimore Sun: The Ultra-Busy May Dissolve Gelatin In The Microwave
Veena's Art of Cakes: Homemade Piping Gel