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can I add something to my whipping cream to make it whip?

foodfirst Feb 10, 2004 12:29 AM

It's pasteurized but not ultra, and it's a pure, very thick, creamy-tasting cream. And it just won't whip. It might be the heat here, or maybe it's not got an essential added ingredient that most "whipping cream" has? I freeze the bowl and the beaters. Don't need it to hold shape but it would be nice if it at least blobbed a bit onto a slice of cake instead of just pouring off the sides. Anything I can add that won't taste weird?

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  1. c
    Cathy2 RE: foodfirst Feb 10, 2004 01:02 AM


    To combat your environment, did you chill the beaters and the bowl?

    The function of whipping cream is to add air. Is it possible you are using a hand mixer and submerging the beaters into the cream? They should be up enough to pull the air into the cream.

    I have read but never attempted, that even skim milk can be whipped. Though I just don't see the point of that!

    I regularly whip cream adding to one cup heavy cream (35%), 1/4 sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla --- no other additions.

    Ultra pasteurized takes longer to whip than pasteurized, but eventually it whips up.

    I've run out of ideas, I hope someone can puzzle this out for you.


    7 Replies
    1. re: Cathy2
      fabian3dg RE: Cathy2 Aug 16, 2009 11:31 PM

      cream of tatar makes it set up faster

      1. re: fabian3dg
        kmcarr RE: fabian3dg Aug 17, 2009 10:18 AM

        Cream of tartar helps to stabilize meringue not whipped cream.

        1. re: kmcarr
          BamiaWruz RE: kmcarr Aug 18, 2009 02:51 AM

          Actually it works on whip cream and I always use it, once you put it in the whipped cream whips up immediately!

          Cool the bowl in the freezer, and the whipping cream (make sure not to let it freeze)

          I start whipping the cream in the cool bowl and then towards the end add the sugar and vanilla, and a dash of citric acid.

          1. re: BamiaWruz
            kmcarr RE: BamiaWruz Aug 18, 2009 09:20 AM

            I really question if it does work with whipped cream. Cream of tartar works in meringue by chemically altering the proteins in the egg whites, enhancing their ability to maintain a stable foam. It's mechanism in meringue is well understood. Whipped cream is a foam made of a fat & water emulsion, chemically very different from the protein foam of a meringue. I would need to see a double blind test of whipped cream with and without cream of tartar and a reasonable explanation of the chemistry before I put cream of tartar in my whipped cream.

            1. re: kmcarr
              BamiaWruz RE: kmcarr Aug 18, 2009 12:48 PM

              Curdling? My mother taught me to put the creme of tartar in and that's always what I thought happens.

              I will say that the second it goes in the whipped cream siezes up, it's kind of a shortcut for me, I've always made it this way and it's always been great. Without it I'd have to keep whipping for few more minutes.

          2. re: kmcarr
            TokyoGirl Chef RE: kmcarr Dec 18, 2009 09:59 PM

            You can most definitely add cream of tar tar to whipping cream, it's NOT just for egg whites.
            It can also be used to make whites, whiter like mashed cauliflower or mashed potatoes.

            1. re: TokyoGirl Chef
              oldunc RE: TokyoGirl Chef Sep 16, 2011 07:29 AM

              Gelatin will help to stabilize whipped cream, it will hold up for several days, but I don't know that it helps to whip it. Can't imagine what that problem is, if everything's cold.

      2. d
        dixieday RE: foodfirst Feb 10, 2004 07:10 AM

        Are you positive that it's heavy and not light cream or half-and-half? There's nothing added to "whipping" cream--it's just another name for heavy cream. How long did you try whipping it? It does take a while, esp. if you're doing it by hand with a whisk--obviously, a hand-held mixer will speed the process. Good luck, and if nothing happens, just enjoy it runny....

        6 Replies
        1. re: dixieday
          Karl S. RE: dixieday Feb 10, 2004 08:48 AM

          Well, whipping cream does tend to be only 30-36% butterfat, while heavy cream tends to be +36%.

          1. re: Karl S.
            FlyFish RE: Karl S. Feb 10, 2004 09:00 AM

            My understanding is that Karl is correct regarding the butterfat content and also that whipping cream has some additives (stablizers) to promote whipping. The additives must be cheaper than butterfat, I guess.

            1. re: FlyFish
              Cathy2 RE: FlyFish Feb 10, 2004 09:44 AM


              I was at Costco over the weekend, where I bought a half gallon of "Gourmet Heavy Whipping Cream - Ultra Pasteurized," which is the tougher stuff to get to whip.

              I was a bit surprised about the comment there were stabilizers in whipping cream, so I pulled the carton out of the recycling bin to find you were right, at least with this vendor.

              Ingredients: Heavy cream, skim milk, contains less than 1% each of the following ingrediants: Mono and diglycerides, polysorbate 80 and carrageenan. Oh and it is good until March 23rd.

              My other vendor for cream is Land O'Lakes pasteurized, which I recall the label simply stating cream.

              Half and half is around 18% fat.

              Creme fraiche is whippable from all the recipes I've read, though I have never used it that way.

              I really am wondering why this whipping cream cannot whip.


              1. re: Cathy2
                Chowrin RE: Cathy2 Sep 16, 2011 07:33 AM

                use a dash of powdered sugar. the cornstarch helps.

                1. re: Cathy2
                  pine time RE: Cathy2 Sep 16, 2011 09:10 AM

                  I'm curious what you did with 1/2 gallon of whipping cream between the weekend and the recyle bin already. Can I come to your house?

                  1. re: Cathy2
                    acgold7 RE: Cathy2 Sep 16, 2011 11:46 AM

                    I know this is a really old post but it should be noted that in the US, any Half & Half you're likely to buy in a Supermarket will only be about 10.5% fat, because that's the legal minimum and very few if any dairies will exceed that. This is true in most parts of the country. Anything that reaches the 18% level will most likely be sold as light cream.

            2. t
              The Rogue RE: foodfirst Feb 10, 2004 08:35 AM

              IS your equipment clean? Any oils on beaters or bowls can permanently stop it from whipping and you have to start over again with all new and clean equipment and cream.

              2 Replies
              1. re: The Rogue
                GG Mora RE: The Rogue Feb 10, 2004 08:39 AM

                Tilt. I know that's true when you're tryng to beat egg whites, but seems counterintuitive in the case of cream. What would make the fat in any oil on the beaters different from the copious quantities of fat in the cream?

                1. re: GG Mora
                  oldunc RE: GG Mora Sep 16, 2011 07:33 AM

                  GG- absolutely right.

              2. h
                HLing RE: foodfirst Feb 10, 2004 09:25 AM

                I've had one batch of the Ronnybrook heavy cream(also not ultra pasterized) that just wouldn't whip. Just that one time. All the other times the heave cream whips (by hand) really fast and beautifully. I vaguely remember that the cream in that particular bottle seemed to have separated, and I didn't shake it before whipping. Maybe that's a factor?

                1. p
                  Pat Darnell RE: foodfirst Feb 10, 2004 09:50 AM

                  You can just add some butter to increase the butterfat content. I learned this from a friend who is a great cook and a dairy science major. She is full of information.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Pat Darnell
                    Cathy2 RE: Pat Darnell Feb 10, 2004 10:07 AM


                    I would experiment on this a little bit.

                    Back in the mid 1970's a friend sent me a device for "making your own whipped cream." YOu heated the milk and butter together until melted, poured the mixture into top of a two part container. The top had a little pump which pressed the heated milk-butter mixture through an emulsifying nozzle forcing an incorporation of the butter into the milk to make a cream-ish mixture. Then it needed chilling before it could be whipped.

                    If you like the taste of cooked cream, then this may work. I expect melted butter in cold cream will immediately lump.

                    I want your idea to work for Foodfirst who lives in a tropical zone. Could you inquire with your food scientist friend again?


                  2. a
                    applehome RE: foodfirst Feb 10, 2004 10:05 AM

                    We're having so much fun with our Swiss made Kisag whipper that I thought I'd mention it - I know it's not the same as whipping it up with a beater and a bowl. But it absolutely works all the time, makes nice, fresh, thick and creamy fluffs of delicious whipped cream, and is easy to use and clean. I use splenda and a little vanilla extract, but the little booklet it come with has recipes for sweet and savory creams and sauces like ricotta and tomato mousse, bourguignonne (includes throwing in an egg). I haven't done those yet - we're just happy with our berry compotes and waffles. Here's a source:

                    Link: http://easywhip.com/push-valve-dispen...

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: applehome
                      Cathy2 RE: applehome Feb 10, 2004 10:54 AM


                      I am somewhat of a whipped cream snob, purist or whatever you want to call it: I like freshly whipped cream over anything. Stuff out of a can has an off taste, which is what your device is replicating though you do control the type of cream, sweetness and vanilla.

                      I tolerate Cool Whip for nostalgia purposes.

                      What I don't understand are ice cream parlors who do so much that is right: homemade or high quality ice cream, homemade fudge, pecans or walnuts instead of peanuts, fresh fruits, then use a cheap fat-thin whipping cream from a can. I just don't get it.

                      Enjoy your toy!


                      1. re: Cathy2
                        science chick RE: Cathy2 Feb 10, 2004 03:48 PM

                        There is one brand that I can actually tolerate.....it is a French brand that Whole Foods carries. Can't remember the name (St. something), but it really has a great, fresh flavor with minimal additives. I agree about the density, though, since nothing compares with fresh whipped heavy cream.

                        1. re: science chick
                          Caitlin McGrath RE: science chick Feb 10, 2004 05:28 PM

                          It's Isigny Ste Mere, a French brand. I haven't tried it, but I've seen it sold at various upscale groceries/specialty food stores, including WF, for about $5. IIRC, it's been recommended by posters here in the past.

                          Link: http://www.isigny-ste-mere.com/englis...

                      2. re: applehome
                        Mrs. Smith RE: applehome Feb 13, 2004 04:40 PM

                        I have one of these too, and use it often.

                        I like to make hand-whipped cream if I'm looking for that smooth, pillowy texture. For softly-whipped cream, and for fancy desserts that I really want to be perfect, I will always whip it myself.

                        But the "whip it" cannister and cartridges (we call the device and the cream that comes out of it "whip it" in our house, because we think it's funny) does a great job on the spot of making good, stiff whipped cream that pipes out easily into a perfect fluff, especially on top of a beverage (coffee, hot chocolate, etc). It's fast and easy, and I don't taste the "off" flavor that Cathy2 tastes -- I am sure I don't have quite the sensitive palate she does!

                        I can use my organic gently pasteurized and (when not pregnant) raw cream in it, and all I taste is that lovely high-quality cream.

                        My model is an ISI, and it comes with a great little recipe booklet that has recipes for rum cream (with a raw egg!) tiramisu, yogurt cream, and even a super-fast chocolate mousse. The recipes are fast, easy to mix, and sure are good when you want something gooey and decadent and don't have lots of time. I love to cook and bake elaborate desserts, but this little device fills a need in my household.

                        I also think that the cloud-like consistency I can get from the "expressed" cream, or whatever you call it, from my ISI cannister is actually impossible to get in mixer- or hand-whipped cream. The hand and mixer-mixed stuff I make is always slightly denser (and smoother), and is therefore in my mind a slightly different dessert.

                        Texture is everything to me :) This is just cream expelled under pressure from a gas. If the subtle difference in flavor doesn't bother you (I myself cannot taste it), this is fun device to have. But of course it doesn't completely replace hand-whipped cream.

                        Note: Mr. Smith, who, at the beginning of our marriage would say "Oh you don't have to whip cream to go on that -- I'd really like some Cool Whip instead" (much to the gritting of the teeth of me, the cook) has now been converted from Cool Whip and prefers both the "real thing" and "whip it" to Cool Whip. Many Americans grew up with it, and never tasted real whipped cream (like poor Mr., until I rescued him), and therefore didn't know any better!

                      3. s
                        science chick RE: foodfirst Feb 10, 2004 10:18 AM

                        Beating: I get the best results from hand beating with a balloon whisk. Prechilled beater AND stainless bowl.

                        Sugar?? If so, what type and when? I only use confectionary sugar (1-2 T MAX), and only at the very end. If it is very hot where you are and you are adding granulated sugar, it would really mess things up. Another perk of using confectionary, is that the corn starch in it acts as a stabilizer to keep the cream from getting runny afterwards, if its going to sit for any period of time.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: science chick
                          cavandre RE: science chick Aug 18, 2009 04:43 AM

                          We follow science chick's method & never have had a problem...even down here in hot, humid FL.

                        2. b
                          Buttercup RE: foodfirst Feb 10, 2004 10:28 AM

                          Like others, not a definitive answer to your question, but--

                          I use heavy cream rather than whipping to avoid the additives. I add about 2t nonfat dry milk per cup of cream. It whips right up and stays stable for days. I use a kitchen aid mixer with the whisk attachment.

                          Good luck.

                          1. n
                            Nina RE: foodfirst Feb 10, 2004 04:22 PM

                            It's amazing how many people don't know making whipped cream is so simple! I am not from this country, and I think that there is something wrong that people depend so heavily on CoolWhip or whatever they're called when they need whipped cream at home.

                            That said, applause to those who are trying to make the real stuff. What you need is heavy cream (ultra, regular doesn't really matter...), and a table spoon sugar (adjust to your likes). You add those two, and just whip! You can add drops of brandy or vanila extract if you like, but don't add too much, it won't whip. The key is to make sure the cream is chilled --- which includes the bowl you're using too. Good luck!

                            1. m
                              Melanie Wong RE: foodfirst Feb 10, 2004 08:19 PM

                              The cream may be too fresh. Here in the States, you'll find that even ultrapasteurized cream will whip up thick and easily if you buy it and keep it for at least a week. I don't know what the science is behind this, just something that a licensed pastry chef from Germany told me, and it seems to work.

                              1. s
                                scratchbaker RE: foodfirst Feb 11, 2004 09:54 PM

                                For how long are you whipping it? Also, how much cream are you trying to whip at once? I never add anything to cream to get it to whip and I've never had that problem, but sometimes it takes awhile to even start to thicken (using a KitchenAid/whip beater and chilled bowl/beater). You might just try beating a bit longer or start with half as much cream.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: scratchbaker
                                  synl RE: scratchbaker Jun 28, 2009 03:58 PM

                                  UltraPasterized cream has been changed due to the ultrapasterization process killing proteins in the cream or milk. I started researching when I was having trouble with the cream I was using for my mousse and other dishes. The only difference was that they had started using the Ultrapasterization process, now I only use product that are not ultrapasterized. Ultrapasterization is only used to extent the self live of a product. Some research also lean toward these products cause lacatos intolerence.

                                2. babette feasts RE: foodfirst Jun 28, 2009 04:13 PM

                                  Cream that has been frozen and thawed will not whip. It's possible you got a pint that accidentally got frozen somewhere along the line - too close to the freezer unit in the truck or what have you.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: babette feasts
                                    BDong RE: babette feasts Jul 17, 2009 07:39 PM

                                    I bought whipping cream and it was quite thin. I tried to make a ganache topping by melting chocolate into it in a saucepan. Afterwards, I refrigerated it and then took it out later. It was very thin, so I tried to whip it using an electric hand mixer. It didn't whip. Could this be because I heated it?
                                    I've made this in the past using really thick (and very fatty) cream and it's worked really well.

                                    1. re: BDong
                                      babette feasts RE: BDong Jul 18, 2009 12:45 AM

                                      You tried to whip the ganache or the plain cream? Either way, I would not blame heat, unless you were trying to whip it while it was still warm. Chocolate does add a considerable amount of fat - 30% or more in couverture quality. Maybe your cream just didn't have enough fat. Maybe it wasn't cold enough or you gave up too soon. Maybe you have gremlins in your kitchen! : )

                                    2. re: babette feasts
                                      Art55 RE: babette feasts Apr 2, 2010 10:35 AM

                                      I find that I can reliably whip cream that has been frozen. I buy half-gallons at Costco and freeze it in pint jars. I thaw a pint in the frig overnight, shake it up to remix the butterfat and it whips up fine either by hand or a stand mixer. It may take a little longer, but not inordinately so.

                                    3. s
                                      spooky00ky RE: foodfirst Jul 17, 2009 10:10 PM

                                      You need to add a bit of sugar and also it might help to use the whisk attachment on your hand blender or counter top blender. If you are useing the beater attachments that could be the problem.

                                      FYI--I have seen an immersion blender turn skim milk into a whipped topping so I don't think your choice of cream is the problem.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: spooky00ky
                                        normofthenorth RE: spooky00ky Oct 30, 2013 11:30 AM

                                        Skim milk CAN be whipped (though it's trickier than heavy cream) and I love it in coffee and cereal. BUT that does NOT mean that MIXTURES of skim milk and heavy cream can whip -- they can't. Different mechanisms. And one batch to the next can be quite inconsistent, in either, for reasons I don't pretend to understand.

                                        Cold skim milk (ZERO fat) is best whipped with a made-for-the use gizmo, though shaking it in a cold water bottle often works OK. With a good gizmo you can get ~100% whipped, with a water bottle you might get ~70% whipped and 30% still liquid. (But you can just use the whipped part if you want, and shake up the liquid again.)

                                      2. s
                                        sanndennis RE: foodfirst Sep 3, 2009 08:22 AM

                                        I'm trying to up the butterfat content of my whip cream to heavy cream -- the highest I can get is 36%. Would adding Double Devon Cream from England (48%) in the correct proportion work so that it would whip? I have recipes that specifically indicate the heavy cream is necessary (40%) and I would love to develop an adequate subsitution as I can't find anything here at that bf content.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: sanndennis
                                          babette feasts RE: sanndennis Sep 3, 2009 10:14 AM

                                          Seems like it should work, dairy fat is dairy fat AFIK. You can also add melted butter to up the fat content. I have done that with 25% fat UHT cream and it worked. Melt the butter, stir in a little cream, then stir in the rest, chill then whip.

                                        2. Popkin RE: foodfirst Dec 19, 2009 11:23 AM

                                          I always add some unflavoured gelatin and put a plate of ice under the bowl in warm weather.

                                          1. m
                                            midorosan RE: foodfirst Sep 16, 2011 12:02 AM

                                            Have a look here, QimiQ Whip is amazing.

                                            1. NellyNel RE: foodfirst Sep 16, 2011 06:42 AM

                                              I always have whipped my own cream. Cold heavy cream, sugar and vanilla. Cold bowl. Never fails.....but it does melt or wilt come the next day.................

                                              My sister recently tried adding a wee bit of unflavored gelatin to her cream , and she swears she will never go back!
                                              She says it helps the cream keep it's shape and texture, (even the next day)
                                              but does not affect he taste or texure in a negative way.

                                              I will try it next time.

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