Welcome back to Make It or Buy It! Up today: Homemade whipped cream vs. store-bought.
Because I’m doing this no sugar thing, store bought whipped cream is right out. But beyond sugar, let’s check out the ingredient listings of two of the most common brands. I snapped these ingredient list photos of Cool Whip and Reddi-Wip while walking through Pete’s Market this morning. Cool Whip is, of course, your cheapest option for “whipped topping” — a big tub of it often goes on sale for $.99 — but it’s mainly made out of hydrogenated vegetable oil and HFCS. Reddi-Wip touts that its first ingredient is cream, but it also contains sugar, corn syrup, and other fun stuff.
And a note here: If you’re trying to avoid carrageenan, you’ll want to read the labels on your heavy cream as well. Ultra-pasteurized heavy cream, especially, tends to contain carrageenan as a thickener, but I found this little container of Dean’s heavy cream that contains just cream. (This doesn’t apply to all Dean’s, so check labels when buying if this is an issue for you.)
We’ve made whipped cream in the stand mixer here before, but since I was only making a little bit today I chose instead to shake it up in a pint jar. And, since I’m thinking lately about relying on seasonings rather than sugar, I added a little vanilla and cinnamon to mine. You could leave those out, or add a little sugar or other sweetener of choice, if desired.
Homemade Cinnamon Whipped Cream — Shaken, not stirred
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla
Pour cream in a pint jar, then add cinnamon and vanilla. Screw lid on tightly and shake vigorously for a few minutes until you have whipped cream — but stop before you have butter. 😉
Best consumed immediately, so make small batches at a time.
This isn’t sweet, per se
Homemade whipped cream is not in itself particularly sweet, so if you are looking for something more similar to (but still better than!) the canned whipped cream taste, you will want to add a little sweetener of your choice before shaking. The texture and freshness of homemade whipped cream, however, is amazing. Unsweetened homemade whipped cream can be downright delicious, and you should definitely try adding in the vanilla and cinnamon.
Unsweetened homemade whipped cream is particularly fantastic on berries, allowing their natural sweetness to shine through rather than overpowering it.
I also tried some on a fancy homemade coffee drink — look how pretty! (The drink recipe itself needs a little work before I can tell you about it, but that’s not at all the fault of the whipped cream, lol.)
So… Make It, or Buy It?
If you have a few minutes to spare, I highly recommend homemade whipped cream. Do a taste test with the canned stuff, and you might be surprised at how much of a difference you notice. Although it’s not as convenient, it’s still pretty darn easy & fairly affordable — plus, you’ll know exactly what’s in there.
More Make It or Buy It
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Printable homemade whipped cream recipe
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp vanilla
- Pour cream in a pint jar, then add cinnamon and vanilla.
- Screw lid on tightly and shake vigorously for a few minutes until you have whipped cream -- but stop before you have butter. 😉
- Best consumed immediately, so make small batches at a time.