Amanda & Merrill

Savory Whipped Cream

January  7, 2010

Who said whipped cream had to be for dessert? For years I've been making a savory whipped cream seasoned with herbs, lemon zest and capers and serving it with smoked salmon and crackers. I got the idea from a restaurant I worked at in France 15 years ago.

So here is my top-secret (well, not really), impossible-to-screw-up (yes, really) recipe. Once you get acquainted with savory whipped cream, open your fridge and branch out -- right now, I'm really into a plain horseradish version that's terrific with roast beef (a recipe attributed to Mary Lincoln, the wife of Abraham Lincoln). You could also do:

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Hot smoked paprika (to go with brandade)

Creme fraiche, ginger and lime (to dollop on top of corn soup)

Herb Cream with Capers

Serves 4

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
  • 1/2 tablespoon thinly sliced chives
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Coarse or kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


In an electric mixer fitted with a whisk, beat the heavy cream until it holds a stiff peak. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the remaining ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


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Victoria C. October 12, 2011
So I am being a complete dimwit. I love your new site but cannot figure out how to save this recipe. Help.
EmilyC October 12, 2011
Hi Victoria -- I could be wrong, but this seems to be a blog post with no separate recipe attached to it. I remember posts like this on the old site. Since there's no option to save the recipe, you may just want to print it, or copy/paste the post to a file. Hope this helps!
luvcookbooks January 14, 2010
When I was living a single life, I used to make a savory French toast. The milk the bread soaks in was infused with saffron, and after the French toast was cooked it was topped with a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream and a spoonful of caviar. Very pretty and delicious, tho people who like sweet French toast thought it was weird.
Amanda H. January 14, 2010
I hope you're going to add this recipe to the site...!
luvcookbooks January 21, 2010
Savory French Toast is on the site. It was fun looking up the original recipe. Children unenthused.
luvcookbooks January 31, 2010
Made it again this weekend for Sunday brunch for the family. Strangely, I had no caviar around the house. Used black olive "crema" from the Italian market (black olive puree) instead, with a bitter clementine marmalade for those who eschewed the crema. Have to let the toast cool for a minute or two so the whipped cream doesn't melt. Good reviews.
Amanda H. January 31, 2010
So glad to hear! The black olive crema sounds really good.
nannydeb January 14, 2010
I'm not a fan of tarragon, but I'll try this without it...and many other versions!
Amanda H. January 14, 2010
Yes, you can use any herbs you like!
Oui, C. January 14, 2010
Mmmm.... I make a butternut squash and apple soup that I usually enrich with cream just before serving. Next time, I think I'll top it with an herb (thyme?) infused whipped cream. Thanks for the inspiration.
Amanda H. January 14, 2010
That sounds great -- plus I like how whipped cream foams up when dropped into warm soup.
nsj January 14, 2010
Sorry for all my typos. The hostess had sides of softened butter, etc. and it was heavenly.
nsj January 14, 2010
Can't wait to try all of these variations! Thanks. A question
Over Christmas, I had smoked salmon. The sides she had were butter, baguette rounds, and then either creme fraiche or
savory whipped cream which had fresh dill, capers... Could it have been the whipped cream... and is this a French tradition to
top with softened (not melted butter)... I was pretty heavnly. Anyway, your savory whipped cream would be great here.
Amanda H. January 14, 2010
Savory whipped cream is very light so if it was dense, it was probably creme fraiche, but could have been a combo of the two.
Janneke V. January 11, 2010
Am I the only one who's thinking about her weight and health after the holiday season? This post definitely makes it very hard, I'll have to try it.
tucsonbabe January 10, 2010
Thomas Keller has a lovely horseradish whipped cream in the "Ad Hoc" cookbook. I served it at Christmas with a beef tenderloin and it was yummy. Now I shall move on to your version.
Amanda H. January 10, 2010
I had Ad Hoc, then lent it out and, well, that was a mistake. Now I want it back!
Sandy S. January 10, 2010
This sounds absolutely *amazing*!! I make a version of horseradish whipped cream to fold into pureed turnips. Whipped cream really does make everything better! ;)
Amanda H. January 10, 2010
Bet it would be great in a potato puree or potato-celery root puree, too.
pTsaldari January 10, 2010
When watching my yiayia make whipped cream, she would tell me she was making clouds for angels to sit on. I never forgot that and I say the same to my grandchildren and they love it. Your blog always inspires me. I most enjoyed your blurp about Mary Todd Lincoln. Thank you so much for sharing.

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sanscravat January 10, 2010
Interesting... I used to serve wasabi-whipped cream with smoked trout.
Amanda H. January 10, 2010
What kind of wasabi did you use and where do you get it?
gluttonforlife January 11, 2010
Head out to Mitsuwa in Edgewater, NJ, and you have your pick of wasabi preparations—powdered, paste, occasionally even fresh.
Babette's F. January 9, 2010
Brilliant, I use it exactly as you do for small smoked salmon aperitifs but with dill and ciboulette. I also use savory whipped cream a lot for decorating creamy soups. Thank you for sharing this recipe.
Amanda H. January 10, 2010
Glad you mentioned the use in soups -- it's nice how whipped cream foams when it goes into a hot soup.
mtrelaun January 9, 2010
I thought I posted this question last night, but perhaps not. Is this supposed to be prepared à la minute, or can it be refrigerated for a bit before serving?
Amanda H. January 10, 2010
Weird because I thought I answered it -- did we have this conversation on Facebook? Anyway, let's have it again -- you can definitely make this in advance, up to 4 hours before and keep it chilled.
QueenOfGreen January 9, 2010
Funny - I recently came across a rosemary whipped cream as a topping on dessert (Pine Nut Tart from The Craft of Baking) and began dreaming up what else I could do with the unexpected accoutrement...
Amanda H. January 10, 2010
Do you infuse rosemary in the cream before whipping it?
QueenOfGreen January 10, 2010
Yes, the cream was heated with a sprig of rosemary in it and allowed to infuse. Then chilled before adding just a little sugar (if I remember correctly) and whipping.
amysarah January 8, 2010
This reminds me of something I haven't made in eleventy million years (well, ten anyway...) I'd poach a small piece of salmon fillet (6 oz?) then cool and flake it; mix in maybe 3-4 oz minced smoked salmon (even the cheap Nova 'ends' sometimes sold at the deli counter will do - the strong/fatty/smoky flavor works well here); then fold it into whipped heavy cream, with some horseradish to taste, lots of chopped fresh dill, a bit of lemon zest, some S& a quick, super light salmon mousse. I'd serve it on small pieces of black bread with a bit of diced red onion on top - or if I was feeling lucky, a dab of inexpensive caviar or salmon roe. Great with drinks, or champagne. Thanks for reminding me!
AntoniaJames January 8, 2010
So tasty sounding . . . . You should post it as a recipe!
Amanda H. January 10, 2010
Yes, would love to see the recipe.
Kelsey B. January 8, 2010
The perfect recipe for soup season! I
Aliwaks January 8, 2010
Very Nice.. I once made a cold sweet pea soup with a dollop truffled whipped cream..served in champagne glass (to be sipped) as a starter for rehearsal dinner I once catered. It was the so simple..whipped cream, white truffle oil salt & white pepper, really like the horseradish version, would make a fine canape with rare roast beef on tiny buttered pumpernickel toasts, maybe a few sprinklings of chives and teeny diced beets.
Amanda H. January 8, 2010
Like the "teeny diced beets" detail!
dymnyno January 7, 2010
I will do this one...I love creme fraiche but this may be a more neutral carrier for other flavors such as horse radish, tarragon etc.
Amanda H. January 7, 2010
Also the fluffy texture of the whipped cream changes everything. Hope you enjoy it.
lastnightsdinner January 7, 2010
I've always got a tub of creme fraiche in the fridge which I often doctor up with freshly grated horseradish, or a little citrus juice and zest, or any number of other things. I'm going to have to try your method with whipped heavy cream - and I love the addition of capers to the mix.
Amanda H. January 7, 2010
There's something magical about horseradish in whipped cream -- I think you'll like it.
lastnightsdinner January 31, 2010
We loved the horseradish version - I made it last weekend to serve with brisket. Yum.
Amanda H. January 31, 2010
After this week's contest, I'm really into beef cheeks (and tripe, too!), and thinking braised beef cheeks and horseradish whipped cream for next dinner party.
AntoniaJames January 7, 2010
This reminds me of my mother's gotta-get-the-recipe Liptauer spread, but that has anchovies and mustard, too (and a couple of other ingredients which I don't care for much -- paprika and caraway seeds -- so I don't include them). The tarragon is such an inspiration! Incapable of leaving well enough alone, I'd probably chop very finely a few cornichons . . . which goes so nicely with tarragon in a recipe like this. Thank you so much for posting this! It's quite obviously a keeper.
Amanda H. January 7, 2010
That sounds great, too. The whipped cream becomes a canvas for whatever seasonings you like.