Tips & Techniques

How to Make Whipped Cream Ahead (Yes, You Can)

November 11, 2013

Every week, baking expert Alice Medrich will be going rogue on Food52 -- with shortcuts, hacks, and game-changing recipes.

Today: Yes, make-ahead whipped cream is a thing. Dinner parties -- especially Thanksgiving -- just got less stressful.

Better Whipped Cream from Food52

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Real whipped cream takes just seconds to make, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it at the very last minute.

Here’s how to do it ahead:

Whip the cream (with vanilla and sugar or whatever) as usual, but beat it less stiff than you ultimately want it to be. Cover the bowl and put it in the fridge until needed, several hours or even a day or two ahead.

When the cream is needed, give it just a few strokes with a wire whisk to stiffen it and re-incorporate any liquid that has accumulated at the bottom of the bowl. That’s all!

More: Alice's 5 Rules for Better Whipped Cream

Alice's new book Seriously Bitter Sweet is a complete revision of her IACP award-winning Bittersweet, updated for the 54%, 61%, and 72% (and beyond) bars available today. It's packed with tricks, techniques, and answers to every chocolate question, plus 150 seriously delicious recipes -- both savory and sweet.


Photo by James Ransom

52 Days of Thanksgiving
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52 Days of Thanksgiving

Top-notch recipes, expert tips, and all the tools to pull off the year’s most memorable feast.

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Nancy
  • Amanda Tanbal
    Amanda Tanbal
  • KimmyV
  • Alice Gardner
    Alice Gardner
My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).


Nancy January 30, 2018
KimmyV and Alice Gardner! Way too late? The cake pictured above is Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Caramelized Pumpkin Seeds.
Amanda T. January 21, 2016
I am learning from a true master. Thanks for sharing your experience.
KimmyV November 13, 2013
Thank you Alice!
KimmyV November 12, 2013
What is the cake that is in the picture that has the whipped cream on top? It looks amazing! I would love the recipe.
Alice G. November 13, 2013
I thought the same thing! It looks like this one with chocolate crepes.
Nancy January 30, 2018
Nancy January 30, 2018