Go from heavy cream to soft peaks in a few simple steps.

By Real Simple
Updated June 14, 2018
Melinda Josie

Nothing compares to the texture and flavor of homemade whipped cream. Make sure to choose the freshest cream possible—making an extra stop at your local farmers’ market wouldn’t be too crazy in this case. Except for a spoonful (or two) of sugar and a splash of vanilla extract, the taste of the cream will be unadulterated.

Use freshly whipped cream to top your favorite brownie recipe, in place of ice cream alongside cake, or folded with crushed berries for a shortcut fool. Getting soft peaks—and not going too far (oops, butter!)—is easy if you use these three tips.

Start with the right ingredients.
For fluffy, stable whipped cream, use cartons labeled “heavy cream,” “whipping cream,” or “heavy whipping cream.” (Save the light cream for coffee.) For sweetness, add 2 tablespoons granulated sugar per cup of cream before beating.

Watch carefully.
In a chilled bowl, with an electric mixer on high, beat the chilled cream and sugar until the beaters leave visible lines when drawn across the cream. Reduce mixer speed to medium-low and continue to beat until soft peaks form. (When you hold up the beaters, the cream should stand up, then flop over.)

If you do overwhip, don’t panic.
Add a splash of fresh, unwhipped cream to the curdled lumps and fold it in with a rubber spatula. Repeat as needed until the mixture smooths out.

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