How do you stabilize store bought whipped cream?

Whipped cream is a popular topping for desserts like pies, cakes, hot chocolate, and more. There’s nothing quite like the taste of fresh, fluffy whipped cream. However, store-bought whipped cream tends to lose its stiffness and deflate quickly. Stabilizing whipped cream allows it to maintain its airy texture for longer. This makes it perfect for topping deserts, fillings, and decorating. With just a few simple ingredients and techniques, you can stabilize store-bought whipped cream to keep it light and fluffy for hours.

Why does store-bought whipped cream deflate?

Whipped cream owes its cloud-like texture to tiny air bubbles incorporated into cream via whisking or mixing. These air bubbles are stabilized by the structure of the fat and proteins in the cream. However, without stabilization, the air bubbles can break down over time and the whipped cream begins to lose volume and deflate. Store-bought whipped cream often contains thickeners and stabilizers to help maintain the whipped texture. But opened tubs still tend to deflate within a couple hours when stored in the fridge.

There are two main reasons store-bought whipped cream deflates:

  • 1. Moisture loss – As whipped cream sits, moisture evaporates causing the air bubbles to break down.
  • 2. Warming – Even slight warming to room temperature causes the fat in the cream to soften, destabilizing the air bubbles.

Luckily, there are several easy DIY stabilization methods you can use to keep the whipped cream light and airy for 6 hours or more when storing leftovers.

How to Stabilize Whipped Cream

The key to stabilizing whipped cream is adding an ingredient that strengthens the walls of the air bubbles to prevent them from breaking down. There are a few common kitchen ingredients you can use:

Powdered Sugar

Powdered sugar, also called confectioners’ sugar, is one of the easiest ingredients to use to stabilize whipped cream. The powdered sugar should be sifted to remove any lumps before whisking it into the whipped cream. Powdered sugar contains a small amount of cornstarch which helps stabilize the air bubbles. It also adds sweetness while thickening the whipped cream slightly. Follow this simple recipe:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1-2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Whip the cream to soft peaks then gently fold in the powdered sugar until combined. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before piping or topping. The stabilized whipped cream should hold its shape for 6 hours or more chilled.

Mascarpone Cheese

Mascarpone is a thick, creamy soft cheese. It adds a rich flavor to whipped cream while also stabilizing it. The high-fat content of mascarpone strengthens the walls of the air bubbles. Follow this recipe:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or sugar (optional)

Whip the cream to stiff peaks then gently fold in the mascarpone until no lumps remain. Add vanilla or sugar if desired. Refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours before using. The mascarpone whipped cream will stay light and fluffy for up to 12 hours chilled.

Cream Cheese

Cream cheese is another ingredient that can help stabilize whipped cream. It adds tanginess and richness while thickening the whipped cream. Follow this easy cream cheese whipped cream recipe:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1-2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Whip the cream to stiff peaks then beat in the softened cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth and fluffy. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before piping or serving. Properly stabilized it will hold its shape for 8 or more hours chilled.


Unflavored gelatin powder can also be used to stabilize whipped cream. Gelatin helps strengthen the walls of the air bubbles to prevent them from collapsing. To use gelatin, first create a bloomed gelatin mixture:

  • 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin powder
  • 1 tablespoon water

Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let sit for 5 minutes to bloom and thicken. Then gently heat the mixture until the gelatin dissolves. Let cool completely before adding to whipped cream. Follow this gelatin whipped cream recipe:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1-2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Bloomed gelatin mixture

Whip the cream to soft peaks then gently fold in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and cooled gelatin mixture. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before using. The gelatin will keep the whipped cream stable for up to 8 hours when stored chilled.

Commercial Whipped Cream Stabilizers

There are also commercial products designed specifically for stabilizing whipped cream. Some popular options include:

  • Whipped cream stabilizer – Add 1/4 teaspoon per 1 cup cream during whipping.
  • Whipped topping stabilizer – Use 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon per 1 cup cream.
  • Powdered whipped topping stabilizer – Add 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon per 1 cup cream.

Follow the product instructions as amounts can vary. Commercial stabilizers like these help maintain the whipped cream’s texture for 8 or more hours refrigerated.

Tips for Stabilizing Whipped Cream

Follow these tips when stabilizing whipped cream to get the best results:

  • Whip chilled cream – Start with cream straight from the fridge chilled to at least 35°F.
  • Whip to stiff peaks – Whip the cream to stiff, not runny peaks before adding stabilizers.
  • Fold gently – Carefully fold in stabilizers to avoid deflating the cream.
  • Don’t over-whip – Overbeating can turn the cream grainy and butter-like.
  • Use heavy whipping cream – It whips up lighter than whipping cream.
  • Refrigerate – Chill whipped cream for at least 2 hours for the stabilizers to fully set.

How to Store Stabilized Whipped Cream

Proper storage is also essential for keeping stabilized whipped cream fresh and lightly for use. Here are some tips for storing:

  • Place in an airtight container or zip top bag, press out excess air.
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • If topping a pie or cake, stabilize and pipe whipped cream just before serving.
  • When piping whipped cream ahead, pipe inside a piping bag and refrigerate.
  • Avoid frequent temperature changes which can destabilize it.

Stabilized whipped cream that is properly stored in an airtight container in the fridge should last for 5 to 7 days before starting to lose its fresh taste and texture.

Stabilized Whipped Cream Recipes

Stabilized whipped cream can be used in both sweet and savory recipes. Here are some delicious recipe ideas:

Sweet Stabilized Whipped Cream Recipes

  • Pumpkin pie – Pipe stabilized whipped cream on top.
  • Ice cream sundaes – Top ice cream with mounds of whipped cream.
  • Eclairs – Fill eclairs with sweetened and stabilized whipped cream.
  • Trifle – Use layers of sponge cake, pudding, fruit and stabilized whipped cream.
  • Hot chocolate – Top with stabilized whipped cream.

Savory Stabilized Whipped Cream Recipes

  • Mashed potatoes – Top with dollops of stabilized whipped cream.
  • Soups – Garnish bowls of soup with stabilized whipped cream.
  • Tartines – Top toast with goat cheese, grilled veggies and stabilized whipped cream.
  • Tacos – Top beef or fish tacos with stabilized whipped cream.

Let your creativity run wild! Stabilized whipped cream can be used to top, fill, pipe, dollop, and garnish all kinds of sweet and savory treats.

Troubleshooting Whipped Cream

Sometimes whipped cream can still deflate even when stabilized. Here is some troubleshooting for common whipped cream problems:

Whipped Cream Too Runny

  • – Cream was overwhipped and turned grainy.
  • – Not enough stabilizer was added.
  • – Cream was under whipped before adding stabilizers.

Fix: Don’t overbeat the cream. Make sure to whip chilled cream to stiff peaks and fold in enough stabilizer.

Whipped Cream Too Stiff

  • – Too much stabilizer was added.
  • – Cream was overwhipped and butter is starting to form.

Fix: Use less stabilizer next time. Avoid whipping cream more than 2-3 minutes once it starts thickening.

Whipped Cream Weeping Water

  • – Cream was not fully chilled before whipping.
  • – Cream was stored at too warm of a temperature.

Fix: Make sure cream is chilled to at least 35°F before whipping. Store whipped cream in the refrigerator.

Whipped Cream Deflating Over Time

  • – Not enough stabilizer was used.
  • – Whipped cream was not stored in an airtight container.
  • – Cream was exposed to too many temperature changes.

Fix: Add the full recommended amount of stabilizer. Refrigerate whipped cream in an airtight container. Limit taking whipped cream in and out of the fridge.


With the right techniques and ingredients, stabilizing store-bought whipped cream is easy. Powdered sugar, mascarpone, cream cheese, and gelatin all help strengthen whipped cream to prevent it from deflating quickly. Be sure to start with chilled cream, whip to stiff peaks, gently fold in stabilizers, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Properly stabilized whipped cream can hold its texture for 6 hours or more refrigerated. Use stabilized whipped cream to top all kinds of delicious desserts, drinks, soups, tacos and more. With just a little extra effort, you can enjoy fresh, light, stabilized whipped cream anytime.

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