Alice and Arlo, hard at work and focused on the prize!
I’m always amazed at how satisfying it is to beat your own whip cream, especially by hand, and for kids it’s no exception. I can rarely get either of my boys to hunker down in the kitchen with me for a real baking session, but I can always get volunteers to help me whip up some topping for the pie or fruit crisp I baked by myself.
Having two sets of hand beaters and metal bowls makes it more fun — either you can beat yours while a little one messes with their own bowl, or two kids can compete with each other — whose will be whipped first? I’ve found vintage hand beaters at both thrift stores and garage sales for about $2, but you can also get them brand new for about $11, or on eBay for about $8 and up.
There’s no real recipe that I follow (my grandmothers would be so proud!), but here’s the general idea. The key to success is using metal bowls that have been chilled in the freezer for an hour or more.
Easy Hand-Whipped Whip Cream
Ingredients and Tools
Whipping cream, 1 pint
Powdered sugar to taste — start with just a little and add more as you go
Vanilla extract, a splash, up to 1/2 teaspoon
Chilled metal bowl — a small one with tall sides works well
Hand-held egg beater — available on eBay from about $8
- Make sure your bowl is very cold to the touch. You can even put your beaters in the freezer if you think of it ahead of time. I try to keep at least 1 metal bowl in my freezer at all times.
- Pour the whipping cream into your chilled bowl and add some powdered sugar, maybe 1/4 cup to start.
- Get to beating! Beat slowly until the cream and powdered sugar are mixed together, then beat at a fast and furious pace. A minute or so in, stop and taste test for sweetness, adding more sugar if needed.
- Once the liquid starts getting thick, slow down the pace and watch for the stage at which you reach the consistency that whipped cream should have. If you’re letting kids do the beating, you might have to watch more closely once it starts to get thick, and make the judgment call as to when the beating should stop. NOTE: If you beat too long, your whip cream gets too thick, more like butter or clotted creme. It’s still yummy to eat, but might not look as nice perfectly plopped on top of a piece of pie.
- Add a splash (or more) of vanilla and either whip or stir it into the whipped cream.
- Plop by heaping spoonfuls onto the dessert of your choice, or use your fingers for some right-out-of-the-bowl goodness!
Ready for their reward!