Whipped cream breaks down after sitting around for too long. This process is sped up by warm temperatures too, so it’s important to keep whipped cream in the refrigerator as much as possible. Fortunately, if whipped cream has turned into a more liquid substance, it is still salvageable.

Is there a finer accompaniment to a dessert than whipped cream? Whipped cream is as adaptable as it is flavorful, whether it’s a bowl of just-picked strawberries or a decadent chocolate brownie. There is only one issue: whipped cream frequently fails to whip properly, depriving people of the opportunity to add the finishing touch to their dessert for a dinner party.

There are numerous causes for this, all of which, fortunately, is simple to address. For your convenience, we’ve listed them all below in one place so you can refer to them the next time you struggle to get the fluffy, light peaks that give whipped cream its irresistible texture. Kiss your whipped cream woes goodbye!

You’re adding your sweetener at the wrong time

Although the amount of sweetener you use won’t have a significant impact on the consistency of your whipped cream, the timing of when you add it can have a huge impact. One rookie error is to add sugar or an artificial sweetener at the beginning of the process before any whipping has occurred.

Instead, the sweetening agent should be folded in after “soft peaks” have been achieved but before they have been converted into “firm peaks”. Making sure you time your sweetener right is crucial to achieving the ideal consistency and flavor for your whipped cream.

  • Do not add sugar or any other sweetener at the beginning of the whipping process
  • Wait until the cream has achieved a “soft peak” consistency
  • Add the desired amount of sweetener before the“firm peak” stage has been reached (i.e. before the whipping process is complete to achieve good distribution)

Fixing Runny Whipped Cream With Cream Of Tartar

Another way you can fix runny whipped cream is to use cream of tartar. You likely have some cream of tartar sitting in the pantry, so it should be an easy enough fix for you!

  • 1 cup cold whipped cream
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Make sure to chill the whipped cream before attempting to fix it. Refrigerate it in the bowl you will be mixing it in so that the bowl can help keep the cream at the right temperature.
  • Pour the cream of tartar into the whipped cream and gently beat until it helps to form stiff peaks, and reduce runniness.
  • Once the whipped cream reaches your desired consistency, stop beating.
  • Serve the whipped cream right away, or place it in the refrigerator.

The whipped cream can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours because the cream of tartar contains some starch that helps to bind and thicken it.

If the consistency is not right, you can add a little more cream of tartar, but be sure to do so a little at a time.

You’re whipping too much

There is a tipping point when it comes to whipping cream, just like when boiling an egg or cooking pasta. If you do manage to overwhip your cream, it will start to deflate and get grainy. This is not what you want.

It’s best to test your cream every minute or two to make sure that this doesn’t happen. You can do this by giving it a loose stir with a spoon or other tool—even the whisk itself, provided you aren’t whisking vigorously. “Soft peaks” are reached when the cream holds the shape for a brief period of time before gradually collapsing; “firm” or “stiff” peaks are reached when the shape is held more firmly. Both of these are acceptable, as is anything in the middle. When to stop whipping should depend on your preferences.

Don’t worry if you find that you overwhipped the cream and went too far. The mixture can still be saved by simply adding a tablespoon of fresh cream at a time and whipping until it reaches the “soft” or “firm” status once more.

  • Test your cream every minute or so to see if it has reached optimal consistency
  • Anywhere between “soft peaks” (where it holds its shape for a few moments before gently falling down) and “firm peaks” (where it holds its shape more rigidly) is ideal
  • If you do overdo it, simply add a tablespoon of fresh cream at a time until the right consistency has been achieved


How do you fix runny whipped cream?

In hot weather, particularly, whisk runny whipped cream once more with a half teaspoon of cream of tartar or chilled unflavored gelatin. These saved whipped creams won’t likely last as long as the original whipping because they still contain a lot of the original substance.

Why is my whipped cream not thickening?

You’re not chilling your cream. The cardinal sin of the whipped creamery and the main cause of whipped cream, not thickening is using room temperature cream. The cream’s fat will not emulsify above 10°C, making it unable to hold the air molecules necessary to maintain fluffy peaks.

How do you get whipping cream to thicken?

Heavy cream can be thickened in a variety of ways, including by whisking, reducing, adding gelatin, flour, cornstarch, guar gum, or combining with cream cheese, among others.

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