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I sometimes want to make whipped cream for dessert, but can't get cream in the market. What can I do in that case?

One possibility: I did find that there is a quick way to do it by mixing a commercial powder called Dream Whip and milk. What are the actual ingredients of Dream Whip? I suspect that it mainly contains some foaming agents like corn starch or gelatin, but I couldn't find a recipe as an alternative to commercial Dream Whip powder. Can I make that at home?

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    Ingredients: Sugar, Dextrose, Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Coconut And Palm Kernel Oils), Modified Corn Starch, Propylene Glycol Monostearate (Emulsifier), Acetylated Monoglycerides (Emulsifier), Sodium Silicoaluminate (Anticaking Agent), Mono- And Diglycerides (Emulsifier), Cellulose Gel, Cellulose Gum, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Artificial And Natural Flavor, Yellow 5, Yellow 6. – Yamikuronue Jul 10 '13 at 0:27
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    You want to make whipped cream out of milk or butter, but not cream? I'm having trouble imagining the rationale for that, since milk has almost no fat and butter is almost all fat. Why not just use cream? – Aaronut Jul 10 '13 at 0:48
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    Just use cream. Butter itself IS made from cream (heavy whipping cream which is churned to separate the butterfat from buttermilk). – Matthew Jul 10 '13 at 1:54
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    Can you not just look at the label of the package to answer this question? – SAJ14SAJ Jul 10 '13 at 12:26
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    @All But the primary ingredients are sugar and fat, so it's unclear what advantage it gives you over just using cream. What are you actually trying to accomplish here? – Cascabel Jul 10 '13 at 13:28
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This site explains two methods of making whipping cream from milk. The first is by manipulating store-bought milk, by adding gelatin, temperature and a lot of stirring. The second is by separating the cream out of raw milk. The site claims that the result of both methods can be used for whipped cream.

A third method I sometimes use when a recipe asks for a small amount of cream (usually in a sauce or something similar), is adding some milk and butter (till the fat percentage is roughly the same as if you'd added cream). I don't believe it would be possible to whip this though.

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Cream does last quite a while in the fridge, especially before it's opened - it has a pretty high fat content. So you may be able to buy it when you can, and still have it around when you want it.

Failing that, honestly, I think that anything you can do with milk and additives is probably not going to be nearly as good as actual whipped cream, so you might as well fall back to another substitute: aerosol whipped cream. If you get a decent one that's actually made with cream (not milk and oil and stabilizers, like your Dream Whip) it'll probably still taste better. And I'm pretty sure it lasts a really long time (months?) in the fridge even once opened. (But I don't have any to check for sure.)

As for actually making Dream Whip: as mentioned in several comments, it has a lot of ingredients that'll be way harder to find than cream. Sure, they're probably shelf-stable and you could probably buy them online, but it'll be a lot of trouble, and it might well be more expensive than just buying the Dream Whip itself. It's possible that there's a more home-ingredients version (I'm no industrial food authority), but unless you have some more restrictions I don't know about, I'd still prefer the other alternatives I suggested.

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    Does previously-frozen cream whip? I seem to remember reading that freezing could cause problems in that area. – Aaronut Jul 11 '13 at 1:19
  • @Aaronut Oh... I guess maybe it ruptures the membranes around the fat, huh? You're probably right - I'll edit that part out. – Cascabel Jul 11 '13 at 1:26
  • very good points. Though in my experience, long-standing dairy products including milk and cream are not as good as fresh ones. But your suggestion is reasonable. – Googlebot Jul 11 '13 at 2:21
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Alternatively you can use coconut milk. Use canned coconut milk-make sure it straight milk and not sweetened-and place it in the fridge until well chilled. Scoop off the firm layer of cream, making sure not to include the water which should be at the bottom of the can. Add in vanilla and sugar if desired, whip until soft peaks.

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Per Food facts:

Sugar, Dextrose, Vegetable(s) Oil Partially Hydrogenated (Coconut Oil Partially Hydrogenated and, Palm Kernel Oil Partially Hydrogenated) , Corn Starch Modified, Propylene Glycol Monostearate An Emulsifier, Sodium Caseinate Solids from milk, Monoglycerides Acetylated An Emulsifier, Sodium Silico Aluminate (Anti-Caking Agents) , Mono and Diglycerides An Emulsifier, Cellulose Gel, Cellulose Gum, Methylcellulose Hydroxypropyl, Flavoring Artificial and Natural, Yellow 5, Yellow 6

Some of these ingredients are not the type of thing that you are going to replicate at home.

  • I do not want to duplicate the commercial product. I am just looking for a home recipe to prepare similar cream. – Googlebot Jul 10 '13 at 12:35
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    Recipe requets are off topic. But I suspect the answer is "no". – SAJ14SAJ Jul 10 '13 at 12:35
  • @All I don't think such a recipe exists at all. If it did, it would be more expensive, more time-consuming, more error-prone and less tasty than using either normal whipping cream or the commercial add-to-milk stuff. Also, it would require you to find a source for ingredients not typically found in a home kitchen. So I expect that nobody has bothered creating a recipe, given that the alternatives are obviously superior. Why do you want to do it at all? As Jefromi said, what problem are you trying to solve? – rumtscho Jul 10 '13 at 14:19
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    I would qualify this as being closer to the 'restaurant mimicry' class of questions than your general 'recipe request', and therefore perfectly on-topic to ask how to do at home. – Joe Jul 10 '13 at 17:07
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There are some vegetable based vegeterinan whipped cream substitutes. But like with margarine vs butter or soy vs meat the tastes aren't exactly the same and most people prefer actual cream/butter/meat.

However whipping cream is a relatively standard product that any store should carry while the other is a niche product so if your store has no whipping cream it might not have that either.

Another obvious choice is whipped cream in a can. While it's not as stable as cream whipped at home at least you might be able to enjoy some N2O.

  • "whipping cream is a relatively standard product that any store should carry while the other is a niche product" - in some markets yes, in others it is the other way round. – rumtscho Feb 2 '17 at 23:28
  • I believe that vegetarian stores are still the minority (no hate about vegetarians) – Mr. C Feb 7 '17 at 13:50
  • vegetarian stores? – rumtscho Feb 7 '17 at 14:00
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One alternate possibility to either dream whip powder or to fresh cream from the market is, well, there is heavy cream powder available for purchase - pretty much just dehydrated heavy cream - which can be re-hydrated and used for pretty much anything cream can be used for, including whipping.

The heavy cream powder is available for purchase online, I got mine from amazon.com but there may be other suppliers to be found if amazon does not suit. And I have used it for whipped cream, and other recipes asking for heavy cream without issue. Ordering online is not always as convenient as buying from a local store, but it is useful for things not readily available - especially shelf-stable things, which can be stored for quite some time and used on demand.

Unlike the fresh cream, heavy cream powder is quite stable and can be kept for a long time - as many dehydrated foods are - so purchasing one package would mean cream was available on demand until the powder was used up. And unlike dream whip powder, it is not heavily modified or heavy with chemicals, and should therefore have a more authentic cream taste.

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