The Pro Tip For Stabilizing Whipped Cream

Few things taste better than a soft dollop of whipped cream on a warm slice of pie or on top of a bracing cold brew. But sometimes, you need that cream to stay fluffy for hours while you wait to serve it — and that's where stabilizers come in. As you'd expect from the name, a stabilizer is any addition that helps keep the cream from separating out and getting watery or deflating. Pastry chefs have a lot of tips and tricks to make longer-lasting whipped cream, such as adding egg white powder, but one of the easiest might already be waiting in your cabinet: instant pudding.

The two main ingredients in instant pudding are sugar and modified starch, along with flavorings. Modified means the starch (which could be one of many types, like corn starch or tapioca flour) has been precooked to get the molecules ready to absorb liquid without heat, and then dried again. Adding pudding mix to whipping cream allows the modified starch to soak up some of the water content and keep it in check after the cream has been whipped. This stable whipped cream is perfect for a cake or when you need to make your whip a day in advance of serving.

How to add instant pudding for the best whipped cream ever

To put this tip to use, you can use your favorite method for whipping cream. There are quite a variety of methods, and instant pudding works for all of them. Just add 1 tablespoon of instant pudding mix per cup of whipping cream, and whip. Don't be tempted to add more pudding for a longer holding time; the excess starch will make the cream sticky and stodgy instead of light and fluffy. Remember that the pudding has sugar, so you might want to reduce the amount of sugar you usually mix into your cream. One great bonus is that you can also lightly flavor your whipped cream thanks to the pudding. Vanilla pudding is an obvious choice since vanilla flavoring is a frequent addition to whipped cream, but what about a light chocolatey flavor from dark chocolate pudding or a hint of butterscotch or lemon?

We love a little splash of spirits in our instant pudding flavors as well, and there's no reason you couldn't steal that trick and booze up your whipped cream a bit, too. With the modified starch to help keep your cream steady, the addition of a tablespoon of Grand Marnier or salted caramel whiskey while whipping might be just the thing you need to make your next dessert a personal best.