17 Creative Ways To Use Cool Whip

Even if you can't remember what Cool Whip tastes like, you can probably recall its iconic blue and white container. This airy whipped topping is found in the frozen foods aisle of the grocery store. It was initially invented as an alternative to making whipped cream by hand and, as a result, quickly found its niche in the American dessert lexicon. Its original recipe didn't contain any dairy products at all, but it has since been modified to include skim milk and light cream, as well as a slurry of sweeteners and stabilizers, including high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oil, and gums. This combination gives the Cool Whip a texture that walks a thin line between canned whipped cream and mousse. Now, you can find a whole lineup of Cool Whip products, including sugar-free and reduced-fat versions.

The marketing team of General Foods, who owned Cool Whip before it was eventually sold to Kraft-Heinz, popularized the product by sharing a series of recipes for how to use it, including the O.G. Watergate salad. While the company may have never fathomed some of our favorite creative uses for Cool Whip, they are all equally tasty and worthy of note.

1. Transform Cool Whip into a frosting with cream of tartar

By itself, Cool Whip tends to be a bit gelatinous. It's wobbly to the touch and shares nothing in common with the classic, decadent frosting that tastes absolutely divine on a cake. But, with the help of one extra ingredient, you can turn Cool Whip into frosting.

That ingredient is cream of tartar, which is the same stabilizer used for meringues. It's widely available in the baking aisle of most grocery stores or online. To make this recipe, you'll want to first defrost your Cool Whip in the fridge until it's soft. Then, combine one 8-ounce tub of the whipped topping with ¼ teaspoon of the powder. An electric or stand mixer will help ensure that your powder is well-distributed throughout the frosting.

This versatile "frosting" can be customized with a variety of flavors. Add extracts like vanilla, almond, or orange for a burst of taste, or sprinkle in a hint of spices for a unique twist. The easily adaptable frosting can be stored in your fridge overnight and used for a myriad of baked goods, from cupcakes to birthday cakes.

2. Substitute it for heavy cream

It would be hard to confuse heavy cream and Cool whip. The former is a liquid that's often sold in cartons, while Cool Whip is relegated to those distinct plastic tubs and sold frozen. But with some creativity, you can use Cool Whip as an easy, sweet alternative to heavy cream in some of your favorite recipes.

You'll need to use about 2 cups of Cool Whip for every cup of heavy cream in a recipe. Although it can't work for every recipe in your cookbook, it can add lightness and fluffiness to your favorite desserts, from banana cream pie to chocolate pudding. Since this whipped topping has some underlying sweet notes, you should stick to using it solely for sweet dishes — which means leaving your Alfredo alone.

3. Add it to a no-bake banana pudding

The famed Magnolia Bakery doesn't hold a candle to homemade, no-bake banana pudding. You won't have to whip up a pudding mix on your own to layer in. Rather, just fill your trifle container with a combination of sweetened cream cheese, instant pudding mix, and milk, along with the staple layers of vanilla wafer cookies, banana slices, and, of course, the Cool Whip.

This creamy condiment is a must-have for banana pudding because it contrasts the richness of the pudding and the subtle tang of the cream cheese. Plus, Cool Whip is rather bouncy, so it can make for a lighter bite than homemade, full-fat whipped cream. As with all banana pudding recipes, you'll want to avoid assembling the dish too far in advance, as the wet whipped topping and decadent pudding will make the wafer cookies go limp while the bananas turn an unappetizing shade of brown.

4. Mix up a creative Cool Whip pie

Cool Whip: Making pies easy since 1966. Seriously, we can't imagine where the world would be if we didn't have classics like peanut butter pie and no-bake strawberry cheesecake. Cool Whip is an essential ingredient for these recipes because it keeps the filling light and fluffy and also prevents your arm from having to work double-time to stir it into the perfect texture.

But while these no-bake pies often take center stage, Cool Whip is also the secret ingredient to let more unique pies come to fruition. Enter Kool-Aid pie. Yep — you read that right. This pie was first whipped up in the 1960s using only four ingredients: Kool-Aid powder, sweetened condensed milk, Cool Whip, and a pre-made pie shell. The power gives this pie a unique, vibrant color guaranteed to intrigue your party guests.

5. Make it into Jell-O fluff

Jell-O fluff is a dessert ripped out of a history textbook. Although it's probably not your top choice for a sweet treat, there is something nostalgic about it. And what better way to channel the flavor and texture of this dessert than by making Jell-O fluff? Essentially, you'll get the feeling of eating an ambrosia or a Watergate salad without having to open a container of crushed pineapple. All you need to do is cook your favorite Jell-O powder with instant pudding. Once the entire mixture has set in the fridge, you can whip it with your Cool Whip.

Jell-O fluff kind of tastes like an amalgamation of the powder, pudding, and Cool Whip, along with whatever other ingredient you pile in. It's an acquired taste — and you have to look past its intrinsic disorganization. But it's a great option if you can't decide what exactly you want for dessert.

6. Transform it into a shortcut cannoli filling

Anyone who has ever made cannolis at home will tell you that they are laborious — to say the least. Not only do you have to fry your cannoli shell to absolute perfection, but you also have to whip up a multi-ingredient ricotta filling that hits all of the classic flavor notes. The easiest way to save yourself the agony of making this filling is to make a shortcut one with Cool Whip.

You'll want to start by mixing your ricotta cheese with powdered sugar. From there, you can scoop in your Cool Whip, which will help give this filling a light texture. You can even take this recipe a step further and swap out your cannoli shells for pre-made ice cream cones for an easy dessert that the whole family will love.

7. Add it to your coffee punch

If you grew up (or spent a long period of time) in the South, you've probably heard of coffee punch. This Southern treat is made from sugar-sweetened instant coffee that has been mixed with ice cream and milk and served in a punch bowl. There's no rainbow sherbet, sparkling lemon-lime soda, or blood-red Hawaiian punch involved. Instead, coffee punch typically utilizes chocolate or vanilla ice cream, which adds to the creaminess of the coffee.

You can add Cool Whip to your coffee punch to add an extra layer of creaminess. The key is to add it to the mixture when you plop in your ice cream. The frozen dessert will help keep the punch chilled, while the thawed whipped topping will help make the entire recipe even more decadent.

8. Freeze Cool Whip for a delectable hot chocolate topping

Marshmallows aren't the only topping that belongs on a tantalizing and comforting cup of hot chocolate. You can easily elevate hot chocolate with frozen Cool Whip — but not just in blob form. Rather, this simple kitchen hack takes things in a more artistic direction and allows you to cut out small shapes to top your mug with.

First, line a large baking tray with foil to prevent the floaters from sticking to the bottom. Then, schmear it with a partially defrosted Cool Whip. Rather than attempting to cut out the cream straight out of the gate, press your cookie cutters into the Cool Whip and return the tray to your freezer so that the shapes can harden. Once your cup is ready for a garnish, pry the Cool Whip from the cutters with a spatula.

9. Transform it into a dessert dip

Dessert dips are one of the most easily customizable sweets you can make. The base requires a few simple ingredients, like softened cream cheese, yogurt, occasionally pudding, and Cool Whip. From there, you can dress up your dip and accompaniments to your liking. The Cool Whip imparts a light texture to the dip, which makes it a great pairing for strawberries. Add a swirl of strawberry jam to your base, and serve it with a side of fresh fruit for dipping.

You can also take a more sugary approach and transform your dip into a candy-inspired treat. Swap out regular pudding for a chocolate variety and load it up with chocolate chips, chopped nuts, and a drizzle of salted caramel sauce. The Cool Whip will help curb the richness of the toppings and give your dip a little bit of bounce.

10. Dip Pringles into Cool Whip for the ultimate salty-sweet mashup

Dipping Pringles into a jar of Cool Whip seems like it was born out of an odd food craving. But, when you consider that the curved potato chips have a delicious salty coating and the Cool Whip has light, sweet undertones, it's easy to see how eating the two together could really marry flavors together in perfect harmony.

This game-changing pairing is perfect for Pringles because of their shape. The curved plane allows you to easily scoop up a serving without the chip base getting soggy or cracking. The key is to partially thaw your Cool Whip before you try to scoop it with your chips so that you can easily scoop it straight from the iconic blue container into your mouth.

11. Turn it into a frozen coffee

It seems like every coffee chain has its version of a frozen coffee drink. But regardless of what drive-through you stop in, it's easy to see how the cost of ordering one every day can add up. Instead, you can make a Cool Whip frozen coffee with a few simple ingredients like black coffee, ice, and Cool Whip. The whipped topping acts as both a sweetener and a milky element in this beverage, and it will make for a refreshing pick-me-up when even a plain iced coffee isn't cold enough for your tastebuds.

Once you have all of your ingredients, add them to a blender and give it a pulse. The key is to use strong black coffee, not the weak Folgers that you had left over from your drip machine. You can increase the coffee flavor by adding a bit of instant coffee powder to the mixture or a shot or two of espresso. Customize it with your favorite flavor syrups, or even add a splash of alcohol for a boozy treat.

12. Add a hint of sweetness to your chicken salad

We don't blame you if your eyebrow just lifted at the thought of adding Cool Whip to your favorite chicken salad recipe. But when you think about it, chicken salad typically has something creamy — and something sweet. Although it's not the same as a handful of sweet raisins or crisp grape halves, this creamy addition does work — at least in a pinch.

You can temper the sweetness of the whipped topping with a spoonful of sour cream or Greek yogurt. You'll also want to use your favorite mayonnaise in your salad to keep that traditional mouthfeel. Add equal parts of mayo and Cool Whip to your meat and store it in the refrigerator for a little bit before serving to allow the sweetness to permeate through the protein.

13. Give your popsicles a creamy twist

Popsicles rarely take on a creamy texture. Instead, many frozen, store-bought popsicle brands or recipes that you can make at home involve freezing a fruit puree or fruit juicewithout any creamy elements in sight. Some recipes will employ Greek yogurt to help supplement the mouthfeel, but you can also take things a step further by adding Cool Whip to your favorite popsicle recipe. You can easily make a portable Dole Whip popsicle by mixing together the topping with canned crushed pineapple, a sweetener, and a citrusy element like lime juice.

You can also swap out your fruit for something more decadent — like a mock Fudgesicle with Nutella, milk, and Cool Whip. The topping will help keep the pop light while the Nutella adds a delectable, subtly nutty twist.

14. Make a copycat Frosty with Cool Whip

There are some great food combinations in this world that can't be messed with: peanut butter and jelly, bacon and eggs, and an iced-cold Wendy's Frosty and salty french fries. If you don't happen to live within driving distance of this popular fast-food chain, you can whip up a three-ingredient copycat Frosty, instead. You'll only need pantry staples like sweetened condensed milk, chocolate milk (or regular milk and chocolate syrup), and a container of Cool Whip.

Cool Whip is an essential ingredient for this recipe because it adds milk and sweetness. But more importantly, it contains guar gum, which curbs the formation of ice crystals in the milk. The result is that sublime, frothy mouthfeel that sets the Frosty apart from other frozen ice cream treats. You'll want to add this ingredient to the blender with your frozen milk ice cubes and the sweetened condensed milk. Although a chocolate Frosty is a classic, you can also substitute the milk with a different flavor or even try coffee-infused milk.

15. Whip up a delicious batch of cake mix cookies

We are passionate cookie bakers, so we're always looking for fun and unique recipe variations to spice up our routine. One of the easiest and most fun recipes is for Cool Whip cookies – which is just as simple as the name suggests. All you'll need is a box of standard cake mix and an egg — and, of course, a whole container of Cool Whip. There aren't exact parameters for which kind of cake mix works best for this recipe. A red velvet mix could be an absolutely delicious pairing, while a spice cake mix could easily elevate a plate with other autumnal treats.

Once the ingredients are mixed, you can scoop out balls and pop them on a baking tray. When your cookies come out of the oven, you'll notice that they have a very soft and cakey texture rather than one reminiscent of the classic chocolate chip cookie. We also recommend giving the balls a quick roll through powdered sugar to create a stunning crinkle cookie coating.

16. Make an unforgettable Cool Whip cream cheese frosting

There is no frosting quite like cream cheese frosting. Each bite is filled with a slight tangy flavor but an undercurrent of sweetness. In a world where icings always tend to be too sweet, cream cheese frosting stands alone.

If you don't have all the ingredients you need for a proper cream cheese icing, turn to two refrigerator staples: Cool Whip and cream cheese. The result will be an easy, decadent frosting that doesn't require you to incrementally add powdered sugar, only to have it puff up in your face. You'll want to start with a thawed container of Cool Whip and a couple blocks of cream cheese. Dollop your topping into the stand mixer with the cream cheese until it reaches the perfect texture.

This is not the recipe to swap out your full-fat ingredients for reduced-fat ones. You need the added fat to ensure that the frosting stays peaked on top of your red velvet or carrot cake. If you want the frosting to hold its shape even better, you can add in some powdered sugar or meringue powder. Otherwise, you can leave it in your fridge for up to a week and add it to all of your favorite baked treats.

17. Make it into a 3 Musketeers-inspired candy bar

Making your own candy at home sounds a lot more intimidating than it actually is — especially when you have a container of Cool Whip in your freezer. It will taste like a 3 Musketeers candy and it only requires three ingredients. All you'll need is a few bags of chocolate chips, a scoop of shortening (like Crisco), and Cool Whip. Melt down the chocolate chips, stir it with the Cool Whip, and pour the two into a lined baking pan.

You'll just need to pop your tray into the freezer to harden, then put it back into the freezer after you've cut your logs or squares so that they can reharden. From there, you can dip the candies into the extra melted chocolate and the shortening — which will help form the crisp outer coating on the outside of the bar. Meanwhile, the inside will stay perfectly nougaty, soft, and airy.

Static Media owns and operates Tasting Table and Mashed.