Even if you've never cared for the real deal, homemade Cool Whip is something everyone can love. It's silky smooth and rich, but quite a bit lighter than traditional whipped cream. The real kicker is that it's freezer-safe and stable at warmer temperatures as well, making it the perfect make-ahead accompaniment for cookouts and holiday trips where refrigeration isn't always an option.
Why It Works
- Marshmallow fluff provides a sweet and stable base for freezer-safe whipped cream.
- Cooling the sugar syrup to 212°F (100°C) protects the gelatin from thermal degradation, so the fluff whips up thick and strong.
- Powdered milk adds flavor and body, while also disrupting ice crystal formation to protect against freezer damage.
- Gelatin keeps homemade Cool Whip stable at room temperature, but for food safety, it should not be left out longer than four hours.
- Yield:Makes about 5 cups
- Active time: 25 minutes
- Total time:3 hours
- 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered gelatin (see note)
- 1 ounce cold water (2 tablespoons; 28g)
- 2 ounces cold milk (1/4 cup; 55g); any percentage will do
- 3/4 ounce powdered milk (3 tablespoons; 20g), such as Carnation
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (7ml) vanilla extract
- 2 ounces water (1/4 cup; 55g)
- 2 3/4 ounces light corn syrup (1/4 cup; 75g)
- 5 ounces sugar (3/4 cup; 140g)
- Heaping 1/4 teaspoon (just over 1g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use half as much by volume or use the same weight
- 14 ounces chilled heavy cream (1 3/4 cups; 395g)
Sprinkle gelatin over 1 ounce cold water (2 tablespoons; 28g) in a small bowl and stir with a fork to combine. In another bowl, mix together milk, powdered milk, and vanilla until relatively smooth. In a 1-quart stainless steel saucepan, combine the remaining 2 ounces water (1/4 cup; 55g) with corn syrup, sugar, and salt and set over medium heat. Stir with a fork until bubbling hard around the edges, about 3 minutes, then increase heat to medium-high. Clip a digital thermometer to the saucepan and cook, without stirring, until the clear syrup registers 250°F (120°C), about 4 minutes.
Immediately transfer to a large heat-safe bowl, scraping pot with a heat-resistant spatula, and cool to exactly 212°F (100°C), about 3 minutes. Add gelatin and whip with a hand mixer at medium-high speed until thick, snowy white, and roughly tripled in volume, about 5 minutes. Add vanilla milk in several small additions, letting each incorporate before adding the next. Once smooth, cover tightly and let stand at room temperature until firm, at least 2 and up to 8 hours.
To finish, drizzle in cream while mixing at low speed. Whip until mixture begins to thicken, about 5 minutes, then increase speed to medium and whip until cream can hold floppy peaks. Use immediately, or cover bowl with plastic (or transfer to an airtight container) and refrigerate up to 2 weeks. Alternatively, whipped cream can be frozen 3 months in an airtight container.