This chocolate whipped cream recipe is spectacularly quick and easy to make, and comes together with just 5 simple ingredients. It’s light and fluffy, with a subtly sweet milk chocolate flavor, making it perfect to pair with your favorite rich desserts. Plus, don’t hesitate to use it as a chocolate whipped cream frosting for cakes and cupcakes; it pipes beautifully!
Homemade whipped cream is an amazing thing. It’s ridiculously simple, but its light, fluffy texture and creamy sweetness make so many desserts taste better.
Chocolate whipped cream is that and more. It’s just as light, airy, and silky-smooth, but with a creamy chocolate flavor that can add a whole new dimension to your favorite sweet treats.
Here’s Why You’ll Love It!
- Made from scratch in under 10 minutes
- Not too sweet
- Perfectly chocolatey
- Incredibly versatile
- Doubles as a chocolate whipped cream frosting
- Pipes well (for garnishing cupcakes and other desserts)
- Sturdy enough for frosting layer cakes
Ingredients for Homemade Chocolate Whipped Cream
This is a short and sweet ingredient list!
- Heavy cream is also sold as heavy whipping cream (or double cream in the UK). All are interchangeable!
- You can use natural or Dutch process cocoa powder in this recipe. Natural cocoa powder will give the chocolate cream a slightly lighter flavor and color, while Dutch cocoa will make the flavor a bit richer, and the color a little bit darker. For the best results, I always suggest using the highest quality cocoa you can find, since it really will make a difference in flavor. Rodelle and Ghirardelli are both reliable brands.
- I prefer to sweeten whipped cream with confectioner’s sugar, otherwise known as powdered sugar. It keeps the texture smoother than granulated sugar and also helps with stabilizing (which means it helps the cream retain its whip for longer periods). You can use virtually any kind of sugar you’d like, but keep in mind that liquid sweeteners will most likely make this chocolate whipped cream softer and less suited to piping.
- Vanilla and salt are key for rounding out the flavors of this whipped cream. Many recipes omit these two ingredients, but they make all the difference!
- Gelatin is only necessary if you need stabilized whipped cream for piping, or to frost a layer cake. This will give it more structure (almost like chocolate cool whip or mousse) and help it retain that structure for longer periods. Unflavored gelatin powder is available in the baking aisle of most grocery stores.
Tools You’ll Need
Technically, you can whip cream by hand with a whisk, but this is only realistic to do with a relatively small amount of cream (no more than ½ cup). Even then, expect to get a good arm workout!
If you intend to use gelatin or otherwise plan to pipe this whipped cream, stick with the electric mixer.
How to Make Chocolate Whipped Cream
If using gelatin, prep it first: Sprinkle the gelatin over cold water in a small, microwave-safe bowl. Make sure it all gets moistened. Let it sit for 1-2 minutes to begin absorbing the water - what we call “blooming”.
Next, microwave the gelatin for 5-10 seconds. It should fully dissolve in the water. Set is aside to cool briefly while you move on to the next step.
In a medium to large bowl or stand mixer, combine the cream with a pinch of salt and beat until it has thickened slightly - similar to the consistency of melted ice cream. It shouldn’t hold its shape yet! Use the highest speed you can without splashing cream outside of your bowl.
Add the cocoa powder, confectioner’s sugar, and vanilla extract. Turn the mixer on low speed and slowly pour in the gelatin (if using). Continue to beat on low speed, using a spatula to scrape down the bowl at least once in the process, until everything is fully incorporated. If you want to add more cocoa or sugar to suit your taste preferences, now’s the time - before the whipped cream gets too stiff.
Finally, increase the speed as/if needed and keep beating until the whipped cream has reached the consistency you’re looking for. Soft peaks are fine for dolloping on pie or hot cocoa, but stiffer peaks are best for piping and frosting.
If you plan to pipe the cream (it makes an amazingly fluffy chocolate frosting), it’s best to do so right away. Otherwise, it can be kept refrigerated until you’re ready to use it.
Tips for Perfecting This Recipe
- Always use cold heavy cream for whipping - room temperature cream will not whip well. For a little extra assurance, you can also freeze your bowl and beaters for about 15 minutes before you start.
- Use a slightly bigger bowl than you think you might need to avoid splashing cream outside of the bowl while whipping. I often ignore this rule and always regret it!
- To avoid over-whipping cream, it helps to put aside the electric beater once you’re 90% there, and use a whisk to finish whipping by hand.
- If you do overwhip the cream - it’ll start to look lumpy - stop mixing immediately. You can usually fix it by adding more fresh cream and whisking it in by hand just until the mixture has smoothed out again.
- Wondering about making this dairy-free? I have a non-dairy whipped cream recipe for you!
Ways to Use Chocolate Whipped Cream
- Use it as a fruit dip, pairing it with berries or other fresh fruit for a light and easy dessert.
- Add a dollop to hot chocolate or a white peppermint mocha.
- Serve it with chocolate pudding for double the chocolate flavor!
- Use it as a whipped chocolate frosting for a cookie cake, chocolate cupcakes, or a fudgy chocolate cake. It would also be incredible on an ice cream cake!
- Swap out the regular whipped cream on this Nutella tart for an extra chocolatey finish.
- Serve it over a batch of fudgy brownies. I think these Oreo brownies would be an awesome pairing!
This can vary quite a bit depending on how much cream you’re whipping and the type of mixer you’re using. Rather than whipping the cream for a specific amount of time, the best advice you can follow is to use the visual cues provided in this recipe.
Store this in a bowl covered with plastic wrap, or (ideally) in an airtight container. It should be refrigerated until ready to serve.
Without using gelatin as a stabilizer, this whipped cream is best served within 1-2 days. It will remain perfectly edible for 4-5 days, but may start to deflate. If this happens, just whisk it briefly by hand to incorporate more air back into the mixture.
Stabilized chocolate whipped cream should hold its shape perfectly for at least 3 days.
Easy Chocolate Whipped Cream
This easy chocolate whipped cream recipe can be made in under 10 minutes, and always turns out perfectly soft, light, and fluffy. With its light texture and not-to-sweet flavor, it makes the best chocolate whipped cream frosting for cakes and cupcakes too!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 3 cups 1x
- Category: frosting
- Method: electric mixer
- Cuisine: American
- 1 ½ teaspoons unflavored gelatin powder (optional, for stabilized whipped cream)
- 1 ½ tablespoons cold water (optional, for stabilized whipped cream)
- 1 ½ cups (351 grams) cold heavy cream
- pinch of salt
- 5 tablespoons (31 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch processed)
- ⅜ cup (43 grams) confectioner's sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- If using gelatin: Sprinkle the gelatin over water in a small, microwave-safe bowl, making sure it all gets moistened. Let it sit for 1-2 minutes to begin absorbing the water. Then, microwave the gelatin for 5-10 seconds, until fully dissolved. Set aside to cool briefly while you move on to step 2.
- Using a medium-large bowl and handheld electric mixer, or a stand mixer, combine the heavy cream and salt. Beat until the cream has thickened slightly, but isn't yet holding its shape. Use the highest speed you can without splashing cream outside of your bowl.
- Add the cocoa powder, confectioner’s sugar, and vanilla extract to the heavy cream. Turn the mixer on low speed and slowly pour in the gelatin (if using). Continue to beat on low speed, using a spatula to scrape down the bowl at least once in the process, until everything is fully incorporated.
- Increase the speed as needed and continue to beat just until the whipped cream has reached your desired consistency. Aim for stiff peaks if using this for piping or frosting purposes.
- If piping, immediately transfer to a piping bag and use as intended. Otherwise, refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Dutch process cocoa powder will give this whipped cream a slightly richer flavor and darker color than natural cocoa powder.
- Powdered sugar can be substituted with any other type of sugar, but the flavor and texture will vary. Liquid sweeteners will create a softer whipped cream, less suitable for piping. Keep in mind that some sugars taste sweeter than others! Adjust the amount you use accordingly.
Storing and Shelf Life
- Chocolate whipped cream can be stored in a bowl covered with plastic wrap, or (ideally) in an airtight container. Keep refrigerated.
- Whipped cream that hasn't been stabilized with gelatin is best served within 1-2 days. It will remain edible for 4-5 days, but may start to deflate. If this happens, just whisk it briefly by hand to incorporate more air back into the mixture.
- Stabilized whipped cream should hold its shape for at least 3 days.
- To help the cream whip faster, chill your mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for about 15 minutes before starting this recipe.
- To avoid overwhipping cream, use an electric mixer until it's about 90% whipped, and then finish whisking by hand. If cream has been overwhipped (it will look lumpy) carefully whisk in more (cold) heavy cream, just until it has smoothed out.