With only three ingredients, French Chantilly Cream is the simplest way to elevate your desserts. Lightly sweetened, airy and simple to prepare, this sweetened whip cream is a must.
Originating from France, Crème Chantilly, Chantilly cream or sweetened whipped cream, as it’s called, is something I grew up with. My French mother would whip this cream up in a matter of minutes and serve it with her Homemade Apple Tart for dessert or with Crepes or French Toast in the morning as a treat.
It’s the classic addition to French Pastries, tarts, sponges, and plenty of other desserts in France, and I can’t wait for you to include it in your repertoire too.
What is Chantilly Cream?
Crème Chantilly is cream sweetened with sugar and flavoured, usually with vanilla. Either granulated, caster or powdered icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar) along with vanilla extract or paste is added to the cream. It's then whipped until light and airy and holds its shape.
It takes only a couple of minutes to whip the ingredients together and is perfect to use as a whipped topping or filling.
France has plenty of famous crèmes (creams) that are used in their baking. Make sure to check out my Crème Légère as an incredible alternative to Chantilly Cream.
- What is Chantilly Cream?
- Chantilly Cream vs Whipped Cream
- Why you'll love Chantilly Cream
- Chantilly Ingredients
- What can you infuse whipped cream with?
- What equipment you’ll need
- Recipe pro tips
- How to make the best sweetened whipped cream
- What is Chantilly Cream used for?
- Frequently asked questions
- More French recipes that you'll love
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
Chantilly Cream vs Whipped Cream
The only difference between the two is the addition of the two extra ingredients, sugar and vanilla. Otherwise, they can be used in the same way. Saying that, though, Chantilly cream will add a touch of class to just about anything.
Why you'll love Chantilly Cream
- Tastes incredible. The sugar dissolves to sweeten the cream gently whilst the vanilla adds the perfect flavour.
- The texture is dreamy. It’s literally like eating a cloud (or so I imagine!). Light and airy, it makes the perfect topping for your Summer desserts.
- Simple to make. If you can whip cream by hand or with electric beaters, l make this chantilly cream recipe with your eyes closed. It’s so easy to make.
- So quick to make. It only takes a couple of minutes to make and can be done right at the last minute if you need embellishment to your dessert.
I’m not kidding when I say that this vanilla whipped cream only requires 3 ingredients. Let’s look at them.
- Cream: It's best to use a cream with a high percentage of butter fat. In the UK, that’s double cream or whipping cream. In the US, that’s heavy cream with 40% butter fat or heavy whipping cream with 30-35% butter fat. Don’t go any lower than 30%, for example, by using a single cream. Fat in low-fat cream isn’t enough fat to aerate and stabilise. Refrigerate the cream until just before pouring it into the bowl to whip.
- Sugar. Some recipes call for granulated, and some call for caster sugar. I recommend powdered icing sugar (confectioners) because it dissolves into the cream and produces a silky-smooth cream. Granulated sugar and caster sugar can be used, but unless they dissolve fully, they can leave a slightly grainy feel to the cream.
- Vanilla. I love to use vanilla bean paste, or the seeds of a vanilla pod scraped out as the flavour is intense but also incredible to see the hundreds of vanilla specs against the white cream. Alternatively, you can use just one teaspoon of vanilla extract or the seeds of a vanilla pod scraped out.
What can you infuse whipped cream with?
Whipped cream doesn’t need to be flavoured with just vanilla. It can have many different flavourings added to it and can accompany many of your dessert recipes. Here are my favourite additions:
- Extracts: rose water, orange blossom, almond or lemon extracts. Add a teaspoon at a time as a little goes a long way.
- Espresso powder: My favourite way to flavour whipped cream! I used espresso crème Chantilly to fill a crêpes layer cake drizzled in espresso caramel in my cookbook Simply Sweet Nostalgic Bakes. I also piped it into these profiteroles. The flavour is amazing!
- Cocoa powder: Want a chocolate flavour to your cream. That’s easy to create. Simply sift the cocoa powder into the cream with vanilla extract and icing sugar. A lighter option than buttercream for decorating your favourite chocolate cake.
- Freeze-dried fruit powders: Adding fruit puree to whipped cream is tricky as it incorporates too much moisture, and the air dissipates. The best way for a fruity flavour is to sift in a freeze-dried powder of your choices, such as raspberry, strawberry or blueberry.
- Liquor: Add a boozy kick to your whipped cream. Great liquors pair well are Baileys, Frangelico, Amaretto, Cassis, Grand Marnier or even rum.
What equipment you’ll need
There are three ways for you to make your chantilly whipped cream. By hand with a whisk and bowl and some muscle power. Or go electric and use hand beaters or a stand mixer. You will need:
- By hand: Mixing bowl and whisk.
- With hand-held beaters: Mixing bowl and hand beaters with the beater attachment.
- With a stand mixer: Stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
Recipe pro tips
- Cold Cream. This is an absolute must. Cold heavy cream should be taken out of the refrigerator literally just before you need to pour it into the bowl to whip up. You’ll achieve the lightest cream if it's super cold. Warm cream can’t whip well, and you won’t get the volume.
- Chill your utensils. If you live in a warm climate, pop your bowl and whisk attachment or whisk into the refrigerator for 20 minutes before using them. Doing things helps maximise your chance of whipping the cream well in a hot environment.
- Use the right cream. If you’re not sure, the cream must have at least 35% milk fat for it to be able to get fluffy.
- Don’t over-whip. Whip the cream chantilly for too long, and you’ll be on your way to making butter! The cream will turn grainy and lumpy and have quite an unappealing texture.
How to make the best sweetened whipped cream
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients list & instructions!*
TIP: If it’s warm in your kitchen, pop the bowl and whisk it into the refrigerator for 20 minutes. This will help chill them right down. Your future whipped cream will thank you for it!
1. Pour the cream into the bowl of a stand mixer fitter with the whisk attachment (Image 1).
2. Sift into the bowl the powdered sugar and add in the vanilla extract (Images 2 & 3).
3. Whisk cream on medium to high. The cream will start to bubble (Image 4), and then as it aerates and thickens, the bubbles will reduce until only a few remain (Images 5 and 6).
It'll still be quite loose and won't hold on to the whisk, but it is thicker than when you started (Images 7 & 8).
How much further you whisk the cream depends on the application you need it for. You can whisk it until either soft peaks form or firm peaks form.
- Whisk to soft peaks for dolloping on top of fruit, filling crêpes, or spooning alongside your favourite tart.
- Consistency: The cream is lovely and aerated, and you can start to see trails in the cream (Image 9). When the beater is pulled out, the whipped cream will peak initially and then flop over at the top (Image 10). Any definition in the cream will gradually blend into one (Image 11).
- Whip to firm peaks if you want a pipeable consistency. Once piped on top of a layer cake, cupcake or tart, the cream will maintain its shape.
- Consistency: The cream is further along in the whipping process than softly whipped cream is. Trails hold their shape in the mixing bowl (Image 12), and when the beater is pulled out of the cream, the peak stands firm (Images 13 & 14). It can be piped on top of your dessert and, once refrigerated, will hold its shape.
Easy way to fill a piping bag
This is my mess-free, go-to tip for filling up a piping bag. This technique can be used for frostings too. The piping bag I used in the images is small. If you use a larger one, place the bag in a taller glass or jug- anything that will hold it in place.
- Pop your piping tip into the bag and fold the end up.
- Place the bag into a glass and fold over the open edges (Image 15).
- Scoop cream into the bag (Image 16).
- Unfold the sides of the bag and squeeze the cream down into the piping tip (Image 17). You are ready to decorate.
The cream must be refrigerated once whipped until ready to use. It roughly doubles in size, so 1 cup of cream will make two cups of whipped cream. We use 2 cups of cream for this recipe, so you'll be left with approximately 4 cups of whipped cream.
What is Chantilly Cream used for?
The French have so many gorgeous types of creams such as crème diplomate, crème patisserie and crème mousseline. However, Crème Chantilly is the lightest making it the most classic and versatile cream.
- It’s perfect for filling éclairs, profiteroles, and cream puffs.
- Or you can serve it alongside various tarts, brownies, sponge cakes, crêpes and pies. It’s a dream when accompanied by my French Yogurt Cake.
- You can also dollop it on top of a bowl of berries, pancakes, waffles, banana splits, ice cream sundaes, milkshakes, or even hot chocolate. (Talk about a necessary indulgence!)
It's the absolute perfect accompaniment! Don’t you love how many sweet treats you can add it to, and I bet you can think of more!
Frequently asked questions
It needs to be refrigerated in an airtight container as soon as it’s whipped. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. If it starts to seep moisture in the last couple of days, then simply whisk again to bring it back together.
Yes, you can actually. The sugar helps to stabilize the whipped cream before freezing. Pipe or spoon dollops of leftover cream onto parchment paper. Freeze for 3-4 hours. Once solid, use a knife to scrape cream into a zip-lock bag gently. Freeze for up to one month.
Thaw in the refrigerator or the freezer bag so that that cream forms one mass. Or remove the individual piped whipped cream and place it on the dessert you are serving it with.
Yes, you can. It’s done by substituting the cream with one can/14oz coconut milk. Treat it the same way as regular cream and follow the method in the recipe card. It will, of course, have a mild coconut flavour (delicious in itself!).
More French recipes that you'll love
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French Chantilly Cream Recipe
- 480 ml double cream (heavy cream), cold
- 30 g powdered icing sugar (or caster sugar), or caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or extract
- Note: If your kitchen is very warm then refrigerate your bowl and whisk 20 minutes prior to whipping the cream.
- Add the cream. Add the cream into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or a large bowl if whisking by hand or with an electric hand beater.
- Add the sugar and vanilla. Sift into the cream the powdered icing sugar and add in the vanilla bean paste.
- Whisk to soft or firm peaks. Whisk on medium to high for 2 minutes or until the cream starts to thicken and aerate. Whip to soft peaks or slightly longer to firm peaks. Refrigerate until ready to use.
All recipes are developed and tested in Metric grams. I strongly recommend that you bake using digital scales for a more accurate result. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.
Thaw in the refrigerator or the freezer bag so that that cream forms one mass. Or remove the individual piped whipped cream and place it on the dessert you are serving it with. TIP 1: Cold Cream. This is an absolute must. The cream should be taken out of the refrigerator literally just before you need to pour it into the bowl to whip up. You’ll achieve the lightest cream if it's super cold. Warm cream can’t whip well, and you won’t get the volume. TIP 2: Chill your utensils. If you live in a warm climate, pop your bowl and whisk attachment or whisk into the refrigerator for 20 minutes before using them. Doing this helps maximise your chance of whipping the cream well in a hot environment. TIP 3: Use the right cream. If you’re not sure, the cream must have at least 35% milk fat for it to be able to get fluffy. TIP 4: Don’t over-whip. Whip the cream for too long, and you’ll be on your way to making butter! The cream will turn grainy and lumpy and have quite an unappealing texture.