Homemade Whipped Topping aka Make Your Own Cool Whip

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A few weeks ago, on Ingredient Spotlight, we shared frozen whipped topping recipes.  Loy, one of my readers who you get to meet next week, shared a recipe for homemade whipped topping.

I’d never thought about making my own whipped topping before, but the idea was intriguing.  And when I decided to make this cake, I knew this was the time to experiment (aka play) with the recipe.  The result is light, subtly sweet and creamy.  I really wished I could have added a hint of vanilla, but I didn’t want to use extract.  I wanted to keep it pure white and I also was unsure about messing up the proportions of liquid.

Later, I thought about using vanilla infused sugar.  You can do this at home just by putting a vanilla bean in sugar and leaving it there for about a week.  (I must try this soon.)  I think the vanilla flavor would greatly enhance the taste of the whipped topping.

Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • 1 tsp. unflavored gelatin
  • 2 tsp. cold water
  • 3 Tbs. boiling water
  • 1/2 cup ice water (I put the cubes in water for several minutes, then scooped them out, leaving 1/2 cup water.)
  • 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
  • 3 Tbs. sugar
  • 3 Tbs. oil

Chill a mixing bowl.

While it’s chilling, in a small bowl stir gelatin and 2 tsp. cold water together.   Stir in boiling water, until gelatin is completely dissolved.  Set aside to cool.

Pour ice water and milk powder into chilled bowl.  Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form.  Add sugar, still beating, then oil and gelatin.  Place in freezer for 15 minutes.  Transfer to fridge to store until ready to use.  Stir before using to make it creamy again.

I used this on the cake right after the 15 minutes in the freezer.  The texture is not exactly like Cool Whip, but it’s very close.  It held up fine on the cake in the fridge until the next day.  I don’t know how long it would last after that, because we’d eaten the cake inside of 24 hours.

Here’s another picture of the cake:

We’ve had such a lack of sunshine lately, that I’ve had a terrible time getting enough light to take photos.  This was taken in the middle of our patio, under the cover while it drizzled rain.  Someone please send sunshine soon!


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  1. I am intrigued. Gave it a stumble.

  2. Cook’s makes a white (clear) vanilla; I bought mine at Safeway. You might also be able to find some at a Michael’s in the cake decorating section, I believe Wilton’s makes one as well. 🙂

  3. I have to admit that I haven’t made this recipe in awhile, but as I remember I used to add vanilla to it. Perhaps 1/2 to 1 t. It shouldn’t change the color very much. I believe that I have used almond extract also, about 1/2 t. I think you could use some of the other flavorings, too. I never tried using it as a cake frosting just as a topping. We used to use the topping up within a day or so I don’t remember its long term storage potential. It is a useful recipe for those who prefer not to use Cool Whip. Glad you tried it.

  4. This cake looks absolutely scrumptious – even if it was drizzling rain during picture taking !!!! What a picture! I will be making this over the weekend (it is suppose to thunderstorm here), and enjoy every bite!!!! Never would have thought you could make cool whip type topping, how great is that! Thanks Tiffany and Loy.

  5. So excited to see this post, I’ve been looking for a whipped icing!

  6. If you want a DELICIOUS vanilla that will not alter the color of something, try Watkins clear vanilla. My mom stumbled upon Watkins vanilla one day at Walmart when they were out of the brand she used to buy. She has never gone back to the other brand. She got our whole family hooked on the stuff. They have a delicious clear vanilla that I use all the time.

  7. Just wanted to add that I don’t think you can buy the clear vanilla at Walmart. I think they only have the regular stuff. But you can find it online. http://www.jrwatkins.com/jrwatkins/productsgroup.cfm?Group=8F7F479C-23FE-BA89-429F98F348BA82C3&Family=40506526-9D80-A0DB-3D7190209E343B08&Country=Usa

    And the clear vanilla is also imitation. But I’m telling you–it’s the best I’ve ever tasted.

  8. I’m so glad you posted this! I’ve been meaning to look it up for a while, b/c the ingredients in Cool Whip are not exactly “all natural”, and we eat it fairly often. I’m bookmarking this and will make it soon!

  9. I “fessed up” that I has sent out the recipe, but I included this post in my Friday Finds over at Finding Joy in My Kitchen today. Just going to send people here instead of doing a post on it myself.

  10. A little late, but they sell a powdered, pure vanilla and pure vanilla sugar on Ebay. Sounds like either of these may work.

  11. I made this today and used coconut oil instead of cooking oil. It gave it a real light coconut flavor! Yummy:)

  12. To use the vanilla and still keep it white.. just get clear vanilla… usually sold at stores like Michaels, JoAnns.. any where they sell cake making supplies. If you are worried about the liquid ratio then just use a little less water.

  13. This sounds really good! I’m planning on making a LOT of desserts that call for cool whip so this is definitely very useful (a lot healthier and cheaper, too). How many servings does this recipe yield?

  14. Diana Martinez says:

    What might work in place of gelatin for vegetarians?

  15. Why not just make cool whip with Heavy Whipping cream and powdered sugar? Easy out cream in mixer on high and slowly put in powdered sugar

  16. Regular vanilla works just fine! I use cream from our farm milk and add some cream cheese to it. It keeps a good consistency that way. Just put anywhere from 2-4 Tablespoons of softened cream cheese with each cup of whipping cream and whip as usual. Awesome.

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