Something Swanky

Homemade Cool Whip

So many of my readers don’t have Cool Whip available to them or opt not to use the product for nutrition reasons. This homemade substitute will work perfectly in place of Cool Whip in any recipe!

Homemade Cool Whip |

I love Cool Whip. It’s my very favorite ingredient at just about any given time, and I use it constantly in dessert-making. But whenever I post a recipe that uses Cool Whip, I brace myself for the onslaught of comments I’ll get that go something like this:

“We don’t have Cool Whip in Australia/Britain/XYZ! So sad I can’t make this!”

or, the ever popular… “I don’t eat Cool Whip because it’s so processed/fake/unhealthy/straight-up-poison. Can I use regular whipped cream instead?” (99% of the time, the answer is NO, by the way)

I hate posting a great recipe knowing that a portion of my readers can’t or won’t be able to make it, because it contains Cool Whip!

Homemade Cool Whip |

I’ve wanted to make a homemade substitution for a long time, but it seemed like such a daunting task! Where to even start??

Recently I came across Tidy Mom’s Salted Caramel Cheesecake (*drool*) garnished with stable whipped cream. Genius.

I made a few minor tweaks and additions, and I think it’s a pretty great substitute for Cool Whip in recipe.

Homemade Cool Whip |

MAJOR DISCLOSURE: this is an awesome substitute for Cool Whip, but it does not taste EXACTLY the same. It tastes just like regular whipped cream (you can see how the consistency looks like whipped cream instead of Cool Whip), but it holds up just like Cool Whip does. This makes it ideal for topping cakes or using it in a mousse or salad recipe just as you would use Cool Whip.

One of the major testing factors that was important to me was how it would stand up to being mixed into pudding to create a mousse. I figured that was a pretty good overall test of it’s stability since you are incorporating it completely into another semi-liquid. Happily, it worked out amazingly! The mousse tasted delicious (and just like it does when I use Cool Whip), and there were no signs of deflation or watery mess after 24 hours:

Homemade Cool Whip |

Important notes about this recipe:

  • Don’t skip dissolving the cream of tartar in the plastic bag. It’s the best way I’ve found to keep the cream of tartar from clumping (yuck).
  • I’ve tried every which way to skip the stove top part of this process. But unless you want clumps of gelatin in your whipped cream, you have to dissolve it in the hot water over the stove, and then let it cool down before adding it to the whipping cream.
  • Be sure not to over-mix during the whisking process. You shouldn’t try for stiff peaks– you’ll just end up with a curdled mess (albeit a yummy one). Once the cream is thick enough to spread, stop whisking. It will still look soft, but that’s okay.
  • Store covered in the refrigerator, just like you would Cool Whip. I was overly anxious to post this recipe, and I didn’t wait to find out what this recipe’s shelf life is. I will update as soon as I know!

Homemade Cool Whip


  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 3/4 cups whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Pour the water into a small saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water, and let it sit for 2-3 minutes. Place the pan over medium-low heat and stir until gelatin dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
  2. Once the gelatin mixture has cooled...
  3. Place 1 tablespoon of the whipping cream and the cream of tartar in a small ziptop bag. Seal the bag and shake it until cream of tartar has dissolved completely and there are no lumps. If there are lumps, use your fingers to work them out.
  4. Pour the cream of tartar mixture into a large bowl (the bowl of your mixer if using a stand mixer) along with the rest of the whipping cream and the sugar.
  5. Beat with a hand mixer or the whisk attachment on a stand mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Once cream mixture begins to slightly thicken, slowly pour in the gelatin-water while continually mixing. Add the vanilla.
  6. Continue to mix until the cream is thick and smooth.



Follw me!


Ashton is the owner and author ofSomething Swanky. Although first and foremost a wife and mother, she considers herself an online entrepreneur, freelance writer and photographer, and brand ambassador.Her focus is in food styling, food photography and recipe development.
Follw me!

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64 Responses to “Homemade Cool Whip”

  1. Lisa @ Wine & Glue posted on December 5, 2013 at 6:50 pm (#)

    And this is why you are a such a good food blogger :) I don’t know that I would have had the patience for this task!

  2. Averie @ Averie Cooks posted on December 5, 2013 at 7:33 pm (#)

    YOU DID IT!!! This is amazing!!!! For anyone who doesn’t have it (and the rare occasions when I post about it, I get a zillion emails), I know where to send them! pinned

  3. Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen posted on December 5, 2013 at 7:39 pm (#)

    Excellent stabilized whipped cream recipe, Ashton! Glad you tested in recipes calling for Cool Whip with success. However, in your Notes above the recipe, you mention cornstarch. Is cornstarch missing from the recipe? I don’t see it in the ingredients list or in the instructions. Or, did you mean cream of tartar when you mentioned cornstarch? Thanks for sharing!

    • Ashton replied: — December 5th, 2013 @ 8:58 pm

      Darn!! Meant to fix that before I posted, and just totally spaced it! Will do now :) Thanks!

  4. Meredith posted on December 5, 2013 at 7:44 pm (#)

    Your cousin in Grenada is grateful for the post! I may have missed this in the post but how much does it yield? The same as a full container of Cool Whip?

    • Ashton replied: — December 5th, 2013 @ 9:06 pm

      Yes! Sorry, I need to add that! One recipe fit nicely into the empty 8 oz cool whip tub I had on hand :)

  5. Jenn@eatcakefordinner posted on December 5, 2013 at 7:47 pm (#)

    Wow – this is pretty great – thanks!

  6. Laura @ Lauras Baking Talent posted on December 5, 2013 at 7:49 pm (#)

    This is genius! Thanks for sharing :)

  7. Shannon posted on December 5, 2013 at 8:05 pm (#)

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!

  8. NaKeisha posted on December 5, 2013 at 8:12 pm (#)

    You are a HERO! I’m allergic to coconut so I can’t eat cool whip. There are so many different recipes I haven’t been able to try because I didn’t have a substitute. Now I do – thanks!

  9. Sunny posted on December 5, 2013 at 9:08 pm (#)

    I have used stabilized whipped cream many times before but never thought of tweeking it for a cool whip substitute, u are amazing!!! I’m in S. Korea and sometimes, especially close to a major holiday, there is a shortage of commonly used goods. I’m definitely saving and printing this one! Thanks a bunch!

  10. Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen posted on December 5, 2013 at 10:05 pm (#)

    My mind is blown. I am seriously itching to make this RIGHT NOW! Heck yeah!

  11. Nicole posted on December 5, 2013 at 10:22 pm (#)

    I just saw a recipe for stabilized whipped cream that I’ve been dying to try. I turned into a whipped cream snob after I started blogging and now I don’t use Cool Whip very often. But there have been a couple recipes that REALLY didn’t work with whipped cream, like mousse. Now I know what to do! (Or just go buy Cool Whip) ;) Thanks for testing this out for us!

  12. Mandy's Recipe Box posted on December 5, 2013 at 11:18 pm (#)

    You are amazing! Genius idea :)

  13. Emma posted on December 6, 2013 at 5:28 am (#)

    Yay, Yay, Yay. You sweet Asthon are the best!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Christmas just came early for me. Totally made my day

    happy dance currently happening!!! Holla, so very excited (just in case you missed it ;))

    Thank you thank you thank you xoxoxoxoox

  14. Val in MN posted on December 6, 2013 at 11:48 am (#)

    Great idea and post. I likewise avoid as many processed foods as possible, but I certainly would never complain to the blogger for using them. I just skip those recipes for us, or pass them on to my daughters who need quick and convenient everything. Thanks!

  15. Jennifer posted on December 6, 2013 at 12:33 pm (#)

    I hear angels singing! This is the best thing I’ve read all day… thank you!!

  16. Dana posted on December 6, 2013 at 12:49 pm (#)

    Am I safe in assuming this can be frozen, so I can have it on hand “just like Cool-Whip”?
    Thanks for the recipe.

    • Ashton replied: — December 17th, 2013 @ 10:51 pm

      I haven’t tested that! Let me know if you try it!

  17. Kayle (The Cooking Actress) posted on December 6, 2013 at 2:36 pm (#)


  18. Sara posted on December 6, 2013 at 3:00 pm (#)

    This is so cool! I wish I knew how to make it so it is French Vanilla “Cool Whip”! I love that stuff and the stores around me never have it. It is aggravating!

  19. Jodi posted on December 6, 2013 at 6:45 pm (#)

    You are a genius! Thanks for sharing. By the way, what font are you using on your pictures now?

  20. Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust posted on December 6, 2013 at 10:36 pm (#)

    You’re a freaking genius. LOVE.

  21. Laura Dembowski posted on December 7, 2013 at 9:36 am (#)

    I’m kinda one of those people that’s all eww gross Cool Whip so I love this! Genius recipe!

  22. Connie K posted on December 7, 2013 at 11:20 am (#)

    THANK YOU! I used to use Cool Whip all.the.time! Until I found out what was in it. Eww!!! So, Thank you for sharing this recipe! Excited to try it out!

  23. Jen @ Fresh From The... posted on December 8, 2013 at 8:11 pm (#)

    I love making Pretzel Jello Salad, but my boyfriend hates processed foods like Cool Whip, so maybe he’ll eat it if I use this instead! Thanks for the recipe!

  24. dalena posted on December 8, 2013 at 9:19 pm (#)

    Does it make a difference whether you use granulated sugar or powdered sugar? I’m one of those people who don’t eat Cool Whip because of the scary ingredients and the all-natural version doesn’t work well in recipes. Thanks so much for this!

    • Ashton replied: — December 17th, 2013 @ 10:42 pm

      Yes, it needs to be granular :)

  25. Mary B. posted on December 8, 2013 at 9:35 pm (#)

    This recipe is so cool. Need to ask, have you ever tried it using milk? My husband has problems with lactose. and has to use lactose free milk. I’m trying a way to get around the cream so he can enjoy whipped topping on pumpkin pie.
    II hope this comes through clearly because the text is not clear for me.

  26. Sarah Willoughby posted on December 9, 2013 at 7:07 pm (#)

    OMG!!!!!! COOL WHIP!!!!!! I can’t believe it!!!!! I haven’t had cool whip since I was a little girl. You can’t buy it here in the UK woe is me :’-( I was born in the states, in Maine, but lived here in UK since I was three. my father is from London and my mother is also from Maine and was in the US Navy and stationed in London so I only got to have cool whip at thanksgiving and Christmas with pumpkin pie when she would shop at the base and stock up on US goods. Once she left the Navy we also had to say goodbye to all the American goodies including peanut butter and chocolate! Which people over here are only just discovering! Also peanut butter and jelly/jam is viewed with suspicion which I found to be second nature to put together! So sorry for going on but thank you so much for this recipe, finally another goodie I can make at home and can no longer be a distant memory.

  27. Heather @ French Press posted on December 10, 2013 at 12:55 am (#)

    Ashton – you are truly amazing!

  28. Lindsay @ Life, Love and sugar posted on December 10, 2013 at 11:47 am (#)

    Absolutely genius Ashton! I will definitely be trying it!

  29. Jessica Donohue posted on December 11, 2013 at 9:10 am (#)

    I love this!!! If anyone asks about a gelatin substitute (you may get this question down the road, hopefully not), you can use Agar flakes. It’s a seaweed derivative. I used it in making homemade American cheese and it worked pretty well. Very cool! Thanks for figuring this out.

  30. Susie posted on December 12, 2013 at 5:24 pm (#)

    While this works, it is unnecessarily difficult. You can use 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon of cornstarch for each cup of heavy cream. Add it with the sugar and it will stabilize the cream quite easily and nicely. You can buy packages of Oetker’s stabilizer for whipped cream (Or maybe Dr. Oetkers I forget what the package said as it has been a few decades since I bought it.) and it is cornstarch and an anticaking agent. I have used this for every recipe that calls for cool whip for over twenty years and never once did it fail me.

    • Ashton replied: — December 12th, 2013 @ 8:17 pm

      Awesome tip! I’ll have to try that!

      • Angie Scheie replied: — March 17th, 2014 @ 12:47 pm

        My husband is allergic to corn and is it extremely difficult to find things without it so I greatly appreciate its non use in your recipe;). As a side note, how long to do find yourself wisking/beating until it thickens up. Mine does not seem to be doing so:(

  31. Laura posted on December 13, 2013 at 3:42 pm (#)

    This makes me a happy girl :) been wanting a good substitute for a while. Thank you! I love your recipes! My hubby gets so happy when I make your brownies.

  32. Kelley P posted on December 16, 2013 at 5:19 am (#)

    this sounds interesting but I have a question. You say that you cannot usually substitute whipped cream for cool whip. Why would that be? I’ve never had problems with the substitution, but maybe I haven’t been making the kind of dishes that are a problem. Also, do you know what the cream of tartar does for the mixture? I’ve used it to sour milk as a buttermilk substitute. Does this need the acidity, also?

    • Ashton replied: — December 17th, 2013 @ 9:36 pm

      In many of my recipes that use cool whip, it is an integral part of the recipe– not just a topping. So whipped cream tends to deflate in those, which is why you need a stable whipped cream.

  33. Karri posted on December 17, 2013 at 11:50 am (#)

    Can you use this in a recipe that calls for you to fold cool whip into cream cheese? I make a pudding dessert that has a shortbread style crust, a cream cheese/cool whip layer, a pudding layer, and then cool whip on top. I haven’t made it for a while because of the guilt I feel when using cool whip.

  34. Alyson posted on January 20, 2014 at 12:25 pm (#)

    THANK YOU!!! I’ve missed having cool whip after moving to london a decade ago. Finally I can make ‘funeral salad’ again ;-)

  35. ash posted on January 24, 2014 at 3:42 am (#)

    What a life saviour! How much does this make though?

  36. Katie Short posted on February 24, 2014 at 11:29 am (#)

    Thank you so much! This is awesome… so very pinned

  37. Christine Meier posted on March 4, 2014 at 8:43 pm (#)

    My question is can I use Stevia in place of the sugar? I am lo-carbing it and although it is not much sugar I just wondered if anyone had tried it before

  38. Kari Masoner posted on March 29, 2014 at 9:21 pm (#)

    Thank you for sharing this recipe… I’m in the camp that doesn’t want to use Cool Whip because of the ingredients… I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your work in creating a substitute… (I haven’t tried it yet, but will soon.)

  39. Jaana posted on March 31, 2014 at 3:22 am (#)

    This is great! I have found so many nice recipes which includes Cool Whip and I can’t get here in Finland. Now I can start baking! Awesome! Thanks a tons for this recipe!

  40. Rosie posted on April 9, 2014 at 1:53 pm (#)

    Just wondering if this would hold up for piping on top of a pie or cake and also as a spread between layers of a cake….thank you so much!

  41. Jane Faulkner posted on May 18, 2014 at 12:57 pm (#)

    I used to make a frozen peanut butter pie using cool whip. Can your version be frozen please?

    • Ashton replied: — May 21st, 2014 @ 12:05 am

      I don’t know! But if you try it, be sure to come back and let me know :)

  42. CC Nolan posted on June 17, 2014 at 11:27 am (#)

    Wonder if it works with half and half cream-to save a few calories?

  43. Bianca Majewski posted on June 18, 2014 at 7:45 am (#)

    I love cool whip but we don’t have it in Germany. :-(
    So can’t wait to try this recipe. Thanks

  44. Heather posted on June 30, 2014 at 10:26 am (#)

    Thank you so much for all your hard work that you’ve put into this project. I live in Australia and have coeliac disease – as you previously mentioned there are so many desert recipes that I couldn’t make. Now thanks to you I can try a lot more recipes. Keep up the great work

  45. Jessica posted on July 7, 2014 at 10:38 pm (#)

    Thanks so much for this! Where I live we don’t have Cool Whip either so I’ll have to give this a try! Thanks!!

  46. Rita Gallo posted on July 8, 2014 at 7:06 pm (#)

    The cool whip sounds great– I don`t use store bought because of the ingredients– Am patiently waiting to hear if anyone has had any luck freezing it

  47. Marisa Micallef posted on July 20, 2014 at 1:53 pm (#)

    Thanks a million, if you were here i would hug and kiss you !!!
    will try it for sure as soon as i have some time and will pass it on to my sister Anna who usually uses cool whip while in PEI but did not know what to use when in Malta! Once again thanks a million times over. xxx

  48. Carlin posted on July 26, 2014 at 12:33 pm (#)

    Hate to be a p.i.a. but would cornstarch sub for the cream of tartar? In Spain that is something that I can’t get. Dying to try it!!!

    • Ashton replied: — July 27th, 2014 @ 9:49 pm

      Sadly, I have no idea!! But if you try it, be sure to come back and let me know! I’m sure others have that same problem…

  49. Emma Argo posted on August 11, 2014 at 9:05 pm (#)

    Just made this, It tastes delicious, but why do I have chunks of gelatin?

    • Ashton replied: — August 12th, 2014 @ 8:20 pm

      Did the gelatin dissolve completely on the stove top?

      • Emma Argo replied: — August 13th, 2014 @ 10:01 am

        It seemed like it dissolved before the heat. By the time it cooled all the way it was jello! I guess I don’t quite understand the heating and cooling process.

  50. Jo posted on September 30, 2014 at 4:20 pm (#)

    Hi there
    Any update on the storage life for this yet? I’d like to use it for a cake for a party on 11th oct and wondering how far in advance I can make it :-)

    • Ashton replied: — October 1st, 2014 @ 9:03 pm

      Not from me– Cool whip in any form doesn’t last long here. But maybe from another reader?

  51. Halley posted on November 11, 2014 at 1:29 pm (#)

    Thanks Ashton. Does this recipe make an amount equivalent to a tub of Cool Whip (which I think is about 3 cups or 8 oz)?

    • Ashton replied: — November 13th, 2014 @ 5:26 pm

      Yes :)

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