Chantilly cream is a French classic. Fluffy, light, airy and melt-in-the-mouth, this vanilla whipped cream is a gorgeous topping for cakes, scones, French toast and so much more.

  • The taste is incredible and will elevate your desserts.
  • The perfect creamy, dreamy texture.
  • Quick and easy to make.
  • 3 simple ingredients and ready in a couple of minutes.

I just love this gorgeous cream. The flavour, the texture – it’s sublime and such a wonderful way to top desserts or even sweet breakfasts. Using the right cream, it will hold it’s shape at least overnight in the fridge.

Want to try some more French classics? Try this crème patissiere (pastry cream)  and this crème anglaise.

Closeup of chantilly cream in a bowl.

What is Chantilly cream?

Chantilly crem or crème Chantilly is a sweetened whipped cream, flavoured with vanilla. This French classic is used for everything from filling pastries to topping sponge cakes, dolloped on tarts and it’s even a great topping for hot chocolate. It’s no harder than making whipped cream from scratch and will elevate your desserts.

Whipped cream vs Chantilly cream

Whipped cream is just that – cream that has been whipped. Some ready made whipping cream in a can will have a slight sweetness but where I’m from, it’s just regular whole cream whipped up. Chantilly has the addition of sugar and vanilla.

What is Chantilly cream made of?

Ingredients for chantilly cream on a baking tray.

Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.

  • Cream: You’ll need cream of at least 35% milk fat. It is known by different names around the globe but you’re looking for thickened cream, heavy cream or whipping cream. It must be full fat.
  • Sugar: Classic French crème Chantilly uses caster sugar / superfine sugar (which is just more finely ground granulated sugar, not icing sugar (powdered sugar), however icing sugar does work too.
  • Vanilla: It’s very important to use pure vanilla extract or vanilla beans scraped from vanilla pods. I use a vanilla bean paste which includes vanilla beans so that the Chantilly cream has that classic flecked look.

How to make Chantilly cream (step-by-step)

Whipped cream in a mixing bowl.

Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.

What you’ll need

To make whipped cream you’ll need a large bowl and either an electric hand mixer, stand mixer or balloon whisk, the latter being the most labour intensive but still surprisingly easy.

How to do it

There really is only 1 step and that is to put all your ingredients into a bowl and beat it to soft or firm peaks. With an electric beater it takes all of 2 minutes.

Soft or firm peaks

Whether you go for soft peaks or firm peaks will depend on how you’re using your whipped cream. Just don’t go too far or it will turn grainy.

  • Soft peaks: When you pull the beater out a small peak will form that stays in place but the tip will fall over. This softer consistency is lovely for dolloping on your tart, with a slice of cake or on top of crepes.
  • Firm peaks (aka stiff peaks): When you pull the beater out, you will see a sharp tip that stays standing upright. This consistency is best for filling pastries like profiteroles or where you’d like to use it to pipe. This is a good consistency for filling and topping sponge cakes too.

Tips and tricks

  • Keep it cold: The cream must be cold before you start or it won’t whip so well and possibly not at all.
  • Full fat: Cream must be full fat to whip.
  • Start on low: Start your beater on the lowest setting so that cream doesn’t splatter everywhere. Gradually increase the speed to medium keeping an eye on the consistency. As it gets very thick, turn it down to low and check regularly.
  • Don’t overwhip: If you whip it at too high a speed or for too long, the cream may turn grainy so, as it’s getting thicker and you can see ribbons of cream holding their shape, turn off the beater to check regularly.
  • If your kitchen is warm, chill your utensils as well (ie: the bowl and beater attachments) for 30 minutes before beginning.

Did you know? If you keep beating cream well past its whipped point, you’ll make butter!

Variations

You don’t need to stick with vanilla.

  • Extracts: Try flavouring your cream with other extracts as well like orange, coconut, lemon, maple, almond or mint.
  • Zests: Use a little zest from your favourite citrus like lemon, orange or lime.
  • Syrup / honey: Add a little maple syrup or honey in place of the vanilla.
  • Coffee: Add some finely ground coffee or a coffee syrup.
  • Chocolate: You can make chocolate Chantilly cream by adding 2-3 tablespoons of sifted cocoa powder to the mix.
  • Freeze dried fruit powders: Freeze dried fruit powders are wonderful for adding a natural fruity flavour.
  • Alcohol: You can also add liqueurs like Limoncello, Baileys, Fragelico, Amaretta, Grand Marnier, rum, brandy or Cointreau.
Chantilly cream piped in a swirl in a glass.

Uses for Chantilly cream

This simple whipped vanilla cream is wonderful for dolloping on pancakes, crepes, tarts and pies. In it’s firm peak form it’s great for filling and topping sponge cakes or filling cream puffs, eclairs or profiteroles. Dollop onto berries or fresh fruit makes a lovely, rich yet light dessert.

It can also be used to create other French creams. For instance, crème diplomate (diplomat cream) is a combination of crème patissiere and whipped cream and a little gelatine. Crème legere is a combination of just crème patissiere and whipped cream.

Yield

When you whip cream, you’re adding air to it so the cream will nearly double in quantity. This means if you start with 1 cup of liquid cream, it will whip to approximately 2 cups. This recipe uses 1 ½ cups that whips to roughly 3 cups.

How to store it

This vanilla whipped cream is best used immediately. It can be stored in the coldest part of the fridge until use for up to 2 days. Keep it in an airtight container or cover the bowl with plastic wrap. It will normally hold its air and shape fine for 24 hours, maybe longer. If it begins to dissolve back into a liquid form, you can re-whip it.

Chantilly cream can be frozen quite successfully too as the sugar tends to make it more stable. You can freeze it on a baking tray in dollops or in an ice cube tray, in the freezer then transfer the solid cream dollops or cubes to an airtight container for up to 1 month.

Chantilly cream in a glass bowl next to strawberries.

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Chantilly cream piped in a swirl in a glass.

Chantilly Cream

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Light and airy chantilly cream is so easy to make with just 3 ingredients and takes just minutes. This fluffy French whipped cream is flavoured with vanilla and lightly sweetened – perfect for so many desserts.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream (375ml)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar (superfine sugar)

Equipment

Instructions
 

  • Combine the ingredients in a large mixing bowl (with an electric mixer) or the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment.
  • Start your beater on the lowest setting so that cream doesn’t splatter everywhere. Gradually increase to medium speed, keeping an eye on the consistency. As it gets very thick, turn it down to low and check regularly, until soft peaks form.
  • Depending on how you’re using (for instance if piping or using in cakes) whip a little longer until you firm peaks form – just. Make sure not to overbeat or it will become grainy.
  • Use immediately or store in the refrigerator until required.
  • Please take a moment to leave a comment & rating. It's appreciated and so helpful.

Notes

  1. Keep it cold: The cream must be cold before you start or it won’t whip so well and possibly not at all.
  2. Full fat: Cream must be full fat to whip.
  3. Don’t overwhip: If you whip it at too high a speed or for too long, the cream may turn grainy so as it’s getting thicker and you can see ribbons of cream holding their shape, turn off the beater to check regularly.
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