Homemade Cool Whip

12 Servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Homemade Cool Whip that is stable like the store bought kind but made at home and SO delicious. Perfect for your favorite family recipes!

Homemade Cool Whip is part of our Dinner, then Dessert Kitchen Pantry Series. Now you can recreate your family’s favorite recipes using whole ingredients instead of processed, such as Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup, Marinara Sauce, or BBQ Sauce.

Homemade Cool Whip that is stable like the store bought kind but made at home and SO delicious. Perfect for any recipes you're making that ask for Cool Whip!

Homemade Cool Whip takes less than a half hour to “whip” up and gives you a light, fluffy creamy texture with the sweet flavors you know and love, without any of the processed ingredients! This recipe will quickly become a favorite to use successfully in dozens of cool whip recipes. 

You’ll feel so much better about giving your kids this Homemade Cool Whip to dip with their favorite fruit, or use it to top a pie or mix into your favorite recipes. It can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge or freezer for when you need it in a pinch. Using gelatin and a few wholesome dairy ingredients, plus pure vanilla, you’ll never want to buy the commercial tub again!

Take classic recipes to the next level by using Homemade Cool Whip in Watergate Salad, Snickers Salad, or Funfetti Cake Batter Dip.

Homemade Cool Whip collage of cooking steps

Frequently Asked Questions

How does Homemade Cool Whip remain stable?

The consistency is both room temperature stable AND freezer safe. The gelatin keeps its stability under 98 degrees and it protects the water content safe in the freezer.

What is the difference between Cool Whip and Whipped Cream

Whipped Cream is not stabilized with gelatin, and will likely break if warmed to room temperature, frozen, or mixed into a recipe. This recipe is exactly what you’re looking for, Cool Whip, not whipped cream.

Why do I need to use a thermometer to make Homemade Cool Whip?

It is important to heat and cool the ingredients to the temperatures specified. Don’t make the recipe without a thermometer. It isn’t difficult to make, but you do need to reach a specific temperature that you can’t guess.

Homemade Cool Whip in bowl with strawberries served

Tools Used in the Making of Homemade Cool Whip

Powdered Milk: Good to keep in your pantry if you only use milk sparingly for recipes or use powdered milk for other recipes.
Candy Thermometer: Inexpensive and indispensable in this recipe.
Gelatin: Same kind you’d use in jellies, you can also use store brand.

How to Store Homemade Cool Whip

  • Serve: Do not keep the completed Homemade Cool Whip at room temperature longer than 2 hours. It is best to keep refrigerated until serving.
  • Store: Kept sealed in an airtight container, Cool Whip will stay good in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.
  • Freeze: Because it is stabilized, this Homemade Cool Whip can be frozen up to 3 months and defrosted in the refrigerator before use.
PERFECT Cool Whip Copycat made at home and SO delicious. Perfect for Cool Whip substitutions.

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Homemade Cool Whip

Homemade Cool Whip that is stable like the store bought kind but made at home and SO delicious. Perfect for your favorite family recipes!
Yield 12 Servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Dessert Sauce
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons ice water
  • 1/4 cup whole milk , cold
  • 3 tablespoons powdered milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup *
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 3/4 cups heavy cream , cold


  • Add the gelatin to the 2 tablespoons of ice water and whisk.
  • In a second bowl whisk together the milk, powdered milk and vanilla.
  • In a small saucepan with a candy thermometer clipped onto the side, add the ¼ cup of water, corn syrup, sugar and salt.
  • Whisk together and cook over medium heat until combined and in a rolling boil for about 3 minutes.
  • Raise the temperature to medium high and cook until it reaches 250 degrees exactly.
  • Turn off the heat and add to a large metal mixing bowl.
  • When it cools to 212 degrees (about 2-3 minutes) add the gelatin and using a hand mixer, whisk for 5-7 minutes until the mixture is cooled and three times the size and almost pure white.
  • Add the vanilla milk mixture in a couple of tablespoons at a time and keep beating it in until smooth until it is all incorporated.
  • Cover with saran wrap and let sit for 2-3 hours (the structure of the cool whip needs this to be stable, don’t put it in the fridge).
  • Add the heavy cream into the bowl ¼ cup at a time, pouring slowly while using the hand mixer on low speed.
  • Keep beating with the hand mixer on medium speed until you get soft peaks.
  • You can keep it covered in the fridge for a couple of weeks (this is still dairy, so it will go bad at some point) or freeze it for 3 months. You can defrost and use the same way you do prepared cool whip.



*Want to make your own corn syrup at home? Use a homemade thick simple syrup for this instead by mixing 8 tablespoons of sugar with 2 tablespoons of hot water. This makes a half a cup of homemade corn syrup.


Calories: 204kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 76mg | Potassium: 57mg | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 535IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 46mg
Homemade Cool Whip collage

Photos used in a previous version of this post.

Homemade Cool Whip that is stable like the store bought kind but made at home and SO delicious. Perfect for any recipes you're making that ask for Cool Whip!
PERFECT Cool Whip Copycat made at home and SO delicious. Perfect for Cool Whip substitutions.
FREEZER FRIENDLY PERFECT Cool Whip Copycat made at home and SO delicious. Perfect for Cool Whip substitutions.
Homemade Cool Whip that is stable and can be frozen and defrosted like the store bought kind but made at home and SO delicious. Perfect for any recipes you're making that ask for Cool Whip!
Homemade Cool Whip that is stable (you can freeze too!) like the store bought kind but made at home and SO delicious. Perfect for any recipes you're making that ask for Cool Whip!

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. I am confused. Am I using pectin-what is used to make freezer jams or am I using unflavored gelatin package-e.g. Knox brand?

  2. Please edit your ingredient list so there is clarity that you mean pectin, not gelatin (at least for US cooks). Thank you

  3. I would have really loved that the top part of how long it takes to make would have included the 2-3 hours to sit because I set aside about an hour to make it and now have to throw it out due to not having enough time to let it rest.

    1. Why would you throw it out, that is such a waste when you could just let it rest even if you cant use it in time.

  4. When I whipped the pectin and the corn syrup mixture, mine didn’t come out white. I waited the 3 hours and then mixed it with the cream, I only got 3 1/2 cups, it tasted ok, a little sweeter than I would like but it looked like cream. How come I didn’t get 5 cups like I was supposed to?

      1. Hi Sabrina. I live your recipes. I have made a few of them and will be making more of them in the future. But there is still confusion after reading every single question on this post: is it Knox gelatin, the little envelopes, or is it pectin that you would use for jam and jelly‘s? You use the word gelatin and to me that is the little small Knox envelopes. But you mention the kind to make jellies in your description. Those come in larger envelope packages, called pectin. Could you please clarify? I’d really like to make this. Pectin in large packets or gelatin in small envelopes. If it’s pectin, perhaps update the ingredient list? Thank you for clarifying. I can’t wait to make this!

  5. As a substitute for the corn syrup, would brown rice syrup or agave nectar work?
    I did see your notes on homemade corn syrup but I’d like to skip that step. Thanks!
    I make a lot of whipped cream, this would be great to have on hand!

    1. I realize this comment is very old, so I am so sorry for the delay in replying.

      I haven’t tested it so I wouldn’t be able to say, I’m so sorry.

  6. Thank you so much for this recipe every other site is trying to direct me to make a cool whip substitute like just stabilised whipped cream but my traditional family recipes NEED cool whip the flavour and texture cannot be compared to regular old whipped cream and I am in Australia so there is no way for me to get my hands on real cool whip. Thank you!

  7. In “ Tools Used in the making of this Homemade Cool Whip:”, it says,
    “Gelatin: Same kind you’d use in jellies, you can also use store brand.”
    I have gelatin, but it’s the kind to make jello with, not the pectin/sure jell you make jelly with.
    I want to make sure I use the right one, cause I really want to make this recipe!
    Thank you!

    1. That’s not the right type to use for this recipe. You’ll need to get the kind you use to make jellies with. Hope this helps clear things up.

      1. So are we using PECTIN or GELATIN? There is a big difference and I want to do this right. Thanks for all you do!

  8. Can you use this homemade cool whip in a cool whip frosting for a cake? For cool whip frost I add cool whip, instant vanilla pudding, powdered sugar and milk. I trying to find a cool whip that will do better then the store bought and hold shape

  9. I made this three times without success ?. Boiling the sugar water never gets the desired results. It was too hard the first time (cooled too long), burned the second attempt (heated up too fast) and the third time I thought it was perfect! I got it in the metal bowl, mixed my gelatin in, but the mixture didn’t get bigger when mixed. I went ahead and let it sit then added the heavy cream anyway but now I have melted ice cream. How do I get this to WHIP?!

  10. I just found your web site tonight and I am thrilled to see all of the exciting recipes! I believe that this cool whip is going to be the first one that I’ll make because I just love the stuff on any desert! I would have never imagined anyone would come up with a homemade version!
    And by the way, even though you did the strawberry pic, you’re still very original to me because I’ve never seen this recipe before anywhere and I follow 100 recipe blogs!

  11. Sabrina,

    1. Wow! This is SO GOOD! Incredible. And I love love cool whip. I love this more.

    2. No, making this is not as easy as buying a container of cool whip. That’s okay! Way okay.

    3. Yes, yes, yes, it is very much worth your while: this cool whip copycat is leagues ahead of the prepared kind. By 20,000. It has a fresh, delicious flavor and great texture. It lasts by being stable like its namesake.

    4. Bonus: it makes for a fascinating conversation for those, like me, who have never heard of homemade cool whip. Especially when tasted and you say “I made this” and they say “no way!”
    And, the ingredients are natural food, not the ingredients of mono/tri/glutinus-silicon/xanthan-gun/esters of fatty acids/red 40 lake/blue 31 ocean/42 Blue Danube, etc….

    5. Score: I don’t feel guilty serving this natural and delicious whip to my children.

    6. I did not vary the ingredients one iota. This is science here.

    Thank you!

    1. I prefer it because it has a higher fat content but you could do 2% or even 1% if that’s what you have on hand.

      1. I haven’t tested it with coconut milk so I couldn’t tell you for sure. I’m sorry. If you do try it I would love to hear how it turns out though.

  12. I have arthritis and can’t use a hand mix that long so I bought a KitchenAid stand mixer. Can I use that instead of the hand mixer? If so would I use the whisk beater and on what speed? I try to follow recipes exactly the first time I make a recipe, just in case!

    Thanks for your help. I’m really excited about having a healthier recipe for Cool Whip! Sometimes you can’t substitute Whip Cream in recipes and have to use it.

    1. I’m so happy you found this recipe too. 🙂
      You can definitely use a stand mixer with the whisk beater attachment.
      I hope you enjoy it!

  13. I am in awe of your Kitchen Pantry Series. You are taking Made From Scratch to a whole new level. I am applauding you (can you hear it). I can’t beleive the goodness of your cream soups and now Cool Whip!! Please continue on with this series. And Thanks tor the greatt recipes! Barb

  14. I was just wondering whats the science behind using powdered milk, instead of regular milk? Also, I wanted to know why kosher salt is preferred instead of regular salt? I’m a noob at homemade frostings so I’m just curious. I haven’t made the recipe but I will definitely try it.

    1. You want to use powdered milk because regular milk adds liquid and the recipe won’t come out correctly. I hope you find this easy to make and enjoy it! Glad you’re trying new recipes!

  15. Whipped cream is easy…. 2 cups of heavy cream and add 2 tablespoon or so of sugar. Whip on the mixer setting and voila!

    1. Totally agree, but this isn’t a whipped cream recipe. This is specifically a Cool Whip copycat. Cool whip has a much more stable consistency that is a whipped cream and marshmallow hybrid. I use this to be able to recreate dishes that require cool whip but to do it without using the pre-made product.

        1. Oh I certainly agree! Especially when she has already addressed the issue in the body of the text prior to the recipe!

  16. I have made homemade whipped cream before, but had no idea that you could whip up some Cool Whip at home too! I will have to try this soon. 🙂

    1. After you try, I’d love to know what you think! It’ll definitely come in handy for the upcoming holidays.

      1. Well two of my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE chefs/food bloggers on the planet in one place!!! Sabrina, your homemade versions of the kitchen pantry staples are brilliant and more appreciated than you could know!

  17. I’d love to see a homemade version of Campbell’s Golden Mushroom condensed soup. I used to use it in several crock pot recipes, but my husband is gluten free now and I’d like to be able to make it myself with gluten free flour.

  18. I have avoided buying cool whip for years because of all of the ingredients & partially hydrogenated fats. This is a great recipe. I like that it will store for a while as well. Great option for the corn syrup too. I can’t wait to try this recipe. I have been looking for a reason to buy a candy thermometer. Can the step with the metal bowl be done in a glass bowl instead?

    1. This recipe will serve you well, it has the same structure as cool whip and maintains the shape and consistency without the use of stabilizers that are unnatural.

      I chose metal because of the heat of the mixture, I worry someone may use it on a bowl that while being glass really isn’t meant to have boiling hot contents added. If you have glass you feel comfortable adding that hot mixture to ahead and do it, but remember it does risk cracking. Also the glass may hold the heat longer than the metal would and we’re beating the mixture to incorporate air and try and lose the heat.

  19. In the ingredients, you list 2 teaspoons of vanilla, but in the directions, it says to add the vanilla a tablespoon at a time.  How much vanilla should be in this recipe? 

    1. It means to add the “vanilla milk” in a couple tablespoons at a time. I added the word mixture to it to avoid confusion. Sorry for it being unclear.