Homemade Cool Whip

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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 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 is the second entry in the Dinner, then Dessert Kitchen Pantry Series. The most frequent email I get from readers are, “Here is an old family recipe I love, how can you recreate this without xyz ingredient because I don’t use xyz ingredient anymore.”

The first recipe in the Pantry Series was for Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup with many more canned soups on the short list for future posts. If you have any requests please leave comments below and I’d be happy to look into it!

This recipe is a favorite of mine (I’ve been making it for about a year since finding it on Serious Eats) and I’ve used in successfully in dozens of cool whip recipes. PERFECT Cool Whip Copycat made at home and SO delicious. Perfect for Cool Whip substitutions.

PS, just want to note, I’ve had this recipe saved on my computer and as I am linking now I see we both shot it with a strawberry like on the cover of the Cool Whip container. I guess I’m less original (even with copycats) than I give myself credit for.

Some things to consider about this Homemade Cool Whip Recipe:

  • 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 (thanks to Serious Eats for this data).
  • The recipe is a version of marshmallow fluff and is NOT Whipped Cream with Cream of Tartar added in. They’re two completely different recipes.
  • Whipped Cream with Cream of Tartar will not freeze well and defrost well. It also can’t hold up to higher temperatures or extended times outside the fridge.
  • This recipe is exactly what you’re looking for, Cool Whip, not whipped cream.
  • 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.

Tools Used in the making of this 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.



Homemade Cool Whip

5 from 3 votes
  • Yield: 12 Servings
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Course: Dessert Sauce
  • Cuisine: American
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder
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!


  • 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


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Add the gelatin to the 2 tablespoons of ice water and whisk.

  2. In a second bowl whisk together the milk, powdered milk and vanilla.

  3. In a small saucepan with a candy thermometer clipped onto the side, add the 1/4 cup of water, corn syrup, sugar and salt.
  4. Whisk together and cook over medium heat until combined and in a rolling boil for about 3 minutes.

  5. Raise the temperature to medium high and cook until it reaches 250 degrees exactly.
  6. Turn off the heat and add to a large metal mixing bowl.
  7. 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.

  8. 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.
  9. 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).

  10. Add the heavy cream into the bowl 1/4 cup at a time, pouring slowly while using the hand mixer on low speed.
  11. Keep beating with the hand mixer on medium speed until you get soft peaks.
  12. 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.

Recipe Notes

*Want to make your own corn syrup at home??I 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.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 12 Servings, Amount per serving: 204 calories, Calories: 204g, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 49mg, Sodium: 76mg, Potassium: 57mg, Sugar: 19g, Vitamin A: 535g, Vitamin C: 0.3g, Calcium: 46g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keyword: Homemade Cool Whip
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!

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  1. 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?!

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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?