Secrets of Wow-Factor Whipped Cream (Hint: The Name is Literal)

All it takes is a bowl and a whisk (or electric mixer) and a few minutes of your time. Then dollop on a piece of pie, spoon onto shortcakes, or layer in parfaits.

How to Make Whipped Cream

Makes about 2 cups.

1. In a deep mixing bowl, beat 1 cup heavy cream until soft peaks form.

2. Sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons granulated sugar over cream; beat until soft peaks return. Do not overbeat.

Note: If you prefer, you can replace the granulated sugar with an equal amount of confectioners' sugar; to prevent any lumps from forming, use a fine-mesh sieve to sift the sugar over the cream.

Related: Quick, One-Pot Meal Ideas To Feed the Whole Family

Helpful Hints

Make sure the cream is very cold; if you have time, chill the whisk (or beaters) and bowl in the freezer for about 15 minutes. This will help the cream whip quickly and will increase its volume.

Choice of Tools

A large handheld whisk is very easy to use. If you are using an electric mixer, beat on medium speed, being careful not to overbeat (the cream will turn buttery). To use an immersion blender, whip the cream in a large liquid measuring cup (or other deep, narrow container) instead of a bowl; to avoid spattering, keep the blade submerged.

Don't have any of the above? All you need is a jar with a tight-fitting lid and a little energy. Fill the jar one-quarter full with cold heavy cream, then seal and shake until cream is thick and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. This just-like-magic trick is perfect for parties -- and kids will love to lend a hand.

Related: 20 Classic Comfort Food Recipes from Martha Stewart

Adding Flavor

If you plan to use any flavorings, such as extracts, liqueurs, or spices, add them with the sugar in step 2.

Making Ahead

Whipped cream can be refrigerated, covered, for up to two hours before serving.

More from Martha Stewart:

36 Dinners You Can Make in Just 15 Minutes!
42 Slow-Cooker Recipes Worth the Wait
Savor the Moments: Holiday Brunch Recipes to Enjoy With Your Family & Friends
17 Holiday Punch Recipes That Will Bowl Over Your Guests

Now that you're a whipped cream expert, we know just the thing to put it on.