"For soft, pillowy, just-sweet-enough whipped cream, skip the canned stuff and make it yourself. It's as easy as 1, 2, 3!" -- Diana Sturgis, Test Kitchen Director
1. CHILL OUT
Start with cold cream, a cold bowl and cold beaters (or a whisk if you're really taking matters into your own hands). Keep the cream in the fridge and stick the bowl and beaters in the freezer 10 minutes before you're ready to whip.
2. WHIP IT GOOD
Pour the cream into the bowl and sprinkle with a little confectioners' sugar, which dissolves better than regular sugar. (For a cup of cream, go with about 2 tsp. sugar.) Now it's time to whip. Getting to soft peaks, where the whipped cream thickens to the perfect dolloping consistency, takes around 3 minutes with a mixer or 5 minutes by hand.
If you go too far, you'll end up with a chunky, lumpy mess -- but don't panic. Just add a splash more cream and give it one or two turns with the whisk to smooth things out.