This wouldn’t be the first time we’ve sung the praises of heavy cream and its many superpowers when it comes to transforming dishes savory and sweet. But without a doubt, its ability to aerate into a fluffy, rich cloud and make our favorite desserts more beautiful and more delicious is cream’s greatest talent. No pre-whipped version can hold a candle to the results of whipping it yourself by hand or a machine, or even in a jar flavoring them. And if you make it from scratch, you have a chance to infuse whipped cream with flavorings, or even booze. These 20 delicious ideas use whipped cream to take a dessert over the top.
Chiffon pie involves a sweet-tart lemon mousse topped with whipped cream.
This celebratory pie is only as good as the quality of your ingredients: look for a premium ice cream and top-shelf liquor. English-style digestive biscuits have a distinctive wholemeal texture with a buttery richness and an undertone of brown sugar.
A chocolately winter favorite gets the hot weather treatment in this icy frozen drink from San Francisco's Dandelion Chocolate.
A decadent mix of chocolates and ginger ups the ante on a classic Southern pie.
This sweet pudding-like dessert from Sickles Market in Little Silver, New Jersey, gained popularity in the United Kingdom during the 17th century. You can discard the solids after straining the berries, but we love eating them on top of it along with freshly whipped cream.
These Norwegian wafer cookies, eaten across Scandinavia during the Christmas season, are light and crisp and perfumed with cardamom. They're made like waffles on a special griddle that imprints an intricate design, and then they're rolled and filled with whipped cream.
This creamy caramel-like pudding has become a Los Angeles classic.
This pudding takes the best part of a traditional mont blanc—the chestnuts—and dispenses with the fussy meringue, so you can enjoy chestnuts in all their toasty glory, with no distractions.
This rhubarb-lime icebox pie recipe is adapted from The New Midwestern Table by Amy Thielen.
The oldest and most popular dessert at San Francisco's legendary Zuni Café, this gluten-free chocolate cake boasts a fine, tender crumb and bold chocolate flavor.
Browned butter accentuates the flavor of earthy walnuts and a sour cream topping offsets the richness of the filling for a balanced, delectable dessert.
This nearly forgotten recipe comes to us from the beloved Ships Diner in Los Angeles that closed in 1995. The whipped cream filling doesn't require any cooking—no custard here—while some slices of banana and toasted almond add texture and flavor. A fast, easy-to-make pie from a bygone era that deserves a comeback.
This curious dessert hails from Boston.
The addition of buttermilk in this ultra-retro dessert keeps it from being too cloying and renders cookie salad totally appropriate for the adult palate.
At the Greenwood Supper Club in Fish Creek, Wisconsin, the minty grasshopper gets a soda-shop twist with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.
Ground almonds add body and flavor to this creamy Swedish cheesecake, topped with clouds of whipped cream and ripe strawberries macerated with fresh mint.
A crunchy crust and pudding-like filling make this pie a standout.
My mom, Ellendean, would occasionally surprise me with this creamy chocolate pie when I came home from school, then watch as I devoured a quarter of it while watching "M*A*S*H" reruns. —Keith Pandolfi
Fresh or frozen cranberries make the base for this tart custard pie.
A scoop of vanilla ice cream and a hefty slice of pie go into the blender together, and out comes the ultimate dessert: A creamy shake with buttery crumbles of pie crust and ribbons of gorgeous fruit filling throughout.