Ever since the American convenience industry boomed 50 years ago, it has permanently altered how we think about food. One scientist, in particular, Dr. William A. Mitchell has done more than anyone else. (*)
Cool Whip was his first brainchild, besides Pop Rocks, powdered egg whites, Tang, and an endless number of condiments.
Many believe these to be the harbinger of health decline. Others see them as occasional comfort in a harsh world.
We’re not quick to judge, but it’s hard to compete with Cool Whip’s convenience.
Without compromising its main advantages, we strive to help you substitute Cool Whip without much hassle and hours of painful cream whipping.
About Cool Whip
The magic of Cool Whip lies in its steady consistency. But this also serves as a convenient attack surface for the health freaks.
For a fluffy topping to stay the same in heat, cold, and days on end… that’s hardly natural.
Still, for busy moms, it’s a lifesaver. And surprisingly, people on diets also love it for the low calories and variability.
It’s not worth going into the details; the ingredients are far from natural, plain and simple. But it’s not particularly unhealthy either.
Still, Cool Whip is intended to be used frozen, like ice cream; imagine a fresh, steaming hot, lava brownie with some permanently frozen vanilla ice cream on top. (*)
That’s how it was meant to be.
With that in mind, we’re ready to serve you the best natural and less-natural alternatives to Cool Whip. You be the judge. Let’s dive in!
What is a Good Substitute for Cool Whip in Recipes?
Contrary to popular belief, Cool Whip was designed to be a dessert topping rather than a substitute for traditional whipped cream.
Any alternative should have a long shelf-life, a steady texture, and fluffiness, without the warm, oily feel of whipped cream.
1. Whipped cream with a twist
Whipped cream, ‘au Naturelle’ doesn’t match our criteria in several aspects. But we put some twist on it to better serve the goal. (*)
Now, with that in mind, it’s still more of a hustle to whisk it up, even with a stand or hand mixer, or food processor.
Add in some gelatine, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar, and you’ll get a much more durable substance with the same amount of work.
The gelatine will give you firm peaks and a perky texture to work with, even when topped onto hot bakes. But not only that; it will remain whipped for a longer time, with thicker doneness.
After an obvious detour, the next one is a French classic that slowly but surely captured the entire baking world.
Other Cool Whip Substitutes
2. Whipped Creme Fraiche
The fact that you can whisk up creme fraiche to make it fluffier is a shocking surprise to most, even to seasoned home bakers.
It is typically topped on fresh fruits, delicate blue cheeses, almonds, or ice cream. The rich, buttery sensation in your mouth is nothing like Cool Whip.
However, whisking the thickness out of crème fraiche, especially with some vanilla added, will give you a long-lasting, perfect-consistency Cool Whip substitute.
Though we must admit that creme fraiche is a mature flavor, definitely not everyone’s piece of cake. If you happen to enjoy exquisite and complex flavors, you will adore this as well! (*)
At the same time, if you find everything that isn’t packed and over-seasoned repulsive, you might absolutely hate it.
Take a chance and see for yourself. If it’s not for you, the next one will be a better match, we promise.
3. Truwhip is a handy solution
This Cool Whip substitute is a handy solution, giving you the same level of comfort as the original one.
Only it contains fewer artificial ingredients. It’s creamier than Cool Whip, but not greasy like whipped cream. (*)
Although the nutritional value is way higher and healthier, the calories are also plenty, so the dieting fans of Cool Whip won’t like this as much.
But there’s also a good side; it’s just as sweet and tastes much more natural, according to customers. There’s some serious vanilla and marshmallow undertones going on there!
We love it best on some steamin’ hot cocoa or some vanilla ice cream with fresh strawberries.
But we can still double the stakes! Truwhip comes in several varieties; Light, Original, Vegan, and a so-called Truwhirl for a healthy dessert.
The next substitute should be the first choice for die-hard Cool Whip fans.
4. Reddi Wip
Reddi Wip is a strange creature. It’s more like convenience whipped cream in a can than a dessert topping.
Why? Cause’ it tastes just like homemade whipped cream and still has the same longevity as Cool Whip.
Some find this terrifying, while others simply see it as a gift from the baking gods.
Either way, when looking for a spreadable, natural-tasting Cool Whip substitute, bravely go for Reddi Wip. The rich taste comes from the real sugar, eggs, and butter in it.
Truth be told, it’s not as complex flavorwise as Cool Whip. The vanilla is missing, and the sweetness is also much more muted. (*)
To counter this, pair it with sundaes, pies, or anything especially sweet and bold-tasting, such as double chocolate or caramel.
Another downside is that Reddi Wip is pricier. Not considerably, but when baking in bigger batches, it adds up.
The next Cool Whip substitute is a tricky one. It might sound strange at first, but one try and you’ll be hooked!
5. Protein powder & Gelatin & Water
This one’s perfect for the health-conscious and those who are calorie-counting or simply eating mindfully. You don’t necessarily have to buy a huge package of protein powder; there are plenty of small, individual packets available.
For this recipe, you can either use vanilla, strawberry, or chocolate protein. Each will taste amazing.
Warm the gelatin (but don’t boil!) and use a hand mixer to whisk it with the protein powder and some water (use 2/3 of the water indicated for the protein powder) on the highest setting.
It will get a fluffy, meringue-like texture in a few minutes and will stay that way for hours, whether refrigerated or not.
Jello pudding can be an alternative to protein powder if you have a hardcore sweet tooth.
For vegans, using agar agar instead of gelatin is a viable option, with some added vegan protein.
If you need to store this for a longer time, even in the fridge, adding some whipped cream stabilizer is a smart choice. You can buy them in small packets from bigger supermarkets.
The following substitute is as much of a convenience product as Cool Whip, with a long-grained history in the US.
6. Dream Whip
For steady years, Dream Whip has been the main competitor to Cool Whip. Whatever you want to use Cool Whip for, Dream Whip can do it just as well.
Somehow, it still got more popular with time. How so?
Dream Whip doesn’t have dairy, making it the primary choice for vegans and lactose intolerants. But the trick is, that you have to whip it yourself with real or plant-based milk and some vanilla. (*)
The higher, fluffier consistency is well worth it. The softness resembles real whipped cream much more.
At first, it looks like a pudding. But after whisking it some more, it quickly becomes the familiar, light topping we’re fond of.
Many tricky coffees serve Dream Whip on their hot latte, as it doesn’t fall apart due to the heat, but it’s mouthfeel is like whipped cream.
If you’re disgusted by anything remotely animal-derived, the next Cool Whip substitute is for you.
7. +1 Vegan Alternative
Vegan foams, creams, and meringues are plenty; there’s aquafaba made from chickpea water, there’s coconut cream fluffed up to the fullest, or some soy cream that you can buy ready-made in most grocery stores.
However, the latter is more like a yogurt substance than a true Cool Chip alternative.
Frankly, we think the only true vegan substitution for Cool Whip is whisked-up coconut cream.
The mouthfeel is identical, with slightly less sweet undertones. Adding some sweetener can salvage that in a heartbeat.
All you need is coconut cream, powdered sugar, stevia or erythritol, and whatever other flavors you wish to add, such as banana, chocolate, or vanilla.
It will be super thick and easily storable through the night, uncovered in the fridge.
After reading the ingredient list on Cool Whip, it’s no surprise some give it a hard pass. You can go rogue and make everything from scratch, but the sad truth is that it’s not necessarily better tasting.
Healthier? Might be. More nutritious? Could be, given the right ingredients. But not necessarily.
There’s some middle ground on our list; some healthy, some homemade, some lighter, and some that will stick to your mouth for hours.
Our favorite? It’s easily the homemade gelatin, vanilla protein, and water one, but with a spoonful of creme fraiche.
That’s a dense alternative, rich and round in taste, with a texture merging Cool Whip and meringue.
Whichever you go with, read the instructions on the box, and eat it with the most delicious baked goods you can find!