I bet you love anything and everything that makes your life easier on a whim.
We cling to convenience products, and Dream Whip is a prime example of it in baking.
We easily get used to the comfort. That’s why baking fans started sweating profusely during the whipping cream and dream whip shortages in 2016.
That’s not a joke, it really happened. There was a shortage of nitrous oxide, which is used for production. ( * )
People started to look for alternatives and quickly realized that Dream Whip is actually expensive compared to its substitutes.
But it’s not just the price; most Dream Whip alternatives are far superior in taste and quality, as you’ll see.
Dream Whip is not a fluffy, boxed whipped cream, it is much more than that.
So let’s see what it brings to the table.
What’s Dream Whip?
The wildest thing about Dream Whip is that you think it’s a pudding up until the last minute of being done.
Then it turns into a delicious cream, much like whipped cream. It’s also great to enhance the softness and creaminess of deserts. ( * )
It’s almost exclusively used as a topping or frosting. However, we love it in a fancy vanilla latte too.
While it’s not just a simple whipped cream, you can use it as one. This boxed delicacy also has vanilla, sugar, flavor and texture enhancers, and softening agents, making it an excellent addition to baking.
It’s great for cupcake frosting, as a topping for fruit salad, and as a dessert cream with pudding. These are all great ways to use it up.
Also, it’s a leaner and less calorie-dense alternative to the classic whipped cream. It can even last decades, so some bakeries stock up on Dream Whip like crazy.
Some avid bakers compare this substance to Cool Whip, only it’s in a powder form. It’s ready in 4 minutes with some milk and vanilla; a quick fix for entertaining quests without much hassle.
The lack of dream whip in a recipe means there’s less fat, especially trans fat, that helps bring out the taste profile of other ingredients too. We have to keep that in mind and use a fatty agent like butter or raw heavy cream when substituting it. ( * )
The trans fat in Dream Whip holds together very well, which is especially crucial in cakes. It’s also a helpful ingredient in developing colors. Bakeries use it very much for its color-binding and enhancing properties.
Another ingredient that can give you similar properties is buttercream, especially a white one.
By simply leaving out Dream Whip, the color in your recipe can disintegrate and bake away with heat.
At the same time, we need substitutes that don’t alter the taste significantly and have a similar, not overpowering sweetness.
The serious downside is that it comes out expensive. When you bake on a budget, there are much better alternatives, not to mention quality.
After all, it’s an artificial, boxed, convenience product, and you can do much better!
Let’s list the best alternatives then.
The 4 Best Substitutes For Dream Whip For All Your Recipes!
There comes a time for every frequent baker when you have to substitute a staple. It’s only part of the learning curve.
It can be a fun way to experiment with new ingredients and baking methods. There’s no need to panic because no ingredient is indispensable.
We went on a quest to find the cheapest and top-notch Dream Whip substitutes.
Let’s see your best options!
1. Whipped Cream
The first thing that comes to mind instead of Dream Whip is probably whipped cream. ( * )
Understandably; it’s handy and appropriate to use instead of Dream Whip. You can buy it ready-made or fix it up yourself.
The downside is that whipped cream is a dense, high-fat gobble of cream. The calories are through the roof compared to Dream Whip.
Another bummer is that it needs to be cooled and is not the best to use on even slightly warm substances. At the same time, you can plop some Dream Whip on top of a warm cake, and it will keep its shape.
Still, you can use it in a wide range of ways, just like Dream Whip. But for vegans, it’s not a viable substitute.
We still believe that some fresh whipped cream is some heavenly manna and probably your best quality Dream Whip substitute in general deserts.
When making it at home, use a mixer or blender. The bigger the blender, the better. To best mimic, the Dream Whip, add some vanilla extract too.
It can be tricky to make whipped cream from scratch, but a little gelatin or lecithin can help you a lot. Both stabilize consistency.
Don’t overthink it, just whisk it for 15 minutes, and you’ll have the perfect Dream Whip substitute on hand.
The next alternative is almost exclusive to America.
2. Cool Whip
For starters, vegans won’t like this one either, just like lactose intolerants. Cool Whip has just as much dairy as regular whipped cream.
It’s not as lean as Dream Whip but has somewhat fewer calories than good old whipped cream. The same goes for fat content.
It has stabilizers, so you won’t have a hard time using them in an instant. Besides the regular usage, we think they are great in smoothies and mixed into ice cream.
Due to artificial texture enhancers, you can pour some Cool Whip on warm cobblers, pies, and cakes too. It won’t melt like regular whipped cream.
It has a similarly long shelf life as Dream Whip, and you need the same amount of each.
All these qualities make Cool Whip an ideal and convenient Dream Whip alternative.
The next one on our list is a lesser-known substitute. You probably haven’t heard of it.
3. Njoy & Liquid heavy cream
Njoy is a comfort accessory in many offices, also known as Pure Sugar, for making coffee. However, you might have guessed it, but it’s not plain sugar.
It’s a special type of cane sugar with enhanced flavors, and bakeries often mix it with liquid heavy cream to make a distinct type of whipped cream. The result will be very similar to Dream Whip.
The best part is it’s way cheaper than Dream Whip, and frankly, we think it’s much better too.
There’s a bummer too; you won’t find it in grocery stores, only on Amazon, so you have to think ahead.
It works as a 1:1 substitution just fine, though it’s still calorie-dense. The fluffiness, usage, and texture will all be the same.
If you’re a frequent baker, you already know the next Dream Whip substitute.
4. Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting (Editor’s Choice)
If you’re not from Mars, you’ve probably had Swiss buttercream at some point. High-end cakes use it instead of plain buttercream for its elevated quality, taste, and texture.
There are plenty of recipes for it online. It has plenty of perks as opposed to any kind of whipped cream; it is stable at any temperature, quick to make, has wide applicability, and has a similar taste but is more subtle.
It’s just a bonus that you can make a lot of different varieties with added chocolate, coffee, or any fruit. This Dream Whip substitute has the most variability of all.
Our favorite is a creamy almond-flavored swiss meringue cream. But you might want to try it with some peanut butter or tahini as well.
The rich sweetness is unmatched, even better than with Dream Whip. Some bakers add a splash of Splenda to make it less calorie-dense and lighter.
A pinch of amaretto and salt can give you quite an interesting taste too. However, always use unsalted butter for Swiss buttercream. ( * )
It takes a lot of strength to make it by hand-mixing. You don’t have a chance; use a stand mixer.
The texture is slightly different, but swiss meringue buttercream is your best chance to layer flavors and develops a complex palate in your desserts. It has more complexity as opposed to regular whipped cream.
Now that we’ve wrapped up all the best substitutes for Dream Whip, you can start experimenting. But first, we have some very necessary conclusions.
When you substitute Dream Whip, always strive for creaminess, a rich sweetness but a light texture.
That’s why swiss buttercream is last on our list; it’s not ideal for every recipe as a Dream Whip substitute. Use it for baked goods only, but not for coffee, hot chocolate, or fruit salad.
The alternative has to have airiness, fluffiness, but a full flavor. Whichever you go with on our list, vanilla is unmissable.
Hand mixing is viable with all, except the last one, the swiss meringue buttercream. But still, we suggest you use a standing mixer to create a consistent texture.
Among the substitutes, ready-made whipped cream and Cool Whip are the most convenient. However, we still suggest you go with Njoy and liquid heavy cream for special occasions.
Still, when you go with plain and simple whipped cream, a homemade one from scratch makes a whole lotta difference. It’s well worth the time and effort and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
Whichever you go with, don’t be afraid to experiment. If you overbeat whipped cream or have trouble making it fluffy, add a drop of vinegar and put it in the freezer for a few minutes.