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Is There a Substitute for Cool Whip?

What can I substitute for Cool Whip in recipes?

We are not sure what you're asking. We had always believed Cool Whip was the substitute — for whipped cream.

Cool Whip, a product of Kraft Foods, is made of water, corn syrup, hydrogenated vegetable oil (coconut and palm kernel oils), high fructose corn syrup, sodium caseinate (from milk), natural and artificial flavor, xanthan and guar gums, polysorbate 60, sorbitan monostearate, and beta carotene (for color). Whipped cream is made of cream and sugar (and often, vanilla extract).

As far as we know, Cool Whip is popular because of several attributes:

  • It has less fat than whipped cream
  • It is already made — there is no whipping involved
  • It has a long shelf life
  • It does not deflate

It is this last quality, we believe, that has spawned so many recipes that feature Cool Whip. Unlike whipped cream, which begins to weep and sag shortly after whipping, Cool Whip stands up for hours. So desserts prepared with Cool Whip can be prepared in advance, taken on picnics, etc., etc.

We think it's generally hard to find substitutes of substitutes, and have the maddening tendency to refer people back to the original product (whipped cream), which in moderation, we think, is pretty great. There is another artificial product on the market, also made by Kraft, called Dream Whip, which is a powder you mix with milk and vanilla and whip (we would list the ingredients, but, really, they are no more inspiring than those of Cool Whip.) There are also recipes here and there on the Web for homemade whipped toppings, generally based on gelatin and milk.

There is no shortage of recipes in the world, and if we had one that prominently featured Cool Whip, we would find a substitute for the recipe rather than try to find a substitute for the Cool Whip. Yes, it might mean making brownies instead of a parfait, but, in many cases, we would be willing to do that.


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