The surprising reason your thickened cream might not be whipping properly: 'Total fail'

Are you having winter whipping woes? This could be why.

There's a surprising reason your cream might not be whipping properly. Credit: Channel Ten
There's a surprising reason your cream might not be whipping properly. Credit: Channel Ten

We all know that winter can be a bit of a struggle, and it seems like even our cream might be feeling the chill. Lots of us don't perform at peak in the colder months, and apparently, neither do some of our favourite dairy products! Members of the Aldi Mums Facebook page have been scratching their heads over why their go-to Farmdale thickened cream isn't performing as expected.

One frustrated baker shared, "I used to use this cream for whipping until firm to sandwich together cakes, like a sponge cake, and use in key lime pie without the need for gelatine. It appears to have changed in that it is a lot runnier than it used to be, almost the consistency of milk."


Others quickly chimed in, sharing similar experiences: "I tried to whip it the other day, was a total fail," said another user.

"I've found it isn't very good anymore, mine goes a weird consistency," added someone else, with a third saying theirs was "watery."

Could seasonal variations in cow feed be affecting your whipped cream's consistency? Photo: Facebook/Aldi Mums
Could seasonal variations in cow feed be affecting your whipped cream's consistency? Photo: Facebook/Aldi Mums

So what's going on? Some folks suggest it's not just an Aldi problem.

"I have found Bulla cream has been the same lately," noted another member, while others reported encountering similar issues with cream from major supermarket chains like Woolworths and Coles, suggesting a widespread problem rather than an isolated brand issue.

Amidst the discussion, a different theory emerged.

"Creams can change with seasons," one person explained. "Grass doesn't grow as quickly in winter, so the cows don't graze as much, resulting in less fat in the milk and cream!"

Another group member agreed, "Winter has kicked in, and therefore grasses don't have the same sugar content. With less nutritional value, farmers are potentially having to increase supplementary feeding for cows. If you want a product that is exactly the same year-round, we would need to change our dairy practices to be intensive, shed, and grain feed-based."

Dairy cows feeding in a free livestock stall
Some group members suggested the way cows graze in winter affects the fat composition of the cream. Photo: Getty

Adding to this, another member said, "Even if you go out for coffees, you'll see the difference in milk. I've worked as a barista for years, and the fat changes every season, affecting the froth and the cream."

This seasonal theory seemed plausible to many, suggesting that the nutritional content of cow feed could impact milk fat content and, thus, cream consistency. However, not everyone was convinced.

"What a load of absolute rubbish," one sceptic declared. "I'm 71 years of age, and in all my life of using cream for whipping, I've never experienced this watery result."

To clear up the confusion, food scientist and nutrition researcher Dr. Vincent offered some clarity.

"I have to say that this one is not really a real thing and a very misleading ‘fact’. Dairy products are one of the strictly regulated grocery items, including the fat contents. To be called ‘cream’, the fat content must be at least 35% and winter or summer doesn’t affect this."

Dr. Vincent pointed out that there are several reasons why cream might not whip properly. "Firstly, the fat content of the cream is crucial; heavy cream or whipping cream with at least 30-36% fat content is ideal for whipping. If the cream has a lower fat content, it won't form stiff peaks. Secondly, the temperature of the cream is critical; it should be very cold, as warm cream won't whip well."

Whipping cream with a mixer. Bubbles on cream
Food scientist Dr. Vincent dismisses the notion that grazing habits of cows affect the whipping quality of cream. Photo: Getty

He also noted that over-whipping or under-whipping can affect the texture, leading to a runny or butter-like consistency.

"In the case of this original cook, she may be over whipping it to get stiff peak and while adding gelatine may temporarily help, because the structures had been compromised, two hours later the structure didn’t hold."

Additionally, impurities like traces of oil or detergent on the bowl or beaters can interfere with the whipping process.

While the debate continued between the Aldi Mums, a few practical solutions were offered to salvage your whipping efforts. Suggestions such as cream stabilisers, gelatine, lemon juice, or even icing sugar were offered to assist in firming up your whip.


So, the next time your cream isn't cooperating, don't despair! Check the fat content, ensure it's cold, and try out some stabilising tricks.

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