Lack of Cool Whip

Hey everyone.

I want to make this pistachio pudding ambrosia type recipe. The kind you might have had at a picnic or family gathering in 1977. I have the pistachio pudding mix, but I have no access at all to Cool Whip where I live. All the recipes online seem to call for it. The recipe usually has nuts, marshmallows, pistachio pudding, Cool Whip, and maybe canned pineapple or coconut shreds.

I think the Cool Whip is a necessary component for the texture/thickness.

So- can I make this somehow WITHOUT CW? Is there a way to fashion a CW substitute at home?

Help me make my nostalgia dessert!

Thanks in advance,


How about plain old whipped cream? You can add a bit of cream of tartar to keep it more stable. It will have to be kept cool of course but I assume that’s the case with Cool Whip as well (I’ve never used it although my wife used to).

I actually have cream of tartar!

Will it really work though? Can anyone else confirm that this is an idea that will/could/might work?


Whipped cream will work, but it won’t taste the same as what you are used to for most ambrosia-type desserts. Are you sure you can’t find Cool Whip (or the store brand equivalent)? My mind sort of boggles because I have lived all over the place and there was never a lack of frozen non-dairy whipped topping. :slight_smile:

If you don’t want to use whipped cream (which will get runnier than cool whip even with cream of tartar added) you could try using Dream Whip (powdered, in the baking section usually) or an equivalent.

There are really no such products here, and it’s a developed, wealthy country. I dunno.

There is some sort of Dr Oetker product I have heard of, but that brand on the whole is NASTY. I fear going there, even if I could find said product.

If I used whipped cream, powdered sugar, a little vanilla and cream of tartar, will it separate out from the dessert? What would happen? How would it fail? It’s not that I don’t believe y’all out there in Cyberland, I just want to know if the (“failed”) result is not worth my efforts anyway…


What temperature will your dessert be at? Roughly.
ETA: I’ve never tried this technique but it looks intriguing.

The Dr. Oetker product is just a cornstarch thickener-stabilizer for whipped cream to keep it from breaking down. The pudding also contains such ingredients, so there’s a good chance whipped cream would work with it, even without the Dr. Oetker. I’m unclear whether you could find it if you can’t even obtain Cool Whip, though. If you’re planning on serving and eating it within a day or two, there shouldn’t be much of a problem with the whipped cream-pudding mixture holding up. Make a trial batch ahead of time to try it out.

Cream of tartar is a stabilizer for beaten egg whites, not whipped cream.

It’s also possible to use unflavored gelatin to stabilize whipped cream, but it’s a little more complicated. And it may not be necessary considering the pudding already contains thickener.

Where do you live?

I need coffee too. :frowning:

I made an ambrosia with whipped cream only twice (prepared as you describe) so YMMV. The first time it did separate, but stirring it back together (sort of) fixed it…the consistency was still very off and runnier than I wanted. The second time it didn’t really separate as much as liquefied…it was pretty bad.

If you make it with whipped cream and eat it almost immediately, it would probably be fine (but the taste will still be different than if made with Cool Whip) but if you plan to keep it for even several hours after preparation, it may not hold up well.

Bamboo Boy, if your location is not a secret, then maybe you can tell us where you are, and maybe we can guide you in whether CW or a reasonable substitute is available in your location.

Copenhagen, Denmark.

I plan to serve it straight from the fridge, so as far as temperature, fridge temperature, I guess.

So cream of tartar is a no-go?


No-go on the cream of tartar. (It has an unpleasant taste, anyways.) I’m guessing you have the Dr. Oetker product available in Copenhagen, and I think it probably tastes fine. But seriously, I think it might work fine without it, too, if you are serving it the same day or the next. Try it out ahead of time. You are talking about whipping cream that you whip up yourself, right, and not the aerosol cans, I assume. Get the highest butterfat content cream you can find to help ensure it will stay whipped.

How to Make Whipped Topping with Dry Nonfat Milk Powder

This variant also has gelatin in it, so it should form a stable foam:
Hillbilly Housewife Whipped Topping

Oh, sorry, I missed this post the first time. First-hand experience! In this case, I would suggest a.) Highest butterfat cream - I use 40% fat cream and it holds up for days and days, and b.) definitely try the Dr. Oetker stabilizer. You’d also want to add more sugar and vanilla to approximate the Cool Whip flavor.

Fake whipped cream made from nonfat milk powder tastes absolutely nothing like whipped cream. Here is the best method of adding unflavored gelatin to stabilize it, but it can be tricky to get it fully incorporated into the whipped cream and not separate into lumps of gel as soon as it hits the cold cream.

You can buy Bird’s Dream Topping mix at Abigail’s British Shop; it’s a sweetener/thickener that yiy mix with milk. Perhaps our British Dopers can tell whether it will do?

1173 København K

  • formerly the British Shop (Scotts) -
    Tlf: 33 16 41 79

Monday till Thursday: 10.30 - 17.30
Friday: 10.30 - 18.00
Saturday: 10.00 - 16.00
Sunday: closed
(We accept Dankort)

You do realize that Cool Whip, is whipped vegetable oil, don’t you?

That is promising as Cool Whip tastes is a poor substitute for whipped cream.

This is the same reason that whipped cream is a poor substitute for Cool Whip. The two products are not interchangeable, when you want or need one, the other is going to taste wrong.

It’s the same principle as comes into play with grilled cheese sandwiches. Although four year cheddar on a couple slabs of good sourdough can be quite good, your mom made them with wonderbread and squares of American process cheese food.
Some sort of fake whipped cream is required for canonical pistachio ambrosia.