Last night, as I was dishing up strawberries while watching the fireworks, I hit the panic button.  We’re almost out of whipped topping.  If I don’t get to the store today,  we will be watching “Washington Week In Review” tonight with unadorned ice cream or fruit.  Help! I’m addicted to whipped topping.


It all started many years ago, when  milk was delivered to our door with a layer of cream at the top. My parents used it for their coffee, but there was plenty left over for whipped cream.  We had it on pudding, mostly, because that was cheap and easy . And we always had whipped  cream on pie.  I was skinny then, and so was my hard working mother.  But later, it caught up with her, and my older sister, too. The introduction of Dream Whip in 1957 gave them hope.  Dream Whip had only 10 calories in a serving  as compared to 50 calories in whipped cream.

By then, we were buying our milk at the store, and didn’t have the  extra cream, anyway.  My mother was thrilled to have this low calorie substitute.  In addition to using it as a topping,  she had recipes for cheese cake and cream pies and many other desserts. Still, it required some effort to get out the massive mix master and dirty up the bowl and beaters just so we could enjoy ersatz whipped cream.

The best thing that happened for dessert lovers  was the introduction of Cool Whip in 1966. .  No mix master required.  In fact, no mixing at all.  Just scoop it out of the container and enjoy.  A bowl of fresh berries  tasted so much better covered with a cloud of whipped topping. It wasn’t quite as calorie saving as dream whip, but it was low fat, with half the calories of whipped cream.  Now, we have lite whipped topping, which tastes just as good. It dresses up a plain old bowl of sugar free ice cream, even if you’re out of fresh berries.

Whipped topping It’s great for icing cakes, too.   My daughter loves this recipe for pistachio cake, using whipped topping for the frosting.

Pistachio Frosting made with whipped topping is easy and delicious
Pistachio Cake frosted with pistachio whipped topping is easy and delicious

Pistachio cake

1 package yellow cake mix

1 small  (3/4 oz) package instant pistachio pudding mix

4 eggs

1 ¼ cup water

¼ cup oil

½ teaspoon almond extract

7 drops green food coloring.

Mix all ingredients together and pour into a greased Bundt pan.  Bake at 350 degrees, 45-50 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly pressed. Let cool 15 minutes before turning onto wire rack.  Frost  with pistachio whipped topping right before serving.

Pistachio Frosting:

1 small package (3/4 oz)instant pistachio pudding mix

½ cup cold milk

1 8 oz. container whipped topping

Mix the pudding mix and cold milk together in a mixing bowl.  Be sure the mix is dissolved in the milk before adding the whipped topping; ; otherwise the frosting will be gritty.

This frosting is great for holidays.   Sprinkle it with red sugar at Christmas.  Make it pink at Easter with some red food coloring.  Or serve it just plain green on St. Patrick’s day.

Hooray for whipped topping!

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