Place the cream, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla in a clean bowl (if you chill it first, the cream will whip up faster), or the bowl of a standing mixer outfitting with the whisk insert.
Use a whisk or a handheld electric mixer on high speed to beat the cream, moving it all around the bowl, until it starts to form soft peaks (or turn on the standing mixer). You may stop there, if that’s as firm as you like it, or continue to beat the cream until it forms stiff peaks (which is when you pull out the whisk or beater and the cream stays in a point, drooping down at the tip). Stop beating at this point – overbeating can cause the cream to separate.
Use immediately, or cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 6 hours. It can be stored longer, but it will start to lose body.