Place the heavy cream in the bottom of a stand mixer or a medium bowl.
Beat the cream with the stand mixer or a hand mixer at medium high speed until the cream starts to thicken.
Turn the mixer off. Add the sugar and vanilla extract.
Turn the mixer back on to medium high and continue to beat until you have stiff peaks, approximately 2 minutes. When you lift the beater out of the cream (turned off), if the mountain peak that you make from pulling the beater out falls over, that is a soft peak (keep mixing). If the peak sticks up straight, you have a stiff peak and are ready to serve.
This whipped cream is best served immediately. It can be made in advance and kept chilled, however the further in advance it is made, the more air it will lose causing the whipped cream to become denser and flatter.