How to Make Whipped Cream Frosting: A No-Nonsense Recipe

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Who doesn’t love a soft, airy, but not too sweet whipped cream frosting that is delicious enough to entice you to eat a second piece of cake? This whipped cream frosting is just that.  Enjoy!

Whipped Cream Frosting

Serving Size: 3

Whipped Cream frosting in Blue Bowl

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of heavy whipping cream
  • 6 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Pour whipping cream in to the stand mixer. Add the sugar and vanilla.
  2. Beat on high speed for 5 minutes. Half way through scrape down the sides of the bowl and then continue to whip on high. Note: You may want to cover your stand mixer with a towel or large cloth so that the cream doesn’t fly out of the bowl for you. Once the cream turns into whipped cream you can remove the draped towel.
  3. After whipping for 5 minutes, check to see if the whipped cream is firm enough for your project. I like to scoop some whipped cream frosting on to a spoon and hold it upside down. When it’s done, it should stay in place and not fall off the spoon. 

Prep time: 10 minutes (don’t over do it as the whipped cream frosting might separate and be irreversibly ruined)

This recipe will fill and cover two 9 inch round cakes. Keep whipped cream frosting refrigerated when not in use. If after taking out of the fridge it has softened up, you may have to re-whip it for a few minutes.

Perfect Whipped Cream Frosting: Pro Tips

For the perfect whipped cream frosting that won’t deflate or weep before landing on your guests’ plates, check out these tips. They will make your life a lot easier.

  • When choosing the whipping cream for a whipped cream frosting, always go for the “heavy” variety, which should have at least 36% fat content (30% to 35% is good enough, too).
          • The higher the fat content of your whipping cream the higher the chances of the whipped cream frosting to turn into a sturdy, picture-perfect masterpiece.
          • Heavy cream also goes by the name “double cream” in other parts of the English-speaking world.
          • Use table cream or half and half at your own risk as we cannot guarantee success.
  • Use only powdered sugar in this recipe as regular, granulated sugar might make the cream runny and give it a grainy texture;
            • Don’t assume that the sugar grains should eventually dissolve if you whip the cream long enough since over doing it usually ruins it.
            • Whip no more than 5-10 minutes on the medium to high speed setting or 12-15 on the low speed setting
  • The whipping time largely depends on the quality and fat content of the whipping cream. Whip until you see the mixture becoming creamy while visibly increasing its volume; you need your whipped cream frosting to be creamy or soft and stiff but not too stiff.
  • For best results, you need everything to be chilled beforehand and that includes the mixer bowl and the beaters, not just the whipping cream;
        • We recommend chilling the bowl and beaters for at least 20-30 minutes in the freezer and the whipping cream for at least 6 hours in the fridge;
        • This step is incredibly important especially if the room is warm.
        • In the old days, people used to make whipped cream frosting outside in the snow (your great grandma might confirm).
  • To stay on the safe side, before you start, clean the beaters and mixing bowl with wine vinegar in order to ensure there are no oily remnants from previous uses that might contaminate the whipped cream; however, we do believe this tip holds true only when it comes to beating egg whites or other things fat-free since whipping cream is already fat packed.
  • For an extra layer of stiffness, professionals add a bit of cream of tartar to the whipping cream if used for piping;
          • Cream of tartar is a natural acidic salt that stabilizes the whipped cream and prevents it from oozing out syrup;
          • Add 2/3 tsp cream of tartar to the sugar, mix well and add the resulting mixture to the whipping cream when it begins to thicken.
  • Other popular stabilizing agents are cornstarch and unflavored gelatin.
          • Add 1 tsp of gelatin (or two tsp of cornstarch) and 4 tsp of water to 1 cup of heavy whipping cream;
          • Warm the water and gelatin until fully dissolved in a microwave;
          • Let everything cool and add the gelatin to the whipping cream when it starts to form soft peaks while on the low speed setting.
          • A bit of gelatin also helps the whipped cream frosting hold its composure in the fridge for up to 2-3 days
  • Some home bakers use cream cheese or instant vanilla pudding powder as stabilizing agents, but we do not recommend them as they may slightly change the final product’s taste if not properly calibrated. 
  • You can leave the whipped cream frosting as is (without any stabilizing agents) for up to 24 hours in the fridge and a couple of hours outside the fridge; we do recommend piping it on cakes and other pastries as soon as you’ve made it.
  • When piping the whipped cream, work very fast as you need to prevent the cream from getting warm; use a chilled piping bag or tool and keep it from getting warm from your hands as the whipped cream may otherwise become runny.
  • You can add lemon juice or lemon extract to your whipped cream for a lemon-based desert but add it gradually until the cream thickens. If it curdles, here’s a short clip on how to fix a whipped cream that curdles.

You can use this whipped cream frosting as a filling for our delicious red velvet cookie sandwiches, in one of our timeless pumpkin cake recipes, or on top of this old school Lemon Chiffon Cake.

Happy Caking!

Diane

This post was last updated in November 2019 and it may contain affiliate links, which means that we will earn a small commission if you purchase through those links at no additional costs for you. Affiliate links just help keep our website up and running and our content completely free for all our readers to enjoy.

18 COMMENTS

  1. You can also use a tablespoon of powdered whole milk. Works fine, every time. To keep the whipped cream stiff much longer. For 3 cups cream I’d try 2 or mayby 2,5 tbspn powdered whole milk.
    Never had problems with it.

  2. How does it hold up to freezing? My dad’s 75th Birthday is coming up and I want to go ahead and make the cake now and freeze it. It will be frozen approximately 20 or so days. Otherwise, I will make the cake now, freeze, and add frosting on his birthday, but I’d rather have it all done so I can concentrate on the rest of his birthday.

  3. I think powdered sugar is preferable.
    Something even better is to beat the heavy cream to almost stiff peaks, add Hershey’s chocolate syrup until blended. Delicious!

  4. After frosting a cake/cupcake how long does it stand in room temperature? I’m from Philippines & the weather is kinda hot ?

    • As long as the frosting reaches the soft peak stage, a whisk should be okay to use. You will have to be very stern with your stirring as a mixer has a lot more power than a manual whisk. So if you have a hand or stand mixer I would recommend that.

  5. You can also put all ingredients in the mixer, with whip attachment. Beat on #2 on Kitchenaide mixer, for 15 mins. Stop, Detach whip, using whip by hand, whip for 1 minute or so, until proper consistency. Will not deflate, so no ‘re-whipping.

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