Whipped Cream Frosting

By • May 4, 2011 • 166 Comments

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Author Notes: I love whipped cream frosting but found that just whipping cream with sugar and vanilla didn't hold up very well. I found this recipe in James McNair's Cakes and it is really good. Holds up well, is not too sweet and spreads nicely.sdebrango

Serves generously frosts a 9 in cake

  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 cups Heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
  1. Place metal bowl and wire whisk beater or beaters in freezer to chill.
  2. In a small saucepan combine the powdered sugar and cornstarch whisk until mixed. Slowly whisk in 1/2 cup heavy cream whisk until smooth. Place on medium heat and stir constantly to prevent scorching at the bottom stir constantly until mixture thickens and almost comes to a boil. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl and set aside stirring occasionally until it reaches room temperature. Make sure it is completely cooled before adding to the heavy cream..Very Important!!!
  3. In the chilled bowl combine the remaining 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream and the vanilla beat with the chilled whisk of your stand mixer or your hand held mixer until the cream begins to hold shape, it will still be rather loose. While still beating add the powdered sugar mixture a little at a time. Beat just until the mixture forms stiff peaks when the beater is raised and is spreadable, be careful not to over beat. Use immediately.
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Tags: cake

Comments (166) Questions (0)

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8 days ago Sharon

I read through the comments, but didn't see my question answered. I would like to make this up ahead, will it store ok in a bowl? for a day or two and then could I put it into a bag to pipe onto mini dessert pies? Regular frosting gets hard when refrigerated wasn't sure about this?

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7 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

You can store this in piping bags or a bowl a day ahead and it will not get hard it actually needs to be cold. I am sorry I didn't see your previous question I apologize.

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23 days ago MissKay

Hello,
I just stumbled upon this recipe and I can't wait to try it out! Just one question though: how long will it last at room temperature?
Thanks.

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23 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Hi MissKay, In a moderately cool room the cake can sit for an hour or bit more. But it is dairy/cream so I wouldn't leave it out too long. The frosting really has staying power, It holds up beautifully.

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about 1 month ago Monica kelly

Hi, will this hold up in the car? I'm a baker, and thinking about customers picking cakes up and taking them home. Also, would I be able to use this as a filler between two or three layers of cake? Thanks!

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about 1 month ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Hi Monica; Well I think for a normal trip from bakery to home it would be fine, I have had the cake sitting on the counter for an hour and it held up beautifully I have also used to fill a 3 layer cake and it worked beautifully. You could add a bit extra stabilizer (maybe an extra 1/4 cup cream and 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch), to the whipped cream to make it extra stable if you want, I have done that and it does not effect the flavor or texture.

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about 1 month ago Christina

I want to use this to decorate cupcakes with a rose effect, will this recipie hold a form ?

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about 1 month ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Hi Christina; Sorry for the delay in seeing this. Yes it will hold shop but 1. You have to work fast and make sure it's very cold 2. Although it holds shape it's softer than a buttercream so it may not be as pronounced in the effect. As you can see in the photo above I just made some lines along the side of the cake and it holds its shape nicely. You could make more stabilizing pudding to make it stiffer instead of 2 1/2 tsp maybe use a tbs of cornstarch and more powdered sugar like add an additional 2 tbs that will make it even a bit stiffer. Hope this helps.

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about 1 month ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

shape not shop, LOL.

Ginger_work1

2 months ago Ginger

This is brilliant - I'm not keen on regular frosting as I don't like the buttery taste of it. Thanks for sharing, Suzanne!

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2 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Hi Ginger, thank you. I love this frosting, it was a life changer, don't get me wrong I love a good buttercream frosting but there is something so light and ethereal about whipped cream frosting and this one has staying power!

Bluecake

2 months ago Jonas

We're planning to use this on a tiny first bday cake. Do you think it would still work well halved or do you need the volume to make it work?

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2 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Hi Jonas, it will work just fine cutting the recipe in half. You don't need volume for it to work. The corn starch pudding stabilizes the whipping cream no matter how much or little you use. Hope you enjoy. Just make sure the cornstarch mixture is completely cooled before adding to the cold whipping cream. Happy New Year.

Bluecake

2 months ago Jonas

Frosting was brilliant! We chilled the cornstarch mixture, which was a mistake since it didn't blend well into the whipped cream, but we just picked out the few globs that were left over. Will definitely use it room temp next time. Tinted it smurf-blue with gel coloring and it's absolutely the cake I envisioned. We iced and left it in the fridge overnight with no problems. The frosting has held up beautifully! Will most definitely use again.

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2 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I couldn't be happier, I probably should have warned not to chill the pudding mixture but next time just place the bowl in a warm water bath and stir, it will loosen up beautifully. I hope you got a photo of the cake I bet it was beautiful. I can't tell you how much I appreciate you trying the recipe and so glad it worked so well for you. Happy First Birthday to the recipient.

Bluecake

about 1 month ago Jonas

Couldn't post a pic of my masterpiece so I just made it my profile picture...

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about 1 month ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

It's wonderful, I love the blue!!! So glad it worked for you. Love the cake.

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2 months ago Heather

Could I place this mixture in a piping bag to use a decorative topper for my cheesecake?

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2 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Yes you can. Place in the piping bag and refrigerate so that it's very cold when piping.

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2 months ago Heather

Thanks! This worked out perfectly for decorating the top of my round, 3 layer cheesecake. Little peaks and swirls of whipped cream finished off the top making it look like something right out of a magazine! My guests were thrilled. Thanks a bunch!!!

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2 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you for letting me know that it worked out so well. I am so happy. I bet that was a gorgeous cheesecake. Yum!!! Thank you again.

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2 months ago Frances

Hi... I am trying this for the first time for my daughter's birthday cake. I think I may have heated the sugar/cornstarch/cream mixture too much. It's VERY thick, almost like a paste. Should I start over?

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2 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Hi Frances, no don't start over, if it's way too thick just add another tbs or two of warm cream, don't cook it anymore. Let me know how it works out.

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2 months ago Frances

I added a little bit more of the heavy cream and some 1/2 and 1/2. It looks much better. Was the 1/2 and 1/2 a bad idea? I did reheat it, but only to help smooth the mixture. It looks 1000% better than the sludge I had before!

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2 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Glad it looks better, it should be thick but not so thick that a spoon can stand in it. Let me know how it turns out.

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3 months ago Wendy

Hi, I made this for a Black Forest cake I made last month, it was excellent and held up like a champ, even four days later. My question is will it freeze? I want to use it on a carrot cake I want to serve for Christmas, but I want to bake, frost and then freeze it and then take it out 2 hours before I serve it Christmas Day. Will the frosting hold up?

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3 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Hi Wendy;
First I am so glad you liked the recipe I use it all the time but have never frozen it. Even though I have never frozen my gut instinct tells me it won't work. Cream doesn't freeze well in general and I fear the ice crystals that form will cause it to break down. You can make a small batch and put in the freezer to test it and see if it thaws well. Let me know if you do. Happy Holidays.

Stringio

3 months ago Shikha Bandil

Tried this recipe over the weekend for my 2 year old's birthday cake..and the whipped cream frosting was totally a hit. Not only it held up really well during the whole event..it is still sitting there perfectly on the leftover cake in my fridge. Thanks a lot for the great tip...!!

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3 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I am just so happy to hear this. Thank you so much for trying this recipe and a very Happy Birthday to your 2 year old. Thank you also for letting me know I so appreciate the feedback.

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3 months ago Jill Poirier Harvey

Thanks for the tips

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3 months ago Jill Poirier Harvey

Thank Suzanne. Have a great thamksgiving. We have a bday too (my mom) and she's requested whipped cream frosting. Hope this works!

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3 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

It works really well, just be sure that the cornstarch pudding stuff is cooled completely before adding to the whipped cream. Also the heavy cream should be very cold. Add the cornstarch stuff while the cream is still loose and don't over whip. It's really easy but takes some attention. Best of luck and let me know how you like it. Happy Birthday to your Mom.

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3 months ago Jill Poirier Harvey

How soon before serving can I make and frost the cake

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3 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Hi Jill, You can make it hours in advance as long as it is refrigerated. The whipped cream is stabilized so it has longevity. Hope you like and Happy Thanksgiving.

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3 months ago Repunzls

Can I add mapleflavor? I want a hardy whipped cream to top a pumpkin cheesecake.

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3 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Are you talking about maple extract flavoring? If so sure of course, you can sub for the vanilla.

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3 months ago CB Lyons

Thank you very much. I'm a cook but baking is not my forte.

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3 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Let me know how it is, I've never added brandy to the frosting. Just be sure to make sure everything is cold and the cornstarch pudding is completely cooled. Also don't over beat it will turn to butter. Add the pudding mixture almost immediately when you start whipping the cream, when the cream gets a little thick.

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3 months ago CB Lyons

Can I add brandy and if so, how much?

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3 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Yes you certainly can and I would start with 2 tsp, taste and add up to a tbs of brandy. It would be wonderful. You could sub brandy for the vanilla or add 1/2 tsp vanilla and then the brandy.

Stringio

4 months ago Carly DeLion

Is it possible to add food coloring to this?

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4 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Absolutely, I use gel food color and have added it with complete success.

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5 months ago vanessa tan

thank you so much. I have never been successful with my frosting . Be it vegan or non-vegan.

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5 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

You are so welcome, thank you for giving the recipe a go!

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5 months ago Kelly

Think I didn't let the cornstarch and powdered sugar mixture cool enough before adding it to the other havey cream/vanilla mixture. It came out runny.. Hoping it will get firm in the fridge?

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5 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Hi Kelly, yes you have to let the mixture thoroughly cool, if it's too warm it will get runny, It should firm up but if I could suggest make more of the cornstarch mixture maybe half the amount let it get cool, whip it into the cold whipped cream. Be careful not to over whip it will turn to butter, Let me know how it goes.

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6 months ago Rose Wong

Could it hold for close to five hours? Thank you!!

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6 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Refrigerated? If so absolutely, I have had it hold overnight in the refrigerator.