Whipped Cream Frosting

By • May 4, 2011 • 118 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.
  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. 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 (118) Questions (0)

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11 days ago Rose Wong

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

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10 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

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

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12 days ago Sara

Everyone should be extra careful about tasting the frosting while they work (or sneaky children who steal a taste when you aren't looking). If you use the same spoon or finger to dip in the frosting twice, the tiny amount of saliva that is introduced will be distributed throughout. The recipe will seem fine but over time it will break down and get watery. This is because there is an enzyme in saliva that breaks starch into simple sugars.

I haven't made this recipe yet but I am about to try. It looks great and perfect for the caramel banana layer cake I am making.

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12 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thats true it happens to food in general when you double dip the spoon or finger. I think it will be perfect on your cake. Let me know how it goes.

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29 days ago Barbara Bolls-Guillory

Hello Suzanne! Can I make this frosting a day in advance and store it in the fridge, then pipe it on the next day (an hour or two before serving)? I am baking strawberry cupcakes for my daughter's birthday, and I would like to be able to prep this in advance. Thanks for your help and advice!

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28 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Absolutely Barbara, yes i have done that and it keeps and holds up perfectly. I just give it a good whip with the whisk before using. Hope you like.

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28 days ago Barbara Bolls-Guillory

Wonderful! What a lifesaver! Thank you, Suzanne, and I look forward to trying this recipe tomorrow! Yay!

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29 days ago danielle

This was a great recipe. Thank you for posting it. It held up well for 2 days on the cake, and I had some left over that I've been eating on berries ever since. Delicious and so easy. I'm thinking of trying it again this weekend but making it chocolate. Do you advise that I add only cocoa powder to it, or should I also add melted chocolate (or would that make it fall)?

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29 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Hi Danielle, first of all I am thrilled you liked the recipe and that it turned out so well for you. If doing chocolate you can add melted chocolate to the cornstarch, cream and powdered sugar you can also add some powdered cocoa to it for that extra dose of chocolate. Don't add melted chocolate to the whipped cream directly. Just like the original with the pudding mixture cooling to room temp do that with the chocolate pudding. It will be wonderful. Thank you again.

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about 1 month ago Marlysha A. Mondesir

how long will this hold up? I need it to last a two hour car ride

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about 1 month ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Will your car be cool? You could pack it well with some ice packs also. It will hold up very well if its cool or coldish but if it's hot any dairy product would not. I have had the cake sit out on my counter in a cool kitchen for over an hour and it held up well. But if there is anyway you can put the cake in a cooler with some ice packs or in a container surrounded by ice packs it would work.

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about 1 month ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

The recipe makes enough for a 2 layer cake so yes you certainly can use for a stacked cake.

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about 1 month ago yvette

Great! & the strawberry icing sounds good! Have you ever used this icing on stacked cakes? My friend wants me to make her a two tiered cake for a baby shower but does not want a sweet icing like fondant or buttercream.

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about 1 month ago yvette

Can you dye this icing?

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about 1 month ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Yes you certainly can, I have added gel food coloring and also want to show you this. I made it into a strawberry (pink) icing http://apuginthekitchen...

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about 1 month ago gingerroot

Hi Suzanne, I wanted to let you know that I made this tonight to go with your TYC (the batch I made a while back with millet - we ate one round and froze the other) and it was fantastic! I read through all the comments and followed your directions carefully and ended up erring on the side of caution. I think I probably could have whipped the frosting a little more - while it was light and delicious and held up beautifully, it was soft. I will definitely make both again soon!

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about 1 month ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks so much, there is a fine line it seems when whipping this between under and over whipped. You did right by erring on the side of caution. It seems to happen very quickly, I am actually going to amend the recipe, last time I made it I added the cornstarch mixture when the cream was still liquid at the beginning of the process, you have more control with the outcome that way. Thank you for trying it and so glad you liked it.

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2 months ago Acey

I loved this recipe - thank you! It was so helpful to read all the comments, too. I have three boys, so sometimes I'm a little too fast and loose in the kitchen. The comments made me realize I needed to be sure to follow the directions carefully.

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2 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you Acey, yes if you follow the directions and it's so good to read the comments you will be successful. It's a wonderful recipe and when I first saw it I was so excited to try it, I always wondered how the whipped cream icing in bakeries was so stable, I know now it's either this way or gelatin. Thank you so much

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2 months ago Melissa Negretti

I must have missed something - did not work me. Didn't set up as well as straight whipped cream.

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2 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Hi Melissa, yes you may have missed something or done something incorrectly. It sets firm and has the consistency similar to a meringue buttercream. I am sorry it didn't work but I have had consistent success. Maybe the cornstarch mixture was too warm or your whipping cream. Very sorry.

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3 months ago Luciana

There were no pellets in the cornstarch mixture, but i did it a second time and found my flaw. The first "pudding" was too stiff, with a rubbery consistency. The second time, I turned off the stove when it was thick but still liquid, allowing for the stiffening that happens while it cools. It became more like a creamy paste and blended into the rest of the cream just fine. Thanks!

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3 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

So glad Luciana, thanks for giving this a try and very happy it worked for you.

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3 months ago Luciana

Has anybody had an issue with the tiny pellets of pudding that never completely dissolve into the whipping cream? It's not a taste issue, but visually it looks bad when the frosting has little tapioca-like grains all over it.

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3 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Honestly on occasion it has happened to me, I generally add it a spoonful at a time adding while the cream is still loose. It helps.

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3 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Also you have to make sure that the cornstarch is completely dissolved in the cream, whisk it well you don't want any pellets of cornstarch in the pudding either.

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5 months ago Rhaina

This didn't work for me either. It isn't unusable, in fact it's sort of like a homemade version of cool whip. But it is too runny to use to frost a cake. I wanted to use it to cover an icrecream cake. I thought I'd need something lighter than a buttercream. I followed all your instructions but it's barely sweetened and the thickened pudding like cream didn't seem to stabilize the mixture. Any suggestions?

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5 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Hi Rhaina;
It has never been runny for me ever, I am not sure what is wrong, Maybe make a little extra of the pudding mixture and add to the cream, it will make it thicker I think. Also if it's not sweet enough for you it's fine to add more powdered sugar to taste. I don't like it very sweet but sometimes I add extra sugar depending on who I am making it for, So sorry it didn't work, you can try adding extra pudding, instead of 1/2 cup make 3/4 or 1 cup doubling the cornstarch.

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5 months ago tinabeans

This did not work out for me at all. Everything went well until I added the pudding-like mixture to the cream. When I started beating it immediately began to get lumpy and before I knew it, it was watery and curdled. Not sure what happened, but I really want to try this again because I need a cake frosting like this...

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5 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

It does work, I am so sorry it didn't work for you. Add the pudding while the cream is still a bit runny and continue whipping. That happened once to me. I can assure you though that the recipe does work. Let me know if you try again

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5 months ago tinabeans

I will give it another go - next time I'll be more careful not to overwhip!

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5 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

When you make it add the pudding at room temperature and do it when the cream is only just starting to thicken. Add a heaping spoonful at a time but be careful not to overbeat, it will turn into butter. After adding the pudding you only need to beat it for a short time. Good luck and let me know how it goes.

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6 months ago nishi naidoo

Can i pipe the cake and leave overnight without putting into fridge .

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6 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

No, it's cream and must be refrigerated. So sorry!

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6 months ago Anciano

I would recommend beating the cream by hand. It whips up in less than two minutes and it is much easier to keep from whipping too far. I whip all my cream and meringues by hand and I get much better results than I did with a mixer.

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6 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

It's true, I like using my hand held mixer when I whip cream. You have more control. Thank you!

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6 months ago Christina

This frosting tasted delicious but totally fell apart the morning after. The cornstarch sugar mixture got thick like pudding very quickly and I placed it in a glass bowl and allowed it to cool. It wasn't runny at all just like thick pudding. I mixed the cream and vanilla adding in a bit at a time and then put everything in a plastic container and chilled for a few hours. Tasted great but disintegrated. Anyone have time/ speed level for kitchen aid mixer? Maybe I overmixed, I'm not sure. Please help.

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6 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Oh no, Christina so sorry to hear that. I don't know the answer, I have had the frosting stay intact 48 hrs. I whip the cream in my kitchen aid on 6 usually. Just made this on Wednesday and it's Friday and it's still intact today. I am so sorry it didn't work for you. Once I add the pudding it comes together very quickly and usually needs less than a minute to get very thick.

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6 months ago Christina

I had a few people at work taste the cake and they commented that it was almost like butter so now I'm sure I overmixed. I really have high hopes for this because I want a light non-greasy frosting. Maybe I'll try again and do it much shorter. Thanks for the fast reply.

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6 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Yes thats exactly what it sounds like, after you add the pudding only mix a very short time, when using the KA stand mixer it happens very quickly, that is going from whipped cream to butter.

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7 months ago Emilyk41197

Should the cornstarch and powdered sugar mixture get very thick all of a sudden?

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7 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

So sorry I didn't see this earlier, yes it does thicken very very quickly and you should watch carefully and remove from the heat when it becomes very thick.

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8 months ago susan abraham

Thank you so much for passing so much of information. I am from kerala, India. Here heavy cream is not readily available. Can we use fresh cream 20% fat content for the above recipe or should I add some extra butter. Please help.

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8 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I don't think 20% fat content will whip, heavy whipping cream has 36-40 % fat. If you use butter I would just do a buttercream frosting either with icing sugar and butter or a swiss meringue buttercream using egg whites and butter. I don't think your fresh cream would whip up thick enough to be a frosting, but I have never tried and am not altogether sure. Did you try whipping?

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8 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Do you have double cream?

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5 months ago Archana

You can use non dairy whipping cream instead...it is easily available in India & gives very nice peaks...

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5 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thats great to know, what is it made from? Coconut cream or cashew?