wikiHow to Make Whipped Cream Frosting

Four Methods:Whipping the creamApplying the frostingStorageOther flavorings

Whipped cream frosting is a heavenly way to finish off a cake. It's a very soft frosting and one layer is enough to hide any flaws and make the cake taste fantastic.


  • Heavy cream, at least 30 percent butterfat content, or higher (use quantities required by recipe, or see Tips below)


  • Granulated sugar, fine (optional) - ratio of approximately 5 tablespoons (73.9 ml) of sugar to 3 cups of heavy cream
  • Vanilla extract (optional)

Method 1
Whipping the cream

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    Chill the bowl and the whisk attachment. Place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes before using.
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    Whip the cream. Pour it into the chilled bowl. Whisk on medium-high speed until you see it begin to thicken.
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    Reduce to medium speed. If using sugar, add at this stage and whisk.
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    Check the texture of the whipped cream. The consistency of the cream is very important in determining when it can be used as frosting:
    • The cream should be whipped until it forms soft peaks.
    • When lifted with a spatula, the whipped cream should remain on the spatula without falling off.
    • If over-whipped, the cream will be too stiff to spread nicely. Stop when you see those peaks! That's when it's still wonderfully spreadable.
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    If you want to add a few drops of vanilla extract for flavoring, do so by hand. Add it after the consistency has reached the stage explained in the previous step. Then blend in quickly by hand.
    • For other flavors, see below.

Method 2
Applying the frosting

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    Use a turntable or rotating stand for a full size cake. Since this frosting has such a soft texture, it's easiest to apply it to the cake while the cake turns on the turntable. This reduces the mess and ensures an even, smooth application.
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    Dollop or pour the frosting into the center of the cake.
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    Working from the top, smooth down the pile of cream toward the edges and sides of the cake. Turn the turntable to work on a fresh area as you finish the current area.
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    Smooth the sides and top. Use a flexible icing spatula or round-bladed knife to quickly work over the entire frosting and leave it smooth, with tiny peaks here and there.
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    For a cupcake:
    • Always hold a cupcake in one hand when frosting it.
    • Place a dollop of frosting on the top.
    • Use a round-bladed knife to swirl the frosting around the top. Try to do this in one continuous movement. As you swirl, push the frosting to the edges of the cupcake.
    • Leave a peaked center and a swirled edge.

Method 3

Whipped cream frosting isn't great in hot weather. So, if you're making this in the warmer months:

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    Store cakes with whipped cream frosting in the refrigerator until serving or decorating time.
    • If decorating with piping gel, always place in the refrigerator first, to give a firmer top.
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    Do not leave cakes out for more than an hour when topped with whipped cream frosting. If this is likely to be a problem, consider storing half the cake in the refrigerator once it's cut, then bringing out more as needed.

Method 4
Other flavorings

There is no need to stick to plain cream or vanilla when making whipped cream frosting. Many other flavors can be added to complement the cake and increase the flavor intensity. Add any of these flavorings at the stage where the sugar would be added in the instructions above.

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    Add fresh berry puree. Puree berries or strawberries. Add about 2 1/4 cups puree for every 3 cups of cream.
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    Add fresh fruit puree. Again, use the same amount. Make sure that the fruit flavor isn't overwhelming for the cake flavor though.
    • Fruit juice can be used too. For example, add 1/2 cup orange or lemon juice, preferably freshly squeezed, to the cream.
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    Add chocolate. Add 1/4 cup quality cocoa powder and 6 tablespoons (88.7 ml) of sugar to counteract the chocolate's bitterness. This one needs to sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour to allow to cocoa to dissolve properly.
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  • An average size cake will require around 3 cups of cream.
  • For those unable to have dairy, you can purchase non-dairy whipped topping from the supermarket. Be sure to check the ingredients though, as processed toppings can cause digestive problems in some people.
  • Why use granulated sugar over confectioners/powdered sugar? Some chefs and cooks prefer to add confectioners/powdered sugar as it dissolves easily. However, other chefs find that the cornstarch in powdered sugar tends to affect the taste in an unfavorable way. Perhaps try both and see what you prefer.


  • If the cream is whipped too much, it will stiffen and won't move very well. You can still try using it but you might find this stage of whipped cream works better as a cake/dessert filling or for piping.

Things You'll Need

  • Icing spatula – this is a special type of spatula with flexibility that makes spreading frosting easier; alternatively, use a round-bladed knife, such as a palette knife
  • Turntable/rotating stand (available from baking or kitchen supplies stores; if you have a "lazy Susan", this will also work, or ask a woodworking friend to make you a turntable)

Sources and Citations

Article Info

Categories: Frosting Icing and Fondant