What Is Whipped Cream Frosting?

T. Carrier

Whipped cream frosting is a sweet topping typically added to desserts like cakes and cupcakes. The product consists of a spreadable mixture, with whipped cream being the base substance. Like most frostings, whipped cream frosting combines a liquid substance — usually milk — with sugar and other ingredients to form a glaze.

Cream is used to make whipped cream.
Cream is used to make whipped cream.

Many popular dessert enhancers exist, and frosting is among the most popular. The substance is often spread atop and around a bread-like dessert such as cakes or cupcakes. With cakes, frosting can be spread between layers of the cake as well. In addition, many desserts with filling mixtures like doughnuts or sponge rolls may contain a whipped cream frosting on occasion.

Whipped cream frosting is popular on cakes.
Whipped cream frosting is popular on cakes.

Milk contains fat, and much of this fat content rises to the top of milk. This fat is known as cream, and it is the substance individuals use to create whipped cream. Cream itself may be further divided into heavy or light cream. Many whipped creams are made from the former variety, as it possesses a high butterfat amount. In addition, the whipped cream base should ideally be pasteurized, since this heating process eliminates some of the disease-related health dangers.

Whipped cream frosting may be used on donuts.
Whipped cream frosting may be used on donuts.

Whether the whipped cream is made naturally or purchased, frosting with a whipped cream base has a fluffier texture than traditional icing, which makes it dissolve more quickly in the mouth. This difference is partially because whipped cream has a higher volume than regular cream. Due to its texture and structure, whipped cream and pre-made whipped cream frosting are often packaged by manufacturers in a spray can or another container that can be refrigerated.

The process for making icing or frosting with whipped cream is relatively simple. Most homemade frosting recipes simply place the whipped cream in bowl along with a few other ingredients like sugar, vanilla extract, and pudding mix. Following mixing, the frosting may be chilled in the refrigerator for a period of time, after which it is removed and beaten with a whisk. Peaks will often form in the frosting during this process.

Some recipes may also require the individual to make the whipped cream. In general, whipped cream results from whipping cream with a device like a fork or a whisk. Whipping is a process that introduces air into a mixture by using large strokes when mixing. This process makes the cream fluffy and lightweight.

Several additives can provide some unique variant flavorings for whipped cream frosting. For example, cocoa powder can be inserted into the recipe for a chocolate frosting. Fruit frostings are also popular, and these can be created by adding a fruit puree to the frosting mixture. A puree is a semi-liquidized version of fruits.

Whipped cream is used as the base for whipped cream frosting.
Whipped cream is used as the base for whipped cream frosting.

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Discussion Comments


@Pippinwhite -- You're right. A whipped cream frosting doesn't keep, but gosh, do they ever *look* good! Even a frosting fumble fingers like me can make a cake look professional with a whipped cream frosting.

I found a recipe for this peppermint cake in Southern Living four or five years ago. It included a "mousse" frosting, which was essentially, a whipped cream frosting. It was easy and made the cake look gorgeous. That's an achievement for me. Usually, my cake decorating looks like the result of the efforts by a moderately talented third grader -- if that.


One of the best whipped cream frostings I ever did was one made with cream cheese. It went on a Guinness stout cake, and was supposed to look like the foam head on a glass of beer. It was absolutely delicious, and so easy!

A whipped cream frosting is great for cakes that you know will be consumed quickly. It doesn't keep very well, but if the cake will be eaten in a day or two, that's not a problem.

I also like these frostings because they aren't as heavy or sweet as some bakery buttercream frosting is. Those frostings are essentially shortening, sugar and fake vanilla flavoring and they are nasty. Make me want to shave my tongue. Yuck. I scrape that frosting off the cake.

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