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Light and airy with just the right amount of sweetness, whipped cream frosting is a game changer! This stabilized whipped cream can be spread or piped for a delicate frosting that pairs well with any flavor of cake.

Close up of a vanilla cupcake topped with whipped cream frosting.

I love making frosting. It’s so much easier to make than people think and both the flavor and texture are way better than the stuff you get out of a can at the store.

People go bananas over my homemade buttercream frosting and it’s easy to see why. It’s just that good! 

But sometimes you need a frosting that’s a little bit lighter than buttercream, whether it’s because you are spreading it onto a delicate cake or you just want something less sweet.

That’s where whipped cream frosting comes in. This stabilized whipped cream can be piped or spread onto cakes to become the perfect lightly sweet frosting of your dreams.

Piping bag filled with whipped cream frosting set onto a wire rack alongside vanilla cupcakes.

WHAT IS STABILIZED WHIPPED CREAM FROSTING?

If you’ve ever made homemade whipped cream, you know that it is absolutely delicious, but not the most stable stuff. 

After a few hours, it starts to lose its volume and can get a bit weepy. So I always wait to whip it up until just before I’m ready to serve it.

But what if you want to use it for frosting a cake or use it in place of Cool Whip?

Well, then you need to stabilize it. Adding a stabilizer to your whipped cream does exactly what the name implies: It helps keep it stable so it doesn’t lose its volume and so it will hold its shape better.

This means you can pipe or spread it onto cakes or cupcakes and it will still look pretty (and taste great) a day or two later. It also means you can use it as a substitute for Cool Whip in recipes like my peanut butter pretzel dessert

Ingredients for whipped cream frosting arranged on a countertop.

What stabilizers can you use?

The two most common stabilizers for whipped cream are cream cheese and unflavored gelatin.

As much as I love cream cheese in a lot of applications, I do not like using it to make stabilized whipped cream.

Why? Because cream cheese has a very distinct flavor, and I want my whipped cream frosting to taste like whipped cream – not like cream cheese.

I prefer to use unflavored gelatin for making whipped cream frosting. It’s totally flavorless and it doesn’t affect the texture of the whipped cream at all. You’d never even know it was there! 

Powdered gelatin bloomed in water in a small white bowl.

HOW TO MAKE WHIPPED CREAM FROSTING

Don’t be intimidated if you’ve never used unflavored gelatin before. I’ll walk you through each step.

Ingredients you’ll need

You’ll need 5 ingredients to make this stabilized whipped cream frosting:

  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons water
  • 2 teaspoons powdered unflavored gelatin
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, very cold
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

You will find unflavored gelatin in the baking aisle next to the Jell-O and pudding mixes. Knox is one of the best-known brands. For this recipe, make sure you use powdered gelatin as opposed to the gelatin sheets. 

Melted unflavored gelatin in a small white bowl.

Making this recipe

Before you get started, put the beaters of your hand mixer or the whisk attachment of your stand mixer in the freezer for at least 10 minutes. If you’re using a metal bowl, make sure it is very cold as well.

Keeping everything as nice and cold as possible will help the cream whip nicely.

Once everything is cold, prep your gelatin. Place the water in a small, microwave-safe bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Let the gelatin soak up the water (aka “bloom”) for 2-3 minutes.

Microwave the gelatin in 5- to 10-second intervals until it is fully melted. This should take less than 30 seconds. The gelatin may smell kind of odd when it melts – don’t worry, it won’t affect the flavor of the frosting!

Hand mixer beating heavy cream in a metal bowl set next to a small bowl of melted unflavored gelatin.

Let the gelatin cool while you work on the whipped cream.

Add the cold cream to your cold bowl, along with the powdered sugar and the vanilla extract. Whip on high speed with your cold beaters until soft peaks form.

Keeping the mixer running, slowly stream the melted gelatin into the cream. Keep whipping on high speed until stiff peaks form – this won’t take very long to achieve. 

Now you can use your stabilized whipped cream however you like! 

Spoonful of whipped cream frosting set on top of a bowl of the frosting.

USES

This recipe makes a beautiful, airy whipped cream frosting that pairs well with just about any cake. 

After all, who wouldn’t love a beautiful chocolate cupcake made with doctored cake mix and topped with whipped cream frosting? Or imagine it on top of strawberry shortcake cupcakes!

Because the frosting is so light, I think it pairs really well with angel food cake (or pineapple angel food cake) and strawberry shortcake. It’s also great for topping banana pudding poke cake or coconut cream bars.

I know some folks don’t care for Cool Whip, so you can also try it as a substitute for whipped topping. Try it in recipes such as s’mores pie or lemon icebox cake

Whipped cream frosting being piped onto a vanilla cupcake with a piping bag.

FAQS

Can you make whipped cream frosting ahead of time?

Unlike recipes like strawberry frosting or cream cheese frosting which can be made in advance, stored, and then spread onto cakes, this stabilized whipped cream frosting needs to be made just before you use it.

The gelatin that stabilizes the cream will set up after a while, which can make the frosting harder to pipe or spread if you make it ahead of time.

So I recommend whipping up this frosting just before you plan to use it! 

How long can you store whipped cream frosting?

Once you have used the frosting to decorate your cake or cupcakes or used it in place of Cool Whip, you can store those items in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. 

Vanilla cupcake topped with whipped cream frosting on a white countertop.

Can you pipe this frosting onto cakes and cupcakes?

Yes! Whipped cream frosting holds its shape well, so it is perfect for piping onto cakes or cupcakes. As you can see in the photos, it looks quite pretty after being piped into swirls and would be great for rosettes, too. 

Can you add flavorings or food coloring?

Any flavor of whipped cream you like can be turned into whipped cream frosting if you use unflavored gelatin to stabilize it as in this recipe.

That means you can swap out the vanilla for other flavor extracts, such as peppermint extract. You can add citrus zest, espresso powder, unsweetened cocoa powder, cinnamon…the options are endless!

And you can definitely use food coloring to color the frosting. To make sure you don’t over-whip the cream, add the food coloring when you add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Start with a drop or two and add more as needed.

Vanilla cupcakes topped with whipped cream frosting and fresh berries scattered on a wire cooling rack.
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Whipped Cream Frosting

By: Jamie
4.72 from 32 ratings
Prep: 15 minutes
Servings: 24
Light and airy with just the right amount of sweetness, whipped cream frosting is a game changer! This stabilized whipped cream can be spread or piped for a delicate frosting that pairs well with any flavor of cake.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons water
  • 2 teaspoons powdered unflavored gelatin
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream very cold
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions 

  • Place the whisk attachment of your stand mixer or hand mixer beaters in the freezer for at least 10 minutes before starting. If using a metal bowl, make sure it is cold as well.
  • Place the water in a small bowl and sprinkle the powdered gelatin over it. Allow the gelatin to bloom for 2-3 minutes.
  • Microwave the gelatin in 5-10 second bursts until fully melted. This takes less than 30 seconds in a high-powered microwave. Allow to cool for a few minutes.
  • In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, add the cold cream, powdered sugar and vanilla. Whip on high speed until soft peaks form.
  • With the mixer running, slowly stream in the melted gelatin. Continue to whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  • Use immediately.

Video

Notes

I recommend using the frosting as soon as it is whipped as the gelatin will start to set and make it harder to spread or pipe if you make it ahead of time.
Makes enough to frost 24 cupcakes, an 8-inch layer cake, or a 9×13-inch cake.

Nutrition

Calories: 79kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 22mg, Sodium: 6mg, Potassium: 19mg, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 292IU, Vitamin C: 0.1mg, Calcium: 13mg, Iron: 0.03mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

4.72 from 32 votes (27 ratings without comment)

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10 Comments

  1. Heather says:

    5 stars
    Fantastic- thank you!!

    Could I add dehydrated strawberry powder to make strawberry whipped cream? When would I add that?

    1. Jamie says:

      I haven’t tried that, but it sounds delish!

  2. Jacqueline says:

    5 stars
    Excellent recipe! So many people allergic to microwaved foods, how is the gelatin done on the stove? People get hives from even butter for corn melted in microwaves.

  3. Melissa Fisher says:

    5 stars
    What is:

    (“I stabilize the whipped cream just like this all the time”)

    I’m wanting to put this cream in eclairs
    My son loves the whipped kind of cream not icing. Hard to find ready whipped in a smaller tub or bag
    Cheapest one I’ve located was $180. I’m not a Baker just a mom..

    Email me please with replies, I won’t check this board.

    Thank You
    Melissa

  4. Deanna says:

    No rating, because I have not made this yet.
    Will this be enough to cover one 9×13 cake? (I need to cover two.)

    1. Jamie says:

      Hi Deanna – Yes! I actually realized I had forgotten to note that in the recipe card, so thank you for this question – I have updated that now. This makes enough to frost 24 cupcakes, an 8-inch layer cake, or a 13×9-inch cake. Hope this helps!
      Jamie

  5. Lana says:

    5 stars
    I stabilize the whipped cream just like this all the time as I love whipped cream rather than most frostings for desserts! It stands up excellently after you stabilize it! I’ve also kept it in a sealed container to put on desserts later if anyone wants & it’s stabilized for days! Thanks for the recipe to share!

    1. Jamie says:

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your feedback, Lana! Happy baking!
      Jamie

  6. Renee says:

    4 stars
    Great suggestion. I’m a fan of using Marscapone cheese. Great stabilizer without cheesy taste.

    1. Jamie says:

      Great tip, Renee! Thanks for stopping by and sharing. Happy baking!
      Jamie