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Vanilla Whipped-Cream Frosting

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Yields about 7 cups, enough to fill and frost a 9-inch four-layer cake.

  • To learn more, read:
    A Piece of Cake
  • by Katherine Eastman Seeley from Fine Cooking
    Issue 78

Flavored whipped cream is an easy filling and topping for a gorgeous berry-stacked cake. Finishing the whisking by hand will give you  more control over the final thickness of the whipped cream.

Want more layer-cake how-to? Read the complete article to learn how to bake, fill, assemble, and top spectacular layer cakes.

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  • 3 cups heavy or whipping cream
  • 5 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Chill the bowl and whisk attachment of a stand mixer for 20 min. in the refrigerator or 5 min. in the freezer. Pour the heavy cream into the bowl and whisk on medium-high speed until it just starts to thicken. Slow the speed down to medium and gradually pour in the sugar. Continue to whisk until soft peaks form.

Add the vanilla extract and continue to whisk by hand until the cream is smooth, and stiff peaks form (the cream will stand up straight when the whisk is raised).

Variations

Raspberry or Strawberry Whipped Cream: Instead of vanilla, add 2-1/4 cups raspberry or strawberry purée (purée the fruit in a blender and strain) to the cream when you add the sugar. Increase sugar to 7 Tbs. Before you begin whisking by hand, taste and adjust the flavoring. (Note: the purée increases the amount of whipped cream, so you may not need it all; save the extra for topping other desserts.)

Lemon Whipped Cream: Instead of vanilla, add 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice and 1 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest to the cream when you add the sugar. Increase sugar to 8 Tbs. Before you begin whisking by hand, taste and adjust the flavoring.

Orange Whipped Cream: Instead of vanilla, add 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice and 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest to the cream when you add the sugar. Before you begin whisking by hand, taste and adjust the flavoring.

Chocolate Whipped Cream: Omit vanilla and increase sugar to 6 Tbs. After soft peaks form, turn off the mixer and add 1/4 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-processed. Whisk by hand until the cream is smooth, and stiff peaks form. Let the cream sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to dissolve the cocoa. Whisk briefly before using.

Mocha Whipped Cream: Omit vanilla and increase sugar to 6 Tbs. After soft peaks form, turn off the mixer and add 1/4 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-processed, and 2 Tbs. instant espresso dissolved in 2 Tbs. boiling water. Whisk by hand until the cream is smooth, and stiff peaks form. Let the cream sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to dissolve the cocoa. Whisk briefly before using.

Easy to make, only as sweet as I want it. Spreads well and it is very delicious! Best ever!

This has been the only frosting my 8yr son will eat on a cake. He hates regular frosting because it's too sweet and doesn't like the texture or greasy taste it leaves in his mouth. He normal has his birthday cake or cupcakes dry until my husband found this recipe. The strawberry frosting is very tasty. I even added some piping gel to add thickness to be able to use it in a decorating bag to make letting and designs. We've used it for 2 birthday and are about to use it on a 3rd.

No matter what I tried, this just kept falling apart and becoming more and more liquid. Frustrating and ineffective.

I am not much of a baker, so I thought this would be easy for me to try. It turned out awesome! I will NEVER buy whipped topping from the store again! I do not have a stand mixer, my hand mixer worked just fine. My son's first birthday cake is going to be delicious! Thank you!!

Been making this for years given the fact that most of the people in my family hate traditional thick sugary frosting. Pair this with either chocolate cake or (my favorite) spice cake and it is divine.

This is an amazing recipe. I just got done spreading it on my cake and it looks absolutely great. This recipe was so easy. The frosting spreads and pipes really well. Thank You so much for this recipe, it took me a long time to fine a homemade frosting I liked.

This is an amazing recipe. I just got done spreading it on my cake and it looks absolutely great. This recipe was so easy. The frosting spreads and pipes really well. Thank You so much for this recipe, it took me a long time to fine a homemade frosting I liked.

Extremely easy if you use whipping cream, which I did. I used the frosting to frost and decorate my daughter's birthday cake. No other tips needed follow the recipe and enjoy!

I followed to a t and never thickened until i took my bowl and put it inside another bowl with cold water and ice cubes, does the trick

I followed the ingredients up above, and my whipped cream wasnt whipped. I had to add 1/2 cup of flour to finally get it lifting up and thickening. I have no idea how anone got this to work.

Grandma's secret whip cream frosting was made with frozen concentrated orange juice (thawed) and sugar. Kvasquez, at first you don't succeed, try try again! Don't give up. We all make cooking mistakes, but we learn from those mistakes and improve our cooking skills. Read the recipe again and follow exactly what it says. I used whipping cream, specifically.

It was brilliant. I made the chocolate frosting and everyone just loved it.

I followed exactly what this recipe said to do, I even used and electric mixer, when I usually don't do that. Well this wouldn't thicken up at all no matter what I do to try and fix this. I honestly don't see how everyone got it to work.

This is the best whip cream frosting ever!! I tried this as I have tried many other in the past for a birthday cake I was making for my Aunt's 65th birthday surprise party. This is super yummy & everyone raved about it. I was the hit of the party. I must say for myself it was soooo good!! =) Now I will be making the vanilla whip cream frosting & chocolate on too for my cousin's baby shower! =)

I had a great recipe for a strawberry shortcake cupcake, but I wanted a lighter, whipped-cream frosting instead of the strawberry mascarpone one listed with the recipe. After a few different unsuccessful experiments, I found this recipe and decided to give it a try. The icing turned out perfectly! The lightness of the flavor was the perfect compliment. My daughter and I are making the cupcakes again for a wedding shower, and they are sure to be a hit!

this is very good i made it with a tbl spoon less sugar and added a 1/3 cup of reduced cocanut milk. (2 cans reduced to 1 1/2 cups) it was delicious

Delicious and deceptively simple! This whips up in minutes (if you have chilled the mixer components) and spreads easily. Very flavorful and tasty I urge you to give it a try. The recipe will make a generous amount.

wonderful and so light!!!

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