Working with whipped cream can be difficult. The trick to frosting a cake or piping on a cupcake is to use stabilized whipped cream. This stiff whipped cream holds its shape and spreads smoothing onto cakes.
Learn how to stabilize whipped cream with just one extra ingredient!
This stabilized whipped cream frosting is made with the addition of cream cheese. It is just as light and fluffy as regular whipped cream, but it is easier to work with and won't deflate on you while you frost a cake.
There are several different ways to thicken whipped cream and prolong its use before melting. This recipe is for stabilized whipped cream without gelatin.
As summer approaches, I was inspired to create this recipe to pair with this reader favorite Mini Strawberry Chiffon Cake recipe.
What is Stabilized Whipped Cream?
Whipped cream frosting is made from only a few ingredients, but it is primarily heavy cream (a liquid). Once whipped, air is beaten into the cream to thicken and turn it into a fluffy frosting.
As you use whipped cream (like when spreading onto a cake), it begins to deflate and turn soft.
Adding a small amount of cream cheese not only thickens the whipped cream, it stabilizes it so that it doesn't deflate as quickly and keeps its shape after piping.
What Recipes Use Stabilized Whipped Cream?
Whipped cream frosting is slightly sweet with hints of vanilla. You can use to frost cakes, pipe onto cupcakes, or for topping pie, like this Banana Cream Pie.
It is still a relatively soft frosting, so don't get too crazy with it for filling sky-high layer cakes. If used between multiple layers of heavy cake, it can begin to squish out the sides under the weight of the cake.
Make stabilized whipped cream with just 4 ingredients:
- Cream cheese
- Icing (powdered) sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Heavy or whipping cream (look for 33 to 36% milk fat)
Tools and Equipment
All you really need to make whipped cream in a large mixing bowl and a whisk!
An electric mixer (hand or stand) definitely comes in handy if you don't want an arm workout that day.
How to Stabilize Whipped Cream with Cream Cheese
Mix together the cream cheese and sugar until completely smooth.
Add the cream. Begin mixing on medium speed until the mixture begins to thicken.
Increase the speed and mix on high until thick and fluffy. Do not over mix.
When done, the whisk dipped into the frosting should come out holding stiff peaks.
Hint: Do not over mix! Once the frosting thickens, stop the mixer and finish whisking by hand for more control. You will begin to see tracks left behind from the whisk when it is almost done.
Gelatin - add bloomed gelatin to your whipped cream frosting. Stabilized Whipped Cream with gelatin recipe.
Milk Powder - I added a couple tablespoons of powdered milk along with the cream and it seemed to help with thickening whipped cream.
Instant Pudding - this recipe uses a tablespoons of instant pudding mix to thicken whipped cream.
Serving and Storage
No matter how stable, keep whipped cream frosting refrigerated until serving.
Frost cakes and cupcakes with stabilized whipped cream the same day that it is made. After, you can store a dessert with whipped cream frosting in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
It is not recommend for freezing, unless that is part of the recipe.
Stabilized Whipped Cream Recipe FAQs
Stabilized whipped cream is like regular whipped cream with additional ingredients like cream cheese, gelatin, instant pudding mix, milk powder, and cornstarch. These ingredients help thicken the frosting and make it less temperamental when frosting cakes or piping on cupcakes.
You can use a bit of cream cheese, milk powder, and instant pudding mix to help thicken whipped cream frosting.
In the heat, even stabilized whipped cream will eventually melt.
Yes. It needs to be kept chilled whenever possible since the primary ingredients are dairy.
Tessa's Tips for Stiff Whipped Cream Frosting
- Keep the cream as cold as possible before getting started.
- To keep from over-mixing, stop the electric mixer once the cream thickens and holds soft peaks then finish whisking by hand.
- What happens if the cream is over-whipped and appears grainy? Add in a tablespoon or two of heavy cream and whisk to just combined.
- Make sure to look for a heavy whipping cream that is between 33 to 35% MF (milk fat)
- Use the whipped cream shortly after making.
- For icing cakes, slightly under-whipping (medium peaks) so that it does not get over-worked as you go. Whisk until stiff peaks for piping.
Stabilized Whipped Cream with Cream Cheese
- 2 tablespoon cream cheese
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 tea vanilla extract
- Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, or by hand, mix together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
- Add the whipping cream and start mixing on medium speed until it begins to slightly thicken (this will help cream from spraying everywhere).
- Increase the mixer to high and whip the cream until medium-soft peaks.
- Continue to whip until stiff peaks or switch to a hand whisk and stir until thickened. This will help keep from accidentally over-mixing.
- Add the vanilla and whisk to combine.
- Use immediately for icing cakes and piping on cupcakes.