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Sturdy whipped cream frosting is made with heavy whipping cream, vanilla extract, and gelatin! It is a cinch to make! Ditch the whipping cream that melts and learn how to make the BEST sturdy whipping cream to grace the top of your desserts!
Sturdy Whipped Cream Frosting
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—Want the recipe right now? Simply scroll straight to the bottom!—
There are a few recipes I think every home cook needs to know, and stabilized whipped cream icing is one of them. It's also one of the most versatile icings out there! It's perfect for piping shapes and details and it's easy to color and to flavor. It requires minimal ingredients like heavy cream, vanilla, powdered sugar and gelatin. It takes a minimal amount of time too!
You've probably had this whipped cream frosting before, and maybe you didn't realize it. It's quite popular for ice cream cakes. In some ways, it's just like your favorite whipped topping except it is totally stable. Have you ever squirted a pretty shape of whipped cream onto a piece of pie, only to have it melt and look not so pretty? This frosting totally eliminates that from happening! In the food blogging world, sometimes you can't take a picture before the whipped cream melts. That is when this really comes in handy!
So let's get started. This frosting can be made and then used to frost a cake, just like any other frosting recipe. My favorite thing to do with the frosting is to pipe shapes. The reason I love to do this is because I find it much easier to pipe directly onto the wax paper, and then position it onto a cake or pie. I don't have to trust my shaky hand on the final product!
In the picture above, I'm using Russian piping tips. There are many reasons why these are my favorites- but the first reason is because they are big enough to hold up to the sturdiness of the stabilized whipped cream frosting. If you put on a piping tip that is too small, it just won't squeeze through. These tips pipe the whip cream through like butter! I absolutely adore the ruffle like shapes they create too!
How cute are those swirls? Once I've piped the shaped onto the wax paper, I pop the cookie sheet into the freezer for about 15-20 minutes. Truth be told, I've left them in the freezer for a week and they still tasted great. If you do leave them in for more than 20 minutes, I would cover with cling film once they are stable, frozen and will hold their shape.
If you plan to leave them in the freezer past 2 hours, I would remove them from the wax paper (as described below) and place in freezer bags or plastic freezer containers.
From there, it's pretty easy to move the flowers from the cookie sheet to your frosted cake, or in my case, a pie. The offset spatula is the key to this. Simply run it below the flower shape, and it will then come off the wax paper. Use the spatula to then place it where you'd like it to go. The good news? I *might* have dropped one, and it was fine. Because it's a stable whipped cream shape, no one was the wiser. LOL.
And here is the finalized look!
This is a special sneak peak of a new fall recipe coming in the next few weeks- an old fashioned molasses pumpkin pie. Good news, I've since published the recipe for Molasses Pumpkin Pie! In case your craving other pumpkin things- be sure to check out my easy homemade pumpkin frosting that can be used on all your fall breads like pumpkin pie spice cake loaf or just to dress up plain cupcakes!
This was one of the first recipes that I used stabilized whipped cream on, and it was the game changer that started the ball rolling. At Thanksgiving dinner I will now have these whipped cream flowers available for all my guests! Here are some other recipes I've posted on the blog that utilize my sturdy whipped cream frosting or piped flower shapes on:
Reese's Pieces Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie
What do you need to make stabilized whipped topping frosting?
The steps are simple and the full recipe can be found at the bottom of the page! These are some hints and tips to get you started.
- A stand mixer or a heavy duty hand mixer is the key to getting the heavy whipping cream to whip. Give your hand a rest and invest in one!
- A very very very cold bowl. I put my stand mixer bowl in the freezer, along with the attachment about 15 minutes before making the frosting
- Gelatin. Some people use items like vanilla pudding or whip it powder, but I have found gelatin does the best without adding any extra taste.
- Vanilla extract or another flavor you prefer. The sky is the limit.
- Powdered sugar. By using powder, you eliminate any graininess that can be brought out by other sugars. This keeps it nice and smooth. It also adds a perfect hint of sweetness.
- For shapes and detailed piping, I recommend the Russian piping tips. They are big enough to allow the sturdy icing to go through, and make a great shape.
- For freezing shapes that are piped in advance, I recommend an offset spatula and wax paper.
FAQ's about Sturdy Whipped Cream Frosting:
How long does the chilled whipped cream last? Does it deflate?
-The whipped cream lasts about 24 hours if you keep it cool in a refrigerator. It does begin to lose shape after that amount of time, but it will not completely deflate. I'd recommend making ahead within 24 hrs of serving, and consuming by 2 days.
Can you freeze stabilized whipped cream?
-Absolutely! That is one of the best parts. If you have any leftover, be sure to pop shapes into the freezer following the method I showed you above. Once you've placed them in freezer bags or freezer containers, they should last 2 to 3 months. Place in a fridge to thaw when you'd like to use them!
Have more questions for me? Leave one in the comments below and I'd be happy to answer them!
Additional tips for making stabilized whipped cream flowers:
- when adding the gelatin to the mixing bowl, scrape down several times as it really likes to stick to the edges of the bowl!
- for the best shapes, I find the Russian piping tips that have wider openings work well. The thinner cracks work, but are not as easy to use as the wider ones.
- if a small piece of gelatin gets caught in one of the openings, use tweezers to pull it out. This happens occasionally. It's pretty easy to see if an opening is clogged.
Recipe for Sturdy Whipped Cream Icing:
Sturdy Whipped Cream Frosting
- 2 ½ teaspoon gelatin knox brand, this is one pouch
- 3 tablespoon cold water
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla feel free to sub other extracts.
- Before whipping your cream, place your beaters or mixer attachment, and your mixing bowl into a freezer for about 15 minutes to allow them to cool.
- In a microwave safe bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water. Stir, and allow to "bloom". This takes about 5 minutes.
- Microwave the gelatin mixture for 10 seconds. It will become a liquid versus the solid shape it had been (looks like ugly jello!). Stir to make sure everything is dissolved.
- In your chilled mixing bowl, begin whipping the cream on a low speed. Add in the powdered sugar, followed by the vanilla. Move to a higher speed and watch for good peaks to begin to form.
- Once the whipping cream is starting to peak, switch back to a lower speed and slowly drizzle the melted liquid gelatin mixture in. Once it's in, switch back to a higher speed and continue to beat until it's reached stiff peaks.
- Place in piping bags and pipe shapes, or ice your cake. You can also place in the fridge for a few hours before using, but you may have to thaw a few minutes to get it to be more manageable.
- Once you've iced your item, place in a fridge to hold it's shape, or serve immediately.
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Jean A Aker says
Hi everyone! Loved this gelatin tip in the whipped creme. Not only did it work perfectly for me. I added 2 tablespoons of Nutella and a tablespoon of espresso coffee for a chocolate cake. I ended up needing another heaping tablespoon of sugar. It was a huge hit! Thank you for your post!
Lynette Lackey says
Can you add fondant decorations to top of cake using this icing?
Lillian White says
Really really good stuff. Turned out great!!
Will this work for layered trifles?
Hi Linda, I have used it in many trifles. Anything with weight on it will of course be affected, but I think it stands up better than loose whipped cream that can ooze up. I've put the piped flowers on top with zero issues! Thanks for reaching out and asking!
I've never tried it, but if you do, please let me know how it works! Thanks!
Thanks so much for the tips Jean, that sounds fabulous!
Yes, I've never had any issue with adding coloring to it!
That sounds so delicious Irene! Will have to try that for sure! Thanks for commenting!
I've never had that problem, not sure why it happens.
Can I use this whipped cream on my ambrosia fruit salad?
Yes! I have used it in trifles and other similar ways so that the shape stays. It doesn't affect the taste or texture! Thanks for asking!