The best frosting that is perfectly fluffy, not-to-sweet and totally pipe-able to hold shapes and designs is this whipped cream cream cheese frosting. It has replaced all other frostings for me. We hardly celebrate a birthday or anniversary without it!
Great news: I have found the world's most perfect frosting recipe, and the search is over. Get ready to print this, memorize it, and tattoo it on the inside of your arm. I have personal plans to do all three.
The world's most perfect frosting falls at the intersection of cream cheese frosting and whipped cream. The cream cheese stabilizes the whipped cream frosting, making it just firm enough to be pipe-able and so deliciously creamy and rich. And the tang of cream cheese is just something we absolutely love.
We really shouldn't relegate cream cheese frosting to Easter only. Yes, we can't get enough of it on carrot cake cupcakes, and if we use a bit of brown sugar in hummingbird cupcakes, it becomes something different but still delicious.
Ways to Use Whipped Cream Cream Cheese Frosting:
- In the pictures, this frosting is piped onto my eggless chocolate cupcakes. We have used this combinations at so many kids' birthday parties.
- It's lovely for a baby shower or wedding shower on my wedding cake cupcakes.
- I truly love this on my mini vanilla cake as my own birthday cake of choice. The frosting is sturdy enough to pipe flowers or roses for decoration. If your birthday cake must contain chocolate (I live with people who feel this way), my mini chocolate cake works, too.
How to Make Whipped Cream Cream Cheese Frosting:
The most important thing when making whipped cream cheese frosting is understanding how much temperature of ingredients matters. The cream cheese needs to be softened just to room temperature, and the heavy cream needs to stay super cold.
To soften cream cheese, I open the package, slice it into 8 pieces and let it rest at room temperature for a few hours. Do not use whipped cream cheese in place of the brick of cream cheese. Here is a great article on the differences between regular cream cheese and whipped cream cheese in baking.
You might scan the ingredient list and wonder if I'm forgetting anything. Yes, this really is a frosting recipe without butter! Just in case you don't have any butter in your house, you can still have frosting that is better than a bakery!
If you're short on ingredients, check out all of my frosting recipes here on this site.
- Cream Cheese. One 8-ounce package of cream cheese. Open the package, and slice it into 8 or so pieces, and then let it rest at room temperature until fully softened.
- Powdered Sugar. Just one cup. It seems like a small amount compared to the amount of frosting this recipe makes, but I promise it's just the right amount of sweetness.
- Vanilla. Real vanilla extract is the best flavor enhancer.
- Salt. Just the smallest pinch to balance the flavors.
- Heavy Cream. One and a half cups of full-fat heavy whipping cream. No substitutes, or the frosting won't whip up fluffy and pipe-able.
- Gather all ingredients, and ensure the cream cheese is softened before beginning the recipe.
2. Place the softened cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on low speed until smooth.
3. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and salt and start on LOW so it doesn’t fly out everywhere. Slowly increase the speed and beat until fully incorporated.
4. Turn the stand mixer to the highest level it will go, and begin to slowly stream in the heavy whipping cream while it runs. It takes me at least 1-2 minutes to drizzle in all of the cream. I aim to pour it into the bottom of the bowl.
5. When all of the cream is in, let it beat a few more minutes, until it starts to thicken up. It will hold lines from the beaters, and it will hold a stiff peak when you lift up the beater. It should have the consistency of mousse (thicker than a pudding), and not be soupy at all. However, do not overheat or it will turn soupy again. Keep an eye on it, and stop when it’s firm, pipeable and holding its own shape.
If you're looking for a chocolate version, don't miss my Chocolate Whipped Cream as a frosting.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Yes, adding cream cheese to this whipped cream frosting makes it super stable, as long as it is kept at cool temperature. It will holds its shape at room temperature for nearly an hour, provided the room isn't hot and steamy, of course.
The answer to this is a big fat NO. You must start with the brick of cream cheese. The already whipped cream cheese in the tub has so many other liquid ingredients, meant to make it thin and spreadable. It contains milk,
First, make sure that you used a block of cream cheese and not the already whipped version in the tub. Second, if your frosting seems runny, mix it on high until it comes together. It will hold the lines of the beaters during whipping. To make it more firm, refrigerate it. The last resort is sprinkling in a few tablespoons of cornstarch to thicken it up, but it really shouldn't be necessary, as long as you follow the recipe correctly.
You can absolutely make this whipped cream cream cheese frosting a day or two ahead, and keep it covered in the fridge. Right before you want to use it, you will need to re-whip it with the beater of your stand mixer or just a hand mixer.
You might also love my strawberry cream cheese frosting recipe, if you need something pink! Or, my lemon cream cheese frosting is great, too.
Whipped Cream Cream Cheese Frosting
A delightful no butter frosting recipe that isn't too sweet, and still holds its shape when piped while also being fluffy. In short, this recipe is PERFECT.
- 1 8-ounce block of full-fat cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
- Gather all ingredients, and ensure the cream cheese is at room temperature and the heavy whipping cream is very cold.
- Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on low speed until fully smooth.
- Stop the mixer, and add the powdered sugar, vanilla and salt and start on LOW speed. Slowly increase the speed and beat until fully incorporated.
- Turn the stand mixer to the highest level it will go, and begin to stream in the cold heavy cream. It takes at least 1-2 minutes to drizzle in all of the cream.
- When all of the cream is in, let the mixer run a few more minutes, until it starts to thicken up. It will hold lines from the beaters, and it will hold a stiff peak when you lift up the beater. It should have the consistency of mousse (thicker than a pudding), and not be runny at all. Stop when it’s firm, pipeable and holding its own shape.
Make-Ahead: Can be made 1-2 days ahead and kept covered in the fridge. Re-whip before using
Cream Cheese: One 8-ounce block of cream cheese, do not use the already whipped cream cheese.
Heavy Cream: It must be full-fat heavy whipping cream. No substitutes, or the frosting won't whip up fluffy and pipe-able.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 204Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 89mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 0gSugar: 11gProtein: 2g
Hi! Could you use maple syrup in place of the sugar, or will it add too much liquid? Looking for a low sugar frosting for a 2 year old who has never really had sugar!
Christina Lane says
Hmm..I think you could, but start out with a small amount at first. Have you seen my First Birthday Cake recipe? It has a frosting made with coconut cream and maple syrup for kids :)
Amanda Raney says
1) If made in a larger quantity, would it be okay to frost a cake with?
2) Do cupcakes iced with this need to be refrigerated if they're made ahead/if there are leftovers?
Hi Christina! What is the recommended storage once cupcakes are frosted? Do they have to be kept refrigerated until served?
Christina Lane says
Yes, Faye, I would refrigerate until needed, and then pull out of the fridge 1~0 minutes before serving, just so the cupcakes aren't so cold.
This looks perfect! Do you have any advice to make it chocolate? Would you just add maybe a 1/4 cup cocoa powder? My little guy wants chocolate frosting for his cake...
I screwed this up and couldn’t get it to work. I’ve re-read the recipe several times and I don’t know where I went wrong. It wouldn’t thicken up into peaks for me. Tried both the chilling and the corn starch method to thicken up. I used a natural brand cream cheese (that was what was available), maybe I should try again with philly?
In the meantime, made popsicles with my soup to help mend my hurt ego.
Can you freeze this frosting if you have leftovers?
Christina, love this frosting but how do I make it work for a wedding? They would be sitting out for a bit. Thx
Christina Lane says
You can sprinkle a bit of gelatin in the cold whipped cream before whipping. Google 'stabilized whipped cream' and use the proportions.