Jump to content

Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the society.


Whipped-cream frosting vs Buttercream frosting

  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 Leah Hengel

Leah Hengel
  • new member
  • 2 posts

Posted 22 February 2014 - 05:41 PM

I'll be making cupcakes for a wedding and the bride has requested whip-cream frosting. It is my understanding that the display life for whip-cream frosting is short (1-2 hours). Is this true? 


Also, so there a light frosting that isn't very sweet (similar to whip-cream) that could be used in it's place? Something that has a longer display life (something similar to a buttercream). 



1. What is the display life of whip-cream? 

2. What would be a good substitute for whip-cream? (please include recipe and approximate display life)


Note: By "display life", I mean how long it can sit out of the fridge without running or flopping.  

Thank you.

#2 JeanneCake

  • participating member
  • 1,371 posts
  • Location:greater boston area

Posted 22 February 2014 - 06:13 PM

You can add a bit of gelatin to stablize the whipped cream so it holds longer; but if you are keeping the cupcakes refrigerated until just before the reception begins they should be fine. (Is this an indoor or outdoor-in-a-warm climate reception?)  You can buy a whipped cream stabilizer from Albert Uster Imports (the bottle will last you forever) and this will keep the whipped cream from watering out for at least 24 hours. You could also use a white chocolate mousse that would have a longer shelf life.  Or you can get that stuff in a carton that you put in a mixer bowl and whip until it looks like (and behaves like) whipped cream.   I want to say it is called Pastry Pride but I think if you ask for any non-dairy whipped topping kind of product, your distributor (or Restaurant Depot) would have it.

#3 Lisa Shock

Lisa Shock
  • society donor
  • 2,544 posts
  • Location:Phoenix, AZ

Posted 22 February 2014 - 07:00 PM

The whipped cream used as frosting on supermarket cakes is real cream but it also has a bunch of chemical stabilizers. Safeway sells theirs in the dairy case. It's not labelled as icing, it's in the dairy case with other packages of cream, IIRC it says 'whipping cream' with a subtitle implying that it's already sweetened. Just look at the ingredients, and the one with more than 4 is it. That stuff will remain good looking for days, if kept refrigerated. Safeway customers just love this stuff, it's their number one icing in stores located in wealthier neighborhoods. I think customers believe that it's healthier, somehow.


Your best bet is to try and do a tasting and show her a cupcake with your whipped cream on it after it's been sitting out for several hours.

#4 Leah Hengel

Leah Hengel
  • new member
  • 2 posts

Posted 22 February 2014 - 08:46 PM

Excellent ideas here--I hadn't thought of adding gelatin or stabilizer. Will that allow for the cupcakes to stay on display (indoors) for 2-3 hours? 


Society Donor, I too considered doing a tester of just leaving the "whipping cream" out for several hours to see how it holds. Though from experience, I'm skeptical that it will last. I'll give it a shot though! 


Thank you both! 

#5 Chris Hennes

Chris Hennes

    Director of Operations

  • manager
  • 8,402 posts
  • Location:Norman, Oklahoma

Posted 22 February 2014 - 08:58 PM

Yes, stabilizing whipped cream with gelatin will allow it to be on display at room temp for several hours: you'll want to play around with it a bit to see how much gelatin you are comfortable adding. Too much gelatin will alter the texture, but you can generally add small enough amounts so that it's relatively undetectable.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations

#6 Lisa Shock

Lisa Shock
  • society donor
  • 2,544 posts
  • Location:Phoenix, AZ

Posted 23 February 2014 - 03:06 AM

Room temperature can be different temps to different people. Here in Phoenix, in the summer, people often let it get into the high 80s (F) because of air conditioning costs when the outside air is around 122°F. Some other places, in the winter, it might be 58°F.  I have seen some wedding halls hold cakes in hot hallways next to their kitchen, or in unheated hallways near the outdoors where it's close to freezing. So, try to get an accurate number from the venue.


Yes, cream stabilized with gelatin will generally hold up for a few hours at least.


Run tests, and let the bride see results. She might not be happy and decide to switch to italian buttercream or white chocolate ganache at the last minute.