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People love the frosting. “Best cake I ever had,” they’ll say. They’re talking about the frosting. So today, we’re going to tell you how to make fantastic frosting and how to use that frosting, with flavors and fillings, to make fantastic cakes.
That doesn’t mean that the cake is not important. If it’s dry or gooey, the frosting may mask it but it won’t rescue it.
We almost always make cream cakes. They are denser and moister than those fluffy cake mixes from the store. We think there’s not enough substance to those cakes, that the frosting overwhelms the cake.
But great frosting will make an average cake special (not the other way around). We have gotten to where we use whipped cream frosting most of the time. I have served cakes with whipped cream frosting to hundreds of people. They always prefer it to buttercream. It’s lighter, not as rich or sweet. And it’s easy to make.
How to Convert Whipped Cream to Frosting
If you can make whipped cream, you can make whipped cream frosting. The difference is a stabilizer to keep it from melting. We use meringue powder. (We use meringue powder in our whipped cream, just not as much.)
And we get fancy and load our whipped cream with inclusions from cream cheese to pastry fillings, or nuts.
The following list of ingredients is the starting point. Partially whip it and then taste it. You may want to add more sugar or more flavor. If you have too much flavor, add more whipping cream.
- One cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon flavor
- 2 tablespoon meringue powder
Whip the cream until stiff peaks are formed. (Note for whipped cream, we use one tablespoon meringue and for frosting, we use two.)
You can use any whipped cream frosting with any cake. All of these cakes were made with our Baby Cakes mixes. Get Vanilla Bean or Fudgy Baby Cake Mixes here. Most of our cakes were made in a 9×13-inch pan. After baking, the outer edges were trimmed and the cakes were cut in half lengthwise to form two 9×6½-inch cakes for stacking.
Here are the cakes that we served most often in the store along with how we made them. If you would like detailed recipes for these, we’ll send them to you.
With each description, you will find a money-saving coupon that you can use to save money on the key ingredient for that cake. You can get all the coupons if you like (but our system only allows one coupon per order.)
Chocolate, Strawberry, and Vanilla Layer Cake (and a free cake mix)
This is a Fudgy Baby Cake with a layer of whipped cream frosting and thinly sliced strawberries between the layers. The frosting on top was applied with a pastry bag and a round tip. This is a luscious cake made
Caramel Pumpkin (Pictured above)
This was a very popular cake in the store. We used a recipe to convert a Baby Cakes Mix to a pumpkin cake. We made this both with and without nuts. I liked the nuts better
This was a very popular cake in the store. We used a recipe to convert a Baby Cakes Mix to a pumpkin cake. We made this both with and without nuts. I liked the nuts better.
We made this often. We used the Caramel Nut Whipped Cream Recipe with a little cream cheese added. For nuts. We chopped mixed salted snacking nuts. The contrast of the smooth and the crunchy and the salty and the sweet is divine.
For this, we added huckleberry jam to the frosting. Everything huckleberry is good. Electric purple is the right color for huckleberries.
For many folks, this was their favorite (at least until they tasted the next). It’s a vanilla cake with a lemon pastry filling between the layers. The frosting is made with two ounces of cream cheese (to two cups of whipping cream) and about a half cup of lemon pastry filling right in the frosting. The top is drizzled with a Lemon Designer Dessert Sauce and sprinkled with lemon bark. The lemon bark is outstanding and adds a little crunch to the cake.
This is a simple but very scrumptious cake. It’s made with apricot flavor (it’s a very good flavor) and drizzled with a mango dessert sauce.
We got a little crazy making these cakes—anything that came to mind. There was a chocolate malt that we made with a milk chocolate frosting on a chocolate cake and with malt powder in the frosting. We did chocolate cherry, chocolate raspberry, and chocolate strawberry. In each case, we put pastry filling between the layers and pastry filling right in the frosting.
We had a fresh pineapple and made several cakes with that. I minced the pineapple and then pressed the juice out with paper towels before adding the pineapple to the frosting. In one, we added pineapple and cherries.
Next up is an apricot almond cake and orange cream cake (like an orange vanilla frozen ice cream treat).
Notes and Tips
- When using cream cheese, cream the sugar with the cream cheese before adding the whipping cream. Breaking up the cream cheese will help avoid cream cheese lumps in the finished product. I was using one to two ounces of cream cheese for each one cup of whipping cream.
- If your whipped cream becomes saggy, rewhip it before it turns runny. You can rewhip cream at least several times.
- Taste your whipped cream before the cream is completely whipped. If it is not sweet enough, add more sugar. If it needs more flavor, add it.
- If it is too sweet or has too much flavor, add more whipping cream. You can add cream to evenly firmly whipped cream and rewhip it. That gives you a lot of leeway to correct mistakes.
- Use the best, heaviest whipping cream you can find. Avoid whipping cream with “milk added.” It’s hard to get lesser cream to whip properly and it melts much more quickly.
- For the whipped creams that we made that Saturday and the Saturday before, we had over 100 flavors to choose from. Your arsenal is not going to be that extensive but invest in a nice selection. We sell over 30 flavors and are adding more.
About the Author
Dennis Weaver has burned food from Point Barrow, Alaska, to Miami, Florida. He is the founder of The Prepared Pantry in Rigby, Idaho and the author of How to Bake: The Art and Science of Baking available as an E-book or as a Kindle book on Amazon.
Dennis lives in Rigby, Idaho, with his wife, Merri Ann. They have five wonderful children and six beautiful granddaughters.