Whipped cream is a light and simple option for frosting cakes and cupcakes, especially when paired with fresh fruit. The trick is making sure it doesn’t get too soft before it’s served. Some cooks mix in cream of tartar, which can add a sour note. We prefer powdered milk. It helps create a frosting that’s stable enough for piping and layering without affecting the taste
Place a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer in the freezer until cold, about 5 minutes. Alternatively, fill the bowl with ice water and let stand for 5 minutes. Pour out the ice water and quickly wipe the bowl dry.
Sift the sugar and powdered milk into the chilled bowl, then add the cold cream and vanilla. Whip the mixture on high speed until stiff, but smooth peaks form, about 2 minutes. If you accidentally overwhip, the peaks will look like they are cracking. Add about a tablespoon more heavy cream and hand whip the frosting until it smooths out.
The recipe makes enough frosting to generously top 24 cupcakes or to cover two 8-inch-round cakes, plus extra to pipe decorations. Unrefrigerated, the frosting will hold its shape for up to 6 hours.
We prefer to use heavy whipping cream as opposed to heavy cream or whipping cream because it yields the sturdiest results.
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