Whipped Cream VS Buttercream

by James Martin

Cakes and cupcakes are some desserts that mark the climax of any celebration. You would be bummed if you attended a birthday party or a wedding party and realised that there are no cakes to share with friends and relatives. In addition, various flavours are used to make cakes yummy. Some of these popular flavours include vanilla, red velvet, and pineapple. If you can bake a birthday cake, you need to frost or decorate it to make it more appealing and prettier. Two of the frosting and decoration techniques that are widely used across the globe include the use of whipped icing and Buttercream. However, if you are not aware of these techniques, worry not. In this blog, I will be categorical in outlining some aspects that differentiate these two frosting and icing techniques.

Take a look at some of the differences between whipped cream and Buttercream.

Whipped Icing

If you love whipping cream, you need to understand that these icing ingredients are made from powdered sugar and whipped cream. However, there are cases where bakers prefer using meringue powder to increase the stability of whipped icings. If you want to prepare these icings, start by taking chilled whipping cream and use a stand mixer to blend it until it becomes fluffy and light.


On the other hand, Buttercream is made up of shortening, milk, powdered sugar, and some flavours. Preparation starts by whipping fats until they are fluffy and light. You can also use butter or a combination of butter and shortening.

Texture and Flavour

Buttercream is a relatively rich and creamy type of frosting that chefs and bakers use to decorate cakes and other desserts. It is worth noting that the cream has a smooth and creamy texture that can be spread easily, and its flavour is buttery and sweeter. On the other hand, whipping cream is more delicate and is both airy and smooth. It is not easily spread due to air in the mix that tends to form bubbles when spreading.

Use in Decoration

Bakers prefer using Buttercream as the frosting choice to decorate cupcakes and cakes since it has a medium that is thick and can easily be piped and tends to hold its shape well. The cream holds up well at higher temperatures and tends to form a crust over its soft interior. On the other hand, whipping icing has a delicate and light delicacy that makes it suitable for piping borders in cupcakes and cakes. The whipping icing does not work well for detailed designs like swirls and flowers.


Buttercream has a longer shelf-life as compared to whipping icing. Buttercream can stay fresh in a refrigerator for up to 14 days if kept in an airtight container. When the cream is on cakes, the cream can stand for up to 3 days at room temperature. On the other hand, whipping icing can only stand for two days in a refrigerator. If used to ice a cake, the cake cannot be eaten after two days.

Based on the type of cake you want, you can either choose to whip icing or Buttercream to season your cakes.

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