Chocolate whipped cream frosting recipe is light and fluffy, yet sturdy and stabilized enough to pipe on cupcakes or cakes. Easy chocolate whipped cream with cocoa powder pairs perfectly with any flavor of cake, such as angel food, white, chocolate, or banana cake.
Best chocolate whipped cream frosting
If you are any sort of cake lover (who isn’t?!), you know flavor combinations are endless. First you must decide between cake recipes, like chocolate, vanilla, banana, angel food cake, coconut, or carrot. Then comes the equally important decision of frosting.
There’s the traditional fluffy buttercream or chocolate buttercream frosting, but sometimes personal preference and cake flavors calls for something different.
For instance, this beloved family recipe for banana cake with banana filling goes perfectly with chocolate whipped cream frosting. The cake layers are rich and flavorful, while the light, fluffy frosting adds the perfect chocolate flavor.
For lighter cakes, such gluten-free angel food cake or sponge cake, a stable chocolate whipped cream frosting doesn’t compete with delicate textures or weigh it down. This frosting also works well for cheesecake toppings or angel food cake toppings.
This particular whipped cream recipe can be simply spread on layer cakes, cupcakes or placed in a piping bag and used for decorating. The frosting stays sturdy and maintains shape at room temperature, refrigerated for several days, or frozen.
Below I will explain how to make this easy chocolate frosting, the best type of cocoa powder to use, along with decorating and storage tips.
The key to stabilized whipped cream frosting is using a pinch of cream of tartar and whipping the heavy cream well. The confectioners sugar, cocoa powder, and milk combine together to add the chocolate flavoring.
- Powdered sugar – Adjust the amount to your desired level of sweetness
- Unsweetened cocoa powder – Use natural cocoa powder or dutch process cocoa powder for a darker chocolate flavor. I don’t recommend chocolate pudding mix because it will taste too sweet and have a very thick texture.
- Milk – This is used to make a chocolate slurry to add to the whipped cream. Any milk available is fine.
- Cream of tartar – Helps stabilize the whipped cream, which is ideal for cake decorating.
- Heavy whipping cream – Adds structure and balances the sweetness.
- Optional – Add 2-4 additional tablespoons of cocoa powder for a dark chocolate flavor. Extracts, like coconut, almond or vanilla extract will also add an extra hint of flavor.
HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE WHIPPED CREAM FROSTING
- Begin by mixing together the unsweetened cocoa, powdered sugar, cream of tartar, and milk. Cover and chill for about 30 minutes until nice and cold. This will help the frosting hold shape with it’s added to the heavy cream and ensures volume when beating.
- Transfer the chilled chocolate mixture to a large mixing bowl. Use a stand mixer with a whisk attachment or a hand mixer. Add the heavy cream and beat until soft peaks form. The consistency shouldn’t be thick and rigid, like butter, but firm enough to hold a sturdy shape when the beater is pulled away.
- At this point the frosting may be covered and chilled up to 24 hours or used immediately on cooled cakes or cupcakes. Be sure the cake is completely cooled before spreading or piping on or the frosting will melt and lose shape.
using the frosting for piping and decorating
Whether you want to pipe frosting onto cupcakes or decorate a cake, this chocolate whipped frosting holds up great for days. Be sure the frosting is cold when placed in a piping bag and immediately refrigerate after.
It will hold at room temperature for several hours, as long as it is not too warm. Refrigerate any leftover cakes or cupcakes for the frosting to stay fresh and maintain its shape.
Freezing whipped cream frosting
I’ve decorated many cakes with this frosting and then froze them. There is no difference in taste or texture upon thawing. Although I have not tried freezing the frosting before using on cakes, I do not see why this would be a problem either.
When freezing decorated cakes first place the decorated, uncovered cake in the freezer for the frosting to become hard. Once it’s frozen, wrap securely in several layers of plastic wrap then cover in foil to protect from freezer burn or ice crystals. Unwrap and thaw overnight in the refrigerator before cutting and serving.
How much does this recipe make?
This recipe makes enough to spread or pipe onto a 2 layer cake or 24 cupcakes, about 5 cups.
why is my frosting lumpy?
For a smoother chocolate whipped cream, first sift the powdered sugar and cocoa powder together. This will also help it blend seamlessly in the heavy cream without darker chocolate spots.
why is my frosting soft / not holding shape?
Either the ingredients weren’t well chilled or the heavy cream wasn’t whipped long enough. I usually error on the side of over whipping because you go a little too far (it starts to get too solid) you can always add a dash of cream to thin it back out.
Sometimes the whipped cream looks “done” on the top, but underneath it isn’t whipped enough. Therefore, when it gets all mixed together during spreading, it can be too soft. I find this happens a lot when using a stand mixer.
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Stable Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting (Extra Easy)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- pinch cream of tartar
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 cups heavy cream, well chilled
- Sift together the powdered sugar, unsweetened cocoa, and cream of tartar into a large bowl. Stir in the milk until well incorporated. The mixture will be very thick. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until well chilled.1 cup powdered sugar,½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder,pinch cream of tartar,¼ cup milk
- Using an electric or stand mixer with whisk attachment, gradually beat the heavy cream into chocolate mixture, scraping down bowl to make sure all the chocolate is mixed in. Continue mixing on high until stiff peaks form.2 cups heavy cream,
- Spread or pipe onto a 2 layer cake or 24 cupcakes. Makes 5 cups. Refrigerate leftovers.
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Made tonight for the Fluffy Banana Cake. So far everything is perfect. Cake is setting up in the fridge then I will do some piping. Frosting is great, had to hide it to keep them muggles from sneaking a taste.
Melissa Erdelac says
Lol, love it!
Maribel Marrero says
Just made your frosting for very 1st. time. Though it’s pretty good, I did find it a bit too soft. Maybe if I add more powered sugar to thicken up a bit more. It was just too soft & barely held on. Besides, day was a bit warm too & had to transport it about a mile to a friends. Did like it. Thanks for recipe. Will try MORE powdered sugar & see how it goes. Everything was extra cold.
Thanks for writing. It could have been the warm day or the whipped cream wasn’t whipped long enough. I usually error on the side of over whipping because you go a little too far (it starts to get too solid) you can always add a dash of cream to thin it back out. Sometimes the whipped cream looks “done” on the top, but underneath it isn’t whipped enough. When it gets all mixed together when spreading, it can be too soft. I find this happens a lot when using a stand mixer. I hope this helps! I’m glad you still enjoyed it, though!
Patti A says
have made this frosting many times since I first found it. So easy and so delicious.
Thank you, Patti, for taking the time to let me know! I’m so glad you are enjoying it!
Susan Bouton says
Is the powdered sugar mixture suppose to be thick
Sorry for the late reply. We were camping this past week. Yes, the powdered sugar / chocolate mixer is supposed to be very thick. Hopefully it turned out for you!
I’d suggest whipping the heavy cream first before adding the chocolate mixture! I tried really hard to get peaks and it didn’t work in the order of the instructions 🙁
Sorry this happened! That’s a bummer. I haven’t had a problem with the heavy cream whipping with it all mixed together, so I’m not exactly sure what happened in your case…If everything was cold, it should have been fine. Stumped 🙁
I have a question! Do I need to beat the whipped cream first to form peaks and then gradually add the wet chocolate mixture? Or is all of the chocolate mixture already added and I’m gradually adding the whipping cream? I’m worried it won’t form peaks this way. Let me know! New to baking!
Hi Gabby, I’m happy to help! Yes, you put the whipped cream and chocolate mixture together and then beat it. It can just be dumped in together, no need to add gradually. Hope this helps!
I’m new to the baking world and for the milk I just wanted to know if there was a type you prefer for this whipped icing option.
I’d be happy to help! I just use whatever is in my fridge, generally 2%. Skim, half and half, whole milk, or heavy cream would work also. Let me know if you have any other questions. I can talk about baking all day!
Thank you so much! I’m making it now and I’m so excited! It’s looking like it’s supposed to!! 🙂
I’m new to the baking world and for the milk I just wanted to know if there was a type you prefer for this whipped icing option.
Penny Barry says
This was very good!!! Put it on a marble cake I made from a box. Was delicious and easy to make.
Thank you! Will make this often. I like a fluffy frosting and this is perfect for my family.
Thank you so much, Penny! This frosting with marble cake sounds absolutely amazing. I can’t wait to try it!
I made the chocolate version and it was amazing, then I used dehydrates strawberries that I pulverized into a powder instead of cocoa for another cupcake I made.
I love the idea of using the dehydrated fruit in this! Thank you so much for sharing that tip. I appreciate it and I’m sure so will the readers 🙂
I love that idea, I make a scratch strawberry cake but usually make a cream cheese, stabilized cream frosting but I will try the dehydrated strawberry idea next time! Yum
Oh my gosh that sounds amazing! Tag me in a pic on Instagram when you do make it! I’d love to share it!
If I don’t have cocoa powder can i melt some chocolate chips with the milk instead? Is the 1 cup of powered sugar a guideline because my family doesn’t like really sweet frostings.
Hi Kari, I’ve never tried with the melted chocolate chips. I’m thinking the chocolate would possibly harden once you incorporate it into the cream, though. Yes, you can definitely adjust the powder sugar to make it less sweet. That definitely wouldn’t affect the recipe. Hope this helps!
Can we skip cream of tartar or it will affect the stability or firmness of the frosting?
You can definitely skip the cream of tartar, but like you said, it will affect the stability. That being said, if you aren’t going to pipe the frosting or plan on eating the cake within a day or two, I wouldn’t worry about it. Hope this helps!
Excellent taste, but do refrigerate finished product or will get “melty”
Yes, especially this time of year! No one wants a sad looking cake (although they are always edible!) Thanks for writing!
How long will a frosted whip cream cake hold up in the refrigerator? Is there a secret to firming it up?
Hi Kit, This whip cream is pretty stable and I’ve never had a problem with it’s longevity in the fridge. I’ve stored it for few days and by then cake’s usually gone! It also freezes well on a cake. If you want to pipe it or want it even more firm, you can add a couple tablespoons of instant pudding mix when you add the powdered sugar. Enjoy!
Thank you for the quick and helpful response!
Chris Campbell Lane says
Easy recipe to throw together with a terrific taste and consistency ! We use cool whip and just added more to give it less of a chocolate case…
Thanks for writing! I haven’t tried the cool whip before. Good tip!
Looks v yummy! Would love to try!
what would the time frame be for storage ?
( refrigerator or can this freezes for later use)?
I’ve frozen this frosting on a cake, but I’m sure you can freeze it by itself too just fine. When I’ve made cakes with this frosting on it it stands up fine in the fridge for a couple days. Never tested out longer than that because the cake is gone by then!
Can the leftover/ unused whipped cream frosting be stored for a few days in air tight containers?
Approximately for how many days?
Definitely. I would say 2-3 days in the fridge. Sometimes if I have a lot of leftover frosting I freeze it in ziplock freezer bag. When I’m ready it use it I just peel it out of the bag, and thaw in a bowl in the fridge for whip cream frosting or on counter for buttercream.
Robyn Smith says
Would this hold up to use for piping on a Birthday cake? It sounds yummy.
Yes, I have piped whipped cream frosting before. You’d have to use a larger tip and buttercream would be a better choice for more detailed designs, but whipped cream frosting does look very pretty piped. 🙂