Is there really any reason to bake a cake? Whether you are making a fancy cake for a celebration, cupcakes, birthday cake, or even a cake for a potluck, chances are – the icing is a part of the planning process. So, which kind of frosting is superior? Whipped cream and buttercream are two popular frosting options.
Whipped cream and buttercream are both delectable icings, yet they serve very distinct functions. Whipped cream is an excellent option for a light and fluffy frosting. Alternately, if you are needing an icing that has more structure, is more stable, and has a rich, butter taste – opting for a buttercream would be your best bet.
Is Whipping Cream the Same as Buttercream?
Whipped cream and buttercream may sound similar, but are in fact very different. So, what’s the distinction? Well, in a brief explanation – whipped cream is cream based and buttercream is butter based. Both are sweet and creamy, and are often used in desserts.
Whipped Cream and Buttercream Overview
Whipped cream and buttercream are two delectable and creamy icings that are often used on cakes and other delicacies. While whipped cream is light, fluffy, and slightly sweet, buttercream is a little creamier, has a buttery flavor, and is usually much sweeter. Depending on the use, each of them serves a delicious function!
What is Whipped Cream?
Whipped cream is very light in taste and structure, meaning that it may not hold its form too well. It must also be chilled since there is nothing to stabilize the whipped cream.
Whipped cream is heavy cream that has been beaten to produce stiff peaks. Powdered sugar and sometimes a flavoring, such as: vanilla, cinnamon, or peppermint can also be added to the whipping cream.
Whipped cream may be served with fruit salad, strawberry shortcake, or even used to decorate a cake. When used to frost a cake, it is important to note that the cake will need to be kept cool or even refrigerated as the whipped cream could melt.
Whipped cream goes nicely with strawberries and other fruits, as well as vanilla, and adds a nice taste contrast to a dark chocolate cake. When using whipped cream with fresh fruit, it is very important to make sure the fruit is completely dry or else it can cause the whipped cream to melt, and can also bleed through the pretty white cream.
What is Buttercream?
Buttercream is most typically used to decorate cakes, biscuits, and cupcakes. Buttercream is classified into four types: Swiss, Italian, French, and American. Each variety of buttercream differs differently in terms of both ingredients and manner of preparation.
- Swiss Buttercream is prepared in the same way as meringue is. In a double boiler, combine egg whites and granulated sugar until a certain temperature is attained. Then, you transfer this mixture to a stand mixer and beat on high until stiff peaks are formed, before slowly adding softened butter, salt, and any flavoring. Swiss buttercream has a very creamy, smooth, and light texture. It also spreads and pipes beautifully.
- Italian buttercream is similar to Swiss buttercream in that it is made using meringue. The difference between the two meringue based buttercreams, is that with the Italian version, you heat the sugar prior to adding it to the beaten egg whites. This step stabilizes the buttercream and makes it smooth and simple to deal with.
- French Buttercream is a beautiful yellow-colored frosting that is thick, silky, and very rich in flavor. This buttercream is made by whipping whole eggs and egg yolks (giving the yellow color) to hot sugar. The melted sugar is gently added to the eggs and mixed together, followed by the butter. Because egg yolks are used, French buttercream is the least stable of all the buttercreams and shouldn’t be left out for more than a few hours.
- American buttercream is the most frequent and simplest to make for the home baker. You beat together softened butter (sometimes a combination of butter and shortening can be used) until light and smooth, before adding powdered sugar, salt, vanilla or other flavoring of choice. American buttercream is stiffer and less smooth than other buttercreams, and it is frequently sweeter. It’s also fantastic for icing and decorating cakes.
What are the Differences between Buttercream and Whipped Cream?
Although buttercream and whipped cream are both often used as cake frosting, they are not interchangeable.
- To begin, buttercream has a rich, buttery, and sweet taste, but whipped cream has a creamy, less sweet flavor.
- Buttercream is a strong frosting that also works nicely as a filler. Whipped cream is not very stable and can collapse easily, it is best used with lighter cakes like angel food cake or a sponge cake.
- Chocolate, coffee, maple, and other ingredients can be easily added to buttercream without altering the overall texture of it. Whipped cream is more delicate and cannot withstand the addition of too many different components.
- Another distinction is that buttercream may normally be left out, but whipped cream must be refrigerated.
Buttercream is a thick and creamy frosting that has many applications and is quite flexible. Because buttercream is sturdy, you can easily pipe with buttercream and make icing decorations, such as roses.
Buttercream makes for a great filling and icing for cookies and cakes and can be left out, if covered, for 2-3 days. It will harden up if chilled, but it is easily rewhipped.
Whipped cream is a light and fluffy frosting with fewer applications. You can pipe general borders with whipped cream, but it would not work well for detailed designs.
Whipped cream works great on top of certain cakes, as a dip to fruits and pastries, and you can serve a dollop of it alongside a slice of pie. Nevertheless, it does not survive long and must be stored in the refrigerator.
Buttercream is a combination of softened butter (some people like to also use shortening with the butter), powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla. These ingredients are mixed together until a smooth, stiff frosting forms. To produce a thinner consistency, add cream or milk.
Whipped cream is made from heavy whipping cream that has been beaten until soft peaks form. Then, you add a little powdered sugar and splash of vanilla and whip until stiff peaks are reached.
Flavor and Texture
Buttercream is a smooth and creamy sweet and buttery frosting. Different flavorings can be used, but traditionally vanilla is used to enhance the flavor.
Cocoa powder or melted chocolate can also be added to buttercream, along with a little coffee for a delicious chocolate buttercream. Different flavorings might be utilized based on the taste profile desired.
Buttercream has a smooth and creamy texture that gently hardens. Because of this, buttercream can stand up to the weight of a layered cake and is great used as a filling or overall icing.
Whipped cream is smooth and somewhat sweet in flavor. It usually has a velvety texture and is scented with vanilla, cinnamon, or peppermint extract. Other ingredients should not be used since the whipped cream may collapse.
Whipped cream is not particularly robust due to its rich cream foundation. There is not enough structure in the whipped cream to hold up to anything too heavy and so it will not stand up as a filling of cakes.
Which is Better Between Whipped Cream and Buttercream?
Both whipped cream and buttercream serve as a delicious icing to various cakes, pastries, and other desserts. The sort of dish you make will eventually determine which frosting is best suited for it.
If you are making an icebox cake that you serve right out of the pan or a light and fluffy angel food cake, consider using whipped cream as the icing. Conversely, whether you’re creating cupcakes or a two-tiered birthday cake, you should use a smooth buttercream.
There are so many cakes, cookies, and other desserts just begging for a delicious icing to go with it. Let’s look at some additional variables to assist you decide which one is superior.
Which cream is best for cake decorating?
If you are planning on doing some piping or other decorating with your icing, a buttercream will be your best bet. Its smooth and strong texture makes piping a breeze. When dried, it also produces a small crust, which aids in shape retention.
How long will whipped cream last on a cake?
Once you put whipped cream on a cake, if you don’t eat all of it right away, you will need to store the leftovers in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. If you wait any longer, the cream will begin to melt and separate from the cake.
What cake goes best with buttercream frosting?
Buttercream is a versatile frosting that goes well with almost any cake. For a delicious contrast, try a chocolate cake iced with a buttercream for a truly decadent cake!
Whichever kind of cake you make, you’ll want a wonderful frosting to go with it. Icing improves not only the taste but also the aesthetic of your cake. A whipped cream makes a great addition to an icebox cake or single layer cake, while a buttercream is best used for layered cakes, cookies, and piping. Both are wonderful!