Whipped Cream vs Buttercream

Are you wondering whether you should use whipped cream or buttercream, to decorate your beloved baked goods? 

What’s a cake or a cupcake without its vibrant, fluffy, colorful, and delectable icing and frosting anyway? Frosting and decorating cakes with icing is a fun way of adding a personalized touch to any delicious baked treat. 

In fact, many people take the route of frosting and icing their cakes not only to enhance the appearance of their baked goods but as a way to bring out their artistic abilities. 

From piping the colorful flowers to creating colorful and vibrant artistic masterpieces, frosting and icing cakes is an excellent way of adding your personal touch to any plain baked goods. 

When frosting cakes, cupcakes, and birthday cakes was not tricky enough, finding the right product to frost your confectionaries is an even more perplexing task. 

There are many two main ways of decorating and frosting baked goods that are often used interchangeably, i.e., whipped cream and buttercream. 

If you are someone who is confused about using either whipped cream or buttercream for frosting and icing their baked creations, do not worry. 

Here is a comparative guide to whipped cream and butter to help you determine which is better. 

Are whipped cream and buttercream the same?

The simplest answer to this question is no. Whipped cream and buttercream are not the same products. 

Whipped cream and buttercream are a delicious way of adding a touch of creativity and the sweetness of fluffy frosting to any cake or cupcake. 

Most people use the terms whipped cream and buttercream interchangeably when it comes to frosting their baked goods. 

But these two frosting creams are quite different as they contain different ingredients and give you overall different results. 

While both whipped cream and buttercream are used as sweet decadent frosting for baked goods, both whipped cream and buttercream differ significantly in terms of their texture, appearance, and consistency. 

Whipped cream is loved for its light, fluffy, and airy texture, while buttercream on the other hand is great for desserts that require a thicker, creamier, and sweeter frosting.

What is Whipped Cream?

Whipped cream is a simple, light, fluffy, and sweet icing used on confectionery items as a means of adding structure or decorating. 

Ideally, whipped cream is a light and airy cream that is specifically made by constantly whipping or whisking to help it hold its form and structure. 

However, whipped cream is often refrigerated in order to stabilize it and sustain the air pockets and allow it to hold its shape and structure.

How is Whipped Cream Made?

Whipped cream is a simple and effective frosting that is perfect for confectionary projects that require extra shape and structure. 

This decadent frosting is made by whipping heavy cream for prolonged periods of time to create small air pockets until stiff peaks are formed. 

In order to achieve the desired taste, texture, and structure sugar and flavorings like vanilla are added to the concoction. 

Whipped cream is often used on salads or in strawberry shortcakes and sometimes on cakes as frosting. 

What is Buttercream?

Buttercream is often used as frosting for cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and other confectionery items. 

There are four main types of buttercreams you can choose from that differ slightly in terms of their ingredients and consistency.

American Buttercream:

American Buttercream is among the easiest buttercreams to make and is suitable for beginner bakers. 

American buttercream is stiffer than other buttercreams and sweeter in terms of taste making it perfect for icing and decorating. 

For this buttercream, you need butter or shortening, powdered sugar, vanilla bean, salt, and any flavoring of your choice.

Swiss Buttercream:

The consistency of Swiss buttercream often resembles closely to an egg-based meringue as it is lighter and more airy. 

This buttercream is more complicated in terms of preparation as it requires egg whites, granulated sugar, and a double boiler to prepare. 

Swiss buttercream is ideally silkier, lighter, richer, and creamier when compared to other buttercreams and is great for piping decorations.

French Buttercream:

French buttercream is rich, decadent, with a pale yellow hue and a thick consistency. The yellowish hue of French buttercream comes from the yolks of eggs as whole eggs are used to procure this concoction. 

However, when compared to other buttercreams, French buttercreams are the least stable and must not be kept outside for long periods of time because of the egg yolks.

Italian Buttercream:

The last buttercream on the menu is Italian buttercream which is similar to Swiss buttercream as this buttercream is also meringue-based. 

The only difference between the two is that Italian buttercream uses pre-heated sugar in the meringue in order to stabilize the mixture. 

Italian buttercream has a silky, smooth, and thick consistency and is sweeter than Swiss buttercream.

So, Whipped Cream vs Buttercream: What’s the Difference?

As a matter of fact, there are several differences between whipped and buttercream that can help you determine the right frosting for your next baking project. 

To help you determine whether or not you should use buttercream or whipped cream, here is a list of differences between the two creamy concoctions:


It is important to keep the longevity of your frosting into consideration when preparing any baked goods. 

If you are looking for a frosting or icing which can hold its shape for longer periods of time it is best to avoid using whipped cream. 

This is because whipped cream is lighter in consistency and can deflate after some time. Buttercream on the other hand is thicker and denser in consistency and can last longer even when frozen.


The flavor of the frosting is equally important as the flavor of your cake or cookie. While whipped cream is light and airy in terms of consistency, it lacks in terms of taste.

Hence, if you are looking for frosting that not only lasts longer but also tastes good, buttercream is the way to go.


The appearance of the frosting can be detrimental if you are aiming to create an aesthetically pleasing cake. 

If you are looking for a bright white frosting for your cake then it is best to use whipped cream as buttercream can often have a yellow hue.


The consistency of the two frostings can contribute greatly when it comes to maintaining the structure of your baked goods. 

If you are looking for a lighter frosting to top off your cake, then whipped cream is your best friend, but if you are looking for a frosting that can hold up on its own, then buttercream may be your best bet.