If you’re on the hunt for a whipped cream icing that holds up in the heat, look no further than this Cool Whip Frosting recipe. You can transform a tub of your favorite frozen whipped topping into a stable, thick, and ultra-creamy frosting with the addition of just 1 ingredient in 5 minutes — no pudding mix required! It’s legitimately the easiest homemade dessert topping!
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About this cool whip frosting recipe
When it comes to cakes and cupcakes, the frosting is always my favorite part. While I love ethereally light and fluffy whipped cream on my hot chocolate, pies, and ice cream sundaes, it just doesn’t have the staying power for most cakes.
I’ve been on the prowl trying to find a way to replicate the taste and texture of chantilly (I mean, even the word is a delight!) as a way to decorate my baked goods, and I’ve finally cracked the code.
Why this dessert topping recipe works
This Cool Whip frosting for cake is:
- Quick & Easy. This creamy dessert topping comes together in less than 5 minutes in just one bowl!
- Made With Only 2 Ingredients. You can make this easy frosting recipe with just 2 simple ingredients – Cool Whip and Cream of Tartar.
- Perfectly Stable (even in hot weather). Adding 1 basic ingredient – cream of tartar – provides sturdy structure and gives this frosting staying power.
- Still Lusciously Creamy! Unlike pudding mixes, adding cream of tartar doesn’t alter the flavor of cool whip. Just sweet, dessert flavors!
- Super Versatile! This 2-ingredient frosting is absolutely delicious on just about any dessert or sweet confections! Use this sweet mixture on everything from cakes and cupcakes to mousse, pies and parfaits!
What is stable whipped cream?
Whether you’re hosting an outdoor party or need a DIY wedding cake that’ll last long enough for the pictures, finding just the right icing for your confections can be a bit tricky. For all my cake connoisseurs out there, I’m sure you’re happy to debate the pros and cons of Swiss meringue vs Italian meringue, or buttercream frosting vs whipped cream.
While I tend to like any and all frostings (just hand me a spoon and leave me be, mm-kay?), the delicate, airy nature of whipped cream may be delicious, but it just isn’t frosting material. It isn’t strong enough to pipe with a decorative tip, and it starts to melt and separate within hours of whipping it.
The solution? Stabilized whipped cream. Stable whipped cream comes in many forms, adding anything to your chantilly — from gelatin to cream cheese, marshmallow fluff to instant pudding mix — in an attempt to make it stable enough to last anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
This particular recipe for Cool Whip frosting is genius because it has all the flavor of stabilized whipped cream, but takes just 2 ingredients to make. As an added bonus? It’s the most stable frosting I’ve ever come across, with the exception of royal icing. And, that’s saying a LOT.
Cool whip frosting ingredients
As promised, your ingredient list for this Cool Whip without pudding is quite short. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Cool Whip – You can find this lightly sweetened, light-as-air whipped topping in the freezer section of any major super market. Make sure you grab the full-fat variety with the label “original”.
- Substitution – While I’m a faithful follower of this iconic brand, basic logic leads me to believe this should also work with store brands and potentially even the vegan ones. (If you give them a try, let me know how they turn out in the comments below!)
- Cream of Tartar – Most often used as a stabilizer for egg white (or aquafaba) meringues, this byproduct of winemaking is essentially just a powdered acid.
- Substitution – You can swap in 4x as much fresh lemon juice for the cream of tartar, but note that you’ll get quite a pronounced lemon flavor if you do!
- Vanilla Extract – While technically optional, an extra splash of vanilla adds a ton of depth to your frosting.
- Substitution – Depending on what you’re frosting, you might also consider using other extractives like almond, lemon, mint, or maple.
How to make cool whip frosting for cake
Transforming a tub of cool whip into frosting is easier than pie! Here’s how it’s done:
- Partially thaw cool whip: Transfer the tub of cool whip from the freezer to the refrigerator and let partially thaw for 1 hour.
- Beat cool whip: Transfer the partially thawed cool whip to a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer. Using a handheld mixer or stand mixer with wire whip, beat the cool whip on low speed for 1 minute.
- Add cream of tartar: To the bowl, add the tartar along with the vanilla, if using. Beat on low for 2-4 minutes, or until the topping is super thick, creamy and resembles of frosting in texture.
- Enjoy! Use this recipe for cool whip frosting as a substitute for any creamy frosting, like buttercream – good on cupcakes, cakes, cookies, ice cream sundaes, pies and more! OR use as a sweet whipped topping for your favorite bakery and breakfast goods, like muffins, cinnamon toast, waffles, pancakes, and much more!
FAQ: cool whip as frosting
Can you pipe Cool Whip on a cake?
If you’ve ever wondered if you can use Cool Whip as frosting for cake, I’m pleased to report that you can. However, this whipped cool whip works best as a spreadable topping for desserts, like sheet cakes, and as a creamy dip for things like strawberries.
While the acid in the form of cream of tartar acts as a stabilizer, you can not pipe this cool whip frosting!
Can you add food coloring to this recipe for Cool Whip frosting?
You can absolutely add a few drops of food coloring! That said, I suggest using a gel-based food dye as it has more pigment and less liquid than the regular one. This way, you don’t have as high of a risk of breaking the frosting even if you’re after a super vibrant hue.
Do I need to refrigerate cakes decorated with Cool Whip frosting?
Yes, this homemade cool whip frosting should be refrigerated. Unfortunately, homemade frostings have no preservatives or additives like the canned frostings found at the grocery store. Therefore, any leftover cool whip frosted desserts, such as sheet cakes and cupcakes, should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Before enjoying, transfer your dessert from the refrigerator to the counter and let sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes to remove any harsh chill.
Serving cool whip frosting without pudding
Use as a substitute for any creamy frostings, like buttercream or other stabilized whipped cream recipes. It works well on cupcakes, cakes, cookies, ice cream sundaes, ice cream cakes, pies, and more!
You can also use it as a sweet whipped topping for your favorite bakery and breakfast goods, like muffins, cinnamon toast, waffles, pancakes, hot chocolate, and anything else that would benefit from a dollop of creamy goodness.
Try this simple frosting on these delicious dessert recipes:
- Strawberry Sheet Cake
- Chocolate Lava Cake in a Cup
- Easy Pumpkin Pie Cake
- Key Lime Cheesecake Pie
- Chocolate Velvet Cake
- Recipe for Apple Pie Bites
Storing cool whip as frosting
Store homemade frostings in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. If you have frosted a cake using this recipe, it can stay at room temperature for up to 2 hours before refrigerating the leftovers.
You can store any leftover frosting in the freezer for up to 4 weeks.
If you have a cake, cupcakes or any dessert that needs a frosting that can hold up to the heat, look no further than this insanely easy, reliably delicious Cool Whip dessert recipe. It’s seriously lick-the-bowl good!
Until next time, friends! I hope you stay healthy, happy, and well-frosted.
More easy dessert toppings!
If you love this Cool Whip frosting, try these yummy fan favorites next:
- Chocolate Granola (yummy on its own or sprinkled on ice cream or Greek yogurt!)
- Easy Blueberry Butter (amazing fruit sauce for desserts and more!)
- How to Make Strawberry Crumbles (crisp strawberry shortcake crumbles!)
- Chocolate Topping (rich, chocolate sauce in the microwave!
How to make recipe for cool whip frosting!👇
Cool Whip Frosting
- 1 Stand or Hand Mixer
- Partially thaw cool whip: Transfer the cool whip tub from the freezer to the refrigerator. Let partially thaw for 1 hour.
- Beat cool whip: Transfer the partially thawed cool whip to a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer. Using a handheld or stand mixer, beat on LOW for 1 minute.
- Add cream of tartar: Add the tartar to the bowl, and the vanilla if using. Beat on LOW for 2-4 minutes, or until the topping is super thick, creamy, and resemblant of frosting in texture.
- Enjoy! Use as a substitute for creamy frostings, like buttercream, on cupcakes, cakes, cookies, ice cream sundaes, pies and more! OR use as a sweet, whipped topping for your favorite bakery and breakfast goods, like muffins, cinnamon toast, waffles, pancakes, and much more!
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