You will love this Whipped Cream Frosting because it only requires 4 simple ingredients, is super light and fluffy, and isn’t super sweet! If you aren’t a fan of heavily sweet frostings, then this is the frosting recipe for you! 

This light and less sweet whipped cream frosting recipe would taste amazing on Angel Food Cake with some fresh berries or in my Strawberry Shortcake Trifle! You can also use it atop my Black Velvet Cupcakes to make some fun Ghost Cupcakes for Halloween! It will even taste amazing on my Best Chocolate Cupcakes.

Chocolate cupcakes topped with a billowy smooth Whipped Cream Frosting on a turquoise background.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Only 1/2 cup of powdered sugar. If you’ve made American-style buttercream before, then you now those recipes can call for anywhere from 4 to 7 cups of powdered sugar! That’s insane! This whipped cream frosting with pudding calls for only 1/2 cup of powdered sugar! 
  • Best whipped cream frosting. You know how with cupcakes you’ll sometimes (or all the times) cut half of the frosting off the top? I confess, I do that all the time! But with this delicious white chocolate pudding frosting, I ate all of it! It isn’t sickly sweet at all so I gobbled it all up!

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients used to make Whipped Cream Frosting with pudding on a white background: heavy cream, vanilla, powdered sugar, and white chocolate instant pudding.
  • Heavy Cream: Be sure to use cold heavy whipping cream! I wouldn’t use cool whip; use heavy cream and whip it into whipped cream.
  • Powdered Sugar: You only need 1/2 cup of powdered sugar in this pudding whipped cream frosting! Sift the powdered sugar beforehand for the smoothest texture. 
  • White Chocolate Instant Pudding Mix: Be sure to grab the instant pudding mix. There are some cook and serve pudding mixes that will confuse you! Those will NOT work. You need the instant pudding mix in order for the frosting to set up. 
  • Vanilla Extract: This will add a nice flavor and will make the instant pudding frosting really taste like whipped cream! 

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Whip the cream. Add the heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract to a large mixing bowl. Beat on medium-high speed with an electric hand mixer (or use the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment) until soft peaks form. 
  2. Add the instant pudding mix. Slowly add the instant pudding mix and beat until thick and creamy. If the mixture appears curdled, don’t worry! Add a tablespoon of milk or heavy cream and stir it in using a rubber spatula. Continue adding cream or milk 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition, until the mixture is smooth. (I ended up adding 3-44 tablespoons of milk to my instant pudding mix frosting.) 
  3. Use to pipe or frost cupcakes or cakes! Place the white chocolate instant pudding frosting in a piping bag or a ziplock bag with the tip cut off. Pipe to frost cakes, cupcakes, or cookies! Enjoy! 
Four photos showing how to make Whipped Cream Frosting: a glass bowl on a white background with heavy cream and powdered sugar in it, then the process of whipping it and adding powdered instant pudding.

Recipe Tips

To get the best results, put the bowl you’ll be using to mix up the pudding whipped cream frosting in the freezer for 20-30 minutes to really chill it. The cold bowl will help the cream whip up and the mixture to set more easily with the pudding mix. Using a room temperature bowl is fine, the chilled bowl will just help it set faster. 

Don’t freak out when the dry instant pudding mix starts to set up as you’re mixing. It will begin to look clumpy — that’s the gelatinized starch in the pudding mix at work. Continue mixing until it’s fully incorporated (not until smooth, just until incorporated). Once incorporated, add milk 1 tablespoon at a time and gently stir it in with a rubber spatula.

Continue adding milk 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture is smooth. Be patience and don’t fret! The texture will smoothen, I promise! 

If you’d like, you can mix up the instant pudding by using a cheesecake flavored one or a vanilla one. I used white chocolate for flavor and to keep the frosting nice and white! 

Stirring the milk or cream in at the end with a rubber spatula will also give you the chance to check to make sure there isn’t any instant pudding mix clumped at the bottom of the bowl. 

The grainy pieces of instant pudding mix will eventually dissolve into the mixture so don’t worry about those! 

Add a splash of milk or additional cream if the frosting sets too quickly. 

This recipe made enough for me to generously frost 14 cupcakes.

Since the base of this frosting made with instant pudding is whipped cream and not butter, this frosting is best served on top of things (on top of cookies, cakes or cupcakes) and not inside (as a filling or frosting between cake layers on a layer cake). 

Note: If you are used to American buttercream frostings, this recipe doesn’t taste like American buttercream at all. This whipped cream frosting is light, airy, way less sweet, and doesn’t have the butter base. Think of this as a flavored whipped cream that has the texture of frosting, is sweeter than regular whipped cream but less sweet than regular frosting! 

Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing

Store leftover frosting in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. To sooner you use it, the better it will taste! 

To freeze, store in an airtight container in the freezer for no longer than 1 month. Remove and let thaw in the fridge overnight. 

You can also freeze cookies or cupcakes with this whipped cream frosting with pudding mix on top! Just flash freeze them until the frosting sets and then store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month. Remove and let thaw in the fridge overnight. 

A cupcake topped with a spiral of white chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting with pudding and white sprinkles, against a light purple colored background.

Recipe FAQs

Can I use cool whip instead of heavy cream?

I wouldn’t. Get the heavy cream and make the recipe as instructed. This way you can control the amount of sugar added (the 1/2 cup powdered sugar) and the vanilla extract. Cool whip is already sweetened so you wouldn’t be able to control that. 

Is whipped cream frosting stable?

This instant pudding whipped cream frosting is stable. It doesn’t use gelatin like a stabilized whipped cream frosting, but instant pudding mix contains gelatinized starch so you get the same affect as gelatin. This whipped cream frosting will hold its shape and won’t melt or weep like traditional whipped cream. 

Can whipped cream frosting sit out?

It can sit out for a few hours — for example when you are serving your desserts with the frosting on them. However, once you are no longer serving them, I would store the frosting or treats with the frosting on them in the fridge.  

How to fix runny whipped cream frosting?

First, if your frosting is runny, then I would double check to make sure you used INSTANT pudding mix. There are some cook and serve mixes that will confuse you. Those will not set up in this recipe. Second, be sure to whip up your cream enough!

A black cocoa cupcake topped with homemade Whipped Cream Frosting cut in half, on a vintage plate.

More Frosting and Cupcake Recipes

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Chocolate cupcakes on a blue background, topped with white chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting.
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Whipped Cream Frosting

One of my all-time favorite frostings! This recipe yields a thick and creamy frosting that isn't too sweet. All you need is 4 basic ingredients.
Prep Time: 2 mins
3 mins
Total Time: 5 mins
Servings: 14 servings

Ingredients
 

  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream - cold, and more as needed (see directions)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3.4 oz white chocolate INSTANT pudding
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Equipment

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl add the heavy cream and powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until soft peaks. Gradually add the instant pudding, then beat until thick and creamy. If the frosting looks curdled, that’s fine, to fix it add a tablespoon of milk or heavy cream to the frosting and stir it in using a rubber spatula. Continue adding a tablespoon at a time until the frosting is smooth and no longer curdled looking. I ended up adding an additional 3-4 tablespoons of milk to my frosting. 
  • Place frosting in a piping bag or a ziplock bag with the corner snipped off. Pipe the frosting onto cupcakes, cakes, cookies. 

Video

Notes

Keep the frosting stored in the fridge. 
Add a splash of milk or additional cream if the frosting sets too quickly. 
This recipe made enough for me to generously frost 14 cupcakes.

Nutrition

Calories: 183kcal (9%)Carbohydrates: 11g (4%)Protein: 1g (2%)Fat: 15g (23%)Saturated Fat: 10g (50%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 48mg (16%)Sodium: 278mg (12%)Potassium: 41mg (1%)Sugar: 5g (6%)Vitamin A: 625IU (13%)Vitamin C: 0.3mgCalcium: 28mg (3%)Iron: 0.05mg
Course: Dessert, Frosting
Cuisine: American
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