Whipped Cream Vs Buttered Cream: The Battle For Supremacy

Cakes and other desserts are obviously extremely tasty and among our favorite foods, but when it comes to making them for a celebration, party or just because you’re bored – you need to ensure you’re topping them with the very best icing.

Of course, you can choose between whipped cream or buttered cream and this is a battle that has long been raging among the world of sweet treats. 

Whipped Cream Vs Buttered Cream: The Battle For Supremacy

Both of these options have their own pros and cons but the key thing to remember is they serve different purposes. So what exactly do you need to know?

Well, we’re going to examine it. When it comes to whipped cream vs buttercream, we’re going to look at what each of these are, how to use them and which is better! 

Ready to find out more? Read on and get your questions answered.

Whipped Cream Vs Buttercream

While both buttercream and whipped cream may sound alike, they are both quite different. Whipped cream is cream based whereas buttercream is butter based for a start, but both are sweet and used in desserts. 

Often, both whipped cream and buttercream are incredibly delicious icing choices for when you’re making some of the best cakes and desserts at home. Indeed, whipped cream is a light option which is both fluffy and sweet, whereas buttercream is creamier and sweeter.

As you can probably tell at this point, both of these have their own applications and purposes as we mentioned earlier – so let’s explore them a little further.

What Is Whipped Cream?

Whipped cream is extremely light in both its structure and its taste and as a result of this, it might not be able to hold onto its form all that well. It also has to be refrigerated because stabilizing whipped cream can be extremely difficult. 

It is a cream that, as the name suggests, has been whipped until peaks have been formed, and then powdered sugar and other flavorings are added into the mixture. These might be things like cinnamon, vanilla extract or even peppermint.

Whipped cream has a multitude of uses in the culinary world. You could add some whipped cream on top of something like a fruit salad or a shortcake, or you may decide to use it as a frosting option for a cake. 

However, if you are going to use it as a frosting for a cake, it must be kept cool (usually within a refrigerator) to ensure the whipped cream doesn’t just melt. 

There are a whole variety of things that whipped cream pairs well with, like fruits such as strawberries – especially when this is on a deep chocolate cake because it provides an intriguing contrast on your taste buds. 

Indeed, whipped cream certainly has its own uses for a variety of things – but as we have seen above, there are a whole host of different problems that it has to deal with. As a result, you need to check the recipe for your chosen dessert.

What Is Buttercream?

When it comes to buttercream, it is most often used to frost cakes or smaller dessert options like cookies and cupcakes. It can even be used as a way to decorate your cakes. 

There are four different types of buttercream. American, French, Swiss and Italian and all of these have their own variations in their taste and ingredients. Let’s take a quick look at all of these different types of buttercream a little more closely.

Swiss Buttercream

Starting with Swiss buttercream, it is made in a very similar fashion to a meringue. You use egg whites and granulated sugar and then beat them together, normally using a double boiler for it to reach the right temperature. 

The resulting mixture is then transferred to a stand mixer and then beat on a high temperature until the peaks are formed. After this phase, the additional flavors are added and it creates an extremely creamy and silky finish.

Italian Buttercream

Italian buttercream is very similar to Swiss buttercream in that it is made in a similar way to a meringue – but there is a major difference between the two. Italian buttercream requires the sugar to be heated before adding it to the egg whites, allowing for stabilization.

French Buttercream

French buttercream is quite different in its appearance. It has a yellowish hue and the finish is very thick, velvety and rich tasting. This type of buttercream is made by slowly adding melted sugar to egg whites and egg yolks and then beaten together.

However, because the egg yolks are used too, the finished product is often unstable and it cannot be left out for too long before it collapses. 

American Buttercream 

Finally, American buttercream is by far the most simple form of buttercream to whip up and it is the most widely used form of buttercream to use in homes around the country. It is made by beating together softened butter and shortening.

Next, salt, vanilla, powdered sugar and other flavorings are mixed together. This buttercream is much stiffer in its appearance and definitely appears less silky than the other kinds of buttercream. 

Despite this, it is a favorite to use at home for your desserts and it is one of the best types of buttercream to use to decorate your cakes.

Whipped Cream Vs Buttered Cream: The Battle For Supremacy

The Differences Between Whipped Cream And Buttercream 

As we mentioned earlier, while these two have similarities and are both used for some of the same reasons, they are quite different from one another. Along with what we said earlier regarding their textures and tastes, there’s more that you need to know.

Buttercream is more stable than whipped cream and this makes it an ideal choice for piping as well as a dessert filling. This doesn’t mean that whipped cream has no uses though – as it can be used for light cakes such as a sponge cake.

As whipped cream is much more fickle than buttercream, other ingredients cannot easily be added to it. Whereas buttercream can have things like chocolate, coffee and maple simply added.

But perhaps one of the most major differences between the two products is the fact that whipped cream almost always has to be refrigerated whereas buttercream can be left out for a while – because whipped cream struggles to keep its shape when left out.

Let’s take a look at some of their differences in a little more detail.

General Uses 

You would almost certainly call buttercream much more versatile than whipped cream, likely because it is much more sturdy. For example, you can happily use it in piping for icing decorations (such as making roses). 

Buttercream is a huge hit for dessert fillings and icing for cookies and cakes. Not just because it tastes amazing, but because it can much more easily hold its shape over whipped cream.

Indeed, whipped cream is very light and airy which means it has a lot more limitations than buttercream does. While you can use whipped cream for piping, it will struggle to form any intricate decoration ideas.

However, whipped cream does work excellently well on top of a lot of cakes, pastries and fruit dishes. For example – who doesn’t like a dollop of whipped cream on their pie?


Buttercream ingredients are quite simple. They are a combination of softened butter, shortening, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and salt. These ingredients are then creamed all together and you should get a stiff icing as a result. 

If you want a more thin consistency, this can easily be done too by adding cream or milk to the equation.

Whipped cream on the other hand is a combination of whipping cream, powdered sugar and a vanilla splash – all of which are whipped until the peaks are formed.

Texture And Flavor 

Buttercream is very sweet and the consistency is both creamy and smooth. While you can add different flavors to the mixture, generally vanilla is chosen as a way to enhance the flavor. 

As we mentioned before, you can add other things into buttercream like cocoa powder, coffee or chocolate – depending on what you’re looking to make as a finished product. Eventually, you will have something that is creamy and smooth.

Once it is done, buttercream will stiffen and harden a little, but not too much and this makes it an ideal choice for a whole host of different cakes and desserts.

Whipped cream however is slightly sweet and creamy. Normally, it has a velvety texture and flavors like peppermint, vanilla or cinnamon are added. However, adding other ingredients is usually not recommended because whipped cream can easily collapse.

As a result of this, whipped cream is not normally used for the same amount of cakes and desserts as buttercream is because it simply cannot stand up to anything heavy. 

Whipped Cream Vs Buttercream: What’s The Verdict?

When it comes to asking who wins this goliath battle, the answer is… inconclusive. They both serve their own purposes and while they can be used in some similar situations, the majority of the time they are their own thing. 

If you had to provide somewhat of a verdict on the battle between the two, you would likely say that buttercream takes the crown because it has more uses through its versatility, and you can substitute a lot of the ingredients and still end up with a similar result.

Indeed, whipped cream can be useful and indeed tasty, but in reality it has more downsides than buttercream does and it isn’t stable. 

In short, you can’t really pitt the two against each other because they have their own unique uses, as well as their similar uses. When it comes to what they specifically used for, they win their own battles. 

Final Thoughts 

Buttercream and whipped cream might have similarities, but the two are different and cannot “win” in a battle between the two for supremacy. When it comes to choosing which one to use, be sure to check the individual recipe for more clear information.

We hope you have enjoyed this guide and you are more informed about the differences between these two products! Good luck with your desserts!

Mark Williams
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