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Can I put whipped cream between cake layers?

Whipped cream is a popular topping for cakes, but many bakers wonder if it can also be used as a filling between cake layers. Using whipped cream as a filling can add great flavor and moisture to a cake. However, there are some important factors to consider before filling a layered cake with whipped cream.

The Benefits of Using Whipped Cream

There are several potential benefits to using whipped cream as a filling in a layered cake:

  • Flavor – Whipped cream has a sweet, creamy flavor that can enhance the taste of cakes like vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and more.
  • Moisture – The high fat content in whipped cream helps keep cake layers moist and tender.
  • Lightness – Whipped cream is airy and light, adding a nice contrast to dense cake layers.
  • Simplicity – Whipped cream is easy to make at home or find pre-made at most grocery stores.
  • Customization – Whipped cream can be flavored with extracts, sweeteners, spices, etc. to complement the cake.

Overall, whipped cream fillings can add moisture, great taste, and texture to cakes when used properly.

Potential Drawbacks of Whipped Cream Fillings

While using whipped cream as a cake filling has benefits, there are also some potential drawbacks to keep in mind:

  • Stability – Whipped cream is not very stable and can weep, collapse, or curdle after time.
  • Softness – Very soft cakes may become too delicate with the addition of whipped cream.
  • Humidity – In humid environments, whipped cream might cause cakes to become soggy.
  • Melting – Whipped cream can melt quickly, especially in warmer temperatures.
  • Sweetness – The sweetness of whipped cream may overpower some cake flavors.

Bakers need to account for these factors when deciding whether to use whipped cream in a cake and how to incorporate it properly.

Best Practices for Using Whipped Cream

To enjoy the benefits of whipped cream filling while minimizing the drawbacks, here are some best practices:

  • Stabilize the whipped cream with gelatin or mascarpone cheese so it holds its shape.
  • Use whipped cream in cakes with sturdy, dense layers like pound cake or gingerbread.
  • Avoid using whipped cream if the cake needs to be transported or will sit out for extended periods.
  • Refrigerate cakes with whipped cream fillings to help keep the filling stable.
  • Limit the amount of whipped cream so it doesn’t overwhelm the cake texture and flavor.
  • Flavor the whipped cream to complement the other cake flavors.

Taking these precautions can help bakers successfully use whipped cream for moisture and flavor without sacrificing the cake’s quality and presentation.

Stabilizing Whipped Cream

Since stability is a major concern when using whipped cream in cakes, many bakers use methods to reinforce the whipped cream so it better maintains its structure:

  • Gelatin – Mixing a bit of gelatin into the whipped cream helps stabilize the filling. Follow package directions to bloom the gelatin first.
  • Mascarpone – Gently folding mascarpone cheese into whipped cream makes it more stable. Use about 1 part mascarpone to 2 parts whipped cream.
  • Powdered milk – Adding 2-3 tablespoons of powdered milk when whipping the cream strengthens the whipped texture.
  • Cream cheese – Whipping in a small amount of cream cheese or cream cheese frosting helps stabilize the whipped cream.
  • Sugar – Using granulated white sugar instead of confectioners’ sugar when whipping cream can help stabilize it.

The options can be mixed and matched depending on the flavors and desired consistency.

Cake Recipes That Work Well with Whipped Cream Filling

When selecting a cake to fill with whipped cream, go for recipes that are dense, sturdy, and not too delicate. Here are some great options:

  • Pound cakes
  • Gingerbread
  • Fruitcake
  • Carrot cake
  • Red velvet cake
  • Tres leches cake
  • Angel food cake
  • Flourless chocolate cake
  • Coffee cake
  • Bundt cakes

The density and structure of these cakes makes them ideal partners for a creamy whipped cream filling. Avoid cakes like chiffon or sponge that are too light and airy.

Whipped Cream Filling Options

Whipped cream on its own makes a simple, tasty filling, but there are plenty of ways to spice it up. Consider these flavor ideas:

Flavor Add-In Amount
Sugar 1-2 tablespoons
Vanilla extract 1-2 teaspoons
Chocolate chips, shaved chocolate 1/4-1/2 cup
Cocoa powder 1-2 tablespoons
Fresh fruit puree 1/4-1/2 cup
Jams, preserves 1/4-1/2 cup
Extracts like almond, coconut, etc. 1/2-1 teaspoon
Citrus zest 1-2 teaspoons

Mix these into the whipped cream once it is lightly whipped up. Taste as you go until the flavor is right for the cake.

Transporting and Storing Cakes with Whipped Cream Fillings

Cakes filled with whipped cream need a little extra care when transporting them anywhere or storing leftovers:

  • Refrigerate the cake to keep the filling chilled and stable.
  • Try freezing the cake for 20-30 minutes before transporting it cold.
  • Put the cake on a sturdy base or cake circle before moving it.
  • Keep the cake chilled with ice packs in a cooler if traveling.
  • Refrigerate cake leftovers promptly in a covered container.
  • Enjoy refrigerated leftovers within 3-4 days.
  • Freeze cake slices up to 2-3 months; thaw overnight in fridge.

Taking steps to keep the whipped cream cold and stabilized will help prevent messy issues when moving or storing the cake.

Decorating Cakes with Whipped Cream Layers

The outside of the cake will need some extra reinforcement too. Some options include:

  • A crumb coat of frosting or ganache to seal in crumbs before adding outer frosting or decorations.
  • Only light, sturdy decorations that won’t sink into the cake.
  • Using supports like dowels or straws to hold up stacked cake tiers.
  • Opting for frosting that contains cream cheese or buttercreams which are more stable.
  • More simplistic decorations like fruit, nuts, flowers rather than heavy frosting decorations.
  • Piping stabilizing lines of piping gel or frosting around cake edges as added support.

Frosting the cake well and reinforcing the shape and decorations will allow the inside whipped cream filling to do its job moisturizing the cake without compromising the external appearance.

Troubleshooting Whipped Cream Cake Fillings

Even when following best practices, some issues can still pop up with the whipped cream filling. Here are some common problems and ways to avoid them:

Issue Prevention Tips
Filling weeping/oozing
  • Reinforce with gelatin or mascarpone
  • Don’t overfill layers
  • Refrigerate cake well
Filling deflates
  • Avoid very soft, delicate cakes
  • Fill layers just before serving
  • Don’t assemble cake too far in advance
Off flavors
  • Flavor whipped cream to complement cake
  • Use fresh, high-quality ingredients
  • Refrigerate thoroughly
Filling curdles
  • Gently fold in additions
  • Don’t over-whip filling
  • Use cool ingredients
Cake gets soggy
  • Limit filling amounts
  • Reinforce with crumb coat
  • Opt for sturdier cake

Being mindful of these potential issues can help bakers avoid whipped cream filling problems.


Whipped cream can be used successfully between cake layers for added moisture, tenderness, and flavor. However, bakers need to select an appropriate cake recipe, stabilize the whipped cream filling, refrigerate the cake well, and use care when transporting or decorating. Taking some basic precautions allows the benefits of whipped cream – great taste, soft texture, simplicity – to come through in the finished cake without sacrificing the cake’s quality or presentation. With the right technique, whipped cream makes a delicious filling option for layer cakes.