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Chill your mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer for 30 minutes to help this whipped cream frosting whip up better.
Place 1 cup (8oz. block) of cold cream cheese into the chilled mixing bowl and mix on a medium low speed until smooth.
Pour in 1 cup of powdered sugar, and mix on low at first to avoid an powdered sugar clouds / explosions. Increase the speed to medium high once the powdered sugar is incorporated, and mix for about 1 minute. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed throughout this process.
Add in 1 tsp of vanilla extract, then turn the mixer to a medium high speed and gradually pour in 2 1/2 cups of cold heavy cream. I like to do this in about 4 additions, and focus on pouring the heavy cream down the side of the bowl to prevent it from splattering.
Watch the mixture closely once the heavy cream is fully mixed in. It should thicken and take shape shortly after this (mine usually does within about 30 seconds of mixing in the heavy cream). Take care not to overmix your whipped cream frosting!! It will become soupy and sadly you won't be able to fix it.
As soon as you see the frosting start to take shape, turn off your mixer and do a quick whisk test. Dunk your whisk attachement into the frosting, then put it out and flip it upside down. The frosting should keep its shape and form a nice peak. If it doesn't, continue to mix the frosting on a medium high speed for 30 second intervals until it does.
This frosting can be used to frost cupcakes, decorate layer cakes, or even top cookies and ice cream! It pipes well, and can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container.