Difference Between Cool Whip and Whipped Cream

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: August 14, 2022


Difference Between Cool Whip and Whipped Cream Difference Between Cool Whip and Whipped Cream

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Cool Whip and whipped cream are both popular toppings, but they each have their unique qualities and applications. For example, you can’t use Cool Whip in recipes the way you can use whipped cream; Cool Whip will separate and become liquidy when baked or heated, whereas whipped cream will stay fluffy, thick, and creamy. So what’s the difference between Cool Whip and whipped cream? The following guide will help you with your refrigerated topping conundrum.

You might think that Cool Whip is just a fancy name for whipped cream, but that’s not true. Although both are types of aerosol toppings, they are quite different from one another. So what’s a cool whip made of, exactly? In most cases, it consists of water, sugar (in some brands), food starch-modified, high fructose corn syrup (in some brands), stabilizers such as cellulose gum and/or xanthan gum, and artificial flavors. Some brands of cool whip also include whey and thickeners such as guar gum or carrageenan. A cup of prepared cool whip has 80 calories compared to 45 calories in a tablespoon of real whipped cream. That means you can eat about three times more cool whip than whipped cream before you hit your daily calorie limit. While there are no health benefits associated with eating either product, there may be some downsides to consuming too much of either type of topping. For example, people who consume large amounts of artificial sweeteners have been shown to have an increased risk for obesity and metabolic syndrome. The American Heart Association recommends limiting your intake of added sugars including foods like desserts, candy, and soda pop because these products provide little nutritional value while contributing extra calories to your diet which can lead directly to weight gain over time. If you choose either type of topping, try opting for a brand that contains less sugar and fat so you can enjoy it without worrying about adding extra pounds!

Cool Whip vs Whipped Cream

It seems that whipped cream has earned itself a bad reputation of late. I used to think it was just another food fad, like aspartame or BPA-free water bottles. But it’s much more than that— whipped cream has been unfairly demonized by health experts who don’t even seem to know what they’re talking about.  And if you think about it, most of us grew up eating ice cream with whipped cream on top. Is there anything wrong with something so delicious? If you’ve ever wondered what makes whipped cream different from Cool Whip, then read on to find out! It is important to note that both are mostly fat and sugar, but because Cool Whip is designed for use in recipes (which require less fat), manufacturers add thickeners like guar gum and cellulose gum, which act as stabilizers. So in addition to being loaded with sugars and fats, it also contains gums (many people have sensitivities to these substances). By contrast, real whipped cream is lighter because it’s only made up of 10% butterfat. When you whip air into heavy cream (cream with at least 36% butterfat), you get real whipped cream! Real whipped cream doesn’t contain any added stabilizers, preservatives, or artificial flavors. That means it tastes better and is healthier too! Real whipped cream can be used in many recipes without any problems, whereas Cool Whip doesn’t work well in recipes due to its low-fat content. So go ahead and enjoy your favorite foods with real whipped cream instead of Cool Whip—you deserve it!

Difference Between Cool Whip and Whipped Cream in Tabular Form

Table: Cool Whip vs Whipped Cream
Cool whip
Whipped cream
Made up of
Light cream, skim milk, high fructose corn syrup, and vegetable oil
Heavy whipping cream which consists of a milk fat percentage of 36
Stable and long shelf life
Limited shelf life
Heavier texture
Has a more airy, fluffy, and altogether light texture
Cool Whip is in a tub
Whipped cream comes in an aerosol canister

What is Cool Whip?

On a hot summer day, nothing seems more refreshing than a tall glass of homemade whipped cream. It’s light, airy, and sweet, and no one can resist its inviting froth. Making whipped cream at home is easy – all you need is heavy whipping cream, a hand mixer or stand mixer, and some time to cool down. But what about those bags of frozen whipped topping in your freezer aisle? Are they as good as homemade whipped cream? The answer depends on what you’re using them for. While it’s tempting to buy pre-made frosting when you don’t have much time, there are plenty of reasons why making your own whipped cream is better. Here are four things that make homemade whipped cream better than store-bought:

If you want to make sure that every bite tastes fresh and delicious (and not like an old carton), then whip up a batch yourself! And if you want to add a little something extra special to your dessert, try adding some fruit or chocolate shavings!

How to Make Cool Whip at Home?

To make your cool whip, you will need a pint of whipping cream. You will also need 1/2 cup of confectioner’s sugar, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, one tablespoon of milk or cream, food coloring if desired, and an 8-ounce tub for storage. Begin by pouring 1/4 cup of whipping cream into a chilled bowl. Add 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar to your whipping cream; then add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Using an electric mixer or handheld beater, beat until soft peaks form. Mix in food coloring; then transfer whipped topping to another container and chill in the refrigerator for several hours before serving with pies, cakes, or cookies.

What is Whipped Cream?

The biggest difference between these two products is the packaging. Cool Whip is in a tub, while whipped cream comes in an aerosol canister. The package of whipped cream also has a nozzle that allows you to direct where you spray it on your food. This makes it easier to use when making desserts or decorations for cakes or cookies. You do have more control with whipped cream, but both products are easy to use because they are spreadable. That means they won’t drip down off of your dessert as quickly as regular cream would, so you have time to get exactly what you want out of each serving.

How to Make Whipped Cream at Home?

First, chill a metal bowl and electric mixer beaters in the freezer. In a chilled medium bowl, beat heavy cream with a chilled whisk or hand mixer until peaks form. Add sugar or vanilla extract to taste. Drizzle in milk to thin out the mixture if desired; whip at high speed until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. Add flavoring of choice (orange peel works nicely). If desired, add crushed candy canes for garnish. Store whipped cream in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. You can also freeze whipped cream for later use: Spoon into an airtight container and freeze for up to 1 month. To thaw, let stand at room temperature 5–10 minutes before serving.

Differences in the Texture of Cool Whip and Whipped Cream

The difference between Cool Whip and Whipped Cream has to do with packaging. When it comes to serving whipped cream, there are two different types: ready-to-serve whipped cream, which is usually found in a canister or jar with a pressurized lid (such as Reddi Wip), or pre-whipped cream that comes in a tub. While it may seem like all tub varieties are ready to be served after shaking them up, some may need an additional step of refrigeration before serving. Consumers need to check for these details when comparing products at stores. For example, several national brands of pre-whipped cream require refrigeration once they have been opened so keep an eye out for those labels on tubs at your local grocery store. Ready-to-serve whipped cream cans will generally say refrigerate after opening on their label.

Differences in Flavors of Cool Whip and Whipped Cream

When you’re wondering what’s the difference between cool whip and whipped cream, it comes down to flavor, texture, color, fat content, and price. For a lot of people that are on a diet to lose weight, there is little difference between the two; however a big difference in taste. The best way to think about it is that cool whip is more like air while whipped cream has many more calories but is closer to real whipped cream. If you want something light and fluffy then cool whip is your choice; if you want something heavier with a richer taste then go for whipped cream. Most desserts will work better with one or another; if you don’t know which one to use, try both and see which one works better. Another thing to remember is that they don’t come cheap; each box costs at least $3.00 per box depending on where you buy them from so always make sure to check prices before purchasing them. Some stores sell cool whip cheaper than others so make sure you shop around before making your final decision.

Differences in the Packaging of Cool Whip and Whipped Cream

The packaging of Cool Whip does not include an actual expiration date. The best if used by date is for quality purposes only, which suggests you should use your product before that date. The packaging of whipped cream will have an expiration date, usually a couple of weeks after purchase. This difference in packaging indicates that cool whip has a longer shelf life than whipped cream, which can be a good or bad thing depending on how long you want to keep it around before using it. Another difference between these two products is their ingredients. When making whipped cream, most people add some sort of sweetener to make it taste better, but cool whip already includes a sugar substitute (sucralose) so there’s no need to add any additional sugar or artificial sweeteners. However, some people may prefer adding sugar anyway just because they like sweeter things. Another big difference between these two products is their consistency when they are served with food: Whipped cream will be much fluffier and airy whereas cool whip has more substance to it so that when you pour it over something (like pie), it won’t spread out as much as whipped cream would do.

Main Difference Between Cool Whip and Whipped Cream in Points

  • While both whipped cream and Cool Whip (the official name for Reddi-Wip) are made with similar ingredients, their recipes differ in a key way.
  • The biggest difference between these two similar food products is fat content.
  • In whipped cream, at least 18 percent of the product comes from fat; in Cool Whip, it's only 2 percent.
  • For health reasons, you'll want to pick your dairy treat based on that information. Just don't eat too much of either one!
  • Luckily, both whip up into fluffy clouds of sweetened cream you can use as toppings or add to desserts. 
  • If you're looking for an alternative to dairy, there are plenty of vegan versions available online.
  • You can make your DIY version by blending silken tofu with sugar vanilla extract and lemon juice. Or try using avocado as a base instead of milk or cream. Avocado makes a creamy substitute when blended with lime juice and sugar.
  • Of course, you could always opt for real whipped cream instead of processed if you have access to some.
  • When making homemade whipped cream, just remember that it won't be exactly like Cool Whip because you'll be adding sugar and vanilla extract to taste rather than having those flavors already built-in to keep things consistent across all brands.
  • To get started, simply beat heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form. Then add confectioners' sugar and any other flavorings you'd like to include before beating again until stiff peaks form.
  • It will take more time and effort to make homemade whipped cream, but it will save you calories compared to Cool Whip.
  • Plus, once you've got your recipe down pat, you can experiment with different extracts and flavor combinations.


When it comes to keeping foods cool in hot weather, there’s nothing better than whipping up a batch of homemade whipped cream. It looks fancy, but it’s pretty easy to do—you just beat heavy cream with sugar until stiff peaks form. Then, either spread it onto whatever you want or pipe some on top (and decorate with fruit if you like). Homemade whipped cream will keep for a few days, meaning you can go ahead and make big batches if you need them for a party or other special occasion.


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"Difference Between Cool Whip and Whipped Cream." Diffzy.com, 2023. Thu. 23 Mar. 2023. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-cool-whip-and-whipped-cream-785>.

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