Difference Between Cream and Whipping Cream

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between Cream and Whipping Cream

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Have you ever sought to make a dish that asks for heavy cream but only has whipping cream on hand and wondered whether you could substitute it? Heavy cream and whipping cream are two cream products that are quite comparable. Their biggest distinction is in fat content. Heavy cream and whipping cream are homogenized mixes of milk and milk fat, which means the fat is emulsified and fully incorporated into the milk so that it does not separate. Both are made by adding certain quantities of milk fat to milk. The amount of fat in each makes up their main difference as a result. The Food and Drug Administration's labeling regulations state that heavy cream must include at least 36% milk fat. Another name for it is thick whipped cream. Whipping cream, on the other hand, contains fat milk levels that are considerably lower (30–36%). It also goes by the name "light whipping cream."

The distinction between cream and whipping cream is analogous to the distinction between water and distilled water. One is a more broad phrase that includes several subtypes, whereas the other is merely one of the wide distinct varieties of creams such as whip cream, light cream, and heavy cream, among many others. Because heavy cream has more fat than whipping cream, it contains more calories. Their nutritional compositions are otherwise quite comparable. The saturated fat in them has not been linked to an increased risk of heart disease.

Cream vs. Whipping Cream

In general, the higher the fat content of the cream, the more stable it is for whipping and sauce making. A minimum of 30% fat is required for whipping. Both heavy cream and whipping cream whip up quickly, but I found that when spooned on top of pastries, whipping cream was softer, more voluminous (25 to 30% more), and more enjoyable. The whipped cream created with heavy cream was denser and firmer, making it ideal for piping with a pastry bag. The minimal quantity of fat necessary to prevent the cream from curdling when cooked with acidic and savory components in sauce making is 25%. Therefore both creams qualify.

You can create whipped cream with either type. Heavy cream, on the other hand, produces a stiffer whipped cream that can keep peaks, whereas whipping cream produces a softer and airier version that can not hold peaks as stiffly.

Heavy cream may be included in both savory and sweet recipes. Heavy cream works nicely in the following savory dishes:

  • Alfredo sauce for quiche
  • potatoes scalloped
  • mac and cheese creamy

Heavy cream is frequently used to create the following sweeter dishes:

  • cake frosting ice cream chocolate ganache

Whipping cream, on the other hand, is mostly used as a lighter topping for sweet dishes like fruit salads and pies.

Differences Between Cream and Whipping Cream in Tabular Form

Parameters of Comparison Cream Whipping Cream
Fat content Depending on the type of cream, the fat level ranges from 10 to 50 percent. About 30% of whipped cream is made up of fat.
Preparation Method The milk's outer layer, which is yellowish in color, extremely rich, and has a delectable flavor, is skimmed off to create the cream. Skimming and beating double cream from dairy products with a high-fat content results in whipping cream.
Nutritional Value About 23 calories, 3.8 grams of fat, and 0.3 grams of protein are found in one tablespoon of cream. Whipping cream has 46 grams of calories, 4.6 grams of fat, and 0.3 grams of protein per tablespoon.

What is Cream?

The cream is a dairy product made up of the yellowish fatty component that develops on the top surface of unhomogenized milk. This is skimmed from the top of the milk before it is homogenized. The amount of butterfat in the cream determines how smoothly the cream whips and how stable it is. Higher fat creams offer a richer texture and do not curdle as quickly when used in cooking.

 To distinguish it from cream skimmed from whey, a byproduct of cheese production, cream skimmed from milk may be referred to as "sweet cream." Whey cream contains less fat and tastes more salty, sour, and "cheesy."   Sour cream, crème fraîche, and other partly fermented creams are available in many countries. Both kinds have several culinary applications in both sweet and savory recipes.

Cream generated by cattle (especially Jersey cattle) grazing on natural pasture typically contains natural carotenoid pigments derived from the plants they consume, giving it a somewhat yellow tone, hence the name of the yellowish-white color: cream. This is also where the yellow hue of butter comes from. Cream made from goat's milk, water buffalo milk, or cows fed grain or grain-based pellets inside is white.

Types of Cream

Double Cream

Rich or double cream contains no thickening agents and has a fat level of at least 48 percent or more.

Pure Cream

Pure cream typically has no thickening agents and has a fat percentage of roughly 40%.

Thickened Cream

Thickened cream, which comprises 35% milk fat, contains additions such as gelatin, vegetable gum, or other modifiers. The thickening agents in the additions make it simpler to whip and less prone to separate or curdle. There is also a reduced-fat variant with only 18% milk fat. It will not whip as well due to its lesser fat content.

Clotted Cream

Clotted or scalded cream has a little caramelized flavor and has at least 48% milk fat.

Sour Cream

Sour cream is prepared by infusing cream with culture and boiling it to roughly 20°C for 12 to 14 hours. The lactic acid generated in this procedure has a somewhat sour taste and a thicker consistency than usual. There is also a lite variant, which has only 18% milk fat. It has a thinner consistency than conventional sour cream but is made in the same manner.

Creme Fraiche

Crème Fraiche is thicker and less tangy than sour cream and contains between 38% and 48% milk fat. Lactic acid is added to cream and aged under regulated circumstances, resulting in a naturally sour, somewhat acidic, and refined nutty flavor.

Long Life Cream

Long-life cream is made up of 35% milk fat. It has undergone ultra-heat treatment (UHT) to improve its shelf life by briefly heating it at high temperatures.

Pressured Pack Cream

This is a thickened and reduced cream with a minimum of 25% milk fat. It includes a non-hazardous nitrous oxide gas propellant.

Canned Cream

Canned cream is heat-sterilized reduced-fat cream with 21% milk fat. The heat causes the cream to coagulate and thicken. The canned packing extends the product's shelf life.

Facts About Cream

  • Not every cream is made to be whipped. Some are only for sauces and soups and are frequently lower in fat percentage.
  • The higher the fat level, the firmer and faster the cream whips.
  • Always whip cream when it is well cooled but not frozen. Frozen whipped cream does not whip.
  • In a hot and humid region, place an ice basin beneath the whipped cream bowl to keep the cream cool and whip it faster.
  • If the cream is over-whipped, it will turn into homemade butter.
  • Because they mix smoothly, low-fat creams are ideal for drinks and cocktails (soups).
  • Low-fat cream causes curdling in spicy sauces but can still be utilized if handled with caution.
  • To whip low-fat whipped cream, lay a basin of ice beneath the bowl of whipped cream to keep it cool at all times. Chilled fat whips better.
  • Stabilizing cream will extend its shelf life; here are five different ways to stabilize whipped cream.
  • Whipped cream dishes should be served immediately since the whipped cream will begin to lose volume after a few hours. Stabilized whipped cream will keep for a few days.

Function of Cream

In baked foods, the cream is typically used to

  • Boost moisture absorption
  • Provide lactose, which causes browning when baked.
  • Tenderize
  • Act as a buffering agent
  • Increase the protein and nutritious value.
  • Improve the foaming ability of cakes and frozen desserts.

Applications of Cream

The following are some cream uses in the food industry:

  • As an ingredient in a variety of meals such as ice cream, cakes, sauces, puddings, and so on.
  • As a garnish on a variety of cakes, pancakes, milkshakes, hot chocolate, fruits, and other baked goods.
  • It is often used in hot beverages like tea and coffee.
  • It is used in cream fillings, custards, and frostings in pastries.

What is Whipping Cream?

Beaten cream is a light and fluffy liquid heavy cream that is whipped with a whisk or mixer until it keeps its shape or by the expansion of dissolved gas, generating a solid colloid. It is typically flavored with vanilla and regularly sweetened, usually with white sugar. When the ingredients and equipment are cold, the whipped cream's bubbles immediately start to burst, and it starts to liquefy, giving it a one to two-hour shelf life. Many 19th-century recipes call for the use of gum tragacanth to solidify whipped cream, while a few calls for whipped egg whites. Commercial stabilizers contain a variety of additional ingredients, including gelatin and diphosphate.

Benefits of Whipping Cream

Heavy whipping cream is high in fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E, and K. In comparison to low-fat or nonfat dairy, full-fat dairy products, like heavy whipping cream, contain higher quantities of these vitamins. When you take fat-soluble vitamins, your body absorbs them better.

Current research has called into question the assumption that saturated fat, like the kind found in heavy whipping cream, increases the risk of heart disease. Researchers examined many long-term studies and observed no link between the use of full-fat dairy products and an increased risk of cardiovascular illness, including heart disease and stroke. However, full-fat dairy was not proven to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. "Fat switching," the process of substituting vegetable fat for high-fat dairy fat, lowered the risk of cardiovascular disease by 10% while substituting polyunsaturated fat reduced the risk by 24%. Switching from full-fat dairy to whole grains lowered the risk of heart disease by 28%.

Dairy products with all the fat could lower the risk of obesity. A 2014 study with over 1300 individuals found that those who ate the most full-fat dairy had a lower risk of obesity than those who consumed the least. They were also thinner around the middle.

Uses of Whipping Cream

Fruit and sweets, such as pie, ice cream (especially sundaes), cupcakes, cakes, milkshakes, waffles, hot chocolate, cheesecakes, Jello, and puddings, frequently have whipped cream on top. It is also served with coffee, particularly in the Viennese coffee house tradition, where coffee with whipped cream is referred to as Melange with Schlagobers. Whipped cream is used in a variety of sweets, such as a filling for profiteroles and layer cakes. It is frequently piped onto a plate with a pastry bag to make beautiful shapes. Mousse is typically made with whipped cream. Similarly, crémet d'Anjou [fr] is created using whipped cream and egg whites.Fontainebleau [fr] and crémet d'Angers [fr] are generally served with whipped cream and whipped fromage frais.

Main Differences Between Cream and Whipping Cream in Points

  1. Cream is a catch-all name for all different forms of cream products, whereas whipping cream is a derivative of cream.
  2. Heavy cream contains a larger proportion of milk fat than whipped cream.
  3. Whipping cream is much healthier than cream.
  4. Cream is used in making various food products. On the other hand, Whipping cream is served as a topping on various food items
  5. Whipping cream is also used for decorative purposes, but the cream does not.
  6. Creams, in general, contain 10% of butterfat, whereas whipping cream contains 30-36% of butterfat.
  7. Creams are used in ice cream, many sauces, soups, stews, puddings, etc.
  8. Whipping cream is used for making toppings for desserts etc.


Two similar high-fat dairy products, heavy cream and whipped cream are created by mixing milk and milk fat. The amount of fat in each makes the biggest difference between the two. Heavy cream has a somewhat higher fat content than whipped cream. Aside from that, they are nutritionally extremely comparable. They may be used interchangeably in recipes without changing the flavor, but they may result in differing consistencies. Heavy cream has a thicker or creamier consistency and can be used in both sweet and savory recipes. Whipping cream has a lighter texture and is typically used in sweet dishes. Furthermore, both products are exceptionally low in carbohydrates, making them ideal for anyone on a keto diet. Just be sure the ones you select do not have extra sweeteners.


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"Difference Between Cream and Whipping Cream." Diffzy.com, 2024. Sat. 24 Feb. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-cream-and-whipping-cream-876>.

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