If you have done any baking before, you’ve likely heard of heavy cream and whipping cream. Both are common ingredients that can be found in different desserts and even in savory dishes. However, many people don’t know the differences between heavy cream vs whipping cream.
Both heavy cream and whipping cream can be found at grocery stores in the dairy section. They are typically sold in cartons or bottles. When shopping, it can be confusing to know which one is the right one to buy.
The Differences Between Heavy Cream vs Whipping Cream
Though there are differences between the two, heavy cream and whipping cream are much alike. The thing that sets the two apart is the amount of milk fat each one has
Heavy cream has the most milk fat, containing 36-40%. Whipping cream comes in slightly under, containing 30-35% milk fat. The higher percentage of milk fat allows heavy cream to hold its form longer and whip better than whipping cream.
Heavy cream and whipping cream are full of vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to your health. They include vitamins A, K, D, and E in addition to calcium that is beneficial to your bones. However, heavy cream and whipping cream are high in calories.
In one tablespoon, heavy cream contains approximately 50 calories, five grams of fat and three and a half grams of saturated fat. Whipping cream contains approximately 45 calories, four and a half grams of fat and three grams of saturated fat in a tablespoon.
Due to their high-fat content, heavy cream and whipping cream can generally last for a month in the refrigerator. This is longer than other creams such as half and half and light cream.
Heavy Cream vs Heavy Whipping Cream Facts
To make it more confusing, there is also a product called heavy whipping cream. Heavy whipping cream is actually just the same product as heavy cream, it just is sold under a different name. Both must contain at least 36% milkfat and can be used interchangeably.
Be sure when shopping for whipping cream to not mistake it for heavy whipping cream, as they are slightly different. It is alright to get heavy whipping cream if you are needing heavy cream.
Using Heavy Cream vs Whipping Cream
There are several uses for both heavy cream and whipping cream. Not only can they be used to make desserts, but they can also be used to make savory dishes. Typically heavy cream and whipping cream are not used interchangeably, though if needed you can use either one.
Heavy cream is often a popular choice in richer, creamier dishes. Whipping cream is used for lighter, fluffier dishes.
Heavy cream is used in many sweet and savory dishes. Heavy cream gives a rich and smooth texture to savory dishes like creamy soups, pasta sauces, bisques, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, and salad dressings. It is also great for delicious sweet treats like ice cream, butterscotch sauce, chocolate mousse, chocolate ganache, whipped cream, frostings and creme brulee.
Whipping cream works great for homemade pies and can also be used for a lighter, less stiff whipped cream. It can work well if you are looking for a lighter whipped topping for adding to your desserts. Whipping cream is less commonly used in dishes than heavy cream.
Heavy cream is ideal for cooking and baking, as it has less water content and thickens quicker when simmered. Heavy cream also holds up better than whipping cream does, which is why it is more ideal for many desserts, especially frostings.
When working with heavy cream and whipping cream, it is best to work with it while it is cold. Many dessert recipes will even say to chill your mixing bowl and whisk beforehand so the cream will whip and hold up better.
Uses for Leftovers
If you have any leftover heavy cream or whipping cream, you don’t have to worry about wasting it. There are some great ways to put them to use that will have your taste buds rejoicing.
You can use leftover creams as a simple coffee creamer, adding spices like cinnamon and nutmeg to give it some extra flavor. If you’re an iced coffee lover, you can pour cream into ice cube trays, freeze them and then add them to your freshly brewed iced coffee. The cream cubes will give you a deliciously creamy coffee.
The Best One to Use for Your Cooking and Baking Needs
If you are trying to decide which one to keep handy, heavy cream is your best choice. Heavy cream is more versatile than whipping cream is and is often easier to find. The higher fat content in heavy cream makes it the ideal choice for many dishes, both sweet and savory.
Heavy cream is often the ideal choice to use when making homemade whipped cream. Since it has a lower fat content, whipping cream isn’t able to achieve stiff peaks that are ideal for whipped cream.
Making Your Own Heavy Cream
If you’d like to make your own heavy cream at home, you can do it with only a couple of simple ingredients. Simply take a fourth cup of real butter, melt it and mix it with three fourths a cup of whole milk. It is important to thoroughly mix the ingredients before using it.
Homemade heavy cream should be kept in the fridge. However, it is likely to last one to two weeks, unlike store-bought, which can last up to a month.
Choosing Your Cream
Most recipes will specify if you need heavy cream or whipping cream. However, if you are in a pinch, you can generally use either one. They are similar to each other and both give foods a delicious, creamy texture.
Heavy cream is the most commonly used of the two, so it’s a good one to have on hand for cooking and baking. It is more versatile than whipping cream thanks to its higher level of fat. It will hold up better and thicken better than whipping cream.
Please comment if you have any questions regarding heavy cream or whipping cream.