Heavy Cream vs Whipping Cream

5 from 2 votes

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Have you ever been in the kitchen, ready to whip up a delicious recipe, only to be faced with the creamy conundrum of choosing between Heavy Cream and Whipping Cream? Don’t worry; you’re not alone! These two dairy darlings might seem similar, but they have unique qualities that can make a big difference in your cooking adventures.

image of different containers of cream and heavy whipping cream next to two small clear bowls with cream
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Heavy cream and whipping cream are both dairy products, but they have some important differences. They vary in fat content, texture, uses and whipping times. We will help you know when to choose which and how to make each.

image of different cartons of cream and heavy whipping cream next to two small clear bowls with cream and a spoon in them over a wooden board

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Creams can be used in a wide range of dishes, from savory to sweet.
  • Heavy cream and whipping cream add a velvety, smooth texture to recipes, making them irresistibly satisfying to eat.
  • Cream enhances and balances flavors, making dishes taste better.
clear glass containers of piled whipped cream

Recipe Ingredients

  • Heavy Cream or Heavy Whipping Cream):Adds creaminess and richness.
  • Powdered Sugar : Blends easily to provide the desired level of sweetness.
  • Vanilla Extract: Enhances flavor with a subtle, warm vanilla taste, making desserts more delicious and aromatic.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

  • Half-and-Half: This is a mix of equal parts milk and cream. It has a lighter texture than heavy cream but is a good substitute for whipping cream.
  • Sugar Alternatives: Powdered sugar dissolves easily in the cream, but you can also use granulated sugar if you start beating the cream with the sugar from the beginning. You can adjust the sweetness to your liking.
  • Flavor Variations: You can add other flavors in addition to vanilla, such as almond extract, citrus zest, or liqueurs, for different twists on the classic whipped cream.

How To Make Whipping Cream

metal mixing bowl with whipping cream and a whisk inside

Step #1. In a large bowl, pour in the chilled heavy cream.

metal mixing bowl with whipping cream and a whisk inside

Step #2. Using an electric mixer or a whisk, beat the cream until it starts to thicken.

metal mixing bowl with whipping cream and a whisk inside

Step #3. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract (if using) to the cream.

bottle of homeland creamery brand heavy cream with clear glass containers of piled whipped cream

Step #4. Continue to whip the mixture until it forms soft peaks. Be careful not to over-beat, as it can become grainy and eventually turn into butter.

Recipe FAQs

Can I use heavy cream instead of whipping cream, and vice versa?

Yes, you can often use heavy cream instead of whipping cream, but it will make your dish richer. On the other hand, using whipping cream in place of heavy cream may result in a slightly lighter texture.

Are heavy cream and whipping cream the same as milk?

No, heavy cream and whipping cream have much more fat than milk, which is why they’re creamier and thicker.

Can I whip whipping cream like heavy cream?

Yes, you can whip whipping cream to make whipped cream for desserts, but it won’t be as rich and stable as whipped heavy cream.

an image of a glass of coco a dish of whipped cream next to a carton of heavy whipping cream

Heavy Cream vs Heavy Whipping Cream

Heavy cream and whipping cream may sound similar, but they have distinct characteristics that can influence your cooking and baking adventures. These two creamy companions, often found in the dairy aisle of your local grocery store, have subtle differences in terms of fat content and applications in recipes.

1. Fat Content:

 • Heavy Cream: Heavy cream, contains the highest fat content among dairy creams, typically around 36% to 40% fat. The only ingredient in Heavy Cream is cream.

 • Heavy Whipping Cream: Whipping cream has a slightly lower fat content, usually around 30% to 36%. It can go under the name heavy whipping cream or simply whipping cream. The name variation is due to different brands. Whipping cream contains both heavy cream and milk in the ingredients list. 

2. Thickness and Whipping Ability:

 • Heavy Cream: Due to its higher fat content, heavy cream is thicker and holds its shape better when whipped. It’s ideal for making stable whipped cream with stiff peaks.

 • Whipping Cream: Whipping cream is slightly lighter in texture and can be whipped into soft peaks. It’s suitable for lighter toppings and fillings.

3. Uses:

 • Heavy Cream: Use heavy cream when you need thick, rich, and stable whipped cream for topping desserts like pies, cakes, and sundaes. It’s also excellent for making homemade ice cream or for thickening sauces, soups, and custards.

 • Whipping Cream: Whipping cream is versatile and can be used for making soft whipped cream, adding richness to soups and sauces, or enriching coffee, hot chocolate, and tea.

4. Whipping Time:

 • Heavy Cream: Heavy cream whips quickly and holds its shape, making it the preferred choice for desserts that require firm whipped cream.

 • Whipping Cream: Whipping cream may take slightly longer to whip, and it results in softer peaks. It’s suitable for recipes where a lighter texture is desired.

5. Dietary Considerations:

 • Heavy Cream: Heavy cream contains a higher fat content, so it’s a richer and more calorie-dense option. It’s best used in moderation for those watching their calorie intake.

 • Whipping Cream: Whipping cream is a slightly lighter alternative in terms of fat content and calories, making it a better choice for those looking for a lighter option.

image of different containers of cream and heavy whipping cream

When to Use Which Heavy Cream or Whipping Cream

The choice between heavy cream and whipping cream depends on the texture and richness you want in your dishes. Both have their place in the kitchen and can be selected based on your specific culinary needs and dietary preferences.

 • Use Heavy Cream when you need thick, stable whipped cream for decorating cakes or pies, making ice cream, or creating luxurious sauces and soups. Heavy cream is an essential ingredient in this easy marry me chicken recipe.

 • Use Whipping Cream when you want a lighter whipped cream for topping hot cocoa or butterbeer, coffee, or fruit, or when you need a cream that won’t overwhelm the texture of a delicate dessert.

Expert Tips

  • Soft peaks are perfect for dollops on desserts, while stiff peaks are better if you need the whipped cream to hold its shape for a longer period or for piping.
  • Sweetened whipped cream is best served immediately, but it can be stored in the refrigerator for a few hours. It may lose some of its lightness and become more dense upon sitting.
  • Enjoy your sweetened whipped cream on top of pies, cakes, coffee, or fresh fruit!
two small clear bowls of whipped cream

More Dessert Recipes To Consider

image of different containers of cream and heavy whipping cream next to two small clear bowls with cream
5 from 2 votes

Heavy Cream vs Whipping Cream

Uncover the mystery of when to use heavy cream vs whipping cream.
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup heavy cream, chilled or heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
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Instructions 

  • In a large bowl, pour in the chilled heavy cream.
  • Using an electric mixer or a whisk, beat the cream until it starts to thicken.
  • Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract (if using) to the cream.
  • Continue to whip the mixture until it forms soft peaks. Be careful not to over-beat, as it can become grainy and eventually turn into butter.

Notes

  • Sugar Alternatives: Powdered sugar dissolves easily in the cream, but you can also use granulated sugar if you start beating the cream with the sugar from the beginning. You can adjust the sweetness to your liking.
  • Flavor Variations: You can add other flavors in addition to vanilla, such as almond extract, citrus zest, or liqueurs, for different twists on the classic whipped cream.
  • Stiff Peaks vs. Soft Peaks: Soft peaks are perfect for dollops on desserts, while stiff peaks are better if you need the whipped cream to hold its shape for a longer period or for piping.
  • Storage: Sweetened whipped cream is best served immediately, but it can be stored in the refrigerator for a few hours. It may lose some of its lightness and become more dense upon sitting.
  • Enjoy your sweetened whipped cream on top of pies, cakes, coffee, or fresh fruit!

Nutrition

Serving: 1 of 4 servings, Calories: 219kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 14g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 67mg, Sodium: 16mg, Potassium: 57mg, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 875IU, Vitamin C: 0.4mg, Calcium: 39mg, Iron: 0.1mg
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