Heavy Cream vs Heavy Whipping Cream: Significant Differences To Understand

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Usually, when you are cooking or baking, and the recipe calls for some type of cream, it is either heavy cream or whipping cream.

So have you ever wondered, heavy cream vs whipping cream, what are the differences? Which one is safer?

You can find both of these creams in the dairy aisle of your local store. Technically heavy cream and heavy whipping cream are essentially the same product.

Therefore, to answer the question of heavy cream vs heavy whipping cream, the difference lies in texture, flavor, and shape when whipped.

A. Fat content

What you need to know is that the main difference between heavy cream vs heavy whipping cream is the fat content. Both these creams are made from milk and saturated milk fat. Heavy cream has more fat in comparison to whipping cream.

If you look at the label of the product, then you will observe the ingredient percentage in the product.

Heavy cream

According to statistics, 1tbsp of heavy cream has a total of 51 calories. Fat makes up 95% of it. Fat content rounds up to 5.51g. The milk fat in this cream is higher than 36%.

Whipping cream

Whereas, in whipping cream, 1tbsp contains 52 calories, out of which, just like heavy cream, fat makes up 95% of it. Fat content rounds up to 5.55g.

The only difference between heavy cream and whipping cream is that the milk fat content of whipping cream is lower than heavy cream, which is around 30-36%.

As you can see, whipping cream has a lower milk fat content. So it wins the heavy cream vs heavy whipping cream battle when it comes to health since it can be considered healthier than heavy cream.

B. Which one should be used for whipping?

Between heavy cream vs heavy whipping cream, both can be whipped. And when they are whipped, you can see their difference clearly. Since heavy cream has extra fat content, it makes fattier whipped cream.

Even though whipping cream has a lower fat content, it is not preferred when it comes to whipped cream. It is because of its lower fat content. It deflates faster and has a lighter, airier texture. A pillowy texture is not preferred for making frosting for a dessert.

It is seen that creams with a higher fat content can make better-whipped creams than creams with lower fat content. This is why, when you are baking and need whipped cream frosting, or pipe whipped cream, always go with heavy cream for whipped cream.

But if you are using whipped cream for stability in a product, for example, to make mousse or crème brûlée, or pies you can go for either of the creams, since both will get the job done.

heavy cream vs heavy whipping cream
Photo by Julia Nastogadka on Unsplash. Copyright 2022.

C. Flavor vs Health

Who wins the flavor factor in the heavy cream vs heavy whipping cream battle?

A pro tip is that you should go for heavy fresh cream or butterfat heavy cream to make whipped cream. These creams contain a lot of fats and have a great texture and stability when whipped. The only con is that their high fats also make them unhealthy.

Many studies have shown that diets that include a lot of creams can cause cardiovascular diseases and discomforts, and an increased level of cholesterol.

In an industrial kitchen, heavy cream is known as a multipurpose cream because of its high-fat content.

Whipping cream is only used when it needs to be added to the recipe and mixed with it. That is why most of the food and desserts you get outside contain more fats and are unhealthier than the ones you make at home.

Therefore, in the battle of heavy cream vs heavy whipping cream for flavor, heavy cream has won.

D. How do you make whipped cream at home?

Homemade whipped cream is safer than buying processed ones from outside. All you need is heavy cream or whipping cream (depending on the texture you want) and granulated white sugar.

For a better and easier process, refrigerate the bowl you are going to use for whipping the cream in.

Once it is cold, take it out and immediately add the heavy cream or whipping cream to it. Then using a whisk or preferably an electric whisk machine, start whisking the cream.

Once the cream starts to get heavy and thick, add the sugar to it. Now whisk till it gets a pillowy, airy texture.

E. Heavy cream vs heavy whipping cream: Which cream to use?

If you are worried about adding too many calories into your food and don’t know which cream is the better option, don’t worry. Both heavy whipping cream and light whipping cream have basically the same amount of fats and will not affect your calorie intake if eaten in moderation.

If you need the cream for frosting or decoration, always go with heavy cream. Heavy whipping cream can hold its shape longer and it is better in texture.

But if you need the cream for pastry filling, frost your delicious pancakes or waffles, hot chocolate, or to mix as a stabilizer in desserts, go for the light whipping cream. This cream has a lighter texture and does not make for good frosting since it will deflate and melt quickly.

heavy cream vs heavy whipping cream
Photo by Andrew Lancaster on Unsplash. Copyright 2022.

It is always a constant battle between eating healthy and eating tasty when it comes to choosing creams. If you are really worried about the calory intake from the creams, go for a healthier substitute. This will alter the taste of the food but at least you will be healthier.

F. Which one should be used for cooking?

We have seen while debating over heavy cream vs heavy whipping cream that heavy cream makes great whipped cream because of its fat content. But whipping cream also has enough fat content to make whipped cream. This is not an ideal cream if you want to add cream to gravy, sauces, soups, or other foods since they will clot if stirred enough.

So for cooking with gravy, go for a lighter option of cream.

You should use either boxed or canned heavy cream for cooking. These two types of heavy cream are the ones with the lowest fats. Hence, they are safer options as well.

If you are looking to use cream in your meals, use light cream. This cream lies perfectly in the fat content area as well.

For some soups, you have to use a heavier cream option depending on the thickness you want. A lighter cream will give a smooth, airy texture but a heavy cream will give you thicker, heavy, creamy soups.

heavy cream vs heavy whipping cream
Photo by Jenn Kosar on Unsplash. Copyright 2022.

The same goes for gravies and sauces. In gravies, especially use lighter creams as you don’t want clumps of cream in your food. But for sauces, recipes generally advise creams with higher fats.

As for pasta sauces, it is advised to use heavy cream in the sauces since you want them to be thicker and as creamy as possible. The thickening agent in the cream can allow this to happen.

Taste and health will always come between the debate of heavy cream vs heavy whipping cream since taste and health are two contrasting factors to consider.

G. Substitutes

If you usually use healthier substitutes for other dairy products like milk, buttermilk, yogurt, etc then don’t worry because substituting heavy and whipping cream is not difficult when it comes to the question of heavy cream vs heavy whipping cream. There are many options if you’re looking for a healthier, low-fat option or even a vegan option.

5957914 yogurt with blueberry
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For Whipped cream

There are not a lot of substitutes you can use for heavy whipping cream or light whipping cream since all creams are made and separated by their fat content. Each cream is important for its own recipe and most of them cannot be interchanged if they are the key ingredients.

But for a healthier lifestyle, there are some substitutes you can use for heavy cream.

For cooking

Heavy cream, as well as whipping cream, can both be substituted by many things if you combine them right.

1. Milk and Butter

The most famous substitute for heavy cream is butter and milk. Mixing butter and milk together makes a good cream substitute. The fat from the butter mixes well with the milk and makes it thicker to use.

2. Coconut Milk:

If you are looking for vegan options for heavy cream, coconut cream is an easy choice.

You can make coconut cream the same way as you can make homemade heavy cream. Collect the fat from the milk and whisk it well. You can also whip the coconut cream and substitute it as heavy whipping cream on your desserts.

heavy cream vs heavy whipping cream
Photo by Tijana Drndarski on Unsplash. Copyright 2022.

3. Olive Oil and Soy Milk

This is another vegan option for cream. Soy milk is famously a vegan substitute for milk, and olive oil adds fats to the milk. Whisk it and your vegan option for cream is ready!

[ Note: It is always best to check with the recipe before substituting your creams with anything since it can change the flavor and texture of your food. ]

H. Watch out for Double Cream!

When it comes to the debate of heavy cream vs heavy whipping cream, there is one cream that is more unhealthy than both of them and that is Double cream.

heavy cream vs heavy whipping cream
Photo by Harry Grout on Unsplash. Copyright 2022.

This cream is a European- British concept. It is used in desserts and can sometimes be substituted for whipped cream. It has a very rich flavor and texture and hence is used in salad foods and in desserts.

The main difference between heavy cream vs heavy whipping cream and double cream, like any other creams, is the fat. Double cream has more saturated fat than most creams. 1 tbsp of double cream has at least 70 calories out of which 100% is fat making it extremely unsafe and unhealthy for eating.

Usually, chefs use this cream to make Jamaican cream, which is basically double cream with icing sugar whisked into whipped cream. This makes great frosting too.

This cream is easier to whip with a hand whisk because of its high saturated fat. It whips in under 10 minutes and does not need a whisk machine. Unline heavy whipped cream, double whipped cream does not take long to make and has a thicker structure. It is almost like icing. However, make sure that you are not eating this cream while buying desserts.

The battle of heavy cream vs heavy whipping cream, as we have seen, is not an easy one since there are many factors to be considered. Health-wise, the latter wins the heavy cream vs heavy whipping cream battle but taste and preference-wise, the former would win the heavy cream vs heavy whipping cream battle.

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Content is medically reviewed periodically by professionals for accuracy and relevance. Reviewers include doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, and even medical students. 

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