Heavy Cream Vs Heavy Whipping Cream – Difference

Heavy Cream Vs Heavy Whipping Cream

Heavy cream vs heavy whipping cream are two kinds of creamy stuff that people use for cooking and making yummy things. They might seem similar, but they have some important differences that affect how we use them in recipes.

Heavy cream, also called heavy whipping cream, is a super creamy milk product with a lot of fat. It’s made by taking the creamiest part of fresh milk and has a smooth, soft feel. Because it has so much fat, heavy cream makes food rich and creamy, which is why it’s great for sauces, soups, desserts, and fancy coffee drinks.

Now, heavy whipping cream is made specifically for whipping, like its name suggests. It has a little less fat than heavy cream, usually around 36-40%. This lower fat makes it easier to whip into fluffy peaks, perfect for making whipped cream toppings for pies, cakes, and other sweet treats.

The big difference between heavy cream and heavy whipping cream is how we use them in recipes. Heavy cream is best for making things thick and creamy, like sauces, soups, custards, and ice creams. It’s also good at not getting lumpy when we heat it up, which is important when we’re cooking.

On the other hand, heavy whipping cream is awesome for recipes that need whipping, like making fluffy whipped cream for desserts or making cakes and pastries lighter and fluffier. Because it has less fat, it’s easier to get the right texture when we whip it, giving us soft, puffy peaks that stay fluffy.

So, heavy cream and heavy whipping cream might look similar, but they’re different in how much fat they have and what they’re best at in the kitchen. Knowing these differences helps us pick the right cream for our recipes and make tasty food!

What is Heavy Cream?

Heavy cream, also known as heavy whipping cream, is a decadent dairy product characterized by its high fat content. It boasts a smooth and creamy texture, making it a staple ingredient in a variety of dishes such as sauces, soups, desserts, and coffee beverages.

Its luxurious richness adds depth and flavor to culinary creations, elevating both sweet and savory recipes.

What is Heavy Whipping Cream?

On the other hand, heavy whipping cream is specifically formulated for whipping purposes. While it maintains a rich and creamy consistency, it contains slightly less fat than heavy cream.

This lower fat content makes heavy whipping cream ideal for creating fluffy whipped cream toppings, incorporating air into batters for cakes and pastries, and achieving light and airy textures in desserts.

Fat Content Comparison: Unraveling the Numbers

One of the fundamental differences between heavy cream and heavy whipping cream lies in their fat content. Heavy cream typically contains a higher percentage of milk fat, often ranging from 36% to 40%. In contrast, heavy whipping cream has a lower fat content, typically around 30% to 36%. This disparity in fat levels significantly influences the texture and mouthfeel of dishes prepared with these creams.

Cooking and Baking Uses: Harnessing Creamy Potential

Heavy cream is renowned for its ability to add richness and thickness to a myriad of culinary delights. It excels in creating velvety sauces, luscious soups, creamy custards, and indulgent ice creams. Its high fat content also contributes to a luxurious mouthfeel, enhancing the overall dining experience.

On the flip side, heavy whipping cream shines in recipes that require whipping or aeration. Its lower fat content allows it to whip into soft or stiff peaks effortlessly, resulting in beautifully textured whipped cream perfect for topping desserts. Additionally, heavy whipping cream lends a light and airy quality to batters, ensuring delicate and moist baked goods.

Cooking and Baking Uses Harnessing Creamy Potential

Whipping Ability: Fluffiness Factor

The whipping ability of these creams is a crucial aspect to consider. Heavy whipping cream, due to its lower fat content, whips more readily and achieves soft or stiff peaks with ease. This makes it a preferred choice for creating voluminous whipped cream and achieving desirable textures in baked goods.

Culinary Applications: Tailoring Creamy Creations

The culinary applications of heavy cream and heavy whipping cream are diverse, each lending its unique characteristics to dishes. Heavy cream’s richness and ability to withstand heat without curdling make it a go-to ingredient for sauces requiring prolonged cooking and thickening. Its smooth texture also enhances the creaminess of soups and custards.

On the other hand, heavy whipping cream’s whipping prowess makes it indispensable in creating light and fluffy toppings for pies, cakes, and hot beverages like hot chocolate or coffee. Its versatility extends to baking, where it contributes to moist and tender cakes, muffins, and scones.

Heating and Curdling: Tackling Temperature Challenges

When it comes to heating, heavy cream exhibits greater stability and is less prone to curdling compared to heavy whipping cream.

This resilience to heat makes heavy cream suitable for simmering in sauces and soups without separating or curdling. However, heavy whipping cream requires more attention during heating to prevent curdling, especially when exposed to high temperatures for extended periods.

Choosing the Right Cream: A Culinary Conundrum Solved

Understanding the nuanced differences between heavy cream and heavy whipping cream empowers you to select the appropriate cream for your specific recipes.

Whether you’re aiming for a velvety pasta sauce, a fluffy whipped cream topping, or a moist cake, choosing the right cream ensures optimal results and culinary satisfaction.


In conclusion, heavy cream and heavy whipping cream offer unique advantages in the kitchen, each suited for specific culinary purposes. Heavy cream, with its higher fat content, enhances the richness and creaminess of sauces, soups, and desserts, adding a luxurious texture to your favorite dishes. On the other hand, heavy whipping cream’s lower fat content makes it perfect for whipping into fluffy peaks, creating delightful whipped cream toppings and light, airy batters for cakes and pastries.

By understanding the nuances between these two dairy products, you can make informed choices when selecting ingredients for your recipes. Whether you’re aiming for velvety sauces or indulgent desserts, choosing the right cream ensures that your culinary creations turn out delicious and satisfying. So, next time you’re in the dairy aisle, remember the difference between heavy cream and heavy whipping cream, and enjoy the magic they bring to your cooking and baking adventures!

Written by Amy Fischer

Amy, a registered dietitian at the Good Housekeeping Institute's Nutrition Lab, brings a wealth of expertise to nutrition, health content, and product testing. With a journalism degree from Miami University of Ohio and a master's in clinical nutrition from NYU, she's a versatile expert. Prior to joining Good Housekeeping, Amy worked as a cardiac transplant dietitian at a prominent NYC hospital and contributed to clinical nutrition textbooks. Her background also includes PR and marketing work with food startups.

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