Understanding The Difference Between Heavy Cream And Whipping Cream

Organic Valley Heavy Whipping Cream, 1 pt Fred Meyer


If you love whipping up delicious desserts or adding a creamy touch to your coffee, you might have come across the terms ‘heavy cream’ and ‘whipping cream.’ While they might seem interchangeable, there are a few key differences between these two dairy products.

What is Heavy Cream?

Heavy cream is a dairy product that contains at least 36% milkfat. It’s often used in making sauces, soups, and gravies because of its rich and creamy texture. Heavy cream is also used in baking, particularly in making pastry creams, ice creams, and whipped creams.

What is Whipping Cream?

Whipping cream, on the other hand, is a slightly lighter version of heavy cream. It contains around 30% milkfat and is often used for making whipped cream, as its name suggests. Whipping cream can also be used in baking, particularly in recipes that require a lighter texture than heavy cream.

Heavy Cream vs. Whipping Cream: Which One to Use?

While heavy cream and whipping cream might seem interchangeable, there are some instances where one is better suited than the other. Here’s a breakdown:

For Whipping

If you’re making whipped cream, it’s better to use whipping cream, as it has a lighter texture and whips up better than heavy cream. Heavy cream can still be used for whipping, but it might not hold its shape as well as whipping cream.

For Baking

If you’re making a recipe that requires a rich and creamy texture, it’s better to use heavy cream. Recipes that require a lighter texture, such as mousse or custard, might benefit from using whipping cream instead.

For Sauces and Soups

Heavy cream is often used for making rich and creamy sauces and soups, as its higher milkfat content gives it a thicker consistency. Whipping cream can also be used for making sauces and soups, but it might not be as thick as heavy cream.

Tips for Using Heavy Cream and Whipping Cream

Whether you’re using heavy cream or whipping cream, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Don’t Overbeat

When making whipped cream, be careful not to overbeat the cream, as it can turn into butter. Keep an eye on the texture and stop beating once it reaches soft peaks.

Keep it Cold

Both heavy cream and whipping cream should be kept cold before using them. This helps them whip up better and prevents them from curdling.

Use Full-Fat Versions

When possible, use full-fat versions of heavy cream and whipping cream. Low-fat versions might not have the same consistency or texture, which can affect the final outcome of your recipe.


Heavy cream and whipping cream might seem similar, but they each have their own unique uses and properties. Whether you’re making whipped cream, a creamy sauce, or a delicious baked good, knowing the difference between these two dairy products can help you achieve the perfect texture and flavor.