Whipping cream and heavy cream are two forms of dairy cream used in cooking, baking, and making decadent desserts. While they share some traits, there are key differences in their fat content, whipping properties, uses, and nutritional value.

Fat Percentages

The main distinction between whipping cream and heavy cream comes down to fat content. Whipping cream contains 30-36% milk fat. Heavy cream must have at least 36% milk fat, but often contains as much as 40-42% fat.

Whipping Abilities

As the names suggest, whipping cream is designed to whip up into light, airy peaks thanks to its fat content and whipping agents. Heavy cream can whip up, but not as easily or into such voluminous form.

Cooking Properties

Heavy cream contains more butterfat, so it stands up well to cooking methods like simmering or boiling. Whipping cream can curdle more easily with high heat due to its lower fat ratio.

Baking Uses

Whipping cream makes stable whipped toppings for pies and cakes. Heavy cream is too heavy for this purpose. But heavy cream gives frostings and fillings a rich consistency without extra ingredients.

Coffee and Tea

For adding a touch of flavor and luxury to coffee or tea, both whipping cream and heavy cream work wonderfully. Whipping cream blends in more smoothly, while heavy cream makes it more indulgent.

Nutrition Profile

Heavy cream contains more calories, total fat, and saturated fat compared to whipping cream in the same serving size. Both contain minimal carbs, protein and micronutrients.

Cost and Availability

Heavy cream is widely available at any grocery store, usually for $3-4 per pint. Whipping cream is also easy to find but may be slightly more expensive than heavy cream.

Labels and Substitutions

Heavy cream may also be labeled heavy whipping cream. Whipping cream is sometimes called light whipping cream. In a pinch, whipping cream can replace heavy but not vice versa.

In summary, heavy cream and whipping cream differ in optimal uses based on fat content, but work well in both sweet and savory applications. Whipping cream foams for toppings while heavy cream provides rich indulgence.

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Julia Jane is a home cook inspired by her mother's cooking. With the desire to share my cooking experiences with everyone, she created this website

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