Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Feb 7, 2007 07:35 AM

Heavy Cream vs Whipping Cream?

What is the difference? Is there a difference?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The dairies near me use carrageenan or other additives in their "whipping cream" to help the cream remain stable. Whipping cream also has a little less fat, in some cases. I prefer heavy, and you can use heavy cream in any recipe that calls for whipping.

    1. It depends on where you live. Here in Canada, heavy cream does not exist in supermarkets. I use whipping cream (35%) when heavy cream is called for. Heavy cream would have a slightly higher butterfat content than whipping cream.

      Although there are no additives in our whipping cream, one must read the carton carefully to ensure that it's not UHT (ultra-pasteurized). The organic brands are the best bet when looking for pure, unadulterated, cream.

      2 Replies
      1. re: FlavoursGal

        in the states we have heavy cream and whipping cream. i always go with the plain old heavy cream, thinking that as soon as they call it whipping cream, they have gone and done something silly with it (like carageenan, etc) which i dont need. also, tho, im pretty sure the heavy cream here is somewhere in the 40s for fat %.

        1. re: FlavoursGal

          I'm with Flavorsal and Ben61820- Most of the time, you'll find one or the other labled as either (does that make sense?)
          Regardless of the stabilization additives, both whipping cream (36%) and heavy cream (40-41%) should both create a fine result- unless you're dealing with an outrageous quantity of product, the variation in fat percentages will not have any significant impact on the recipe.

        2. Whipping cream and heavy cream are not always the same thing.

          The USDA regulates how much fat must be in certain dairy products sold in the US. What they are called has to do with fat content, not additives like carageenan.

          By law, to be called "heavy cream" a cream must have at least 36% milkfat and can have more.

          By law, "light whipping cream" must have at least 30% but less than 36% milkfat.

          "Light cream" (sometimes called "coffee cream") must have at least 18% milkfat, but less than 30%

          "Half and Half" must have at least 10.5% milkfat, but less than 18%

          4 Replies
          1. re: C. Hamster

            Technically, this IS true - but at least in New England, almost all "whipping creams" have additives, and most heavy creams do not.

            1. re: curiousbaker

              My only point was that -- by law -- the name of the product is dictated by the fat content notwithstanding any additives. That seems to be the OP's question.

            2. re: C. Hamster

              And light cream, curiously, is strictly a regional product:

              1. re: BobB

                I recall that in L.A., at least, light cream tastes a bit better than heavy cream and whipping cream. I think in whipping cream around here they put more sugar into - it tastes more fake. The heavy cream I've had around here just doesn't taste incredibly fresh or appealing. Now were you to get something straight from a dairy, you might find it different. I've been tempted to buy raw cream but the $10-ish price tag has kept me from it.

            3. the stuff we get around here is "Heavy Whipping Cream" - 36% butterfat

              1. Lately I've been seeing something labeled "Table Cream" on the same shelf in the market. Does anyone know what THAT product is and how it's different from the other creams?

                2 Replies
                1. re: CindyJ


                  Table cream is the same as half and half.

                  1. re: gmeiresonne

                    Not here in Canada. Table Cream is 18%. Half and half is 10%