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Heavy Cream vs Whipping Cream?

What is the difference? Is there a difference?

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  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: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/568889

              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%

                2. Around Florida, there is "heavy whipping cream" and "light whipping cream." I figure any food with the word "light" in it is less interesting, less flavorful, and has less of whatever it is that makes the thing good!

                  1 Reply
                        1. re: applehome

                          Notice how "buttermilk" in the chart is defined as milk + bacterial culture, i.e. a thin yogurt-like product; whereas the liquid left after butter is made is defined as nothing. No real buttermilk!

                          1. re: visciole

                            It does point to the buttermilk after the lactobacillus is added. I don't think that negates the image I had from my wife (growing up in a rural farm situation) where they would have buttermilk left over after churning the butter. The milk they started with was probably already soured/cultured - leaving the traditional cultured butter and sour buttermilk, as we know it.

                            Butter in the US has only been "sweet cream", uncultured since post WWII, when Madison Ave got involved in helping the dairy farmers to fight the oleo war. People liked the cleaner taste of oleo, plus the production time could be shortened, so dairies quit culturing their butter. The moniker "sweet cream" is entirely Madison Ave. Before then (and significantly, on small farms long afterwards) cultured butter was the norm. They probably had to figure out a whole new process (add lactobacillus) to make buttermilk taste right.

                            1. re: applehome

                              Hello, i was hoping someone could help me perfect my fiancé's favorite cheesecake factory dish, louisiana chicken pasta.

                              The pasta recipe calls for 1 and 1/4 pint of whipping cream. I bought a carton of ultra-pasteurized heavy whipping cream. When i used this measurement it came out too watery. I cut it in half and then it came out better, but still not perfect.

                              My question is.. Am i buying the right ingredient? should i be buying a carton of something else?

                              THank you So much!

                              1. re: Jeanetteamelia

                                I'm not a real expert on this so maybe someone else can give you a better answer, but my reaction is that you certainly used whipping cream where they called for it. To the best of my knowledge, the difference between the creams (light, heavy, whipping) is slight - mainly in the butterfat percentage - they are all of relatively similar consistencies. If you took out half and it still wasn't right, I'd question the recipe. Is it right out of their book, or is it a transcription? Did someone translate the servings and miscalculate the ingredients? Did they call for it to be whipped and then folded in, in which case perhaps you didn't whip it enough? It just doesn't sound like a different cream would resolve the issue.

                                1. re: Jeanetteamelia

                                  Dunno much about... well, anything really. But it seems to me that if your milkfat is staying in the dish and the water portion is draining or not combining, they might have simply needed butter. Although butter itself has a water content as well- if it drains, too, you might wish to melt the butter and reduce it to get rid of some of the water content.

                                  Or, alternately, it could be an issue with one of your other ingredients causing the proteins of the pasta to contract and release the water content. But I don't know if that happens with anything other than white meat, now that I think about it.

                                  Ah well, I don't know what I'm talking about, really.

                            2. My experience with both is that you can use heavy cream just like whipping cream if you are planning to use it the same day. For some reason..heavy cream doesn't seem to hold up as well as whipping cream beyond the first day.

                              1. I can make whipping cream from heavy cream. But I can't make heavy cream from whipping cream. So, I use heavy cream in every recipe calling for homo milk, or Half & half, or...

                                Ever had hand-mashed potatoes using heavy cream? Over the moon!