The Great Cream Substitution Debate: Whipped Cream vs. Heavy Cream

The Great Cream Substitution Debate: Whipped Cream vs. Heavy Cream


When it comes to making desserts, there are various types of creams one can opt for – whipped cream and heavy cream being among the most popular ones. While sometimes usage of these creams is interchangeable, sometimes a recipe calls specifically for one or the other. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between the two and under what circumstances one would opt for one over the other when whipping the perfect cream to top off your favorite dessert from your favorite Nitrous oxide whipped cream chargers and whipped cream dispensers.

Whipped Cream

Whipped cream is a lighter version of heavy cream, since air is incorporated into it during the whipping process. The air bubbles that are formed makes whipped cream fluffier and semi-solid, so it sits on top of desserts beautifully.

How to Make Whipped Cream

To make whipped cream, all you need is heavy cream that should be chilled prior to the whipping process. Add sugar and vanilla essence for flavoring, to the bowl of cream while beating it with a hand whisk mixer on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, or until stiff peaks form. Whipped cream can be used immediately or be stored in the fridge for a couple of days, depending on the recipe.

Uses of Whipped Cream

Whipped cream is versatile and can be used in a variety of desserts. It adds an airy, creamy, and sweet texture to cakes, pies, fruits, and almost any sweet dish. It’s an essential ingredient when it comes to making some classic desserts like strawberry shortcake, ice cream sundaes, and organic milkshakes.

Alternatives to Whipped Cream

One common alternative to whipped cream is canned whipped cream. However, canned whipped cream can taste a bit artificial and too sweet in some cases. Another option is cream cheese, which is denser and has a tangy flavor. While it can be substituted for whipped cream in some recipes, it changes the texture and flavor, so it’s advisable to stick with whipped cream where possible.

Heavy Cream

Heavy cream is also known as ‘whipping cream’, and it has a high butterfat content, which makes it thicker and denser than whipped cream.

How to Use Heavy Cream

Since heavy cream is thicker, it can be used as a base for sauces, soups, and creamy desserts that need to hold their shape without being whipped. It’s also used as an ingredient in making butter, as it can be whipped until it separates into butter and buttermilk.

Uses of Heavy Cream

Heavy cream is also used in a wide range of desserts, such as caramel sauce, ganache, pudding, and crème brûlée. Since it has a higher fat content, it gives a richer flavor, which enhances the taste of the dessert.

Alternatives to Heavy Cream

Half-and-half can be used as a replacement for heavy cream in some recipes since it’s a mixture of equal parts whole milk and heavy cream. Another alternative is coconut cream, which is a dairy-free option obtained from coconut milk. It has a similar fat content, but it imparts a distinct coconut flavor to the dish.

When to Use Whipped Cream Vs. Heavy Cream

While the usage of whipped cream and heavy cream is often interchangeable, there are instances where they are not.

Whipped Cream Use Cases

Use whipped cream to top off desserts like soft serve ice cream, hot chocolate, fruit salads, pancakes, and waffles. It’s also used as a frosting for cakes, pies, and cupcakes. Since it’s lighter and fluffier, it adds a texture that heavy cream cannot.

Heavy Cream Use Cases

Use Heavy cream for recipes that require thickening agents where you need more volume, denser consistency, and creaminess in sauces and soups. It’s also used in creamy desserts where the objective is to not whip it, but for the cream to hold its shape.


What is the difference in calorie count between whipped cream and heavy cream?

Whipped cream has a lower calorie count per serving because it contains more air than heavy cream. One tablespoon of heavy cream has approximately 51 calories, while one tablespoon of whipped cream has about 8 calories.

Can I use whipped cream instead of heavy cream?

While it’s possible to substitute whipped cream for heavy cream in some recipes, it’s not always advisable. Heavier sauces and soups might require the thickness and fat content of heavy cream to achieve the intended consistency and flavor.

What type of whipped cream can be made using whipped cream dispensers?

Whipped cream dispensers allow you to make whipped cream faster and easier. They are designed to contain nitrous oxide, which helps to rapidly whip the cream and create stable, airy peaks. The kinds of whipped cream that are possible with whipped cream dispensers include chocolate whipped cream, vanilla whipped cream, and flavored whipped cream which can be made by mixing compatible syrups or liquors with the cream.

Is it possible to use coconut cream as a substitute for heavy cream?

Coconut cream is a dairy-free substitute for heavy cream, as it has a high-fat content that mimics the texture and flavor of heavy cream. It’s best used when the coconut flavor complements or adds to the recipe’s intended taste.

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