Heavy cream vs. heavy whipping cream vs. whipping cream vs. half & half are not unfamiliar ingredients in cooking, especially with baking enthusiasts. However, these creams are pretty similar, so they often confuse people.
When you store some of these fat creams in the fridge, you can accidentally mistake them and have to say, “what should I do now?” The best option, I believe, is to realize each type clearly to avoid this mistake never happening.
Are they actually the same or different? All of your wonders will be solved in my post below. Keep reading to see what you are missing!
Heavy Cream, Heavy Whipping Cream, Whipping Cream, Half & Half – Multifunctional Ingredients
People who like eating creamy food like me will never forget to prepare foods with heavy cream, heavy whipping cream, whipping cream, and half & half.
When buying cream in the store, someone thinks heavy cream and heavy whipping cream are dissimilar, but they are the same, just with different names.
The primary distinctions of the four cream types are fat content, which results in noticeably different taste and texture. To be more specific, this comparison chart below will display the similarities and dissimilarities of these fatty creams:
|Elements||Heavy cream (Heavy whipping cream)||Whipping cream||Half & half|
|Fat content||At least 36% fat||30-35% fat||10.5-18% fat|
|Key ingredient||Raw dairy milk||Fresh dairy milk||Whole milk or heavy cream|
|Characteristic||Lighter and airy texture; Contain a low amount of sugar||Whipping cream: liquid texture (have not whipped); Whipped cream: light and fully foam texture(already whipped); Usually contains sugar||Thicker than milk but not as decadent and rich as cream; Contain sugar and additives (often in commercial products)|
|Flavor||Rich with a hint of sweetness||Taste like vanilla (after whipped)||Taste like milk|
|Uses||Decorations cakes, drinks,etc.; Ingredient for Keto diet and other dishes; Thicken soups; Making whipped cream||Decorations cakes, drinks, etc; Ingredient for Keto diet and other dishes (mainly desserts); Making whipped cream||A replacement for whipping cream and heavy cream; Use for cooking and making drinks: coffee; Can use for Keto diet (plain type)|
|Preservation and Shelf life||Fridge 5-7 days; Freezer 3 months||Fridge 5-7 days; Freezer: 4 months||Fridge Unopened 7-10 days; Opened 3-5 days; Freezer: 3 months|
The Similarities Of These Must-Have Creams
Before going to the mystery of each type of cream, I think it is better to point out some similarities between them. Check out three of the same factors now.
1. Key Ingredient
Heavy cream (heavy whipping cream), whipping cream, and half & half are prepared from milk (dairy or whole milk) despite their different fat content. That is also the reason why they all share their signature milky-white colors.
2. Culinary Uses
All of them can be used to prepare sweet and savory plates. Specifically, with half & half, you can use this cream type as an alternative ingredient of heavy cream and whipping cream while cooking. Here are some types of dishes and drinks that these cream work well:
- Coffee and chocolate: With just some drops of these creams, your coffee will be more flavorful and creamy. On my own, I prefer using them for hot coffee or chocolate.
- Cakes: As mentioned, half & half type is an alternative option for heavy cream. That is why all of them are the ingredients for making sweet cakes.
- Ice creams: Ice cream is an ideal suggestion on summer days. And, of course, you can make many cool ice creams for your family members using these four creams.
- Soups: To thicken the soup’s texture, you can add one of the four creams as an ingredient. They are also ideal for cream soup recipes.
3. Can All Of Them Work In Keto Diet?
Surprisingly, heavy cream, whipping cream, and plain half & half work well on the Keto diet and make it more diverse. Although these creams are made from milk, they all provide you with an actual amount of fat content and vitamins but are low in carbs.
For instance, although cheesy cauliflower might sound like a huge indulgence, the truth is that it’s actually an ideal side dish for keto diets. So go ahead and incorporate it in your meal. I also suggest preparing keto dishes with an air fryer for an even healthier lifestyle.
As you may know, the primary purpose of the Keto diet is to help your body metabolize fat content to xeton, a kind of energy that maintains our daily activities without sugar support.
That is why using all four creams for the keto diet will help you limit sugar intake. Also, you are not worried about hypotension due to a lack of glucose while dieting. Notice for you is to check the amount of sugar to ensure your choice is suitable for your Keto diet.
4. Preservation Method
As you can see, these creams can be kept in the refrigerator for around a week. When you want to store them, make sure to cover a tight sealed container or box for all these types of cream to prolong their shelf life.
Heavy Cream (Heavy Whipping Cream) 101 – The Richest Fat Cream
Some people think that heavy cream and heavy whipping cream are two kinds of cream. However, they are the same!
Aside from being a key ingredient in desserts and baked goods, does heavy cream have any other benefits for cooking? I will answer all of your questions in this part!
An Overview Of Heavy Cream (Heavy Whipping Cream)
Heavy cream (heavy whipping cream) is a finished cream made from milk with at least 36% fat. This cream also contains a smaller amount of sugar. With the light, airy texture, heavy cream works well as a decoration for cakes and drinks.
Heavy cream, once whipped, can also make a great stand-in for cottage cheese. In fact, I’d go so far as saying that with heavy cream as a substitute, it’ll be hard to notice that you have replaced cottage cheese with something else entirely.
As for its origin, the cream was an ingredient in England around the year 1545 with the name “A Dyschefull of Snowe” (made from egg and rose water) and spreadly used in Italy, France, then.
Until 1673, this ingredient was named “whipped cream”, the current name we call. Another famous name for whipped cream is crème Chantilly. (1)
What Function Of Heavy Cream Have You Known?
There is no doubt that heavy cream is a good topping for cakes, ice creams, or even coffee cups with a thick texture.
Like other rich creams, it can thicken sauces and soups. Do not simply think this cream type can only be used for sweet plates or the Keto diet. Another function is to make ricotta cheese at home.
Have you not imagined any recipe with heavy cream? Continue to see the next part; I am sure to make you keen on heavy cream!
Prepare Your Own Heavy Cream At Home: Hard Or Easy?
There are so many heavy cream products that they are not hard to find in groceries and supermarkets. But did you know heavy whipping cream can be made at home?
When not having whisks, people used to whip this cream with just a rush branch, but it took a lot of time to complete a batch before serving. Check out the way to make heavy cream (heavy whipping cream):
What you need for a cup of heavy cream:
- Cold milk
- A blender
The must-have element for this process is the quality of whole milk. The better whole milk, the better-whipped cream, I believe.
Step 1: Melt butter.
Step 2: Put a teaspoon of melted butter into the bowl of milk and stir for 1 minute.
Step 3: Pour the mixture above to the rest of the melted butter.
Step 4: Cook it on low heat until it steams. (Do not let it boil)
Step 5: Put the mixture into the blender and blend for 5 minutes.
Step 5: Home-made heavy cream can be used for up to 2 days when kept in the fridge.
Generally, heavy whipping cream is just the other way to call heavy cream. I believe that you will consider using this cream type while cooking regularly, right?
Skipping the commercial products, getting a perfect heavy cream at home is easy. Watch this video:
Engaging Facts Know About Whipping Cream
Whipping cream is an unrelated kind of cream in comparison to heavy cream or heavy whipping cream. That is why I want to share with you everything about this cream type.
What Is Whipping Cream?
As mentioned, whipping cream is a different cream type with lower milk fat, just around 30-35%. In contrast to heavy cream, whipping cream is considered the tastiest and widely used for many purposes, such as preparing decadent desserts with whipped cream.
The history of whipping cream is the same as that of heavy cream or heavy whipping cream. Whipping cream and heavy cream are the primary elements of whipped cream and are generally used to make beautiful decorations.
Whipping cream usually contains sugar. Otherwise, you can freely adjust the level of sweetness to suit your taste by adding more sugar to the product. There are two kinds of whipping cream products that you can see in any supermarket, which are:
- Whipping cream (sold in liquid form): products are not already whipped before buying.
- Whipped cream: (store in the form of spray bottles with a light, fully foam texture) These products are still made from a whipping cream base, but they are whipped in the production line.
Depending on your desire, you can choose the product you want. For me, I usually prefer whipped cream products due to their convenience.
What Is Whipping Cream Used For?
Whipping cream has a soft texture with vanilla flavor, so it can be used as decoration for cakes, drinks, etc. This cream type is also the base of mousses. Without whipping cream, there is no perfect mousse in the kitchen.
In addition, whipping cream is highly versatile because it is an extra ingredient to improve other dishes, especially desserts.
You can freeze leftover whipping cream to use for 4 months or prepare meals with it. Check my best-loved desserts and drinks, which have whipping cream.
Easy Home-Making Whipping Cream From Scratch
Is it hard to make perfect whipping cream at home? My answer is no, even if you are a novice chef. Check out my instructions to realize how easy it is.
What you need:
- Cool milk
- Sugar (adjust accordingly)
- Eggbeater or whisk
I suggest you prefer an electric whisk rather than an eggbeater because you might feel your arm “breaking” if you choose to make whipping cream.
Step 1: Put cool milk in the bowl or whisk machine.
Step 2: Add sugar to your heavy cream.
Step 3: Whip with an eggbeater or whisk. Once using a whisk, you should gradually increase the whipping speed.
Step 4: Whip until the cream is stiffened up.
Step 5: Add some drops of vanilla and continue to whip for a few seconds.
- Make sure you use cool milk to make whipping cream.
- Observe the whipping process to avoid an overwhipping situation.
- You should put your whipping cream in the fridge and use it after 24 hours to thicken the texture.
Make a perfect whipping cream at home and prepare for a party with cakes. Watch this video:
Not only different from the fat content, but half & half cream is also dissimilar to heavy cream (heavy whipping cream) and whipping cream. Now, do not skip this part to get more information about half & half.
What Is Half & Half?
As the name “half & half” suggests, this type of cream is a combination of whole milk and cream that contains 10.5% – 18% fat. Half & half cream is supposed to be a “crossbreed”, so its texture is neither creamy nor liquid-like.
It was William A. Boutwell that invented this luscious mixture. He was the founder of Boutwell Dairy in Florida. People have had recognition and consumption from 1927 until now.
The benefit of half & half does not contain much fat content like heavy cream. Although this greasy cream is a choice for heavy and whipping cream, half & half cream is not recommended to consume regularly because it is high in calories and saturated fat.
In some cases, the producers also add sugar and additives to help the finished products have a perfect texture as well as more extended usage.
Half & Half: Primary Use To Make Coffee
The most objective function of half & half is to make creamy coffee. As a dairy product, people serve their breakfast, such as oats, with half & half. Besides, this “crossbreed” product can make great ice cream on hot days.
For those who are pursuing the Keto diet, this is good news for you! If you run out of heavy cream for Keto meals, use half & half instead. Last but not least, it does not matter to cook savory dishes with this type of cream.
How Do Beginners Get Half & Half?
There are many ways to make half & half that lean on what ingredients you have in your kitchen. I will show you all of the methods in the table, and you can decide what you want to do.
|Whole milk + heavy cream||For 1 cup half & half = ½ cup whole milk + ½ cup of heavy cream.|
|Whole milk + heavy cream||For 1 cup half & half = ¾ cup whole milk + ¼ cup of heavy cream.|
|Skim or low-fat milk + heavy cream (or light cream)||⅔ cup skim or low-fat milk + ⅓ cup heavy cream (or light cream) (adjust accordingly)|
|1% or 2% milk + heavy cream||⅔ cup 1% or 2% milk + ⅓ cup heavy cream|
|Melted butter + milk||2 tablespoons of melted butter + 1 cup milk|
You can use these half & half to create various dishes, such as sweet desserts, savory plates of creamy chicken, and so on.
As for its shelf-life, if you have not removed the seal of commercial half & half products, you can store it in the fridge for 7-10 days. In contrast, 3-5 days is better for using an opened product.
Out of half & half in stock? Time to make a new one by yourself! Let’s see this video to know:
Comparison Chart Of Nutrition Values Among The Four Creams
Nutrition values are the most vital factor for any product, not except these four creams. Therefore, I believe my comparison chart will be helpful when you want to see whether that cream applies to your demand or not.
|30 gram||Heavy Cream (Heavy Whipping Cream)||Whipping Cream||Half & Half|
|Calories from Fat||97||97||28|
|Total Fat||17% (11g)||15% (10g)||5% (3.2g)|
|Cholesterol||11% (34mg)||13% (40mg)||4% (10.6mg)|
|Sodium||0% (8mg)||0% (10mg)||1% (18.4mg)|
As you can see, heavy cream and whipping cream have nearly the same nutritional value, while the opposite was true for half & half. Prefer cream products from the four depending on your desires and uses.
Tips For Preserving Heavy Cream, Whipping Cream, And Half & Half
After knowing about these versatile cream types, I want to add some tips to consume and store them effectively. Additionally, these tips also help you to avoid spoiled cream situations.
- Frozen heavy cream (heavy whipping cream) and half & half still do their job satisfactorily within 3 months of storing.
- Both heavy and whipping cream can be kept for 5-7 days in the fridge.
- Before buying tiny half & half products, you should check the label to see whether they need to be kept in the fridge or not. In some cases, these products are not required to store in the refrigerator.
- Do not leave half & half at room temperature too long. You should give it a toss after 2 hours.
- All types of cream have a fresh smell with milky white color. So, for any sour smell or discoloration sign, you can not use them anymore.
Recipes With Heavy Cream, Whipping Cream, And Half & Half You Must Try
Heavy cream, whipping cream, as well as half & half are incredible ingredients that can be used to prepare various dishes. Don’t believe me? Check out the delicious recipes below!
1. Keto Alfredo Sauce
If you do not know what Keto dish to eat tonight, let’s make something different! Keto Alfredo is a sauce to serve with pasta and easy- preparing.
The hot, creamy sauce, when combined with pasta, will be a satisfying dinner for everyone on the table. Also, you can add shrimps or salmon as your preference.
2. Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potato dish appeared in early 1747 in the cookery book of Hannah Glasse, an English chef. This potato dish does not have heavy cream in the typical recipe, so its creamy taste depends significantly on the potatoes.
Recently, many people who are inspired by mashed potatoes have experimented with heavy cream. It brings an amazingly creamy flavor and excellent aroma result.
3. Whipping Cream Pound Cake
Pound cake is a dessert dish that I often eat along with fruits in my fridge. With whipping cream, it will enhance the luscious taste of pound cake.
Moreover, you can add your favorite ingredients, such as yogurt, peanut butter, and so on. Kids are always waiting for dinner with whipping cream pound cake.
4. Frozen Hot Chocolate
There is nothing special than enjoying a cup of chocolate after a hard-working day. I am a loyal fan of chocolate and whipping cream, so it makes complete sense to them simultaneously?
You can buy any frozen hot chocolate in coffee shops, but I think making it at home will bring you many exciting feelings!
5. Chicken Alfredo Tortellini Soup
Do you like to eat soup? What will you do with leftover chicken? This chicken Alfredo Tortellini soup is a choice for you. The secret factor of this soup is a soft, not too greasy taste from this half & half ingredient.
Again, find everything in your kitchen and make it for your kids or parents.
6. New Version Of Quiche
Whether you love French food or not, I highly suggest you eat this new version of quiche one time in your life. What makes quiche special? Half & half cream!
Instead of adding cheese for a smooth flavor, try with half-half cream. In case one of you has added half & half to your quiche, please share your experience with me; I am very excited.
Do you have any other queries about heavy cream vs. heavy whipping cream vs. whipping cream vs. half & half? Do not worry; I am willing to answer all of them now.
Other Facts About Four Creams That Can Surprise You!
Are you amazed about the differences between heavy cream vs. heavy whipping cream vs. whipping cream vs. half & half? I hope my post will help you be more confident to answer when someone asks you about heavy, whipping, or also half & half.
Moreover, with other exciting knowledge I have mentioned, I believe you can gain more cooking ideas and more benefits from these 4 sweet creams, especially those who are going to eat the Keto diet.
As a baker, I always have heavy cream and whipping cream in my house, and I found many incredible emotions when cooking with them. How about you? What do you know about these cream types? Comment on this post to discuss with me your ideas!
- 91 Classic Country KCJB. 2021. Jan 5 – Geezer’s Blog – National Whipped Cream Day | 91 Classic Country KCJB. [online] Available at: <https://kcjb910.iheart.com/content/2018-01-05-jan-5-geezers-blog-national-whipped-cream-day/>
- Time. 2021. Should You Drink Fat-Free Half and Half?. [online] Available at: <https://time.com/3814015/fat-free-half-and-half/>.
Table of Contents
- Heavy Cream, Heavy Whipping Cream, Whipping Cream, Half & Half – Multifunctional Ingredients
- The Similarities Of These Must-Have Creams
- Heavy Cream (Heavy Whipping Cream) 101 – The Richest Fat Cream
- Engaging Facts Know About Whipping Cream
- Hidden Secrets About Half & Half
- Comparison Chart Of Nutrition Values Among The Four Creams
- Tips For Preserving Heavy Cream, Whipping Cream, And Half & Half
- Recipes With Heavy Cream, Whipping Cream, And Half & Half You Must Try
- Other Facts About Four Creams That Can Surprise You!
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