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The Creamy Conundrum: Whipping Cream, Heavy Cream, and Half-and-Half Explained

How to make Whipped Cream

Ever stood in front of the dairy aisle, bewildered by the array of cream options, and wondering which one will turn your dessert from drab to fab? You're not alone. The world of dairy creams can be confusing, but fear not! In this post we will demystify the differences between whipping cream, heavy cream, and half-and-half, and revealing the champion cream for making that perfect homemade whipped cream. 


First up, half-and-half.

This dairy delight is a blend of equal parts whole milk and cream. With a fat content ranging from 10% to 18%, it’s lighter than its creamier counterparts. While it’s perfect for adding a splash of richness to your coffee or making sauces a bit more luxurious, it doesn’t have enough fat to whip into those stiff peaks we want in a whipped cream. So, if you’re looking to crown your hot cocoa with a dollop of homemade fluff, half-and-half won’t cut it. 



Enter the contenders for the whipped cream crown: whipping cream and heavy cream.


Heavy whipping cream recipe

The main difference between these two lies in the fat content. Whipping cream, with a fat content of around 30% to 36%, is designed to whip beautifully but will produce a lighter, softer whipped cream. On the other hand, heavy cream, or heavy whipping cream, boasts a fat content of about 36% to 40%, making it the ideal candidate for creating a richer, more stable whipped cream that holds its shape splendidly atop pies, cakes, or a steaming mug of mocha. 


Which cream takes the cake for making homemade whipped cream?

Heavy cream wins the crown! Its higher fat content not only allows it to whip up thicker and maintain its structure longer, but it also imparts a luxurious texture and depth of flavor that can't be beaten. A splash of vanilla extract and a sprinkle of sugar, and you’ll have a bowl of heavenly homemade whipped cream ready to elevate any dessert. Adding stabilizers such as gelatin, cornstarch or a product called Whip-It will allow the whipped cream to keep its shape making it perfect for decorative piping on your desserts. 


Stabilized Whip Cream Recipe

In the creamy world of dairy, each type has its place. While half-and-half and whipping cream have their uses, for that decadent, homemade whipped cream that dreams are made of, heavy cream is your go-to. So, the next time you're planning to whip up a storm in the kitchen, remember heavy cream is your friend for all things fluffy and fabulous.


Ready to whip up your own?

The process of making whipped cream with heavy cream is straightforward. It requires chilling the cream, a bowl, and beaters to help the cream whip up quicker and increase in volume. For the best results, ingredients and tools should be kept as cold as possible. The simplicity of turning heavy cream into a delicious topping with just a few minutes of whipping is why it's the go-to choice for homemade whipped cream. Happy whipping! 


Check out our stabilized whipped cream recipe and how-to recipe video below!



 

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