The difference between whipped cream and whipping cream, and how to whip whipping cream

In the banana, toffee and cream dessert recipe, reader Loida Perez asked for a clarification about whipped cream and whipping cream.

Hi Connie, I am just confused. What’s the difference between “whipping” and whipped cream”? Because,whenever I say “whipping cream”, my husband and daughter laugh at me and say “Mom, it is not whipping cream, it’s whipped cream”

My reply:

Whipping cream is thick cream than CAN BE whipped so that it doubles in volume. They come in cans or cartons.

Whipped cream is thick cream that has already been whipped. Usually comes in aerosol canisters.

I was tempted to add that it was her turn to laugh at her husband and daughter. But I didn’t because that would have been mean and who wants to be mean to loved ones?

Here’s a screenshot of that portion of the comment thread.

I’d have left it at that, having answered Loida’s question sufficiently, but I think about the oh-so-many questions in different parts of the blog about cream (What kind of cream do you use? What brand of cream do you use?) and I figured I might as well write a whole entry about cream.

People, it’s NOT the BRAND that you want to pay attention to but the kind of cream that is best suited for a recipe.

What is cream? Dairy cream, to be more precise. It is the portion of the milk with a higher butterfat content and which naturally rises to the top of un-homogenized milk. If you’ve tasted fresh cow’s or carabao’s milk — fresh as in it has not undergone any process whatsoever — you might have noticed those semi-solid masses that form as the milk cools. That is cream. When the milk is processed (i.e., homogenization and pasteurization), the cream is separated and sold as cream.

Cream has several categories (or “grades”) depending on the amount of butterfat in it. The grades differ from one country to another. Cream that is best for whipping has 36% butterfat content or higher. It is called heavy whipping cream in the United States or simply whipping cream in Australia and the U.K. Double cream has an even higher butterfat content.

In the Philippines, cream is usually sold as “all-purpose cream” — which means it is pourable enough at room temperature but can be whipped decently when chilled.

When you see a recipe, therefore, that calls for cream, you have to ask yourself how the cream is intended to be used and what it is supposed to achieve to determine what kind of cream is most suitable. It doesn’t matter what brand the cream is — the important thing is the amount of butterfat in it. If the cream is simply to be poured into coffee, a thin cream will suffice. If the cream is for making cheesecake, you’ll need something thicker. If the cream needs to be whipped, you’ll need whipping cream.

How do you whip whipping cream? With an electric mixer or, if you’re up to the task, manually with a wire whisk. Start with chilled cream poured into a chilled bowl. Place the bowl over another bowl with lots of ice, to help retain the temperature, and start whipping.

At home, we usually keep whipped cream in aerosol cans. It’s convenient, the shelf life is longer and there is very little wastage. Although freshly whipped cream, using top quality cream with the correct amount of butterfat, will always be best, economics plays a huge role in home kitchens. When you start with whipping cream and you whip it, you have to use it immediately as it won’t keep for very long even in the fridge. Say, you need a cup of whipped cream and you whip half a cup expecting it to double in volume. But it triples in volume, what do you do with the excess?

So, there. When it comes to dairy cream, it is best to stop thinking in terms of brands and start thinking in terms of grades and amount of butterfat.

  • FayeP

    Ms. Connie,

    Hi!! thanks po sa info, actually halos lahat eh confused sa whipped/whipping cream. Kala ko nga po dati un all purpose cream di cya pede i-whip, kasi nun tinry ko, kahit chilled using a hand mixer, di cya nagdouble in volume.

    thanks po

    • Connie

      Pwede yun, mas matagal lang before peaks form. :)

  • Natz SM

    Whipped cream in those areosol cans use to be a staple in my pantry. So easy and convenient to use and truly economical but they have become so expensive and more of a luxury now.

    Just yesterday, when I was in Cash and Carry, I saw a new product- Powdered Whipping Cream. You just add water and beat till it doubles in volume. I did not have my reading glasses with me so I couldn’t read the full instructions and yield so I could compare whether this will come out even more economical than the ones in cans or even Cool Whip. If so, this will defenitely be a pantry staple!

    I am keeping my fingers!

    • Connie

      Is it real cream?

  • Loida Perez

    Thanks Connie for enlightening us!:)Very well explained.

    • Connie

      And I was about to email you to give you the link. :)

  • http://love2bakeco.blogspot.com/ Kar

    Hi Ms. Connie! The powdered whiping cream is a non-dairy analogue cream base for whipping just like dairy whipped cream. Ferna now carries Frosty Boy whip cream powder, imported from Australia. It has a long shelf life of 18 months in powder form.

    • Connie

      Oh, I see. I’ve never used it. Actually, I’m not a fan of Ferna.

  • karen carder

    When I was growing up in the Philippines I don’t think they had canned cream or any other cream….my Mom used to take Evaporated milk and chill it and whip it with an electric beater….or she took a half a cup of ice water and a fourth a cup of powdered milk with a Tablespoon of calamansi juice and and a little sugar….she would beat it till stiff and it was pretty delicious (from my memory)….for those who are on a tighter budget!…smile

  • Aika

    Hi Ma’am Connie,
    So for a cheesecake, which cream should I use? What do you mean by “something thicker”?
    What I bought was reconstituted cream (nestle cream on a can), is that okay? No need to chill it?

    • http://casaveneracion.com/ Connie Veneracion

      What cheesecake recipe are you going to use? There is no universal standard for all cheesecake recipes.

      • Aika

        The dulce de leche mini cheesecake..

        • http://casaveneracion.com/ Connie Veneracion

          What “something thicker” means is discussed extensively in the post already.

  • clueless whipped cream consumer

    ok, thanks! That cleared things up hehehe

  • Lily

    Hi! I just want to ask… i am looking for a heavy whipping cream. Ultra pasteurized coz i wanna make my own version of ice cream.. Can you suggest where to buy… Thank you..

    • http://casaveneracion.com/ Connie Veneracion

      The best thing I can suggest is for you to go out, visit the grocery stores in your area and scour the aisles. :)

  • Cake Goddess

    hi! was just wondering if i can use heavy whipping cream instead of all purpose cream to make mango graham float?

    thanks a bunch!

    • http://casaveneracion.com/ Connie Veneracion

      I don’t even know what a mango graham float is. :)

  • Jennelyn Anilado

    hi, just wanna ask if all purpose cream can double its volume?how? and it can also used in black forest cake? thank you :)

    • http://casaveneracion.com/ Connie Veneracion

      Didn’t you read the post at all?

  • Jennelyn Anilado

    ok thanks :D

  • Angel Todd

    Hello, can u please tell me what kind of cream can I use to substitute Nestle All-Purpose Cream? I am living abroad and a bit confuse which one to use for I saw varieties of creams here.

    Thank you so much! :)

    • http://casaveneracion.com/ Connie Veneracion

      According to some readers based abroad, the equivalent would be single cream.

  • Toni

    Hi Miss Connie, I have a problem.

    I made a Banoffee Pie and used Nestle All Purpose Cream.. (i whipped it using an electric hand mixer) for around 10 minutes, until it doubled and peaks formed.

    The problem is, when I applied it on top of my Pie, after a while water started to settle at the bottom of the pie.. The Caramel was ruined, it mixed with the water and lost it gooey texture.

    Since we dont have Creams with 36% Fat readily available in common Supermarkets, (SM,Save More, Pure Gold) what can I do to remedy this?

    How can I get rid of the Extra Water in the All Purpose Cream so that it wont ruin my cakes/pies?
    What can I add to the all purpose cream which can counter or eliminate/absorb the excess water?

    • http://casaveneracion.com/ Connie Veneracion

      There is nothing you can add to bad cream to change it. If the fats separated from the water, that is a sure sign of overbeating.

      Whipping cream is available in most supermarkets. You’re probably just searching in the wrong aisle. Go to the freezer section.

      AS to SM and Savemore, maybe, it’s really time to patronize better supermarkets. And I’m not saying that to be catty. They are just plain bad.

      • Toni

        Thanks Ms Connie,

        The water separated after I placed it on the pie, it didnt happen immediately. It was still okay in the fridge, but when I took it out, it went watery after 30 minutes or so.

        Savemore and SM are just practically the super markets that’s available anywhere. I’m just new to baking to I’m not really sure where to get the right cream for Whipping Cream.

        I just googled and found out that the commonly available cream in the philippines is Nestle Cream. Which as I have read doesnt have the minimum required Fat % (36%) to make whip cream.

        I would love to try better supermarkets such as S&R but the monthly membership fee is already expensive for me.

        Are there any Local brands for Whipping Cream?

        • http://casaveneracion.com/ Connie Veneracion

          Shopwise sells whipping cream. So do all branches of Landmark and Robinson’s. At least, the ones I’ve been to. I understand the convenience of Savemore and SM but their market is not exactly the baking crowd. You can try the Nestle cream in can but even that is not really thick cream.

          Now, about the water separating from the solids. What happens to fatty solids when they are subjected to cold? They coagulate. That’s why the overbeaten cream did not appear so until after you put it in the fridge.

          • Toni

            wow thank you very much miss Connie! I know a Shopwise branch that is not that far from our place. I’ll check that one out :)

            I believe I should check the imported section?
            Because I also tried going to Robinson’s Supermarket and all they had were Alaska, Angel and Nestle All Purpose Creams. (all in Tetra Pack)

          • http://casaveneracion.com/ Connie Veneracion

            I told you — the freezer. If you’re still seeing only Alaska, Angel and Nestle All Purpose Creams, you’re looking in the wrong section.

          • Kitty Stephen

            I just want to add my two cents in, this might help someone. Nestle cream in can definitely does not whip. I tried whipping it in my mixer at high speed for a couple of minutes and if anything, it maybe got a little thicker, but definitely did not double in volume and did not even form soft peaks.

        • Nika

          hi Tony, try looking for Anchor brand, they have whipping cream, the same size as Nestle all purpose cream, but more expensive though, x3 the price. I used Anchor whipping cream for my mango floats and ice cream cakes and I loved it. they can be found in the frozen or chilled.section. i found some in the drinks/milk section! just be patient looking for it, you’ll find it, if t is not common aleady. ;)

  • Jen

    Im trying my hand at panna cotta which requires half milk and half cream plus gelatin, i find the cream too expensive. Is there any possible substitite?

    • http://casaveneracion.com/ Connie Veneracion

      Coconut cream.

  • http://yahoomail.com joel jan s. alvarez

    hi miss connie!!!
    i just knew that nestle cream cannot be whipped to its full volume.is there any substitute in making whipping cream? is evaporated milk really effective???

    • http://casaveneracion.com/ Connie Veneracion

      You can’t whip milk. Buy whipping cream.

  • Mariz Calabia

    mam…what brand of whipping cream do you buy? how much? and where?

    • http://casaveneracion.com/ Connie Veneracion

      You know what? I wrote this entire post just so people would understand it’s not the brand. You’re supposed to go to the grocery, see what’s there and READ the labels to determine whether you’re looking at whipping cream or something else.

  • clint

    Hi connie this is the first time i have visited your site and i am starting to love the contents of it. Now i know the difference between whipping cream and whipped cream. Your posts are short concise and straight to the point. I hope to see more delicious desserts featured here in the future :)