Differences Between Them
The biggest difference between heavy whipping cream and whipping cream can be found on the nutrition label. Heavy whipping cream has a fat content of around 6g per tablespoon or 40% butterfat where as regular whipping cream has a fat content of 4.5g per tablespoon or 30% butterfat. This also means that regular whipping cream has 1.5ml more liquid per tablespoon than the heavy whipping cream variety. Various brands may differ slightly and percentages based off 1 tablespoon of cream (15ml) weighing approximately 15 grams.
It is also worth noting that heavy cream and heavy whipping cream are the same thing. Many recipes refer to just using heavy cream but the product at the grocery is generally labeled heavy whipping cream.
Should I use Heavy or Regular Whipping Cream for a Recipe?
Which one you should choose depends upon what you are making. As the name suggests, both can be used for making whipped cream; although the higher fat content of heavy whipping cream will create a stiffer, stronger whipped cream for use in desserts or warm drinks.
For savory recipes calling for cream such as as mashed potatoes, gravies, cheese sauces or soups where the precise amount of moisture isn’t crucial, then either version will work and be considerably better than using milk. However it is important to remember that regular whipping cream will add a slight bit extra moisture, as mentioned above, to the dish than heavy whipping cream, approximately 10%. For baked dishes such as scalloped potatoes, pot pies, quiche and other dishes where extra moisture may result in a watery dish, use heavy cream.
For dessert dishes always use heavy whipping cream.
What is Half & Half?
Half and half is essentially a light cream that is between 10-15% butterfat. The name half and half comes from diluting cream by half with milk to make a lighter cream mixture more suitable for coffee and cocoa drinks. However even though half and half does contain cream it will not whip.
Recipe for Half & Half
Cream is always great to have on stock for the home cook. The small pint containers are generally just over a dollar and can be used for many dishes. Half and half though is something you need never buy unless you don’t drink milk as it is simple to make a quick batch for use in your morning coffee and will last until the soonest expiration date of the milk or cream.
2 ounces Milk (any variety)
2 ounces Whipping Cream
– OR –
2.25 ounces Milk
1.75 ounces Heavy Whipping Cream
Add equal parts of milk and whipping cream in a jar, cover with lid and shake or stir for 10 seconds to combine.