The Skinny on Fat

What’s the Difference Between Heavy, Whipping, and Light Cream?

Our recipes specify heavy cream to make your life a little easier. Whipped cream needs to start with liquid cream that’s at least 30% fat. That’s so the whipped in air stays in stable little bubbles suspended among fat droplets.

But if you go to the dairy section of your grocery store, you’ll find a lot of cartons and bottles labeled with the word “cream.” There are so many that you might just pick up the wrong kind or worse yet, walk out without any.

In the U.S. the fat content in cream varies:
Heavy Cream (often labeled Heavy Whipping Cream): 36% fat or more
Whipping Cream (often labeled Light Whipping Cream): 30 to 36% fat
Light Cream: 18 to 30% fat
Half-and-Half: 10.5 to 18% fat

And just in case you were wondering about milk:
Whole Milk: 3.25% fat
2% Milk (often labeled Reduced Fat): 2% fat
1% Milk (often labeled Low Fat): 1% fat
Skim Milk (often labeled Fat Free): 0 to 0.5% fat

Can you remember all that at the store? Us neither. We make it easy and just say use heavy cream because it always whips up light and fluffy. If you use yogurt or cream cheese, just get whole milk kinds too.

You can whip up any brand but we especially like the fresh and delicious products from Country Dairy, Farmers’ Creamery, and Traderspoint Creamery.

You’ll see egg whites and gelatin in our recipes for mousses and foams which also stabilize air bubbles like heavy cream.

And remember, your iSi Creative Whip makes five times more whipped cream than you can whip by hand. So a spoonful of our whipped cream is less than spoonful of hand whipped cream and a whole lot less than liquid cream – and that’s the real skinny on fat!

Post and photo by Louisa Chu | PUBLISHED: October 31, 2009