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Cool Whip vs. Whipped Cream: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on December 1, 2023
Cool Whip is a brand-name, pre-made whipped topping made with oils and sweeteners, while whipped cream is freshly whipped from cream and sugar.

Key Differences

Cool whip is a commercially produced whipped topping, known for its light texture and sweet flavor, made primarily from hydrogenated vegetable oils. Whipped cream, on the other hand, is a dairy product made by physically whipping heavy cream to incorporate air, resulting in a fluffy and creamy texture.
The shelf life of Cool whip is significantly longer than that of whipped cream due to its preservatives and stabilizers. Conversely, whipped cream, lacking these additives, offers a fresher, more natural taste but must be consumed relatively quickly after it is made.
In terms of health considerations, Cool whip contains less fat compared to whipped cream but compensates with added sugars and various chemical additives. Whipped cream, though higher in fat, is generally free from artificial additives, making it a more natural choice.
The versatility of Cool whip allows it to maintain its form and texture for longer periods, making it a popular choice for decorative purposes in desserts. Whipped cream, while delicious, can lose its form relatively quickly, which can be less ideal for long-standing decorative uses.
In culinary applications, Cool whip can be a convenient alternative for busy cooks or for recipes that require a stable whipped product. Whipped cream, however, is preferred for its authentic flavor and texture, especially in gourmet cooking where the quality of ingredients is paramount.

Comparison Chart

Base Ingredient

Hydrogenated vegetable oils
Heavy cream


Often contains additional sweeteners
Natural sweetness, can add sugar if desired


Stable and uniform
Light and airy, but can deflate

Shelf Life

Longer due to preservatives
Short, best when fresh

Usage in Recipes

Convenient for long-lasting decoration
Preferred for fresh, natural flavor

Health Considerations

Contains artificial additives
Free from additives, natural fat content

Suitability for Cooking

Good for non-dairy or longer-lasting needs
Ideal for fresh, gourmet desserts

Cool Whip and Whipped Cream Definitions

Cool Whip

Cool Whip is known for its long shelf life and stable texture.
I always keep a tub of Cool Whip in the freezer for unexpected guests.

Whipped Cream

Whipped cream is a versatile ingredient in both sweet and savory dishes.
She garnished the soup with a swirl of whipped cream.

Cool Whip

Cool Whip serves as a convenient alternative to homemade whipped cream.
For the potluck, I used Cool Whip to save time in preparing the fruit salad.

Whipped Cream

Whipped cream is often sweetened and flavored with vanilla.
He made a batch of vanilla-flavored whipped cream for the pie.

Cool Whip

Cool Whip can be used in various desserts, from pies to parfaits.
She decorated her chocolate mousse with a dollop of Cool Whip.

Whipped Cream

Whipped cream is best when freshly made and served immediately.
The scones were served with freshly whipped cream and jam.

Cool Whip

Cool Whip is a popular non-dairy whipped topping option.
He chose Cool Whip for his lactose-intolerant friend's birthday cake.

Whipped Cream

Whipped cream is a dairy product made by beating heavy cream.
She topped her hot chocolate with homemade whipped cream.

Cool Whip

Cool Whip is a whipped topping brand made with oils and sweeteners.
I topped my pumpkin pie with Cool Whip for a quick and tasty dessert.

Whipped Cream

Whipped cream adds a light, creamy texture to desserts and beverages.
The fresh strawberries were even better with a spoonful of whipped cream.


Can I make Cool Whip at home?

While you can make similar whipped toppings, Cool Whip's exact formula is proprietary.

What is whipped cream?

Whipped cream is a dairy product created by whipping heavy cream.

What is Cool Whip?

Cool Whip is a pre-made whipped topping made from oils and sweeteners.

Is Cool Whip suitable for vegans?

Not traditionally, as it contains some dairy derivatives, but there may be vegan versions.

How is whipped cream made?

By beating heavy cream until it becomes light and fluffy.

Is whipped cream healthier than Cool Whip?

Generally, yes, as it's more natural and free from artificial additives.

Can I freeze whipped cream like Cool Whip?

Yes, but it may lose some texture upon thawing.

Can Cool Whip be used as a direct substitute for whipped cream?

Yes, but the taste and texture will differ due to Cool Whip's non-dairy base.

How long does whipped cream last?

Fresh whipped cream should be used within a few hours of making.

Is Cool Whip dairy-free?

Traditional Cool Whip contains some dairy components, but there are non-dairy versions.

Is Cool Whip gluten-free?

Most varieties are, but always check the label.

How can I stabilize whipped cream for longer use?

By adding gelatin or powdered sugar.

Can I use whipped cream on warm desserts?

Yes, but it may melt quickly.

Is Cool Whip good for baking?

It's often used for its stability in desserts, though it's not suitable for all recipes.

Can I flavor whipped cream like Cool Whip?

Yes, with sugar, vanilla, or other flavorings.

What are the main ingredients in Cool Whip?

Water, hydrogenated vegetable oils, and sweeteners.

Can whipped cream be used in frozen desserts?

Yes, but it's best used fresh and not as a frozen component.

Is Cool Whip available in different flavors?

Yes, it comes in various flavors and seasonal varieties.

Does Cool Whip taste like real whipped cream?

It has a similar sweet and creamy profile but with notable differences in flavor and texture.

Can Cool Whip be used in coffee like whipped cream?

Yes, but it may not melt as smoothly due to its oil content.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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