Difference Wiki

Heavy Cream vs. Thickened Cream: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sawaira Riaz || By Sumera Saeed || Updated on October 9, 2023
Heavy cream and thickened cream are both high-fat dairy products, but heavy cream is slightly richer with at least 36% milk fat, while thickened cream includes gelatin or other thickeners and has about 35% milk fat.

Key Differences

Heavy cream and thickened cream both occupy a vital space in the culinary world, especially in baking and sauce creation. Heavy cream, known for its rich and luscious texture, usually contains a higher fat percentage, at least 36%, which facilitates a stable structure when whipped. On the other hand, thickened cream, a favorite among numerous chefs and home cooks, typically contains around 35% milk fat and has thickeners like gelatin or vegetable gums added, which guarantees a consistently dense texture.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023
Heavy cream is famed for its ability to be whipped to stiff peaks, becoming a key ingredient in recipes like whipped cream and ice cream. It boasts a smooth, luxurious texture and an inherently rich flavor, making it a preferable choice for certain dishes that demand a creamy consistency. Conversely, thickened cream, owing to the additional thickening agents, is already a bit denser than its counterpart, which can be advantageous in recipes requiring a stable, robust creaminess, such as soups and sauces, without the necessity of being whipped.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023
An intriguing aspect of heavy cream is its capability to create a velvety mouthfeel in various dishes, including soups, sauces, and desserts, thanks to its higher fat content. Thickened cream, however, may not impart as rich a mouthfeel as heavy cream but offers the benefit of an already somewhat stabilized structure, which can be especially useful in dishes that require a cream to hold its shape or consistency for a longer period.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023
In terms of availability, heavy cream is more commonly found and utilized in the United States, where it's often a staple in various traditional American desserts and dishes. In contrast, thickened cream is predominantly used and available in countries like Australia and the UK, where it's a go-to cream for many local recipes, including desserts and savory dishes, providing them with a distinctly hearty and creamy consistency.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 09, 2023
When it comes to choosing between heavy cream and thickened cream, the selection often hinges on the specific requirements of a recipe and, at times, regional availability. Some recipes might specifically call for the rich, luxurious quality of heavy cream, while others may necessitate the reliable, stable texture offered by thickened cream. Chefs and home cooks may find that having an understanding of each cream’s unique characteristics can guide them towards making informed, suitable substitutions when necessary.
Sara Rehman
Oct 09, 2023
ADVERTISEMENT

Comparison Chart

Fat Content

Minimum 36%
About 35%
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Thickeners

No added thickeners
Contains thickeners like gelatin
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Whipping Quality

Can be whipped to stiff peaks
May not hold peaks as firmly
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Common Usage

Predominantly in the USA
Often in Australia and the UK
Harlon Moss
Oct 09, 2023

Best Used In

Dishes requiring a rich texture
Recipes needing stable creaminess
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023
ADVERTISEMENT

Heavy Cream and Thickened Cream Definitions

Heavy Cream

Heavy cream is a high-fat dairy product.
The heavy cream added a lush richness to the soup.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Thickened Cream

It tends to have a sturdier texture.
The pasta sauce benefitted from the sturdier texture of thickened cream.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Heavy Cream

Heavy cream can be whipped to stiff peaks.
The heavy cream was whipped to create a fluffy topping for the dessert.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Thickened Cream

Thickened cream is widely used in Australia.
In Australia, thickened cream is often poured over traditional puddings.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Heavy Cream

It contains at least 36% milk fat.
Due to having over 36% milk fat, the heavy cream whipped up beautifully.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 09, 2023

Thickened Cream

Thickened cream contains around 35% milk fat.
The thickened cream provided a stable, hearty base for the sauce.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Heavy Cream

Heavy cream has a rich, velvety texture.
The heavy cream added a luxurious, velvety mouthfeel to the chocolate ganache.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 09, 2023

Thickened Cream

Thickened cream is often used without whipping.
The thickened cream was directly added to the soup without needing to be whipped first.
Sara Rehman
Oct 09, 2023

Heavy Cream

It is often used in American cuisine.
The recipe called for heavy cream to create a classic American alfredo sauce.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Thickened Cream

It includes thickeners like gelatin.
The thickened cream, with its added gelatin, held its shape well in the dessert.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 09, 2023

FAQs

What is the main difference between heavy cream and thickened cream?

Heavy cream has a higher fat content and no thickeners, while thickened cream has slightly less fat and includes thickeners.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Can I use heavy cream and thickened cream interchangeably?

It depends on the recipe, but in some cases, they can be substituted for each other with consideration of texture and stability differences.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 09, 2023

Which cream is more popular in American recipes?

Heavy cream is more commonly utilized in American recipes.
Sara Rehman
Oct 09, 2023

Which cream should I choose for a more stable, robust creaminess in my dishes?

Thickened cream, due to its additives, typically offers a more stable and robust creaminess.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 09, 2023

Which cream is typically used in sauces like Alfredo?

Heavy cream is commonly used in creamy sauces like Alfredo due to its rich and velvety texture.
Harlon Moss
Oct 09, 2023

Can I use half-and-half as a substitute for heavy cream?

Half-and-half can be used as a lighter substitute, but it will not provide the same richness or have the same whipping properties as heavy cream.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 09, 2023

Is heavy cream suitable for whipping?

Yes, heavy cream whips well due to its high fat content.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

What can I substitute for heavy cream if I want a dairy-free option?

Coconut cream is a popular dairy-free alternative to heavy cream.
Janet White
Oct 09, 2023

Is one type of cream healthier than the other?

Both are high in fat and calories, so neither is significantly healthier, but exact healthiness can depend on specific dietary needs and the specific products available to you.
Janet White
Oct 09, 2023

Can I whip thickened cream for my desserts?

Yes, thickened cream can also be whipped, though it may not hold peaks as firmly as heavy cream.
Harlon Moss
Oct 09, 2023

Can I use heavy cream in my coffee?

Yes, heavy cream can be used in coffee, providing a rich and creamy taste.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

How does the usage of thickened cream vary in British or Australian cooking compared to American cooking?

Thickened cream is more commonly utilized in British and Australian cooking, often in both sweet and savory dishes, whereas American cooking frequently employs heavy cream.
Sara Rehman
Oct 09, 2023

Which cream is preferable for making ice cream?

Heavy cream is often preferred for making ice cream due to its ability to be whipped to stiff peaks and its rich flavor.
Harlon Moss
Oct 09, 2023

Is the taste of heavy cream and thickened cream significantly different?

Both have a creamy flavor, but heavy cream might be perceived as richer due to its higher fat content.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Is thickened cream naturally thick or does it contain additives?

Thickened cream usually contains additives like gelatin to enhance its consistency.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

How should I store leftover cream?

Both heavy and thickened cream should be refrigerated and used within a few days of opening.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Can I use heavy cream in place of thickened cream in a soup recipe?

Yes, you can use heavy cream, but the soup might have a slightly richer and creamier texture compared to using thickened cream.
Sara Rehman
Oct 09, 2023

Which cream is favored in pastry-making?

It depends on the recipe; heavy cream might be chosen for its richness, while thickened cream might be chosen for its stability.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Can I freeze leftover cream for later use?

Both heavy cream and thickened cream can be frozen, but it may affect their texture and whipping qualities upon thawing.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Can I make homemade thickened cream?

Yes, you can simulate thickened cream by adding a stabilizer like gelatin to regular cream.
Harlon Moss
Oct 09, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons