Cool Whip is a case study in industrial foods. Whipping cream, on the other hand, is the epitome of French confectionery.
How could they be the same? Or even remotely similar?
In short, they don’t have many similarities. But that’s a bold simplification, as we reach for them in the grocery store to bake similar stuff.
We’ll answer all your questions about the differences between cool whip and whipping cream. Furthermore, we’ll branch out to their similarities as well.
Come along, and share our culinary curiosity about these two baking staples; one ancient, and one modern.
Whipping cream vs Cool Whip
Aside from their similar uses, Cool Whip and whipped cream couldn’t be further from each other.
Cool Whip is a vegetable fat-based substance and that’s not much of a “cream” in the classical sense.
On the other hand, whipped cream has been used for centuries, originating from French cooking. It’s derived from animal fat and milk and is either sold in an aerosol bottle or a carton.
Today’s confectioners use whipped cream for topping baked goods, but some prefer to use Cool Whip when it’s folded into the cakes and pastries.
Another striking similarity is that Cool Whip has more artificial ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup, additives, stabilizers, and a combination of vegetable oils.
Meanwhile, you can fix up fresh whipping cream by simply beating heavy cream straight from the box. The flavoring is entirely up to you; some vanilla, icing sugar, or any other additions are optional.
Whipped Cream – The Basics
We can’t decide on the whipped cream vs. Cool Whip battle without knowing the basics. So let’s get on with it!
- Whipping cream must contain at least 36% milk fat.
- Heavy cream is the same as whipping cream.
- It’s used as a creaming agent in savory dishes.
- In baking, whipped cream is a topping or filling.
What is whipped cream made of?
Whipping cream is a relatively clear cooking ingredient; it’s made from milk, sugar, and some vanilla.
Despite the high-fat content, the texture is light and fluffy. When done right, it’s like eating marshmallow clouds.
The sugar content in whipped cream is significantly higher than in Cool Whip, and so are the calories.
Its history dates back to the 16th century and ever since it has been a staple in modernist cuisine. (*)
Now let’s compare this to Cool Whip.
A 101 on Cool Whip
As opposed to milk-heavy whipped cream, Cool Whip was originally dairy free. Even today, it’s made of corn syrup and vegetable oil.
Since 1966, it has been in every American household. As one of the first convenience foods, it was mainly a topping.
Ever since, it’s been a dieter’s dream, with much fewer calories and carbohydrates than whipped cream. Furthermore, there’s an entirely sugar-free line of it.
Despite the heavier texture, it stays fluffy for hours on end, even without refrigeration. However, it isn’t dairy-free anymore; there’s some skimmed milk in it.
Cool whip and whipped cream are not the same, but they share some similar properties.
Similarities Between Cool Whip and Whipped Cream
Whipped cream from an aerosol spray bottle is not much different from Cool Whip.
- They can be beaten into the desired consistency, creamy in texture, and sweet in taste.
- Perfect for decorating sweets, cakes, or top ice creams.
- They are the two most popular toppings available.
- Both are airy, light, and fluffy with high-fat content.
The main differences between Cool Whip and whipped cream
To choose Cool Whip or whipped cream, let’s see what sets them apart: (*)
- Cool Whip is best used frozen.
- Whipped cream can be homemade with a few simple ingredients.
- Cool Whip has many additives and artificial ingredients.
- Whipping cream has more calories.
- As a processed food, Cool Whip has a longer shelf life.
- In savory dishes, you can use whipped cream, but not Cool Whip.
We usually cover all your questions, so let’s see the most frequently asked ones.
As a combination of corn syrup, vegetable oils, and skim milk, Cool Whip is far from healthy. Still, some deserts call for it; hot brownies, bakeries to fill with durable creams.
As natural, traditional, and delicious as it is, whipping cream doesn’t suit every sweet or baked good. Still, to cream up or thicken savory dishes, Cool Whip is not an option.
Knowing the difference between Cool Whip and whipping cream is a must for avid home-bakers.
We prefer the real deal, whipped cream, whenever possible. But to top our favorite, a hot brownie, Cool Whip is a much better choice; it will stay firm for hours despite the heat.