All You Need To Know About Whipped Cream

Cream can be used for a variety of purposes. It is commonly used to make a whipped topping for cakes, pies, milkshakes, and other desserts. In addition, it is used as an ingredient in ice creams, sauces, and beverages. Our focus will be on whipping cream, which has a fat percentage ranging from 30% to 36%.[1][2]

Table of Contents

What Is Cream?

A cream is a white or light yellow colored liquid that is a rich, thick emulsion of dairy fats.

It consists of water, protein, lipids, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and other minor components. Cream is classified by how much butterfat it contains. Whipping cream’s fat content ranges from 30 to 36%.[1][2].The following table shows the standard fat percentage for cream.[3]

Name% Fat
Half and Half10.5-18
Light Cream, Coffee Cream, Table Cream18-30
Light Whipping Cream, Whipping Cream30-36
Heavy Cream, Heavy Whipping Cream36
Dry Cream40-75
chef holding a glass of whipping cream

Whipping cream is a dairy product that has a minimum milkfat content of 30% and a maximum of 36%. Pasteurized or ultra-pasteurized and may be homogenized.[4]

top close shot of Whipped Cream in a bowl

What Are The Uses of Whipped Cream?

Whipped cream is a common topping for fruit, desserts and drinks. It is also used as an ingredient in many desserts.

Following are a few uses of whipped cream as an ingredient:

  • Ice creams
  • Cakes
  • Sauces
  • Cheesecakes
  • Mousse cake

Uses of whipped cream as a topping:

  • Cakes
  • Pancakes
  • Milkshakes
  • Pie
  • Fruits
  • Hot chocolate

Uses of whipped cream in pastry:

  • Cream fillings
  • Frostings
apple fruit next to an apple tart topped with whipped cream
two chocolate mocha topped with whipped cream

How to Store Whipped Cream?

The whipping cream should be stored toward the back of the refrigerator, not in the door. In the back of the refrigerator, the temperature is colder, while the temperature in the door is warmer.[9]

How Long Does Whipped Cream Last?

When stored properly, whipped cream can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Afterward, quality will deteriorate as the whipped cream dries out and flattens. It can also be stored in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

Soft Peaks, Firm Peaks And Stiff Peaks

During whipping, air particles are combined with cream. As more air is trapped in the cream, the better the cream will hold form. However, when the cream is whipped for too long, the liquids and fats separate, causing it to become grainy and curdled.

Soft Peaks

Cream barely holds its shape. As soon as the beaters are lifted, the peaks fold over.

soft peaks whipped cream on a stainless steel whisk

Firm Peaks

Cream holds its shape well but remains soft. Upon lifting the whisk, you will see peaks that bend over at the end.

firm peaks whipped cream on a stainless steel whisk

Stiff Peaks

There is more structure. When the whisk is lifted, the peaks stand straight. Serve it as a topping or filling.
stiff peaks whipped cream on a stainless steel whisk


  1. Hoffman, W. “CREAM | Manufacture”. Encyclopedia of Dairy Sciences, 2nd edition
  2. P. F. Fox, P. L. H. McSweeney “Advanced Dairy Chemistry Volume 2 Lipids“. P. F. FoxP. L. H. McSweeney. 2006.
  3. FDA. CFR [Title 21. PART 131] MILK AND CREAM.
  4. FDA. CFR [Title 21 Chapter I Subchapter B Part 131 Subpart B § 131.157].
  5.  Trésor de la langue française s.v. neige Étymologie B.2 (1552 quotation).
  6. “whipped”Oxford English Dictionary (Online ed.). Oxford University Press.
  7. Jean-Louis Guez de BalzacLettres de Phyllarque à Ariste full text.
  8. Nationaldaycalendar, National Whipped Cream Day.
  9. Kye Ameden “How to fix whipped cream” June 4, 2019. Susan Reid.

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