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What Is The Difference Between Cool Whip And Whipped Cream

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In Iowa, where I was born and raised, “salad” has a very liberal definition. Midwesterners won’t be constrained by the limits of just leafy greens or even mayonnaise-based salads. No, our potlucks aren’t basically official potlucks until a creamy salad infused with Cool Whip arrives. These dessert-style salads were so ubiquitous at school and family gatherings that I never thought to question any of the ingredients.

That all changed when I entered college with students from other states, then moved to New York City for a couple years and realized that Cool Whip has very different uses and meanings to non-Midwesterners. (ICYMI, we recently dived into the hot topic of what makes a salad a salad.)

As a result, I began a long overdue exploration into Cool Whip. What is it, really, and how is it made differently from classic whipped cream? Whether you’re using the whipped topping to garnish cakes, milkshakes, or mix into “salads,” here’s the scoop.

Whip the cream with a mixer.  Bubbles on cream
iStock/Getty Images Plus


What is Cool Whip? How is Cool Whip made?

Originally created in 1966, Cool Whip was invented by William H. Mitchell, a chemist at General Mills (also credited with inventing Tang, Pop Rocks and Jell-O). Since whipping cream takes some time and muscle power, this was considered a schedule and power saver for busy home cooks at the time. And unlike classic whipped cream, Cool Whip can be frozen, stored, shipped and saved more easily. It also doesn’t melt over time, which is handy for the aforementioned dessert salads and other feed-a-crowd recipes like Flag Cake, The Best Banana Pudding, and Chocolate-Covered OREO Cookie Cake.

25 recipes that start with Cool Whip

In its original formulation, Cool Whip did not contain cream or milk. Today, it has been reformulated to contain a splash of light cream, along with corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated vegetable oil, skim milk, and some artificial and natural flavors, colors, and gums. For this reason, Cool Whip is actually classified, advertised and labeled as a “whipped topping”, not whipped cream.

In the 1990s, Cool Whip Lite and Free emerged to cater to the low-fat dieters of the time. Today, the Cool Whip line is owned by Kraft Heinz and ranges from extra creamy to sugar-free to some seasonal flavors for a limited time only.


What is whipped cream? How is whipped cream made?

Whipped cream, in its most classic grandma-approved form (AKA made from scratch), is simply whipped cream into a fluffy, cloud-like texture. The higher the fat content of the cream, the faster it will whip.

However, you don’t need to use just a whisk. Here are 7 more ways to whip cream to airy, soft, or stiff perfection.

It’s best created using refrigerated utensils and bowls, and often includes a tablespoon or two of powdered sugar or superfine sugar.

After the soft peaks begin to form, it’s time to add any flavor enhancers, such as vanilla extract, another extract, or your favorite liqueur. Coffee liqueurs (such as Kahlúa, $31.99 for 1 liter; Drizly), chocolate (such as Godiva Dark Chocolate Liqueur, $33.99 for 750 milliliters; Drizly), and nut (such as Disaronno Originale Amaretto Liqueur, $27.99 per 750 milliliters, Target) are especially delicious for dessert uses.

Instead of the gums or syrups used in Cool Whip, this whipped concoction gets its stand-up ability from the air bubbles embedded in the fat molecules. Compared to Cool Whip, the texture of whipped cream is lighter and fluffier.


Whip fresh versus whipped cream

Cool Whip and whipped cream look similar, but they’re actually strikingly different in their building blocks and best uses. As long as you don’t have food allergies or aversions, both have their place and purpose; whipped cream as the MVP topping when enjoying a sweet treat in the near future, and Cool Whip as the star of desserts (and salads) with a longer shelf life.

Related content:

  • What exactly is blue raspberry?
  • Icing vs. Icing: What’s the Difference?
  • Canned squash is actually squash, but not the kind you carve


In Iowa, where I was born and raised, “salad” has a very liberal definition. Midwesterners won’t be constrained by the limits of just leafy greens or even mayonnaise-based salads. No, our potlucks aren’t basically official potlucks until a creamy salad infused with Cool Whip arrives. These dessert-style salads were so ubiquitous at school and family gatherings that I never thought to question any of the ingredients.

That all changed when I entered college with students from other states, then moved to New York City for a couple years and realized that Cool Whip has very different uses and meanings to non-Midwesterners. (ICYMI, we recently dived into the hot topic of what makes a salad a salad.)

As a result, I began a long overdue exploration into Cool Whip. What is it, really, and how is it made differently from classic whipped cream? Whether you’re using the whipped topping to garnish cakes, milkshakes, or mix into “salads,” here’s the scoop.

Whip the cream with a mixer.  Bubbles on cream
iStock/Getty Images Plus


What is Cool Whip? How is Cool Whip made?

Originally created in 1966, Cool Whip was invented by William H. Mitchell, a chemist at General Mills (also credited with inventing Tang, Pop Rocks and Jell-O). Since whipping cream takes some time and muscle power, this was considered a schedule and power saver for busy home cooks at the time. And unlike classic whipped cream, Cool Whip can be frozen, stored, shipped and saved more easily. It also doesn’t melt over time, which is handy for the aforementioned dessert salads and other feed-a-crowd recipes like Flag Cake, The Best Banana Pudding, and Chocolate-Covered OREO Cookie Cake.

25 recipes that start with Cool Whip

In its original formulation, Cool Whip did not contain cream or milk. Today, it has been reformulated to contain a splash of light cream, along with corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated vegetable oil, skim milk, and some artificial and natural flavors, colors, and gums. For this reason, Cool Whip is actually classified, advertised and labeled as a “whipped topping”, not whipped cream.

In the 1990s, Cool Whip Lite and Free emerged to cater to the low-fat dieters of the time. Today, the Cool Whip line is owned by Kraft Heinz and ranges from extra creamy to sugar-free to some seasonal flavors for a limited time only.


What is whipped cream? How is whipped cream made?

Whipped cream, in its most classic grandma-approved form (AKA made from scratch), is simply whipped cream into a fluffy, cloud-like texture. The higher the fat content of the cream, the faster it will whip.

However, you don’t need to use just a whisk. Here are 7 more ways to whip cream to airy, soft, or stiff perfection.

It’s best created using refrigerated utensils and bowls, and often includes a tablespoon or two of powdered sugar or superfine sugar.

After the soft peaks begin to form, it’s time to add any flavor enhancers, such as vanilla extract, another extract, or your favorite liqueur. Coffee liqueurs (such as Kahlúa, $31.99 for 1 liter; Drizly), chocolate (such as Godiva Dark Chocolate Liqueur, $33.99 for 750 milliliters; Drizly), and nut (such as Disaronno Originale Amaretto Liqueur, $27.99 per 750 mL, Target) are especially delicious for dessert uses.

Instead of the gums or syrups used in Cool Whip, this whipped concoction gets its stand-up ability from the air bubbles embedded in the fat molecules. Compared to Cool Whip, the texture of whipped cream is lighter and fluffier.


Whip fresh versus whipped cream

Cool Whip and whipped cream look similar, but they’re actually strikingly different in building blocks and best uses. As long as you don’t have any food allergies or aversions, both have their place and purpose; whipped cream as the MVP topping when enjoying a sweet treat in the near future, and Cool Whip as the star of desserts (and salads) with a longer shelf life.

Related content:

  • What exactly is blue raspberry?
  • Icing vs. Icing: What’s the Difference?
  • Canned squash is actually squash, but not the kind you carve


Video about What Is The Difference Between Cool Whip And Whipped Cream

What is the difference between whipped cream and Cool Whip?

Whipped Cream Half & Half • What is the difference between whipped cream and Cool Whip?

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Source: www.allrecipes.com