How much fat do you need in cream to whip it?

So asks reader Jey and it’s an excellent question. The answer is you need a minimum of 30% butterfat to make a stable whipped cream. In the States whipping cream (also called heavy cream) must be 36% butterfat. Some have more though I’m not sure if ingredient labels reveal that or not. I’ll have to check. Aussies and Brits have what’s known as double cream, which is at least 48% butterfat. It makes exceptionally thick and silky whipped cream. Some of it is well over 50% butterfat. Wish we had that here, though I’d probably be tempted to bathe in it. Thanks for the question, Jey!

12 thoughts on “How much fat do you need in cream to whip it?”

  1. Thanks for answering my question, Joe! I’ve noticed that the normal store brand heavy creams don’t have any % information, but not sure about the “fancier” brands.

    1. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it on those labels either, honestly Jey. All we have are Federal regs to guide us I guess!


      – Joe

      1. I suppose you could make some comparative study of the calorie count, and the separate line item of calories from fat that are listed on our labels to at least see if one brand is packing more fat than another.

  2. Whip it?

    Whip it good!

    (Why I’m the one that has to come up with those references, I’ll never understand.)

    1. Ah Devo…they’re dying off fast it seems. Here’s to the Spud Boys!

      – Joe

  3. I want to make a buttermilk whipped cream and my cream is 40%, I have 1 1/2% buttermilk how much can I add per cup of cream?

    1. That is a fascinating idea…but talk about an oxymoron! Cream that’s full of fat and buttermilk that has almost none. But why not try? You’ll need to start with with a buttermilk that has as much fat as you can find. Reduced fat for sure, if you can find a whole milk buttermilk, that’s better. Next, swap it for no more than 25% of your cream. Ice the mixer bowl and whip. I don’t know how much you’ll be able to taste the buttermilk, but it’s worth a try.

      Another idea is to whip in some sour cream instead. The culture that sours buttermilk is the same one that sours cream. It’s difference in fat content only!

      Good luck,


      1. Have you thought about making creme fraiche and then whipping that instead? You can use the buttermilk to culture the heavy cream, so you wouldn’t have to worry about the fat content being incorrect, and you would get the buttermilk flavor that you’re looking for.

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