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Creme Fraiche vs Whipped Cream: What’s the Difference?

Creme Fraiche and whipped cream sit on the dessert table like estranged cousins. One’s rich and tangy; the other, light and sweet.

We’ve all been there, spoon in hand, debating our choice.

Our kitchen escapades have shown us the stark contrasts. Creme Fraiche, with its cultured depth, dares you to dip your finger for a taste. Whipped cream goes for the flirt, promising clouds of sugary bliss.

Each has its secrets, its whispers of flavor. We’ve laughed over mishaps, where one was mistaken for the other, turning our dishes into tales of taste gone wild.

Now, we’re sharing those giggles and our knowledge.

What is Creme Fraiche?

Creme Fraiche is a type of cultured cream from France.

It has a tangy, slightly sour taste, like sour cream, but with higher fat content.

Use it sweet or savory, as a topping or mixed in.

It adds depth and complexity to dishes.

Make your own Creme Fraiche with just two ingredients – heavy cream and buttermilk or sour cream.

Mix them and leave at room temp for 12-24 hours until thick.

Homemade version tastes fresher and is more cost-effective.

What is Whipped Cream?

Whipped cream is a light and fluffy treat.

It’s made by whipping heavy cream until it forms stiff peaks.

You can use it to top desserts like cakes, pies, and ice cream.

You can also flavor it with extracts or liqueurs.

It’s not as thick as Creme Fraiche, but the airy texture makes it perfect for toppings.

Unlike creme fraiche, it’s not acidic.

Flavors like vanilla enhance the taste.

It’s easy to make, but precision is key.

Whipped cream can hold its shape.

You can do this by adding ingredients like sugar or gelatin.

This creamy dream is thick, yet fluffy.

It’s the ideal whip and icing for all your dessert dreams.

Differences Between Creme Fraiche and Whipped Cream

Creme fraiche and whipped cream are both great for desserts.

But they’re not the same.

Creme fraiche has a rich, tangy flavor that adds depth to sweet or savory dishes.

It’s also great for cooking as it won’t curdle when heated.

Whipped cream is lighter and airier.

It has a sweeter taste that complements desserts, but it’s not as acidic as creme fraiche.

Ingredients Used

Two creamy accompaniments often come to mind when indulging in desserts or baked goods – Creme Fraiche and Whipped Cream.

Both add a luxurious touch and enhance the flavor, yet they are not the same thing.

Creme Fraiche is a French classic made with only two ingredients – heavy cream and buttermilk or sour cream.

Through fermentation, it gets a rich tangy flavor that complements sweet dishes.

Whipped cream, on the other hand, is made by beating heavy cream, sugar and vanilla essence into soft peaks until light and fluffy.

It works as a topping for beverages and desserts.

The preparation process is different too.

Creme Fraiche needs time for fermentation to get its velvety texture, while whipped cream can be made in minutes.

Moreover, Creme Fraiche has a higher fat content, making it difficult to whip into peaks like whipped cream.

To sum up, Creme Fraiche and Whipped Cream have different ingredients, but both serve to enhance the taste of any dessert, creating a burst of flavors.

Texture and Consistency

Creme fraiche and whipped cream look similar but are different in texture and consistency.

Whipped cream is light, airy, and fluffy.

Creme fraiche, on the other hand, is thicker and tangy.

The variation is from the recipe used.

Whipped cream is heavy cream whisked or beaten until it forms soft peaks.

It adds a delicious dairy flavor to desserts like pies and cakes.

Creme fraiche is made with bacteria cultures and fermented until thickened.

The texture is velvety, and it doesn’t form stiff peaks when beaten.

It has a tangy taste, different from regular sweet whipped cream.

In short, you choose depending on your taste and the dish.

Whipped cream is good for light desserts like ice cream.

Creme fraiche is for richer desserts like puddings or used in savory sauces to add tanginess.

Taste and Flavor

Creme fraiche and whipped cream differ in flavor.

Creme fraiche has a tart, slightly sour taste, due to fermentation.

Whipped cream is sweet and airy.

Additionally, creme fraiche is thicker than whipped cream.

It can handle higher temperatures without melting or curdling.

This makes it a great choice for savory dishes, such as sauces.

Whereas, whipped cream is best suited as a topping for desserts like pies and cakes.

In conclusion, creme fraiche and whipped cream are not the same.

They each have their own unique taste and can’t be used interchangeably in recipes.

Preparation Method

Making creme fraiche and whipped cream are two different processes used in cooking and baking.

They have unique characteristics, so it’s important to know how to make each for great taste and consistency.

Here’s a 6-step guide for both.

  • Creme Fraiche: Mix heavy cream and buttermilk in a jar, stir.
  • Cover the jar with a lid or plastic wrap.
  • Leave at room temperature for 12-24 hours until thickened.
  • Once thickened, store in the fridge.
  • Creme fraiche can be used as a topping or in sauces or desserts.
  • Whipped Cream: Chill heavy cream, bowl and beaters for 30 minutes.

Here how:

  • Place cold heavy cream into the chilled bowl.
  • Beat with chilled beaters until soft peaks form.
  • Add sugar or other flavorings if desired until firm peaks form.
  • Use immediately as a topping on cakes, pies or hot chocolate.

Creme fraiche has a tangy taste due to the buttermilk used.

Whipped cream is usually sweet because sugar is added.

Creme fraiche also has a longer shelf life than whipped cream when stored in the fridge.

Knowing how to make each is vital.

Don’t use them interchangeably as they have different purposes.

It’s essential for cooks and bakers who want perfect outcomes when making desserts and toppings with dairy-based ingredients.

Similarities Between Creme Fraiche and Whipped Cream

Creme fraiche and whipped cream might look alike, but there’s a difference.

Both are dairy products, used as toppings or recipes.

However, creme fraiche has a tangy flavor, while whipped cream is sweet.

Plus, their textures are different; creme fraiche is thicker, and holds its shape better, while whipped cream is fluffier.

Still, both give richness and flavor to any dish. Remember, creme fraiche isn’t whipped cream.

They may seem similar when topped on desserts or drinks, yet they have different flavors, textures, and ways of being made.

Creme fraiche is made by adding a bacterial culture to heavy cream, which thickens it and gives it a tangy taste.

Whipped cream is made by beating heavy cream until it’s fluffy.

For toppings, creme fraiche and whipped cream can be used interchangeably – like on fruit bowls or cake slices.

But for savory dishes, like soups or sauces, creme fraiche’s tangy flavor may be more fitting.

In conclusion, creme fraiche and whipped cream share some similarities, yet they each have unique characteristics.

Knowing the differences can help you choose one based on what you’re making.

Culinary Uses for Creme Fraiche and Whipped Cream

Creme Fraiche and whipped cream are both yummy toppings.

But they have different flavors and uses.

Whipped cream is sweeter and lighter in texture.

It’s often used on top of pies, cakes, and hot chocolate.

Creme Fraiche is more versatile. It can be used in savory and sweet dishes.

It’s great for soups, stews, and sauces. When baking, whipped cream is a topping.

Creme Fraiche can be used in recipes for cheesecakes or custards.

And it can be mixed with sugar to balance sweetness in desserts like fruit tarts.

Whipped cream is usually just eaten as a topping.

But creme fraiche is used in gourmet kitchens and family dinners.

How to Make Creme Fraiche and Whipped Cream at Home?

Making creme fraiche or whipped cream? No problem.

With the right ingredients and steps, you’ll easily whip up something delicious.

To make creme fraiche, mix heavy cream with buttermilk and let it sit at room temp for 24 hours.

Whipped cream is made by beating cream, sugar, and vanilla until stiff peaks form.

Here are the 4-Step Guides:

Creme Fraiche:

  • Combine 1 cup of heavy cream and 2 tablespoons of buttermilk in a glass jar or bowl.
  • Mix. Then cover with a lid or plastic wrap.
  • Let it sit at 70°F for 24 hours.
  • Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. You’ve made creme fraiche.

Whipped Cream:

  • Pour 1 cup of cold heavy cream into a bowl.
  • Add sugar (2 tablespoons) and a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  • Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form.
  • Stop when stiff peaks form. Use immediately or store in the fridge for up to a day.

Creme fraiche is tangy yet sweet. It makes a great addition to both sweet and savory dishes.

Whipped cream tends to be sweeter and is often used as a topping for desserts.

Avoid overbeating the mixture to avoid making butter.

Both creme fraiche and whipped cream are easy to make at home.


Creme Fraiche and Whipped Cream appear alike, yet have distinct differences.

Whipped Cream is light and sweet, whilst Creme Fraiche is tangy and thicker.

Creme Fraiche can be used for both sweet and savory dishes, whilst Whipped Cream is mainly for desserts.

Moreover, Creme Fraiche has a higher fat content.

Knowing the distinctions between these two dairy products can boost your cooking abilities and enhance the flavor of your dishes.

Creme Fraiche vs Whipped Cream: What’s the Difference?

Andrew Gray
Curious about the contrast between creme fraiche and whipped cream? Explore our comprehensive breakdown highlighting the disparities in texture, taste, and culinary uses.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course This vs That
Servings 1 Serving


  • Creme Fraiche
  • Whipped Cream


  • Choose between creme fraiche and whipped cream based on your desired flavor and texture.
  • Follow the instructions for your selected option to prepare it according to your recipe.
  • Incorporate the creme fraiche or whipped cream into your dish, adjusting the amount to suit your taste.
  • Gently fold or mix it into your recipe to maintain its lightness and desired consistency.
  • Enjoy the creamy richness and velvety texture that creme fraiche or whipped cream adds to your culinary creation.
  • Experiment with different dishes and desserts to explore the versatility of these delightful toppings.
Keyword Creme Fraiche vs Whipped Cream
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