Can You Use Heavy Whipping Cream in Coffee? (Full Explanation)
Coffee is one of those nearly universal beverages everyone seems to enjoy, and coffee lovers are continually trying to find ways to make their drinks taste even better.
Of course, people often use sugar and cream, but others get a little more creative, adding cinnamon, butter, egg whites, or even ice cream to their coffee! But what about heavy whipping cream?
You can add heavy whipping cream to coffee. It gives the drink a creamy texture and a sweet flavor. It’s also a good option for people on low-carb or keto diets because it’s high in fat and low in carbs. Adding heavy cream is all about taste and feel, though. It has no real health benefits.
This article will give you more information on adding heavy whipping cream to your coffee, why you might want to do it, and what ingredients it can replace.
I’ll also cover a few reasons why some people might want to avoid using it as well as three of my favorite coffee and heavy whipping cream recipes with you.
Can You Use Heavy Whipping Cream in Coffee?
The simple answer to this question is yes; you can use heavy whipping cream in coffee. Doing so is perfectly safe, assuming you don’t have any allergies or health issues that would make it risky for you.
Adding heavy whipping cream to coffee has plenty of benefits for making the coffee taste better and feel thicker and creamier.
It doesn’t necessarily provide any health benefits, though. However, for diabetics and people on low-carb/keto diets, it can be a low-carb alternative to sugar and milk.
Can I Use Heavy Whipping Cream Instead of Milk for Coffee?
Because heavy whipping cream contains very little lactose—much less than milk—those who are lactose-intolerant may also benefit from substituting the cream for milk in their coffee.
Just be aware that heavy cream has a much higher fat content than most kinds of milk, especially milk alternatives like soy and almond milk.
Can You Use Heavy Whipping Cream Instead of Half-and-Half?
Again, the simple answer to this question is yes; you can use heavy whipping cream instead of half-and-half, but your coffee will not taste or feel the same.
Half-and-half is half cream and half milk, whereas heavy cream is made entirely of cream. As a result, it’s thicker, creamier, richer, sweeter, and has more fat. If those are the attributes you’re looking for in a cup of coffee, heavy whipping cream is an excellent alternative.
What’s the Difference Between Heavy Whipping Cream and Creamer?
Put simply, heavy whipping cream is a natural product. It’s a dairy product that comes from milk.
Coffee creamer, on the other hand, isn’t usually a natural product. (Although you can now buy natural coffee creamer products, such as Coffee Mate Natural Bliss Almond Milk Creamer from Amazon.com).
Traditionally, though, coffee creamer is a sweetener made of lots of artificial flavors and non-natural ingredients.
Additionally, coffee creamer regularly (though not always) comes in powdered form. In contrast, heavy whipping cream is usually (though not always) liquid. Coffee creamer is also available in plenty of dairy-free options.
Is Heavy Whipping Cream the Same As Whipped Cream?
Heavy whipping cream is an ingredient in whipped cream, but the two are not the same thing. Renaissance.mom sums it up quite nicely by explaining that heavy whipping cream has the potential to be whipped, which will then double its volume.
On the other hand, whipped cream is heavy whipping cream that’s already been whipped and is ready to cook with or eat. You can usually find it in tubs or aerosol cans.
Most people think of Cool Whip when they think of whipped cream, but Cool Whip is an imitation product, much like Velveeta cheese. It is similar to whipped cream, though.
Reasons To Add Heavy Whipping Cream to Coffee
As I’ve mentioned, heavy whipping cream has less lactose than milk, making it a tasty option for lactose-intolerant individuals. Furthermore, it’s relatively low in carbohydrates, perfect for diabetics and others with sugar issues or on low-carb diets like the keto diet.
However, if none of those things applies to you, why would you want to use heavy whipping cream in your coffee?
The short answer: Because it makes your coffee absolutely delicious.
Heavy cream gives you the ability to make Starbucks-quality coffee right in your own kitchen. It adds both sweetness and creaminess to coffee.
Plus, it makes it richer and more filling. So if you’re one of those people who starts the day off with coffee and no food, you might seriously want to consider adding heavy cream.
Not only will it make you feel fuller and more satisfied, but the cream might also help cut down on some of the acidity from the coffee. Drinking coffee on an empty stomach is a great way to give yourself a major case of heartburn and other digestive issues.
Heavy dairy products, like cream, are high in fat, and a little fat is necessary for good, solid digestion.
Is Heavy Whipping Cream Good for You?
In moderation, heavy whipping cream isn’t bad for you. However, whether it’s good for you depends on your specific dietary needs and health goals.
If you’re trying to lower your daily caloric intake, then heavy cream can make that difficult. Nevertheless, if you’re cutting carbs and still want something sweet and creamy in your coffee, it can help with that.
Furthermore, as I’ve already mentioned, the fat in heavy cream can help improve your overall digestion and cut down on heartburn. Even so, I’m not sure you could say that heavy cream is “good” for you.
For example, it isn’t good for you in the way that something like broccoli or kale is good for you. It doesn’t have a ton of health benefits.
But it isn’t bad for you, and it makes coffee taste great, so I feel like that makes it good for me, at least.
What Are Heavy Whipping Cream’s Nutrition Facts?
One way to decide whether heavy cream is good for you is to check out the nutrition facts on a container of heavy whipping cream.
Depending on which brand you buy, the nutrition facts may look slightly different. Still, in general, they stick pretty closely to the following figures:
(Note: All nutrition facts are taken from the nutrition facts listed on the USDA’s FoodData Central Site and reflect the values in one cup of heavy whipping cream.)
- Calories: 408 (1,707 Joules)
- Protein: 3.41 grams (0.12 ounces)
- Fat: 43.3 grams (1.53 ounces)
- Carbs: 3.41 grams (0.12 ounces)
- Sugar: 3.5 grams (0.18 ounces)
Heavy whipping cream also has a decent amount of calcium and vitamin A.
Reasons To Avoid Heavy Whipping Cream in Coffee
Now that we’ve discussed a few of the reasons you might want to add heavy cream to your coffee, let’s talk about a few of the reasons you might have for avoiding it.
For the most part, there are no serious adverse effects associated with adding heavy whipping cream to coffee.
Unlike bacon, sodas, and doughnuts—all those delicious foods we love that scientists have proven are bad for us—heavy whipping cream is primarily okay when used sparingly.
However, it is high in fat and calories, so if you’re trying to watch your fat intake or you’re on a low-calorie diet, this might not be the best coffee additive for you. Also, with any food that’s high in fat and calories, you want to use it modestly; don’t overdo it.
The better something tastes, the harder that is to do, but it’s important to limit yourself.
How Much Heavy Whipping Cream Should You Use in Coffee?
As with anything that tastes delicious and high in fat, moderation is key, but figuring out how much cream you should use is largely subjective. The amount you’ll add to your coffee depends on:
- Your taste buds
- Your dietary needs and restrictions
- Your weight loss goals (if applicable)
- How much coffee you drink at one time
I suggest starting small, perhaps with a teaspoon or tablespoon, and adding more in equally small increments until you reach your desired flavor and level of creaminess. If you’re on a calorie-restricted diet, you may want to measure out a single serving instead carefully.
Does Heavy Whipping Cream Curdle in Coffee?
Coffee can curdle heavy whipping cream, but it can also curdle half-and-half, milk, and even almond milk. Coffee is acidic, and any acid can curdle the cream. However, if you’re using a reasonable amount of good, fresh cream, it shouldn’t happen.
Cream usually curdles in coffee when it (the cream) is starting to go bad (or has already gone bad). The hotter the coffee and the older the cream, the more likely the cream is to curdle.
Furthermore, if you’re using other additives in your coffee that contain even more acid, such as flavored syrups, that could be enough to curdle even fresh cream.
Can You Use Milk and Sugar With Heavy Whipping Cream?
The answer is always going to be yes. It’s your coffee. If you want to add Resee’s Pieces, a hardboiled egg, and a can of tuna fish to it, you can do that!
However, just because you can add something to your coffee doesn’t necessarily mean you should. If you want to add heavy whipping cream, whole milk, and sugar to your coffee, go right ahead. You don’t necessarily need to use all that, though.
Because heavy whipping cream is both sweet and creamy, it usually takes the place of sugar and milk in most people’s coffee.
However, some people claim their cup of Joe still isn’t quite sweet enough with heavy cream alone, and they add a dash of sugar to sweeten it up a bit more. But, overall, not a lot of coffee drinkers add milk along with heavy whipping cream.
There are a few exceptions to this, as well. For example, some people don’t like the full-flavored taste of heavy whipping cream, instead preferring half-and-half in their coffee. To make their own half-and-half, they usually combine whole milk and cream.
There are plenty of ways to do this, but the percentage of milk to cream that’ll get you closest to the store-bought version of half-and-half is 75% whole milk to 25% heavy whipping cream. People use this homemade half-and-half more often in recipes, but others also use the mixture in their coffee.
What Other Ingredients Taste Good With Heavy Whipping Cream?
If all you’re looking for is a sweet, creamy cup of coffee, heavy cream is all you need. But, on the other hand, if you’re looking for a yummy drink that’s a little more complex and tastes more like something special you’d get at Starbucks, you might want to add a few other ingredients.
These are some of the ones that taste the best in coffee with heavy cream:
- Brown sugar
- Chocolate syrup
- Caramel drizzle
- Sea salt
- Dulce de leche
- Fruit-flavored syrups
- Nut-flavored syrups
- Vanilla extract
Let your taste buds guide you in the right direction when selecting ingredients to add to coffee. However, if you’re using the heavy whipping cream to find a sweetener or creamer without a ton of carbs, be aware that adding too many of these extras could defeat the purpose.
Best Coffee and Heavy Whipping Cream Recipes
As you can see from the additional ingredients list above, there’s a lot you can do with coffee and heavy whipping cream. With a few extras, you can make some really incredible drinks.
It’s hard for me to pick a favorite, but I limited myself to the three best coffee and cream recipes I’ve ever tried.
Emeril’s Kicked Up Coffee Drink
Emerils’ Kicked Up Coffee Drink is perfect for those of us who love strong coffee and rich chocolate. You can find the original recipe on Yummly, but here’s a simple overview of what you need and how to make it.
- 2 ½ cups (591.5 ml) strong coffee (freshly brewed)
- ½ cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons (5.2 g) powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons (25 g) sugar
- ½ cup (120 ml) chocolate liqueur
- ¼ cup (60 ml) walnut liqueur
- ¼ cup (60 ml) coffee liqueur
- (Optional) sweetened cocoa powder for a garnish
- Beat the cream, allowing small peaks to form.
- Add powdered sugar, beat.
- When more small peaks form, set the mixture aside.
- Use a heat-resistant pitcher, such as Asng’s Heat-Resistant Glass Pitcher from Amazon.com, to combine the remaining ingredients.
- Stir until the sugar melts.
- Pour into mugs, top with more cream, and add the cocoa powder garnish.
The whole process takes about 45 minutes and makes enough for four people. It’s sweet, strong, and delicious.
Perfect Keto Coffee
Perfect Keto Coffee is an excellent option for those on the keto diet. It’s creamy and has a nice foam on top. Best of all, for keto dieters, it has only two total carbs! You can find the full recipe on ruled.me. Here are the highlights:
- 2 cups (473 ml) coffee
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) lactose-free (or heavy) whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons (28.35 g) unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) cold-pressed coconut oil, such as Viva Naturals Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil from Amazon.com
- (Optional) 1 tablespoon (15 ml) vanilla extract
- Add all ingredients into a blender, preferably an immersion blender like the Amazon Basics Immersion Hand Blender.
- Blend for 45 – 60 seconds, then enjoy.
This cup of low-carb coffee takes significantly less time to make than the more elaborate Emeril’s one, and it’s much better for those counting carbs.
I wrote another guide on keto butter coffee if you want to find out more.
Caramel Cream Macchiato Coffee
If you’re looking for something that’s a little more like what you might order at Starbucks, try this final recipe for Caramel Cream Macchiato Coffee instead. It’s insanely sweet, and it has a ton of flavor, which is surprising considering it only requires four ingredients.
I first found this recipe on Food.com, and now I’m sharing it with you.
- 2-3 cups (473 to 710 ml) hot brewed coffee
- 1 cup (250 ml) heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons (44 ml) jarred caramel topping
- 1⁄2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) vanilla extract
- Use an electric mixer to beat all non-coffee ingredients (low speed) until soft peaks start forming.
- Divide the mixture into two mugs.
- Pour the coffee over the top of each mug.
The recipe doesn’t call for it, but I like to add a dash of sea salt to the top of mine. It just gives it this little extra oomph that makes it taste so much better.
Unless you have an allergy or other medical reason that keeps you from consuming it, heavy whipping cream is a perfectly safe option for coffee. It adds plenty of flavors and a thick, creamy texture that’ll help you feel fuller and more satisfied after your morning (or evening) cup of Joe.
It’s an excellent alternative for those sensitive to lactose or who have issues with blood sugar. It can also help reduce the risk of heartburn and other digestive problems by combatting coffee’s natural acidity. So if you like thick, sweet coffee, this may be the miracle additive for you.