What exactly is double cream??


helena goodall


Could anyone tell me the difference between single and double cream? Ive come across a few recipes lately that ask foor "double cream" and I always wondered was there a difference. Thanks for any replies! 


Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
Fat percentages. I don't remember the exact break points on the scale. Wikipedia offers this description:

In the United States, cream is usually sold as:
  • Half and half (10.5–18% fat)
  • Light, coffee, or table cream (18–30% fat)
  • Medium cream (25% fat)
  • Whipping or light Whipping cream (30–36% fat)
  • Heavy Whipping cream (36% or more)
  • Extra-heavy, double, or manufacturer's cream (38–40% or more), generally not available at retail except at some warehouse and specialty stores.
Not all grades are defined by all jurisdictions, and the exact fat content ranges vary. The above figures are based on the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 21, Part 131[sup][2][/sup][sup][3][/sup] and a small sample[sup][which?][/sup] of state regulations.
Joined Jan 5, 2007
Here's an exract from Wikipedia for UK creams - they also list USA/Canada/Australia, too!

"In the United Kingdom, the types of cream are legally defined as follows:

Clotted cream 85% fat is heat treated Served as it is with scones, jam, etc.

Double cream 48% Whips the easiest and thickest for puddings and desserts, can be piped

Extra-Thick Double cream 48% is heat treated then quickly cooled Thickest available fresh cream, spooned onto pies, puddings, and desserts (cannot be poured due to its consistency)

Whipping cream 35% Whips well but lighter, can be piped

Whipped cream 35% has been whipped Decorations on cakes, topping for ice cream, strawberries etc.

Sterilized cream 23% is sterilized cream

Single cream 18% is not sterilized Poured over puddings, used in sauces

Sterilized half cream 12% is sterilized Half cream 12% is not sterilized Uncommon, used in some cocktails"
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