I have a recipe for chocolate pudding that calls for Light Cream. I haven't ever seen light cream in the store. What is it? Also what can be used as a substitute?

2 Answers 2


This is somewhat regionally-dependent. You'll want to take into account where your recipe is from.

In the U.S., light cream is 18% fat (although, officially it can be anywhere from 18-30%). It is equivalent to table cream in Canada and single cream or just cream in the UK. I believe it is also sometimes referred to as table cream or coffee cream in the U.S.

The term is in contrast to heavy cream (also known as double cream or whipping cream in some regions) which is 36% fat.

In Canada, light cream actually refers to 5-6% "low-fat" cream, and seems to be used most often as a coffee creamer. This particular type of cream doesn't seem to be popular anywhere else.

See the Wikipedia page on cream for more detailed comparisons and terminology from other regions.

  • +1. “Coffee cream” is a particularly dangerous term — it sometimes refers to a vile blend of cream and cheap fillers/sweeteners (vegetable fats, high fructose corn syrup, etc.).
    – PLL
    Feb 13, 2011 at 19:50
  • @PLL: I think that the honest ones call it "creamer" - in some areas, calling it "cream" might actually be in violation of federal or state/provincial regulations.
    – Aaronut
    Feb 13, 2011 at 22:50
  • 1
    Canada has "half and half" which is 10% (imagine it's half 18% and half 2% which is our "normal" milk) and that is normally what you would put in your coffee. That's why 5% is "light" in that context. Feb 14, 2011 at 16:46
  • @Kate: That is true, and I think half-and-half (or just half-cream) exists everywhere. The exact percentage varies slightly but it's always somewhere around 10%.
    – Aaronut
    Feb 14, 2011 at 17:09

Light cream is usually full cream with some (up to most) of the fat removed (and usually gum and other stuff added to simulate the texture and other properties of full cream). You should be able to substitute with the same amount of full cream.

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