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I have a lot of leftover double cream and I was wondering if I could substitute it instead of butter in a biscuit recipe? I know it's a different consistency, so there would have to be some calculations on it - but has anyone done it? Can anyone offer any advice!

I was also thinking I could use it in a butter cream filling? Or would that not be possible?

Any advice welcome!

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Commercial butter has about 80% fat, 15% water and 5% solids. Depending on where you are located double cream has 48% fat (UK), 40% (Canada) and the remaining fraction is obviously water and little solids.

Supposed, you need 100g butter in your receipe. This means that the dough will have 80g fat and 15g water (for a simple calculation I omit the content of the milk solids). If you want to substitute butter with double cream, you will need about 165g double cream to have the same fat content in the dough as if you used butter. The problem is the water that you will have in the dough: You will have 83g water in the dough which is 5,5 times more. Since there is very likely little water in a biscuit receipe and it is not possible to adjust the amount of other liquids (because there are no other liquids) I doubt that this substitution will work with a biscuit receipe. With a cake receipe you might have more luck (e.g. leave 83g - 15g = 68g milk out).

Making a simple buttercream (as known as American buttercream) with double cream is not possible because it has almost no liquid. You could try other fillings like custard-based buttercreams. I am certain that there are plenty receipes for cake fillings with double cream.

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You can't really substitute double cream for butter as the fat/water ratio is different - it's basically just too wet. However, guess what they make butter out of - cream! If you 'over whip' cream, the fat separates from the liquid leaving you with fresh butter. Naturally this is easy if you have an electric mixer. If you're doing it by hand, prepare to be tired.

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    It can also be done very successfully in a food processor. One thing to note is that this butter will need to be drained pretty thoroughly -- like hanging in cheesecloth overnight -- and will still almost certainly contain more liquid than commercially-made butter. But it should work for the frosting! – Josh Caswell Sep 14 '15 at 17:53
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    We've done that. An alternative is to use a glass jar, half fill it with cream, and shake VERY vigorously. – Journeyman Geek Sep 15 '15 at 0:29
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I have tried a few times to use double cream instead of butter since seeing Ed Balls do it on Sport Relief Back off. I had a couple of failures but I've now successfuly used double cream instead of butter when making lemon drizzle cake. I didn't know about the fat/water content ratio so didn't take that into consideration. I used a victoria sponge ratio - weighed my eggs and then used equal amounts sugar, flour and double cream whipped to an almost 'overwhipped' consistency. The cake took much longer to cook so I covered with tinfoil and i'd say it took almost 20 -30 mins longer (prob that water content) but the texture was amazing. I didn't take it out of the oven when it passed the skewer test - I left it in there to cool so that it didn't collapse as had happened in previous trials). I'm definitely going to keep refining my recipe and will now take the water content into account too!

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    While I do think this is a very interesting approach, I don't think this actually answers the question. – Mien Feb 17 '16 at 11:01
  • Definitely interesting to know! Thanks! :) – hlh3406 Feb 18 '16 at 8:30

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