I can find whipping cream, half and half, and even clotted cream where I'm staying in the US but not double or single cream, are these familiar terms or is there a US equivalent term?


In the UK, single cream is a milk product with at least 18% butterfat. Double cream has 48% butterfat. Neither are common in the US.

If you can find clotted cream, which is 55% fat, then there is a chance of making double cream at home by diluting it. As some clotted creams have a cooked taste, there may be other solutions.

  • 1
    Was 5% fat for single cream a typo? Other answers I've found have said 18%. 5% isn't much more than whole milk, which is 4% fat.
    – Jimothy
    Nov 15 '15 at 16:27
  • @Jimothy is right. I fixed the answer (source bit.ly/1WUP4Uq). There is a cereal milk that runs at 5%, a tad creamier than US whole milk.
    – papin
    Nov 16 '15 at 3:08
  • Light cream (single cream) is generally available only in New England and the Mid-Atlantic states. I've been all over the US and never found it anywhere else. Mar 9 '20 at 8:14

Here's a link to the US specifications: 21 CFR PART 131—MILK AND CREAM

From there:

  • Light Cream (18% or more fat)
  • Heavy Cream (36% or more)
  • Dry Cream (I've never heard of it, 40% or more)

From the percentages provided by Papin's answer, it looks like:

  • U.S. Light Cream is likely Single Cream equivalent
  • Some U.S. Heavy Creams may be close to Double Cream
  • U.S. Dry Cream, if you can find it, is something to consider

Update, I also learned:

  • Looking at fat content alone is not enough to compare US v. UK creams. Pasteurization practices are also a large factor. Apparently most (or all?) U.S. heavy cream is processed using Ultra-high temperature processing (UHT), and UHT reportedly yields less flavorful heavy cream than UK double cream.

  • I read Double Cream, when used as a whipping cream, can be problematic. Apparently, it's higher fat content makes it prone to over-whipping if you don't pay close attention.


In Canada, we have

  • Half and Half (10%)
  • Table Cream (18%)
  • Whipping Cream (35%)

There's also a "Light" cream at about 6%, but that's a newer product.

So I've always taken Half and Half to be "Half cream", Table to be single (roughly 2 x 10%) and Whipping to be double (roughly 2 x 18%)


It's not exactly a direct answer, but in terms of practicalities, I tend to use Darigold Classic 36% Heavy Whipping Cream as a substitute for double cream in recipes. and I've had a lot of success, where the cream was intended for richness as opposed to thickness.


Manufacturing cream would be the closest substitute for double cream. It is heavy cream with a minimum of 40% butterfat and is available at Costco and Smart and Final. Sometimes manufacturing cream is labeled 'heavy cream' but the label will say 40% butterfat.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.