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?


5 Answers 5


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, 2015 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, 2015 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, 2020 at 8:14

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%)


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.


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.

  • USA only, not available in Canada sadly. Mar 14, 2022 at 1:14

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