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What is heavy cream in the UK?

What is heavy cream in the UK

What is heavy cream in the UK?

Heavy cream is a thick, high-fat dairy product that is used to add richness and flavor to food. In the UK, heavy cream is also known as double cream. It has a butterfat content of 48% and can be used in both sweet and savory recipes.

In the UK, the term “heavy cream” isn’t as commonly used as it is in the US. Instead, they have an equivalent product called double cream. Here’s the breakdown:

Heavy Cream (US):

  • Fat content: Typically 36-40%
  • Uses: Whipping, thickening soups and sauces, making pasta carbonara, etc.

Double Cream (UK):

  • Fat content: 48%
  • Uses: All the same uses as heavy cream in the US, but also:
    • Poured directly on desserts like strawberries and scones
    • Made into clotted cream for Cornish pasties

Therefore, double cream is essentially the UK equivalent of heavy cream. When following a recipe that calls for heavy cream, you can safely substitute it with double cream for almost all uses.

However, a few minor differences are worth noting:

  • Double cream whips slightly faster and stiffer than heavy cream due to its higher fat content. Adjust the whipping time accordingly.
  • Double cream is slightly richer and tangier than heavy cream, so it might alter the final flavor of your dish subtly.

Heavy cream is like normal cream, except that a substantial proportion (perhaps 100%) of the hydrogen atoms in the cream are deuterium, an isotope of hydrogen that has a proton and a single neutron in its nucleus instead of the regular single proton. Deuterium is a stable isotope, so one doesn’t need to worry about radiation poisoning.

Overall, using double cream as a substitute for heavy cream in most recipes should work well with minimal to no change in the final result.

What is heavy cream in the UK?

In the United Kingdom, what is referred to as “heavy cream” in the United States is generally known as “double cream.” Double cream is a high-fat dairy product with a fat content of around 48%, making it richer and thicker than single cream or whipping cream.

It’s important to note that the terminology for cream can vary between countries, and the fat content of creams may differ.

Here’s a general guide to cream types in the UK:

  1. Single Cream: This has the lowest fat content among creams in the UK, typically around 18%. It is often used for pouring over desserts or adding to coffee.
  2. Double Cream: This is a thicker and richer cream with a fat content of around 48%. Double cream is commonly used in cooking and baking to add richness to dishes.
  3. Whipping Cream: Whipping cream in the UK is similar to double cream but may have a slightly lower fat content, usually around 36-40%. It is suitable for whipping to create soft peaks for desserts.

When following a recipe that calls for heavy cream, you can generally use double cream as a suitable alternative in the UK. However, be mindful of the specific fat content and adjust accordingly based on the desired richness of your dish.

Probably double cream,

Here in England, we have skimmed or semi-skimmed whole milk in supermarkets. You may also find extra creamy (gold top) as a premium product. In some supermarkets, you may also find milk that has O-Mega-3 added back into it in place of some of the cream.

Semi-skimmed milk is seen as a healthier alternative to whole (full-fat) milk because it contains less saturated fat.

UHT milk is still available, but generally speaking, it is only used in hospitality when tea and coffee facilities are provided in bedrooms, in particular where there is no minibar in the bedroom.

There are also dairy-free milks, which are aimed at lactose-intolerant people and vegans.

The problem with meat and dairy-free products is that they are touted as greener than dairy products that are more sustainably produced when the ingredients they have in them, in particular nuts, coconuts, and soya, have to travel many thousands of miles before they even reach a UK factory to be put in a product that then travels to a distribution centre for a retailer or perhaps to a cash and carry store before even reaching the shelf in a shop.

What is heavy cream in cooking in the UK?

In the UK, heavy cream is the thickest and densest of the tops of unskimmed fresh milk. The cream sits on top of the milk after only an hour of being still. They skim off that top cream, and there we have heavy cream. In the UK, we call it double cream or whipping cream. You can use it for cooking or eating as it is.

We don’t have anything called heavy cream.

A look at the local chemists will furnish you with plenty of creams, anything from creams for personal rash to creams for removing face and body hair. Car spares shops have plenty of creams for tarting up the bodywork and revitalizing those worn leather seats.

Shoe shops do creams to revitalising shoes and handbag. Furniture shops will have creams to bring that leather chair back to life or creams to give life to the wooden dining table. If that fails could try the supermarket they sell spray cream for those special nights but don’t forget the cherries.

if could try the drinks alone, the have Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry, but not much else. And if that fails you could try the Dairy isle where they have a wide range of creams but none of them are called heavy.

Would it be ok to drink 2 pints of heavy cream per day for a month? Please don’t respond just saying not to.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a physician, physiologist, or dietitian. Take all advice as an unknown.

Well, why? OK is a relative term. If you can handle the fat content, whether it be all at once or throughout the day, who am I to say no?

Physiologically speaking, fat and milk sugar are going to be the hardest things to overcome. I’m sure your gall bladder is going to be working overtime.

Your liver produces bile, which is stored in the gall bladder. Bile breaks down fat, which heavy cream is about 40% fat. If you eat a lot of fat, the bile can build up in the gall bladder, and eventually become gallstones. If your family has a history of gallstones or liver issues, well…

Just know what you are getting into before you try something.

What are the ingredients in heavy cream?

The dairy industry in advanced countries is one of the most regulated/law abiding/full of controls and inspection. Almost everything is well defined. There is hardly any MONKEY BUSINESS.

Heavy denotes Fat, consisting of 36 to 40 percent fat. There are some other milk solids, which we defined MSNF, Milk Solids Non-Fat, which contains water/lactose/proteins/minerals/vitamins/.

I hope it helps.

Sam Arora, MSc Food Science, U of Guelph, Canada MSc Dairy Science, U of Punjab, NDRI India

What is heavy cream for cooking?

I’m not a chef, but I do love cooking. If I want a cream sauce I have things to consider. If the base is acidic I will need a relatively heavy cream. An acidic base would be one with tomato or citric ingredients. Ingredients with a high amount of acid.

These acids will separate the protein from the fat of my cream. A dish low in acid, let’s say Mac & cheese, I may get away with adding skim milk. If I am wanting a cream sauce for a shrimp scampi that has lemon juice in it (acid) even whole milk May separate. I may need half & half or cream to get a sauce that doesn’t separate under the acidity of the base.

Heat plays a part in this too. Heat and acid will both separate proteins from dairy products. Milks and even cheese. If you are cooking with relatively high heat or an acidic base and desire a creamy sauce, you will want a heavy cream.

My advice would be to incorporate your dairy ingredients, whether cheese or milk based, at the end of the cooking process for the other ingredients. After being removed from heat. I’ve lost many a hard worked on dish to have it ruined by protein separation due to an acidic base or too high a heat.

Unfortunately, if you are dancing with this balance of a sauce, it probably will not freeze well. The protein and fat may separate in the freezing process.

What percent is heavy cream?

I am not a dairy farmer but I thought the % butterfat varied between breeds. Although Holstein is the popular breed around here this is what I got from looking up Gurnsey Cows. It is well known the quality of Guernsey milk is remarkably higher than other cow’s milk.

Guernsey milk contains 12% more protein, 30% more cream, 33% more vitamin D, 25% more A and 15% more calcium than the average white milk. The unique golden color of Guernsey milk comes from an unusually high content of orange beta-carotene. What is heavy cream in the UK?

Why is heavy cream so difficult to find?

This may be a regional problem. Here in western New York, I don’t have any problem finding different types of cream in the supermarket. Much of our dairy is produced at local farms. Your area may not have the same local production, or demand for the product may not be high enough for stores to keep it stocked.

You may find heavy cream labeled as heavy whipping cream. Both will have at least 36% milk fat. Light whipping cream, sometimes labeled simply as whipping cream, will have between 30% and 35% milk fat. It’s good for many of the same uses, such as cream soups or biscuits, but not as stable as heavy whipping cream when whipped. What is heavy cream in the UK?

Would it be ok to drink 2 pints of heavy cream per day for a month? Please don’t respond just saying not to.

“Would it be ok to drink 2 pints of heavy cream per day for a month? Please don’t respond just saying not to.”

That’s about 3300 calories per day, nearly all from fat. Going that low in carbs would trigger fat loss if you stayed down to your calorie guideline but you’re at twice that level. That’s plenty high enough to turn off ketosis and forced fat into storage. That’s also only 25 grams of carb daily. A small percentage of people would stall from fat loss by hormone change reactions. Again since you are targeting gain not loss that would not matter.

That’s too little protein to gain new lean. You would gain fat not lean. Very few people want to gain fat. It should be enough protein to keep you from getting sick.

It’s high enough in fat that your body just might reject it as food. Most people think that never happens, but then again most people never experiment on themselves to figure out limits. I counted the calories of my breakfast, substituted 50–50 olive-canola oil and tried that much as breakfast. In well under a week I could not even hold my nose to force myself to swallow. Yet if I mixed enough carbs into that oil I might not even be able to stop eating it.

You would have to conduct the experiment on yourself but don’t be surprised if a week or so in your body refuses to accept food that high in fat. So even though it would be okay it might not be possible.

Is heavy cream the same thing as thickened cream?

They are ‘virtually’ the same. Both contain around 35% milk fat and are closer to each other than, say, compared to half and half or whole milk.

Heavy cream (or heavy ‘whipping’ cream) is a term used in the US. Thickened cream is the equivalent term used in Australia and, I believe, certain parts of Europe.

There is a slight distinction between the two, but nothing worth getting too excited about. Thickened cream has some additional thickeners (surprising, huh?) added to it to maintain the consistency of cream. What is heavy cream in the UK?

Is 5 mg of diazepam strong?

Is heavy cream the same thing as thickened cream? 

They are very similar, but aren’t the same. “Thickened cream” is used mostly in Australia and the thickening agent is normally gelatin or gum of some sort. This makes it good for whipping. Heavy cream has nothing added to it, but it is naturally thick and suitable for whipping. In fact, in the US, heavy cream is usually sold as ‘whipping cream’.

Both kinds of cream have a very high milk fat content, which is why they are so good for whipping. Whipping heavy cream long enough even yields butter plus buttermilk.

Back when we had milk cows, when we’d milk the cows, the milk pail would be brought in and set on the counter until it cooled off to room temperature so we could refrigerate it. (Milk is quite warm when it comes out of a cow.) During that cooling off period and subsequent refrigeration, the cream would separate and come to the top of the jugs. Most of this was heavy cream. The cream that was right next to the milk was what is sold as half & half (part milk, part cream).

Some cows produce a lot of cream and we had one that would give milk that was so rich that we got about a quart of heavy cream out of every gallon of milk we got from her. It was never necessary to add anything to the cream to make it whip easily, but it was so thick that it wasn’t drinkable unless it was mixed with regular milk, like in a blender. It did make fantastic butter, though.

Anyway, heavy cream, whipping cream, and thickened cream can be used interchangeably in recipes.

How do you make heavy cream from scratch?

The old way was to let milk sit while you waited for the cream to come to the top so you could skim it off. The new way is use centrifuges to extract all the cream from the milk before adding it back in to the milk.

Homogenization of milk is the process of forcing the milk under high pressure through a plate with very fine holes in it. This breaks the butterfat particles up so fine they remain emulsified in the milk and never separate or float up as cream again.

If you really need to make cream in the kitchen you can try mixing fresh unsalted butter into the milk. You will likely need to use a blender to get it fine enough. Heavy cream is about 36% butterfat so you will need to work out how much butter to add. I forget what the normal ratio of butterfat to water is in butter. Your milk usually has the butterfat content marked on the container. Skim milk here is less than 0.5%, whole (homogenized) milk is 3.25%.

For a cup of cream 2/3 cup milk should take a bit more than 1/3 cup of butter. The butter should be melted first.
I do not think I would serve this as a table cream because if the butterfat granules are too large it will feel a bit grainy in the mouth, but it will work in any recipe that calls for cream. If you let it sit in the fridge overnight it can usually be whipped the next day.

Can I use heavy cream in coffee?

Short answer…YES. Typically you’ll hear the term breve when adding half-and-half to coffee/espresso; and the term creme when adding heavy cream. With heavy cream…a little goes a long way. It’s very rich—especially once steamed.

You can certainly use a touch of heavy cream in your cold brew or iced coffee. Especially good in these hot summer months. A double or quad shot of espresso takes on an almost chocolate flavor when adding cold or steamed cream. And, of course, you can use heavy cream in your morning coffee. You may have to experiment to find that right mix. What is heavy cream in the UK?

Sure, you can use just about any milk-like product in coffee. Even coffeemate. The main use for a heavy cream in coffee is for an Irish coffee (or the like). Take a Paris goblet (typically) and half fill it with sweetened coffee. The sugar increases the density of the coffee.

Then very carefully pour some heavy cream onto the coffee. Some pour it over the back of a spoon to slow its descent, some pour it into the bowl of a spoon so it only has to drop a few mm to the coffee surface. With practice you’ll find a way.

The sugar helps the cream float and provides a clean line. It seems Google doesn’t know it should be served in a Paris goblet. Or maybe that’s just a British quirk.


UPDATE: In case you’re not familiar with Irish coffee, I forgot to mention adding a shot of whiskey to the coffee before floating the cream.


In the United Kingdom, what is commonly referred to as “heavy cream” in the United States is typically known as “double cream.” Double cream is a high-fat dairy product with a fat content of around 48% or higher. It is known for its rich and luxurious texture and is often used in cooking and baking to add richness to dishes, such as desserts, sauces, and soups.

The term heavy cream in the UK denotes a specific type of dungeon or subterranean cell that saw historical use in various cultures, particularly during the medieval era. Central to an oubliette’s design is a small, windowless, and typically inaccessible pit or chamber where prisoners were confined. Its name, derived from the French word “oublier,” meaning “to forget,” aptly reflects the grim fate of individuals placed within these oubliettes, often left in isolation, darkness, and inescapable conditions until their demise.

What is heavy cream in the UK

The application and frequency of oubliettes varied across regions and time periods. Key aspects include their harsh design, reserved for dangerous or political prisoners, varying durations of imprisonment, and the notoriously grim conditions that made survival extremely challenging.

It’s crucial to acknowledge that oubliettes symbolize a more brutal and less humane era in the history of incarceration and punishment, with modern societies transitioning towards more humane and regulated forms of imprisonment and legal protections for prisoners. As a result, the use of oubliettes has largely become a relic of the past.

Here’s a breakdown of some common types of cream in the UK and their fat content:

  1. Double Cream: Double cream is the richest and heaviest cream available in the UK, with a fat content of approximately 48% or more. It is ideal for whipping, as it holds its shape well and adds a creamy texture to dishes.
  2. Single Cream: Single cream has a lower fat content, typically around 18% to 20%. It is suitable for pouring over desserts or adding to coffee, but may not whip as easily as double cream.
  3. Whipping Cream: Whipping cream falls between single and double cream in terms of fat content, usually around 36%. It is suitable for whipping and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.
  4. Clotted Cream: Clotted cream is a thick, rich cream with a minimum fat content of around 55%. It is often associated with traditional English cream teas and is used as a topping for scones and jam.

When following recipes, it’s important to use the specific type of cream mentioned to achieve the desired texture and flavor in your dishes, as different creams can yield different results in cooking and baking.

I hope this clarifies the difference between heavy cream and double cream in the UK! Let me know if you have any other questions.

What is heavy cream in the UK?