What Is the Equivalent of Double and Single Cream in the US?

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Do you love adding cream to most recipes you make at home? Is it hard for you to find single and double creams in the US, and are you wondering if they come by some other names there? If yes, you are at the right place. 

Single and Double creams are actually named after the fat content they come with. However, in the US, when you look at the fat content of different cream types, it appears that the Light Cream with a fat content of 18% or more is equivalent to single cream. 

Similarly, heavy creams in the US with a fat content of 36% or more are almost the same as double cream. 

We have put together a detailed guide for you introducing single and double creams and their equivalents in the US. We will also take you through some single as well as double cream substitutes that you can add to your recipes. 


What Is Single Cream? 

Single cream, as the name suggests, is the type of cream which is pretty lightweight. This, in simple words, means that this cream has the lowest fat content among all other creams you will find in the market. 

However, being low in fat content isn’t the only thing that makes it the number one choice of most health and fitness freaks. It’s actually pretty creamy and luxurious in its texture and will add to the flavour of any dish you include it in. 

Being velvety and smooth in its texture, it can also serve as an incredible topping for your desserts. It can serve as an essential component of sauces, especially white sauce people generally make at home for pasta. 

The uses of single cream aren’t limited to toppings as it can also serve as an excellent coffee creamer as the core ingredient is milk in it. Though it’s best consumed unboiled and raw, heating it a little bit can still add to its creamy texture and will give you a delightful flavour. 

As far as the fat content is concerned, it has merely 18 to 20 per cent of fat in it, which is excellent for creamy dairy products. 


What Is the Equivalent of Single Cream In the US? 

Though generally, the cream with the least fat content goes by the name Single cream in different countries, you might find it hard to find a cream with such a name in the US. It’s because, in the US, the single cream goes by the name of Light Cream. 

Light Cream, in the US, is known to be the one with the lowest fat content, i.e., between 18 to 30 per cent of fat and is often called table cream or coffee cream. So, if you have recently moved to the US or have just discovered about single cream, you need to know that the equivalent of single cream in the US is light cream. 


Single Cream Substitutes In the US 

Though light cream or single cream is pretty famous in the US, owing to its excessive use, it generally remains out of stock in most places. But don’t worry; we have some excellent single or light cream alternatives that you can add to your recipes and enjoy the same taste as a light cream. 

  • Greek Yogurt 

The first substitute for single cream on our list is greek yogurt. Though it’s quite healthy and packed with a lot of nutritional value on its own, it can also serve as an incredible single-cream alternative and be used in many recipes. 

All you need to do to turn the greek yogurt into a texture that’s almost like single cream is to whisk it thoroughly. The flavour of greek yogurt is more on the tangy side, and it can prove to be an excellent replacement for single-cream in fruit salads and other recipes where you need cream as a dressing. 

Being rich in lactic acid and calcium, it is best to be used in savoury recipes. You can use greek yogurt to marinate meat mixed with the spices of your choice, as this will help tenderize the meat and allow its richness to seep into each piece. 

Although single cream is considered one of the best low-fat cream options you can find in the market, greek yougurt is a lot healthier and tastier and has a rich texture too. 

However, one thing you should be careful about with greek yougurt while using it as a substitute for single cream is never to heat it. Doing so will completely ruin the creamy and velvety texture of the cream, and you will end up seeing the milk separating from it. 

Greek yougurt, as a single cream alternative, is best to be used in curries and other savoury and spicy dishes. Adding it to your dishes won’t only add to the recipe’s richness and creaminess but will also provide it with a fresh taste. 

  • Buttermilk 

Next up on the list is buttermilk. Though buttermilk is a little lighter in texture and less greasy compared to single cream, it still has it all to serve as an excellent single-cream substitute. However, before considering buttermilk as the single cream alternative, you need to know that it is rich in lacto bacteria, which being zesty, has pretty limited usage. 

Just like greek yogurt, buttermilk can also be used in savoury and spicy dishes. It’s excellent for marinating different meats and vegetables for making savouries and can also be a wholesome salad dressing. 

Unlike most of the single-cream alternatives you can find in the market, this one is a potential option to be used in deserts like pancakes, crepes, as well as cheesecakes. You can even use buttermilk for frosting. But adding some kind of vanilla flavouring or powdered sugar is recommended to balance out the tanginess of buttermilk. 

The uses of buttermilk also include it in coffees and other creamy drinks. As buttermilk isn’t as tangy as greek yougurt, it won’t affect the flavour of beverages much and can serve as an excellent single-cream substitute for them. 

Here is a YouTube video you can see to find out how to make buttermilk at your home. 

  • Coconut Cream 

If you are looking for some non-dairy single-cream substitutes, nothing can be as good as coconut cream. Most professional chefs and cooking experts love adding it to their replacing for the extra richness in place of single-cream. 

The best part about coconut cream is that it gives a sense of comfortness to the dishes it’s being added to. Using coconut cream in South Asian cuisines to overcome the spiciness of certain dishes is pretty standard. 

In addition to being used as a replacement for single cream in most recipes, coconut cream has extensive uses on its own. Coconut cream sauces are famous and sold in multiple countries due to their creamy texture and richness. 

Many people out there also love adding coconut cream to their cereals as it has a negligible fat content and the best taste one can ask for. Honestly, if you begin to think of the dishes and recipes that can go well with coconut cream, the list will be endless. 

If you have no problem with coconut’s taste and overpowering fragrance, you do not need to look for other single-cream substitutes. 

Another incredible thing about coconut cream that makes it a reliable single-cream substitute is its availability in different forms and textures. You can find this cream in powder, block, as well as a cream form that adds to the list of recipes you can make using it. 

You can freely use coconut cream in dishes that need cooking or heating up, as this will only add to the richness and creaminess it has to offer. You need to be careful with coconut creams and never buy a big batch of them. It’s because they have a low storage time, and if stored for a long time, you can see water separating out in the top, making them non-consumable over time. 

  • Evaporated Milk 

Evaporated milk is readily available everywhere and can serve as a reliable single-cream alternative. If you don’t know already, it is regular milk that is evaporated till only 40% of water is left in it. 

Due to the whole evaporation process, the milk becomes concentrated and rich in nutritional content. Though evaporated milk has a low-calorie count but is still fatty enough to be used as an alternative to single cream in most recipes. 

On visiting the market, you can find numerous varieties of evaporated milk, including 1%, 2% and other percentages of evaporated milk content. Still, the best way is to go with the milk with a one-to-one reconstitution ratio. This ratio is the most suitable for use as a cream substitute. 

As far as this substitute is concerned, it can be used in both cooking and baking recipes as a replacement for single-cream. You can use this milk to make desserts like brownies, fudge, and even ice creams. 

Similarly, the usage of evaporated milk as a substitute for single cream also extends to making savoury and soupy dishes, where you usually use single cream for that thick and creamy texture. 

Evaporated milk can be stored in your pantry for a long time, making it an even better substitute. You can store it on your shelf too. However, once the milk is reconstituted, you need to use it as soon as possible. 

Owing to the high viscosity of evaporated milk, it can even replace double cream in some cases. 


What Is Double Cream? 

Now that you have looked at the introduction of single cream, its equivalent in the US and some of its readily available substitutes in the US market, let us now move towards double cream. 

Double cream, unlike single cream, has a much higher fat content. It is one of the thickest creams out there and has extensive uses in numerous recipes. As far as the percentage of fat content is concerned, it can go beyond 42%. 

This additional fat in the double cream is known for giving it the rich, thick and creamy texture you crave in desserts.


What Is the Equivalent of Double Cream In the US? 

In the US, double cream is known by the name of heavy cream or whipping cream. Though it’s hard to say that both the heavy cream in the US and the double cream are exactly alike, they are a lot similar, and it’s nearly impossible to tell the difference. 

However, you can still find some differences in the fat content in both double and heavy creams. For instance, as explained before, double cream has a fat content between 42% and 46%. On the contrary, the fat content in heavy cream you will generally see in the US ranges from 36% to 40%. 


Double Cream or Heavy Cream Substitutes In the US 

As double creams, like the single cream we discussed earlier, is hard to find in the US, it’s best to keep multiple substitutes in mind. This will save you time and keep your dishes from ruining because the heavy cream in the market near you was stocked out. 

Here is a list of some exciting and reliable double cream substitutes you can easily find in the US. 

  • Sour Cream 

The first double cream substitute on our list is sour cream. As the name suggests, it is a bit sour in taste, and this sour taste is developed because of the excess of lactic acid in it. This lactic acid is what the cream is treated with for thickening it. 

As far as the fat content is concerned, sour cream is at 20% of fat content, which makes it a much healthier double cream alternative. However, when it comes to using sour cream as an alternative to double cream, you can only add it as a replacement for double cream in recipes where its sourness won’t affect your recipe. 

In short, sour cream can only be a practical double cream alternative for savoury dishes and spicy recipes. However, it cannot be used in desserts and other recipes where you need sweetness or mild creamy flavour. 

One good news for you here is that you can use artificial sweeteners and confectioners’ sugar to dilute the sourness of the sour cream and use it in desserts. 

  • Mascarpone 

Mascarpone is an Italian cheese known for its soft, creamy and velvety texture. It is one of the most loved cheese types out there and has extensive uses in both savoury recipes and desserts. If you have ever eaten tiramisu, the cheese generally used in it is Mascarpone. 

In addition to being an excellent cheese option due to its rich and velvety texture, it can also be used as an excellent double cream alternative. 

The uses of Mascarpone as a double cream alternative are extensive, i.e., you can use them in savoury recipes, spicy dishes, and desserts and frostings. On its own, the taste of Mascarpone is pretty mild; thanks to this, you can add them to all the recipes where you don’t want the cream to overpower the taste. 

Regarding Mascarpone, you need to be careful of the kind of Mascarpone you are going for. It’s because this double cream alternative’s taste can vary depending on the type of milk it is made of. In this case, the cheese made using cow’s milk is more pronounced than that made from goat’s milk. 

  • Crème Fraiche

Next up on this list is another cream from France called Crème Fraiche. It is another creamy and thick textured cream and is known for its velvety feel and soft flavour on the palette. Have you ever touched shaving cream? This Crème Fraiche feels exactly like that. 

Being a little tangy in its flavour, this double cream substitute is best to be used in savoury or spicy dishes. However, as this tangy flavour is not too overpowering, you can easily use Crème Fraiche as a topping for your desserts, pancakes, or fruit salads. 

How to Make Single & Double Creams At Home? 

Though you have looked at some exciting single and double cream alternatives, here are a few steps you can follow to make this cream at home on your own. 


The only ingredients you will need to make creams are butter and milk. 


Here is what you need to do to make 1 cup of cream on your own: 

  1. Take ¼ cup of butter and melt it. 
  2. Add the melted butter to ¾ cup of milk. 
  3. Whisk the melted butter in the milk slowly. 
  4. Once the whisking is complete, let the mixture rest for some time, and your cream is ready to be used.



Is the Double Cream in the US the Same as Whipping Cream? 

Yes, the double cream is called heavy or whipping cream in the US. But both the double and whipping creams aren’t exactly the same as the fat content in them varies. As far as double cream is concerned, they have a fat content of around 48%, while the fat content in whipping cream is between 36% to 40%. 

Is Skim Milk Found in America? 

Skimmed or Skim milk is made after removing all the cream content from the milk, also called milk fat. Once the milk fat is completely removed from whole milk, the leftover residue is called skim milk. Sometimes, only 50% of the cream content is removed, making the resulting product semi-skimmed milk. 

As far as the presence of Skim Milk in America is concerned, it is popular there, and the locals love consuming it with their recipes. 

Why the Taste of Milk In the US Is a Little Different? 

The taste of milk changes depending upon the method used for processing, i.e., pasteurization and homogenization. As this process varies in different countries, it’s normal for regular milk to taste differently in different regions of the world, which is precisely why you find the milk in the US to taste different. 


Conclusion – What Is the Equivalent of Double and Single Cream in the US? 

In this guide, we have taken you through the introduction of both double and single creams. We have also looked at the equivalent of both these creams in the US and some substitutes for them you can readily find in the US market. 

In the end, we have provided you with a method you can use to make the cream on your own at home and have answered some questions regarding milk and milk products in the US. 

Hopefully, all your confusion regarding the different types of creams and their varying names in different countries, especially the US, is now cleared. 


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