What is heavy cream in the UK? – Complete Guide 2023

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 with a proton and a single neutron in its nucleus, instead of the regular single proton. Deuterium is a stable isotope, so one should not worry about radiation poisoning.

What is heavy Cream in the UK?

In the UK, we have:

Single Cream – around 18% fat

Whipping Cream – around 36% fat

Double Cream – around 48% fat

Extra thick double Cream – around 55% fat

In the US:

Light Cream is around 20% fat, directly comparable with UK single Cream.

Heavy Cream must have at least 36% fat, almost identical to UK whipping Cream.

The higher the fat content, the easier the Cream is. Fat holds all the liquids together, so higher-fat creams make dishes less likely to split.

What is heavy Cream in the UK?

Probably double Cream. Here in England, we have skimmed semi-skimmed whole milk in supermarkets. You may also find extra creamy (gold tops as a premium product. You may also find milk in some supermarkets, with O Mega three added back in place of some of the Cream.

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

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

There is also dairy-free milk, which is aimed at those who are lactose intolerant and vegans.

The problem with meat and dairy-free products is that they are touted as greener than dairy products and 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 the distribution centre for a retailer or perhaps to a cash and carry before even reaching shelf in a shop.

Is drinking heavy cream milk daily bad for your health?

So many factors determine whether a single food is healthy, so there’s no easy yes or no to this answer. The worst thing for someone’s health is looking at food as a binary good/bad thing. This logical fallacy of black-and-white thinking will lead to bad food choices every time.

Now for heavy Cream daily:

How much are we talking about? Is it a splash for one’s coffee or tea? Fine. Completely fine. Every day, coffee creamer is completely OK. Is it going into every dinner as a creamy soup base and then being scooped into eggnog? That’s excessive, and the body wouldn’t appreciate that level of fat coming in all at once over and over.

Now, what’s the heavy Cream being eaten with? Yes, that matters. Is it tons of bread and sweetener? Now you’re headed for a perfect storm of awful.

Is it just one cup of heavy Cream before bed? That… might be okay to help oneself get a full night’s sleep. Milk is renowned for its ability to help the sleepless.

So you can see, it’s not the heavy Cream, but the heavy Cream’s relationship to all the foods and habits you’re pairing with it that make it healthy or unhealthy. We all wish food were a simple mechanical “yes or no”, but that’s not the world we’re living in. All food is complex and must be eaten with care and mindfulness.

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Is heavy cream double cream in the UK?

They are called heavy Cream in the US and Double Cream in the UK.

What is heavy Cream? What are some examples of foods that contain it?

Heavy Cream, also known as heavy whipping cream, is a dairy product made from the high-fat part of milk. It contains 36-40% fat, which makes it thick and creamy.

Heavy Cream is commonly used in cooking and baking to add richness, flavour and texture to dishes, such as soups, sauces, pastries, and desserts. Some examples of heavy Cream include ice cream, whipped Cream, cream sauces, cream soups, and baked goods like cakes, cupcakes and pastries.

What is heavy cream in the UK?

How do you make heavy Cream?

OK, there is a way to make something similar and healthier. Boil organic milk and let it cool for three days in the fridge; you will find a thick layer of delicious milk cream. Take it and gently combine it with vanilla and ground sugar; you can add chocolate power, too; warning!!! Never over, or it will be butter.

Is heavy cream lactose-free?

It is, for all practical purposes. Lactose is the dissolved sugar in milk, and Cream is almost all fat with little dissolved sugar.

The Cream has trace amounts of lactose, but even if you consumed half a cup of Cream (almost a whopping 500 Kcal), you’d be consuming less than a gram of lactose, and it takes more than 10 grams to trigger intolerance responses.

What is the equivalent of heavy Cream?

There is no equivalent. Heavy Cream is heavy Cream. It’s a unique product. It is what it is.

There are substitutes for heavy Cream that can be used with varying levels of success depending on what you’re using it for, but the results will be different from the real thing. The Cream from full-fat coconut milk, for example. 

Or you could whisk some unsalted butter into milk to up the fat content to 36%. You can also use yogurt in many recipes that call for heavy Cream. However, you may need to add a bit of baking soda to adjust the acidity (yogurt can also be an excellent substitute for buttermilk in many recipes).

What percent is heavy Cream?

I am not a dairy farmer, but the % butterfat varied between breeds. Although Holstein is the popular breed around here, I got this from looking up Gurnsey Cows. The quality of Guernsey milk is well known to be 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 colour of Guernsey milk comes from an unusually high content of orange beta-carotene.

Can heavy Cream be frozen?

Yes, you can freeze heavy Cream for up to three months, but because it separates when you defrost it, be sure to shake well before using it. Once defrosted, it won’t whip well.

Lighter creams also don’t turn out because there is more separation upon defrosting.

I use heavy Cream in my coffee; after it’s frozen, I tear the container off and cut the frozen Cream into cubes. I keep those cubes frozen in a zip-lock bag and add them to my coffee without defrosting.

Is manufacturing cream an acceptable substitute for heavy Cream?

Heavy Cream has a 36% fat content, while Manufacturing Cream has a fat content of more than 40%

That’s the Cream used in the best restaurants for their cream sauces and super-premium ice creams.

Use it for anything as you would the other creams, but beware, it will spoil you. My dad used to say that it takes work to return to a Cadillac once you drive a Rolls Royce. It is the same with manufacturers’ Cream; it will be easy to return to heavy Cream if you have to.

How is heavy Cream different from other types of Cream?

“All cream contains at least 18% milk fat: “whipping cream” is made up of 30 per cent, while cartons labelled “heavy cream” or “heavy whipping cream” must contain 36 per cent or more.”

You can substitute half and half for Cream in a soup or sauce, but it won’t work for applications like mousse or whipped topping because you need the fat content to give it body.

My mother, a kindergarten teacher, wanted to show her students how to make butter. She went to the grocery store and asked the guy behind the counter which Cream she could use to make butter. His answer?

“Lady, the butter’s right there on the shelf.”

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What can I do with heavy cream?

Heavy cream can be used for many deserts, as well as for cream sauces to compliment steaks or other dishes; some examples of this would be:

Diane sauce

Sauce au Poivre

Calvados sauce ( more commonly used for pork)

Fish sauces:

Du Bercy sauce

Mugler sauce

Normandy sauce.

These are just some examples of classical sauces that can use heavy cream. Invest in some French classical cookbooks, and you will undoubtedly come across many more dishes that can use heavy cream.

Is coconut cream the same thing as heavy cream?

No, not. Heavy cream is cream from cows, having not lower than a 38% butterfat content.

Coconut cream is plant-based. It doesn’t behave the same way in baking or cooking and can’t be used as a substitute.

Why is heavy cream so difficult to find?

This may be a regional problem. Here in western New York, I am fine finding different types of cream in the supermarket. Much of our dairy is produced at local farms. Your area may have a different local production, or demand for the product may need to be higher for stores to keep it stocked.

You may find heavy cream labelled as heavy whipping cream. Both will have at least 36% milk fat. Light whipping cream, sometimes labelled 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 lighter than heavy whipping cream when whipped.

Is Puck Thick Cream the same thing as heavy cream?

No. Heavy cream is simply cream that has at least 36% milk fat. It is pure cream. Puck Thick Cream contains water, butter, hydrogenated palm kernel oil, skimmed milk powder, soybean emulsifier, and stabilizers.

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 to use centrifuges to extract all the cream from the milk before adding it back into the milk.

Homogenization of milk is forcing it under high pressure through a plate with very fine holes. 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 need to make cream in the kitchen, 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 must determine how much butter to add.

I need to remember the normal ratio of butterfat to water 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%.

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For a cup of cream, 2/3 cup of milk should take more than 1/3 cup of butter.

The butter should be melted first.

I would not serve this as a table cream because if the butterfat granules are too large, it will feel 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 be shipped the next day.

This amazing ice cream is extremely creamy, variable and easily made! You don’t even have to use an ice cream machine to mix up the 2-ingredient ice cream, as is unfortunately often necessary otherwise. You whip cream and condensed milk together, let your creativity run free, and wait a few hours. Finished!

Unfortunately, the “recipe” or the idea is not mine. I think it comes at least from an Irish blogger and has been covered many times in the past. But I use it every time at home, and it is a big hit with kids and grown-ups alike. So, I thought I would share it with you.

The main reason why this ice cream turns out creamy and incredibly delicious without an ice cream machine is due to the ingredients: cream and sweetened condensed milk. Make sure it’s a good product, though, something like Borden’s Eagle Brand, Nestle’s Carnation, or Nestle’s La Lechéra.

Ingredients for 4 Servings – Heavy cream from scratch

450 ml cold whipped cream
400 ml sweetened condensed milk (chilled)
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 360 minutes
Total: 380 minutes

Preparation: Heavy cream from scratch

Whip the cream until stiff. Add the condensed milk and mix it in slightly slower until a thick cream is formed.

Fold in the ingredients of your choice, e.g…, fruit puree, cookies, cake or muffin leftovers, brownies or the like.

Freeze for at least six hours.

Let thaw briefly before serving. Then, the ice cream can be removed and portioned more easily.

Additional remarks:

There are endless ways to refine your ice cream base. To do this, divide the mass into approximately six portions before deep-freezing and flavour or spice each one differently. A few inspirations:

Baked cocoa or Nutella
Banana purred and with chunks
Pureed berries, fruit puree or jam
Chopped biscuits or pieces of cake
Chocolate grated or cocoa nibs with mint
Roasted almonds or your favourite nuts


What is the difference between whipping, heavy, and fresh cream?

It depends on where you live; the authorities usually set terms to reflect local culture and practice. Mostly, they relate to fat content. In the UK, we don’t have “fresh cream” or “heavy cream”; we have single cream and double cream with 18% and 48% minimum fat percentages and whipping cream with a minimum fat content of 35%. Dairy processors make cream by centrifuging fresh milk and can precisely control the fat percentages.

Custom is different again in France, where the cream is mostly “creme fraiche” – which translates as “fresh cream” – and has a fat content of about 30% – but it is usually cultured to help it thicken and give it a slightly sour or “fresh” taste.

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 the difference between fresh Cream and butter Cream?

Fresh Cream is made from milk by boiling in a sim flame and removing the floating Cream. This is then kept refrigerated as it can get denatured or spoilt. Fresh Cream is then whipped with sugar and flavours before applying to various foods. This Cream has a short shelf life and, if not stored in a cooler (fridge), leads to food poisoning in people.

Butter is obtained from curds. The curd is churned to get the butter out. Butter is then beaten well with powdered sugar with essence and colour to get buttercream. This can be kept at room temperature, although a fridge is preferred. Buttercream has a long shelf life.

Both find applications in cakes, muffins, and sweets. Fresh Cream tastes good on fruit Salads. Buttercream is found in many bakery products, replacing salted butter like buns, breads, biscuits, bakery cones…

Cream is oil in water emulsion, whereas butter is water in oil emulsion. 

(more greasy)

Fresh Cream With Fruits And Nuts
Fresh Cream On Cakes
Butter Cream In Biscuits (Bourbon)
Butter Cream On Muffins
Butter Icing (Butter Cream) On Biscuit
Long Lasting Butter Cream Icing.

How do milk and heavy cream differ?

Whole milk left to stand will separate into cream, which rises to the top, and milk, predominantly an aqueous solution, at the bottom. Most people who drank milk in the fifties remember seeing that on their doorstep occasionally after a freeze. Milk processing then “homogenized” the milk by vigorous shaking, dispersing the fat into micromiceles throughout the “whole” milk. Whole milk, homogenized, contains 3.5% fat. 

When the fat that normally rises is removed, 2% milk results. When spun in a centrifuge and all micellar fat is removed, 1%. The difference between each form of milk is only 30cal/cup. The difference in flavour, however, is sufficient to deter most milk lovers. 

For example, the milk off the farm and in Switzerland tastes nothing like skim or 1% milk. The difference between heavy cream and plain cream is just the degree of fat concentration. The real question is—what is non-fat half and half??

Can you replace heavy cream with cooking cream?

Heavy cream is about 30% fat. Cooking cream is about 35%, and it has been enhanced in manufacturing to hold that extra butterfat by including various additives.

When I bake, I usually substitute half and half (which we always have in the fridge) for recipes that call for plain milk, which turns out fine.

The extra butterfat of cooking cream isn’t likely to matter. I have no idea what the additives will do.


Heavy Cream is a thick, high-fat dairy product that adds richness and flavour 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 sweet and savoury recipes.

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