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Can You Cook With Single Cream? The Important Thing to Know

Single cream is a milk version with a fat concentration of approximately 18%. If you’re wondering why it is called single cream, it’s because there is also a double cream, whose fat content is twice that of single cream.

That means a double cream is milk with 36% fat content. However, these fat percentages differ slightly from one country to another. Nevertheless, the single cream fat content in most countries and regions will range between 18% and 20%.

Can You Cook With Single Cream?

You can’t cook using single cream for several reasons. However, the main one is that single cream will not whip but curdle if boiled, thus making it unsuitable for cooking. That doesn’t mean you can’t add single cream to your delicacies. Single cream has been known to be an excellent addition to making sauces and soups. Nevertheless, be sure to avoid boiling it because it doesn’t whip very well. You also can’t substitute your double cream for single cream.

Can You Cook With Single Cream?
Can You Cook With Single Cream?

What Makes It Hard to Use Single Cream for Cooking?

As noted above, single cream isn’t suitable for cooking food. The two main reasons for this are that it curdles and doesn’t whip. So, how do the two conditions affect your cooking when using single cream?

  • Failure to Whip: Single cream has low-fat content, which makes it hard to stabilize and aerate. As such, it doesn’t whip easily. When cooking, cream whipping is considered necessary as it incorporates air, hence making it stiff.
  • Curdling: When under too much heat, single cream will curdle. The curdling isn’t a good thing during cooking as it separates the fat content from the rest of the milk. That makes it even more challenging to use it for cooking.
Single cream does not have a high enough fat content that will allow it to be whipped up like higher fat creams.
Single cream does not have a high enough fat content that will allow it to be whipped up like higher fat creams.

Is Substituting Double Cream With Single Cream a Good Option?

I wouldn’t advise substituting double cream for single cream when cooking for the reasons mentioned above. Besides, each type of cream has its benefits and uses based on the intended purpose.

Rather than substituting double cream, I would advise you to use the single cream for the following uses, where it may be better than double cream.

  • Enriching soups: Adding single cream is a good option if you hope to improve the broth’s taste and texture. The cream supplements other ingredients, making the soup tastier and likable.
  • Making sauces: Both single cream and heavy cream can be the best choices for enhancing your sauce’s taste and texture.
  • Making Top Desserts: Single cream is excellently great in preparing desserts. The main reasons for its use here include color, taste, and texture.
  • Fruit and pudding topping: If you want to add to the taste of your puddings or fruits, using single cream is one of the best options. Besides the taste, single cream has good color and makes a dish smell nice.
Single cream is suitable for desserts.
Single cream is suitable for desserts.

Can I Change My Single Cream Into Double Cream?

If you only have a single cream in the house and want to use a cream for cooking, then you shouldn’t panic. With the right ingredients, you can boost your single cream by making it into double cream. The procedure is easy and doesn’t require much. Here is a short process on how you could do it.

Ingredients & Apparatus

  • 2 Cups of Single cream,
  • ¼ Cup of Unsalted Butter,
  • Heat source,
  • Frying pan, and
  • A big container.


  • Step 1: Use the frying pan to melt the unsalted butter until you can no longer see traces of solid butter. To guarantee the butter is fully melted, occasionally stir as you continue heating.
  • Step 2: Put a single tablespoon of the melted butter into the single cream and stir until it thoroughly mixes. Continue putting a single tablespoon of butter and stirring until all the butter is used. You should always avoid pouring all or too much of the molten butter into the single cream. The instant heat change will cause the single cream to curdle.
  • Step 3: Put the mixture into the saucepan and cook at low heat while stirring until you notice the mixture begins to steam.
  • Step 4: Remove the heat source and mix thoroughly till you notice the cream stiffening further.
  • Step 5: Let the cream cool at room temperature.
  • Step 6: Put the mixture into a sealable container and place it in a refrigerator for approximately a week.

You now have your double cream, which you could use for other purposes such as cooking.

Adding butter to single cream increases its fat content and makes it closer to double cream.
Adding butter to single cream increases its fat content and makes it closer to double cream.

Can I Still Consume Curdled Single Cream?

Curdled single cream is perfectly safe to eat, especially if used in making sauces. However, it will not have the same benefits as though it were not curdled. That is because it loses its pleasant taste, texture, and appearance, thus making it less appealing.

Cream that has curdled is safe to eat, even if it does not look too appetizing.
Cream that has curdled is safe to eat, even if it does not look too appetizing.

Can I Fix Curdled Cream?

It is possible to fix curdled single cream, but the process is not always as successful as hoped. One of the best techniques applied in resolving curdled single cream is the addition of whole milk little by little while stirring thoroughly.

That will essentially ensure clumps are broken. Again, you can also use a sieve to remove unbroken clumps.

However, rather than struggle with reversing the curdling, it would be wiser to prevent it. Some of the most notable actions you could apply to avoid single cream curdling include;

  • Preventing the single cream from boiling.
  • Adding cornstarch to the single cream. Cornstarch helps stabilize the emulsion, thus guaranteeing that the single cream will not be separate.

Frequently Asked Questions to Can You Cook With Single Cream?

Can I Use Single Cream for Cooking?

Single cream is not a good choice for cooking as it doesn’t whip. Besides, it will curdle when it boils, hence unsuitable.

Where Can I Use Single cream?

Single cream is used in several delicacies for top dressing, which includes vegetables, fruits, cakes, soups, and sauces.

Can I Convert Single Cream Into Double Cream?

It is possible to enhance single cream to create double cream as all that is needed is adding extra fat into the cream. However, using the right ingredients and procedure is a must.

Conclusion to Can You Cook With Single Cream?

Single cream is a challenge to cook with as it doesn’t whip and it curdles when heated. It can be added to your recipes but it may be a challenge to achieve the right consistency.

Creams with a higher fat content are more heat stable, and can be easily whipped. Single cream is suitable for recipes where it will not be heated to the point of curdling.

To make sure that your recipes turn out the way it was intended to be, make sure to use cream with the right fat content called for in your dishes.

Author Bio

Daniel Iseli (Head Chef)

Hi, my name is Daniel and I am passionate about cooking. I have been cooking for the past 20 years and am happy to share my best recipes and cooking-related knowledge with you.