Single and double creams are not common creams found in the United States.
They are popular creams in countries such as the United Kingdom.
What makes the difference is the fat content in the cream.
The fat content is important as if a recipe requires a certain fat content and you overprocess it, the result will be less than desirable.
So when it comes to looking for the Us equivalent of double and single cream, what are your options?
What’s the US Equivalent of Double and Single Cream?
Both double and single cream is not common in the US, mostly due to the processes and regulations for US dairy products. Double cream has 48% butterfat. The closest substitute in the US would be heavy cream or heavy whipping cream, which has 36 to 38% butterfat. A single cream has only a 20% butterfat content. The closest equivalent for a single cream in the US is either light cream or half and half. Both can range in butterfat content. You want to find the midrange butterfat content to prevent it from thickening.
What is Classified as Double or Single Cream?
When it comes to cooking, it is many times down to the cream base; sauces and baked goods can benefit from using the proper cream.
In the UK, both double and single cream are popular choices when it comes to cooking with cream.
Double cream is 48% butterfat. It is a very rich cream.
Opposed to the US equivalent, it is thick enough that if it is whipped it needs to be carefully monitored, otherwise you risk over-whipping it.
Double cream is the UK equivalent of heavy cream or whipping cream, but with higher fat content.
Because of the fat content, if it is whipped it is double in size. Double cream also has a very rich, full flavor when added to sauces or other recipes.
Single cream has a 20% butterfat content. Because of the low-fat content, it will not thicken when beaten.
It still, however, provides great flavor when added to dishes with lower fat content.
Single cream is skimmed off of the top of the cream, it has a rich flavor but also does not whip. It is best used for recipes that are looking for added flavor and fat content, rather than texture.
Why Isn’t Double or Single Cream Commonly Found in the US?
Double and single creams are different in the UK due to pasteurization regulations.
When in the US you typically see dairy products that have been highly pasteurized, whereas in the UK that is not the case.
While pasteurized cream is engineered to last longer, it loses some of the qualities that you would see in UK double or single creams.
When it comes to dairy products in the US, the longer the shelf-life and the production of food-borne illnesses come into account.
What Can be Substituted for Double or Single Cream in the US?
When substituting for double cream, you can use heavy cream or heavy whipping cream.
Both have a range from 36 to 38% butterfat. Double cream has 48% butterfat.
While the results will have less flavor, it is the closest equivalent to US creams.
Because you lose some of that fat content, there are a few substitutions that you can use in law for heavy cream or heavy whipping cream.
If properly treated, you can use milk and butter, milk and cornstarch, evaporated milk, and soy milk and olive oil as substitutes for double cream.
While these can be great options, they do take time to perfect the same level of fat and flavor that double cream offers.
When it comes to the US equivalent of single cream, the closest would be light cream.
Light cream, however, can be in butterfat between 18 and 30%.
Single cream should be 20% butterfat, which is thin enough that it does not thicken when being whipped.
Another similar equivalent is half and half. While it has a lower fat content, it does provide a rich flavor.
If you want an equivalent that is not cream, you can recreate single cream by using evaporated milk that is slowly stirred in, full-fat coconut cream, or 2% milk with butter.
Frequently Asked Questions About What’s the US Equivalent of Double and Single Cream
What is the importance of fat content in creams?
Fat content and the way that the cream has been processed are important factors because they affect the end result. The lower the fat content, the less likely you are to get textures such as whipped or stiff cream from it. The fat content can also affect the taste of the overall dish, making it too bland or too rich.
Do I need to use another cream as an equivalent for double or single cream?
While it is easy to use an US cream as a substitute for double or single cream, if you do not have cream available you can have similar results. Butter, olive oil, coconut cream, milk, and evaporated milk can all be combined with different additives to create the same effect as a double or single cream.
While the US equivalents for double and single cream are not the same as you would find in other countries, such as the UK, the available substitutions can produce similar results.
The major difference comes down to fat content and pasteurization.
The great news is that as long as you take measurements into consideration, you can generate the same result with US equivalents of both double and single cream.