Double Cream vs. Heavy Cream

What's the Difference?

Double cream and heavy cream are both types of dairy products that are commonly used in cooking and baking. However, there are some differences between the two. Double cream has a higher fat content than heavy cream, typically around 48% or more, making it richer and thicker in texture. It is often used in making desserts, whipped cream, and sauces, as it provides a luxurious and velvety mouthfeel. On the other hand, heavy cream usually contains around 36-40% fat and is slightly lighter in texture. It is commonly used in soups, sauces, and savory dishes to add richness and creaminess without being overly heavy. Ultimately, the choice between double cream and heavy cream depends on the desired consistency and richness in a particular recipe.


AttributeDouble CreamHeavy Cream
DefinitionThick cream with a high fat content, typically around 48%Thick cream with a high fat content, typically around 36%
UsageCommonly used in desserts, sauces, and whipped creamCommonly used in desserts, sauces, and whipped cream
ConsistencyVery thick and richThick and rich
Whipping AbilityWhips easily and holds its shape wellWhips easily and holds its shape well
Calories per 100g292292
Fat Content48g per 100g36g per 100g
Cholesterol Content160mg per 100g120mg per 100g
AvailabilityWidely available in most grocery storesWidely available in most grocery stores

Further Detail


When it comes to indulging in creamy delights, two popular options that often come to mind are double cream and heavy cream. These rich and luxurious dairy products are commonly used in various culinary applications, from baking to sauces and desserts. While they may seem similar at first glance, there are subtle differences that set them apart. In this article, we will explore the attributes of double cream and heavy cream, highlighting their variations in fat content, consistency, and usage.

Fat Content

One of the primary distinctions between double cream and heavy cream lies in their fat content. Double cream, also known as Devonshire or clotted cream, boasts an exceptionally high fat content, typically ranging from 48% to 55%. This richness contributes to its velvety texture and luxurious mouthfeel. On the other hand, heavy cream, also referred to as whipping cream, contains a slightly lower fat content, usually around 36% to 40%. While still rich, heavy cream offers a slightly lighter consistency compared to double cream.

Consistency and Texture

Due to the disparity in fat content, double cream and heavy cream exhibit distinct consistencies and textures. Double cream, with its higher fat content, is incredibly thick and dense. It has a luscious, buttery texture that clings to a spoon and can be spread effortlessly. This makes it an ideal accompaniment to scones or as a topping for desserts. Heavy cream, although still creamy and smooth, has a lighter consistency. It pours more easily and can be whipped into soft peaks, making it perfect for adding a touch of richness to sauces, soups, or as a base for whipped cream.

Usage in Cooking and Baking

Both double cream and heavy cream have their unique roles in cooking and baking, thanks to their varying attributes. Double cream, with its high fat content, is often used in recipes that require a rich and indulgent flavor. It is commonly incorporated into desserts like custards, ice creams, and mousses, providing a luxurious taste and texture. Additionally, double cream is a staple in British cuisine, where it is traditionally served with scones and jam during afternoon tea.

On the other hand, heavy cream is a versatile ingredient that finds its place in a wide range of recipes. Its lower fat content makes it suitable for incorporating into savory dishes, such as creamy pasta sauces, soups, and gratins. Heavy cream can also be whipped to create a fluffy topping for pies, cakes, and hot beverages like hot chocolate or coffee. Its ability to enhance both sweet and savory dishes makes it a pantry staple for many home cooks and professional chefs alike.

Whipping and Stability

When it comes to whipping, heavy cream has a slight advantage over double cream due to its lower fat content. The lower fat content allows heavy cream to incorporate air more easily, resulting in a stable whipped cream with soft peaks. This makes it an excellent choice for topping desserts or adding a dollop of cream to hot beverages. Double cream, on the other hand, can be more challenging to whip due to its higher fat content. While it is possible to whip double cream, it requires careful attention to prevent over-whipping, which can lead to a grainy texture.

Availability and Regional Variations

The availability of double cream and heavy cream can vary depending on your location. Double cream is more commonly found in the United Kingdom and Europe, where it is a staple in many traditional recipes. It is often sold in specialty stores or can be made at home by heating unpasteurized cream until a thick layer forms on the surface. Heavy cream, on the other hand, is widely available in most grocery stores in the United States and Canada, making it easily accessible for consumers in these regions.


While double cream and heavy cream share similarities in their creamy nature, they differ in fat content, consistency, and usage. Double cream's higher fat content lends it a dense and velvety texture, making it perfect for spreading or as a luxurious topping. Heavy cream, with its slightly lower fat content, offers a lighter consistency and is versatile in both sweet and savory applications. Understanding these attributes allows us to choose the right cream for our culinary endeavors, ensuring the perfect balance of richness and flavor in our dishes.

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